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Rhiannon Arkin

Mesh tricks for low LI?

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Hi

 

I am trying to understand how some rather complex mesh builds have such a low land impact. There are tree groups sold in mp, consisting of 4 birches, with dozens of planes for the leaves and many more for grass. And it has inly 4 li. 

I cant get even one tree uploaded with less then 8 to 14 li. And i consider myself a very efficient modeller.

There are many other examples. Stonewalls made out of many individual stones, but they only have 1 li, again, i cant reproduce that at all. 

 

What's the trick? 

Any answer appreciated

RHIA

 

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This is done by collapsing some of the lower LOD's or, better yet and more professional, by making the lower LOD's yourself. Collapsing the lower LOD's will get you a much lower LI, BUT, it will not look good for all residents, ones that have not set their viewer's LOD up to about 4 will see your tree or whatever large object transform into ugly triangles once they zoom out. You can test this yourself by either zooming out or lowering your viewer's LOD settings. 

This is a complicated subject, LOD's and how to handle them! I have made some terrible LOD's when I started out and am still learning. If you let the SL uploader handle your LOD's it can result in some very ugly things. But, used wisely it can do a reasonable job. However, building your own LOD's will almost always get better results. This is not an easy task, it will result in a lot of trail and error. There are some very helpful video's on You Tube and I do advice you to watch those. Creating for SL... wow, it's tempting to take shortcuts and skip a step here and there, but it won't make you feel "good". You will know you cheated. Many residents won't notice, lots have their viewers set to LOD 4 and will see your stuff just perfectly, but there is a trend going on to set LOD's to just 2 (about average) and ppl will see the shortcuts. Some creators do not care and rely on the ppl that have viewer settings up to 4 and they do sell, some sell a lot! But it creates lag, I made items like that but I am learning how to do it in a better way to help SL run better for everyone, even if it is just a lill bit.

Another thing to consider is that low LI/prim stuff sells, no matter what. Ppl want to get the most out of their prim count and I get that. SL is expensive after all. You pay big money IRL for a lill piece of server and you want it to be home, look like a home and feel like a home. So... demand is high on LI items. But that does not make it a good thing. Ppl that have older computers can't handle all the high setting and will still see your creation as ugly triangles from a distance. And some newbies will not know how to adjust the LOD settings... well maybe in a few months.

Ok, trees... those are very hard, if you want to make them well! I have been toying around with those for a year or so. Trees are large, most of the time, large meshes are punished very harsh by the uploader. The only way to get them a "decent" LI is to collapse the lowest\er LOD into a mix of cross planes and branch textures but that will only work for a straight tree, so not gnarled or angled. Even when you have a straight tree, this is not an easy task. Some software will allow you to take a billboard snapshot but it will always be a lot of fiddling. Also, if you made your mesh tree, some ppl will resize it, most of the time they will enlarge the tree and will pass out while seeing the LI rise like... well, not what they want it to be and complain. So, yeah, trees, I am very welcome to some advice on those too. As I still toy with them, try create some that have a good balance between LI and LOD, I am very looking forward to some advice on those too! I learned how to do the cross planes lower LOD thing but  then for season changing that again is a challenge at least! So, jump in... anyone that could shine a light on the whole tree/big meshes LOD thing! Most of the trees I have come across in SL collapse like h*ll, so there are not that many that can teach us, sadly.

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Also note that some things on the Marketplace are SCULPTS and not mesh.I found at least one MP item that matched your description and as I suspected it was listed as "partial mesh". This means that the trunk is mesh and that the brach planes are a sculpt. Since you can apparently link sculpts to mesh now with a capped maximum land impact for the linking (don't remember the number and I don't use sculpts but when mesh was new there was a HUGE issue linking the two). This could be a possible way to get the low land impact. 

Uploading the branches separately from the tree (or as a linkset with your own LODs and Physics models) might garner a bit lower land impact depending on how you upload. 

AND many all mesh low land impact trees DO fall apart at a fairly short distance -- even at LOD 2 settings --- so there is that. 

That being said I have some still very nice animated trees with an extemely low land impact and very good viewing. Looking at the mesh you can see it is in two pieces (trunk and leaf planes) and I can tell you that the trunk is VERY low poly with the main part of the trunk pretty much a cube and that TEXTURES give the illusion of more shape. So that is likely part of the key also.

 

Good luck.

 



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Is there even still a way to make sculpts to be separate objects *EDIT faces* (out of one sculpt)? I read somewhere, sometime, that that was no longer possible unless you go way back in Blender releases? Are sculpts not just as bad on rendering as high dense meshes are? I know at least 1 creator that used sculpts for a very long time, maybe they still do, and indeed makes great trees that way... kinda makes me wanna get the "recipe" so bad!

I did try numerous ways of uploading. Tree as a whole, leaves as a whole and link them, trunk, branches, leaves separate... etc., etc... Some make a slight difference, adding a mesh base sometimes did. It is very, very complicated, many factors to consider and test.

Yes! textures do make a huge difference, you can get away with 4 to 5 faces around the trunk, but then you have to bake the texture to smooth out the shadows and cannot repeat it. Making it a bit more blurry. 

Maybe I am just a perfectionist and should put on some neutral eyes and go look at other creator's trees again... and again.

@ the OP: try making only 1 or maybe 2 levels of branches and replace the rest by branches made out of textures. Maybe you already figured this out... 

I get my mesh trees to about 7 LI at about 7m tall, still not satisfied. The fact that everything in SL is way out of scale (too large, tall, big... does not make this easier! Ppl are still kinda used to prim and sculpt and the avarage user does not read into mesh and LI, they just want a low LI.

 

 

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Rhiannon Arkin wrote:

I am trying to understand how some rather complex mesh builds have such a low land impact. There are tree groups sold in mp, consisting of 4 birches, with dozens of planes for the leaves and many more for grass. And it has inly 4 li. 

I cant get even one tree uploaded with less then 8 to 14 li. And i consider myself a very efficient modeller.

There are many other examples. Stonewalls made out of many individual stones, but they only have 1 li, again, i cant reproduce that at all. 

 

What's the trick? 

Any answer appreciated

RHIA

 

The trick is mastering hi-poly to lo-poly modelling, and baking the color, normals and specular textures that will define how a user sees it inworld, rather than by defining it with the model's geometry.

The next is to follow the SL mesh uploader's suggestions as to how many vertices/triangles each LOD model should have, and decimating your models down appropriately to match them, whilst maintaining the silouhette (or defining shape) of the model as much as possible. Keeping the physics model simple (or actually making sure you have a model for the physics) can go a long way.

I've tried many things myself, though I haven't uploaded a tree with leaves and multiple branches yet, but I am assuming I will have the same success of (optimized, don't seek Low li) models by utilizing these techniques.

In a lot of ways, this stuff cannot be taught, as everyone models differently, it's trial and error to find out what design will work better than the other.

 


VanillaSunsets wrote:

Many residents won't notice, lots have their viewers set to LOD 4 and will see your stuff just perfectly, but there is a trend going on to set LOD's to just 2 (about average) and ppl will see the shortcuts. Some creators do not care and rely on the ppl that have viewer settings up to 4 and they do sell, some sell a lot! But it creates lag, I made items like that but I am learning how to do it in a better way to help SL run better for everyone, even if it is just a lill bit.

 A best practice would be to design for the default viewer settings, for what the average person will see, and optimize the LODs to get the best visibility and Li possible. At some point, creators have to make some kind of standard practice and stick to it, rather than trying to please everyone.


VanillaSunsets wrote:

Ppl that have older computers can't handle all the high setting and will still see your creation as ugly triangles from a distance. And some newbies will not know how to adjust the LOD settings... well maybe in a few months.

 There are creators out there that include notecards with their products giving directions for users to fiddle with their viewers through the Advanced Menu, so that THEIR product looks proper. This is bad practice IMO. I have my viewer pretty much on default settings LOD wise (and on the settings suggested for my video card) and many products break from only a few meters away trying to get their low Li.

The best suggestion is to become a master at optimizing for the masses, instead of making users change to suit creator laziness

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I would love to see you create and upload a tree to SL and update us here :catwink:

I can tell you it is different. You have to get started with a very low level of faces on the trunk to begin with as the leaves take up a lot of faces and will be a rather large object, even when you split those. If you split them in smaller parts the LOD will go down faster, so more work on the LOD's. There are just soooo many variables... And then I don't even count in roots or a base or season changing trunks and leaves. So decimating will not do it... what you start with is pretty much what you end up with. You cannot decimate 1 faced planes that make the leaves and the trunk was already very low poly. 

So baking out a trunk and branch texture in higher poly will not do the whole trick. This is very complicated stuff if you do not want to cut corners. I would love to see what you come up with, will be very humble if you surprise me and will be a willing pupil:cattongue:

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VanillaSunsets wrote:

I would love to see you create and upload a tree to SL and update us here :catwink:
 I would love to see what you come up with, will be very humble if you surprise me and will be a willing pupil:cattongue:

:-/

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wow. thanks all for the suggestions. I will pay more attention to lower lods then. 

I haven't so far modeled for lower lods just used the options in the uploader. The tree was just an example since i have this bought birch group with only 4LI. and I couldn't even get close to that with my own builds. 

I will test more with specifically made lods. My goal is certainly to have the lowest possible polygon count for best viewing experience. There's an artform to it even.

I was reading that there are mesh sandboxes to upload for free for testing purposes? How would I find those? 

 

thanks again

 

R. 

 

 

 

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Was not advocating sculpts :D as I always hated them and still am not found of the giant sim surround landscapes that encompass you when you go to a new place taking forever to load (and I have a very fast machine AND connection). Just saying that some of the items that you see that are "low prim" are mixes of sculpts and mesh OR (in the past anyway) were actually all sculps and not tagged correctly. Many consumers seem to assume things are mesh sometimes when they are not.

 

If you use Cycles render you can bake the trunk at a high resolution and get plenty of details in there. It is just a different look than tiling textures. Some mesh makers actually BLUR their textures on purpose. Lots of ways! Lots of choices!

 

 

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Rhiannon Arkin wrote:


I was reading that there are mesh sandboxes to upload for free for testing purposes? How would I find those? 

 

 

 

 

Me > Preferences > Advanced > and enable the option Show Grid Selection at Login :



 

When Logging in choose the    Second Life Beta Test Grid    and then login to   Morris:



 

There are other sandboxes on the Beta grid but I suggest Morris as your first destination because I find it the most reliable. The sand box there is not flat or full sim size.

If you need more space then open the main map and search for Mesh Sandbox.

The beta Grid is like a little separate parallel world to SL used for testing. Any L$'s you are charged there for uploading will not be deducted from your main SL account.

Before you can Upload mesh on the Beta grid you will probably be asked to re-do the little Mesh upload test.

 

 

 

 

 

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VanillaSunsets wrote:

Many residents won't notice, lots have their viewers set to LOD 4 and will see your stuff just perfectly, but there is a trend going on to set LOD's to just 2 (about average) and ppl will see the shortcuts. Some creators do not care and rely on the ppl that have viewer settings up to 4 and they do sell, some sell a lot!

I call that lack of ambition. It is not good mesh unless it works at LoD setting 1. But apart from that, yes. Many "creators" seem to make good money foisting their garbage onto unsupecting customers through MP. You can't actually see the item on MP so it's easy to get fooled there and the rule is never buy mesh unseen unless it is made by somebody you know is a qualified and considerate mesh maker.

As to how to make efficient mesh, there are lots and lots of methods and I don't think anybody has figured it all out. I've uplaoded thousands of meshes and spent countless hours experimenting and studying and I'm still learning. Every single time I build something, I learn something new.

 

As Vanilla said, the best place to start is to make your own LoD models. Making truly efficient LoD models takes experience and is a little bit of a black art but anybody who are prepared to spend a little bit of time and effort can do better than the models automatically created by the uploader.

Next step is perhaps to check some modern computer game. Notice how great the graphics are, full of lovely details. Then look closer and see how few polys the 3D artists have used to achieve that effect. Making efficient 3D models for a damic VR environmet is very much about creating illusions, to make everything seem much bigger than it really is. This is more art than science so it's hard to quantify but one important thing is to be very aware of which details are important or which aren't.

Third step, keep reading this forum. There are ltos of tips here. And of course experiment experiment and experiment. The beta grid is the mesh maker's best friend.

 


VanillaSunsets wrote:

Ok, trees... those are very hard, if you want to make them well! I have been toying around with those for a year or so. Trees are large, most of the time, large meshes are punished very harsh by the uploader. The only way to get them a "decent" LI is to collapse the lowest\er LOD into a mix of cross planes and branch textures but that will only work for a straight tree, so not gnarled or angled.

You mean something like this? :P

https://community.secondlife.com/t5/Mesh/Prim-Bonuses-and-LODs/m-p/3080457#M35385

(Sorry, culdn't resist it and to be honest, I do expect it to go up to 3 or even 4 LI once I've added the foliage)

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There are as many opinions on this subject as their are creators.  While I am not in the "make the populous turn up their LODS to 4 camp, MANY folks  in the sculpt era changed their defaults simply so they could see the world. That doesn't mean it was right, just that it was a necessary.  

I still see mesh that breaks apart but not all that much thankfully. I run at LOD2. I appreciate the idea that some folks build for LOD1. That is not my choice or actually the choice of most content creators in retail. Public SL builds are a different matter. Things may change slowly and modeler may start testing at lower LODs. That would be a good thing, but this is supposed to be a free market, economy, and for the most part world. If people choose to make mesh that only works at LOD4 they will find a market. "I" don't think that is the best choice, but it isn't MY choice to make for THEM. 

 

This has been discussed and discussed and I doubt anyone will be changing their point of view except for the people that had no idea there was even a choice in how to view objects inworld. 

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Chic Aeon wrote:

I still see mesh that breaks apart but not all that much thankfully. I run at LOD2. I appreciate the idea that some folks build for LOD1. That is not my choice or actually the choice of most content creators in retail. Public SL builds are a different matter. Things may change slowly and modeler may start testing at lower LODs. That would be a good thing, but this is supposed to be a free market, economy, and for the most part world. If people choose to make mesh that only works at LOD4 they will find a market. "I" don't think that is the best choice, but it isn't MY choice to make for THEM. 


Yes but that doesn't change the fact that increasing the LoD factor causes significant lag increase for everybody, regardless of how strong their computer and how fast their connection is and with well made sculpt and mesh it is never necessary. It wasn't necessary before the prim limit increase and it certainly isn't necessary now.

I do understand that not everybody have the skill and patience to maximize their builds' performance and we certainly can't expect the same from hobby builders who build for their own sake as we can from people who sell their works to others. But at Coniston I now have 13 full sim sky platforms (although to be fair only 7 of them are fully developed), several smaller sky installations, a fairly complete ground level build and several offsim installations. I don't have access to the full sim prim quota since the Linden Road and Linden Waterway takes up quite a bit but I do build across the entire sim (and yes, I do have LL's permission as long as my builds don't interfere with their ground builds). Last time I checked, I had 4500 prims left.

If you can manage 1/20th of that efficiency, you can fill up your place from corner to corner without ever having to worry about land impact or LoD. Can you?

That is my challenge to everybody who build for Second Life. I do not expect everybody to accept the challenge and I do not expect everybody to manage but I do respect everybody who are willing to try.

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So playing around with lods now I can see the benefit of making my own.

There is a much better experience in having clean, nicely made low lods instead of the automatic triangles. 

Not sure yet how that will save me LI's though, seems the automatic triangulation is pretty radical and in my few attempts so far I wasn't really much better in terms of triangle count. Visually i can control the result better. 

Now i wish we'd had texture lods too. hm. I believe there could be done a lot in painting in details into a very low res model, but leaving the full power of mesh to the high level. 

More testing to come. 

 

 

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My earlier post weren't as helpful as they should have been and maybe they came across as a little bit arrogant. :P

To compensate, here's an example. I'll split this into several posts since it may be too long for a single one. This is perhaps an advanced class but I think there are lots of tips suitable for any level here.

 

Introduction

This is the sign outside my Queen of Spades pub in Keswick:



It seems quite simple at first glance but it has details like miter joints for the base plate:



and most significantly a rather elaborate attachment using six toruses and six twisted tubes:



The pub was supposed to be the gathering point for my Greater Coniston build but then Saul opened his Rathskeller and Rye his Drunken Sailor. I don't really need three active pubs on my land and those guys seem to know a lot more about pubs than me. The Queen of Spades is currently used as part of the Silent Slasher game but mostly it's just a decoration in the landscape and I never bothered to do much about it. Especially not the sign because I'm really happy with how it looks and don't see any need to change it. But it's all prims and that means 10 LI, a bit too much for a simple sign really. Yesterday, just before I saw this thread, I finally got around to do some serious work on a mesh version.

Almost straight out of Mesh Studio with just a little bit of cleaning in a Blender, it's 3694 vertices and 7358 triangles. Sounds a little bit heavy to me:

 

Lesson 1: UV mapping

I may be wrong but I understand that the common way to UV map an SL mesh today is to use few faces and "islands" for each part on the UV map. In this case you'd probably use three faces, one for the signboard itself, one for the wooden base plate and one for all the metal parts:



If you're lazy, you'd just use the basic automatic UV mapper in Blender and end up with this:



Now, this is of course a very poor UV map, you waste more than half the pixels in the texture, the toruses are visibly distorted and so on. Be prepare to spend a lot of time cleaning this up before you get any kind of decent result. But how many people realize that a UV map like this also affects the land impact?

If I try to upload this, using the default automatic LoD settings I get:



16.409 LI.

Here's a different way. If I split the metal parts into five separate faces:



I can get a much cleaner UV mapping:



Much cleaner and much less work, most of the parts I didn't UV map at all, I just scaled the mapping from the prim original. The map still looks a bit wasteful of texture pixels but it isn't. The vertical and the different horizontal segments are different faces and will end up using all the pixels of the texture.

The LI?



14.644. Still too high but 10 percent reduction by saving a lot of time and effort on the UV map? Yes, please!

I've heard so many times that simple texture maps and repeating textures are outdated and the only right thing to do is to use "proper" UV maps and baked textures. It's the Emperor's new Texturing. I don't know of any skilled mesh maker in SL or anywhere else who thinks that way. Quite the contrary: use simple UV maps and repeating textures wherever possible, complex UV maps and baked textures only where they really make a difference.

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Lesson 2: Hidden faces

This is a short lesson.

Even in the simplest mesh model you often have superfluous vertices and polys, details that add to the complexity but not to the looks at all. In this case there are several polys hidden inside other elements, like these:



and these:



Get rid of them and the triangle count drops from 7358 to:



The LI - still with default automatic LoD, drops from 14.644 to:



Not bad for a few minutes of work.

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Lesson 3: With friends like this...

Say hello to Glod. GLOD (Geometric Level Of Detail) is the little part of the uploader that generates LoD models and he's always so eager to help. And he loved my sign so much he thought it was well worth 14 LI, that's sweet of him, isn't it? ^_^

Let's see what he can produce for that.

Here's LoD level 0, the high LoD model:



LoD level 1, Mid model:



Not bad but not good either. There are some very noticeable distortions of the chain links.

Lod level 2 - low model:



and level 3, lowest:



Overall, not ideal but I could live with this. 14 LI is not acceptable though, we have to tell Glod to be a bit more economic with the tris:



1.4 LI? Yes, that's more like it. Actually it's 2 LI but that's because of the physics - we'll deal with that later.

Here's LoD 1:



LoD 2:



LoD 3:



LoD 2 is still acceptable but 1 and 3 are disastrous. I want this sign to be seen!

(ChinRey sighs)

Oh well, Glod is really trying his best to help but in the end: with friends like this, who needs enemies?

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Lesson 4: The middle ground

This is a very important lesson: people in Second Life does not see your carefully created mesh. They may study it every now and then and marvel at all those lovely details but what they actually see as they go about their Second Lives, is mid and low res LoD models. That is how it should be. All those details are not necessary for a scene and there is no computer in the world powerful enough to render everything in an SL scene at speed.

People do notice distortions like the ones in all the GLOD created models though. They drop you straight into the eerie Uncanny Valley where things look almost but not quite right.

For this sign I really needed the chain to look spot on even in the mid level LoD model yet I needed to get the poly count way down. It actually accounted for almost 7000 of the 7358 triangles in the original. Here's the solution I came up with:



Took a bit of creativity and I could probably have reduced them down even more with no visible effect but with a little bit of reduction to the chain's fastening brackets too, I got the triangle count down to 602 and the land impact down from 13.803 to:



12.859. That doesn't sound like much, does it?

Still better than what GLOD could manage though and unlike GLOD I did it with no visible changes at all.

There's an important lesson there: Download weight is calculated separately for each model and then the four numbers are added together. If you really want to reduce the weight, you need to know which model is the heaviest one. In this case it's very clear to see but when I'm in doubt, I do a mock upload, zeroing out the models one by one to see how much each affects the LI.

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Lesson 5: Going low

I hate to make compromices but sometimes they can't be avoided. The chain of my sign isn't really noticeable at low LoD so I didn't really need it at all there. It is noticeable at the switch between low and lowest, when it suddenly pops up or vanishes, though, and because of that, I really wanted to keep it. However, simplified chain links wouldn't work since sudden shape changes between LoD models would be just as noticeable and since the low LoD model was so significant to the LI, a working chain representation would require far too many triangles. In the end I removed the whole thing and here's how the low LoD model turned out:



I couldn't remove the chain link face though and a single triangle there did more harm than good to the appearance so I hid it. Here's the bracket reduced to a single triangle:



What you don't see in this picture is that i's actually two triangles, facing in opposite directions, one assigned to the chain bracket face, the other to the chain face. Here I've moved one of them slightly upwards:



This trick has two functions, first, unlike what GLOD believes, it's usually better with no triangle at all than a single "eyesore triangle". The other function is to reduce the LI a little bit. With the vertices for the two triangles aligned perfectly with each other, the file becomes a little bit more compressable, reducing the download weight a little bit. Align your vertices consistently whenever possible and you can easily save 20-30% LI with no visible effect at all.

Here's a top view of the low LoD model:



Yes, it's hard to see what this picture illustrates but nearly all the triangles and vertices of the model are aligned with each other along the y axis. The only exceptions are the signboard face which has to be a bit away from the base plate to avoid texture flickering and the wall mount which may occasionally be seen from the edge even at low LoD. (Looking at that picture, I see where I could have done better but oh well, it's good enough to keep.)

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Lesson 6: The faraway

Here's the lowest LoD model:



and yes, I could have done a little bit better...

I don't know if anybody remembers an old C&W song called "The Builder":

  Ev'ry builder knows that the secret to survival
  Is knowing what to throw away and knowing what to keep

(Kenny Rodgers rewrote the lyrics and called it "The Gambler" but that advice doesn't make any sense at all to gamblers of course.)

A common problem with the lowest LoD model - and sometimes with other LoD models too - is what we need to keep. We need to keep triangles outlining the main elements. We also need to keep at least one triangle for each face and those are not necessarily the same ones.

In this LoD model the horizontal beam at the top is very prominent and needs four triangles, two facing each direction. Texturing isn't very important there though, we just need the shape. So, assign those four triangles to four different faces and we save three tris elsewhere in the model. There isn't much more to say about this model, really. I obviously kept four triangles for the actual sign - that part is important at any distance - and then cut down as much as possible everywhere else.

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Lesson 7: Getting physical

Finally time to upload:



We got the download weight down to 1.389, that's low enough to be rounded down to 1. Yay! :D

The physics weight is 1.4 though, not high enough to make a difference to the LI but even so, is that really necessary? People may bump into the sign every now and then but they're not likely to ever try to walk all over it. A cube would make a much better physics model than whatever the uploader generates (and if you thought GLOD was horribly bad at his job, just look at what lunacies his physics generating brother can dream up!)



0.36 physics weight, that's more like it.

I think most mesh makers know this but just in case:

Make two dae files, one with a single triangle and one with a simple cube, and save them in an easy to find spot on your harddisk. Use the triangle (0.200 physics weight) as physics model for items that don't really need physics at all and the cube (0.360 physics weight) for anything avatars and/or moving physical objects are going to bump into. No need to worry about the size of these two meshes, the uploader will automatically scale them to the same size as the main model.

 

But the proof is in the pudding...

And here it is. High LoD:



Mid:



Low:



Lowest:



And a few details:





 

A final word

We keep talking about keeping the LI down but this is also a way to increase the amount of fine details in the full high resolution model.

The challenge with this sign was of course the chain, the other parts are very simple. The common solution would be to reduce the curve resolution for the chain links but I really wanted to avoid that. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against octagons and hexagons, some of my best friends are...

No, they aren't really. Anyway: there is a time and a place for everything but a rugged chain is not the place for any kind of polygons.

These efficient modelling techniques meant that I could afford properly rounded chain links. They may actually be a bit too round, perhaps I should remove a few vertices from them just to make them look more natural before I upload to the main grid.

Resource efficient modelling is not about saving for the sake of saving, it's all about getting more for less.

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Hey

Thanks a lot for your detailed example. There's a lot to be gained by paying attention to these lods. For texturing, I am trying to fit as much as i can into a 1024 square by laying out uvs manually. It's just as much work as building itself. 

Your initial example of uv layout is indeed a huge waste of space. I don't know blender, can you manually generate, manipulate uvs in that software? 

The quality of sl image uploads is a bit a pain. it was mentioned above, the compression is making everything a lot more blurred. my 1024 photoshop file is substantially better then my 1024 upload. but i guess there's not much to do here. 

So far the tips I found here in this thread have helped greatly. So i'll update you with my tree project soon. I've so far experimented on other models how  the mesh uploader sees things. So i managed to get a pile of books from 5LI to 1LI and it's looking better too. Now. onto the tree.

 

 

 

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Rhiannon Arkin wrote:

Your initial example of uv layout is indeed a huge waste of space. I don't know blender, can you manually generate, manipulate uvs in that software?


Unfortunately for me, yes. I have a depressing tendency to try to edit every single vertice on the 3D model and the UV map and every single pixel in the texture manually. :P

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Rhiannon Arkin wrote:

Hey

Thanks a lot for your detailed example. There's a lot to be gained by paying attention to these lods. For texturing, I am trying to fit as much as i can into a 1024 square by laying out uvs manually. It's just as much work as building itself. 

Your initial example of uv layout is indeed a huge waste of space. I don't know blender, can you manually generate, manipulate uvs in that software? 

The quality of sl image uploads is a bit a pain. it was mentioned above, the compression is making everything a lot more blurred. my 1024 photoshop file is substantially better then my 1024 upload. but i guess there's not much to do here. 

So far the tips I found here in this thread have helped greatly. So i'll update you with my tree project soon. I've so far experimented on other models how  the mesh uploader sees things. So i managed to get a pile of books from 5LI to 1LI and it's looking better too. Now. onto the tree.

 

 

 

When I first started looking at mesh (maybe over four years ago) I went to a then popular (may still be -- I don't keep up) full perm mesh store that gave away items each month to the group. I found that each (EACH) leg of a table was on its own 1024 UV map. Well, not knowing any better --- we can assume that "I" assumed that was the correct method. 

 

OH HOW SILLY.

I admit that getting things down texture wise has been difficult for me, but it IS possible and with EXCELLENT results. The trick is high resolution baking with some hand work after. And yes, you can certainly (and should IMHO) map by hand. There are a plethora a reasons why NOT to let the automatic UV editor in Blender make your choices (more than with the LOD uploader for sure (again IMHO)

 

Here is a screenshot of the layout of a new building I am working on. The complete roof, ceiling, trim and decoration is all on one 1024 texture. it looks great in world. It was baked at 400 resolution in Cycles.

 

I actually LOVE laying out the UV maps. That and making the textures in Cycles are my favorite parts. It's like a puzzle trying to see the best way to fit thing into the grid. Remember of course that SCALE is important so that all your wood pieces look the same, metal etc the same. 

 



 

Not a lot of "air" there. It looks great inworld.  Whew!

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