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Shader Level of Detail

Shader Level of Detail (LOD) works by only using shadersA small script that contains the mathematical calculations and algorithms for calculating the Color of each pixel rendered, based on the lighting input and the Material configuration. More info
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or subshadersEach shader in Unity consists of a list of subshaders. When Unity has to display a mesh, it will find the shader to use, and pick the first subshader that runs on the user’s graphics card. More info
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that have their LOD value less than a given number.

By default, allowed LOD level is infinite, that is, all shaders that are supported by the user’s hardware can be used. However, in some cases you might want to drop shader details, even if the hardware can support them. For example, some cheap graphics cards might support all the features, but are too slow to use them. So you may want to not use parallax normal mapping on them.

Shader LOD can be either set per individual shader (using Shader.maximumLOD), or globally for all shaders (using Shader.globalMaximumLOD).

In your custom shaders, use LODThe Level Of Detail (LOD) technique is an optimization that reduces the number of triangles that Unity has to render for a GameObject when its distance from the Camera increases. Each LOD level has either a Mesh with a Mesh Renderer component (Mesh LOD level) or a Billboard Asset with a Billboard Renderer component (Billboard LOD level). Typically a single GameObject has three or four Mesh LOD levels and one optional Billboard LOD level to represent the same GameObject with decreasing detail in the geometry. More info
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command to set up LOD value for any subshader.

Built-in shaders in Unity have their LODs set up this way:

  • VertexLit kind of shaders = 100
  • Decal, Reflective VertexLit = 150
  • Diffuse = 200
  • Diffuse Detail, Reflective Bumped Unlit, Reflective Bumped VertexLit = 250
  • Bumped, Specular = 300
  • Bumped Specular = 400
  • Parallax = 500
  • Parallax Specular = 600

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Platform-specific rendering differences
Texture arrays