# What exactly does "low poly" mean?

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Wikipedia says:

"There is no defined threshold for a mesh to be low poly; low poly is always a relative term..."

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Is that a rhetorical question? :matte-motes-whistle:

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arton Rotaru wrote:

Is that a rhetorical question?

No.

We'll never find a definite answer of course and most likely we'll never reach any kind of agreement. But we all keep saying that low poly is important but I've yet to see anybody even trying to explain what it actually means in Second Life context. Some thought exchange here should help give a little bit of clarification.

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Oh, I see! I just got the impression because of the Wikipedia article explains it very good in my opinion.

In gaming, a low poly mesh is a mesh where every vertex/edge is contributing to shape the silhouette of the object. There is no vertex/edge which wouldn't contribute to that notion. In comparison to high poly meshes, which are very dense for sculpting purposes, or to achieve a very clean, smooth, and/or very realistic looking mesh. Which are also used to bake down into a normal map on a low poly mesh.

But yes, that's very relative still.

Meanwhile there is also something in between low and high poly, which are med poly meshes. These are meshes which have details modeled out, edges beveled etc, which used to be on a normal map only usually. These become more and more popular with the increasing computer powers, and are kind of necessary because of in VR, normal maps doesn't work that well.

Before we had normal map support in SL, I would say that we used  to make more med poly meshes rather than low poly.

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My definition of low poly is what I make after I'ver realised the shiny new technique I learned from the nice video isn't suitable for SL. :matte-motes-smile:

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Back in the day I took Logic 102 and then Symbolic Logic. While this doesn't DEFINE low poly I would say that ONE criteria might be how much it costs to upload. If it is 11 or 12 Linden it is more APT to be low poly.

So if your upload cost is say 55 linden you might assume you have tooooo many vertices.

JUST being 11 linden doesn't actually make something low poly however. You can have a small object that is high poly that still comes in at 11 linden. I made one long ago when just starting out.

WAAAAAY too many vertices really. BUT if you have a much more complex and larger item that is one land impact WITH good LODs, then in my mind it qualifies as "low poly".

So "Some Low Poly items are 1 land impact"., "This item is 1 land impact" = It "may" be low poly.

No guarantees.

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i think that for SL practical purposes, low LI low AC = low poly

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Cost to upload is a good check, if it shoots up then something's gone wrong (like forgetting to change to the square cube dae for physics). Mostly I look at density of lines when it's in edit, have vague ideas about target numbers of verts and tris, and ask myself if I would be embarrassed if Drongle and Arton inspected it on the main grid. Which isn't exactly scientific but is a good way of getting over the But I Want it to be Pretty side of things. :matte-motes-smile:

Demanding of myself that it holds up in lowest LoD and checking out how it fares with graphics minimised are probably better practical helps though, especially when I build the highest LoD version with the lowest in mind. I guess my working "definition" is doing the most with the least.

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I don't undertand why you all fail to understand what "low poly" actually is when used in the context of Second Life.

First though, in order to arrive at the definition of "Low Poly", we must first define "High Poly".

High Poly (used in the context of Second Life) is an object of merchantable quality that is sought after and shown off by Fashionista's and Glamourzilla's, who insist that anyone around them should zoom into their recently purchased item of <insert jewellery/clothing or whatever> that was described in the advert as "High Poly, Best Quality".  If when zooming into this item, it stands the test of revealing every single bezier curve without yielding the slightest hint of an angular step, then we're into nicely defining High Poly.

Thereafter, if it's not High Poly, then it's Low Poly.

See, that wasn't hard now was it?

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I've never been sure what Low Poly meant. She had a pretty bad lisp and almost no short term memory. The fellas didn't seem to mind though, particulary the town banker, Monohan Gamist, who married her. The marriage, and Monohan, didn't last long. Some say Poly poisoned him, others say he was strangled by one of Poly's numerous suitors. None if it was ever proved.

Gamist bequeathed his entire estate to his twin Siamese cats Pete and Repete, but Wisconsin is a community property state and Low Poly is now living the high life.

Even when there's a will, there's a way.

;-).

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Bitsy Buccaneer wrote:

Cost to upload is a good check, if it shoots up then something's gone wrong (like forgetting to change to the square cube dae for physics). Mostly I look at density of lines when it's in edit, have vague ideas about target numbers of verts and tris,
and ask myself if I would be embarrassed if Drongle and Arton inspected it on the main grid.
Which isn't exactly scientific but is a good way of getting over the But I Want it to be Pretty side of things. :matte-motes-smile:

Demanding of myself that it holds up in lowest LoD and checking out how it fares with graphics minimised are probably better practical helps though, especially when I build the highest LoD version with the lowest in mind. I guess my working "definition" is doing the most with the least.

lol What?

Hey, I tell you a secret, sometimes I'm embarrased when I inspect my own stuff, because I went with the "I want it to be pretty" scheme. :matte-motes-whistle: :matte-motes-smitten:

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wherorangi wrote:

i think that for SL practical purposes, low LI low AC = low poly

I don't think that anybody would call that cushion "low poly", just because of it's land impact and display weight.

﻿

And yes, it did cost 11 L\$ to uplaod, and it even has working LODs. :matte-motes-whistle:

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...The marriage, and Monohan, didn't last long.

For som strange reason that reminds me of a line from one of my favorite books: "She had buried three husbands and at least two of them had already been dead."

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arton Rotaru wrote:

wherorangi wrote:

i think that for SL practical purposes, low LI low AC = low poly

I don't think that anybody would call that cushion "low poly", just because of it's land impact and display weight.

And yes, it did cost 11 L\$ to uplaod, and it even has working LODs. :matte-motes-whistle:

the term, low/high poly, in practice is a measure of an object proportionate to the bucket of all objects (both actual and potential) within the environment

for sure a provider method of calculating LI/AC (whatever that method may be and also whatever is the reason for a provider to prefer that calc method over another) can sometimes be considered wrong/off/inexplicable by a user, for some objects vs others in any particular environment

for sure is also possible to special craft a object to game a calc method, whatever it may be for that environment

if there are issues then is with the implementation of the calculation method for some particular objects, not that there is a method (a comparative measure), given that there is always a bucket (the max. sum of all objects which when breached causes the environment to collapse)

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Still, nobody would call a 100kTris cushion in a realtime environment low poly, no matter what the calulation method of the environment may be. It's a matter of reasonability, and common sense.

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i think the reasonability comes in when assigning weights for the calculation

like whats a reasonable weight for a organic shape in a largely organic environment, compared to a reasonable weight for a inorganic shape in the same environment

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The reasonability for that cushion is at least a 100 times off. :matte-motes-little-laugh: Be it organic or not. It's an insane amount of polygons, because there is absolutly no reason to make it 100k when you can make it look the same with less than 1kTris.

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yes. The maker did pay for that in the upload fee tho. Which is the current inhibitor/regulator in this system we have

+

just on using upload fees as a inhibitor

i think the issue is that is a one-time fee. If was me and I was the boss of SL then I would change from sales commissions to footprint (carbon) tax, for both MP and inworld sales, and transfers by script/machine/MP/vendor of assets

for each and every sale of a article/object the footprint (carbon) tax is deducted from the sellers L\$ account balance, regardless of the price they set

assets can be transferred manually account to account for 0L tax, just not transferred by script/machine/vendor for 0L

transfer-taxable assets would also incl. notecards, textures, LMs, pretty much everything, is how I would do it

+

if not L\$ as a way to do this directly, then a carbon allowance for each account upto some free limit. Above that then need to buy more carbon for L\$. If run out of carbon then the script/machine/MP/vendor wont allow anyone to buy the asset. Or transfer the asset by script/machine/MP/vendor

when we create a new object or asset then is deducted from our carbon balance. When we delete stuff then the carbon is released and credited to our carbon balance. Effective equivalent is recycling

+

eta ps

with carbons then can transfer the amount above the free limit to another account for 0L. Carbons could also be bought and sold on a Carbonex exchange same as L\$ is on Lindex

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I paid the minimum amount of 11 L\$ for that cushion. I had mentioned that below the image. :matte-motes-smile:

I didn't quite follow your carbon scheme though. Ya know it's late in the night over here, I need to go to bed. :matte-motes-asleep:

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arton Rotaru wrote:

I paid the minimum amount of 11 L\$ for that cushion. I had mentioned that below the image. :matte-motes-smile:

what I was trying to mean (: is that high/low poly count is relative. What is it relative to in SL ? The count of a object is relative to the LI/AC measuring system that LL uses

that the measuring system is a bit wonky baffling sometimes, doesnt as such in itself affect the relativity of this

+

eta ps

in another thread was a chat about the tri-cost of sculpts and prims vs mesh. And the observations of the AC measure, that often a mesh object with more tris than scuplts/prims objects has a less AC cost according to the measure

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arton Rotaru wrote:

carbons

say a user has a allowance of 1,000 free carbons in their carbon balance (1000 or whichever is the minimum carbons needed to live/survive in the world)

say a prim is equal to 1 carbon

when the user creates a new prim then the carbons now available to them is 999 carbon balance, plus 1 carbon in the prim

when they delete the prim, the carbon in it is released, and they now have 1000 carbons and 0 prims

if they want to transfer the prim to another person then they need another carbon (which they would have to buy). For 1001 carbons in total. When the prim is sold/copy-transferred to another person then the user now has 999 carbon balance plus 1 object containing 1 carbon = total 1000 carbons. The other person has 1000 carbons balance plus 1 object containing 1 carbon = total 1001 carbons

effectively the higher the LI/AC of a object the more carbons it contains. Everytime a object is sold/transferred the carbon is transferred also to the new owner. So if a merchant doesnt have enough carbons then they cant sell/transfer anything, they have to buy more carbon if they wish to keep selling copies of the object

the buyer/receiver can delete all the stuff they no longer want, and release the carbons in the stuff to their carbon balance, and can sell the carbons above the min 1000 on the market

if a user rezzes a copy of a object inworld, or creates a copy in inventory, then each copy contains carbons which is deducted from their carbon balance. If they hit 0 then either a) delete stuff, or b) buy more carbons

+

from a economic activity pov then the carbon tax is directly related to the resources consumed (carbons) by the objects sold, and not related to the L\$ sales price

with comparable same L\$ priced products then the merchant whose products consume less resources (carbons) pay less tax than another less efficient merchant

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wherorangi wrote:

arton Rotaru wrote:

I paid the minimum amount of 11 L\$ for that cushion. I had mentioned that below the image. :matte-motes-smile:

what I was trying to mean (: is that high/low poly count is relative. What is it relative to in SL ? The count of a object is relative to the LI/AC measuring system that LL uses

that the measuring system is a bit wonky baffling sometimes, doesnt as such in itself affect the relativity of this

+

eta ps

in another thread was a chat about the tri-cost of sculpts and prims vs mesh. And the observations of the AC measure, that often a mesh object with more tris than scuplts/prims objects has a less AC cost according to the measure

I'm pretty aware of how the LI/DW calculation works, and what it is based on. I still will never call a 100.000 polys cushion "low poly" only because of the sum of it's LODs, at a certain size, will make it low in LI/AC. I will still call that high poly.

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Thanks,

but I still didn't follow that carbon scheme. :matte-motes-bashful-cute-2: I think it's way to off topic for this thread anyway. And I don't see Linden Lab is going to change anything in that regard. Not in the near future, nor in a future far away. :matte-motes-little-laugh:

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It's just an alternate accounting scheme.

Right now, the only penalty for uploading inefficient mesh is the one time cost.  For example, I could upload something really bad, it might cost L\$500 to L\$1000 but I might figure "hey ho, no problem, i'll sell way more to recoup that cost".

The only penalty for a customer is the land impact cost when rezzed but still no further penalty to the original uploader and no effective penalty if it's a worn item.

There are many ways to do such accounting, the argument being that a one time upload cost for a creator isn't the best method.

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High and Low poly are not relative terms. They have never been relative. They are descriptive of characteristics and physical properties of two different meshes. They come about from the results of tools and workflows. A previous poster already explained that LowPoly meshes are made up of verticies, edges and faces that make up and contribute in some tangible way to the actual silhouette(shape).

It does not matter how many that is. because the object could be of any size and be made of any amount of components. As long as it follows that basic principle, it may make use of texturing techniques that are a derivative of a high resolution model. It is still LowPoly.

LowPoly objects are game optimised. Take up a part of the over all budget. And you can have a certain number of these things until things slow down.

HighPoly have no constraints. Are rendering specific. And are dense for detail above function. Just because a Quake 1 model is chunkier and uses less than a few hundred triangles and a modern day unreal character uses tens of thousands - doesn't make either different from each other. They are both LowPoly.

HighPoly are in excess and are able to be represented close to true form by a more efficient asset. In terms of SecondLife, anything that is uniformly dense and not tesselated to key areas to control low shader shadows. Is just a tightly packed grid. is HighPoly. If it's hard to see through the wireframe. it's HighPoly (or part of it is)