Is It Possible To Improve Level of Detail On PS4 And Xbox One Games Without Reducing Polygon Count?

Simplygon’s co-founder Martin Ekdal answers.

Posted By | On 22nd, Nov. 2014 Under News | Follow This Author @GamingBoltTweet


Level of detail or popularly known as LOD is one of the most important parameters in deciding the graphical fidelity of the game and Simplygon are the forefront of delivering automatic tools for optimized level of detail. It’s always a challenge for developers to maintain a balance between delivering an improved LOD without sacrificing polygon count. However with the push in processing power on PS4 and Xbox One, is an optimized level of detail possible without reducing polygon cut?

“You can definitely optimize without reducing the tri-count, but you can also reduce the amount of polys in a mesh, without really affecting how it looks,” Simplygon’s co-founder, Martin Ekdal said to GamingBolt. “For example, with ProxyLOD, you can create a new mesh that looks like the original but is empty (has no triangles) on the inside. This will essentially give you something that looks the same; but has a lot less overdraw.”

“Also, there are other ways of optimizing, and often the tri-count might not be the biggest obstacle – even though every machine has limitations on how many polys it can push.We can for example just optimize the materials/textures or, instead of focusing on polygon reduction, merge objects together to reduce the number of draw calls, which a lot of times is a bigger bottleneck.”

He also revealed that they are also making changes to Simplygon but they are not directly related to PS4 and Xbox One. “We are always making improvements to the system, but nothing so far that is directly related to only PS4 and Xbox One. The biggest “change” (if you can call it that) so far is that developers started using more LOD levels, as the memory increased lots and the processing power is, well, not as increased. This makes it possible to “dial in” the quality/performance ratio better, and is made possible by the automated LOD creation, where manual generation is prohibitively expensive.”

Stay tuned for our full interview with Martin in the coming days. What are your thoughts on this? Let us know in the comments section below.

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  • Sheldon Prescott

    I ABSOLUTELY don’t think that 1080p is THE defining next gen feature. While nice, I’d MUCH rather things like 60fps, long draw distance, a more detailed world, etc. I really hate how certain “gamers” have made it clear to devs that 1080p is the only thing that matters to them.

  • Psionicinversion

    id probably say it wouldnt matter becuase it cant even power better resolution textures. Look at this picture from tomorrow children look at all the next gen LOD scaled low res textures masked by depth of field to blur it all out. Dat next gen power is here

  • d0x360

    There are ways to increase detail without note polygons and resolution. Look at the original Xbox. Perfect example is the original splinter cell vs chaos theory.

    The only difference between the 2 is chaos theory uses LESS polygons but it takes advantage of normal mapping and bump mapping something the original didn’t do. Same goes for halo vs halo 2. Halo 2 uses tons of normal maps. By today’s standards the halo 2 normal mapping looks balls but back that it was basically a generational leap. Today we have way more shader effects beyond normal maps. Using them is the best way to enhance detail. They are far more important than polygons or resolution.

    Another example is crysis3. If you run crysis 3 at its max settings at 640×480 it looks AMAZING. Better than most modern games running at 1080p. Yes resolution cleans that image up but it isn’t the most important factor at all. I’d take crysis 3 at 640×480 maxxed out over crysis 3 at 1080p running medium settings and medium still looks amazing.

  • Michel Simmons

    I’d rather know is it possible for these consoles and developers to allow you to select your resolution and frame rate. Example instead of 1080p 30 frames a sec we could choose 900p 60 frames. Or even 720p. Allow gamers to choose.

    • Mark

      I’d luv that


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