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A perusal of new platforms and a review of what we know of some not unveiled had me thinking a bit tonight.

 

I grew up in a prim world. It was an impressive feat to take a prim (ring or tube or whatever) and turn it into a curved seating area; 1 prim -- a big deal if you only had 117 which is what the majority of us had then. These last four years I have been working in mesh. It wasn't an easy road, but these days I feel pretty comfortable and can generally make what I want to make as long as I don't journey beyond the home and garden arenas. I am very happy with Blender now that we have bonded, but still -- thinking about making a whole "scene" in a 3D program with no interaction in the "real" part of our virtual existence has me a bit  -- well, my head seems to be shaking a lot.

 

Mesh makers spend a lot of time outside of our virtual world, locked away on imaginary grids with nodes and lamps and all that jazz. Those making skins and texture garment or appliers have their own set of tools -- outside of the lands we live on. Still, we don't just hit a publish button and call it good. We import and texture and tweak and test. We put  together pieces of a model to make house, a copse of trees, a fairytale village square. We do this INWORLD, sometimes by ourselves, sometimes with others looking on and giving their opinions.

 

I remember the first time I moved a skybox up into the sky. Of course I didn't know I could just put the coordinates in, hit the OK button and then tp up TO it. How silly. Instead I moved it with the blue arrow up into the atmosphere. It didn't get far; it was a slow process. Still, there was a thrill of accomplishment when I got it up there. It seems to me that we lose that when our worlds are created in a closed environment. The thrill of our avatars manipulating prims and models get's lost. 

 

I am glad that on this platform we still have the feeling that we are creating our world INSIDE our world.

 

Just some late night thoughts. 

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I agree that I had much more fun building when it was all done in world other than custom textures.  Sometimes I was alone, but most of the time I had onlookers.  The onlookers could be apprentices I was teaching to build, building buddies there just to give me opinions and feedback, of a lot of times just various people watching that eventually would populate the sim that I was hired to build.  Occasionally I'd even participate in a group build project.

Building back then was many times a social experience as well as a creative one.  At first it bothered me to talk and build at the same time.  But I soon learned to multi task and could answer people while I built as long as they were patient and were willing to wait a few minutes for a good time for me to answer.  When voice came along it was a lot easier as I could voice and build at the same time, even if the person I was conversing with just listened and typed their part of the conversation.

I really miss those days because now I'm mostly isolated on another screen or not even in SL, other than for finishing up the final build by assembling and texturing it or scripting. Wouldn't it be great if we had much more flexible in world mesh building tools built into the viewer, even if it were a special version of the viewer so as not to confuse non builders.

I anticipate Sansar will be even more isolating, since I understand you'll have to submit the complete build for LL's approval before it's even in world.  I'm not even sure I will want to create anything in Sansar.

 

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I hadn't heard about the Sansar Lab approval bit. Do you remember where you found that? Always good to divide official statements from rumor. Whether or not you need approval, there have been a lot of official comments about "publishing". At first I was thinking it might be like Cloud Party where you worked on a -- let's call it sim for ease of understanding -- and then when you felt you were finished you sort of set it in stone by publishing. You could keep working on your UNPUBLISHED build, making changes, adding products in case of a store say and then publish "over" the earlier version. 

But the more I read snippets of info the less that seems likely. It also bothers me a bit that there hasn't been much unveiled from  the "200 creators" that went over in August with one comment from an official reported interview stating the most of the creators were working offline and learning the tools (these being guys who at least for mesh were working in Maya and hopefully proficiently). I spent a year and a half getting comfortable with Cycles when I already knew Blender; another year to get comfortable with another bit of software isn't making my bells jingle. 

 

So at this point, the new platform seems less like a "me" experience than I expected it to be. But my assumptions made from breadcrumbs of official and semi-official comments could be way off track. We'll know in a few months I guess. If nothing else it will be fun to visit and see the creations of the designers who call Sansar home. 

And yes, building WAS more social back towards the beginning :D.

 

 

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I can't recall where exactly I heard it but it was probably on the forum here in comments about was was said in an interview with one of the Lindens.  I remember that part of the process in submitting it was so it could be 'optimized' for Sansar.  Maybe I'm wrong about it, but if it was just a vague statement someone made without referring to a reputable source, I would have discounted it.

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Well even in the VERY beginnning Ebbe stated (on these forums somehwhere back then) that content would be converted to a proprietary format therefore limited the "stealability" of things. I just hadn't heard about the "going through channels" type of review :D.    I have no real problem with that, just more and more it is sounding like NOT my platform of choice (sadly as I was looking forward to it). 

 

Thanks.

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I'm glad you guys are having fun reminescing about the old ways.

The old ways weren't always the best.

I built quite a bit myself with prims when I first came to 2nd Life, but all around me were these amazing and detailed builds by designers using Mesh from Maya, Blender and etc.

My prim creations paled in comparison, and I thought to myself "These guys are making such nice stuff, it must be nice to be able to do that, have money for education, and the money for the software, but hey back to my <ahem> wood blocks". Still it was something I did, mainly creating sets and scenes for machinima and photography.

Then I discovered Gai Clary's tutorial on YouTube about making a mesh hat in Blender. Blender was quite ugly back then (2.5+?), I tried it out a few times but couldnt get past the ugly UI. At around 2.69, I picked it up again and started fiddling with it and following some basic tutorials. Here I am at 2.78 on my way to making some of the great builds I admired from early in my SL experience.

The magic of mesh for me was creating more detail in the same 'prim count'. If it took me 8 prims to make a throne now, Making it in 3-4 Li now is very acceptable (regardless of the low LI craze). People forgot that on many items it would take more prims (so they should actualy be happy with a 3-4LI chair now really).

However, building in SL did have its perks and fun. Frequently I would build in public sandboxes, mainly the now missing Hobo Sandbox, where I would construct, test, and show stuff I was making on , and more than a few convos would start for sure. Many times, I would simply do an "on-the-fly" unplanned build, maybe a small dance club, or grove or scene that not only lured other sandboxers over to hang out, but also functioned as prototypes (that I haven't replicated yet in Blender :/) for building ideas of the future.

Nowadays, I spend most of my time in Blender, testing in a localhost standalone installation of OpenSim, testing in Premium (and desolate) SL sandboxes, and in my Linden home for final uploads, testing, and texturing and release. Unlike the old prim-based, sandboxing days, I don't get to see how people use my stuff, and I've never been able to start a conversation through the marketplace (or even in the intermittent inworld stores I put up).

SL keeps changing. Some things will be better, and other things will be lost. It's <ahem>, "progress".

Want more alienation? Here comes Sansar!

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entity0x wrote:

I'm glad you guys are having fun reminescing about the old ways.

The old ways weren't always the best.


I don't think either of us claimed this or said the old way of building with legacy prims was better or that we had not moved on. Serious builders have.  That doesn't mean we can't say we miss the social aspects of building that were the norm for many of us before mesh.

Mesh has taken the 'community' out of many aspects of building.  I used to always have a couple of people I was teaching to build back then, now days I don't not only because it's difficult to teach when everyone is looking at a different screen and can't have hands on experience in building what is on the screen, but interest has waned.  Many people who may have been interested in the past aren't anymore due to the learning time and higher expense of building in mesh just as an outlet for personal creativity.

Does that mean mesh isn't an improvement, in many cases, in terms of lower LI, detail and server efficiency? No. 

 

 

 

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As most of us predicted when it became possible to import mesh to SL, building has become very much a professional exercise.  Amateurs can still build, but their work uauslly looks childlike by comparison with what can be made in mesh.  Casual builders these days create things for themselves, or just for fun rather than for the market.   When I saw this coming, I stopped making clothing and closed my in-world shop, as many people did.  I've been a full-time scripter ever since.

I don't get truly nostalgic for the "good old days", because the quality of creations in SL has improved dramatically.  If you're any kind oif creator, it's much more exciting these days.  The average resident is more likely to be a consumer than even a casual creator now, though, so SL has definitely changed.

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Pamela Galli wrote:

When the barrier to entry was raised so far beyond the skill level of most people, Second Life lost something very valuable.

With the danger of taking the discussion even further off track, take a look at Cuge Lacnala's christmas village. No pictures, they wouldn't do the build justice. You'll have to visit the place if you want to see it: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Buttermere/64/183/3011

The village was orginally made as a skybox (above a tropical themed homestead sim of all things), according to Cuge just to put the spare prims of the sim to some use. ;-) When the sim closed down, Cuge rebuilt it on the ground in Caledon and in 2013 the ground version was voted Best architectural design/build in a virtual world in a contest sponsored by VSTE. A few months ago I managed to persuade Cuge to rez the sky version above my Buttermere land. No real purpose to it really, I just didn't want the build to be lost in an inventory and never seen by anybody. Some pieces may have gone AWOL over the years but most of the buld should still be intact.

What all that has to do with this thread? Cuge doesn't build anymore. He told me he couldn't compete with all this new mesh stuff. He's wrong actually, the few meshes he made are all really good in every way. But that doesn't matter because the thrill is gone.

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I always do as much work as possible in-world and use Blender and other off-world programs only to add the detials that simply can't be done with prims.

One reason is that building in a virtual environment is more enjoyable than building but there's more to it than that. Buiding in SL makes it much easier to see how the work fits in SL, it's easier to get the proporions right and you see at a much earlier stage some of the places where there is room for improvement. People keep askign me how I get so low LI numbers without sacrificing LoD and although I haven't measured this the way I've done with the tricks I've posted elsewhere here, I'm farily sure that inworld building is an important part of the secret.

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While it has taken me awhile, I have definitely bonded with Cycles and enjoy building modeling in Blender. That being said, when I was in Opensim  I did a ton of building with prims and even made video tutorials on prim building. You can do some pretty spectacular things with prims and in Opensim where the land (and hence prim costs) as SO inexpensive, it is a more viable method. 

Still, by using the convex hull trick you can cut the prim count down a lot  AND as some of the great prim builders of the past taught us, a whole lot of the quality had to do with TEXTURES.   I was never all that good with drawing my own textures, so Cycles lets me get the look I want without the painfulness (for me) of graphics programs.

I love all the wonderful things mesh has brought into the world, and I do spend a fair amount of time looking at my work in progress IN world (hence better proportions than some well known builders -- who I am guessing do NOT continuously test their builds on the OMG BETA GRID!  LOL).   We each work in our own ways.

But, while there is some nostalgia in my post as I had some of my best times in building classes -- I was mostly mentally extrapolating the difference between prim building (all in world), current mesh building (part in world) and "hitting that publish button" that has been mentioned.  While it "may" be OK for me, I am thinking it might be too far removed from virtual life and much more of a simple commodity. That's not a bad things for some folks. Just not sure it will work for me.

 

And to Rolig maybe or whoever left clothing -- there is still a niche for great texture garments. I live in my applier jeans and just got some new pants last night. I wish more "old time" designers would delve into that a bit more. Now with mesh bodies that look so smooooooth, those clothes look super.  Here is a shot of some newly released applier pants.   Pretty amazing. We would have beaten down the doors back in the day to have something this nice. Skills and software have made improvements in all areas.

 



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Lovely, Chic!

To be more honest (with myself, mostly), the big reason that I stopped making clothing and became a full time scripter is that I am not a very talented artist but I do have a puzzle-lover's flair for writing challenging scripts.  It took the advent of mesh and the appearance of some truly excellent clothing design in SL to make me come to grips with my somewhat limited clothing talents. With the exception of a collection of nighties that continue to sell amazingly well after all these years, I have very little clothing left even in my Marketplace shop.

I have no personal regrets about this at all, because the change pushed me finally into becoming (modestly speaking  :smileytongue: ) a very good scripter.  My only moments of wistful musing are the ones I feel when I look around for all the other amateurs who used to make mediocre clothing back in the day when it was hard for most people to be much better. The same thing has happened in RL, of course.  It's hard to find fabric stores these days, and most households do not have a sewing machine anyway. My own has been gathering dust for ages. Progress is a mixed bag.

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Rolig Loon wrote:

To be more honest (with myself, mostly), the big reason that I stopped making clothing and became a full time scripter is that I am not a very talented artist but I do have a puzzle-lover's flair for writing challenging scripts.

Hmmm... I don't know about clothes but I have seen some very clever aquatic prim thingies made by somebody I believe is an alt of yours.

But maybe I'm wrong.

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Chic Aeon wrote:

But, while there is some nostalgia in my post as I had some of my best times in building classes -- I was mostly mentally extrapolating the difference between prim building (all in world), current mesh building (part in world) and "hitting that publish button" that has been mentioned.  While it "may" be OK for me, I am thinking it might be too far removed from virtual life and much more of a simple commodity.


I just wish we had good, user friendly in-world mesh building tools specially made for the special quirks of SL mesh. But that's not going to happen of course.

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ChinRey wrote:


Rolig Loon wrote:

To be more honest (with myself, mostly), the big reason that I stopped making clothing and became a full time scripter is that I am not a very talented artist but I do have a puzzle-lover's flair for writing challenging scripts.

Hmmm... I don't know about clothes but I have seen some very clever aquatic prim thingies made by somebody I believe is an alt of yours.

But maybe I'm wrong.

Heh.  I have a couple of clever alts.  They don't even tell me what they do in their spare time  :smileyvery-happy:

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Rolig Loon wrote:

Heh.  I have a couple of clever alts.  They don't even tell
me
what they do in their spare time  :smileyvery-happy:

 That's right, Never trust your alts!

I was thinking of a rather special one with a name similar to yours but in a different language. But you don't have to answer that of course. ;)

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Pamela Galli wrote:

When the barrier to entry was raised so far beyond the skill level of most people, Second Life lost something very valuable.

Yet, you and many others benefit greatly financially from it. It's the dream for most company owners to have a steep barrier to entry in order to secure their place - and therefore livelihood (usually with high prices).

Higher barriers to entry are great for the established. Keeps everyone else out.

But as a prior post stated "Progress is a mixed bag"

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entity0x wrote:


Pamela Galli wrote:

When the barrier to entry was raised so far beyond the skill level of most people, Second Life lost something very valuable.

Yet, you and many others benefit greatly financially from it. It's the dream for most company owners to have a steep barrier to entry in order to secure their place - and therefore livelihood (usually with high prices).

Higher barriers to entry are great for the established. Keeps everyone else out.

But as a prior post stated "Progress is a mixed bag"

And how exactly would you know I "benefited greatly" or not? Or is that just your usual bittter "elite envy" expressing itself yet again?

Actually, though I have managed through very hard work -- learning Blender was/is very very difficult for a non-technical person like me -- to do quite well post-mesh, my sales are not what they were in the pre-mesh heyday. I do well enough now, but competing with a tidal wave of "ripped from the internet" uploads as well as professional modelers has not been easy. Although I have had help from people -- including in the mesh forum -- NOTHING was given to me. I had NO building skills of any kind whatsoever. 

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ChinRey wrote:


I just wish we had good, user friendly in-world mesh building tools specially made for the special quirks of SL mesh. But that's not going to happen of course.

 Hmm. The quirks of SL mesh are a symptom of the less-than-perfect integration of mesh uploading. I could write a list as long as my arm of improvements they could make to their system that would improve accessibility to amateurs, but that's going off-topic.

There is definitely a social element to building in-world for many people. Most of my sales come from what I think of as 'mesh lego' kits, where I try to give the user as much freedom as possible in assembly. Its a lot of work, multiplied by those 'quirks', but its always a thrill to go to a customer's sim and see what they've built with my components.

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LOL. I used to sew for a living in real life and taught sewing classes in college when I was (gasp - 20 - and folks had a hard time "finding the teacher" amdist all the older women :D - funny memory).  

 

I was a fairly mediocre clothes maker. I CAN do it and I HAVE (mostly in Opensiim where my options were limited at the time). I think it took me a week to make my overalls.   And I am getting better with scripting although it is not my first love for sure. Still, I can get my texture and tint (and now shadow) menu that I made in a class LONG ago adapted and working the first time on a good day. 

 

We learn, we grow and we find our niche if we are lucky.

 

And here is a MUCH better photo of those pants. Somehow the uploader for the forums loses the lights and darks in compression. I checked my original photo and it was SO much better than what ended up here LOL.  

https://www.flickr.com/photos/24257589@N03/30596465384/in/dateposted-public/

 

Zoom in to see the details. Impressive. I want a really nice turtleneck APPLIER for Maitreya :D

 

 

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So I am continuing to work on my little house. Since it isn't "due" until the end of January I have no reason to hurry and am just kinda blissfully wandering around in Blender and daydreaming a bit (unusual but kinda nice). 

 

Anyway, two things. 

 

One, is YES TO TESTING.  You ("I") can only do so much inside of Blender when it comes to houses. Furniture? Not a big deal We know what size a table should be;  we can resize easily after upload.  But I have visited a fair number of other people's houses lately and have noted that while they are very cute, they don't "work" very well for living. This leads me to believe (supposition only) that they were not tested during the building stages (or after for that matter and by then it is pretty late in the game to make changes; if the creators are like ME, they get to a point of "IwantogetthisDONE" :D).

 

Anyway. I was starting to work on the doorway which has two tall windows on either side. They looked a bit narrow in Blender so I decided to upload just the frame and see how things were.  Actually it worked fine, but I think I will still widen the opening a tad and perhaps do away with the arches that were going in the window pane areas. I found that my frame was too SHORT and will now adjust rather than stretching it out later (not so good for the textures).

 

Walking around INSIDE your build gives you a better feel I think anyway of how the house IS in the virtual world -- rather than on the RENDER screen LOL.  

 



"I" don't venture over to the beta grid any longer ---- after spending a week fixing (or trying to) my inventory from dual usage. 

 

 

In the process I linked  joined the walls with all the windows and uploaded. Well THAT was easy! And something I rarely do. 

 

House is currently 22 with the roof. There is a big porch and an "awning" to add so I am thinking it will likely be around 30 when I get done.  This includes see it across 180 meters or so on LOD2 setting. Tiny window woods break at that distance of course.  I can live with that. 

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entity0x wrote:


Yet, you and many others benefit greatly financially from it. It's the dream for most company owners to have a steep barrier to entry in order to secure their place - and therefore livelihood (usually with high prices).

Higher barriers to entry are great for the established. Keeps everyone else out.

But as a prior post stated "Progress is a mixed bag"

 

 

I agree with Pamela on this. 

 

I made more money in the prim days with MUCH LESS EFFORT and not the thousands (many, literally) hours of practice in Blender it took for me to get where I am today.  I also keep ongoing tutorials for both mesh and prim building to help OTHER FOLKS that want to create.

 

Yes, I make some money in Second Life, but it is way more about creating. I am not trying to put kids through college or pay the mortgage. 

 

ASS-U-MING is a dangerous thing :D   You cannot know what motivates people OR put them all in the same category. 

 

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As Rolig says, as a creator, I am glad I was forced (at gunpoint, off a plank, to shark infested waters) to learn to make mesh. Never would I have volunteered to spend thousands of angst filled hours learning Blender, or replacing four sims of old content, and then going back three years later and redoing the early mesh I made, all the while keeping a steady work schedule of a new release every week. 

 

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I appreciate your skill and hard work that got you there, but that's besides the point. What was 'lost' has actually helped you succeed by widening the gap between builders and those who can mesh.

There is no envy in me. I either have contempt or admiration for someone. Stop playing the victim, I'm not attacking you, but if the shoe fits, wear it.

I have my own abilities as well, and simply stating things as they are, coming from humble prim building origins myself, and fully aware that if I was going to participate fully in building things for SL, I would have to embrace mesh.

Those who didn't or couldn't have moved on. There's no glossing over that REAL and sad fact.

 

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