Now that the high polygon version is ready, it’s time to work on the low polygon version, the one that will be specially optimized for real-time rendering and obviously, secondlife.
I never talked about these things, but when it comes to low polygon modeling, it’s all a balancing act. Triangles take pretty much the same time to render regardless of their size, so if you want your model to be “kind” to the user’s computer, you have to balance between quality and performances.
I could write an article about it, i have a folder full of extremely bad examples of models that have no place in SL, yet are your typical “top seller” shoes.
As of today, SL doesn’t support normal mapping (yet), so we cannot use fancy tricks. Which means that regardless of your ability to optimize, you have to shoot for a little higher polygon count than you normally would because of the tendency SL residents have to move their camera around and zoom all the way in on everything, down to the smallest piece of jewelry.
But even with normal and specular mapping, I fear that those unreasonable expectations for high fidelity rendering will only get worse.