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Session Name:

Quad Mesh Simplification in Frostbite


In early 2014, the Frostbite team started developing an in-house LOD technology for quad-based Bioware character models. Today that tech powers tools used by studios across Electronic Arts, from Battlefield to Plants vs Zombies. Quad-based models are widely used in the industry, and artists devote much care to their topology and edge flow. Yet simplification of quad meshes is less studied in the literature -- and popular LOD tools triangulate meshes and ignore topology. While LODs are sometimes thought of as throwaway, maintaining good topology benefits subsequent hand-editing, lighting and animation. For that reason, Bioware historically spent days per model hand-authoring their character LODs. Instead, this work aims to procedurally generate LODs that look like artist-authored models, most of the time, saving hundreds of thousands of dollars per title. A lot was learned, and challenges were overcome. This talk will describe how they were solved.

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  • GDC 2020
  • Ashton Mason
  • Electronic Arts
  • free content
  • Programming
  • Programming