Your first remeshing in 3ds Max

Written by Jesper Tingvall, Product Expert, Simplygon

Disclaimer: This post is written using version 9.1.42900.0 of Simplygon and 3ds Max 2021. If you encounter this post at a later stage, some of the settings calls might have changed. However, the core concepts should still remain valid.


In this post we'll introduce how to use the Simplygon plugin for 3ds Max and use it to remesh a very high poly model.


This example will use the Simplygon integration in 3ds Max, but the same concepts can be applied to all other integrations of the Simplygon API.

Problem to solve

Here we have a high poly mesh with a single diffuse texture, which we wish to optimize, this can be done with both Simplygon's reduction- and remeshing feature.

Reduction optimizes the asset by removing polygons from the original while maintaining other data, such as original materials, UVs and vertex colors. Reduction and Material baking can be combined.

Remeshing generates a completely new mesh that represents the original asset, while good at optimizing it will not preserve data in the same sense as reduction, vertex colors and skinning can be transferred onto the new mesh, while materials/textures have to be baked, and new UVs generated. We will use remeshing for this post.

Bryan Samson photoscan

The model is very high poly, as expected of a photoscan, and contains over 7 million vertices. This is a close up of the mouth.

Bryan Samson photoscan mouth wireframe


The solution is to process the object using the UI for Simplygon plugin in 3ds Max and create a proxy of it using the remeshing pipeline.

When optimizing a very high poly mesh into a low poly mesh remeshing often gives a better result then reduction because it can remove interiors and fill small holes.

Simplygon UI

Autodesk 3ds Max plug-ins are installed automatically when running the Simplygon installer, and after installation you need to restart 3ds Max for it to load successfully (if it was running when you installed Simplygon).

Start by bringing up the Simplygon UI by right clicking the toolbar and choose Simplygon.

Bring up Simpygon in 3ds Max

Click Add LOD Component and pick Template → Basic → Remeshing with material baking.

Add a Remeshing with material baking pipeline

Remeshing settings

We can choose quality of the new mesh by changing OnScreensize. Simplygon will optimize the mesh so it has less then one pixel of error when rendered at target screen size. For more information read about deviation and screen size.

OutputMaterialSetting's texture width and height under MappingImageSettings determines the resolution of the new texture.

Remeshing pipeline settings

Material casters

Material casters are used to transfer the old texture of the object to the newly modeled one. Depending on what material channels we have; base color, specularity, metallic and so on we can have different casters.

To add all 3ds Max standard casters press the plus icon right of Material Casters and select Automatic while having the original mesh selected in the view port.

Adding and removing material casters

Our original mesh only has a base_color texture so all other channels do not contain any data we want to transfer. We are going to add a normal map, even though the original did not have one. Adding one will allow us to bake the high-poly models surface onto our new model. We are going to remove all other casters and are left with:

In a different tool than 3ds Max these channels will be named differently.


Select the objects you want to remesh and click the Simplygon logo to start processing.

Click Simplygon logo to start process


We can play around with different settings and are able to generate different remeshes from our original asset.

SD Remeshing

Remesh for 300 screen size with a 1024x1024 texture.

HD Remeshing

Remesh for 1080 screen size with a 4096x4096 texture.

Asset Screen size Texture size Polys Verts
Original asset - 8192x8192 14 596 096 7 298 050
Remeshed HD 1080 4096x4096 8 798 4 401
Remeshed SD 300 1024x1024 1 374 689

Conclusion is that Simplygon can process even very large meshes and generate game ready meshes of all kinds of fidelity.

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