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New to making mesh items. Where do I even start?


brookenic
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"You create mesh models using a third-party 3D modeling tool. If you're a seasoned content creator, you may already be familiar with tools such as 3ds Max, Maya, Blender, or other popular professional tools; Google's SketchUp also provides a low barrier to entry for aspiring 3D modelers. Any 3D modeling software will work, as long as it can output models in COLLADA (.dae) format. Note: Second Life uses COLLADA 1.4."

More information: - Creating Mesh for Second Life

Other than that, the sky's the limit.

What I am astounded at is the variety of things that creators make for SL... from the simplest of items like a pile of old wood planks, to stepping stones, to coffee can lights, to vase of flowers,etc - there is use for anything  you can come up with.

Good luck!

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Start by learning some of the separate skills needed.

If your focus is mesh, at some point you'll have to learn how to work with a mesh software programme. Blender has a steep learning curve but is possible (even I've done it :matte-motes-smile:), it's free and there are a ton of tutorials across the net. IMO the best road to success is to start with fairly easy shapes and static objects. Clothing requires additional skills like fitting different sizes (and if you want to support them, mesh body shapes), weighting and rigging. You'll need to learn how to use software like GIMP (free) or Photoshop (expensive) to create textures for your mesh whatever you make.

If your focus is clothing, take a look on marketplace and inworld for full perm mesh clothing. These are pre-made mesh objects for creators to texture. Which means you're dependent on all of the choices the full perm creator has made, but you'll only have to learn one software programme.

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Mesh modeling for games is complicated. It isn't hard to understand. Nor particularly complex. But, there is a lot of information and the tools used to make the models are complex, complicated, and hard to understand.

In Second Life we mostly use Blender. You can visit YouTube and look for Blender tutorials. You'll see how it is done and decide if you want to tackle it. I don't find the newer versions of Blender any harder to learn than Maya or 3D Max. The simpler programs like Sketchup just don't provide the control you will want and for SL create high Land Impact and Complexity values (inefficient models that render slowly).

Maya and 3D Max are the high-end modeling and animation tools. Blender has about everything they have and is free. 

Second Life has a number of gotcha's for those starting to make clothes. To reduce your learning curve spend a bit of money and get the Blender add-in AvaStar or the Maya add-in MayaStar. They handle many of the minor but tedious and annoying gotcha's related specifically to SL.

Entity gave you good links and advice. Check it out.

In world Builder's Brewery (BB), the Blender-AvaStar group, and Mayastar groups can provide more information. BB provides live instructor classes from time to time on both Blender and Maya. Check BB's schedules.

If you want to get a sense of how complex the modeling can get search for Drongle McMahon's posts in this forum and read through them. There is great detail, extensive testing of the concepts for building more efficient models, and the complexities of rendering in the SL system. It isn't all stuff you need to know. For instance you may read 5 of 6 lengthy posts with illustrations and complex math and only need to take away one needs to do a good job of building their own LoD models and the fewer polygons in the 2nd to 4th LoD models the better... 

There are some people doing some nice modeling that I wonder whether or not they can tie their shoes... The only real requirement for 3D modeling for SL is patience and persistence.

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If you decide to use Blender, I have some very simple starting tutorials here which are designed for our type of game assets.

 

https://plus.google.com/u/0/100190052320604204973/posts/a8DDxZXB5Eh

 

Blender is a HUUUUUUUUUGE program and does almost everything, so there will be many tutorials that are not about what we need in Second Life and other games --- they are designed to make lovely superrealistic photos and such amoung other things (even film).

 

Start simply. Give yourself time. Be prepared to spend LOTs of time learning. I have many thousands of hours in and still have LOTS more to learn. That's a good thing if you love learning.

 

Have fun!

 

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