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func_lod or func_detail?


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I know that func_detail should be used for any brushwork that is not needed for vis blocking, but what about func_lod?

The valve wiki sez func_lod is useful for creating world detail that doesn't need to be drawn far away, for performance reasons.

Note: The fading is not always consistent; brushes may suddenly "pop" into view depending on where the player is looking. This happens because of a hardware issues with rendering translucent materials. Low-end cards will fade nearer than the distance specified, and smaller objects fade nearer than a larger object with the same fade distance.

Note: The overhead required by this entity is substantial. Use it only for special effects or when fading very dense geometery, and one could then argue, shouldn't that better be a model?

Others have said func_lod should only be used on "a very big structure only" or for all detail-brushwork which isn't visible from afar or can be used as cover.

So, how do the mapcore experts use func_lod (if at all)?

Does using it depend whether you are building a SP or MP level?

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In MP it can have shitty results. For example in DoD_Anzio there's that cafe on the market next to the church and it's mainfront disappears from time to time (depending where you are) - not sure if this is an func_lod or a model but the effect that a soldier proning behind that and gets suddenly visible to a mg-gunner in the axis-house is annoying.

Though in SP i think it can be usefull as you can control the players behaviour and where he goes.

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That's a model.

func_lod isn't used in DoDS, somewhat in CSS (compound) and here and there in HL2.

The convo started at dod-federation and Dradz wanted to get input from other Source developers.

As far as I'm concerned, func_lod = func_detail but that can faded in/out and that costs more. I talked about this with the guy that did all the optim on Dark Messiah, and was working with me on the X360 port, and his conclusion was to only use that entity on large structure where the fade gain is higher than the cost. Problem being you can't exactly measure the cost/gain.

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