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Phil Deakins

SL isn't the same any more

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2 hours ago, Phil Deakins said:

@ChinRey Ok. I see the differences in the prim's shape, and I see that all the edit box data is identical. So what's the other  "secret trick"? To put it another way, how was it done?

The first picture shows how a tapered, pathcut cube normally looks.

Add a circular hole and the sloping sides snap to the other shape in the second picture. You can then use the arrow button to reduce the hollow down to 0.0% and it retains the new shape because 0.0% isn't 0.000000000000000000%. As far as the viewer is concerned, the cube is still hollow, it's jsut that the hole is so small it isn't rendered. Click on that arrow button one more time, or type in a zero in the Hollow value field and it snaps back to the normal shape.

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45 minutes ago, Fluffy Sharkfin said:

If I had to guess I'd say it was Filter Forge, which has a huge library of user created procedural textures which can be used to generate near-infinite variations (in most cases complete with appropriate normal map, etc).

Awww, that was supposed to be a secret! :P

But you are right of course.

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1 minute ago, ChinRey said:

Awww, that was supposed to be a secret! :P

But you are right of course.

Doh, sorry! :S

Still, at least I didn't let on about the 80% sale they're having that ends today! ;)

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34 minutes ago, Fluffy Sharkfin said:

Still, at least I didn't let on about the 80% sale they're having that ends today! ;)

They have sales all the time. I wonder if anybody ever paid ful price for that program.

But seriously, there are three ways a texture creator can use Filter Forge.

One is to simply upload the ready-made presets, maybe with a minor tweak or two. That's what the majority of texture sellers do and it's no skin of my nose if they loose a few customers. They won't anyway. Jubjub once tried to put a stop to it - he uploaded a big bunch of Filter Forge factory presets and started giving them away for free - and people in SL still pay the well known brands good money for exactly the same textures. Even the ones Linden Lab included in some of their free-for-all textures packages still sell on MP.

The second way is to put some effort into it and use those ready made filters to make your own unique textures. There are a few people in SL who do that and they really deserve credit for their works. You really have to work hard to duplicate their textures though - better buy them from the experts.

The third way is to make your own filters. As far as I know, I'm the only one in SL who does that and I don't sell my textures. Maybe I should...

Oh btw, I suppose we all know that SL is full of free textures ripped from various games and websites long and we're not really supposed to use those because of copyright issues. Guess where more than half of those textures originally came from... ;)

 

Edit: For those who want free Filter Forge textures that aren't just factory presets and don't want to spend the money buying the program, somebody once posted a set of several hundreds of them on their web page under a CC0 license. The license even specifically states that we are allowed to use them in SL. Not sure if I'm allowed to post the link here but do a Google search for backgrounds my site my way.

Edited by ChinRey
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36 minutes ago, ChinRey said:

They have sales all the time. I wonder if anybody ever paid ful price for that program.

But seriously, there are three ways a texture creator can use Filter Forge.

One is to simply upload the ready-made presets, maybe with a minor tweak or two. That's what the majority of texture sellers do and it's no skin of my nose if they loose a few customers. They won't anyway. Jubjub once tried to put a stop to it - he uploaded a big bunch of Filter Forge factory presets and started giving them away for free - and people in SL still pay the well known brands good money for exactly the same textures. Even the ones Linden Lab included in some of their free-for-all textures packages still sell on MP.

The second way is to put some effort into it and use those ready made filters to make your own unique textures. There are a few people in SL who do that and they really deserve credit for their works. You really have to work hard to duplicate their textures though - better buy them from the experts.

The third way is to make your own filters. As far as I know, I'm the only one in SL who does that and I don't sell my textures. Maybe I should...

Oh btw, I suppose we all know that SL is full of free textures ripped from various games and websites long and we're not really supposed to use those because of copyright issues. Guess where more than half of those textures originally came from... ;)

Yeah I think the last two times I've been to their site it's been the final day of a sale, but I already signed up for lifetime upgrades to the pro version a year or two back.

It's definitely worth exploring the filter editor rather than just playing with the settings for existing filters, with the latest version you can even perform some pretty advanced image manipulation in addition to creating procedural textures.

Also, there is a fourth way to use Filter Forge to create textures for SL.  Most of the time I use it to generate a set of base textures (diffuse, height, specular, ambient occlusion, etc.) then import those into an app like Substance Painter or 3D Coat where they can used to create PBR (Physically Based Rendering) shaders which use the geometry of the model to calculate where the edges and indents, etc. are and allow you to automatically apply wear to edges, dirt to cracks and crevices, and so on.  Being able to generate multiple versions of the same texture but with additional effects like dirt, weathering, corrosion, etc. is ideal for a PBR workflow since you can then simply apply each on a separate layer and tweak the settings to control where on the model a particular version of a texture appears and how it blends into the layer above and below.  Those layers/shaders can then all be baked to a single set of textures (diffuse, normal & specular) and uploaded and applied to your mesh in SL.  

The latest texturing applications are quite advanced and will do a lot of the work for you in some respects, however it still requires some knowledge of the concepts of lighting & contrast, color theory and so forth in order to know how to set up all these shaders and what settings to use in order to get the best results.  And of course, as with any automated process based on procedural textures, the quality of the end result can always be improved upon significantly with a final pass by a skilled texture artist. 

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1 hour ago, ChinRey said:

Then you have hundreds, thousands of mesh items made by unskilled mesh makers. Or old mesh items. 

 

Well, from what i know and from my own experience, because i shop at the same places and i have the same issue, its not old mesh at all. Those are the ones you find in all the famous events we were talking about, those are the designers who sells the most in sl nowadays. Now to say they are the best quality, well.. that's of course another topic. But even if its not the best and most optimised mesh, their design and look is still really good. But yes, technically, they arent probably the best mesh. On the other hand, their price range is usually not really high. 

Im glad i recently changed the building of my store and opted for an not recent huge one from JOMO, which is maybe not entirely but for most part all prim. And well, althought i usually prefer mesh, this store is a total relief for me, bec things rezz super fast and i may rezz whatever i want inside, it NEVER fails. On top i could modify it as much i wanted thus, it looks exactly how i wanted now.

Before i had the beautiful watermill from Jenne Dibou, it s one of the most beautiful building i know in sl, imho. but everyone landing in my store had to wait long minutes before things starts to load. and rezzing anything inside was failing 80 % of the time, so i had to rezz a cube and make it flat outside, move it inside and do my stuffs on it, then derezz it... Not a big deal, but still annoying. I will miss the watermill, but i think my store is better now with the new building. 

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12 minutes ago, Trinity Yazimoto said:

Well, from what i know and from my own experience, because i shop at the same places and i have the same issue, its not old mesh at all. Those are the ones you find in all the famous events we were talking about, those are the designers who sells the most in sl nowadays. Now to say they are the best quality, well.. that's of course another topic. But even if its not the best and most optimised mesh, their design and look is still really good. But yes, technically, they arent probably the best mesh.

I'm actually going to go so far as to say that people who don't know how to make mesh with rezzable surfaces today have no right to call themselves mesh makers. Optimization is one thing. That actually requires a little bit of work and it's for the benefit of Second Life as a whole - the only reward the creator gets is the satisfaction of doing a better job. Making mesh you can rez on, however, is not difficult and takes less than a second. All you have to do is change one menu in the uploader from LL's ill chosen default. And it should all be well known by now. It's all over this forum, we have told all our builder friends (and they have hopefully told their friends), I don't know how many times me and others have answered questions about it at the big builders' groups, Aquila even does house calls to builders who need help. Yes, it is Linden Lab's fault. Documentation is their responsibility and it should have been available six years ago. But by now volunteers have spent precious spare time doing the work the Lindens are paid to do but don't and today there is simply no excuse for anybody who aspires to be more than a hobbyist building only for their own pleasure not to know something as basic as that. And once you know how to do it, there certainly no excuse whatsoever for not actually dong it.

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46 minutes ago, ChinRey said:

IThat actually requires a little bit of work and it's for the benefit of Second Life as a whole - the only reward the creator gets is the satisfaction of doing a better job. Making mesh you can rez on, however, is not difficult and takes less than a second. All you have to do is change one menu in the uploader from LL's ill chosen default. And it should all be well known by now. 

That's good to know. i knew some were investigating but i wasnt sure an efficient solution had been found.

If i happen to design items that have to be rezzed (and not avatar accessories that must be worn, as i do now) i will remind and do a lil investigation in the mesh forum or maybe ask you directly. 

(who knows... i have a project for a whole sim in a corner of my mind and id need buildings, so unless someone accept to go with me on that path, ill have to reproduce myself the buildings... .... one day... one day.... when ill have time for it... ^_^)

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6 hours ago, Trinity Yazimoto said:

That's good to know. i knew some were investigating but i wasnt sure an efficient solution had been found.

There are two ways, one of them - the one usually recommended - actually saves you a few seconds of work, the other one as I said in my previous post, takes less than a second. ;)

The rezzing problem only applies to analyzed physics models made from incomplete bodies, that is from shapes with one or more sides omitted.

I know that may sound like Greek to many but here's the practical answer.

Usually recommended: do not click on the "Analyze" button when you upload the mesh. The reason why that is the recommended one is that analyzed physics has some other disadvantages for walkable surfaces.

Sometimes you have to use analyzed physics though and in those cases, change the Method from Surface:

592eb24e68702_Skjermbilde(550).png.6d5a8ccb01ed21d43c60582e960fc223.png

to Solid:

592eb25fd15c9_Skjermbilde(551).png.cd85de2ec33d05638d956edf422aa216.png

Simple as that.

What happens when you change analyze method to Solid is that the uploader will add those missing sides to the model and the rezzing problem is gone.

There is actually a third method that is preferable to the second one: make sure there are no missing sides in the first place. But I suppose in this context that counts as the advanced solution.

The question now is, does Prokofy have the courage and dignity to apologize even though he doesn't have to anymore?

Edited by ChinRey
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16 minutes ago, ChinRey said:

The question now is, does Prokofy have the courage and dignity to apologize even though he doesn't have to anymore?

I may be wrong but I think it's unlikely. What's more likely, imo, is that she will either not respond at all, or she'll come back with a reason why what she wrote was correct, perhaps acknowledging that things should now be as you said.

Although I hate to say it, I think she may have a point on this occasion. It should now be the way you said, but whether or not most mesh uploaders upload the way they ought to is another matter.

@ChinRey Btw, huge respect and admiration from me for your efforts figuring out the cause of what I know from my furniture business was a major problem.

Edited by Phil Deakins
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12 minutes ago, Phil Deakins said:

@ChinRey Btw, huge respect and admiration from me for your efforts figuring out the cause of what I know from my furniture business was a major problem.

Yw but I have to say that the major share of the credit for solving this particular part of the mesh physics madness should go to Drongle, Arton and Aquila. An Yetius of course, I completely forgot to mention her!

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I'm not withdrawing what I wrote. You (and they) have my huge respect and admiration for doing it. If I knew more of that you did, you'd no doubt have more of it, but I don't. You already had a good deal of it due to your posts in the forum.

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Since we ended up talking about susfaces you can't rez on and it happened to be a question in the answers section about it at the same time, I think I should add that the problem can also occur with sculpt surfaces but for a slightly different reason. A sculpt has a rather awkward physics shape that usually doesn't match the visual model very well and when it comes to "rezzability" it's the physics shape that counts. Rez on the part of the sculpt that is covered by the physics model and all is fine, outside it you get that same meaningless "can't rez because the owner doesn't allow it" message and your item is lost until you relog and find it in your lost and found.

Edited by ChinRey
typo

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Also regarding floors, as far as I know it is still true that a floor (or wall) must be at least .5m thick or it stops acting like physics type prim and acts like none. I found this out only when Drongle told me this was why my 2nd floor was acting phantom.

These are the kinds of things that documentation would help with. Thank God for the mesh forum helpers, without whom people like me would be completely lost.

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55 minutes ago, Pamela Galli said:

Also regarding floors, as far as I know it is still true that a floor (or wall) must be at least .5m thick or it stops acting like physics type prim and acts like none. I found this out only when Drongle told me this was why my 2nd floor was acting phantom.

These are the kinds of things that documentation would help with. Thank God for the mesh forum helpers, without whom people like me would be completely lost.

Oh yes, that too. And the documentation did actually help there but no thanks to LL. We managed to locate online copies of both the super secret HAVOK manual LL told us they weren't allowed to show us and the end-user manual LL was supposed to give us but completely forgot about. Drongle had already guessed the answer but he wasn't sure until we had those manuals. It's a bug. Or rather it's an attempt to cover up the mistakes LL made when they thought up the land impact formula. For some reason LL got the idea that small triangles are bad for HAVOK so they decided that triangles should be assigned more weight in the calculation the smaller they got. And since they were allergic to trigonometry, they decided to use the smallest dimension of the entire object along one of the three axises as the measurement rather than the actual size of the triangles.

Sorry if that was a bit too technical but the result was that some objects ended up with unrealistically high calculated physics weights. The "solution" they came up with for objects with one dimension smaller than 0.5 m was to force them to use convex hull as their physics shape. That's why we get those doorways you can't walk through. For objects slightly bigger they simply pretended everything was right and left it to the users to deal with it. That's why we have those insanely high land impact readings for some twisted prims.

The manuals clearly showed what Drongle had already figured out: it's all sheer nonsense. HAVOK handles basic physics shapes exactly the same way as ODE (the original SL physics engine) and Bullet and ubODE (the two common OpenSim engines), it just does it faster and more efficient. Try to upload a few of those "closed doorway" walls to an OpenSim powered grid and they will cause no problems whatsoever. Or try to rezz a hundred twisted toruses and walk all over them. According to the land impact formula that should cause the server to crash before you can say "lag" and according to the same formula, before HAVOK you shouldn't even have been able to finish rezzing them all before the server melted its way into the center of the earth.

Edited by ChinRey
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Seriously? I thought these weird bugs were unavoidable laws of physics and/ mathematics that LL had to follow, not dumb**** stuff they made up.

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19 minutes ago, Pamela Galli said:

Seriously? I thought these weird bugs were unavoidable laws of physics and/ mathematics that LL had to follow, not dumb**** stuff they made up.

I haven't actually tried the twisted torus experiment but I have tried to upload some doorways that would have caused problems in SL to other grids and there are no particular issues with them there even though the physics engine those grids use are supposed to be less efficient than the one we use here. And there is absolutely no mention of triangle size in either of the HAVOK manuals.

Also, keep in mind that people were using those presumably dangerously twisted prims for years before HAVOK came along and there is absolutely no concievable reason why the old physcis engine should manage them better than HAVOK. (Edit: Just to avoid any misunderstandings: heavily twisted toruses are indeed relatively heavy on any physics engine and they did cause load problems before HAVOK, no doubt about that, but the problem was never anywhere near the scale that their current land impacts indicate.)

Edited by ChinRey
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On 5/31/2017 at 1:32 AM, ChinRey said:

Nope. I have lots and lots of practice and I know exactly what I'm talking about. ^_^

 

Then you have hundreds, thousands of mesh items made by unskilled mesh makers. Or old mesh items. As I said, LL didn't exactly document mesh so we had to do quite a lot of testing to figure it out and that took a while. Me and Drongle and Aquila and Arton and others have spent endless hours on the beta grid reverse engineering the uploader's handling of physics models. It's all documented in the mesh section of this forum. Browse through all the old posts there and you'll find all the info, both the theory and practical examples.

Or I can tell you here. But you have to say please first because you my friend need a lesson in politeness more than anything else.

I remember when I first started making mesh (and it was maybe a year after it came into being) and I would fall through the end of the floor on a cube. And the answer on the forum was, "yep".  And back then you ALWAYS floated above the floor. Drongle explained how to do a triangle to make the floor seem more normal (long time ago and don't remember much) and that worked --- for a little while and then things changed and my floor that WAS great, stopped being great. So for awhile I just used a prim for the floor as that was safer.

We have all hopefully come a long ways from the early days. It has been a learning journey. I just redid (well I started completely over and just kept the idea and the window) a build that I made a couple of years ago in Opensim. My new version is leaps and bounds beyond the last. And I have plenty of old builds from "top" makers that have issues but they have mostly solved them  these days.

I personally believe that you know what you are talking about. We don't always agree and we don't have to, but I don't doubt your knowledge. 

AND. Since I am a tester girl at heart, I just TPed up to my bedroom where I rezzed the first two times that I found in my inventory on top of my just finished bed. The table is still in its untextured state even. 

 

They rezzed perfectly on top of each other. Whew!

 

Note: Well actually the table is a bit lower on the lamp that I would expect it to be, but I will take it as it DID rez and not in the middle of the room LOL. 

592fe678b07e8_stacking600.jpg.a54199490b9682cf1c53d9da96112136.jpg

 

Edited by Chic Aeon
replacing HUGE image with smaller version :D

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55 minutes ago, ChinRey said:

Try to upload a few of those "closed doorway" walls to an OpenSim powered grid and they will cause no problems whatsoever.

That was true but not so much these days. UbODE is in effect on some grids. I have tested it a lot on OSgrid's UbODE sandbox and it seems to work much like SL physics so far as physics models and such. So these days I make all buildings for UbODE and they also work for ODE and Bullet of course.  Some of my older Opensim builds were not, mostly because I was going by what I was told LOL. Oh well. 

Edited by Chic Aeon

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23 hours ago, Chic Aeon said:

Yes, I understand that completely and that really wasn't my point. My comment was directed at the OP and then at the following comments about why mesh is so popular. I do understand that a tortured prim is just as bad as many sculpts or as some very dense or badly made mesh. 

What I was referring to is the POPULARITY of Mesh in SL verses in Opensim and the main reason why. 

I know, that's why I tried to make it clear that I understood this is what you meant. I apologize if that didn't come off properly.

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22 hours ago, ChinRey said:

Optimized mesh, yes. But not always. In any case, render cost is not a factor in the land impact calculation, LI is all about how much load an items is presumed to add to LL's servers and connections, client-side load is completely ignored.

In addition to that, the land impact calculation has some serious flaws. Those sky high physics weights attributed to some twisted prims is one of them. As far as I know, there is no indication those numbers reflect any actual physics load increase, nor is the phenomena mentioned anywhere in the HAVOK documentation. Another flaw is that it seems to give assets server load far too much significance compared to sim server load and bandwidth and that is the main reason why prim builds tend to end up with higher LI than similar mesh ones. Even so, yes, it is better than the old prim count.

That is a very good point, yes. I agree that Land Impact is useful but not perfect.

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14 hours ago, ChinRey said:

Yes. Unless it's a very simple mesh it has to be optimized for a specific size and there are limits to how much you can resize before you get serious LoD (if you scale it down) or LI (if you scale it up) issues. There's no real solution to that.

I wanted to point out the reasoning behind this. The larger an object in SL is, the larger distance it will keep it's highest LoD settings, meaning it will have a larger impact on rendering performance. One of many reasons why it's good to build to scale.

14 hours ago, ChinRey said:

That's not really a mesh issue as such. But it's fashionable to use baked textres for everything these days and with those it is limited how much you can modify.

People in SL tend to be overprotective of their textures, to a fault, but some creators have realized they benefit more by providing texture files directly to their customers and even letting them resell those textures in a way that adds value to and increases the sales of the mesh items those textures were originally created for. A piece of mesh clothing for a Kemono or Snaggletooth avatar might have dozens of third party texture mods and people will often buy the original clothing specifically to use it with one of those mods.

14 hours ago, ChinRey said:

You really shouldn't have that problem today. It only applies to meshes with faulty physics. It took us a while to figure it out - it's not as if LL ever published any usable documentation about mesh - but today any half decent mesh maker knows how to make proper physics models you can rez on.

 

10 hours ago, Prokofy Neva said:

This is simply 100% false. I don't know how people end up saying things like this. I think it comes from theory, without any practice.

I think what ChinRey is saying is that a solution was found to the problem Prok describes, and more and more content creators are creating content with that solution, but if this is true there is still a lot of mesh content out there that suffers from the problem. I know I experience it myself on a regular basis.

That's one of the obstacles SL has in being accessible, when a solution to buggy content is found it doesn't make the old buggy content go away and it doesn't necessarily stop uninformed creators from continuing to create buggy content.

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On 5/10/2017 at 3:50 PM, LittleMe Jewell said:

Those drastic changes also impact the ability to understand the SL world after a break of a few years.  New folks learn it as it is without knowing any different.  The folks that have been here "consistently" have learned and adapted as changes came about during their time.  However, those of us that took a few years off, left knowing the world one way and come back to something totally different.  I think we are the batch having the most difficulty in adapting to the changes.

I've been in SL almost daily for more than ten years. I've seen the changes coming down the pike, seen them imposed (usually against strong protest from the residents) and seen the results (usually bad). Regarding mesh, I thought it was interesting. When it arrived, I tried the clothes and it was a disaster. It was as if I had gone to MANGO and the salesgirl had said I'd have to gain five pounds to try on a pair of jeans and quit the gym to fit into a tank top. Meanwhile, she's advising my friend to consider breast enhancement and liposuction before attempting to try on an evening dress. Sorry, I'm not going to visit a plastic surgeon before buying clothes - in RL or SL.

Regarding Phil's point, he's right. The whole point of SL - and one of the key factors in its success - was the ability of the average person to be creative either through building or personal expression (fashion, animations, home decoration). For clothes, it meant mixing and matching, modifying prims, even creating accessories oneself. So, yes, while one needs to be able to adapt to change, not all change is good. Those who refuse to adjust to bad changes are not necessarily old and stubborn. They may be simply unwilling to give up sirloin steak for hamburger.

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So since this has turned into a mesh creation topic... :)

If somebody was sitting on a copy of blender, and a book on getting started in blender. Assuming they first finished that book - or even if something different is recommended...

For a person at day 1... what should I do if I want to learn mesh making for SL?

Where are the top resources, of places to go in SL and join a class, or what have you?

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