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Optimisation : LOD settings for lights , shadows, characters

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I played the great FPS demo of Leadwerks 3, i got between 13 to 27 FPS most of the time and 7 to 8 when ennemies crawler came ot the player.

Anti alias was on 2X, and other stuff in medium, and my PC runs big games easy with lot more seetings like DOF, HDR etc ...

I would prefer less lights, less shadows and some 60 FPS on such level where we have two ennemies only.


What make big games running so smooth and with great settings : optimisation , visibility , lod


In the demo, there is no portals, lights distance activation, shadows distance activation and shadows LOD.


So what could be great :


1 ) Minimum distance activation parameter option in properties panel for :

- object / character shadows

- lights

- Normal / specular shader minimum distance activation parameter on properties panel : far objects won't

make lot of difference with or without normal map and yo'u ll save lot of GPU


2) Abiltity so setup quality of shadows for the game from low bitmap to high (LE3 is always on super quality for shadows) or am i wrong ?


3) Models and Characters LOD (But why the two crawlers when in front of you make the game so slow , they are only two characters ?? )


4) transition effect for models/characters displayed at some minimum range to avoid popup effect :

* Guild Wars 2 like with some special shader

* Skyrim like with a simple effective alpha transition


5) parameter : How many lights interact with a model : usefull on optimisation for complex models to limit the number of lights it receives.


6) The level contains lot of objects, too much , be able to "Merge" selected objects as one object would a lot decrease the draw call. Indeed you could merge "static" objects only. Prefab is not a merge as the prefab keeps the objects tree.





Deleting not necessary lights and keeping 5 only i got around 30 FPS , 40 GPS near elevator and 13-17 with the two bad *** guys near. Light even no more visible when you are far from really eat lot of GPU.

Some distance activation parameter would be great (i'll try a Lua activation script also)


The other improvment is also ot use Lightmapping instead of static shadows as they are both static.


I just tried using Lights and distance activation, with really less lights in the scene, i got some 38-60 FPS without characters NPC.

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Personally Id love to see calculated baked lighting like Source or Unreal because its cheaper, and can be rendered at any distance and not have an impact on performance, unlike the deferred lighting.

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Yes, dual functionnality will help a lot, even AAA games like GTA and others don't use unlimited deffered lights in game levels, and they use lights limitation number per object , some games uses portals on level also , others uses lights/shadows tricks sometimes mixed with lightmapping.


Lot of game styles that are not FPS or have some top down camera (RPG, TPS, RTS, Car game etc ... )or 2.5D view can easy control how many lights , shadows are activated when player is moving as you see only a part of 3D scene.

For FPS and free camera games it's lot more complicated as you can see the entire scene from any view, and thses type of games will need optimization indeed, you can't just throw 20 lights and put calculated shadows on lot of objects.


I don't need such optimized system as a game ia have is mainly 2.5D camera, so i will have control on how many lighst are activated while player is moving.

This suggestion came trying LE3 FPS demo, i thaught people making FPS will need optimisation and clever Light/shadow system.


So a good suggestion for Leadwerks 3.

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Sorry to sound a bit negative, but i have to agree with YouGroove.

Although LE is getting better in terms of gameplay creation, features and ease of use, LE 3 runs slower than LE 2 did.

LE 2 had no problems running at a decent speed with a few hundreds of trees, terrain at max size, all fullscreen shaders on (bloom, godrays, DOF, antialiasing, trilinear and anisotropic filter, SSAO, HDR, terrain and vegetation shadows, etc...), while current version of LE sometimes goes below 30 fps (resolution at 1280*1024) with less models (no trees at all), no fullscreen shaders, etc... sad.png

Don't get me wrong here, i love LE and see a bunch of great improvements which i like, and i know plenty of enhancements will come. smile.png

So, a BIG + for speed (and also visual) improvements! If LE 3 would run at the same speed and visual awesomeness that LE 2 had, it would be sooooo sweet! smile.png

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I believe that optimization will take place at some time.

The thing is there are not many people developing the software and these things take time.

Everyone is asknig for new or improved features and many have to be put aside until the main objective is acheived.

Leadwerks does not have a huge staff of expert develpers.If thy did it would be far more expensive.

I reckon it will be a year before we see a fully finished engine.

But sometimes I look at my e2 game and think "yeah it was good, it was very good"

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I agree leadwerks needs optimization but i think first we should worry about the bugs and basic features that need to be implemented.

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I vote for optimization. Currently it rather poor and disappointing. I did mostly same as YouGroove - added 10 crawlers to tutorial map and got ~15 FPS on a decent PC (i5-3570K, HD6990 2Gb, 16GBRAM).

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Yes in the demo too much Lights are drawn , but only few visible, also Navmesh i think takes lot of CPU power, some optimisation could be : No navmesh calculation if the crawler can see and reach the player using raycast or other technique.



Texture projection is one thing that will save lot of GPU power, used for FLash Lights, or some Fixed Lights (Doom 3 used that a lot)


Yes such clever techniques and tricks like that that will save lot fo GPU, after that it will be to the user to make a game using full lights and big hardware requirement, or use other cheap techniques doing as well with lower hardware.


The demo level is small, it's a great demo, but no so increadible, in my PC i would expect 60 FPS for such simple demo level. But Deffered, and no optimisation eat all GPU.



I can code my own optimisations in Lua like :

- number max of lights active at same time near camera.

- shadow activated only on nearest objects

- Combien navmesh and raycasting to avoid calling navmesh continuously

- Perhaps some LOD system ?

Would be better and more efficient indeed if inclued in LE3 core system.


Shaders quality could also be some option in the engine like in some games.

Better shader and lightening or more simple one for faster game.


LE3 is doing really awesome in deffered lightening and other stuff and what is incoming.

But I really optimisation and new techniques (LOD model , LOD Shadow, shadow quality, shader quality, texture projection etc ... ) will become part of Leadwerks 3.

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Don't knoe if its the same but in le2 point lights were rendered 3 times but spotlights only one time so I used spotlights with wider angles set most of the time.

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Well i think i was running in Debug mode that's why i had such low FPS values.




Last test i made that shows LE3 is somewhat very good power at final :


Tested on simple LapTop with radeon HD 7600M.

Not running AI demo FPS i got in "run" mode not debug around 25 to 30 FPS.


When ennemies comes well it goes front ot the two some 8 FPS, and when they are dead on ground, the elevator is working, it is some 13 FPS , when elevator is up and done , it goes up to 20-28 FPS.


I think elevator script to slow down stuff , perhaps it's lights or physics (didn't taked a look on how it is scripted and done).

Something to dig like two ennemies that slows donw engine so much sad.png


Need some serious physic problems correction and map corruption solution that some of us had in projects and it will rock a lot.


Yes LE3 really shines with so many lights , shadows in real time considering the almost ZERO optimisation smile.png


BUT... all these topics on optimisation are to be considered , specially when people will use more stuff like full screen effects , particles, GUI in game , open outdoor , terrain , trees, grass, saving FPS will be a necessity.

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