Within 3DCoat, resolution can be summarized by the terms “Perceived Resolution”, “Actual Resolution”, “Viewport Resolution” and “Export Resolution”.
Among those who produce 3D content for “Entertainment- Based” uses, applying techniques that produce a believable effect while using the fewest number of actual hardware and software resources is the most desirable way to structure any given project with regard to resolution.
Broadly speaking, these project assets can be divided into “Game Assets” and “Film (or Video) Assets”. Game assets use the fewest resources and the highest level of “Perceived Resolution” – while Film assets can use resolution resources more liberally.
In the Entertainment Industry, artists produce assets that require textures to achieve the element of believability and realism. In essence, the textures produced create the “illusion” of resolution or detail.
A model’s polygonal structure is secondary to the economical use of textures – which include Diffuse, Specular, Normal, Bump, and Displacement Maps as the most common. These Maps work together to produce the illusion of resolution and detail – a model’s “Perceived Resolution”. These are the most common “tricks” CG artists use to produce their realistic “illusions”.
Actual mesh resolution is what you are using when working in Voxel space or Surface Mode. It is that resolution that is exported when your model will later be used in CAD and CAM applications that make no use of the techniques common in the entertainment industry.
Within 3DCoat, all modifications to models for these purposes take place in the Voxel Room and Surface Mode.
Voxels and “Surface Skins” provide the closest representation of a finished model prototype’s “Actual Resolution”. A unique set of Export commands can be found in the “File” menu, which allows for saving your model to be used in various forms of 3D cutting and printing.
3DCoat handles resolution, in the Paint Room, in a unique way, by means of the Viewport – in order to give you a real-time representation of models and their associated textures as they are created.
You can designate how much “Viewport Resolution” will be used, which is a temporary representation of a model and its associated textures. In essence, you can assign the amount of real-time subdivision that is visible while you paint your textures.
This “Viewport Resolution” can be different than the final exported resolution of your model and its associated textures, which are assigned as a final step for use in 3rd party applications.
This is the resolution of both the retopologized and exported mesh itself, along with the texture maps that are associated with an exported model file.