View Full Version : polycounts and texture size

07 July 2002, 09:54 AM
I've just finished my course in 3D animation and am thinking of getting into the games industry. Most of the stuff I've done till now is high-res for TV/film so I would like to try my hand at some low poly modelling to boost my reel.

What are the recommended polycounts for different systems (PC, PS2, XBOX, Gamecube)?

How does this vary between main and secondary characters?

What are the texture sizes for the various systems and should these all be laid on the same sheet, or as separate files, meaning one for the head, one for the body, etc.

What about polycounts for game environments?

Does someone typically model and entire environment, or just a piece of it and someone else packages all the elements together?


07 July 2002, 12:56 PM
in games the most thing that make the create etc nice are the texures

look to back and white for example

the less poly u use the faster the game will run
in half-life the player models where 800poly

but thy have had nice skins :-)

for the texures put everything on 1 map and use the uvw mapping to fit it on your model

hope that help if you need more info pm me then i will give you some links
exept if sambody else is intrested in those links

07 July 2002, 11:13 PM
Polycounts vary much more these days than they did when Quake 1 came out. A lot of main characters in games have over 3000 polys these days. I've made trees that have over 5000 polys (almost as many polys as an entire level in Quake 1 days), and there are a dozen of them in a single level.

I would make a whole range of low-poly models: from 800 polys to 5000 polys. Showing a range of ability is always good. There are no hard and fast rules about what game companies want to see. It just depends on the person who is hiring you.

The one rule about game companies is they think more = better. They are always trying to cram as much as possible into the game. So, if you can move around a bit to help when they want more of whatever they want more of, then you are useful to them.

07 July 2002, 09:48 AM

Thanks thats cleared it up a bit. What about environments though? How many polys do they typically use?

I am wondering if the restrictions are almost neglible since presumably the machine only has to deal with what is on-screen at any one time which will typically be a single room unless outdoors. Textures can also do a lot with simple geometry here but what size can they go up to and how much coverage should one texture have, ie a single wall, an object, or an entire room?


07 July 2002, 05:05 PM
The number of polys in a game environment depends on the game engine and the platform it runs on. A large Quake 3 level would have about 10,000 polys in it (when the game was first released). Some new console games have up to 300,000 polys in the entire environment (with certain areas hidden based on your viewpoint). Some game engines are more limited by the number of objects than the actual number of polys (lots of small objects = bad). I would keep a room to between 8,000 and 10,000 polys (a room could be a section of an outdoor area).

I try to make the texture match what the player is going to see and the resolution it will be viewed at. An NTSC television has a resolution of about 720 x 486. So, if the player can view an object as big as the screen, then the texture needs to be at least 720 x 486 to prevent pixellation (or tiled enough to prevent pixellation). If you have a cutscene done in the game, and you zoom into the players face, then you will need a huge texture if you don't want to see chunky pixels.

There is no point in putting a 512 x 512 texture on an object that will only take up 10% of the screen. Consoles are limited in their memory, so wasting it on huge textures can get you into trouble.

A good exercise is making a game level for an existing engine, such as Quake 3 or Unreal. Making a level in something like 3D Studio Max is not very realistic (although it is done). The best way to learn this stuff is to actually try and do it, and learn from your mistakes. There is no magic formula (I wish there was!).

07 July 2002, 08:42 PM

Thanks again.


07 July 2002, 07:28 AM
One important issue with texture sizes, IMO, is consistency. :rolleyes:

Objects in any environment should have roughly the same amount of pixels per given unit in space. Sharp, crispy textures on objects layed out on a ground mesh that resembles yogurth makes no one happy.

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