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  • James Wood

3D Model Optimisation

Updated: Jul 13, 2021

Model Optimisation

Many of the visuals we produce here at Visivo for product visuals, animations, or virtual reality involve the use of mechanical models. Manufacturers use software such as Inventor, Sketch Up or other 3D modelling programmes to create a high degree of detail and accuracy.

We convert the models into Autodesk 3ds Max files. As you can see from these images above, these files are made up of thousands of lines which split the model into sections. Each section is called a Polygon. The higher the number of Polygons in the scene, the longer the scene will take to render. Rendering is the process our hardware uses to convert all the information from the models and the environment we have created to produce our images or animations.

We optimise the models to reduce the number of Polygons and reduce the rendering time and file size of our visuals and animations. The same applies for Virtual Reality; more Polygons results in a much slower running scene on standard computers. We optimise these files to enable them to run on standard hardware.

Below is a close-up of the feet from the model above. As you can see circled in red in the top left corner, this model contains over 135,000 Polygons which is a huge amount for such a small, basic section of one model. To put this into perspective, we create a lot of visuals and animations for gyms, a typical 3dsmax scene of an entire gym including roughly 50 pieces of optimised gym equipment will only be a few million Polygons.

There are several different ways models can be optimised. The simplest, quickest, and most common way is by using the ‘ProOptimizer’ modifier. ProOptimizer is flawed in that it its optimising process ruins the mesh resulting in a previously organised model becoming a mess of lines (see the image on the right). Sharp edges and faces become visible in the final rendered images, particularly if the object has any reflective properties. For this reason, we avoid using this technique.

To optimise models correctly is a time-consuming process. Each visible final render line requires individually deleting. This reduces the number of Polygons without reducing the image detail or quality. Below are images of the same model after it was optimised. Instead of 135,000 this is now made up of only 7,000 Polygons, and is ready to be used in a project.

We provide model optimisation as a standalone service to our customers for either them or us to create high quality 3D visualisations from. Please contact us and see how we can help optimise your mechanical models for use in visuals, animations, or virtual reality projects.

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