GDC is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

View, browse and sort the ever-growing list of GDC sessions by time, pass type, topic, and format. With GDC Session Scheduler, you can build your schedule in advance and access it during the show via export or with the GDC Mobile App, once live.

If you've registered for GDC, you can use the same login credentials for your Session Scheduler account. Adding a session to your schedule does not guarantee you a seat. Sessions do fill up, so please arrive early to sessions that you would like to attend.

Quad Mesh Simplification in Frostbite

Ashton Mason (Senior Software Engineer, Electronic Arts)

Location: Room 2005, West Hall

Date: Wednesday, March 18

Time: 10:30am - 11:00am

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Core+Summits Pass, Core Pass - Get your pass now!

Topic: Programming

Format: Session

Vault Recording: TBD

Audience Level: All

In early 2014, the Frostbite team started developing an in-house LOD technology for quad-based Bioware character models. Today that tech powers tools used by studios across Electronic Arts, from Battlefield to Plants vs Zombies. Quad-based models are widely used in the industry, and artists devote much care to their topology and edge flow. Yet simplification of quad meshes is less studied in the literature -- and popular LOD tools triangulate meshes and ignore topology. While LODs are sometimes thought of as throwaway, maintaining good topology benefits subsequent hand-editing, lighting and animation. For that reason, Bioware historically spent days per model hand-authoring their character LODs. Instead, this work aims to procedurally generate LODs that look like artist-authored models, most of the time, saving hundreds of thousands of dollars per title. A lot was learned, and challenges were overcome. This talk will describe how they were solved.


Attendees will gain insight into the development of a state-of-the-art quad-based procedural LOD generation tool for game development use. They'll see how an academic algorithm was harnessed and improved to meet the needs of real-world meshes, and how a range of interesting smaller challenges were approached and solved.

Intended Audience

This talk will appeal to developers and technical artists interested in quad mesh simplification and procedural mesh processing generally. It may also interest artists after in-depth knowledge of procedural LOD generation tools. No programming knowledge is needed and no previous experience of mesh simplification techniques is assumed.