RetopoFlow - Retopology Tools for Blender

by CG Cookie in Scripts and Addons

Retopology tools designed for artists

RetopoFlow is an add-on for Blender that brings together a set of retopology tools that enable you to work more quickly, efficiently, and in a more artist-friendly manner. The tools, which are specifically designed for retopology, create a complete workflow in Blender without the need for additional software.

RetopoFlow v2.0 is coming soon! It will be a free upgrade to all 1.x customers. Watch a demo of the early alpha version of v2.0 here:

Automatic surface snapping

RetopoFlow includes two primary tools, Contours and Polystrips. Both of these tools automatically generate geometry by drawing on an existing surface, snapping the new mesh to the target surface at all times, meaning you never have to worry about your mesh conforming to the original model (no shrinkwrap required!). Additionally, all mesh generation is quad-based and the tools are modal, creating a very interactive workflow.

Contours: stroke-based retopo for cylindrical forms

The Contours tool gives you a quick and easy way to retopologize cylindrical forms. For example, it’s ideal for organic forms, such as arms, legs, tentacles, tails, horns, etc.

The tool works by drawing strokes perpendicular to the form to define the contour of the shape. Immediately upon drawing the first stroke, a preview mesh is generated, showing you exactly what you’ll get. You can draw as many strokes as you like, in any order, from any direction.

Polypen: vertex-by-vertex creation for absolute control

The Polypen provides provides everything you need for fast retopology in those scenarios where you need absolute control of every vertex position (e.g. low poly game models). This tool lets you insert vertices, extrude edges, fill faces, and transform the subsequent geometry all within one tool and in just a few clicks.  

Polystrips: quad strips for complex topology flow

The Polystrips tool provides quick and easy ways create the key face loops needed to retopologize a complex model. For example, if you need to retopologize a human face, creatures, or any other complex organic & hard-surface object.

Polystrips works by hand-drawing strokes on to the high-resolution object. The strokes are instantly converted into spline-based strips of polygons, which can be used to quickly map out the key topology flow. Clean mesh previews are generated on the fly, showing you the exact mesh that’ll be created.

Tweak, Loop Cut, Loop Slide

In addition to the polygon creation tools of Contours, Polypen, and Polystrips, RetopoFlow also includes powerful editing tools for fine-tuning your retopologized mesh.

  1. Tweak: easily adjust or relax geometry with a brush
  2. Loop Cut: insert a new loop cut along a face loop, automatically snapping to the source surface.
  3. Loop Slide: slide any edge loop along the source surface

Change log

Version 1.3.2

  • Minor update to the Add-on Updater code, preparing for v2.0 release

Version 1.3.1

  • Source and Target object transforms no longer break tool workflow, enabling you to retopologized rotated and scaled objects finally.
  • Polystrips and Polypen mesh drawing has been improved, such that the geometry always draws on top of the surface correctly
  • Help text no longer overlaps the background when using Blender's Region Overlap
  • Polystrip patches now fill correctly on cross junctions where it'd previously fail: before, after
  • Fixed issue where some patches would go haywire when the strip connected back to its self
  • Contours no longer crashes when sliding a loop over a hole in the source mesh
  • Dramatically improved surface snapping on meshes with dense geometry containing concave faces (such as dynamic topology models): before, after
  • Fixed an issue where cancelling a Contours loop transform would result in a twisted loop
  • Fixed a nasty bug that caused a fatal crash during Polypen if you zoomed the camera inside the source object.

Version 1.3.0

  • Introduce the Add-on Updater! New versions beyond 1.3.0 will now be installable right from within Blender.

Version 1.2.5

  • Fixed issue where Bezier objects in the scene caused a crash
  • Tweaked color saturation for Polypen meshes, improving disability. 

Version 1.2.4

  • Fixed display issue where Polystrips would draw under the source surface in orthographic view
  • Fixed issue with Polypen creating twisted faces when created at sharp angles

Version 1.2.3

  • Fixed bug that broke Polypen on second vertex insertion

Version 1.2.2

  • Added ability to dissolve 2-valance vertices (vertices with only two edges connected) in Polypen
  • Fixed bad crash on loading new file while RetopoFlow enabled
  • Fixed forcing view into wireframe when starting tools
  • Fixed Polypen vertex-insert only inserting into the middle of the clicked edge; now inserts at point of click
  • Improved undo in Polystrips, now better tracks selection and restores to proper state
  • Greatly improved Polystrips rendering; now based on dynamic distance from object to view
  • Fixed Polypen failing and causing mayhem in Local View
  • Fixed some issues with Polystrips going askew when working on scaled objects
  • Fixed undo in Tweak not taking affect immediately
  • Fixed hidden geometry being selectable in Polypen
  • Fixed vertices and edges not being properly occluded when hidden in Polypen
  • Fixed a few other misc issues

Version 1.2.1

  • Fixed a bad crash when creating a new file after the add-on was disabled

Version 1.2.0

  • Polypen Tool: new tool that enables easy creation of triangles, quads, and ngons in any formation
  • Polystrips is now able to create patches alongside existing geometry
  • Polystrip patches now support T-junctions on patch boundaries
  • New "Open Error Log" function to enable easier troubleshooting
  • Greatly improved error-handling, RetopoFlow tools will no longer crash upon errors
  • Improved drawing style of Polystrips and Tweak geometry
  • Added support for Retina/4k displays
  • Greatly improved Polystrip behavior on thin geometry
  • Added Blender 2.77 support for all tools, addressing API changes
  • Fix conflict when some other add-ons were enabled

Version 1.1.3

  • Fixed error in unregister function; used when add-on is disabled.

Version 1.1.2

  • Fixed Tweak mode in Polystrips being broken
  • Improved handling of Source / Target objects to auto-clear setting when objects are deleted

Version 1.1.1

  • Tweak Tool Relax Mode: hold SHIFT while tweaking to relax vertices. Attempts to make faces square.
  • Improve Error Messages: many error messages were edited to be more artist friendly and be more helpful
  • Polystrips now adds a Mirror Modifier at creation if X Symmetry is enabled
  • Added Recover Tip text to help panel(s) to help users recover work upon crashes
  • Removed Right Mouse Button as a operation cancel option, removing conflict with RMB navigation keymaps
  • Fix Polystrips and Contours not using Show X-Ray at Mesh Creation option
  • Fix for Junctions disappearing and becoming unselectabled
  • Fix for source/target objects being deleted and causing Blender to crash on next operator start.

Version 1.1.0 - Requires Blender 2.76

  • 10-100x speed boost in most cases! The speed change is night and day difference.
  • Tweak Tool: easily tweak your new retopologized mesh with a brush tool, no selection needed, greatly improving workflow speed.
  • Loop Cut Tool: quickly add any number of surface-snapped loop cuts to your new mesh
  • Loop Slide Tool: slide edge loops along the surface of your source object, greatly improving workflow for snapping geometry from any angle. No Shrink-wrap needed.
  • Added Source and Target object functionality: retopology is no longer dependent on selection, making workflow more flexible and easier.
  • Polystrips Symmetry Visualization: symmetry can now be visualized and toggled with Shift + X in Polystrips.
  • New custom icons for all tools!
  • Refactored all tools into a much better structure, enabling simpler development and dramatically improving codebase organization
  • Brush size in Polystrips and Tweak now keeps it's size across sessions
  • Fixed keymap conflicts with custom navigation controls
  • Fixed many, many misc bugs as part of refactor.

Version 1.0.1

  • Custom icons for Polystrips and Contours (requires Blender 2.75+)
  • Improve Polystrips to use file for easier customizability
  • Improved color theming for Contour Guides and Tweak tool
  • Disabled debug display of various elements of Contour Guides
  • Various misc fixes and typos

Version 1.0.0 - initial release

RetopoFlow documentation can be found at

How do I update RetopoFlow to new versions?

RetopoFlow uses the Add-on Updater module to allow updating from right within Blender!

If you have version 1.3.0+ installed then simply go to the User Preferences > Add-ons > RetopoFlow and click Check now for RetopoFlow update, then Update Now.

Does RetopoFlow work on Mac OS?

Yes! RetopoFlow works on any system which Blender supports, including Mac OS, Linux, and Windows.

Item Rating

This item has an average rating of 4 from 27 ratings by the community.

  • A6a9689b2fb92eabceb91d486759bede

    toomanydemons about 11 hours ago

    The idea behind this tool is wonderful. However, it is the most unstable tool I have ever seen. After using this for little over a year now, I can't recall a single session where Retopoflow didn't crash at least once, and usually 2 or 3 times. I don't have multiple versions installed.
    It is still useful though. I no longer rely on it for a total remesh. I just start the geometry with Retopo and finish with F2 and standard vertex pushing.
    I finally paid money for the developers back in October. I very much am hopeful for a Retopoflow 2.0 that is solid as a rock. Something I can't even provoke into a crash.


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      Jonathan Williamson about 11 hours ago

      Thanks for the review Allen and I'm sorry to hear you've had so many stability issues. Version 1.x is definitely lacking in that department, which has been our number one priority with version 2. Beta for 2.0 is almost here (several months late), so I'll be keen to see what how your experiences improve.

  • 16121ed15776648b7dc0eefef3fc08e4

    ambientboi about 1 month ago

    This is cool but I only bought because I thought it had the edge patches feature : ( Will this ever be a thing? Realizing this was in testing but its been more than a year now. Really curious and excited. Thank you

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      Jonathan Williamson about 1 month ago

      Edge Patches was never finished as it proved to be too convoluted to work in a streamlined manner. We have basic edge patching functionality in v2 that we're working on, though. It's' quite basic initially but we'll continue to improve it as we go along.

  • 1f722e022fa2101c0ef6e2994f53ed14

    Deucer about 1 month ago

    I'm still learning 3D, so this is my first retopo tool. The install, documentation, and videos are nice and simple, which made it easy for me to just start. I really appreciate that there's only a few elegant tools, many more would feel too daunting for a beginner like me (and I'd bet these few tools are deeper than I realize). I'm glad I picked this tool from the others that I was considering.

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      Jonathan Williamson about 1 month ago

      Thanks for the review Deucer!

  • Cb4f3bfff7a2960e9c5a7a52e5491f94

    Bryan Stone about 1 month ago

    Would be better but the latest version has knocked out my install, and I have for help with no concrete resolution to why its not working. Will give it another review if a fix or 2.0 corrects the issue.

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      Jonathan Williamson about 1 month ago

      Hey Bryan, I don't believe we ever got a support request from you on the install issue? Typically installation problems are due to conflicting files left over from the install. It's always a good practice to restart Blender after updating an add-on, otherwise it'll commonly try and run both versions at the same time and fail. Please send me a support request via your inbox, and I'll be happy to help you troubleshoot further.

  • F76ba5ae07c999c15657a9019c7fbdd5

    Amber Gibbs about 2 months ago

    Installed the wrong version, seems to be working fine now!

    • Thumb

      Jonathan Williamson about 2 months ago

      Good to hear Amber! We'll remove the previous review so as to be more accurate. Cheers!

  • 8354f37287da4e50d906ed88af84b520

    jesus camarillo 2 months ago

    Is Retopoflow 1.3.2 working on blender 2.79 ?

    • Thumb

      Jonathan Williamson about 2 months ago

      Hey Jesus, yes RetopoFlow works in 2.7.9. For pre-sale questions please send a message via the Inbox, which you can do from the button to the right of the product description. If you're having problems in 2.7.9 then please send us a message also via the inbox and we'll resolve it. Reviews are not the right place for a question. Cheers, Jonathan

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    Sasquatchist 2 months ago

    Really smooth workflow. Innovative design with the Bezier curve based polystrips. Reliable snapping to the surface. Looking forward to the 2.0 update. Looks amazing!

    • Thumb

      Jonathan Williamson 2 months ago

      Thanks for the great rating! 2.0 is being actively worked on, so stay tuned!

  • Dd942368dabff5967d104f0095f9c919

    gabriel montagne 2 months ago

    It's hard to think about ever retopologizing again without this addon. Good stuff!

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      Jonathan Williamson 2 months ago

      Cheers Gabriel! I'm thrilled you like the tool.

  • E82381966846cd09b8531e44d5e3d6eb

    ezydenias 3 months ago

    This is an essential plugin for blender if you ask me! It would be an essential plugin for every software if it was available for them. Now it might be buggy from what I've heard but I didn't encountered any bugs. But even if there are they are solvable with support of the creators I guess. But anyway, this cuts down the time for repology from hours to minutes! I am not joking, it even totally killed my box modell workflow for characters. Because now retopology is so quick that there is no reason not to sculpt a character. It actually was my fault not to purchase this a year ago and wasting my time making really good box modelled character, even if they rivaled sculpted models in some parts the topology just can't compare. Just buy it, even if it is not on discount, if you are into character design, if you work professionally and want to stay competetive than buy this plugin!.

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      Jonathan Williamson 3 months ago

      That's very encouraging ezdenias! Thanks for the great review and stay tuned for 2.0! It's coming quite soon.

  • E57bf60f80fea2a1c883215a67cf8414

    smwyatt45 3 months ago

    Just purchased this with the Holliday sale. It's a great addon for speeding up your work flow. I do anticipate version 2. I have only seen one glitch with the program that wasn't an obvious fix within about 7 hours of use. I rate five stars because so far it has made (in my opinion) on of the most boring parts of 3D slightly more enjoyable.
    With that said I would however like to see the polygon pen tool work more intuitively, like quad draw for Maya. It is almost just as much work at the moment as not even using it in the first place. Please add the ability to create faces without having to select verts. Please investigate quad draw.

    Thank you very much for the time and effort on this product. Looking forward to the future of this!

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      Jonathan Williamson 3 months ago

      Thanks for the great review! We'll absolutely look into ways of making Polypen more intuitive. Reducing the selection requirement would be a good starting point, as that is easily the slowest aspect. Stay tuned for 2.0 news very soon!

  • 1a2a41d7361bec4efa40cc5c5623633d

    Forrest 4 months ago

    Its a great addon, when can we expect more news on the 2.0 update?

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      Jonathan Williamson 4 months ago

      V2.0 is coming soon but we don't have an exact release date yet. We're finishing up the missing features and polishing it. We'll be emailing all customers a link to download the beta as soon as we can! Stay tuned and thanks for the rating!

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    jfishe25 5 months ago

    Great product. Very convenient; can't wait until version 2.0!

    • Thumb

      Jonathan Williamson 5 months ago

      Thanks for the great rating! Stay tuned. 2.0 won't be much longer.

  • Thumb

    alanhperry 5 months ago

    Hi guys, I just bought Retopoflow and while I can work with it, I'm having a bit of trouble with the mesh turning black when I go back into it after my initial setup. Is this the best place for support issues or should I go onto the Cookie website?

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      Jonathan Williamson 5 months ago

      Hey alanhperry! You can get RetopoFlow support via your inbox at That will send a message straight to myself and the rest of the RetopoFlow team so that we can help troubleshoot.

  • Cb8e320d04ccec3829ffe750bc56137e

    mh76 5 months ago

    I love it! The best tool for retopology on the market. And with 2.0 it will be even better :).

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      Jonathan Williamson 5 months ago

      That's great to hear mh76! Thanks for the rating and stay tuned for 2.0 :)

  • C28911f3dd4f00c9d02653d6f7cfa431

    Jack Kimberley 5 months ago

    It has corrupted and ruined too many of my projects within a couple minutes of use. As much as I want to use the tool it shoots me down every time.

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      Jonathan Williamson 5 months ago

      Hey Jack, I'm sorry to hear it's not worked out for you. I really wish you would consider sending us a message via support before rating it so poorly, though. In the vast majority of cases we've been able to find a solution to the problem. I've sent you a message to try and resolve the issues. We can only fix the problems we're aware of...

  • 1d89f6c2fd74e2d2f960d4bd6907f690

    Faeriel 7 months ago

    Very versatile and precise control over geometry. Easily right up there with old the industry giants like 3Dcoat, and with a very reasonable price too.

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    Craig Jones 8 months ago

    This is a great addon and the support is top notch - I can make a simple observation online and get a response almost immediately...I wish the people that made the software we use at work were so quick to respond :D The tools are continuing to evolve, and that is nice to watch happen, but the strongest part of this addon is the way that the help functions are right there to assist if I forget what I used to know.

  • 89faa594d8702df7d3efa455a2ee7e6f

    papasmurf7777 9 months ago

    Awesome addon!

  • Cd0b8c842b18dd5c4cd8220aa9cc6bdb

    Willy Lougne 11 months ago

    very good tool. Love my new workflow. Ah by the way updater inside addon .. priceless

    • F6158ec213359a11c203f21a7622d02a

      CG Cookie 11 months ago

      I'm glad you like it Willy!

  • 52ba2971058707b1c67807d043ff3b9d

    jayhotz 11 months ago

    Very unstable, Totally unusable, DO NOT BUY IT :(

    • F6158ec213359a11c203f21a7622d02a

      CG Cookie 11 months ago

      Hey jayhotz, I'm sorry you're having trouble with RetopoFlow, but please reach out to us via the inbox before rating. The vast majority of stability issues can be resolved quickly via a couple mesh tweaks, as they're typically caused by transformations on the source object or mesh discrepancies. We're more than happy to help work through issues, but we can't help if you don't let us know what the problems are. You can reach out to us (and any other Creator that you've purchased from) via your inbox at:

  • Df6fad4542c7bffae0fd530c319595b8

    Karen about 1 year ago

    Very helpful tool! Similar to Maya's retopology tools for Blender. Definitely helps speed up my workflow. : )

  • Bfeae1b99dbacb006ce4234b05b0cb33

    Paul Kotelevets about 1 year ago

    Looking awesome!
    Thanks for developing such tool)

  • Cce56803382c744c1b6e5f978fc24b83

    Jason Hayes about 1 year ago

    So I just my updated the RetopoFlow addon to 1.3. But I seem to be having the same problem as I did with 1.2 and that the Tweak function isn't working when I press and hold T. Keep in mind I uninstalled the previous versions and Im working with Blender v2.78. So Im not sure whether its user error or a bug. Thanks

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      Jonathan Williamson about 1 year ago

      Hey Jason, thanks for the rating! As for the Tweak tool issue, I believe I know the problem, which we have a fix for in 1.3.1, which is coming any day now. I'll follow up with you via a private message to trouble your specific issue.

  • C228aa57bb313ca982094f307131f04e

    superion about 1 year ago

    Pros: Small learning curve makes it easy to learn, and dramatically improves retopology workflow with a good set of tools. Easy to recover work in case of an issue.

    Cons: Depending on your budget it can be pricey, and it can be buggy at times (I personally haven't experienced more than a few issues, and when I did they weren't at all destructive.)

    RetopoFlow is a great add on. If you find retopology super tedious like I do then you'll appreciate what RetopoFlow offers. I did get it on sale during Black Friday, but even with it's flaws, I recommend it, and it is definitely worth the money if you're considering it. I don't know if this is possible with Blender add ons, but if there were a trial it might help people who are unsure decide if the tool works for them.

  • 2fa5828846a64872329d218a88ec3657

    Vaughan Harris about 1 year ago

    An excellent add on - really takes the pain out of retopo-ing large areas of sculpts.
    Contours, Polystrips and Polypen work very well together and represent a pretty versatile toolset.
    Retopo can be a complex subject, and this is a sophisticated add on, so there is a learning curve, but with practice it all makes sense.
    In the event of any glitches, bugs or plain user error, the product support has been excellent and swift in my experience.
    Among the more pricey add ons, but well worth it in my opinion.

  • 2a37f96558e6421a0cf9d8295fa13203

    dank0 about 1 year ago

    Love the ideas, but it is totally unusable, guys sit on your a.. and fix bugs before you ask for $.

    • F6158ec213359a11c203f21a7622d02a

      CG Cookie about 1 year ago

      dank0, similar to the reply to Gregory above, please be sure you've fully uninstalled any older versions of RetopoFlow before using the new version. If after doing that you're still running into issues then please report them to the bug tracker: Reporting bugs is the single best way to help us help you; being the creators we're often too close to the development and aren't able to test all the many, many different ways that people use our tools. By reporting bugs you're not only helping us better understand your workflow, we're also able to more quickly fix the specific issues.

  • 036ee8d01032b71ed9c27c77ec38e6cf

    gregory wasdyke over 1 year ago

    Useful, but extremely unstable.

    • F6158ec213359a11c203f21a7622d02a

      CG Cookie about 1 year ago

      Hey Gregory, I'm really saddened that you're finding RetopoFlow to be unstable. Typically many bugs and crashes are caused by conflicting code from having multiple versions of RetopoFlow installed at the same time. When installing RetopoFlow (or any add-on) it's best to completely remove the previous version of the add-on before installing the new one. After uninstalling the old version, restart Blender and only then install the new version. I suspect you'll find many of these stability issues to disappear immediately. Either way, I hope we can get these issues addressed, so if you come across more bugs or crashes please report them to the bug tracker so that we can fix them:

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