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The explanation / tutorial discussed in this post uses Google SketchUp, a free 3D modelling program from Google. SketchUp's intuitive interface allows beginners and experts alike the ability to model and visualise anything in 3D.

CryEngineer bac9-flcl from Russia has created a few SketchUp > CryEngine 3 tutorials. Recently they have attempted to explain in layman's terms the performance gains and artistic drawbacks of CryEngine 3's FP16 format for vertice coordinates.

CryENGINE3 employs half-precision floating-point format (FP16) to store the coordinates of vertices in geometry. This gives better performance, but has serious drawbacks. In some cases, it lacks the precision necessary to represent geometry properly. Distortions occur, especially in objects of large size with relatively small details, on curved surfaces, and in other complicated cases.

Below you can see simple grid of reference next to a vertex coordinate reference visualisation similar to the precision CryEngine 3 uses.


Whilst fairly dense and suitable for most objects, sometimes small details or curves in the geometry can be distorted in the export process as a result of relocating or merging vertices to the nearest available grid reference point.


Above is an exaggerated visual example of where vertices are relocated to the nearest grid point which changes the overall shape of the geometry dramatically.

At the risk of repeating the tutorial click below to head over to the original post for a more detailed explanation along with tips and tricks for avoiding disappointment when exporting your models.

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