I have read thru the ISI docs, tried using the forum search options and typical Google search but was not able to find any specifics related to my questions so I'm hoping the vets can shine some light. I understand that there are a lot of variables involved so I'm really just looking for guidelines at this point.
1) Terrain (track included) poly count max threshold and recommended range to retain rendering performance
2) Total poly limit for entire scene including objects.
My main reason for requesting this info is that I have access to a large repository of lidar terrain scans, thanks to subcontracted work that I do for the software developer of a leading golf simulator unit. This simulator is currently used as the main club fitting system by many of the top names in the industry (Cobra/Puma, Cleveland Golf, Adams Golf, Fujikura, Taylor Made and PING). Given the stature of the aforementioned clients, the highest level terrain accuracy is an absolute must, which is why we often will use hi-res lidar data (1 foot to 3 foot horizontal spacing with 6cm vertical accuracy). Further more, all data is required to be geo-referenced so the software can provide precise point-to-point distance info.
Obviously, this kind of data must be filtered for use in a real time rendering engine so I process it thru several different software applications to produce a final terrain mesh (poly threshold is 2 million, ideally try to keep the count around 1.5mil). Initial import of a course plot using 3ft lidar results in about 12 million polys. I use one amazing application to decimate outlying areas or surrounding each of the holes. The filter used is able to smartly retain topology structure by repositioning replacement verts based on some fancy algorithms that measure slope angles, edge concentration, planar continuity and such (all I know is that it works brilliantly, LOL). After this point I then use a hi-level sculpting program to refine details as needed and brush reduce/smooth transition areas. Attached is a sample section from a road course I've been working on recently. I included a couple shots each with an alternate wireframe layer so you can see the poly concentration on the road section. Conforming the splined track object creates great results in Max but just like building a house, if the foundation is screwed up then the rest of the house is going to have issues. For this reason I don't want to delve too far before I get clarification on the poly counts.
Thanks in advance,