Some useful tips on how to prepare and export models.
If your model exceeds our file size limit, you will be interested to know some of the steps you can perform to radically alter your model size, without loosing wanted detail and geometries. In this tutorial I will go through some of the techniques possible to optimise architectural models, so that they are below the required polygon count and file size.
1.) Create Geometry with Minimal Polygons - "Low Poly Modelling."
Most 3d softwares have the option to determine the number of polygons for geometry such as cylinders, pipes, extruded splines etc. This is a really important feature that can reduce millions of polygons from your model without loosing any visible detail. If your model is already created, there are many ways in which you can change the setting of certain elements without having to re-model the entire building. Pay particular attention to the number of segments along edges, such as curved corners, and smoothing settings. By simply reducing the number of segments for each building component, and paying close attention to the number of faces/polygons used in every component, it becomes easy to manage polygon counts for best AR performance.
Additional Reading for low-poly modelling practices:
Revit: Reducing Triangle Count
Sketchup: Reducing Polygon Count
2.) Delete Unnecessary Detail
Most AR models are not presented at 1:1 scale, so the most important thing to consider is to what scale you are ultimately going to present each model? Like you would do for a physical version or 3d print of the model, delete unwanted detail from the 3d model and submit models at a scale which is realistic to how you would view the model in AR. We always recommend limiting the 3d models to 1:50 scale in detail.
Below is a list of detail we suggest eliminating from your models:
a.)Nuts and Bolts:
you would be surprised how many windows, door and furniture 3d components include nuts, bolts and screws within their models
Hidden structure and construction material such as joists, internal wall linings, insulation, etc. If the model is only to be viewed from outside, then all geometry that is hidden such as internal doors, walls, and furniture can be deleted from the scene.
Too many furniture components can often overcrowd the AR experience of the architecture. We always recommend removing furniture that is not crucial for the model, and ensuring all furniture is shown for the correct scale of the AR model.
d.) Double-faced geometry:
Often in models, there are many overlapping geometry/planes that use up valuable polygon counts. These are located at the intersection of two building components, such as joints between two or more walls. Double-faced geometry also include double-glazing panes, which will often demonstrate multiple unnecessary polygons that are not needed for the overall visualisation. Paying attention to the number of overlapping faces, can often reduce thousands of unseen polygons easily.
3.) Use Built-in Optimisation Functions.
a.) Optimising geometry in 3dsmax
b.)Optimising geomtry in Sketchup with Reduce Polygons + Mesh wrapper Tool here
c.) Optimising geometry in Maya
d.) Polygon Cruncher Plugin
4.) Reduce the Number of Individual Objects.
The file size of your models are based on 2 main components:
a.) The number of Polygons
b.) The number of individual objects in your model.
You can radically alter the size of your .fbx files by merging individual objects together. Combining similar objects/components into one object allows the model to be rendered at real-time with the best frame rate possible. We recommend a maximum of 900 individual objects per model for the best performance.