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 Post subject: max poly count on models ?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2007 9:03 am 
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I've seen different suggestions in old threads about what the upper limit should be on the number of polygons in a model.

Now that the Reloaded beta is out, is there a firmer idea about what the practical limit is? I see that Home One has 5381 polys - if you take a squadron of those into battle can the Rebellion engine handle it?

Thanks for any info.

RR models look terrific btw. Congrats and thanks to the Reloaded team.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2007 4:52 pm 
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It alkl depends about how many ships you have. The less polys the models have, the more ships the engine can handla at a time.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2007 8:46 pm 
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From experience, Rebellion's engine will handle not only high poly counts by high numbers of the units. In that respect, it's robust. However, considering the engine uses limited lighting, colours, basic to no animation other than changing coordinates, little camera functionality, has no form of shadowing, next to no z-buffer etc. etc. it's not that surprising that a limited system will be able to cope with high poly models as it doesn't deal with much rendering. I've played early, early (hell, alpha stage reloaded...in other words, just the new models :wink: ) versions of Reloaded's models with a very high volume of ships. The number escapes me at the moment, but I'd wager it was over 50 and going towards the hundreds in my fleet alone. Reloaded appeared to handle it with little lag, but there was some.

That being said, it's good practise to play the conservative with an ageing engine. The engine was made for mediocre systems of the day, the original models had a poly count in the hundreds and texture were ... well, damn small. That was all in the name of RAM, something systems had little of. Modern systems might dwarf these requirements, but that doesn't mean everyone playing this game has a modern system. Game models, as practise, should me optimised as much as possible. Also, there is a chance that these higher poly models and textures being used in mods are part of the reason that Rebellion has a higher tendency to crash during tactical mode (I've noticed this with any new model imported into the game, that it can crash. However, it could simply be because Rebellion wasn't designed for modding and is just a side effect). I personally aim for a poly target of ~1500 polys for a large ship in Rebellion, as they often need more detail. Smaller ships <1000 polys - but that's just me. When I made some models for Reloaded I went for the least amount of polys I could, and now looking at them I'm tempted to modify them to reduce the count again from techniques I've learnt to problems with Rebellion's engine.

Which brings me to the final point, Rebellion's old and cruddy engine. You may have read about a Z-Buffer issue, where faces on your mesh will flash on and off. This basically means that some models need to be modelled in a certain way (high poly ISDs have had problems) and small details rarely get seen or rendered and can also make the mesh appear glitchy. Oh, I should also mention that the game supports LOD, so you can have your "close" version of the ship at 3000 polys and your "far" at a fraction, because at that distance you cant see any details, half the time a lot of ships look the same.

So, to conclude, try to go as low as you can - set a poly count that you think is acceptable by your machine and others, 2000 or even 3000 for the high poly version perhaps. At the end of the day, it all really matters on what the user gets out of it - do they enjoy the new model? Does it look good? Can it be a handful of polys and people will still like it? Does it lag their system? If they can't see the detail, why have it?

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2007 2:33 pm 
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Thanks alot for the feedback guys. I'm trying to retexture some of the XWAUP models to use a single .bmp and then later convert to .x . Many of those models are quite good imo. Most are comparable in poly count to the RR models but there are a handful of pretty big ones, like 10k or more.

I think I can use Lithunwrap to slowly work thru combining the textures, but reducing poly count is another story. I've downloaded GMAX, but not having a background in this stuff, it's pretty far over my head. I guess I'll stick with retexturing the small ships for now.

Thanks again.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2007 11:44 am 
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This may help you when it comes to modelling in GMax. Its a video tut i made. Btw its normal for it to be a .exe. Just run it and it should be fine. :wink:

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