Dealing With LOD Characters

This tutorial details how to use LOD based on camera distance within Golaem. In the following we're gonna assume that it exists two LOD versions of the same Character which share the same skeleton / mesh names / shaders...


Character File Setup

The two characters are then stored in two separate Geometry Files (gcg or fbx) and referenced in the Character Maker's Geometry Tab as two new Geometry Assets.

When adding a new Geometry File in a Character File, you can configure the camera distance range at which this file will appear by using the LOD attributes (min distance / max distance) & the distance to the camera. Set those accordingly to your simulation: you'll be able to see the corresponding geometry both at simulation and render time. Notice that it is not required to reexport a Simulation Cache if you change those attribute values.

See Asset properties LOD Min/Max Distance section for more details.


Here's how the render looks like with Arnold in Maya after exporting the simulation and adding a Crowd Render Proxy to the scene:


And to give you an idea of which geometry has been used where (red are low def characters and green are high def)


Thanks to LOD, the scene polygon count felt from 3millions to 1.6millions and render times reduced by more than 30% for this simple image!