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Old 13-02-2010, 01:53 PM   #1
Dekulon
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Default workflow for u-boat project & level of detail

I am creating a WWII german u-boat for my video project and i would like to ask a few questions about workflow and level of detail (LOD).

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/image...boat_300pa.jpg

I need to make 3 versions of the boat, low poly for far away shots, medium poly for mid range shots and high detail for the close ups. There are various tubes, hand rails, nuts and bolts visible on the high detail version that obviously won't need to be as high poly on the distant shots but they will still need to be included.

As far as workflow goes would it be best to start with the low poly version making handrails say for example (cross section) 3 or 5 sided polygons and then punching it up to 20 sides for close up so you don't see any 'facet'ing' (sp). This is of course proportional to the render time.

is it best practise to start with the low poly version to get sense of proportions and then use it as a template for the high detail version ? If i leave the components in the correrct places then I should be able to (providing I havn't deleted history) punch up the side edges to increase the details. So i could leave some piping or torpedo tubes at 5 sides and then increase the divisions up to 20 for the close up version.

I'm trying to avoid building 3 models from scratch, any thought on using Mesh > Smooth ? I have tried this but it can alter the shape too much and then I'll have to add edge loops to tighten then edges up.

Let me know your thought on this project.

Many Thanks
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Old 13-02-2010, 03:33 PM   #2
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For something like this, You will want to start out, make a low poly model, get the basic form and shapes down. get the correct size and proportions. once you do that and are satisfied with the low poly part, Save it then Save it again as a new file, call the first one, low, and the second mid, or something like that.

Add detail as necessary to the second file, until you are satisfied with that one also. repeat as necessary for the further detailed versions.

As far as the high poly model. You'll want to use a mixture of Bevels and smooth poly operation. For a high detailed poly model, both are a must, Unless you want to suffer from a fake cg looking render with impossibly hard edges.

Look at hard surface cornering on real world objects and you will see that there is no such thing as a perfectly cornered edge, even the best milled edges have beveling to them.

As far as what to use bevel on and what not to. That is something you just learn with experience.

You have some geometry that will never be seen at a truly close distance, and isn't part of the main superstructure of the model, then Bevel it, there is no reason to waste the poly's on a smooth. and vice versa

you also want to decide what detail you ant to model in and what you want to texture in, or bump in with a bump map. you also have the option of creating a displacement map as well. Bolts and Rivets, unless you plan on going a pov shot from some poor guy getting decked and landing eyeball first on a rivet or bolt, there is no reason to really model one in, unless you just want to. at-least on a model that's this size anyway.

Basically, its a balancing act, you will have to find the proper balance, between poly's detail and textures to pull off the effect you want to achieve.

Hope this helps
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Old 13-02-2010, 04:44 PM   #3
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that's really good info, thanks very much. It is logical how you think about it.

I did a test and found that with a lot of the small very low poly stuff i can just up the number of sides for the tubes, rails etc. As long as i keep the history i can use them for the high poly stuff then just sculpt in the right place. Very handy...works with instances as well.

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Old 14-02-2010, 03:55 AM   #4
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If you have further questions or need more help feel free to let me know, I'm around alot and Hard surface is my thing, high and low poly both.

Glad i could be of assistance to helping you out mate.

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