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Noob Questions

Noob to making mesh. I haven't even made a sculpt unless you count PLOPP which is about as it sounds.

Questions!

1. What is the easiest program to use for making SL mesh

2. Are there any online classes for making mesh (that can be used in SL)

3. What is the price of mesh programs

4. What kind of computer does it require

5. Are there any in world classes for mesh or mesh related issues

Anything else, add that but please keep it simple for us dunderheads. Thank you.

"If I hadn't started painting, I would have raised chickens." - Grandma Moses.
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Kwakkelde Kwak
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Re: Noob Questions

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Clarissa Lowell wrote:

Noob to making mesh. I haven't even made a sculpt unless you count PLOPP which is about as it sounds.

Questions!

1. What is the easiest program to use for making SL mesh

2. Are there any online classes for making mesh (that can be used in SL)

3. What is the price of mesh programs

4. What kind of computer does it require

5. Are there any in world classes for mesh or mesh related issues

Anything else, add that but please keep it simple for us dunderheads. Thank you.


1. That is impossible to answer. Blender is a good option, since it's free and most SL builders use it. That means you can get a lot of forum help here. It is a handful if you're not familiar with 3D modelling. I'm not familiar with most of the software, but there are other free programs out there, I'm sure others can tell you which are easy to master.

2. I'm sure there are:smileyhappy: .. sorry I can't point you to them...

3. Ranging from free to well over US$5000

4. Any computer which is built after 2002 or something should be able to handle mesh.

5. Same as 2... You can always try these forums though for specific questions...

"The superior man understands what is right; the inferior man understands what will sell."
Confucius

valerie Inshan
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Re: Noob Questions

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Hi Clarissa. I'm pretty sure others will come with better tips, but here are a few links:

http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Mesh

http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Mesh/Uploading_and_wearing_a_rigged_mesh

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3JHWDdrIeD0

http://www.masterprim.com/blender

You can download Blender for free here (all systems):

http://www.blender.org/download/get-blender/

Maya software is VERY expensive (over 3,000 bucks) but you can get a free 30 days trial here;

http://usa.autodesk.com/maya/trial/

I hope other residents come here with tips about mesh classes inworld. :smileyhappy:

"Everybody is right from their own point of view, but it is not impossible that everyone is wrong." Mahatma Gandhi
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Maeve Balfour
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Re: Noob Questions

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Mesh is a BIG subject... BUT... it's a wonderful one too. :matte-motes-smile:

My best advice for now: Don't rush yourself. Take your time... And whatever you do, don't let yourself become frustrated.

Mesh has a bit of an initial learning curve in regards to creation for SL - mostly involved in getting your head around the various steps and concepts required. It can seem daunting, but don't be put off by it - persevere with the initial learning phase and it will all fall into place.

:matte-motes-smile:

And by all means, ask as many questions as you need to here in this forum - plenty of regulars are happy to help!

Exploring my creative side inside of SL
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Syle Devin
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1. To say blender can be quiet confusing to learn only because of the interface. It by far is the best free 3d program out there and is used in the professional world by some people. If you are willing to put some time into it than it is well worth learning blender.

http://www.blender.org/

To show you what has been made with blender blender, if you have not already seen.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSrOpTYKNMw&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRsGyueVLvQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BgOpTL5QyL0

 

2. This is a youtube series of tutorials. It isn't focused on making mesh for second life but instead it teachs you how to make a character in blender. It is very helpful when tryign to learn how to create a mesh because a character in blender is essentially a mesh.

If you don't mind learning more than just how to create a simple mesh than follow this playlist tutorial someone created for blender.

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL2ACD3BDD66D4DC4E&feature=plcp

As I said he goes through how to create the model but also rig the character so it is a bit more informative than you might like. That being said, it is still a great series and well thought out.

 

3. from free such as blender to the thousands for a massive program.

4. Something with an average graphics card atleast and good amount of ram.

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Rage Riptide
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Little bit of personal research and you'd have all these answers. Just a tiny bit.

Living the Dream.
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hibit Spad
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https://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Blender                        

 

 

Has a list of Blender tutorial sites.

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Chosen Few
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Re: Noob Questions

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Rage Riptide wrote:

Little bit of personal research and you'd have all these answers. Just a tiny bit.


Askng others for input IS research, Rage.  That's precisely what these forums are for.

If you're here to ask questions, or to answer questions, great; we're thrilled to have you here.  However, if your purpose is just to mildly scold others when they ask questions themselves, perhaps education-centric forums such as these aren't the best place for you to be spending your time.

You'd do well to keep in mind that not everyone learns the same way.  To some, possibly yourself included, what comes naturally is just to look around for answers, without directly asking another living person for help.  For others, that approach is completely ineffective, and a more interactive question-and-answer based process is what works best.  There's nothing wrong with the latter.  Again, that's why forums exist.

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valerie Inshan
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Chosen Few wrote:

Rage Riptide wrote:

Little bit of personal research and you'd have all these answers. Just a tiny bit.


Askng others for input IS research, Rage.  That's precisely what these forums are for.



+ 10 kudos, Chosen.

"Everybody is right from their own point of view, but it is not impossible that everyone is wrong." Mahatma Gandhi
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Re: Noob Questions

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Others have already offered some good answers, but I'll put my two cents in as well. :smileyhappy:

 


Clarissa Lowell wrote:

1. What is the easiest program to use for making SL mesh


The first thing to realize is there's no such thing as "SL mesh".  It's just mesh.  Mesh modeling is the most fundamental thing there is in 3D graphics.  Literally every item you've ever seen or ever will see every video game you've ever played, every virtual world you've ever ventured into, and every other 3D simulation you've ever experienced, are all mesh models.

SL itself is just a destination platform in this context.  It has nothing directly to do with the skills you'll need to learn in order to become a competent modeler.  So, don't approach the subject as "learning to make SL mesh".  It's just "learning to become a mesh modeler."  Once you've done that, you can apply that skill set to SL and/or to any other platform you ever might want to use. 

SL users tend to have a hard time wrapping their heads around this simple truth.  Because SL for so long used its own  (highly convoluted) primitive based modeling system, and since sculpties which were added years later have no place whatesoever out of SL, many SL-centric creators are under the mistaken impression that mesh some kind of newfanged thing that LL just threw into the mix for the hell of it.  In truth, all they did by adding mesh support was bring SL into alignment with how literally the entire rest of the 3D modeling universe works (which really is how it should have been all along).  Mesh isn't new; it's ancient.  It's been the very basis of digital 3D simulation for decades, and most certainly will be for decades more to come.

 

As for what's the easiest modeling program to learn, there can be no answer to that.  The software is just a tool, nothing more.   It is you, the artist, who will create your models.  

Would you ask a painter what's the easiest brush and learn to use?  Woud you ask a musician what's the easiest instrument?  The question itself just doesn't make any real sense.

Modeling itself is what you need to learn.  While, you do need to pick at least one program to start with in order to do that, I wouldn't be overly concerned with choosing any one program over any other.  Although, specific how-to's will vary from program to program, they all operate on the same underlying principles.

Get the most capable program you can afford that has good documentation available for it that you can learn from.  (More on this in a minute.)

Whatever you pick, don't expect overnight success. Just like any other artform, mesh modeling is a huge subject (and one which encompasses several equally important sub-subjects).  It's going to take time and practice to get good at it.

 

 


Clarissa Lowell wrote:

2. Are there any online classes for making mesh (that can be used in SL)


There are countless thousands, from simple tutorials, to full blown training courses.  Again, mesh modeling is a huge subject.  As such, there's a huge amount of educational resources avaialble for it.

If you're looking toward serious study, and you've got money to invest, the Gnomon School of Visual Effects offers top tier professional level online training courses.  If you don't want to spend thousands of dollars, or if you don't feel such highly intensive training is the right path for you, then my next suggestion would be take a look at Digital Tutors and/or Design3.  For a monthly or yearly fee, they both offer excellent self-paced training, on a wide variety of software, as well as general 3D and 2D art topics. 

Those are just a few.   There are lots and lots of others.  And of course, there oodles of tutorials all over YouTube and elsewhere on the Web, for just about anything you might ever want to know how to do (although you do first have to know enough to know what to search for).

Depending on what program you decide to start with, don't overlook the included documentation that comes with it.  Maya, for example, includes the best help file on the planet.  Its Getting Started section is so good that pretty much every other course says, "First go through the Getting Started section of the help, and don't come back until you have".

Some programs have entire training sites dedicated to them.  If you go with Blender, for example, the introductory tutorials on Blender Cookie are very good, as is the Blender Trail series from Machinimatrix.

 

Whatever program you pick, and whatever training optiions you decide to use for learning how to use it, the best advice I can give you, the same advice I give to everyone, is don't put the cart before the horse.  Never approach it with "I want to make _______" in mind, whatever the blank happens to be. Learn the program itself first, and then apply that knowledge to the things you want to make.

Make anything and everything that your chosen training course dictates.  Don't try to go ot of order, and don't skip over anything, even if you don't yet see how any one particular thing might be relevant to whatever it is you think you're trying to do.  Trust me; it's all relevant.

Assuming whatever learning course you picked is a good one, then once you've spent a few days to a few weeks following it, you'll have a solid handle on the basics of 3D modeling, and on those of your chosen program.  You won't be a master yet, of course, but you'll be a competent advanced beginner.   At that point, you can take your newfound knowledge, and apply it to whatever you want to make, be it content for SL or anything else.

I've never seen anyone take this approach and fail.  I have, however, seen plenty of people experience nothing but frustration upon trying to go out of order.  So, don't do that.  As I said, take it one step at a time.  If you need help along the way, forums like this one are a great place to ask questions.

 

 


Clarissa Lowell wrote:

3. What is the price of mesh programs


They range from free, to a few hundred dollars, up to many thousands of dollars, all the way up to hundreds of thousands.  I'll talk a little about each range.

 

In the freebie category, Blender is the only one I'm even remotely comfortable recommending.  All others are toys, by comparison.  Blender is a full featured 3D modeling and animation platform, which rivals high end professional titles.  It's the only free program about which that can be said.

Some have mentioned that Blender is relatively difficult to learn, due to its troublesome interface.  In the past, this was definitely true, but it's really no longer the case.  Not only has the interface itself gotten SIGNIFICANTLY better in recent versions, but the amount of good training material for the program has exploded over the past few years.  As a result of both of these factors, Blender is now no harder to learn than any other program in its class.

 

On the few hundred dollar category, I can't really comment intelligently.  I've got very little experience with modeling programs in that price range.

Note:  Popular brush-sculpting programs such as Zbrush and Mudbox are in this price range.  These are not to be confused with modeling programs.  They do different things.  I would not recommend getting a sculpting program without first having a good modeling program.  Although some people do experience success with only Zbrush or only Mudbox and nothing else, that's relatively rare, and it's really not how it's intended to work.  Sculpting programs are fantastic add-ons, meant to enhance modeling, not to replace it.  I LOVE Mudbox, but I wouldn't use it for everything.

 

In the thousand to several thousand dollar category are the industry big hitters, like Maya, Max, SoftImage, Lightwave, etc. The majority of 3D modeling work in the world is done on these programs.

I'm a Maya user, myself.  I absolutely love the program, and wouldn't trade it for anything.

 

As for the hundred thousand dollars plus category, there's little point in talking about that.  If you're plannig on being the next ILM or Weta or something, then such things might be of interest to you.  As an individual making virtual world content, it's not relevant.

 

 

 


Clarissa Lowell wrote:

4. What kind of computer does it require


If your computer is capable of running SL, then it's capable of running just about any modeling program as well.  For both, the most important factors are a good graphics card, and lots of RAM.

I recommend a gaming machine.  For the absolute best experience with the modeling program itself, you'd want workstation hardware.  But since workstations don't run SL or games nearly as well as gaming hardware does, and since gaming hardware will still run the modeling programs really well, even if not quite as well as the workstation would, a gaming rig just makes more sense.  Plus, gaming hardware is a heck of a lot less expensive than workstation hardware. For these reasons, I haven't owned a workstaiton in years.

 

 


Clarissa Lowell wrote:

5. Are there any in world classes for mesh or mesh related issues


I'm sure there are.  I don't know of any off-hand, though.

"It's a big universe. Everything happens somewhere."
- The Doctor