well we would have put twice as many in there if it would not have been a complete mess due to the lines shown. Actuelly we did, but reduced it by half so the screen shot would look nicer :)
I think it is a good excuse. I want to have it look as much as an unit ingame textured as it can during the build process. Due to thiss i prefer the wheels to look terrain style also in the build program, and this is why there are so many sides on the wheels. You know it is actually a minutes work to reduce the polycount in this units wheels to what will be used with it as an spring unit.
but anyway... anything that small those polies are wasted on the wheels like that.
For example(click for textured version):
Is pretty low poly for what it is. However, As big as it is, the legs are still big and low poly but the smoothing combined with the texture create a smoothed over look. The little bumps on your wheels will just be smoothed over in the eyes of the player. trust me, that gundam model has some pretty strong angles that still look round in game. You are wasting polies on a detail that will not be seen at that level of size.
Hipoly bake also means taking the rendering from a highpoly mesh and projecting it onto a lowpoly mesh. That's pretty effective, look at e.g. the later Final Fantasies (FFX uses a radiosity bake from the looks of it) or any modern game with normalmaps (except for the Halo games, those use handpainted normalmaps).
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