Let's begin by looking at Kila's arms. (We'll leave the hands for now, just concentrating on the arm itself.)
Before you start, make sure to press Z/Cmd+Z to undo the triangulation you used to get a polygon count. Or you can reload the file called Kila_Complete.mb.
With the model now back in quads, the polygon count will be lower, around 3342. Don't let this fool youMaya's quads can be made from a number of triangles, not just two, so this number is not an accurate reflection of the number of triangles in the scene. We want this amount to be around 2600. When in doubt, it's always best to do a quick triangulation to check the actual count.
Looking from the front, you can see three sections of polygons that can be removed because they affect the shape of the arm only slightly. These areas are highlighted in Figure 5.5. The best way to remove these polygons is to collapse the edges, so go ahead and do that now.
Figure 5.5. Remove the shallow angles from the arm.
Move the row that is closest to the wrist down the arm (Figure 5.5, bottom). This will help when the wrist deforms.
On the top of the arm, you can remove some of the small polygons that exist here. Collapse the edges highlighted in Figure 5.6, left.
Figure 5.6. Collapse the edges that form small polygons on the top of the arm.
You will have to do a bit of repair work to the areas from which you have removed the polygons and edges. The shape of the biceps and the shoulder area will need some extra work (Figure 5.7).
Figure 5.7. Tidy up the arm area after optimizing.
If you end up with two adjoining triangles, try converting them into quads. Select them and go to Polygons > Quadrangulate. This helps to keep the mesh clean and tidy.
When converting to quads, Maya will guess at the way the triangles should lie. This could result in concave areas like we saw on her hips in Chapter 2. In such instances, it will be necessary to keep the area triangulated.
Optimize the back of the arm by welding the vertex in the center of the X (Figure 5.8, top) to a vertex above it.
Figure 5.8. Remove the vertex in the center of this X by welding it to a vertex above it.
That's about all we should do on the arm for now; if we need to, we can reduce it further later.