I've got a script which imports a bunch of hi-resolution models onto a grid. It gives me this:

enter image description here

It's currently got 35 objects (81924 vertices per object), but I'd like to rotate the camera toward the horizon, and arrange many many more objects out to infinity (~1500 of them).

I feel that a simple extension of what I'm doing now is going to run my machine out of memory. And since I only really need hi-res data close to the camera, it's a waste of resources out at the horizon.

What would be a good strategy for rendering many hi-res models in a single scene?

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    $\begingroup$ do you really need 81924 vertices per object? You could add a decimate modifier to each of them and apply it. That can bring the poly count down a lot. $\endgroup$ – Vader Feb 24 '14 at 22:00
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    $\begingroup$ @ajwood You could try a driver. $\endgroup$ – gandalf3 Feb 24 '14 at 22:07
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    $\begingroup$ both support instancing. THe main improvement form instancing is the reduced ram load, with instances you can have virtually unlimited duplicates. Any speed increases gained might be side effects. $\endgroup$ – Vader Feb 25 '14 at 0:59
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    $\begingroup$ Would it be possible to split the brains into multiple scenes or layers and combine them using the compositor? $\endgroup$ – Mutant Bob Feb 25 '14 at 15:07
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    $\begingroup$ Instancing does not really help if each brain is an unique mesh. $\endgroup$ – Mike Pan Feb 26 '14 at 20:32

You could group all the brains (Ctrl-G) and then use the brain group in a particle system on a grid which emits from each vertex. Make sure the number of vertices = number of particles. Also be sure to display your models as bounds only, otherwise Blender will try to draw all the detail in viewport. Using a particle system allows me to draw forests of complex trees, so I think brains should work too.

In the picture you see the group of objects in the front and the result of a particle system on a subdivided grid emitting from each vertex in the background.enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ I think the problem is loading 1500 unique brains into memory, this method works fine with a small number of unique items $\endgroup$ – Vader Feb 27 '14 at 18:57
  • $\begingroup$ But I don't see why you would need 1500 unique brains. As long as those in the foreground are unique and those beyond that a random selection of the foreground brains, the observer really won't notice the repetition. Heck even on these unique brains it's pretty hard to see. $\endgroup$ – cybrbeast Feb 28 '14 at 7:31
  • $\begingroup$ Looking closer I think I already see duplicates, second row, 3rd, 4th column. 3rd row, 4th and 5th column. $\endgroup$ – cybrbeast Feb 28 '14 at 7:36
  • $\begingroup$ I think in OPs image there are duplicates because OP cannot render even a few unique brains. I agree there only need to be a few unique in the render $\endgroup$ – Vader Feb 28 '14 at 12:46
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    $\begingroup$ Then the only thing I can think of it cutting the scene up into bits with the maximum amount of models you can run. Then rendering the same flightpath over each scene and compositing them. $\endgroup$ – cybrbeast Mar 3 '14 at 9:11

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