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How many polygons to use, guidelines?


Core

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This must have been asked a million times, sorry for that. But today, how many polygons is reasonable amount to use for a model (prop) I've been learning 3d modelling for few months now and to this point, I have really tried to keep polycount as low as possible for simplicity, speed 20171007232055_1.thumb.jpg.a5efa87ceefd2a4aa6bf23d6e9682046.jpgand I kinda like the "straight lines"-look my game is taking due to this (and currently I just lack the skills to create more complicated objects) .

But not everything can bee "hard and sharp". like seats. I made a test sofa or couch and used as few polygons as possible to get it's shape, then with much more ploygons, made it rounder and tried to bake normals and then use that texture in low poly model. It looked bad. I'm sure I made several mistakes with the process and I understand how it is essential if you want to have small details without additional polys, but for now, I decided to just try to use high poly version to get the roundiness. And it runs actually well and looks decent for a first couch I've ever made.

 

But it has three to four times the polygons compared to my other few models I've managed to create.

 

12 325 polygons. 7329 vertices. Is it too much for a prop?

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Seems reasonable though I think pros could cut that down further.  The only real optimization I could think of is to ask if the cushions could be pulled off the couch as separate items.  If they could be but they never actually will be, then you could delete the faces that will never be seen, or merge the cushions with the base to save a ton of triangles/faces.  All that said, from quick glance at some free couches on Turbosquid, some of them look just about the same in "poly" count as yours.  I encourage you to look around and download some free models if you're really curious:  https://www.turbosquid.com/3d-model/sofa?synonym=couch&max_price=0&min_price=0
 

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On 7-10-2017 at 10:45 PM, Core said:

12 325 polygons. 7329 vertices. Is it too much for a prop?

Yes, it is. Especially for a hard surface model like a couch. You could easily drop the polycount down to about 2 à 3 K (tris), and still obtain smooth edges. 

You could for instance first create the low poly mesh, define the outer shape and chamfer or bevel the edges you want to look smooth, then make a high poly out of the low poly (subdivision), and sculpt in more details (wrinkles, creases, etc...), and finally bake the high poly mesh onto the low poly, which will then create your normal maps that will make your low poly mesh look high poly ;).

For a character model that is seen close up (main character for example), 12K (tris) isn't too much these days. But, if you can go lower, so much the better.

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Thank you all for your help and tips, they were really helpful! I reduced the polycount to 3135 and redesigned the sofa to better fit the style of my game world. Pillows are no separated and couch frame is made out of metal. I will try more advanced stuff with normal map baking etc when I have more time to learn more about 3d-modelling. At some point you just need to make the decission if something is worth to dig in more, or just settle for now and be happy with your current skill level, what you can create, and is it enough to realize what you are trying to do :) For now, I'm happy with this! Thanks again!

 

MetalCouch.jpg

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Medium polygon modelling gives you the best of both worlds. You can usually create very good quality models which are reasonable in poly count and fake rounded/bevelled edges in the normal map.

This is the workflow they used when modelling for the game Alien: Isolation.

Also Simplygon is a great way to decimate high poly meshes. It's used to create LOD's but doesn't hurt to decimate your mesh to get it even lower poly, it's also free and used in a ton of games like Resident Evil 7, Playerunknown Battlegrounds, etc.

https://simplygon.com/#get

Also look into other area's as well to get great performance like packing your textures, if you pack your textures together you can then make one material for them, that one material can texture multiple objects that's less draw calls to the GPU giving you a little better performance. Although this may take some planning the pay off is good. You can put some focus on other area's of your game with the performance boost you've made :D

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  • 1 month later...

Thanks for latest tips and especially for @ScrotieFlapWack for posting that video, Alien Isolation is one of my favorite modern era games and although I've looked into the art style of the game, seeing that video really opened it up and inspired me! Also, the truth is that what I like least in asset creation is painting textures...

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I'm trying to practice modelling now and then so I had a go at a similar couch.  Your's is more detailed.  Mine turned out at 417 faces 852 tris.  Wouldn't call myself an expert but image attached if any use. 

MbT8m8B.jpg

I'm using a number of simple unconnected intersecting meshes (same single blender edit object) with hidden faces removed. Not trying to model out a single box modelled block. If you know what I mean?  The cushions of course take the most geometry. I like the idea of trying to re-use many simple 'materials' in a larger shared texture which I think would boost performance significantly and maybe offset to a degree medium-poly modelling. I wouldn't say I've settled on a particular method myself though.

Currently I've found it quite satisfying and quick to take things to a low or mid level of geometry with multiple simple materials (which you can then drag and drop to switch in leadwerks), rather than regenerating maps all the time.

Thanks for the vid @ScrotieFlapWack . I follow that person on YouTube already but I'm always forgetting to go back through his stuff.

 

 

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Nice work @Core really liking those beveled edges ;)

@mdgunn yeah the shared textures works really well and helps lower your draw calls to the GPU. It also has the benefit of keeping your scene consistent too in terms of color palette. I'll see if I have time to put together a real example, I got some assignments to do over the Christmas holiday but it wouldn't hurt to screw around in Leadwerks for a break :D 

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This Workflow introduced some new challenges, mainly about shading. This surely is basic stuff, but I just learned that to make flat surfaces really look flat, you need to use very narrow bevels, or use "face weighted normals". I found an addon for blender to do just that and it works, but seems that new calculated normals are lost when exporting to Leadwerks. This is the problem:

First, tablet I created and rendered in Blender (WIP) and then rendered in Leadwerks. In Leadwerks surfaces look round, not flat.

 

 

ConceptRender2.png

screenshot3.jpg

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I still get a bit confused about the different options here but I think you may want to look at auto-smooth in blender.  I think having this on means that resulting models have edges SPLIT (at a threshold - so avoiding individually marking this) so that they must be represented as truly flat by other programs. Auto-smooth values of 30 degrees usually work for most things but depending on the model you may need higher or lower.  You can apply the same thing locally to any edge.  I think this is 'Sharpen Edge' command.    I always get this confused with creasing too but I think making stuff to be considered sharp is what will work when exported outside blender.  

I could be totally wrong so anyone feel free to correct me.

 

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@Core in Leadwerks when you calculate your normals you will want to specify an angle rather than calculating the normal angle by an average. I would recommend to try and put a high angle like 70 or 90 and see if that works for you.

@mdgunn when you mark edges as sharp in Blender that adds a tag to that edge, its mainly for the edge split modifier. Marking edges as sharp lets the edge split modifier know which edges the modifier is applied to.

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12 minutes ago, ScrotieFlapWack said:

@Core in Leadwerks when you calculate your normals you will want to specify an angle rather than calculating the normal angle by an average. I would recommend to try and put a high angle like 70 or 90 and see if that works for you.

@mdgunn when you mark edges as sharp in Blender that adds a tag to that edge, its mainly for the edge split modifier. Marking edges as sharp lets the edge split modifier know which edges the modifier is applied to.

Had a quick google and there seems to be a degree of confusion, among Blender users themselves, and  in the thread I read some users cite Blenders manual and others informing that the manual is/was incorrect.

https://blender.stackexchange.com/questions/55975/what-is-the-role-of-auto-smooth

My conclusion from the thread was that auto-smooth is pretty much doing the same thing as split mesh modifier (including respecting sharp marked edges). Someone said it doesn't add (extra/duplicate?) vertices, though some said game engines/gpus in the end usually do. 

So why 2 similar things, auto-smooth, and split mesh modifier   Usually this is because modifiers sometimes add more control, or by being a modifier you can make their operation occur at a particular place in the modifier stack. 

Open to further corrections.

 

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1 hour ago, mdgunn said:

Had a quick google and there seems to be a degree of confusion, among Blender users themselves, and  in the thread I read some users cite Blenders manual and others informing that the manual is/was incorrect.

https://blender.stackexchange.com/questions/55975/what-is-the-role-of-auto-smooth

My conclusion from the thread was that auto-smooth is pretty much doing the same thing as split mesh modifier (including respecting sharp marked edges). Someone said it doesn't add (extra/duplicate?) vertices, though some said game engines/gpus in the end usually do. 

So why 2 similar things, auto-smooth, and split mesh modifier   Usually this is because modifiers sometimes add more control, or by being a modifier you can make their operation occur at a particular place in the modifier stack. 

Open to further corrections.

 

Edge Split modifier and Auto Smooth are pretty much the same thing which makes this really confusing haha. There is two differences though between Auto Smooth and Edge Split and that is that the data from the Edge Split modifier is available for you which can help when you want to write things like custom export scripts to use for game engines (just like the Blender Exporter for Leadwerks). Auto Smooth is just a preview option within the viewport in Blender it doesn't actually split the vertex normals like the Edge Split modifier, Auto Smooth is useful when you want to use it for a quick render or preview in the viewport without actually committing the changes it makes to your mesh.

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