This image shows the "fandisk" model, with normal-mapped lighting,
and VIPM LOD. On the left, you see the model at 1016 triangles,
lit on top, in wire-frame on the bottom. On the right, you see the
original full detail version of the model, with about 12,800 triangles.
The two lit images (on top) really are different, but it's mighty hard
to tell them apart!
This is really old technology, but it's finally making its way into
games. I'm first generating a unique full surface uv-mapping for arbitrary
models; actually my uv-mapper is terrible at the moment, making lots
of seams, but it does the trick. Next, I draw an object-space normal
map for the model. Finally I generate a VIPM collapse sequence for
the model. I can then render the model at any LOD, and use the
normal map generated from the full LOD version. The lighting is just
a simple DP3 operation, which can even be done with the fixed function
pipeline on a GeForce1.
This will all be available for download sometime soon in the "Galaxy 3"
package. In the mean time you can check out Galaxy 1 and 2 at
You can see the "fandisk" model at these web sites :