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MissOptimist
04-20-2006, 12:08 AM
When someone says he/she wants high polygon or low polygon, what does each mean?
I'm kinda new to Maya, please help.

superhooman
04-20-2006, 08:00 AM
high polygon means models that have a high polygon count. In other words, they are high resolution models, like the models used in films. Low poly models are the models used in games and other realtime applications, they need lower polygon counts in order to work efficiently within the realtime engine. So basically the terms just refer to the poly resolution of the mesh.

rebo
04-20-2006, 11:01 AM
The figures are constantly changing, for instance low polyused to be under a thousand, now it could infact refer to an 8000 polygon Half Life 2 mesh. Furthermore polycounts at this level can be used as cage mesh for subdivision surface models which are then used in pre-rendered work.

The best way to think of it is low poly = realtime applications, and high poly = pre-rendered work/map sources for a lower poly model.

If someone is saying they want a high poly model well that means you can probably ignore polycount as a factor in your model as it will be pre rendered. If someone says they need a low poly model well it means they are working to technical constraints and you therefore need to request a polygon budget.

bleumoon
04-20-2006, 11:06 AM
The figures are constantly changing, for instance low polyused to be under a thousand, now it could infact refer to an 8000 polygon Half Life 2 mesh. Furthermore polycounts at this level can be used as cage mesh for subdivision surface models which are then used in pre-rendered work.

The best way to think of it is low poly = realtime applications, and high poly = pre-rendered work/map sources for a lower poly model.

If someone is saying they want a high poly model well that means you can probably ignore polycount as a factor in your model as it will be pre rendered. If someone says they need a low poly model well it means they are working to technical constraints and you therefore need to request a polygon budget.

Quoted for agreement. I could not have said it any better myself.

isildur88
04-20-2006, 06:20 PM
I dont know exactly what a polygon budget means.. ?

but yeah, I agree with the last posts. hi poly/low poly refers to the total number of polygons in a model. I guess my personal definition of Low an Hi poly models would be something like this:

Low poly model: is a model in which all efforts have been made during the modeling process to use the minimum number of polygons, which at the end will let you work & render at the fastest pace.

Hi poly model: is a model in which all efforts have been made during the modeling process to use the number of polygons necessary for the model to look as close to reality as possible, that is, without crashing your programs.

Use low poly when: you need speed.
Use high poly when you need high quality renderings.

Usually we need both things: speed and quality.

So you are going to have to think of using several techniques which will allow this,
some basics are as follows:
(if anyone knows other techniques please link or post them here) WeŽd all appreciate it.

1. rule number one: if you wont see it, dont model it.
many models have objects which will never be seen by the camera. avoid modelling these objects, keep the file size as small as possible.
2. any details which can be textures instead of modeled polygons should not be modeled.
3. if you can render splines, do that instead of modelling tubes or whatever.

Question:

if I use block, or groups, or instances,
will that somehow reduce the poly-count, o render times?

THANKS,

vfxdude2
04-20-2006, 09:53 PM
What about NURBS???? They don't have any polygons at all!!!

And believe it or not, they are still heavily used in feature film.

-vfxdude



I dont know exactly what a polygon budget means.. ?

but yeah, I agree with the last posts. hi poly/low poly refers to the total number of polygons in a model. I guess my personal definition of Low an Hi poly models would be something like this:

Low poly model: is a model in which all efforts have been made during the modeling process to use the minimum number of polygons, which at the end will let you work & render at the fastest pace.

Hi poly model: is a model in which all efforts have been made during the modeling process to use the number of polygons necessary for the model to look as close to reality as possible, that is, without crashing your programs.

Use low poly when: you need speed.
Use high poly when you need high quality renderings.

Usually we need both things: speed and quality.

So you are going to have to think of using several techniques which will allow this,
some basics are as follows:
(if anyone knows other techniques please link or post them here) WeŽd all appreciate it.

1. rule number one: if you wont see it, dont model it.
many models have objects which will never be seen by the camera. avoid modelling these objects, keep the file size as small as possible.
2. any details which can be textures instead of modeled polygons should not be modeled.
3. if you can render splines, do that instead of modelling tubes or whatever.

Question:

if I use block, or groups, or instances,
will that somehow reduce the poly-count, o render times?

THANKS,

MissOptimist
04-20-2006, 10:36 PM
Thanks for all your explanations.
So if someone wants me to do a low poly environment, I must concentrate on doing more nurbs? To do a low poly count, I just count the number of polygon items I made is that right?

NeptuneImaging
04-20-2006, 11:45 PM
Polygon counts are measured in triangles. Although you don't see them sometimes when you make primitives, but polygons are counted. Let's say you are using MAX and you create a box. with the default of 1,1,1. The box is counted as 6 faces, but twelve polygons. The whole scene will be added in polygon count. Maya, MAX, and XSI have options that allow you to see your poly count :).

As for making low poly environments using NURBS, you can do this, but it would be awesome for things like hills, mountains, where you can deform the NURBS terrain with deform brushes. I would stick with polygons to make buildings if you are not too good with NURBS.

vfxdude2
04-21-2006, 01:12 AM
Thanks for all your explanations.
So if someone wants me to do a low poly environment, I must concentrate on doing more nurbs? To do a low poly count, I just count the number of polygon items I made is that right?

So, what exactly are you trying to do?

Your choice of modeling techniques depends very heavily on what, precisely, you're trying to accomplish.

Is it a model for a videogame? A film? Does it need to be animated? How will it be rendered? How will it be textured? Are you doing cloth or anything dynamic?

Those are the first sorts of questions you might ask yourself... the number of polygons -- or whether you're using polygons at all -- is a later question.

-vfxdude

MissOptimist
04-24-2006, 02:24 AM
I'm just asking this question because I saw a lot of people here saying "high poly" this "low poly" that. And I just wasn't sure what it meant.

MissOptimist
04-24-2006, 02:26 AM
Let's say I do a Poly Count using maya. It shows that there are already 8000 polygons. Does that mean, now I must continue on with NURBS?

isildur88
04-24-2006, 02:57 AM
Let's say I do a Poly Count using maya. It shows that there are already 8000 polygons. Does that mean, now I must continue on with NURBS?

Allthough I have never worked with maya, I think, in general terms, you neednŽt worry about your poly counts unless you have a specific reason to do so. for example when:

your computer starts to run slower.
you cant import/export a specific object.

-are you having any of these problems?

if your computer is running slower it might be because of the size/poly count of the model you are working on. in that case I would reccomend you take a look, not so much at the poly count, but at those other points which have been mentioned.

-are you modeling anything that you wont be seeing?
-are you modeling something that could be simply mapped or textured?
-is the scale/amount of details being modelled really going to show up?

When we are working on a project we usually make several models, for working on different scenes/scales; this is how we keep our poly counts as low as possible.

So weŽll have one model for exteriors, one model for interiors, one model for the bird-eye views, etc.

vfxdude2
04-24-2006, 09:18 PM
Let's say I do a Poly Count using maya. It shows that there are already 8000 polygons. Does that mean, now I must continue on with NURBS?

"High poly" and "low poly" are relative terms.

It's kind of like saying "near" vs. "far;" or "cheap" vs. "expensive." The definitions of these terms depend on the context in which they are being used.

You can't define a number -- like 8000 in your example -- as being the dividing point between high and low. It doesn't mean anything.

That being said, generally speaking, models for film have more detail than models for video games; that is, fim models have a higher polygon count than video game models. But exactly what number you're targeting is completely dependent on the application. If you're rendering an entire film on one computer, you'd probably want low-poly models. If you have a 5000 processor render farm, you wouldn't. If you're writing a game for XBox360, you could have higher-poly models than you could if you were writing for the PS2.

And as far as what I mentioned about NURBS, it's not a good idea mix NURBS and polygons in a single model. It makes texturing very difficult. Use one or the other.

I just mentioned NURBS modelling because -- despite popular belief -- there are still some feature animation studios which use exclusively NURBS. The advantage of NURBS surfaces is that they have infinite resolution -- they don't translate into a specific number of polygons. A good renderer, in fact, will tesselate a NURBS surface into exactly the correct number of polygons at render time depending on the level of detail required. (This is called "micro-polygon rendering," a subject upon which I could expound if anyone is interested, but it's kinda technical)

NURBS have gone out of fashion because they're a little more difficult to model with. Polygon modeling is more sculptural. Using NURBS, you have to model in little patches and then sew them all together.


So, that's the story! :-)

-vfxdude

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