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Author Topic: Polygon count for weapons  (Read 2387 times)

BenCrossems

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Polygon count for weapons
« on: Aug 13, 13, 09:09:55 PM »

Just finished the prototype for one of the main gun that we will be using.  I'm pretty happy with the poly count at 412, however the perfectionist in me is always looking for those few extra polys I can combine. 

I know it's all arbitrary but what are some of the poly counts others have used in hero engine, for guns.   Swords and bows are always a nice low count, but the devil is always in the details for firearms.

See attached for sample....not sure how to link from stupid iPad.
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BenCrossems

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Re: Polygon count for weapons
« Reply #1 on: Aug 13, 13, 09:13:40 PM »

Here is the opposite side in which I was able to merge a lot more of the polys.   

Firearms will be a big part of Manifest Destiny 1840 (md1840 for short).  So I need the models to be both showcase and functional. 

Later we will also be taking advantage of LOD, if there is anything to be gain from it.
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PN-Dwight

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Re: Polygon count for weapons
« Reply #2 on: Aug 14, 13, 12:05:11 AM »

Depends on the way you setup your game.

Is your game an over-the-shoulder camera, a third-person camera, or a first-person camera? Will the body be visible? There's a lot of factors that influence this decision...

BenCrossems

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Re: Polygon count for weapons
« Reply #3 on: Aug 14, 13, 09:08:47 AM »

Good questions :

There are times in which the players involved in combat may reach over 100 ( best comparison is DAOC RVR, or Warhammer RVR )

It took a lot of digging through the wikis lastnight ( which I'm been researching for a long time now ) but I finally found a good guidline on modeling : http://hewiki.heroengine.com/wiki/Controlling_Frame_Rate_(FPS)

I've always dismissed FPS or at least never paid a lot of attention to this because it's never been an issue for my systems, but what a great way of measuring...

..I did not realize it was actually tied to traditional animation of 29.97 images that the brain can process in a second...

armed with this knowledge and the details found in the link above...I now know to keep my model count below 100,000 faces in a given scene (i'm sure that's a general rule of thumb for this engine, but it's a good start)

From the wiki:
Quote
Primitives

The number of triangles / polygons that are being drawn to the screen. This number should generally not exceed 100,000. Less is better.
 
SetTextureMaps

The number of times the engine needs to switch between textures in the current view. This number should not be excessive.
 
Draw Calls

The number of separate calls to the video card to draw meshes. Assets can be made of of multiple meshes. Sometimes meshes are combined into one draw call because they use the same texture (billboard particles). So, this number isn't equal to the number of instances, though it's probably close. This number should be no more than 1000

Since I'm looking at 100 players at a time in a fight, it looks like LOD will be one of the most important factors in keeping my FPS above 30, to avoid the LAG appearance.

This list of guidelines is a good to follow it appears :
Quote
Keeping Primitive Counts Low

Keeping primitives low in a well dressed area is difficult to do. The following are suggestions but should help make it easier to control FPS as you build your area. Always be on the look out for creative ways to place assets so that you get the maximum effect with the fewest assets possible.

  • Choose your Assets based on their poly/primitive count.
  • Create a library for your area and populate it with assets as you use them.
  • Only place assets into your area that exist in this library (never cheat, always add any new assets to this library)
     This library will be your first line of defense at controlling the number of buckets stat
  • Identify 5-10 trees and other plants assets you plan to use for your area...don't use any more than this...less is better
  • Identify a limited number of general dressing assets (5-10?) that you plan to use througout your area.
  • Re-use is king. Try to do more with less, always.
  • Build the layout of your area first and break into rooms later if you need to drastically improve FPS, but UMBRA will do much of this for you.
  • Do not dress the area out until you're confident with its performance: large things are easy to change, dozens of tiny things are annoying to change later.
  • It's OK to see popping if it's minor. Use dressing to hide any popping...be aggressive and keep framerate high. Don't fear popping at this point.
  • Use the lowest poly assets first, preferably larger assets to make your initial effort at detailing your area.
  • In all cases, lower poly assets are preferable to higher poly assets unless you can't get the necessary visuals (subjective stuff)
  • Dynamic details can impact framerate significantly.
  • If FPS is an issue, make a copy of your desired dynamic detail and then remove details as needed.
  • If necessary, create your own particle/s and emitter/s and add them to your dynamic detail and then adjust the particle/emmitter for framerate.
  • Mirrors and Lights will probably force you to reduce the amount of dressing. Do NOT ignore fps at this juncture. Go back and prune your details
  • Mirrors DOUBLE the number of primitives on every asset instance that is reflected.
 
 
 
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keeperofstars

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Re: Polygon count for weapons
« Reply #4 on: Aug 14, 13, 12:56:09 PM »

Another big key factor is your plans for occlusion. if used properly, you can greatly trim down the primiatives and draw calls you have to deal with at any time. Making smart use of terrain can really play a big roll in this, as terrain via heightmaps has built in occlusion. So some well placed hills the player can easily run over but can't "see" over can create wonderful pockets of low draw calls and such without hindering the appearance of the world's overall size.

I think it's pretty standard to keep things under 1 million "primatives" at an given time. There are built in analysis tools that easily show you how much your scene is dealing with.

So take your budget into consideration. Figure out your target people per area, then start doing the math. Can quickly see what gaps you have for lea way. For example you want 100 players in an area fighting, and each one is lets say 8k with their gear (this would be pistol) as part of their total primitive count. That means 800k primatives are sucked up leaving you around like 200k for scenes, terrain, trees, etc. Then can just run around your scenes and see where you might have problems, at. Refine as needed.

Now with that in mind does it tell you how many polys you can muster for each weapon, not really. But realize the balance is to go as low as possible for any character visible asset, cause they are the only things that multiply. Meaning there could be 20 players on screen if so 10 extra polys each pistol means 200 more polys. if there are 100 people then that is 1000 polys to deal with. But if your game looks crappy people won't want to play it. So the juggling act can be helped with LODs. If the guy is 60 feet away it just needs to resemble a brown and black pistol shape. If the guy holding the pistol looks at his gun it best look good. So use of LOD really help here. Cause you cut down once again on the multiplying factor. If you once again use LOD and save 15 polys per gun over 12  feet, then you could be saving 1500 polys in a 100 man fight.  While still having the player say wow nice details on weapons.

Also note when testing that when thinking on players that they drop from loading quickly as soon as they leave the "viewpoint" for x rotation they are dropped from having to render. This is a plus and negative. Plus side could have 300 people fighting behind you and your graphics card really doesn't care. Negative when you flip around and have to make all of those draw calls and such, your graphics card gets heartburn. With that said though use it to your advantage when planning out areas where lots of fighting will take place.

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BenCrossems

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Re: Polygon count for weapons
« Reply #5 on: Aug 14, 13, 01:37:58 PM »

Thanks!  Great explanation and gives me even more to think about :)

I've been testing out Hero Engine for over a year now, and have reached the point where it's time to start throwing everything together. 

I've fine tuned and tested different models, and see that LOD is a good way to go.

I like what you've said also about use of terrain...will have to really take advantage of that one.

Our primary avatar is only 1740 faces so hopefully we've already got a head start on that, and once we get the real testing going, we can fine tune our LOD models and settings then.
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Amanda_Brooks

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Re: Polygon count for weapons
« Reply #6 on: Aug 14, 13, 01:51:02 PM »

How you design your game mechanics will also have a big effect on your poly budget - for example, if every player has access to every weapon, then the total weapon poly count at any one time could swing wildly, while having some class specific weapons can make it much easier to predict and manage.
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keeperofstars

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Re: Polygon count for weapons
« Reply #7 on: Aug 14, 13, 05:34:28 PM »

How you design your game mechanics will also have a big effect on your poly budget - for example, if every player has access to every weapon, then the total weapon poly count at any one time could swing wildly, while having some class specific weapons can make it much easier to predict and manage.

Agreed, overall though just pick your most poly ladden available option and set that as your base reference. Then in general have your team make the statement of nothing over 3k poly period. Then you can use that as a ball park for designing everything else.

And yeah good use of terrain and occulders in walls etc can save you big. a 750m area has like 300k primiatives for flat terrain with just a base texture. Yet put a hill or two in and that number quickly falls down to 40k. Huge savings.
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BenCrossems

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Re: Polygon count for weapons
« Reply #8 on: Aug 14, 13, 10:06:47 PM »

Thanks for the notes on Ocluders.  That puts my brain at ease a bit, so I can stop worrying about having the most perfect low poly models, and charge forward!

Read through the wiki on those this afternoon.
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