When lowering my game resolution I reduce the pixel count of the final rendered output image, does the 3d model I use to render the final image also lose polygons?


No your meshes do not lose polygons. Only the amount of fragments generated by the polygons will be reduced. If you think about it, where would the polygons go? You still need all of them to make sure you have correct result when rendering your scene. Even the sub-pixel sized polygons are usually included in final image.

In some cases though, the rendering can be optimized a bit to find and discard polygons that are way too small to be affecting the rendering result. But in these cases the mesh data should be pre-processed before rendering.

  • \$\begingroup\$ What exactly are these fragments? This reduction affects the 3d model in game quality? \$\endgroup\$ – user96185 Jan 9 '17 at 7:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ Fragments are basically pixels. After fragments have been generated, they are run on against a fragment shader (pixel shader in directx) and then the fragments on the same pixel on screen are blended together, or if no alpha blending is applied then just the closest fragment to the screen is applied. You should read about this pretty basic stuff from somewhere, like here: khronos.org/opengl/wiki/Rendering_Pipeline_Overview \$\endgroup\$ – Lasse Jan 9 '17 at 7:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also part 3.4 of this link may be useful: ntu.edu.sg/home/ehchua/programming/opengl/CG_BasicsTheory.html \$\endgroup\$ – Lasse Jan 9 '17 at 7:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ There's also a minimum limit of fragment per triangle, which is around 3-4. \$\endgroup\$ – Bálint Jan 9 '17 at 7:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ In an in game perspective, changing the resolution from 1920x1080 to 800x600 makes the 3d model lose details? \$\endgroup\$ – user96185 Jan 9 '17 at 7:52

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