Yes thanks Dartan for the additional info re: 4 point polygons.
I guess as always the real question is finding the best compromise. When looking at background objects, i.e. far away objects, do they need to be 3d or will 2d (plane with texture map) suffice, etc etc.
However, as I’m not much of a 2D artist I decided early on that I’d use my other skill (programming) to program my way out of trouble. This is why I’ll keep contributing my ideas via mini-series on “low poly” or “fast rendering” etc.
Ooops - More specific explanation:
The four point poly is actually turned off for visibility. It is only used as a narrow path onto which I then use a Surface Replicator.
So, I have a city scene, for example, that is 16 blocks by 16 blocks. Even easier than a vertex object is a plane, so:
* Drop in a plane and re-size it to stretch all the way across one city block.
* Re-size it again to be about half the width of a sidewalk. Now it is one city block lond and half a sidewalk wide.
Even if your scene has no sidewalks, guesstimate the proper width.
If you like, you could now add a concrete texture to this, but I usually set mine to simple “Shadow Catcher”.
* Add a few of walking people to the scene and align them with this plane you’ve just made.
* Select each person in turn, and change the hotpoint location to be directly at the bottom of their feet. This must be done when the figure is selected, not the hip. An alternate method would be to put each person in their own group (only one person per group) and use the group hotpoint. Either way the hotpoint must be where the sole of the shoe is - so the replicator places it directly on the ground.
***To move the hotpoint, turn on Caps Lock
* Add a Surface Replicator to the scene, and drag all of the walking people you’ve just added into it.
* Double-click the replicator to enter it’s parameter settings and select the plane as the surface.
By dropping the people into it, they’ve already been selected for what is to be replicated.
Do not use any random rotation but a slight random scale would add more variation. Remove the check box for “Align to Object”
Play around with the minimum distance setting to determine how many of these people get replicated.
With your new sidewalk full of people, you can generically use this one over and over, by either using a standard replicator and distance measurements, as I described earlier, or simply use Ctrl D to duplicate the whole works - that works well too.
What I do at this point instead, is to create another one with entirely different people for more variety.
Making a few animated sidewalks is easy, it doesn’t require a lot of people either - just use enough sidewalk duplicates or replications to make up more people. The more individual people with individual animations, the more believable the effect.