Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Tris versus Textures

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, someone made a post on the forums or in a blog which gave the memory useage for various texture sizes. I noted that useage did not double with size, but was on a much more aggressive scale. Thus 1024x gave a lot more of a kicking to Vram than two 512x.

So, town2 version (counts on fingers) er ... 4? is done. It's a mesh model, with all of the buildings enterable. No facades this time. The 2 storey facade textures (1024x) have been ditched in favour of standard 512x brickwork textures (which the facades were previously based on and had been used around the map for low walls). All doors and windows are now modeled, and are proper openings. All buildings are now fully enterable and made up of multiple rooms. Each building has at least one staircase, large buildings have two. Access to and from upstairs is granted. Access through all buildings now exists.

Prefab houses

There are currently 6 building types being used as prefabs, with a couple of custom ones (eg: church and chapel - church is still a facade, the only one left). All have at least one front and back external door, a minumum of 8 windows and 7 rooms. All have at least one staircase.

There are 50 buildings in the village. That's 641 windows, 180 external doors, 578 rooms, with 81 staircases, all linked, all useable, all explorable. I didn't count how many internal doors there were, but obviously they are what seperate the rooms so work it out (it might even be the same number as the rooms).

Needless to say this has affected the tris slightly. Tris now stands at around 48k up from 15k. And it's also affected performance - for the better.

From all closed facades to 1399-ish openings for view and movement.

Previously, with most of my Vcard (256mb 7900GS) settings on "performance" with x2 AA and Anisotropic OFF and display on x768, I was recording 165fps with the polysouped, facade mesh.

Dispensing of the services of the 1024x facade textures, and increasing the polysouped mesh by over 500%, I get the following results.

New Vcard settings are "quality" including x2 anistropic and AA. At x768 it gives a whopping 196fps, and at x1050 it gives an equally impressive 127fps.

I did have a few issues with exporting the model. I had to split the model into 6 seperate meshes, as together they exceeded the max vertices count. But as seperate meshes within the same model they exported fine.

There's lots more opportunites to worry about being ambushed. 1399 of them.

So, point proven on Vram and texture size against tris count. This was conducted on TGEA1.7.1, 1.8.1 would probably gain more of a performance boost (maybe 10%). How this will work with new tech remains to be seen, but I'd be quietly hopeful that all will be well.

In the meantime I have a Campaign for Real Ale Festival to go to, the last refuge of Saint George Flag waving, folk singing, Morris Dancing, sandal wearing, unkempt beardies who have a deep understanding of the different forms of droppings excreted by the monstrous badger of doom.

BADGER_OF_DOOM is also the current codename for my project.

God save England, 'arry and Saint George!

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