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What is Level of Detail in 3D Modeling?


What is Level of Detail in 3D Modeling? 3D modelers use a lot of different techniques to improve the look and functionality of the figures, props, and sets they make for your best video games and movies.

Level of detail (LOD) is an important skill to learn, especially for video games. LOD not only makes processing faster, but it does so in a way that doesn’t hurt the quality of an asset’s look.

We talk about what LOD is and why it’s so important. We also look at some other ways to lower the render times and computational output of your 3D model without losing any needed information, and we look at how to get started as a 3D modeler.

How Does 3D Models Work?

3D modeling is the process of making a computer-made item or figure that can be seen in 3D space. These are often called models or assets. 3D models are a big part of many movies and games, and they can be used for a lot of different things.

They can be fixed and animated, put in a scene as a stationary object, mixed with other assets to make a set or environment, simulated or destroyed, and used as shadows or holdouts.

What does LOD Stand For?

Level of detail (LOD) describes how complicated a 3D model is. It is mostly used in real-time modeling for video games and other engaging tools. It helps decrease the amount of complexity by making polygons and patterns simpler as they get farther away from the camera.

LOD helps control the amount of computing power needed to render complex scenes by lowering the file size and amount of data in the 3D model. This lets the model run more smoothly and quickly while keeping its visual quality.

What is Level of Detail in 3D Modeling

A 3D modeler will decide how detailed an object needs to be based on how close it will be to the camera, how it will be seen, and how fast it will move on screen.

For example, when looking at an item from a long distance, you might only need to see its color and shape. In general, the closer something is to the camera, the more surface features, textures, shadows, etc. will be needed.

Detail level can be set automatically by software or by hand, usually by technical artists after the first model is done.

Read More: How to Become a 3D Lighting Artist?

What Kind of Program is Needed to Make Lod Models?

Here are three 3D modeling tools that can be used to make LOD models:

  • Engine Unreal

Unreal Engine has built-in tools that use the models you use to automatically make LODs. This saves a lot of time. Set up and name your LOD groups in the settings menu before you use their automatic LODs. You can set your LODs manually based on LOD group presets (LOD0, LOD1, LOD2, etc.) for more control.

  • Maya

With Maya, you can make multiple copies of characters and items that can be put in your scene based on certain threshold values. This can be set by how far away the group is from the camera or by a percentage of the height of the screen.

  • Houdini

Using the PolyReduce SOP, Houdini can also be used to automatically make several LODS. These changes depend on how far away the thing is from the camera (the watcher).

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