FLYING SAUCERS 101
INTRO STEPS: | setup | start modelling | moving around | materials | lathing | extruding | ray guns |
RENDERING PICTURES: scenes | lighting | rendering | cameras |
tips | polycount | evaluation

Exercises: Blueprint | Flying Saucer Poster | Flying Saucer Movie | Spaceship | Pumpkin


MASSIVELY USEFUL TIP #2

WATCH and OPTIMIZE YOUR POLYCOUNTS

Trick Question: Which Sphere is bigger?
Although they are the same diameter, the Sphere on the RIGHT is four times larger in terms of the number of points it requires to "draw" it.

It DOES look a little smoother, but more polygons typically mean LARGER files, and SLOWER renders.
PolyCount04.jpg
Which sphere looks smoother NOW?
If the sphere is only being used a doorknob or button, the extra detail may NEVER be seen, but WILL slow your computer to a crawl. The High Polycount Sphere isn't any better looking than the original on the left.


So which sphere is OPTIMIZED?
The sphere on the LEFT will look the same on screen, but will display and render FOUR TIMES FASTER than the less efficient sphere on the left - it is an OPTIMIZED object for a "long shot" like this one.
PolyCount05.jpg
How can you SPOT the INEFFICIENCIES?
High Polycount objects appear denser or "darker" in wireframe mode. If you see "dense" objects, it represents a model that COULD be made more efficient.
PolyCount06.jpg
Here's an example:
McCrae student Jawad created this lab scene - and it appears enourmously detailed thanks to some hard work and smart texture mapping. Most of the objects are quite efficient.

BUT the scene rendered VERY slowy, and the AN8 file was HUGE!
PolyCount02.jpg
SOLUTION: Wireframe shows the inefficiencies
In Wireframe mode, you can see some overly dense objects that DO slow down the renders. The test-tubes, and even handles on the cupboards in the background were all OVERLY dense, and added significantly to the rendering time and file size. Deleting and replacing those objects with LOW polycount objects might take 10 minutes of class time, but would SAVE literally HOURS of rendering time.
PolyCount03.jpg
THE RULE:
  • OPTIMIZE your objects whenever possible - Use only the polycount you NEED for the kind of "shots" you plan to produce later.
  • Use WIREFRAME VIEW to detect and fix inefficiencies where appropriate