Should my meshes have smoother lighting?

My models don’t look as smooth as I would like, are there ways to get i looking better than this?
bad normals.png
The mesh normals were fully smoothed in maya.

Did you smooth it based on quad geometry?
Sometimes the triangulation can yield unexpected results which messes up the normal weights.

what you are seeing is (self) shadowing and occlusion. The smoothing between the different faces seems to have taken effect.

You say in Maya it looks as you want it…perhaps you can share a screenshot of that so we can better understand your situation. :slight_smile:

It doesnt look as I want it in maya, It looks similar.
Your replies suggest that this is just the way it is. I thought it was, But wanted to know for sure. I shall have to work on a smoother mesh shape a little and perhaps increase polycount too.

for an even smoother mesh shape you may wanna look into SubD modelling and create a medium poly-count mesh for your level and bake the rest into the normal map.

it might also help knowing what you are trying to accomplish to see if there may be another approach that yields better results.

I am in the very early stages of creating A large tree; So large that the player can walk on/in it.
The project.png
The plan is to split it into about 40 SubObjects, and give these SubObjects 3 LOD levels.
The tree will have two overlayed textures on 2 separate UV sets, set 1 will be very custom UVs, so as to accommodate Tiling texures which can warp/wrap around the “trunks”, set2 will will be designed to accomodate the texture baked from the high-poly mesh.
If anyone can suggest improvements\edits to the plan I will soooo greatfull.

Edit: I tested spline based distance tesselaion (“PN triangles”) and it does a wonderful job of smoothing the mesh edges, But the performance drop is huge; even if the tesselation multiplier is 0, this huge performance drop persists, not sure why.

some GPUs have hardware acceleration for tessellation, others don’t. But it may very well be the implementation of that feature, dunno.

The tree looks beautiful! :slight_smile:

At that size you are describing, the polygons are almost as tall as the player figure, depending on how much of it you stick into the model.
Splitting the whole thing up seems like a good idea!

Make sure to try and have the seams where they would naturally appear, for example per large branch.
Plus split it every now and then along the branches so they can be occluded away when hidden behind other geometry.

As for assembly I think you should be good with a shared origin, that way you can then simply drag in all the 40+ parts from the content browser at once and they all line up exactly.

For further optimization of such a large hero piece you may wanna look into procedural techniques offered by the engine or via plugins and perhaps even speed tree to help you along. With careful planning and execution you can have only the pieces rendered with high detail that are currently visible/relevant.

As for static poly count of such a hero piece I would eyeball it in the million triangles range easy. (just make sure you keep your shaders simple enough so no unnecessary draw calls are generated for such a large mesh)

so, enough rambling from my side. I hope I could give you a useful tip or two…let us know how it goes! :slight_smile:

Thankyou so much for your thoughts, Mine are a bit jumbled after all the research I’ve been doing.
I did not mention speedtree in my plan, but I am currently making leafy branches to place/reuse In-engine.
Can anyone see any relevant examples where procedurals can be useful? Procedarals can often be more expensive than precompution .

The tree is - although not shown in picture - in the middle of A (low poly) desert, hence the cut off roots. The tree will also have mud/sand dwellings moulded onto it, plants, grass, and maybe spline based vines. This all comes later, but I need to keep in mind that the tree is not the only thing to be rendered.
Such a complicatd scene, not sure I will ever pull it off, but I shall do what I can.

Another approach would be using sockets to position each part.
Branches to the trunk; twigs to the branches, etc…
So you can later still tweak the shape to some degree without having to reimport the whole thing.