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2 Questions on blender and mesh


Spinell
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There are some basics on mesh building for SL that I didn't really manage to propery understand when I started making mesh last year. I want to correct that, but I need your help. ;)

(I use blender 2.65)

I'll start with the more modeling-ish question: When you have a plane in blender and then export it to SL, one face is visible and the oposite face is invisible. If you have, for example, a cube, you don't have that problem, since al faces are turned so that the visible side is up. I make clothing and I have the problem of invisibility in the inside parts of the mesh: things like sleeves, inside of skirts, etc. The only way I figured out how to get passed this is to use the solidify modifier, which basically turns a plane into a cube, therefore all sides are visible. However, surely there must be a better way to fix this. I want to know to inprove this without having to use solidify (which doubles the number of vertices).

 

2- I have heard that it is possible to texture a mesh inside blender and then, when uploading it to SL, the mesh is all preatty, textured and ready to wear. I want to know how to do this, especially with complicated shapes. I mostly model dresses. The way I have been texturing my meshes is strange and probably not very correct:

After finnishing all of the modeling and sculpting, I start marking seams. Then I unwrap the UV map (which often doesn't have the desired shape I wanted, even though I amrked it correctly), move it around as I need and bake the specular colours to get the outline. Then I save the image and go to photoshop and start colouring, texturing, adding details, etc. When I'm done, I save the mage, test it out in blender by uploading it as the new UV map. If everything's alright, I upload the mesh and then upload the image. Then it's only a matter of editing the mesh in SL to add the texture.

Not only do I need to spend money on uploading an image, but I also need to be caeful with the solidify modifier.

These are the things I believe I'm eitehr doing wrong or there's a better, simpler way to do it.Tutorials online seem fragmented and often don't apply to my needs (most tutorials use the default cube rather than an abstract, strange form).

Would anyone be kind enough to clear up some of my doubts and perhaps even tell me what pieces of knowladge am I missing?

Thank you so much. ^.^

 

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I don't do clothes, but ...

One-sided texturing is used because it halves the work the gpu has to do for enclosed solid shapes. So it is necessary for best efficiency (least lag). There is no way to get the viewer to shade both sides. You do have to provide both if you want to see them. You don't need to solidify the whole mesh. You can just do those parts where the reverse side of the mesh will be visible when it is worn. That way you minimise the extra work the gpu has to do. If you want to see in Blender what the one-sided mesh is going to look like, you can turn on Backface culling on the Display section of the Properties sidebar.

You don't save any L$ by uploading the texture with the mesh. Each included texture will add the usual L$10 to the upload fee. In fact, if you always upload with the texture, then you have to pay for both mesh and texture upload every time you want to modify either. That increases the cost of modifications. Personally, I never upload textures with the mesh, as I can see no advantage in doing so. I know others like the combined upload, but I have never understood why (can anyone explain?).

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And remember that importing of textures along with meshes has 2 more flaws:

 

  1. While it works for static meshes, It is broken for rigged meshes.
  2. Besides what Drongle wrote, uploading a texture with the mesh will bury the texture somewhere inside the mesh. You have no way to find your uploaded texture in your repository. Hence you not even can reuse the texture on other objects, which sometimes might be convenient.

Regarding solidify:

Solidify will always turn the entire mesh into a solid. You can control the amount of solidify with weight maps, but you easily can end up with a lot of duplicate faces. Blender does not provide a non destructive way yet to get rid of these duplicates. You will have to apply the Modifier and manually clean up :(

The most recent attempt to get a non destructive "remove duplicate Modifier" was rejected yesterday...

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Just wanted to say I am happy to read what you wrote about uploading textures with mesh. I have never really grasps the "up side" of that and can see many downsides and don't use the feature (although I did work out that I could). For me one of the best things about mesh are the ambient maps which add extra richness to the textures. Those and my limited but making do graphics program get me some spectacular looks now and then. Better as I practice.

:D

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If you are going to upload repeatedly and continue testing and uploading the texture into SL, there's a better way - least with the standard SL viewer which is the one I use.  

When uploading textures opt for the "local"  option and load the texture.  It's a free temporary way to load textures, but it's not the same as loading temporary textures in the manner that some viewers allow.

With the "local" option,  SL links to the image file on your computer and as you go in and out of photoshop (or gimp, etc.) and re-save the file, it automagically updates in SL when you re-click the name of the file.  The file is temporary, so when you get your final results you will have to upload as a regular texture and pay for that so others can see it, too.  While it's in local mode only you will see these local textures and everyone else will see grey until you finally upload and apply the texture the standard way.

If you crash, log out or change the texture name you will lose your link to the file, but it's easy as pie to reupload it as a new local texture and continue testing.

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