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Quick Reference

Q: What's new in enhanced command line tool? new

Q: Do you provide all source codes? new

Q: What's new in standalone edition v2.0? new

Q: What's new in the subscription edition? new

Q: How to get the subscription edition? new

Q: How to use the subscription edition? new

Q: How to cancel the subscription plan? new

Q: What's new in the professional edition?

Q: How does the progressive mesh work?

Q: How to custom the progressive mesh?

Q: Which feature should I use?

Q: How to use the batch feature?

Q: How to keep blend shapes?

Q: Can I use Blender as FBX pipeline?

Q: Does your product support Unity 5?

Q: The live 3d show is pretty impressive, would you tell me the details about how to make it?

Q: How to simplify AutoCAD 3d models?

Q: I have not heard about FastSpring before, is my shopping safe there?

Q: The online edition is free now, is it suitable for me?

Q: How can I get a trial edition?

Q: My Mac prevent me from running the standalone edition, what should I do?

Q: What's the difference between the Mac App Store edition and other standalone editions?

Q: Which edition should I choose?

Q: Your products are too expensive!

Q: Where can I buy your software?

Q: Why I always receive "Error with network: Rejected because no crossdomain.xml policy file was found" when I am using the online edition?

Q: I have found some strange files like 'mantis_uuid_208' in my project's root directory when I am using the online edition, can I delete them?

Q: How can I optimize a huge 3d model?

Q: How can I specify file format when saving with standalone edition v1.1?

Q: How to simplify multiple parts of 3d model with different qualities in standalone edition v1.1?

Q: I want to save multiple LOD meshes into a single FBX file, is it possible?

Q: I want to keep the details of the eyes of the charactor when optimizing, how can I achieve this?

Q: How can you create these great products?

Q: How can I contact you?

 

Q: What's new in enhanced command line tool? new

You can simplify 3d models by maximum triangles count or percentage now.

For example:

./mle -t 1500 -i abc.fbx -o abc2.fbx

./mle -t 12.5% -i abc.fbx -o abc2.fbx

 

Q: Do you provide all source codes? new

The standard edition and the professional edition use native dynamic library to speed up calculations, there are only three API functions in the native dynamic library, since the API interfaces are fixed, you can treat them as system API functions.

 

All other parts are C# scripts, you can modify the source code to fit your needs, or fix future issues by yourself when Unity upgrades.

 

The standalone edition, the command line edition and the subscription edition use Autodesk's FBX SDK to import and export files, all major game engines can import the exported files, so we don't provide source code in these editions.

 

Q: What's new in standalone edition v2.0? new

Standalone edition v2.0 can preserve all blend shapes now.

 

This is a very important feature when do morph animations, facial animations heavily depend on blend shapes.

 

Because standalone edition v2.0 uses Autodesk FBX SDK to import and export 3d models, it provides a universal mesh simplification solution for all major game engines.

 

We recommend that Unreal developers build their LOD pipeline with this elegant but powerful app.

 

Q: What's new in the subscription edition? new

The subscription edition has the same function of the standalone edition, but you can use the subscription edition for FREE in the first week.

 

During the first week, you decide whether or not continue to use the subscription editon.

 

If you decide to continue to use the subscription edition, pay for the next recurring bill; Otherwise, you should cancel your subscription plan to ensure that you will not be charged any more.

 

You may also purchase the standalone edition to own the app permanently, future upgrades will be free as well.

 

Why we release the subscription editon? Most time, we purchased a software but do not use it frequently, it is a nature idea to rent a software when we have jobs to do.

 

We are not used to renting a software, we like to own a software, Software-as-a-Service is a trend, why not take a FREE taste?

 

Q: How to get the subscription edition? new

To get the subscription edition, go to the download page, click the hyperlink to jump to Fast Spring's Digital Store.

 

You need to register an account if you don't have one, the order will show you the price: $0, means that you will not be charged.

 

After completing the order, you will receive three e-mails, one contains your download URL, your subscription reference and your licenses (One license per unit), another one contains your order details URL and your subscription management URL, the other one contains your order summary.

 

Click the download URL to get the subscription edition.

 

Q: How to use the subscription edition? new

Double click the app to run, when it launches at first time, it requires you to paste your subscription reference, then click the validate button to active the app online, internet connection is required, usually this process finishes in five seconds, when succeeded, you can see your subscription management URL and your next period time (expire time) appears in the description box, now close the subscription management window, use the app just like the standalone edition.

 

Everytime it launches, it automatically validates the subscription silently, so, internet connection is required when it launches, it should not be a problem nowadays.

 

After validated the subscription, it is a pure native application as same as the standalone edition, but it will minimize when you click the close box, thus avoids unnessary internet connections.

 

If your subscription has expired, it still works, but you can not save your simplified 3d model to disk until you pay for the next recurring bill.

 

Enjoy our subscription service.

 

Q: How to cancel the subscription plan? new

There are two ways to cancel your subscription plan:

 

1. Open the e-mail which contains your subscription management URL, click the URL to open it with default web browser, you can easily cancel your subscription by several mouse clicks.

 

2. Launch the subscription edition app, click the sucription button to open the subscription management window, copy and paste your subscription management URL to your favorite web browser and go, you can easily cancel your subscription by several mouse clicks.

 

Q: What's new in the professional edition?

We have brought the world's first commercial progressive mesh technology to Unity3d.

 

What is progressive mesh technology? In short, you no longer have to make LOD manually, and your game will run more smoothly and has less pop up effect.

 

Provide batch generate utility, help you to generate progressive meshes for hundreds of 3d models in batch.

 

Provide command line utility, help you to simplify hundreds of 3d models in batch.

 

Q: How does the progressive mesh work?

Traditional LOD technology uses multiple 3d models to work, it switches 3d models when needs.

 

Progressive mesh technology only uses single 3d model to work, it builds continuous LOD on the fly, the process is extremely fast, just need a copy operation from the cache.

 

We use cache to get maximum performance, we pre-build and bake 20 levels(default number) of triangle indices as a pluggable asset, then dynamically change triangle indices at runtime.

 

To use the asset, you just need to attach the progressive mesh runtime script to your 3d model, drag the pluggable asset to the property, your 3d model will automatically become a progressive mesh.

 

Sometimes you need to setup the properties of 'Min LOD' and 'Max LOD' to clamp the range of the LODs. For example, if you find that the lowest LOD has too less details, you may set 'Max LOD' to 18 or smaller number to preserve more details.

 

You no longer have to make LOD manually like before, let the machine do the boring work for you, you will have more time to concentrate on your game logic.

 

The progressive mesh support all platforms, generate once, run anywhere.

 

Q: How to custom the progressive mesh?

We provide source code for you to custom, you can modify the c# scripts to alter its behavior, for example:

 

If you want to bake only 10 levels of triangle list(default number is 20) to the pluggable asset, you can edit MantisLODEditor/Common/ProgressiveMesh.cs, change max_lod_count to 10.

 

If you have hundreds of 3d models in the scene, you may want to spread the update moment to a longer interval(default interval is 0.25 seconds) to balance the load, you can edit MantisLODEditor/Runtime/ProgressiveMeshRuntime.cs, find the line of 'UpdateInterval = 0.25f', change 0.25f to a bigger value.

 

If you have thousands of 3d models in the scene, for example, more than 10,000 3d models, the above method will not help a lot, you can split the runtime script into two scripts: one script as the schedule script, one script as the worker script.

 

Here is the Advanced Progressive Mesh Demo Project for you to study, just download and open the scene with Unity 5, the scripts support more than 10,000 3d models, work both in edit mode and play mode. If you have a huge world in the scene, you may replace the original script with the scripts in the package. When you modify a mesh, turn off 'Run In Editor', when finished, turn on 'Run In Editor' again.

 

If you want to change the cull condition, you can edit MantisLODEditor/Runtime/ProgressiveMeshRuntime.cs, find the line of 'if (ratio < 0.1f)', change 0.1f to other value, where ratio is the relative size to the screen.

 

You can also rewrite the level-switch-strategy with your own method, for example, change levels by distance, here is a scritp to study.

 

Q: Which feature should I use?

The professional edition has three features: The normal feature, the progressive mesh feature, and the batch feature.

 

The normal feature is the same as the feature in the standard edition, it automatically keep blend shapes, it uses Unity's default LOD system to work, since the meshes are shared, it does not waste memory.

 

The progressive mesh feature is the advanced feature, it automatically keep blend shapes, it uses independent mesh to work, but it may waste a few memory, for it duplicate mesh data for each instance, including vertices, normals, uv coordinates, bone weights.

 

For example, you have one kinned mesh with 1024 vertices(About 2048 triangles), the progressive mesh feature will waste 1024x(4x3+4x3+4x2+4x4)=48K bytes per instance, so if a 3d model has too many instances in the scene, you may use the normal feature to save memory.

 

Otherwise, we suggest that you use the progressive mesh feature, it's simple and elegant, suitable for most cases.

 

If you have hundreds of 3d models, we suggest that you use the batch feature to save your time.

 

Q: How to use the batch feature?

Step one: Simplify all the 3d models in batch.

For example, if you want to simplify all your 3d models to at most 8000 triangles per model.

OSX Flatform:

You can copy the command line utility(mle) to the directory of the 3d models, open a terminal window, change current path to the directory, then type this command:

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ls *.fbx | xargs -t -I '{}' ./mle -b y -d y -s y -t 8000 -i '{}' -o max-8000-'{}'

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This command will simplify all the 3d models in batch, when finished, copy all the simplified 3d models to 'Assets/Resources'.

Windows Platform:

Though Windows has no 'ls' and 'xargs' commands, you can download a ported edition from Gnu On Windows, unzip the tarball, there is a subdirectory named 'bin', add the directory to the environment variables to let Windows know where to find the commands, copy the command line utility(mle.exe) to the directory of the 3d models, open a terminal window, change current path to the directory, then type this command:

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ls *.fbx | xargs -t -I '{}' ./mle -b y -d y -s y -t 8000 -i '{}' -o max-8000-'{}'

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This command will simplify all the 3d models in batch, when finished, copy all the simplified 3d models to 'Assets/Resources'.

 

Step two: Generate progressive meshes in batch.

Go to the menu of 'Window/Mantis LOD Editor/Assets/Create/Mantis LOD Editor Batch' to launch the batch generate utility, then click 'Batch Generate' button.

 

Step three: Load and assemble at runtime.

For example, if the filename of a progressive mesh is 'Resources/Banana_Progressive_Mesh.asset', you can load and assemble by script like this:

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

using MantisLODEditor;

......

ProgressiveMeshRuntime obj = (ProgressiveMeshRuntime)gameObject.AddComponent(typeof(ProgressiveMeshRuntime));

obj.progressiveMesh = Resources.Load<ProgressiveMesh>("Banana_Progressive_Mesh");

......

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Q: How to keep blend shapes?

The standalone edition v2.0, the subscription edition v2.0, the online edition v4.0, the standard edition v4.0 and the professional edition v2.0 can automatically preserve blend shapes, if you are using old version, please upgrade to latest version.

 

Q: Does your product support Unity 5?

Yes, all our products can run on Unity 5 personal edition and Unity 5 professional edition.

This means that the indie developers can use it to simplify their meshes in realtime!

Thanks Unity3d, you are so kind.

 

Q: Can I use Blender as FBX pipeline?

Though Blender's FBX plugin has some issues, the following trick really works:

 

1. Export a DAE file with Autodesk FBX Converter.

 

2. Edit the DAE file, delete the contents of these xml fields: <library_images>, <library_materials> and <library_effects>

 

3. Import the modified DAE file to Blender 2.76b, setup materials and textures, do whatever you want.

 

4. Export to FBX file.

 

Q: The live 3d show is pretty impressive, would you tell me the details about how to make it?

 

We are happy to share the secrets behind the lovely penguins and the dancing rabbits.

 

The penguin model is purchased from Humster3d Store, the model uses ony one texture image, but it uses symmetric UV mapping(Draw only half of the complete texture, but assign same UV on the symmetric vertices), so we just need to toggle the checkbox of 'Protect Symmetry' when reducing the polygons.

 

The dancing rabbit is purchased from Unity3d Asset Store(It is free at present), the model has a dancing animation take in it, thanks wHiteRabbiT sTudio.

 

The rabbit model uses two texture images on its body and eyeballs, we can set higher quality to the eyeballs when reducing the polygons, but in order to get best result for mobile devices, we modified the model in our favorite Cheetah3D, cut holes in the two eye sockets to make them open boundary, and cut off the unnecessary parts of the eyeballs to make them open boundary too, and we moved the eyeballs backward a bit to avoid possible intersection with the eye sockets when reducing the polygons, finally, we re-bind the modified model to the armature. This is not necessary, but is important if you want to keep the details of the eyes of such a 3d model for mobile devices, we just need to ensure that we have toggled the checkbox of 'Protect Boundary' when reducing the polygons.

 

The girls package is purchased from Unity3d Asset Store(It is free at present), but there is no animation clip in the package, you need to purchase their other animation packages to drive the models. But we want the girl performing break dance which they don't provide, so we imported the bvh version of CMU Graphics Lab Motion Capture Database in Cheetah3D, but we have to slightly correct the original animation data to fit the model's rest pose, it is not easy, but we had found a trick to achieve it, and posted our method onto Cheetah3D's user forum.

 

The three models are already low polygon models for desktop games, but our goal is to let them run smoothly on mobile devices, especially in case of large crowd, we had used the free online edition to simplify the three models in this little demo project, but the standard edition is more productive for a serious project.

 

The wireframe script and the water script are also purchased from Unity3d Asset Store, they added nice atmosphere to the live 3d show.

 

In the end, we attached an audio source onto the middle one of the seven girls, all done.

 

That's all, it's time to make your own.

 

Q: How to simplify AutoCAD 3d models?

AutoCAD 3d models usually have many sharp creases, standalone edition v1.3 can automatically protect normal boundaries and color boundaries, all creases will be preserved.

 

If you want to ignore normal boundaries and color boundaries to get maximum optimization, you can export the model to a FBX file within the standalone edition, then import the exported FBX file, optimize the model again.

 

Q: I have not heard about FastSpring before, is my shopping safe there?

Based in Santa Barbara, California, FastSpring is an industry leader of e-commerce solutions, FastSpring Wins "Customer Service Department of the Year" Silver Stevie Award in 2014 International Business Awards.

 

Many famous companies(such as Adobe) sell software on this great e-commerce platform, it's no doubt shopping safe there.

 

Q: The online edition is free now, is it suitable for me?

The online edition is free now, means that you can use our online mesh simplification service for free, note that the speed may vary greatly when users are using the online service simultaneously.

 

The online edition is suitable for beginner indie developers, the maximum number of vertices per mesh is 64K, so you can not simplify huge 3d models with this edition. If you have a huge 3d model, you have to export a low polygon version(less than 64K vertices per mesh) with your design tool(Blender, Cheetah3D, LightWave3D, 3DS MAX, Maya etc.), then use the online edition to make LOD from within Unity's editor.

 

We recommend the standalone edition for advanced Unity Free users, and the standard edition or the professional edition for advanced Unity Pro users, they are more productive and can simplify huge 3d models directly.

 

Q: How can I get a trial edition?

We provide you a Standalone Trial Edition, you can evaluate the product with your own 3d models except that you can not save to disk.

 

Q: My Mac prevent me from running the standalone edition, what should I do?

 

From OSX 10.8, Apple introduced Gatekeeper to protect your system on your behalf, please right click on the standalone edition, click the 'Open' item on the popup menu, then click 'Open' button on the popup dialog.

 

Q: What's the difference between the Mac App Store edition and other standalone editions?

 

If you have a Mac, we recommend the Mac App Store edition, it uses Gatekeeper and sandbox to protect your system, and the system will notify you when there is a new version to upgrade.

 

Other standalone editions are multiple platform editions, they support both OSX and Windows, but you need to check the new version manually.

 

Q: Which edition should I choose?

If you are a beginner, or an indie developer without enough fund, or you are using a free edition of Unity, you may choose the online edition(but we recommend the standalone edition, because the standalone edition can simplify huge 3d models directly.), be patient to wait for the completion of online operation, the response time depends on how big your mesh is, the server can deal with 50,000 x 2 = 100,000 triangles per second, where 2 is the numbers of CPU, not that slow to wait.

 

The server will generate precalculated data for your meshes and cache the precalculated data for 24 hours, so you just need to upload the mesh data once. When uploaded, online operations completed in seconds, almost in real time.

 

We recommend that most people who are using Unity Pro choose the standard edition, it works in real time, the result is perfect, and the standalone edition has been included in standard edition v2.0, simplify huge 3d models is not a problem, it ought to be one of your 'must have' tool box.

 

For the developers who want to go ahead of other developers, you may choose the expensive professional edition, progressive mesh is the most advanced technology in 3D field today, you can use it on all platforms(iOS, Andriod, etc.) to boost the performance of your games and give your users better experience.

 

The standalone edition is a portable edition, if you are using Unity Free or you are using other game engines, such as Unreal, this is your best choice. It can simplify huge 3d models while remaining all animation/rigs, it can import FBX, DAE, OBJ, DXF and 3DS files, and export FBX files.

 

Q: Your products are too expensive!

Indeed, we create great products, the price should match their quality.

 

But our product can generate high quality LOD with very low triangle count, this is very important for mobile games, no other products can achieve this.

 

Will you pay for a useless app?

 

Q: Where can I buy your software?

You can find the latest information on download page.

 

Q: Why I always receive "Error with network: Rejected because no crossdomain.xml policy file was found" when I am using the online edition?

 

Your build settings are set for Web Player, switching to 'PC, Mac and Linux Standalone' will ok.

 

Q: I have found some strange files like 'mantis_uuid_208' in my project's root directory when I am using the online edition, can I delete them?

 

They are token files to your cached files on the server side, you can delete them if you have finished your job.

 

Q: How can I optimize a huge 3d model?

We are very pleased to announce that we have just finished the standalone edition, which can simplify huge 3d models. You can download the trial edition from the download page, the standalone edition has been included in Mantis LOD Editor Standard Edition v2.0, users can free upgrade to the latest version to simplify your huge 3d models!

 

Q: How can I specify file format when saving with standalone edition v1.1?

You may select specific format when saving your model, the extension will change automaticly, this is a new feature of edition v1.1.

 

Q: How to simplify multiple parts of 3d model with different qualities in standalone edition v1.1?

 

Just select the parts you want to simplify with certain quality, then drag the slide bar or type the quality number to simplify them, repeat untill you are satisfied with all parts, this is a new feature of v1.1.

 

If you select nothing, simplification will apply to all parts.

 

Q: I want to save multiple LOD meshes into a single FBX file, is it possible?

You can duplicate the mesh several times with your design tool(Blender, Cheetah3D, LightWave3D, 3DS MAX, Maya etc.), simplify the meshes with different qualities in standalone edition v1.1, then export the meshes into a single FBX file.

 

Q: I want to keep the details of the eyes of the charactor when optimizing, how can I achieve this?

 

You can achieve it with the latest standalone edition v1.2, there is a new checkbox to let you preserve more details.

 

If you toggle the checkbox, more details will be preserved, but please don't toggle it if you are not making the highest LOD, leave it unchecked usually give you the best results.

 

Q: How can you create these great products?

Mantis LOD Editor used to be our inner project, we use it to simplify 3d models for our own iPad game.

 

We think that all great products are whose developers use them in their own projects, not those just for sale.

 

You may read our story on the about page.

Q: How can I contact you?

You can send E-Mail to us or ask questions on Unity3d's forum.