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This is why we can't have nice things.

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On 11/10/2018 at 5:26 AM, animats said:

Some of the older SL users claim automatic LOD systems are impossible. They're behind the times. All the big players have them now. Check out Simplygon ("Simplygon is the gold standard for automated 3D optimization") and InstaLOD ("Everything you need for the production and automatic optimization of 3D content.). The AAA title game developers use those tools so that their paid artists don't have to spend much time on LOD issues.

I'm not against automatic LoD generation if it works well but you can't really compare SL to professional game that way.

For a start, a typical SL scene is far more crowded than a game scene. That means perfect optimization is less important for a game than for SL.

A modeller working for a game won't usually do much actual modelling themselves, it's mainly about adapting purchased meshes. To optimize LoD effectively, you need to understand how your mesh was built in the first place. That's easy if you built it from scratch but deciphering somebody else's work is just as hard for a 3D modeller as it is for a programmer and commercial meshes don't come with detailed documentation.

A serious SL creator's work is a bit more complex than a game modeller's. Look at this little diagram:

971938629_Skjermbilde(1933).png.f815e582e06d4b1c97d5b6f5589a0cdf.png

No matter how we look at it, the actual building - getting those triangles and vertices in the right place - is actually only a very small part of the overall workload once you have a little bit of experience. A little bit more effort there doesn't make that much difference to the big picture.

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4 hours ago, ChinRey said:

No matter how we look at it, the actual building - getting those triangles and vertices in the right place - is actually only a very small part of the overall workload once you have a little bit of experience. A little bit more effort there doesn't make that much difference to the big picture.

Yet we see so much bad mesh.

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I don't really agree with this graph, a terrible product is still terrible even with the best marketing money can buy.

Edited by Kyrah Abattoir
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1 hour ago, Kyrah Abattoir said:

I don't really agree with this graph, a ***** product is still ***** even with the best marketing money can buy.

Yes but even the best product won't sell if nobody knows about it.

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On 11/10/2018 at 1:56 AM, animats said:

More impostor testing from my low-LOD generator, Impostor Maker. Not finished yet, but it's free and on Github. Right now I'd suggest this for developers only.. Try it if you like and -------

So that's a way to make low-LOD models without much effort.

The next big problem is Medium LOD. Most of the pressure to use high-LOD models at too great a distance comes from bad medium-LOD models. Blender doesn't really have a great built-in tool for reducing a mesh to medium level. The existing tools can strip out totally unneeded vertices, but smooth reduction is kind of iffy with Blender's tools.

Blender's mesh reduction falls down on some common cases. Limited dissolve tries to flatten shallow angles at edges. So raised or incised carving, like raised letters or embossing, are a bad case - the sharp edges don't get removed. Decimate is a big hammer - that just takes out small triangles, semi-randomly. Decimation tends to trash raised letters. Does anyone have a better approach?

A quartic mesh reducer tries to minimize the difference between the original and reduced mesh, so it does a better looking job. Blender lacks a quartic mesh reducer. Meshlab has one, but you have to go out of Blender and back to use it. Any ideas there?

Thanks for putting that up on github!  Seems like it could be a great time saver on making lod textures.

Yea automated things can be implemented and work great, they often come with required limitations for the given game engine though, which must always be worked around.  I much prefer that we can always be allowed to create our own LOD, I would hate to see an automated system come in and force one way for all things.  I would like to see more punishment/mitigation for objects with bad LOD somehow though, and a way to know in MP how the LOD is on an object looks. 

Perhaps if an LOD crosses a threashold for too many tri's for that level, the engine could create an imposter for it?  Or the imposter system could be scaleable with a distance slider, or simply linked to lod setting.   SL is too wild and varied to have a one size fits all thing, but there are a bunch of cool things that could be added in this area to boost performance for all types of users.

On 11/10/2018 at 8:47 AM, Cube Republic said:

This would be good for lower LODs where folk can't really make out much detail. 2nd LOD is usually easy because it's just dissolving loops which is easy if a neat flow has been kept. 

Yes, this!  Its all about that edge flow!

1 hour ago, ChinRey said:

Yes but even the best product won't sell if nobody knows about it.

so true!  Ive been in marketing and biz development for many years, it is indeed the major area of focus once you've got enough product to get out there.  But it doesnt have to be all that bad, and can itself be a fun part of the workflow and creative process.

Edited by Macrocosm Draegonne

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