Outside the Box:
To me vertex merging is the best friend I have when it comes to creating low-poly models. It is key to ridding yourself of unwanted faces and vertices that allow you to hit that magic number given to you by your programming staff or art director. Merging a vertex simply takes one vertex and merges it with another vertex effectively reducing the number of vertices by one and number of faces by two in the immediate area of the merge.
This technique or command combined with the EDGE DIVISION and EDGE TURN form the 'Trinity' of most useful low-poly modeling techniques. I consider them very highly so don't diss the Trinity.
Nah, this isn't some metaphysical math technique, it's the antonym of the vertex merge. Basically it divides the length of an edge exactly in the middle inserting a vertex and creating the appropriate faces resulting from the new vertex' addition.
In Alias it's called the 'Quad Split' or something but basically this technique takes the bisecting line of a quad made up by 4 vertices and 'turns' that edge so that it goes to the other two vertices. Very useful tool and I wouldn't touch a modeler that doesn't have it.
Sorry, I know you know what this happens to be. I just want to make sure everyone out there knows the correct term for the plural of vertex: vertices. Please strike the next person who says something like, "Yeah, I'd just add another vertice over here and push those other vertexes back. Yeah that's what I'd do…" Me? I'd hit that person over the head with that monitor displaying a selected VERTEX amongst a group of unselected VERTICES! Maybe through more tactile osmosis…?
Credits: Thinking Outside the Box logo illustrated and is © 1998 Dan Zalkus. Thinking Outside the Box is © 1998 Paul Steed. All other content is © 1998 loonyboi productions. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited, so don't even try it. We've got really big guns, and we're ripped, baby.