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Character Resolution

I’m making a PC isometric RPG that allows you to get the camera close enough to fill the screen with the character’s had and body or thereaouts. I am bringing in characters from Character Creator 3. What is an appropriate resolution to export from CC3 for player characters, enemies, and NPCs, respectively, for the LOD0 version, and for LOD1-3?

The answer to “what is the right resolution of geometry” is always: “As much as your target system can support without running too slowly.”
Always has been, always will be (*)

It may sound trite, but really, the only way you can find out is to try a few things on your target system, and see how it performs. There really is no good way of knowing ahead of time how particular bits in your specific art will behave when scaled up/down. (Although with experience, you can of course get reasonable esimates)

For a modern character, for a modern gaming computer, I’d actually be more worried that something in the full path breaks at either 32767 vertices, or 65535 vertices, than I would be worried about LOD0 performance if that’s the only thing being rendered. A single skinned/morphed head mesh with 60000 vertices and 100000 triangles is by itself no sweat on a modern GPU driven by a modern CPU.

(*) not a gurantee about the future

So, if my game is targeting a mid-level modern PC, I have to start somewhere. The first time you go to export a character from CC3 to UE4 for a game targeted at a mid-level modern PC, what resolution would you choose? I understand that there are lots of caveats and conditions, but I need to start with a number.

There is no number. Its heavily project/platform dependant, go with the number that is high enough you no longer see a difference from the player’s perspective.

I have no idea how character creator handles stuff, but the internal LOD system for skeletal meshes is not going to do jack sh. for performance when you zoom in.

I would suggest swapping to a modular mesh where the parts all have separate texturing- around 2K for a face is actually OK in order to get the definition needed for skin pores.

If your face and body textures are combined, forget zooming in that close.
It’ll be a blur until you literally waste ram to load an 8k body pictures that allows for approximately a 2k size face.

Geometry / tris count on characters doesn’t really matter for most mid level PCs.
What matters is how many skeletal meshes you put in the scene, and how many are simulating physics --with Chaos possibly being the worse performant thing to ever be released by epic (at least in the past 3 years if you exclude the release of .26 which is much much worse).