Hey guys, it's been awhile since I've posted anything, but I do have one question that's been eating at me...
How many polygons are in SC2 models? (Probably only a tri figure is available) I just have no idea how "big" I can make my models.
Obviously they are all different in terms of polies... but I am just looking for a general number. Running 200 models of about 1000 faces each seems a little overkill considering some graphics cards can't even run SC2.
If this is a repost, I apologize. I searched for about 20 minutes and found nothing relevant to this question.
In theory there is no max.
The only limitations we've got as for now are the ones given by us by our current tools.
SC2 unit models are somewhat around 1.5k to 7k polys. the average being around 3.5k or so for most units. 7k to even 12k polys would be high resolution ones and I have never before opened a cinematic model to see how many polys those have.
I've successfully managed to put into the game a model that was more than a million polys or so. The current exporter took like 2 hours per piece (I managed to do this by splitting the model in sections and exporting each piece separately.
So yeah poly count doesn't really affect performance that much nowadays.
The answer ultimately relies on how many you expect to have on screen at once. If it's a mass-produced unit, try to keep the poly limit close to 1k-2k, if it's a special unit that you only see once, then you can go up to 7k or so. Polycounts aren't as big of a deal considering SC2 is optimized for lower end machines and most people who play run on recommended specs+. I'm sure the game can handle much higher poly counts, it just keeps everything low for performance sake.
Keep in mind that modern graphics cards (even entry-level) can easily support upwards of a million polys onscreen, with the high-end ones handling over thirty million at 60fps. Most of the stress in modern games is from the enormous shader load associated with everything onscreen, for literally every single lighting calculation and special effect (both textures and geometry) that exists in the game.
I'd worry not so much about the unit's polycount (1-7k is perfectly fine), but rather the types of textures you put on it and the shaders that are applied to that texture, and other effects the unit has.
300 seems the bottom limit for anything good like carrion bird or seeker missile. Cinematic stuff tends to have aroubd 12k. Massible units tend to be 700-1.2k but those lag at over 3k units on screen at once.
Also models can have other power consuming visuals like particle emmiters, normal and emissive maps.