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acceptable poly count
show user profile  stevey2shoes
If poser characters are not a good idea because of the high polygon count, then what is an acceptable poly count to aim for because once i add a turbo smooth to my model, it ends up being the same density as a poser model, so I'm wondering why I made my own.
thanks Steve
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9/22/2011 8:09:16 PM (last edit: 9/22/2011 8:09:16 PM)
show user profile  Mr_Stabby
nothing wrong with high poly count, its efficiency that counts so you could have a billion poly char as long as its put into good use

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9/22/2011 8:15:02 PM (last edit: 9/22/2011 8:15:02 PM)
show user profile  advance-software
depends what you're using it for.
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9/22/2011 8:16:34 PM (last edit: 9/22/2011 8:16:34 PM)
show user profile  Dave
You're missing the point me thinks.

You were told poser models weren't generally a good idea because it gives you more work to do on the rigging side of things. High poly count = high vertex count, high vertex count = more vertices to weight.

You cannot go down any sort of stack with a poser model... it is what it is, and that's what you have to work with. With your own character (or just a lower density character) you can rig and skin it in it's "simpler" state, and apply sub-divisions after ward if needs be.

Poser models don't generally take efficient edge loops into account either (I could be wrong on this, someone care to correct?). From my understanding they're just bombarded with enough faces so that they can deform nicely (once skinned properly!). As opposed to sensible loops that allow for an easier skin and retain nice deformations.

I'm pretty sure all of this has been said in your other thread... but, if you're asking the question "what is an acceptable poly count?"... then I think you've got a few more steps to go before you fully understand peoples suggestions. Not trying to be rude... it just seems like you've seriously missed the point in the other thread, and this has left you so very, very confused.

"I flew over Egypt once"

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9/22/2011 8:18:54 PM (last edit: 9/22/2011 8:18:54 PM)
show user profile  stevey2shoes
No no Dave, your spot on, no offence taken, I didn't understand before, and will need to re read your post a few times again before other stuff makes more sense, but its these sort of answers I need to know before I get too far in making my own model.
The fact of the poser model starting out as a ready smoothed and collapsed model I understand, and it makes animating them SOOOO slow because the computer has so much to recalculate (as I see it), but at the moment I don't see how that would change with the model I make, unless you are implying I make the model, animate it and THEN apply the smooth, once all the key framing is done.

I think efficient loops is something you only recognise with experience, experience I haven't got yet, a poser model as a wire frame looks perfectly logical to me, but I'm sure you can all see where there not, like I say that's experience.
Thanks to all for your replies. To save me risking annoying people any further, do you know any good tutorials that would answer my questions (except the gorilla one and the Joan of arc one)
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9/22/2011 9:19:53 PM (last edit: 9/22/2011 9:19:53 PM)
show user profile  stevey2shoes
Again another thing is, where do I stop with a base mesh, and then take over with various maps to simulate detail (are these normal maps? I still don't know differences between normal, bump and specularity maps)
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9/22/2011 9:22:24 PM (last edit: 9/22/2011 9:22:24 PM)
show user profile  Mr_Stabby
ok let me explain how you generally would use stacks for characters in max, usually my stack looks like this

Various dynamic stuffs export
Turbo Smooth
Various dynamic stuffs import
Skin Morph
Editable Poly

Having a good base mesh that considers your plans to skin or morph is essential since properly flowing edge loops will make the entire skinning/morphing process much faster

If you do this smart and reference the base epoly into morph targets for morpher and skin morph you can always go down the stack to the very base level and change anything you want, i also tend to reference off various collision and dynamic models from higher in the stack to keep things more managable and optimize performance and basically thats how the stack is going to look like when you build, animate or render the entire way through.

As a reference for a photoreal humanoid from ~3 feet away you need about 6k polys in base mesh minimum with 2x iterations of turbosmooth and a 4k bump map. For an anime type character (think FF movies) ~4k polys, the rest i dont really know since i dont deal with them. Do keep in mind that like 50% of that poly count will be in hands/feet so its really not all that dense. As for when the map detail takes over - some people do awesomely with 2k models and displacement maps, personally i prefer to model out everything that requires edge definition and leave rest to bump mapping(so stuff like wrinkles in skin, pores for me). It really comes down to a) personal preference - the more you model out the easier it is to manage (well as opposed to managing giant displacement maps anyway) b) performance requirements - low poly highly mapped models are several times faster with geometry then their high poly low map equivalents, however for 3d renderers like mr or vray calculating other material stuff takes several orders of magnitude more time then geometry calcs c) dynamics requirements - lets imagine you have your characters ears almost entirely generated by displacement maps, how would you animate them if you need to? its possible but about as efficient as opening a beer bottle with your ears so imo this is a good indicator of what needs to be modeled and what can be mapped.

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9/22/2011 9:55:31 PM (last edit: 9/22/2011 10:04:56 PM)
show user profile  stevey2shoes
Firstly, thanks for such an in-depth answer, but please excuse me if I keep asking the same sounding repetitive question over and over, this is going in very slowly.
My stack is this

Editable poly

I don't know how this compares to your list.
I get that first sentence. The next paragraph I don't get.
For a start, how do I monitor my poly count?, I've seen in in videos, but don't know how to access this information.
The 6 k base mesh and 2 iterations I get. (it is photo realistic so the anime thing was irrelevant to me, but thanks anyway, I should have mentioned), I get that the hands and feet, (and probably face) are where the bulk of the count is.
I get low poly+ high map is faster than high poly+low map
The ear map thing you mention, if I read it right, says that you could simulate or fake an ear with a map and no underlying mesh, but it would be slower to render than if it WERE made of polys, it would also not me animatable.
One thing I've forgot to mention is that this isn't for a game, as some people model for, its for a story. That makes a difference right?

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9/22/2011 10:30:41 PM (last edit: 9/22/2011 10:30:41 PM)
show user profile  Mr_Stabby
There is a problem with that stack you got there - being that you cant go past char building with it, modifiers like symmetry and turbosmooth that dynamically create geometry must stay above skinning/morphing modifiers because they are somewhat flaky and will mess up your work by swapping around vertex IDs whenever they want without you knowing. Also why do you have a mirror mod in there? it doesn't really do anything useful over there, if you need it for symmetry to show just turn on "flip" in symmetry. So basically once you are done modeling and are ready to move on to skinning, mapping, etc you have to collapse the symmetry. You can still change the base mesh later but you are just gonna have to do a few extra clicks in graphite tools to mirror you changes to the other side if you want to keep the symmetry.

As for the ear - it would be much faster in a real time engine BUT in max renderer the difference is like 1% maybe because other things take so much more time anyway. And yes it would be very difficult to apply any sort of dynamics to it.

to monitor poly count.. well select model go in face mode and hit ctrl-a and read :p other then that 7 is the hotkey to monitor all the polygons visible in the scene as well as your fps. Do note tho that the fps counter ironically kills your fps :p for example for me when i run an animation in timeline and i have the fps counter open i get like 3 fps but when i close the fps counter i have no idea what the fps is but i get smooth animation. Also max 2012 did something terrible to the timeline in nitrous mode its unusable for developing animations (0.1 fps) and in d3d it suffered around 30% performance hit compared to 2011, im saying this because viewport performance WILL become an issue even with just 6k polys - if you have lots of dynamic modifiers and a hefty rig with lots of secondary animation every frame counts.

and as for the referencing thing i made a lenghty post on the topic here->

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9/23/2011 7:59:14 AM (last edit: 9/23/2011 7:59:14 AM)
show user profile  stevey2shoes
Thanks for the answer, im still none the wiser.......
am I not making the skin, when I am modelling the character? or is skinning the term for placing the bones inside a mesh?
The idea that something I've accidentally done will mean that MAX thinks it has free reign to change things about without my consent or knowing about them happens with almost every scene I make, I just put it down to the computer thinking it knows best, I'm sure its not, but I can only learn so much at a time and when completely random stuff goes wrong, I have to walk away for a few hours.
Surely the mirror is a sub object of the symmetry modifier, its only in there because I needed to move it, when I just applied the symmetry modifier, i had 2 arms and 2 legs, no torso, unless I'm supposed to model both sides from scratch, and not use symmetry, but that just seems like extra work.
I get the ear thing, THAT I get.
Done the poly count and the poly count (with no face, is 61216 and the vert is 30764.
I sort of get the FPS thing and how its a nitrous problem. but that was a lot of what put me off poser.... for instance, Ive made a 120 frame scene of a man running, (in max) but when I play this animation, I see about 4 frames, out of 120, how can I judge from that?
Ive had a quick look at your link, but its really not making sense to me, but thanks for posting it.

read 618 times
9/24/2011 12:57:12 PM (last edit: 9/24/2011 12:57:12 PM)
show user profile  Mr_Stabby
from the mirror/symmetry thing it sounds like your base mesh pivot is not lined up right

the pivot must be exactly at the place that would be the center of your model with symmetry on, otherwise this can cause problems in the future with modifiers that rely on pivot being in the center (like skin). For example in skin you can specify an offset value if the pivot isn't centered but sometimes it still acts retarded and gives you the finger if you try to mirror weights, saves the wrong weights every now and then and other things like that. Also you cant change the pivot on the modifier later because the modifier only cares what the pivot was when it was added, not what it is now so that will lead to dilemmas like - keep putting up with the malfunctioning modifier or lose the work you have done in the modifier.

and here are some terms!
skin - the modifier
skinning - the process of weighing the characters verts to various parts of the rig
rig - the collection of bones, scripts, helpers, iks and whatever else that is needed to move the bones that you link to in skinning stage
rigging - the process of connecting the rig via links, scripts, reactions or whatever to itself, it is also sometimes used as a word for the entire process of making a static model into an animation ready one

as for placing bones inside a mesh.. i guess that would be called boning

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9/24/2011 5:42:39 PM (last edit: 9/24/2011 5:42:39 PM)
show user profile  stevey2shoes
OK now I get the mirror symmetry thing, ill have to back up and move the base mesh and not the mirror.
It sounds similar to an issue I had with a head and the bones for the eyebrows and eye lids, I wanted to move the head and the eyebrows and eye lids but once I move the head, the bones would come flying out of the head for no reason, so I've animated that part with the head perfectly still, which seems really odd.
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9/24/2011 6:20:19 PM (last edit: 9/24/2011 6:20:19 PM)
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