|Developer(s)||Donya Labs AB|
|Operating system||Windows 32/64 bit|
Simplygon is a 3D computer graphics software for automatic 3D-optimization, based on proprietary methods for creating Level of detail LODs, through smart Polygon mesh reduction and other optimization techniques.
The algorithms in Simplygon are designed to also optimize different type of input forms, and a number of visualization projects outside gaming are currently deploying this technology in areas such as architecture, 3D CAD, 3D scan, 3D web and 3D printing.
Supported Platforms and formats
The product is available as plugins for the following DCC tools:
Simplygon integration is available for the following popular game engines:
Technical background to 3D optimization and Simplygon
In computer graphics most 3D models have to optimized in order to render as fast as possible on the respective platforms. One of the important parameters to optimize for 3D polygon mesh models is the numbers of triangles in the models. The best 3d mesh model has to have a minimal number of triangles without comprising its visual quality. These types of models are sometimes referred to as Low poly models and the process of making the models called Low poly modeling.
In addition to having an optimal Low poly base 3D model, many rendering engines allow the use of level of detail LOD. In order to use LOD rendering each 3D models is represented by a number of copies with varying triangle count. The task of creating optimal 3D base models and LODs has classically been based very much on manual 3D artist work. However as amounts of 3D production and number of platforms has exploded in the past years, automated 3D optimization technologies are becoming necessary in production pipelines.
Most important techniques for 3D optimization include:
3D mesh reduction with edge removal
The common way of 3D optimization is based on removing parts of the data from a 3D mesh by removing the least important edges of the mesh. Edge removal algorithms were popularized by the initial works of Hughes Hoppe. Most of the edge removal algorithms such as the initial algorithms proposed by Hoppe and Michael Garland. This results in a mesh that has the same texture and basic mesh structure as the original input 3D model, with the only difference that the mesh has less triangles (edges). Depending on how many edges that are removed a certain final triangle count is achieved. The drawback of the classical edge removal techniques is that they can not optimize the 3D models to a given display size (resolution) but only final triangle count. Simplygon instead includes algorithms for edge removal reduction based on display size. This technique allows users to automatically generate all LODs as each LOD is usually defined for a certain camera distance and thus maximum display size.
3D Mesh reduction with Remeshing
The edge removal techniques have a number of drawbacks for certain application. This method for example lacks the possibility to remove interior parts of objects, and to repair highly un-optimized meshes where the basic structure has to be remade. Simplygon introduced technology remeshing, which allows for creation of extremely lightweight stand-in/proxy models from any type of 3D input model. Technically the proxy model is created by automatic creation of a completely new mesh (remeshing) and a completely new texture (retexturing). Both the mesh and the texture sample data from the original input model to create an optimized proxy model which is as visually identical to the original object for a given display size. During this 3D remaking process all invisible interior objects are removed and all the possible errors in the original mesh are automatically repaired.
Texture reduction and optimization
A popular technique often used together with mesh optimization is mapping the fine detail from the high resolution mesh onto the texture of the low resolution mesh. Normal mapping and occlusion mapping are the most common maps used. This technique can be seen as a way of mapping all details that are too fine for a certain level of details from the 3rd dimension onto the two-dimensional texture, so that fine details can be visualized without the use of many triangles. The most common techniques for doing this type of mapping is based on ray casting where rays from the low resolution meshes are casted towards the high resolution mesh. There are a number of standalone tools and built in tools (such as in Autodesk 3ds max or Maya) for performing this type of mapping.
Simplygon combines automatic UV mapping in combination with its proprietary mapping technologies based which produce much faster and more accurate results than ray casting, all integrated in a comprehensive 3D optimization pipeline.