Very Low FPS rendering only meshes

I’ve been working on a game that generates/renders a fractal terrain at runtime using meshes. I was doing this on very small power of 2 sized maps and everything was fine. As soon as I increased the size to 128x128 the application became a slide show.

I culled my project down to a bare bones test case. I was trying to find why the performance is so low with only 32k triangles, but without luck. I’m hoping I’ve missed something simple.

Admittedly I have a pretty old machine. it’s a dual core 3.1ghz with 4gb of ram and directx 9. It does have an nvidia gtx460 gpu however.

I created a new project with 3 objects and 1 script. The default camera, an empty game object with my script attached to it, and a third empty game object. The third one is a prefab with a mesh renderer, mesh collider, and mesh filter attached. I disabled vsync in the project settings.

Here’s my lone script:

using UnityEngine;
using System.Collections;

public class gen : MonoBehaviour {

	public Transform mt;

	private Mesh mesh;
	private MeshFilter mf;
	private MeshCollider mc;
	private MeshRenderer mr;

	private int size = 129;
	void Start () 

		for (int x=0; x<size; x++) 
			for(int z=0; z<size; z++)
				Transform tr = Instantiate (mt, new Vector3 (x*3f, 0f, z*3f), Quaternion.identity) as Transform;

	public void CreatePlaneMesh()
		mesh = new Mesh ();

		mf = mt.GetComponent<MeshFilter> ();
		mc = mt.GetComponent<MeshCollider> ();
		mr = mt.GetComponent<MeshRenderer> ();
		mf.mesh = mesh;
		Vector3[] vertices = new Vector3[]
			new Vector3( 1, 0,  1),
			new Vector3( 1, 0, -1),
			new Vector3(-1, 0,  1),
			new Vector3(-1, 0, -1),
		Vector2[] uv = new Vector2[]
			new Vector2(1, 1),
			new Vector2(1, 0),
			new Vector2(0, 1),
			new Vector2(0, 0),
		int[] triangles = new int[]
			0, 1, 2,
			2, 1, 3,

		Vector3[] normals = new Vector3[]
			new Vector3( 0, 1,  0),
			new Vector3( 0, 1,  0),
			new Vector3( 0, 1,  0),
			new Vector3( 0, 1,  0),
		mesh.vertices = vertices;
		mesh.uv = uv;
		mesh.triangles = triangles;
		mesh.normals = normals;
		mesh.RecalculateNormals ();

		mc.sharedMesh = mesh;

No update methods. Nothing else in the project. When I run it in the webplayer I get sub 20 frames per second. That seems very low when rendering <25k triangles on screen. The docs state you should keep your triangle count under 3m on a desktop, so I’m really confused. It pegs one of my cpu cores at 100% so I’m guessing this is CPU limited instead of GPU limited.

Is there some simple gotcha I’ve overlooked here? I plan to cull distant/hidden objects in the future, but I’m concerned about the low FPS.

If you’re trying to create a procedural terrain, you’re going about it the wrong way. What your script does at the moment is create 16,641 (129x129) individual game objects, each consisting of a single quad plane.

Dynamic batching is kicking in which is saving your draw calls, but there will be signicant overhead in those 12,113 dynamically batched meshes. Then, I imagine the real killer is you’re assigning a mesh collider (the most expensive type of collider) to all 16,000 objects in the scene.

If you want to create a procedural terrain mesh, you need to be calculating the vertices in a single shared mesh, not lots of tiny ones.