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Overview

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Please be aware that this feature natively does not work for consoles and as a result its overall usability is considered questionable.

Usually each separate mesh of a model results in an additional draw call for the engine. In order to reduce the number of drawcalls, the engine can make use of a hardware feature that is called 'geometry instancing'. By using this feature, the engine can combine identical meshes of a model and draw them in a single drawcall. Instancing is mainly useful for complex objects consisting of a lot of separate elements that have the same geometry but a different transformation.

 

General Setup in DCC Tools

The engine can automatically determine when elements of an object can be instanced. However, there are a few rules that need to be followed or instancing will not be possible:

  • The meshes to be instanced need to have the exact same vertex coordinates and indices, the same UV coordinates, and the same material.
  • Only the transformation may be different. The Elements can be translated, rotated, and uniformly scaled.
  • Naming is not important.


Fence consisting of instanced elements (instances are blue).

General Modeling Workflow Tips

  • Use the instance function to ensure identical mesh data.
  • Rotate and scale objects to obtain variation.
  • Do not apply a Reset XForm on the instances because the vertex data will become different.

Setup in Sandbox

No special setup is required in Sandbox, just place your object as a brush or simple entity.

Debugging

r_GeomInstancing

Toggles HW geometry instancing.
Usage: r_GeomInstancing [0/1]
Default is 1 (on). Set to 0 to disable geom. instancing.

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