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Degree Name

MFA (Master of Fine Arts)


Digital Media

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Jacy Richardson

Committee Members

Todd Emma, Cheryl Cornett


In the video game industry, developers utilize game engines to bring their creations from concept to reality. However, the most widely used engine in the industry currently is Unreal Engine 5 or UE5, which has challenged established practices used by game developers since the early creation of 3D interactive media. One of these challenges is eliminating LODs or Level of Detail-based asset integration with the introduction of Nanite, an automatic LOD creation tool introduced in Unreal Engine 5. With this development, it is still being determined whether Nanite should immediately replace LODs due to its ability to cut out work required for LOD-based integration. This uncertainty has led to the purpose of this study, which is to research and understand the background and utilization of LODs and Nanite in 3D game asset creation while showcasing how both processes intertwine inside UE5.

The following research questions will guide this study in answering questions and setting up foundation knowledge into LODs and Nanite to understand the importance of each optimization technique and why their usage matters to the future of 3D asset creation. First, what are LODs, and why are they used in 3D asset creation within the video game industry? Second, what is Nanite, and how does this process differentiate itself from the methods utilized in LOD creation? Third, what are the benefits and consequences of using either LODs or Nanite in 3D asset creation? Lastly, can both processes be utilized in tandem inside Unreal Engine 5.2.1 to allow developers to use the best abilities of both methods in their 3D asset creation pipelines?

Document Type

Culminating Experience


Copyright by the author.

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