How to: Reduce Polygon Count in 3DS Max Easily

Polygon Count is one of the biggest issues new and seasoned users face in Modeling  or Rendering in 3DS Max. It is always too tempting to come up  with highly detailed models in a scene, after all who wouldn’t want a really nice looking render at the end of the day? But high detail equates to high render times. If you are using a really powerful Render/Modeling Engine, it’s fine, otherwise you’ll have to find ways to reduce polygon count on every model in your scene.

A more traditional way of doing it, is to manually delete unnecessary faces, edges or vertices in an Editable Polygon. But this takes ages to do especially when working on complex objects. Fortunately, 3DS Max provides us with the tools to easily reduce polygons in our 3D Projects.

  • Shown is a detailed 3D Model of a Car Rim with 38,786 Polygons. (Note: Just press the number “7″ on your keyboard to show the Poly count info.)

Now we will try to reduce the Polygon count by using these methods:

1. Optimize Modifier

Open the Modifier list and choose Optimize. Simply by changing the values on “Face Thresh” and “Edge Thresh” you are able to reduce the Polygon count. By using a Value of 10 and 20 on the Face and Edge Threshold respectively, the Polygon Count has been reduced to 12, 576. Easy isn’t it? Just play around with the values to achieve your desired result.

 2. Pro Optimizer

Open  Pro Optimizer from the Modifier list. Notice that the value of the Polys in the counter increased, but not to worry, you are only starting and the real magic happens in the next step.

Then click the Calculate button  to begin. By default the Vertex%  value is 100. By changing it to 30 as shown, the resulting Polygon count is now only 14, 075. Again, play around with the values for your desired results.


 The need to Reduce Polygon Count may be dependent on your needs, the capacity of your Hardware, the deadline you are chasing, or the format of the final render. It’s just a relief to know that it is rather easy with these set of Tools built-in with 3DS Max.


One Response
  1. June 14, 2013

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