From experience of working on a game mod for 2 years (but being in 3d/vfx for 6ish), an approaching and re-doing LOD's in a number of ways, I can say that without a doubt, the best way to do LOD's for games are by hand - the exception being organic objects like player models and parts of foliage. Qemloss3 can help you out here, but going over it by hand first is a good idea. It's important to setup the UV to deal with this however, for example if a smooth face is several polys, and is not clustered together on the UV map (if it is split up), then you won't be able to join it together in a LOD mesh.
Good guidelines are these:
1)Do you need certain details or chunks of the mesh at all at the distance you're aiming for that LOD? Do you need that car door handle 50m away?
2)Can you keep the overall shape of the car and mesh details that need to be seen at a distance by reducing some polys?
3)If you've hit the limit of the UV map, and you simply can't reduce the polys any more without distorting the texture (and leaving alot of unused parts of the texture), yet you can clearly reduce the polys far more, consider making a new UV map for that and further LOD's (only do this once or the benefits may be outweighed by needing so many more textures/swapping those textures from the big ones to the smaller). Make it as low poly as you want it, and forget about how the texture on it looks. Make a new UV map for that LOD and bake in the big texture to that smaller map.
If you're not doing this for games, and are simply trying to reduce a CAD model import or something, I guess use qemloss3, although there are a few out there more suited to this kind of thing.
02-24-2006, 12:22 PM
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