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Polygon reduction tutorial with Action3D Reducer

This is a short tutorial on how to reduce a 3d object using Action3D Reducer. To follow this tutorial, it is better to have the complete or demo version installed on your machine. You can download either version. If this is the first time you are using Action3D Reducer, you should follow this tutorial. Action3D Reducer is pretty straightforward to use, but there are some powerful features explained in this tutorial you should be aware of.

Progressive mesh reduction toolbar

Most of the tools you need to reduce a 3d object are found in the progressive mesh reduction toolbar.  Except for the new button, all the other tools in the progressive mesh reduction toolbar apply to the currently selected world window.  Therefore, they can only be enabled when a world window is selected (is having the focus).

Quick start help window with the World1 window

Here is what you must do to reduce a 3d object. First import a 3d object.  Convert this 3d object into a progressive mesh, and use the slider control to display the desired level of detail  in the progressive mesh.  Select and apply the quality constraints to display the progressive mesh with the lowest triangles count for the selected level of details and of quality.   Create a 3d object as a snapshot of the progressive mesh at the selected level of details.  Finally, export the reduced 3d object.

Importing a 3D object

Just click on the import button to display the Import 3d objects dialog and select the file Bugman_original.3ds from the Action3D Reducer sample folder (usually  \Program Files\Action3D Reducer Demo\samples).

Import dialog

Create a progressive mesh

To create a progressive mesh as a clone of the selected 3d object click on the PMesh button.  Once the progressive mesh is created, click on this button to display the progressive mesh display options.  You can reduce and increase the level of detail of the progressive mesh in real-time using the slider control.  Select a desired % of triangles/vertices displayed of 13%.

Now make sure the quality constraints are checked (max delta bounding box % and max delta surface area %),  and then click on the Apply button to display a progressive mesh which meet the quality constraints at the specified level of detail.  The bugman should display 3430 triangles about 13.7% of the original.

Slider control and quality constraints

To display the geometry of the bugman, activate the option Show active edges.  Now you can better see how the geometry changes when you use the slider control.

Show active edges option

13% with quality constraints

13% no quality constraint
To inspect the bugman, use the arrow keys to move in the 3d world like in a first person shooter game.   Use the up, down, left, and right arrows to move forward, backward, rotate left, and rotate right in the 3d world displayed in the active 3D view.   To make a 3d view active, click anywhere inside of it. If you want to move up and down, just click on the up/down camera mode button .  To be able to move again forward and backward with the up and down arrow keys, just click on the Forward/Backward camera mode button .

To pick the bugman just click on it using your mouse. When the bugman is selected, a bounding box enclosing it is displayed,  and you can use your mouse to rotate the box.

Create a retained mode mesh

To create a retained mode mesh as a clone of the selected progressive mesh object click on the RM Mesh button.  The created clone is a snapshot of the progressive mesh at the displayed level of detail.

Export a retained mode mesh

To export the selected retained mode object click on the Export button.  The retained mode mesh can be saved in a .x or a .3ds file.   This functionality is disabled in the demo version.

The snapshot of the reduced bugman in the 3D view

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