Chapter 5. Model Optimization
UNTIL NOW, we have spent our time developing a good, clean model without worrying too much about the polygon count. That's about to changein this chapter, we will be removing a lot of the details you have sculpted into Kila so far. Try not to think of this step as destroying all your hard work, however. What you've accomplished so far is to create a character that is complete and has all the embellishment it needs to have. With all these details in place, we can now make informed decisions about the places from which we can remove those details. That's what optimization is all about.
You will find as you gain more experience in modeling game characters that the optimization stage will gradually become less important, because you will learn to analyze the topology automatically, from the moment you begin building. For the novice artist, this chapter tells you exactly what you need to be looking for as you optimize your character.
With every model, you will find areas where polygons have been placed but are not needed. Essentially, we want the model to have as few polygons as possible. Our polygon limit for this project, established in Chapter 1, is 4500, and we don't want to use more than that number. Indeed, after optimization we may very well end up well under our budget, which is good. If not, we will start to look at areas that we can sacrifice in order to bring the polygon count down.