Basics of Good Design
Here are some basic rules to creating a quality 3D product for use in IMVU. Some of these may not be as obvious as others, but all are worth keeping in mind as you design your unique products for the IMVU Catalog. In the end we hope these tips will not only make your products look and run better, but help them sell more successfully as well.
Be Frugal with Your Polys
One of the realities of building 3D products for use in a virtual world is that the more polygons visible to the camera, the more work your computer needs to do to render that world for your customers. If you create a new hairstyle that is made up of 20,000 polygons, it may look realistic, but it is bound to slow down any party just as soon as you appear in their Public Room. The trick is to find ways to do more with less, which is a challenge facing many game designers today.
When you are building your 3D Mesh, the poly count can add up very quickly if you are not forever vigilant. Two places that are especially susceptible to lots of polys are curved surfaces, like those found in cylinders and spheres. 3D applications offer lots of primitive shapes, and these are sometimes built with many more polygons than you actually need. Your secret weapon for making your low poly models look smooth are Smoothing Groups.
An N-Gon is a polygon with more than 4 edges. When this happens, it can be hard for game engines to calculate the lighting correctly on it. It is best to work with quads (4 sided polygons) since they are easy to work with in your 3D modeling software of choice. Triangles are also good to work with and will be necessary in some places of your model.
Avoid Concave Faces
Similarly to N-Gons, game engines really struggle to calculate concave faces. Even though it may be 4 sides, you may still get un wanted results if you have concave faces.
Avoid Shared Faces and Internal Faces
Any geometry that is found inside of a model, will never be seen, and is therefore adding unnecessary geometry to a model, making it unnecessary