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The UW map shown in the reader has nothing to do with the UVW maps in your gmax scene
A spherical LODshell would contain a large number of triangles, so it wouldn't be efficient.
I'm not sure about foundations (I mean the Maxis building and lot foundations). I don't know if they are indeed models, and if they can have protruding (non-orthogonal) parts. Maybe check in more detail how the ingame ones are done.
What do you mean by "points"? Vertices?
Whether the LODshell should be a cube a sphere or what, should be determined by the shape of your model (it should encompass them all and be the smallest and simplest possible one).
No matter what shape I started with, the end be the same.
I wonder if the general construction of a "sphere" is more complex than a "cube".
If so, I would have to assume that a tetrahedron would be even simpler, and that everyone willing to put the effort in, should start with that.
A "sphere" can be made with 4 segments, at which point is has 6 vertices and 8 faces. This is less than a cube with 8 and 10 respectively. By manually adding vertices and planes, this sphere could become identical to the cube. My conclusion is that the shapes only provide ease of use.
However, there is much that I do not know. I understand that once a box is converted into an "editable", I loose a bunch of options (such as width segments). Other options that I may loose I am not sure of, so perhaps this is another reason to pick the most fitting shape.
If I could ask a question, the roof of the "Small1" station is not connected to the walls, why is this?
What if you were to select every object in the model, clone them, and then attach them (making one object)? Would this make for a good LOD (if simple enough of a model)?
Yes, but why make it so complicated?
And remember, BAT removes the faces that are not visible at each specific viewing angle.