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Gremolin

Character Polygon Limits

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I've been wondering what kind of polygon limit characters have placed on them when being created for different consoles/PCs. Any numbers for any console/PC games would be great, but I am most interested in the current generation home consoles, DS games and iconic PC titles such as Quake3 and Unreal Tournament. I realise this is a vague question, as character detail varies alot depending on the game, genre and hardware. I'm currently creating low-poly characters in 3DSM with a limit around 1500 polygons, but i'm interested in creating characters which would be suitable for DS and 360 say. Thanks for any help you can offer.

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for the DS you should probably try to stay below 300 (if you are talking about the Nintendo DS as its pretty darn weak), i would estimate that q3 used somewhere between 300 and 1000 polygons / character.

ofcourse it also depends on how complex your scene is, number of characters, eventual LOD methods used, etc.

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Yeah, I can definitely speak about DS. The DS has a hardware limitation of 2000 polygons per frame. Basically, no matter what you do, the hardware simply can't draw more than that many polygons. So it's up to your team how you want to budget that. If you're only putting one character on screen, you *might* be able to go as high 500 or so, but we generally aim much lower. 200-300 for important/main characters, and even less (<150) for NPCs/enemies.

Last-generation stuff pretty much topped out in the several thousand range (say 10k in the most extreme cases). Numbers like 3k were more common. Polygon counts aren't necessarily increasing that much now, because so much additional fidelity is coming from per-pixel effects, rather than more geometry.

If you're aiming for high-end console/PC stuff, I still think aiming for under 5k is a good number. Again, though, it all really depends on the context.

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Thanks alot for these numbers, its really helf-ful to have an idea of some average numbers for when i'm practicing modelling low-poly stuff.

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Quote:
Original post by Gremolin
Thanks alot for these numbers, its really helf-ful to have an idea of some average numbers for when i'm practicing modelling low-poly stuff.
It depends. In a fighting game where you only have 2 characters on screen, you can have lots more polygons than in something where you have more characters on the screen. Grand Theft Auto NPCs have VERY low polygon counts, but there can sometimes be ~20 of them on screen at once, maybe more.

When the PS2 first came out, the Smackdown games bumped their models up to 1,500 each. (8 people + 1 ref on screen). They are at somewhere around 4,000+ now with 6 people on the screen and a ref, also, the arena geometry has been bumped up as well. Rumble Roses (ps2) has only 2 characters on screen (3 in some cutscenes) and they managed to push that number to 10,000+ for each character, using an earlier version of same engine.

They went from this:

To this:


On the same hardware. Optmization has gone a long way. Lots of recent PS2 games in all genres have noticeably bumped up the polygon count.

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Well they've not upped the poly count, but the poly count per character hey :)

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Polygon count seems to be very varied since its depends so much on the games genre and what is on screen at the time.

So for someone who is practicing creating characters for use on these systems would it be a good idea to set a polygon limit beforehand and then trying his/her best to create a good character whilst keeping under the set polygon limit.

Lets say setting a limit around these values:
100 - 500 polygons for handhelds characters.
1000 - 10,000 polygons for home consoles characters.




Thanks again for the help on this.

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A good game thats fairly new for pc/xbox 360/ps3 was oblivion. It had about 10000 per character without clothes. With clothes, probably around 15000. Personally, I think its crazy because although my computer isn't the newest thing, its newer than the game and so is my gpu and when there are more than 3 people on screen it really slows down. I would recommend less that 10000 for pc and console games, but 10000 would be about as high as I would go.

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The Unreal Engine 3 feature page gives some rough numbers for UE3 games down at the bottom under the 'Typical Content Specifications' heading:
Quote:

Characters

For every major character and static mesh asset, we build two versions of the geometry: a renderable mesh with unique UV coordinates, and a detail mesh containing only geometry. We run the two meshes through the Unreal Engine 3 preprocessing tool and generate a high-res normal map for the renderable mesh, based on analyzing all of the geometry in the detail mesh.

Renderable Mesh: We build renderable meshes with 3,000-12,000 triangles, based on the expectation of 5-20 visible characters in a game scene.
Detail Mesh: We build 1-8 million triangle detail meshes for typical characters. This is quite sufficient for generating 1-2 normal maps of resolution 2048x2048 per character.
Bones: The highest LOD version of our characters typically have 100-200 bones, and include articulated faces, hands, and fingers.

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Thanks again for your help.

There is one other thing has been bothering me though about 3D Studio Max which is the program I used.

When displaying the polygon counts for a character it gives both a 'Polygon Count' and a 'Triangle Count'.
Could someone tell me which one I should keep below any limits I set

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