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Meshing Optimization and Best Practices


The information in the written tutorial is not yet final

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.

As you can see in this example, having a complex mesh isn’t always necessary if you have Smoothing Groups applied correctly. The telltale sign that you have a low poly mesh can be seen along the edge of the circular top of the cylinder, but we have to chalk that up to a necessary evil of working in 3D for online virtual worlds… at least for now.

Updated on December 9, 2021

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