Replies: 6 (Who?), Viewed: 721 times.
Theorist
Original Poster
#1 Old 6th May 2020 at 11:58 PM Last edited by aelflaed : 11th May 2020 at 10:21 PM. Reason: some progress
Default Poly reduction help
Hello again...I have to reduce the polys on some old objects, created by someone else. I am hopeless at meshing, never could get my head around the tools (which is why I don't do it). Please help!

I have Milkshape3D, and managed to find a note by Dr Pixel (http://modthesims.info/showthread.p...747#post1023747) which told me a way to do it. He talks about welding, but it's an old thread and I hear things may have changed. Is welding still what I should do? There's also 'Weld together' or 'weld to nearest' - which should I use?

And after that, what do I need to do? Do I need to UVmap it? That must have been done by the original creator, can I bypass that step and import the reduced file back into SimPE? (EDIT- yes, it seems safe to just import the updated obj file back to SimPE)

I tried that - imported the changed obj, changed the action to 'replace'. Fixed object integrity. Game crashes decisively.

Also, the new file is suddenly four times larger than the working version. All I did was extract the GMDC, lower some polys and put it back in. Obviously I'm doing something really wrong.

EDIT - I have made some progress. If I don't 'fix integrity', the package doesn't crash the game. Yay. Hope that step is not actually needed.

I've been working on two objects. One seems to reduce fine. The other loses definition on its label area very quickly. Presumably I could do something more clever to reduce the polys in other places? No idea where to start, though.

I have posted the working high-poly version and my attempt at reduction. Someone may be able to advise.

EDIT 2 - If the label keeps disappearing when the polys are reduced, can I fix that by remapping the object? I can't get the polys down without losing parts of the label.

EDIT 3 - I think I have done the best I can with most of this set, but the disappearing label is still a problem. The original detergent is over 4000 polys, lovely and smooth, but any reduction spoils the label part of the mesh. I can't see any way to selectively reduce the faces - I just get holes in the object. The files are still attached if anyone can assist.

This is the most frustrating 24 hours I've had in a very long time. Sigh.
Download - please read all instructions before downloading any files!
File Type: 7z PolyReduction - AE_NMS_C&K-CleaningProducts.7z (138.9 KB, 7 downloads)
Description: Before and after - label disappearing
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Lab Assistant
#2 Old 7th May 2020 at 11:37 PM
I had a look a the files and indeed it is a nicely detailed mesh, but I agree it's unnecessarily high poly for such a small object! It makes me think that i have some cute clutter by Nemestnaya, maybe I should check the poly count...
I can't give you a method for poly reduction since i don't really have one myself, and I'm using WingsD (what I do is basically gradually removing vertices that seem unnecessary, either by deleting them, collapsing edges or faces, which seems to be exactly what you did anyway...).

I have some ideas on how to keep the look of the object with less polys though:
I noticed the mesh has four parts: the lid, the bottle, the label and something that is shaped like the label but is inside the bottle so it is not actually visible.
I would suggest deleting this last bit, unless it has a purpose that i failed to see (is it the liquid inside?)
Regarding the label, I don't think it is useful to keep it as a separate object, as it could be painted directly on the bottle, which would solve your problem with both parts of the mesh clipping through each other. You would need to remap the bottle to have the front and the back on different parts of the texture map though, and maybe add a shadow around the edge of the label to give it some depth .
For the lid, It would probably be easier to make in into a simple cylinder and paint the ridges on the texture instead. I'm thinking the same for the creases on the bottle

easier said than done obviously, but I hope this helps somehow!
Theorist
Original Poster
#3 Old 7th May 2020 at 11:40 PM
I think I fixed the label issue - found some more ancient tips in old threads about Milkshape problems. Posting for future searchers:

First, check Tools/Model Statistics. Take note of Verts and Triangles (faces). Try 'weld together', check stats again. This allowed me to reduce the count significantly on the NMS detergent, without losing the label detail - and before touching the DirectX tool. It came out below 3000 polys.

I was only able to reduce it a little further with the DirectX tool, but the overall result was far better than I got before.


Monsieur_Oshima, thanks for your reply, it's nice to know I wasn't whistling into the wind. As for your suggestions, they are all rather beyond my skill level. As far as I could see, there was only one Group I could edit. No idea how to remove stuff hidden inside the object when I can't get at it or even know it is there. I did try manually deleting some of the faces, but that just made holes. Don't know how to collapse them instead.

As you can see, meshing is way beyond me really. I hope what I have achieved is good enough.
Mad Poster
#4 Old 8th May 2020 at 12:10 AM Last edited by simmer22 : 8th May 2020 at 12:25 AM.
(Just for future reference, if you decide to do more projects like this)

I prefer to reduce polys in Blender with edge loops and "dissolve edges". Gives a clean result, and usually doesn't wreck havoc with the UVmap if you avoid doing anything with the seams. Could be worth looking into. Blender is also a decent meshing program - not the easiest to learn, but a whole lot better than for instance Milkshape, and it's almost up there with a lot of paid programs.

Anyhow, just a quick overview of how the edgeloop method works (can go into more detail like shortcuts if anyone wants that)
https://i.postimg.cc/Pr5L3Fg9/Screenshot-New-161.png
https://i.postimg.cc/WbYdQwj3/Screenshot-New-162.png
https://i.postimg.cc/2Sq1mL8x/Screenshot-New-165.png - after a couple more times
https://i.postimg.cc/sgtv2fMC/Screenshot-New-164.png - smoothed
https://i.postimg.cc/LXLyxR0R/Flow.jpg - works on the "good flow" kind of meshes, but the triangular faces need to be made square first with Alt+J. The bad kind of meshes... Good luck. That's the only times I'll even consider using the "Decimate" modifyer some people seem to really love.
https://i.postimg.cc/d0bRhWRH/Screenshot-New-159a.jpg - Recommended Obj export settings in Blender. Otherwise SimPE has a fit and refuses to cooperate, and the normals go all wonky.
Lab Assistant
#5 Old 8th May 2020 at 1:34 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by aelflaed
As far as I could see, there was only one Group I could edit. No idea how to remove stuff hidden inside the object when I can't get at it or even know it is there. I did try manually deleting some of the faces, but that just made holes. Don't know how to collapse them instead.


It's hard to explain more precisely what i mean since I don't know how it would translate in Milkshape. In Wings3D when you select an object there is a menu option called "separate" which breaks it down into several parts when applicable. It is always the first thing i do when i'm working form a mesh someone else made, to see how it is organized, also you can hide or unhide some parts to work with each of them separately, which is very convenient for complex objects.

Quote:
Originally Posted by simmer22
works on the "good flow" kind of meshes, but the triangular faces need to be made square first with Alt+J. The bad kind of meshes... Good luck.

by this definition, this particular mesh is definitely on the "bad flow" side haha
Mad Poster
#6 Old 8th May 2020 at 3:12 PM Last edited by simmer22 : 10th May 2020 at 2:24 PM.
^ The "bad flow" kind of meshes aren't completely impossible to fix, but they can be a challenge.

A tip for labels - if possible, try to reduce the same lines of polys on the label as around the bottle.

I've had a look at the (original) bottle, and the label (possibly the cork too) seems to be of the "good flow" kind, while the bottle is more the "bad flow" kind. The cork has 1/4 of the polys, so if you wanted you could switch it out with just a round cork and instead put in some more texture details, and reduce down to roughly 3000 in one go (that's what I'd start by doing, anyway). A new cork can be made with a cylinder and a bit of shaping. Making a workable ridge texture isn't too difficult, and while it may not look as nice as the shaped cork, on a distance it's not easy to spot a difference (I tend to do this for wheels and bottle corks all the time).
Is the bottle opaque (it looks that way in SimPE)? If so, there's of course no point in keeping the extra label-like item inside the bottle or the inside of the label, possibly not even the sides of the label. Then you can move the label a little bit out from the bottle so it doesn't look strange. Could cut out maybe a few polys there as well. If you make sure the label follows the shape of the bottle by reducing only the polys that they don't share, you won't get the mismatch in the shape.

UV-mapping tutorial for Blender (if you decide to do something with the cork) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2-FfB9kRmE

Added a version with the labels and cork as a separated group, just in case it makes things a bit easier (Obj + blender file) - they're from the original version, though.
Download - please read all instructions before downloading any files!
File Type: zip bottle.zip (388.2 KB, 0 downloads) - View custom content
Theorist
Original Poster
#7 Old 11th May 2020 at 10:21 PM
Thank you both. I'm not delving any further into this at the moment, but I greatly appreciate your help. When I'm ready to learn some actual meshing skills, I know where to come!
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