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1 LI (Land Impact) Mesh [AUTODESK MAYA]


Milton Soup
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Hi everyone!

Lately I have been noticing many designers & content creators on SL selling mesh items of all kinds (e.g. furniture, clothes, hair etc) using up only 1 land impact. And because the item is 1 land impact or maybe a little bit more, some of these designers are able to display the items in their stores without any worry of going over their land prim limits. Plus customers seem to appreciate this because of the low-lag if they end up purchasing the product such as furniture to be placed in one's home. I myself have tried creating few things ranging anywhere from furniture to shoes (yes i have seen 1 L.I. highly-detailed shoes before) however I end up with a high land impact amount when it comes to uploading. I use Maya and yes I am a pretty economical modeler when it comes to polygons but I just can't figure out how to get my mesh items appear 1 LI or just a bit over on SL. Few of my friends have given me suggestions but they heaven't seemed to help me out at all. One of my friends have suggested to play around with the LOD numbers within the SL mesh upload window however whenever I do that my mesh items look either like strings or triangles when I have the Object's LOD set to mid or low. I usually test my mesh objects in different Object LOD settings so I don't end up with complaints from customers who are most likely playing SL on basic computers and just can't use the high object LOD setting at all. On the other hand when I applied this same LOD test on 1 LI items made by other designers, their objects appeared crisp on all settings with some still appearing crisp in the lowest LOD setting. I just can't seem to figure out how they are able to achieve this. Also I have another friend who uses blender and she was telling me that they have a third-party plug-in available in order to make their mesh items super low in land impact. I would get Blender just for that plug-in in order to reduce the land impact on my mesh items but I just can't work with the Blender user interface at all since it simply irks me (no offense to Blender users lol). If there are any Maya users who are able to create 1 LI crisp mesh items in all Object LOD settings, please share your exporting workflow and help a fellow brother out! Thank you! 

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The 1Li furniture most creators are selling have no decent LOD's. All the LODs are just a few triangles. The creator ussually then tells the custumer to up their LOD viewer setting to 4 or higher. When you lower your vierwers LOD setting the will turn into triangles just a few meters away. This way of building is NOT good common practise.

 

The best thing to do is experiment a lot with different LODs until you get a good feel for how to balance Li and LOD.

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Milton Soup wrote:

One of my friends have suggested to play around with the LOD numbers within the SL mesh upload window however whenever I do that my mesh items look either like strings or triangles when I have the Object's LOD set to mid or low.

As Christhiana said, many makers and sellers of low LI mesh (including, unfortunately, some rather well known and popular ones) simply cheat by butchering the LOD models.

But it's certainly possible to make high quality 1 LI mesh furniture.

Skiled mesh makers have several techniques to reduce land impact without sacrificing quality. You can find ltos of tips about it by browsing through older threads on this forum but the most important technique is to create all models manually, never rely on LOD models (or physics models for that matter) that are generated by the uploader. Meshes using autogenerated models may be suitable for your own personal builds (after all, if you're happy with it it's nobody else's business) but should never ever be offered for sale or even be used at public access locations.

It takes a lot of knowledge and experience to create truly efficient LOD models but anybody who is able to make mesh at all, can easily do better than the uploader. My best suggestion is, start doing it and you'll get instant imporvement. Then study, experiment, learn and slowly but surely build your mesh skills.

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Here's an old thread about this sort of thing. Look at the triangle/vertex counts in message 17 to get some idea what you need to aim for. Actualli, now that we can edit normals in Blender, I would now go for something with more geometry in the highest LOD to give realistic edge highlighting under advanced lighting mode. That would probably push the LI up to 2 or 3, but would be worth it.

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Well DUH I obviously wasn't replying to Drongle  on this. I frequently hit the wrong reply button. Sorry.

 

You can make very reasonable 1 li furniture and such (even jewelry and shoes) with good LODs.  EVEN if you don't make your own LOD models, you can get very good results simply by paying attention and adjusting the uploader values smartly. Most fairly small items (furniture - clothes  - decor) can come it at 1 or if a bit more complex at 2.  Most of the time the very last LOD setting can be set as low as possible. You do not need to see a table all the way across the sim. 

 

You probably know that there are three parts to the upload number with the highest being taken as the land impact number. If your physics number is too high (higher than the download value), you can often just use a plain cube as the physics model. For houses and beds and and such, then making your own physics model is a good choice for many reasons.

 

We each have our own idea what "low poly" means and there have been threads on that here. I am in Blender but I can't imagine that the software is the issue :D.  It is the number of tris or whatever. So simply modeling (no more than one subsurf addition or whatever the equivalent is in Maya for example -- better not to use that at all if you can).

 

Here are some photos that might help. 

 

While many of the pros here are in the making your own LODs all the time, my personal experiments have shown that (for me) mine are really no better than what the uploader does in most instances. Since I really don't love the process, I seldom do it -- only when really needed.

 

This is a fairly large (almost 2 meter) and fairly complex piece of furniture.  It is 3li COMPLETE with all the stuff you see and the LODs are way better than needed for inside a house. I test at LOD 2 (the default in Firestorm which has 2/3rds of the viewer pie) and from there make the viewing farther than needed (so in this case maybe 64 or more meters with the shape still holding very well). This is important when you are showing your items in an open venue setting as well as just being good practice.

 

I just tested the LOD viewing on that table in world at even at a setting of 1.00 it holds perfectly at about 12 meters and well at a longer distance.

 

So hopefully some of these details will be helpful.  Good luck.

 

PS. I have no idea what the add on program is for Blender for super low LI but if it is anything like the decimate modifier I would really stay away from that. Better to model efficiently (or semi-effienciently) than to try and fix your issues after the fact. Just my opinion of course for what it is worth :D.

 

The very best thing you can do is:

TEST TEST TEST TEST TEST

 

And a second PS -- I turned down my LOD setting from 4 to 2 long ago for testing. I leave it there now. It is amazing how much difference that makes on your viewer  -- even with a powerful machine. Happily I notice that many of the items I see in venues (events) hold well at 2. I don't usually check the land impact on their things since I am not going to buy them and since I currently have lots of prims to play with anyway. BUT, I would much rather see good LODs than .5 li mesh if that was my choice as a consumer. Just sayin.

 

 

 



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Chic Aeon wrote:

BUT, I would much rather see good LODs than .5 li mesh if that was my choice as a consumer. Just sayin.

I'm with you there. With good quality modern items you run out of space and/or lag your place down with textures long before you run out of prims anyway.

I do not agree with LOD level 2 though. It's not difficult to make low LI mesh that holds up reasonably well at LOD level 1 (or 1.25 that is the default for mid and high graphics on the SL viewer now) and turning it up to 2 gives a significant performance reduction.

It's very much a question who SL is for. Is it only for the hardcore fans who spends money on hardware just for SL (and for those rare gamers who somehow still find some interest int his old virtual world) or is it for regular people with regular computers? You need a graphics card well above average if you want to set your LOD level to 2 and keep a decent fps.

Of course, there's also a question of which graphics features to prioritise. Changing LOD level between 1 and 2 seems to have roughly the same effect on gpu load as switching ALM on and off. ALM enhances the graphics quality, increased LOD level is just to compensate for sloppy builders, which of them would you prefer to spend your computer's power on?

(Edit: if you think I'm too obsessed with LOD, I once met a builder who insisted everything should look god with LOD set at 0 ;) )

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Well if we did not have to worry about PRIM cost, then making things at LOD 0 might be fine, but ...

 

There are always trade offs. And very few creators agree on the best method. Since all my items (well 90% anyway) are out on the floor where folks can see them I am happy to make things for LOD 2. As I said, most work reasonably well at LOD1.

As a creator making products for SALE, we each have to decide who our customers are. Mine for the most part are those higher end folks. I sell lots of surrounds and odd things like camping cots and such and I suspect those are more of the "everyday" folks will less than stellar computers. I amazingly sell some quite old items on the Marketplace. The SL customer base is definitely vast and varied.

And yes, my last computer was $1700 for a desktop with no monitor, keyboard, mouse etc. So "I" am certainly in that power user category.

I will say that I am not happy these days with the folks that build at LOD4 and I am pretty much not using their items any longer or (honestly) featuring their products as my outlook has changed in that reguard.

STILL, those folks DO have their customer base and it is a big one. So as long as folks can see the items before they buy, I don't think it matters all that much. And the really lazy folks who will not bother to come SEE those demos - well then they have no reason to complain since it was their choice.

 

As I am typing this, I am thinking about when I taught computer classes in college. I announced at the beginning of class that I "taught for the middle". I did not expect all the folks to wait patiently while the slowest person in the class grasped the concepts and methods. Those folks could come in and practice on their own during open lab. The people that were the vanguard (and frequently went ahead of where we were in class) could do that with my blessing. I however told them outright that if they got stuck they were not going to get any extra help; they would just have to wait for the class to catch up.

 

I did get Teacher of the Year the first term I was allowed to be selected (the students decided via end of class questionare ratings), so that worked for that scenaro. I guess my outlook on LODS is pretty much the same. I go for the middle :D.

 

 

In the end, I pretty much make things because I enjoy making them. I am not trying to put the kids through college or pay a giant mortgage. I just like creating and after a year of forty hour work weeks with Cycles, I can pretty much make what I want now and enjoy the process without tearing out my hair.

 

AND, if I was designing a Linden welcome area or some such thing, then I would go for LOD 1.  But I am not (thankfully).

 

 

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Chic Aeon wrote:

As a creator making products for SALE, we each have to decide who our customers are. Mine for the most part are those higher end folks


Don't you think that the people who do invest in high performance hardware for SL have other uses for it than to compensate for poorly made mesh? Look at this thread for eaxample:

https://community.secondlife.com/t5/Second-Life-Viewer/20-fps-with-gtx-1080-and-i7-4960X/td-p/3040683

The OP there could probably have increased their fps from a measly 20 to an acceptable 30 by lowering the LOD factor to 1.

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