Before we begin optimizing, let's first look at how many polygons our model currently has.
Load in the last file you saved, Kila_Complete.mb. You first need to convert the geometry to triangles in order to get an accurate reading.
Select everything by dragging over the entire character in the view panel; then go to Polygons > Triangulate. The model will now be built from triangular polygons only.
To show the polygon count, go to Display > Heads Up Display > Poly Count. The polygon statistics (Figure 5.4) will be displayed in the upper-left corner of your view, although depending on your resolution setting these could even take up more space.
Figure 5.4. The polygon count display
In the Faces line, the far-left number is the current scene's polygon count. This includes only the polygons of objects onscreen, so make sure your entire mesh is visible. Our current polygon count is 5856. This is 1356 over our budget, which is what we expected.
Remember that we added the higher-resolution hands and ear in Chapter 4, to see if we could use them. Each hand alone is around 1010 polygons. If we replaced those with the lower version, which was 406 polygons each, we would save 1208. But we don't want to do that just yet as we first need to remove the unnecessary polygons. We will begin by looking at Kila's upper body, concentrating first on her arms before moving on to her torso, considering various places where we can cut back. Next we will look at the lower body, including waist, legs, and feet, before working on her hair, neck, and face.
After we've made some changes, we can recheck the polygon count and decide whether we need to make any additional sacrifices, such as swapping the hands for lower versions.
In this chapter I don't explain in detail how I am removing polygons. Feel free to use one of the following methods, which you have already seen used in the book so far:
Simply select the edge and go to Edit Polygons > Collapse. This will collapse the edge, bringing together the two vertices it shared in.
You can weld vertices by going to Edit Polygons > Merge Vertices. This method gives results similar to collapsing the edges, bringing together the selected vertices. In some cases you will want to retain one of the vertices' positions; to do this, snap the others to it by holding down V while moving the vertex, remembering to weld them afterwards.
In some instances you can simply select the edges and press Delete; this will remove the edges but the vertices will remain in the geometry. You will then have to select and delete those, too.