In computer graphics, accounting for level of detail involves decreasing the complexity of a 3D object representation as it moves away from the viewer or according other metrics such as object importance, eye-space speed or position.
Level of detail techniques increases the efficiency of rendering by decreasing the workload on graphics pipeline stages, usually vertex transformations.
The reduced visual quality of the model is often unnoticed because of the small effect on object appearance when distant or moving fast.
Although most of the time LOD is applied to geometry detail only, the basic concept can be generalized. Recently, LOD techniques included also shader management to keep control of pixel complexity.
A form of level of detail management has been applied to textures for years, under the name of mipmapping, also providing higher rendering quality.
It is commonplace to say that an object has been LOD'd when the object is simplified by the underlying LOD-ing algorithm.