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Character Polycount Limits

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  • replied
    I guess I should note that I'm using the term "polycount" as it's the more commonly used term for what we're talking about here. Yes, verts are the ultimate monkey.

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  • replied
    Originally posted by Tidal Blast
    Triangles are more important than the number of polygons.
    Since we're going this route, the vertex count is more important than polycount. Triangles are good for a rough estimate of performance, but uv and shading/smoothing splits introduce more vertices and in this shader-heavy world we're in now, it's important to manage that too.

    Originally posted by Roman0 View Post
    This reminds me of a discussion on a Skyrim modding forum, between fans of two competing character models. One of them had a lower polycount resulting in a mostly good looking shape but strange looking joints in certain positions. The other one was a higher poly model so it looked smoother, joints looked ok in most situations but it had a heavier hit on performance. In the end I think a higher polycount would allow for a higher degree of flexibility and customization (if it ever would be included in UT'14), without it looking blocky, weird etc. So yeah, you're right. It's amazing what a simple normal map can do to imitate a higher poly model. In some cases one would think it's a different model altogether. Gotta love the tech.
    And that's just for a base/naked human form, right?

    In the end, it's about using the detail in the right spots and knowing what corners you can cut, and how to best build towards a good look/performance.

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  • replied
    As far as I know, if you wanted your character to act and react like any of the other standard characters in Skyrim, you had to bind it to Skyrim's proprietary skeleton. So in that case, adding polys to places like knees and elbows would do only what you're citing here, smooth out deformation. That may not be the case with the new Unreal Tournament. If allowed to define our own skeletons, our characters could have things like multiple, extra appendages. Like Goro in Mortal Kombat or something. Or maybe a long tail that does a bunch of cool stuff. Maybe some antennae that point at what the character is looking at? Anyway, all of that means more joints, and as a result, more polygons. I've got a concept I'm working one, and I'll be posting it next week. I'm at ~15k poly's now, don't see myself going much higher. The jaw involves a bunch of moving pieces, like the super vampires (or whatever they were called) in Blade 2.

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  • replied
    Originally posted by sealfoss View Post
    Just throwing polygons at a model doesn't really do much, but using them in the appropriate places can help with proper deformation during animation. Like if you define the bicep in a character's arm, you can get it to "flex" when you bend the arm. This inevitably leads to a higher poly count, however. Also, defining a form in polygons isn't always going to look better than doing it with shaders/maps/etc, but it certainly helps in a lot of cases.
    This reminds me of a discussion on a Skyrim modding forum, between fans of two competing character models. One of them had a lower polycount resulting in a mostly good looking shape but strange looking joints in certain positions. The other one was a higher poly model so it looked smoother, joints looked ok in most situations but it had a heavier hit on performance. In the end I think a higher polycount would allow for a higher degree of flexibility and customization (if it ever would be included in UT'14), without it looking blocky, weird etc. So yeah, you're right. It's amazing what a simple normal map can do to imitate a higher poly model. In some cases one would think it's a different model altogether. Gotta love the tech.
    Last edited by Roman0; 05-24-2014, 11:08 AM.

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  • replied
    Originally posted by Roman0 View Post
    With all the parallax stuff and tesselation (I'm assuming tesselation can be used on animated objects)? Dámn, why use hi-poly at all?
    Just throwing polygons at a model doesn't really do much, but using them in the appropriate places can help with proper deformation during animation. Like if you define the bicep in a character's arm, you can get it to "flex" when you bend the arm. This inevitably leads to a higher poly count, however. Also, defining a form in polygons isn't always going to look better than doing it with shaders/maps/etc, but it certainly helps in a lot of cases.

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  • replied
    Originally posted by Roman0 View Post
    Dámn, why use hi-poly at all?
    Considering you can make a 2 poly plane look like a full blown 3D scene with material alone, at a certain point polys are only needed for animation purposes more than detail.

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  • replied
    Originally posted by spectral View Post
    Also, good textures can do a great job of masking low poly-count in flatter areas like the chest.
    With current tech? You could do more than in UT3, and that already was satisfyingly detailed IMHO. With all the parallax stuff and tesselation (I'm assuming tesselation can be used on animated objects)? Dámn, why use hi-poly at all?

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  • replied
    Originally posted by spectral View Post
    I'd suggest to not add polygons for the sake of adding polygons.
    I agree. Where I'm from, we call that retarded.

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  • replied
    Good looking characters can be made with as little as 10k, this may be low for a next gen game but in UT you're always moving too fast to appreciate the details anyway. I'd suggest to not add polygons for the sake of adding polygons. Optimization never hurt anyone. Also, good textures can do a great job of masking low poly-count in flatter areas like the chest.

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  • replied
    going from the character in the shooter game which is about 16k i'd say stick around that

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  • replied
    If I had to guess based on extrapolation of previous versions, other games, and various other factors I'd shoot for around 37,500.

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  • started a topic Character Polycount Limits

    Character Polycount Limits

    So I've been working out a concept of mine in zbrush. I'm about at the point that I want to start experimenting with rigging/animation in Maya to see how this creature might move about. Anyway, right now I'm retopologizing and trying to get a low poly base model. What do you guys think the hard limit for poly count on a character should be? I mean, this is a next gen game, in a next gen game engine. I love the idea of throwing as many polys on there as I can, but I'm unsure about the audience. Are we aiming at running this on older hardware? What's the deal? Has any guidance been put out about this and I just don't know where to look for it yet or something?
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