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Varying LOD across a single animated model

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I watched the Painkiller trailer recently, and one of the things that really impressed me was the rather large boss creatures. Now I''m wondering. If you''re standing some distance away from a model like that, you can probably just go for a standard LOD system - switch the model for a lower-poly, lower-detail one. But what happens when you''re standing at the foot of this thing? The feet and legs would need to be high-poly, while the head should be low-poly (it''s big enough that the head is really some distance away). The level of detail would need to change across the model. Is there any research, or any published techniques, which deal with this sort of thing in realtime? I think that the animation causes the biggest problem.

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Hmmm.... I could think of SkipStrips...which can be implemented pretty efficiently, regarding animation. Or maybe they simply use some butterfly-subdivision, which is also a good candidate when it comes to animation.

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Actually, Jonathan Blow did a series of articles in Game Developer magazine last year that described exactly what you want: Dynamic LOD across a static or dynamic model.

The source code for his articles can be found here:
Source

If you like the code, the magazines are availiable for back order, including all the magazines on a seachable PDF CD-ROM with source. (look on main page)

[edited by - natasdm on April 5, 2004 9:03:53 AM]

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Ah - great, NatasDM. Their CD doesn''t have the issues I want (it stops at April, while the last article by Jon seems to be July), but I can order them individually. Thanks!

In the meantime, does anyone know of any whitepapers on this sort of topic?

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