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Trinity Fullstop

Does anyone build with prims anymore

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Rezzed sculpts aren't too bad ... as they came with 2 hard caps.

There was a limit to the amount of complexity that you could force into the format and a social pressure to make as much (if not everything) 1 prim .. because we all had caps on how many we could rez.

Worn scuplts are a different story. The social cap wasn't in place on worn items, so 200 prim sculpt hair was pretty common and entirely terrible.

 

That said, the legacy of sculpts being pushed to the absolute limit did have the knock on effect that some viewers started undermining the viewers built in LOD in order to get them to load.

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47 minutes ago, Alyona Su said:

That's a great point about sculpties (which is actually a prim sphere) - I have a couple motorboats that are made from sculpties that look every bit as awesome as mesh counterparts and they do rez much, much faster. I suppose it has to do with the resolution of the sculpty map texture? And in the end: textures are the leading cause of lag in SL, hands-down. So, I must admit - as a reflection on it - you're right: I'll have to rearrange my preferred build to be prims first, sculpties second, mesh third in terms of object-type priorities. :)

I def agree with you that Prims > Sculpts > Mesh. The resolution will be part of it but also how complex the sculpt is. When creating a sculpt in blender you can still divide the face into more faces thus upping the complexity and maybe increasing the time it takes to load in world. But no matter how complex the sculpt....still 1 land count xD. Win win. I love mixing sculpts into prim builds to enhance their look, so for example, a house with prim walls, floors, ceiling, window hole etc etc and then use a sculpt to create a really neat looking curved roof that curves around at the edge and also use a sculpt to create a really rustic looking wooden window frame etc etc.

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Thank you to everyone who took the time to comment. I love that rims are still being used... and loved.

I think the best way forward for me is what so many of you have suggested - prims, sculpties and a bit of mesh - using everything for the best effect and the greatest joy. This may just be enough to give SL one more 'go'.

Thanks again everyone, hopefully I'll see you, or some of your build inworld ? 

Edited by Trinity Fullstop
missed a word or two
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I use prims.  I use only prims for a couple reasons, not the least being the only blender I can figure out is the one in the RL kitchen.

Ok, serious.  I don't like mesh.  It never quite looks right in a building and sometimes takes forever to load properly.  As far as the folks who dislike prim construction, I don't build for them.  I build for me so, frankly, I don't care what they think.

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I still build with prims.. Sometimes, late at night, I log in and torture them into weird flexing shapes then load them up with color changer scripts, particle scripts and animation scripts.. then I turn the windlights off and watch them swirl and float in the dark...? .....Seems to help my insomnia. ?

 

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11 hours ago, ArgontheDevil Ormega said:

Ok, serious.  I don't like mesh.  It never quite looks right in a building and sometimes takes forever to load properly.

Well made mesh loads fairly fast, it's all the dodgy meshes that are causing serious problems. But even the best optimised mesh will always be slower to load than prims. It's several times as much data to download after all.

Besides, there aren't that many skilled mesh makers who build for Second Life, probably only a few hundred, maybe even fewer.

Making mesh for SL is difficult, very difficult. I started building in Second Life (prims first, then more and more meshes). It took a long time before I dared trying to make mesh for other environments. I thought that since I was struggling so hard to handle the simplified meshes of Second Life, I didn't stand a chance handling the real thing. When I finally took the plunge, it was quite a shock to discover it wasn't harder at all, it was much, much easier. Most of the challenges serious SL mesh makers struggle with, don't exist anywhere else.

When LL introduced mesh, they tried to make it as easy as possible to work with. Unfortunately, as so often when people try to oversimplify, they only ended up making it even harder.

But enough of that. This thread has given me an idea and it looks like this:

https://community.secondlife.com/forums/topic/426750-show-off-your-best-prim-builds/

 

Edited by ChinRey
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Someone saw a post I'd made on the forum and had questions about it, so I went over to help and wound up seeing a lovely art installation they were in the middle of building. And all of it was done entirely in prims. So there are people still building in prims.

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11 hours ago, Penny Patton said:

so I went over to help and wound up seeing a lovely art installation they were in the middle of building. And all of it was done entirely in prims.

Just out of curiosity, did that installation include elements from Eric Linden's Atoll build?

Edited by ChinRey

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On 8/23/2018 at 7:21 PM, Fionalein said:

I buildt almost our entire club back then out of prims... concrete builds are such prim friendly structures... I understand why folks go for mesh though - I used mesh stairs too.

 

On 8/23/2018 at 10:58 PM, Parhelion Palou said:

I buy lots of mesh components, such as columns, stairs, windows, etc. to use for mixed mesh/prim builds. Sometimes I want something that I can't find in a reasonable amount of search time, so I build it in-world. For example, in a previous region build I had an underground steampunk-themed harbor with hidden sea doors. It would've taken a custom mesh build to fit the mountain it was in, but I could use mesh components (columns, doors, the cliff face, machinery, etc.) and prims to put it together fairly quickly.

 

On 8/24/2018 at 12:09 PM, Alyona Su said:

Prims have no LOD issues, prims rez much faster (sloppy textures notwithstanding), prims (short for "primitive shape") are easier to build with, prims are built into the viewer so create almost zero frame rate lag. I personally prefer prim builds to mesh even at the cost of a few points of Land Impact for these reasons *if* it looks good enough and feasible to do so. Though I hate sculpties because they are usually the slowest to rez and my impression is that rezzing time seems to be directly related to the final size of the object.

So, based on my own experience, the best sim builds use prims for the most part with *some* mesh dressing in small detail areas and few-as-possible sculpties. These are the best-looking, fastest-rezzing, lowest lag sims I have always experienced, even when full of avatars.

I'm in this camp.

With materials, prims can look as good as mesh, and often with less lag and less impact. I use prims for foundations, concrete slabs, windowless walls, glass panes, bubbles, blast doors- anything like that. And then I add mesh for details like stairs, railings, switches, levers, window frames, doors with handles and windows, etc.

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My new shop is entirely prims. It was great fun to make, there's no LoD collapse, the only physics issues are when I convex hull the wrong bits, it's very moddable and the LI's great. I think every friend I told about it asked if I'm going to do it in mesh. Why? Aside from a ramp which might become mesh stairs at some point, there's very little to gain (a couple of LI at best) and much to lose.

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Yeah when you build big the 1LI prims really beat any meshes when it comes to walls and floors...

However if you go materials it might backfire. One of the laggiest buildings I ever saw was only buildt from cube prims - many intersecting cube prims with materials and animated texture... hurray.

Edited by Fionalein
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I still build with prims all the time, they have great uses that mesh cannot compete with(or competes equally except the fact prims are free). Off the top of my head, prims beat mesh at the following:

  • Prototyping
  • Collision and collision fixes
  • Script host boxes
  • COG fixes(EG: making a prim in half and using it to have better collision than mesh with a weird triangle sticking out of it)
  • Quick builds
  • Sim surrounding terrain(With sculpts)
  • Buildings(I've seen some that amazed me that they were actually prims instead of mesh)
  • Nostalgia. I love me some old prim based avatars every now and then.
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On 8/24/2018 at 10:57 AM, angeoco said:

I built my house from prims, but would like to be able to convert things like stairs and windows to mesh, to reduce prim count, and also convert my grass area to make it look more "organic". I have started various online courses in Blender, and bought a still-unopened book, but maybe some day I will get the patience to actually stick with it ... :$

I do all my builds in prims .. but then use Mesh-Studio to tuen some of the more prim-intensive parts (Stairs, detailed window frames, doors, etc) into mesh pieces. The combination works great and keeps the LI down ?

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Prims aren't the best for building. 1 LI for each prim. Whereas when you link mesh items, sometimes it can decrease LI. Low LI = more room to build.

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52 minutes ago, rtd144 said:

Prims aren't the best for building. 1 LI for each prim. Whereas when you link mesh items, sometimes it can decrease LI. Low LI = more room to build.

Just a quickie. Three prim tree stumps, 1 LI:554362557_Skjermbilde(1895).png.39d80ceb3eb66f47bab5826b02affafc.png

How much wuld that be as mesh? I mean proper mesh without LoD butchery and such fith

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2 minutes ago, ChinRey said:

Just a quickie. Three prim tree stumps, 1 LI:554362557_Skjermbilde(1895).png.39d80ceb3eb66f47bab5826b02affafc.png

How much wuld that be as mesh? I mean proper mesh without LoD butchery and such fith

How's messing with the LOD "butchery" lol

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20 minutes ago, rtd144 said:

How's messing with the LOD "butchery" lol

Set your graphics preferences to standard medium, then look at the mesh at various distances from right up close to the highest reasonably realistic view distance (30-40 m for indoors bjects , 128 m for outdoors ones). If the mesh is significantly deformed or - even worse - has disintegrated into disjointed triangles at any distance, it's been a victim of LoD butchery. Its'a  common cheat used by unskilled mesh makers to reduce the LI. It works but it comes at a great cost. To view those items properly, you have to increase your viewer's LoD factor and that adds a lot of unnecessary strain on your gpu. Skilled mesh makers have other less destructive and jsut as effective methods to keep land impact down and don't need to resort to such cheats.

You'd be hard put to get that trio down to 1 LI as mesh though. I told you it was a quickie and I didn't choose the camera angle very well. One of the trunks has a crack going all the way down and that adds quite a bit of geometric complexity that isn't very noticeable in the picture.

Prims do have their limits but they are not nearly as limited as many seem to think these days. There are many builds that can be made with much lower LI as prims than as mesh and besides, no matter what the land imapct is, prims will always load faster.

Edit: Maybe I should explain a little bit about the difference between prims and meshes:

A prim as you see it in SL, is a mesh, nothing special abut it at all. But the mesh is not downloaded from the assets server, it's generated by the viewer from a very simple mathematical formula.

A polylist mesh - what we usually simply calls "mesh" - is stored by the assets server and every single little detail has to be downloaded.

Edited by ChinRey
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On 8/24/2018 at 7:08 AM, Trinity Fullstop said:

Wondering if anyone builds with prims anymore. The old fashioned way - inworld , upload textures - all that historic stuff. Just wondering :-)

Yes absolutely, it is the only inworld building system we currently have.

Edited by Gabriele Graves
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1 minute ago, ChinRey said:

Set your graphics preferences to standard medium, then look at the mesh at various distances from right up close to the highest reasonably realistic view distance (30-40 m for indoors bjects , 128 m for outdoors ones). If the mesh is significantly deformed or - even worse - has disintegrated into disjointed triangles at any distance, it's been a victim of LoD butchery. Its'a  common cheat used by unskilled mesh makers to reduce the LI. It works but it comes at a great cost. To view those items properly, you have to increase your viewer's LoD factor and that adds a lot of unnecessary strain on your gpu. Skilled mesh makers have other less destructive and jsut as effective methods to keep land impact down and don't need to resort to such cheats.

You'd be hard put to get that trio down to 1 LI as mesh though. I told you it was a quickie and I didn't choose the camera angle very well. One of the trunks has a crack going all the way down and that adds quite a bit of geometric complexity that isn't very noticeable in the picture.

Prims do have their limits but they are not nearly as limited as many seem to think these days. There are many builds that can be made with much lower LI as prims than as mesh and besides, no matter what the land imapct is, prims will always load faster.

This is true. I don't ever have a problem with LODs so I legit forgot about it for a bit. And when I do see it, I personally don't care if things turn into wacky triangles at a certain distance anyway. *shrug* But I see your point. Generally mesh has a lower LI, but I know there's exceptions, depends on size as well.

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1 minute ago, rtd144 said:

This is true. I don't ever have a problem with LODs so I legit forgot about it for a bit. And when I do see it, I personally don't care if things turn into wacky triangles at a certain distance anyway. *shrug* But I see your point. Generally mesh has a lower LI, but I know there's exceptions, depends on size as well.

If you want to be a good builder, don't limit yourself to one material or one technique. Learn the pros and cons of them all and choose whichever is most suitable for what you are buiding.

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Whichever accomplishes the goal more efficiently, if I just need a platform to stand on I don't need to rez a mesh. 

Prims are great for prototyping but I prefer mesh for finer details and LI optimization. 

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Me!  I do all the time.  But, it's prims, sculpties and partial mesh all mixed together.  But, I am always rezzing boxes and I love it!  Wish there was a way to mesh vertices inworld.  I think that's the part that creates the mesh - the vertices?  (I do not create inside a program due to life limitations at present....I simply do not have the time.)  Mesh to me is sort of like welding to simply terms.  If only a way to do it inworld.  Maybe someday? But, I am still having fun mixing prims, scultpies and partial mesh.  I love all kinds of creations here on SL!  It's an amazing world!  Sometimes, the prims looks a little more like a hand-made object you might find at an arts and crafts festival for example...like the earrings I made in photo #2 from bits and bobs.  

 

Snapshot_350.png

Snapshot_043.png

Edited by FairreLilette
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I love prims for quick prototyping, and as many have mentioned here, there are use cases for them where they're the best possible choice, no doubt.

But... once you learn Blender (or other such apps), you will find that the time saved is desirable, and... the immensely powerful (infinitely modable) toolset cannot be done without.  You can even make your own plugins to create custom workflows and efficiencies exact to your need.  And, there are thousands of such plugins already in the community, some of which are huge feature additions in and of themselves.   Like Sensi Format, Avastar, & Zero-Brush etc.

Once you get used to the workflow its actually really fast to rapidly protoype from blender to SL.  LOD is not hard to do if you begin your creation thinking of the LOD first, most artists do this anyway, rough out the design in low poly stuff that looks good if you squint from a distance lol, save copies of all that.  Then when the time comes, get into the mesh and add more loops etc, to get the features you want up close, choose carefully, spare not a single vertice!  Along the way you can save iterations of it that may be of use for LOD, you could also just wait to the end for LOD though, if you added detail correctly, it will be easy for you to jump in and decimate vertices, loops, edges, etc.  Sometimes you'll have to go a few rounds until its just right, but the more you do it the more proficient you'll become.  AND the more you will appreciate the quality mesh that people do bring in world.

Im amazed at some of the things people build with prims, its got a lot of shapes to work with.  But, it can really take a lot more time to do certain things, and some things are impossible.

We will get updates to both Prims, and the Mesh handling eventually, look in Jira you can see SL is constantly evolving. :)

Edited by Macrocosm Draegonne
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