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Mesh Programs


Lexie Linden
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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello. I have two questions:

First, I am learning Blender at the moment and I wanted to know if there was a way to incorporate the Primstar package in order to export to SL. I have read countless instructions and I cannot for the life of me get anything to work for my MAC.

 

Second, if I am creating two meshes in Blender and combine both meshes into one, how will that translate into SL? Will those to combined objects be recognized as one in-world?

 

Thank you.

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  • 2 weeks later...
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  • 4 weeks later...

3ds Max works fine if you already know it.  I have used 2010 and now just started using 2012. For SL:

- Units should be metric.

- Final model should be editable poly, with one multi/sub-object material, no more than 8 material IDs.

- If you have more than one object in the scene, it will end up as separate objects in SL.

- You can apply UV maps to the object

- Use recent FBX plugin, 2011 or 2012, and export with Autodesk Collada, with Z-up.

- For now, to try uploads, you need to be on a Mesh-enabled region on the beta grid (Aditi), and using a viewer with the mesh features working.

- Textures are uploaded separate and applied to the object in SL

- If you have done visualization, but not game/virtual world models, the big difference is the latter is real-time.  So you can't use millions of polygons and take 20 minutes to render a frame.  Models should have as low a ploygon count as possible.

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Hi all

Daniel, a lot of thanks for very usefull information!

I'm new in SL and would like to ask a question...

Collada format itself allows to export not only the mesh but rigging (skinning) information too. So is it possible to import in SL object rigged to SL bone system and use it as extra cloth part? Anyone tried to do this?

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For anyone on the fence about trying Zbrush, I'd like to say its great fun.  I started with Zbrush without any 3d modeling knowledge or skills.  There's work involved getting up to speed, but lots of free and reasonably priced tutorials online and a terrific forum Zbrush Central and a 1 month free trial, I believe.

Here's a beginning project which took me about an hour to put together to this stage:

ZBSample.jpg

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I will not mention specifics, although I did start going through a list. I will post the website page address to the offiical collada list at thier wiki (I mena, as official as a wiki page can be, it can easily be behind or have dead links) and also mention that some programs have exporters and the collada.org site can help you with all that. 

http://www.collada.org/mediawiki/index.php/Portal:Products_directory

It is a large list, so be forwarned. 

I will also mention there are conversion programs available (I think some are in that list) so you can always use a neat feature of one to make a .obj file and then epxort and work on it in a supported program! In many respects, this is the power of mesh. Before arbitrary mesh to sculpt was pretty dodgy and got ugly results (form what I remember seeing) so this is the power of using mesh, freedom to use one of many many softwares AND use almost all with export and convert capability.

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  • 2 months later...

                                                                     Zbrush4R2

              Sneak Peek #2

                                      http://www.zbrushcentral.com/showthread.php?t=152654    #2

                                      http://www.zbrushcentral.com/showthread.php?t=127664    #1

               Some great new tools, coming for us,useing zbrush,and looks like there includeing                     Sculptris, with the new tools,and boolean style operations.

              Of corse no rigging tools  yet :(,     But Zbrush along with Blender another great                              program for rigging, makes a great set of tools .

             Makes a great  Set of tools.

                            Zbrush Gallery   http://www.zbrushcentral.com/featured2col.php

               Some of the top Games and newest movies  out there have been useing zbrush

             I belive Zbrush is one of many great tools for sl .

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  • 3 months later...

hi,

I'm using Maya 2011 as it's what I use in RL for work and It seems to be working very well for SL.  I also light and bake my textures and export using Open Collada.  I've had good and bad experience with uploading mesh as the prim count varies depending on if you combine objects, weld them or leave them as separate parts in Maya, (these separate parts come in as linked and can be unlinked).

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  • 3 months later...

If you have done any building at all in Second Life, you have already used a 3D modeling program (note: a mesh is the result, 3D modeling program is the tool, like the difference between a document and a word processing program). You will find that most 3D programs use similar movement arrows and rotation rings to move things around, and start with "primitive shapes" ie prims.  Linden Lab did not invent these methods, they borrowed them from other 3D software.  So actually, Second Life is the easiest program to use, because you already know it, but it just has a lot less tools to manipulate things with.

There is no clear answer to "easiest", because the full range of things you might want to do includes some more complex tasks like rigging or UV mapping.  Those tasks are fundamentally the same in all 3D programs.  They just differ in what buttons on what menus are needed to do them.  But the amount of learning needed is the same regardless of which button is used.  Another part of the question is how far do you want to go?  If you learn an "easy" program, and then want to do more advanced things, you will have to re-learn a more capable program, untraining yourself from what you previously learned.

Besides a 3D program, you may need an image editor like Photoshop or GIMP  to make the textures for a given mesh shape.  Not every 3D program can save to the Collada .dae format that Second Life understands.  Check elsewhere in these forums to see whether a given program works (and the version of the program matters too)

For any 3D program, look at the availablity of video tutorials, manuals and books, and discussion forums.  Most of these programs can't be learned effectively by playing around with the software itself.  Many of the programs that cost money have a free trial, so you find out if you like them that way.

Having said that, I suggest Blender 2.6, not because it's easy, but because it does everything you need for SL, has a specific exporter to Second Life, and it's free.

After that I would consider Google SketchUp if they have fixed the SL import (I don't use it, so I don't keep track), which is also free, followed by Autodesk Maya and 3ds Max (what I use), which are possibly free if you are a student or unemployed and not doing commercial work with them.  Otherwise they are very expensive, being professional products.  Photoshop Extended has a 3D model feature, but it's also not free. There are other programs I'm sure people will suggest.

 

 

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  • 8 months later...

I've been working with mesh for a little less than a year, making boats for SL. I've taught myself Wings 3D, creating mesh and using that system's UV mapping tools, and was able to create a decent catamaran (mixed mesh/standard prim) with a fairly low prim to Land Impact of 26 prims to LI of 36. I see some fantastically detailed and complex boats out there - far more than my cat - that manage to get a LI of 32, and want to learn how this is accomplished.

My technique has been to either use spheres or tori with 32 faces, work them into a shape, work the UV Maps, export them individually as Collada files, import them into SL with default 'visual' settings, set for 'moving object', and physical setting at 'lowest'. They come into SL as tiny models that I then expand to fit the part on the boat they're intended for.

I'm guessing there's a better way to go about this. Have I reached the limit with what I can do with Wings, or am I missing a few steps that could really improve my land impact? Should I weld my models before importing? Which adjustments have the greatest affect on LI with the least tradeoffs? I would love to know what resources are out there that teach how to build vehicles for land impact 'economy.'

Thanks for your help - Mig.

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First question - which kind of weight is cotributing most to your LI? You can see by looking aty the "More Info" link from the edit dialog. It's the highest of server, download and physics weights that becomes the LI. You might need to unlink the pieces to see the individual weights too.

If it's server weight, you can reduce it by joining parts into one mesh, although this will increase download weight by affecting the size and the LOD switching. If it's download weight, you need to work on reducing the detail of the lower LOD mesh (which one depends on size). If it's physics weight, it's easy to reduce it by making simpler physics shapes.

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To add to what to what Drongle said, I've referenced this info from the knowledge base in the past to help me optimize my mesh.

 

Here's a very quick overview of the different weights; for more information on each, follow the links below:

  • Download weight: Calculated by determining how much bandwidth is required to download and view the object. Larger and more visually complex objects have a higher download weight. You can reduce the download weight of complex objects by generating or uploading less complex meshes for differing levels of detail when you upload a model.
  • Physics weight: Calculated by determining the complexity of the object's physics model. You can reduce the complexity of a mesh's physics model by using the analysis and simplification tools in the Upload Model window, by uploading your own less-detailed physics model, or by choosing a different physics shape type, such as Convex Hull, on the Features tab of the Build Tools window. Vehicles must have a physics weight of 32 or lower, but may have higher download or server weights.
  • Server weight: Measures the impact an object has on Second Life's server resources. Objects that are composed of many prims and have physics enabled and/or contain scripts tend to have high server weights.
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  • 1 year later...

I have been working on finding a good alternative to Blender, something more intuitive and not heavily polluted with features unnecessary for building mesh for Second Life. About a year ago I was introduced to a program called Zmodeler and it still lacked proper features to complete a model import ready for Second Life. I contacted the Developer Oleg and he took an interest in programming the tools needed. Of all the 3d modeling programs out there I believe this one to be the most effective and Intuitive program. If you are looking for a good program to use and create Items for Second Life this program I believe is the best one to use and the support is better than any I have received from all the others out there!

Here is the link to the site and I hope you find it as valuable as I have. http://zmodeler3.com/

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