Originally Posted by Edge
The characters themselves were only around 10,000 polygons. 2 million is how many polygons the art assets used to create the models were, not how much was actually being drawn. I believe the peak number of polygons shown in a single scene in the UE3 demo was around 1,000,000.
yeah, in other words, with the normalmapping it represents about 2 million polys worth of geometric data, as the normalmaps "emulates" geometry that isnt there.
There are illustrations of that here (cant seem to get in there atm):
Pics showing the raw lowpoly ingame model, and the highres sourceart model from where the normalmaps and lowpoly model is generated, and finally the result of the lowpoly model with the normal maps present.
Same approach as Doom III.