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raiden xavier

on 20 April 2015

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Transcript of MAYA TO UNREAL: LODs

Raiden Xavier shows you how to setup a chest level of detail (LOD) mesh ready to be imported into the exciting new Unreal Engine 4. (See Image Three chests)
In general, LODs are handled by creating models of varying complexity going from the full-detail base mesh to the lowest-detail LOD mesh. These should all be aligned and occupying the same space with the same pivot point. Each LOD mesh can have completely different materials assigned.
(See Image T_ctd_h, T_ctd_m, T_ctd_l)
Three Chests
You should now have the meshes all grouped under the LOD Group. (See Image Outliner02)

To export the Static Mesh LODs (See Image Export Selection Maya)
In the Export dialog box choose the folder to save your chest FBX.
Enter a name for the file in this case SM_chest and set Files of type to FBX Export.
Set your Export Options & smoothing Groups.
Make sure to enable export of animations in the FBX exporter properties. This is required for LODs to be exported.
Now Click Export All. (See Image FBX_export )

Monday, February 17, 2015
Raiden X & Martin H
- Contents -
The final LOD we have set the screen size to 0.01. The lower the value the greater the distance from the camera before the engine will change LOD mesh. (See Image LOD _02)
For – Unreal Engine 4
Also required – Maya 15
TIME TAKEN – 20 Minutes

Topics Covered
• Mesh setup in Maya
• LOD Grouping in Maya
• Exporting from Maya
• Importing into Unreal
• Static Mesh Editor

Raiden Says:
Triangle count example is 1400, and the items require LODs depending on their tricount.
LOD 0 is max 1400
LOD 1 is max 1000
LOD 2 is max 700
So if you item is 800 tris, you'll need 1 lod. If it's 400, you won't need LODs.
Project files included
• Start_FBX.fbx
• T_ctd_h.png
• T_ctd_m.png
• T_ctd_l.png
• SM_Chest.fbx

In this issue of working in Game Engines we export a file that contains different levels of detail (LOD).

LOD's are important in game engines because when an object is far away there is no need for the game to render the object in high detail. For example, A car in 3D would not need to have the interior modeled from far away. Instead, a simple texture over the window would speed up the render time. Additionally, the body of the car could loose a considerable amount of polygons and still retain its shape when looked at from afar.

We hope you enjoy the issue and "level up" your basic understanding of game engine efficiency!

Raiden & Martin
Martin Says:
Why are pirates called pirates? Because they just ARRRRRRRRRRR!

T_ctd_l 256x256
Select all of the chest meshes, base plus LODs in order from the base LOD down to the last LOD. This is important so that they are added in the correct order in terms of complexity.
Top Tip – Use the Outliner to make it easier to select the correct meshes. (See Image Outliner 01)
Outliner is found under Window > Outliner.

T_ctd_m 512x512
T_ctd_l 1024x1024
Now we can set the LOD distance for each LOD mesh. You can also adjust the size of the mesh in the build settings. Remember if you adjust the size for one LOD, do it for all of them. (See Image LOD _00)
Included is the poly countfor the 3 Versions of the chest
Then select the Level of Detail > Group command from the Edit menu. (See Image Edit LOD Group Maya)
For this example we have set the screen size 0.05, please experiment with this value yourself. We have also changed the Build Scale to 6 for all LOD. (See Image LOD _01)
Click the button ‘Import All’ button to import the mesh and LODs. The resulting mesh, material(s), and texture(s) will be displayed in the Content Browser if the process was successful. . (See Image Content_Browser )
By viewing the imported mesh in the Static Mesh Editor, you can edit each LOD mesh. First under LOD Settings in the details panel, un-check the ‘Auto compute LOD Distances’. This will enable you to set the LOD distances manually. Make sure you ‘Apply changes’ on all changes.
To open the Static Mesh Editor double click the chest Static Mesh in the Content Browser.
(See Image LOD Settings)
Full transcript