Video - Level of Detail

As Beyond CAD is a 3D visualization engine built for real-time performance, there are features and tradeoffs that make Beyond CAD scenes run as smoothly as possible. One of these is called 'level of detail' or LOD. This feature tracks the distance from the camera to each asset and, if the asset is far away from the camera, switches the asset out for a lower quality version of the asset. Typically this happens so smoothly that it goes unnoticed but occasionally you will see this LOD switching with trees as the camera moves away. The trees may appear to 'pop' into slightly different shapes. This is the result of the LOD system switching highly detailed realistic trees with lower detailed trees for better real-time optimization. The lowest LOD trees may even be nothing more than a billboard. This is occasionally noticeable with vehicles and other assets as well. 


LODs are often 0, 1, 2 and 3 for four different levels of detail for switching and optimization.


While the LOD system is important for running complex scenes as smoothly as possible, our image and video render system forces all assets to the highest LOD for rendering to ensure the highest quality renders possible. This also ensures that LOD popping should not occur during animations where cameras are moving to and from trees and other LOD optimized assets.