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Modeling Lowest LoDs


Bitsy Buccaneer
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I have no idea what you are making but here are a few general tips:

  1. Try to keep the general outline as intact as possible (of course).
  2. Don't be afraid to reassign triangles to other faces than they have at the other LoD models. At lowest LoD model exact texturing rarely matters.
  3. Remember that the top of an object always is more visible than the bottom.
  4. Align vertices with the same location along one or two axises whenever possible. Download weight depends on the size of the compressed file, not the raw data and the more identical bits of data the file has, the easier it is to compress. That means there may be room for more triangles than you thought.
  5. Also align vertices wherever possible on the UV map. Sometimes I go so far there I move all vertices to the corners of the UV map.
  6. Take a deep breath, make a cup/glass of you favorite brew and remind yourself Patch & Co. gave us more prims to play with a few months ago.

Edit, Completely forgot: See if you can make room for more details in the lowest model by reducing the download weight of the others. One useful and often forgotten technique here is to not triangulate the dae file, at least not if you build in Blender. The uploader doesn't know how to triangulate concave polys but is usually handles convex ones better than Blender.

Edit even more: Those were the Medium and Advanced level techniques for lowest model LI control but we're at the Advanced+ stage here of course so: Consider the relationship between the models and how noticeable the switches between them are, not only how each looks by itself. Abrupt jumps between the various models are often far more noticeable and annoying than the actual reduced level of detail. Keep that in mind and you can often reduce the polycount for the lower models quite a lot. A bit counterintuitively, sometimes with smooth normals that actually means adding extra "breakup" polys to the higher models to avoid abrupt changes of the shading across prominent surfaces,

Edited by ChinRey
Removing some letters, adding some other ones
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3 hours ago, ChinRey said:

I have no idea what you are making but here are a few general tips:

7. Billboards, cross planes, and the like, on an additional material. (Not ideal, because you add another material/texture, but works to keep the dreaded land impact low.)

Edited by arton Rotaru
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6 hours ago, arton Rotaru said:

7. Billboards, cross planes, and the like, on an additional material. (Not ideal, because you add another material/texture, but works to keep the dreaded land impact low.)

Also not ideal because it makes retexturing harder and because it can worsen the "LoD switch jumps" since it's very hard to get the shading of the billboard right under all windlight settings. But yes, it's certainly a technique worth considering. Sometimes you can even use one of the existing faces for the billboard.

 

5 hours ago, Chic Aeon said:

8.  TEST AT VARIOUS LOD SETTINGS BEFORE CALLING IT FINAL.

I think Bitsy already knows that but you're right, it should be on the list since this is going to be read by other less experienced mesh makers too.

That also applies to:

9. Do not use the "Generate" option in the LoD model menus!!!

There is an Advanced+ version of that rule:

9A+. Do not use the "Generate" option in the LoD model menus even for throwaway "zero models"!

 

Edited by ChinRey
changing soemthing in the post
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Yes, that was just "rules" in general, not aimed at the OP :D.

And we know we don't agree on #9 .

That is as it is. 

 

And I guess, for me the overriding rules is "do what works for you".  We are, in the final analysis supposed to be having fun. 

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It's a tiny paisley/buta/boteh shape for a pendant and earrings. My highest LoD model is 495 tris on the uploader and 396 verts. Download cost is .301 with the lowest LoD auto-generated at 15 tris.

The shape isn't one which can be approximated with very few tris. Anything low enough to get a good LI (which I would like for display purposes as well as reducing render weight) has quite a jarring visual jump when it hits lowest. The buta tail ensures that. It's one of those situations where the only reasonable solution is a picture on a plane. Fortunately the intended use allows it.

My OP came from one of those moments of thinking I was almost there, then realising I wasn't, even after days of tweaking the mesh and textures. I wasn't looking for suggestions, just to share that feeling all of us who take the time to make custom LoDs know very well, to commiserate and hopefully have some banter and a laugh. You know, just wanting a bit of company in it. Clearing my head of it helped me find a solution too.

All of this advice on things I already know just makes me feel more alone in the crowd. I know that's often the way of forums. It's hard to break into the cliques and register on people's radar. It's still frustrating and isolating.

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45 minutes ago, Chic Aeon said:

Yes, that was just "rules" in general, not aimed at the OP :D.

And we know we don't agree on #9 .

Yes but if I understand correctly, this thread started with somebody trying to preserve as much of the looks in the lowest LoD model without increasing the LI, Compared to well made optimized manual LoD models, the autogenerated ones always offer you the choice of either higher download weight or poorer LoD. If one of those options is acceptable, go for it. If not, that rule is actually no. 1 on the list.

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15 minutes ago, Bitsy Buccaneer said:

The shape isn't one which can be approximated with very few tris. Anything low enough to get a good LI (which I would like for display purposes as well as reducing render weight) has quite a jarring visual jump when it hits lowest. The buta tail ensures that. It's one of those situations where the only reasonable solution is a picture on a plane. Fortunately the intended use allows it.

Yes, that looks very much like a case for the IMPOSTOR FACE!!! ^_^

 

Edit:

15 minutes ago, Bitsy Buccaneer said:

All of this advice on things I already know just makes me feel more alone in the crowd.

Sorry to hear that. But... I may be wrong but I always try to write my replies in the mesh forum in a way that can be useful for other readers too, not just the OP. THis is an open forum after all and I do actually think it is the most important resource that exists for anybody who wants to learn how to make mesh for SL.

Edited by ChinRey
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You aren't running under the radar Bitsy. But the thread title is so distinctive, that it would be a shame if there wouldn't be a list of "how tos" in it. Maybe next time you do it the other way around, and title the thread; AAAARRRRGGGGG!!!!!! I guess less people are using that as a search term. But, who knows? ^_^

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9 hours ago, anna2358 said:

I liked the Golden Retriever best.  But the tips on LoD are quite useful too.  One day I'll have time to make LoDs, honest!

......... and if Bitsy doesn't come in to claim the kittens in the next 24hours they're mine !

 

 

Actually I think its best i take them into my post now ........ for safe keeping. We don't want anybody to think that they have just been abandoned.......I have seen people walking around SL in jackest made from kitten fur :o.

59230aa44f1f6_Aquilaskittens.thumb.png.ca27d6b290ce48ef138b8081b385cb09.png

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On 5/21/2017 at 9:20 AM, arton Rotaru said:

You aren't running under the radar Bitsy. But the thread title is so distinctive, that it would be a shame if there wouldn't be a list of "how tos" in it. Maybe next time you do it the other way around, and title the thread; AAAARRRRGGGGG!!!!!! I guess less people are using that as a search term. But, who knows? ^_^

Wow. I figured out how to do multiquote. Not terribly intuitive early in the morning. 

37 minutes ago, Bitsy Buccaneer said:

Can't find it in me to be light hearted today. Will borrow a puppy to cuddle. Am going to log off now because I'm not centered enough just now to hear how I'm doing it wrong again. Please be kind to someone today.

Just wanted to say that I don't believe anyone was trying to pick on you. I go along with arton in that usually posts in the MESH forum (rather than general) are about how to solve problems.  More info in the beginning post or just your state of mind  would have been helpful. And people ARE going to search and find this thread so having some sort of useful info for THEM is a good thing (and not everyone knows what you know just like not everyone knows what I know or arton or .....   so I doubt anyone was picking on you -- just trying to be helpful. 

There are some things that just aren't practical to make in SL because of the upload process and SL LOD rules. I try on a fair amount of jewelry that disappears at a not too reasonable distance and which I toss accordingly, so yes, it is GOOD to be working on getting things both beautiful and practical. 

For jewelry  DISPLAY I think most folks would be perfectly happy with a good clear picture. 

Don't forget the FUN part of the designing equation. 

 

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There's a story behind every person and every post. Mine is that, outside of specific requests for instruction in the creation sections, the forum is a place where people pretty much never talk to me except to explain to me the ways in which I'm wrong. My experience is that I would like to give back and share what I've learned but when I do, it's usually trashed by someone who knows better. Mine is that most of the time I accept that I will only ever be a jumping off point for people to do whatever it is that they do but sometimes it gets frustrating. And my post from Tuesday, Tuesday was a difficult day for many in the UK.

The lack of information in my OP was, I had thought, the clue that it wasn't a request for information. It was a topic and what I thought was an emotion most of us have shared and the thread could be kvetching and complaining and silliness. In the mesh creation forum because this is where the people who have shared that experience are mostly likely to be.

I'm sorry I got the rules wrong. I'm sorry I let my emotions out. That was enormously wrong of me. I'm sorry I haven't managed to join in the fun that I was looking for which Maddy and a few here have offered.

I don't need any more explanations. I get it, ok?

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