Overwatch Polygon Limits

Created on 2023-01-15T15:22:08-06:00

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30k for characters, 45k for characters with held equipment.

LODs go down by halving polygon budget each step.

”Triangles: A hero's highest LOD gets 30,000, plus 15,000 for weapons (7,500 each if they dual-wield). That’s not a hard cap; some heroes come in at 33-34,000, but every thousand triangles over 30k earns the artist one withering glare from the tech art team. They usually melt after 3 or 4 of those.
Each hero and weapon has 4 LODs, each half the poly count of the next higher LOD.
Textures: A hero + weapon + effects must total under 30MB after block compression. That one IS a hard cap, because violating it could cause memory overflows and crashes on consoles, and that’s Very Bad.
Textures are created in sets that are then combined by our shaders:
Color (24-bit RGB) + Ambient Occlusion (8-bit gray), combined into a 32-bit RGBA image.
Normal map Specular (8-bit gray) + Roughness (8-bit gray), combined into a 16-bit image. Emissive (8-bit gray)
That set is created for heroes at 2048x2048 (though the Emissive is usually reduced to 1024 or 512, depending on the needs of the character).
The same set is made for weapons at 1024x1024.
Heroes with visible skin also get a blood map (24-bit RGB) that our skin shader uses to fake sub-surface scattering.
Most heroes and weapons will also add 256x256 sets as needed for incidentals: Decals, accessories, droppable items, etc.
Heroes also share a set of eye textures (Tracer's, actually) at 256x256.
Bones: Our heroes start with a standardized rig that then gets customized as needed. The maximum bone count is 256; most heroes use around 200-225, with about 70 used for the face (except Zenyatta of course).
Like with most engines, there is a maximum of 4 bone influences per vertex.
Because our heroes are so unique, we're always running into new edge cases. D'Va, for example, is set up so that the pilot is the hero and her mech is a "weapon"; but they're really both individual heroes that have to share texture resources.
Hope that helps, and good luck to all you aspiring game artists (/tech artists)!”