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I'm modeling assets for a game and want to keep the polygon count to a minimum. One problem I've run into is having unnecessary edge loops on one part of a mesh that are necessary for a different part of the mesh.

For instance: enter image description here

Both these parts need to be connected in a single mesh. If I join them at their intersection, I'll end up with a lot of unnecessary edge loops on the top piece.

Should I do this, or will the extra polygons affect performance?

In general, what is the best way to handle two meshes that need to be connected, but have different vertex counts on the adjacent edge?

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  • $\begingroup$ Would it be acceptable to just let them intersect and not be a continuous mesh? If your concern is solely the polygon count than separating them as different unconnected chunks inside the same mesh object would likely solve your problem of reducing polycount $\endgroup$ – Duarte Farrajota Ramos Jul 20 '16 at 1:25
  • $\begingroup$ @DuarteFarrajotaRamos That is how they used to be--would that produce artifacts or lighting issues in a game engine (specifically something like UE4)? $\endgroup$ – Kyler Sakumoto Jul 20 '16 at 1:38
  • $\begingroup$ No I don't think it would produce any artifacts. I have never made assets for Unity or other game engine though, so not sure, but I don't think these would produce any issues with lighting. Texturing on the other hand may reveal to be a little more tricky though, at least if you need continuity on those spots that is, but nothing that can't be solved I think. $\endgroup$ – Duarte Farrajota Ramos Jul 20 '16 at 1:52
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Getting rid of unnecessary loopcuts is always a good idea, no matter for which platform you aim (mobile devices, PC?). If you can reduce the polycount significantly by using submeshes that's the way you want to go.

When using overlapping submeshes you also might want to delete hidden faces.

One other thing that is even more important than reducing a model's polycount by maybe a dozen polygons is the use of materials. If you have an asset that contains several submeshes you still want to use the lowest possible amount of materials (which is normally one). Having only one material per asset reduces the draw calls in a scene significantly. You might want to look up the terms "draw call" and "texture atlas".

Lightning errors in UE4 are mostly the result of missing or wrong lightmaps.

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