Editable Mesh or Poly?

What is seem to be a practical way to convert of an object….say if you have a box object…convert it into mesh…I’ll get 12 (selected object) or I would say 12 sides (6 internal & 6 external/visible sides)….then converted it into poly…I only get 6 (selected object) or 6 visible sides.

If I have a complex object (model) is it necessary to leave it as an editable mesh or convert it into editable poly…in which I found the number of selected objects (polygons) would be less when convert into editable poly.

I always use polygon count to check numbers of selected object in my Gmax model.


Staff member
FSDevConf team
Resource contributor

I does not really matter when you export. The Editable polygon counts the polygons of your box, which are 6. But the Editable mesh counts the triangles, of which your box has 12 indeed. When you write the MDL of your object they will be identical in both cases.

The only difference I have found is when using the Boolean option. In that case Editable polygons are sometimes triangulated differently when using the boolean on them.
I use both modes for different reasons. Edit Poly offers the ability to consolidate polygons, and also provides "border" as a sub-mode that is very useful.

Edit Mesh makes it possible to weld points that for some reason edit poly doesn't allow. Many other differences also....these come to mind off the top of my head.

You have to get to know them and use them for their values. As Arno says, you are getting confused if you think this choice affects the final mdl complexity.
Thanks Arno, now it’s clear indeed I’m wrong by saying 12 sides…is the count of 6 internal and external sides…I put out of my mind about the triangles you’ve mentioned.
Certainly the Boolean operation is my main concern…because it generate more polygon then we have expected.

And Bob…that’s true I’m concern about the final mdl output…especially the complexity and numbers of unnecessary polygons.

Another question that I really concern is number of vertex…I have create a model which has about 50 counted polygons but having more than a thousand vertex…as it have a lot of curves and cylindrical attached objects, after export the complete mdl into FS…I noticed it affect my framerates, then I removed this model and noticed my framerates back to normal…so logically is number of vertex could affect framerates?

Generally what need to be concern when we create a model…especially a complex model? What I did…delete all unnecessary polygon and use optimized LOD, and probably take the consideration the number of vertex used.
Hi Mardley
The poly count used for models is the "triangle" count. When a model is compiled by FS it is traingulated by the program, even if you made it only with polygons and not mesh.

I like to make low poly AI aircraft for many reasons. I felt totally embrassed when I discovered that my poly count was somewhat higher than I "knew" it was. In fact I had published the figures according to the GMax count using polygon mode, because that is mainly what I was mainly working with. Then I was introduced to ACM which is a very useful program and enables you to see the count of actual triangles for each LOD in AI models and there were my totals much higher than I believed. A salutary lesson. In FSX the count is now given by the FSX GMax combo.

I have always found that I get a cleaner cut for a boolean operation by being in polygon mode at the time. There seem to be fewer traingles created compared with making the same cut in mesh mode.

You are obviously making good progress with GMax.
Hi Mike
Thanks…I’m getting a clearer view about this…and I always doing Boolean operation in polygon mode as what I have been practice to this point…certainly what is ACM all about? Can it be use to facilitate LOD for scenery model as well?
Hi Mardley

When I replied to this thread, I had not noted that it was associated with scenery (I had just seen the GMax header). ACM is Aircraft Container Manager. You can use it free (unregistered) for examining aircraft models and their poly construction and counts. The registered version allows you to make many tweaks to the settings in the cfg files.

Because it is focussed on aircraft models it will not be useful for analysing scenery models.

However Jon Masterson (scruffyduck) has a marvellous program called LOV Library Object Viewer - you can find it at Avsim. You can look at an object model and it gives you the poly count (triangles) of the model. I have found it very useful to assist with discarding some huge poly count objects that I would otherwise have used with my scenery.

Hope that helps