Alpha/Opacity VS Polycount

Hello! I’m fairly well into the 3D journey, and have been wanting to make some assets for the marketplace. One thing that I keep wondering though when I come to optimizing assets for my own game, is whether I should worry more about objects having opacity or high poly count to make up for the opacity.

I’m specifically thinking about foliage, so plants, leaves, flowers, etc. Is it more performance friendly to model the leaves to fit the shape of a leaf, rather than using using a plane with a leaf texture on it? I could see that using opacity with big plants, that require lots of leaves, could be more performance friendly, but for smaller plants I assume it won’t be?

I’m going in the stylized direction with the plant assets as well so I feel like I have more freedom when it comes to the texturing part if I model a leaf, rather than using a texture on a plane.

But just in general, I’m wondering when opacity could be better than a “high” polycount that tries to substitute for the opacity texture?

Hi Skylene1,

When it comes to transparency, it’s definitely faster to have more triangles to limit the amount of over-draw. I noticed that the MegaScans Black Alder has very detailed polys on the leaves to reduce it.

Also, things like Octahedral Impostors use 8 triangles instead of 2 when rendering their billboards which cuts out a lot of the overdraw and is much faster.

1 Like