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Kyrah Abattoir

Why beginners don't learn the basics first?

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Wulfie Reanimator said:

That's not a very accurate summary of Open Source at all. I suggest you look into it.

Open-source devs have customers -- everybody using that software. People don't (usually) create complex programs and just let it loose to never make money off it. They often get paid to fix problems or teach others to use it, among many other ways. Even Blender does this. They have a subscription service called Blender Cloud (which is making at least $46k/mo), which includes training, movies made with Blender, and a production pipeline.

Yeah me and my big fat brushes are becoming a pattern isn't it, I did say it "TEND" to happen.

3 hours ago, MaxSilverDragon said:

the problem right now there is no simple mesh making tools out there

blender has too much features so it's hard to navigate through it to get to the ones you want Maya cost $3,000 3D modeling needs a free program to use or it's easy to pick up we basically need a Unity of 3D modeling make 3D modeling even possible for most people

But making meshs is not simple. I've used "simple" softwares in the past, my first 3D model was made on Milkshape3D more than 20 years ago. But it's always a pain because the tools you need simply aren't there. You don't have enough control over what you are creating to be able to do it well.

Blender's main sin is that it doesn't follow at all the standards for interface design that are pushed by Microsoft & Apple operating systems, and as a result it's really difficult for people to learn by "poking" at the program.

It is designed to be flexible and to make you work with both hands: one on the keyboard and one on the mouse.

Edited by Kyrah Abattoir

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7 hours ago, animats said:

I can live with Blender. It's been around for over 15 years, and it used to have the user interface from hell. By 2.79, it had achieved the user interface from heck. Haven't tried 2.8 yet, but that's supposed to be better.

My main complaint about SL content creation in Blender is the LOD system. The whole LOD thing needs to be automated, to the degree that it is in Sansar and for prims.

Almost nobody really makes hand-built low-LOD models. Yes. Chin Rey does it. I've done it, and it's too much work.

Open Firestorm. Open the lower right Firestorm menu for Quick Preferences. Set LOD factor to 0. Now you see the lowest LOD model of everything. Go to some shopping area. Look around.

badboats.thumb.jpg.11dfa40dd87dbae8f77325fbbde5765c.jpgThese are good boats with bad LODs. Low-detail, OK. See-through, not OK. Come on, at least give us a textured box for the hull.

See through buildings reduced down to a few random triangles. Concrete ground missing. Aargh. Again, a textured box would be OK.

goodboats.thumb.jpg.1115b6efe288d3431999fb1f7a8d4082.jpg

Same scene,  normal LOD settings.

I don't blame creators for this. I blame LL's tool builders. Fix the tools once, and everybody gets it right. Beats beating on creators.

If you could just create in Blender, and what you did there went in-world with no fuss, creators would have a much easier time.

In the years that SL has had a really crappy LOD system, everybody else in gaming has made progress. There are solutions for this. And LL knows it, because they bought one of them for Sansar.

 

Oh I absolutely blame creators for it. They could do things properly, but since there is no monetary incentive to do it? They don't.

Now, I know you are in the "auto-lod boat", but since we aren't there yet. Wouldn't it be amazing if the uploader refused bad lods...

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6 minutes ago, Kyrah Abattoir said:

Blender's main sin is that it doesn't follow at all the standards for interface design that are pushed by Microsoft & Apple operating systems, and as a result it's really difficult for people to learn by "poking" at the program.

Those standards are, at best, artificial and they really aren't the "best" for some people. It's arguable that they aren't even a good "average" but they are what we got so we live with 'em.

Take a trip down memory lane to a time before Apple and when pretty much the only Microsoft product was MS-DOS, a command line operating system that, at the time, was clunky even by the standards of the then-current tech.

There was a GUI system though, the brainchild of Xerox PARC and called X. Its descendants have managed the GUI on every unix and linux machine ever since. Unlike the Apple interface or Windows, though, it was never monolithic, never intended to be. Don't like how a particular window manager behaves? Want a feature that is only implemented in a minority version? Fine. Configure your login to use the one you want. Want different shortcut keystrokes for different things? No problem. Change your config files. What made a particular setup universally hailed as "good" wasn't that it was ideal right out of the box. The "best" implementations were always the ones that were most configurable, that no matter how you wanted to use it, you could set it up to be used that way.

This was reflected in the software written to use it. Everything was usually configurable. Some people liked left button select, some people liked middle button select or right button select or some combo of a button and one or more modifier keys. And they could set it up that way. What you got "out of the box" was how the guy who coded it liked to work with it and if you wanted it different you could make that happen.

Blender is like that. You've ALWAYS been able to set up its UI the way you want, to change the functions of every keypress or mouse event to make the actions you're familiar with do what you're familiar with them doing. That's hard on the folks making video tutorials though, or their intended audience. If everybody has their blender install configured with different controls this particular tutorial medium becomes less useful so all the reference material assumes the controls have not been reconfigured - and blender's UI came to be viewed as "hard to learn" instead of "easy to configure"

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4 hours ago, MaxSilverDragon said:

the problem right now there is no simple mesh making tools out there

Not quite. The problem is that there are no game assets creation tools.

There are several simpler mesh making tools but they are even less suitable for virtual reality and game modelling because they lack the flexibiity of the big everything-but-the-kitchen-sink programs.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Kyrah Abattoir said:

Yeah me and my big fat brushes are becoming a pattern isn't it, I did say it "TEND" to happen.

If you're referring to "non-contributing user requirements," that's actually the least important part. My points were:

  1. When you're making professional-grade software as is the case with Blender, you don't tend to just think "me me me."
  2. Most open-source projects (especially large ones) have some way of generating revenue, even if not directly.

As for Blender's user interface, they've completely redone it in 2.8 and while it can still be pretty overwhelming to newbies, it's not Blender's fault that content creation for Second Life doesn't make use of even a fifth of its features. It's more so the fault of Second Life for being a bit aged. Why @MaxSilverDragon thinks Maya is a good example of a "simple" program or interface boggles my mind, but I digress.

Edited by Wulfie Reanimator

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I don't know either, Maya, 3DStudio & Lightwave are hardly "simple" softwares.

But does it matter if a software has tools in it you're not going to use anyway?

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Kyrah Abattoir said:

I don't know either, Maya, 3DStudio & Lightwave are hardly "simple" softwares.

But does it matter if a software has tools in it you're not going to use anyway?

It does matter, especially as a beginner/early-intermediate.

Lots of features = Lots of interface (complexity). There's a thing called "information overload" and it's very prevalent in complex things like Blender. Every time you see something new, you can either ignore it entirely and get set on a path of inefficient workflow (and most likely lowering your skill potential), or you have to figure out "what is this and is this relevant/useful for me?" For content creators on SL, most things in Blender are "not relevant" so you feel overwhelmed and as if you're wasting time trying to figure stuff out.

Once you've figured out what you don't need, you're probably already intermediate at Blender/modeling.

Edited by Wulfie Reanimator
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7 hours ago, animats said:

Almost nobody really makes hand-built low-LOD models.

Oh no. All serious mesh makers I know of do it. It doesn't have to be that difficult or time consuming either. It can be if you really, really want to optimise but it's no big deal if you just want LoD models that is better than the ones the uploader generates and are familiar with Blender or Maya.

 

8 hours ago, animats said:

My main complaint about SL content creation in Blender is the LOD system. The whole LOD thing needs to be automated, to the degree that it is in Sansar and for prims.

Sansar uses Umbra 3D and I don't really see that as an option for SL for several reasons. (I'm not convinced Sansar's reliance on Umbra is a good idea either but that's another topic.)

As for prims, they are procedural objects and it's much easier to generate LoD models for those than it is for polylist meshes.

Look at this disc:

image.png.53d4fde9845d75e7a39a300730af250a.png

We need 24 vertices for the high model, 16 for the mid, 9 for the low and 6 for the lowest.

If this is a prim, what the computer knows is that it's a circle with a specified radius. From that info it's dead easy for it to generate all the four LoD models.

However, if it's a polylist mesh, all the computer knows is the location of the 24 vertices in the high resolution model. It has no idea what kind of shape it represents. How do you expect it to turn that 24 vertice circle into one with 16? It may be able to do 12, 8, 6 and 3 fairly easily but even that can be tricky if the vertice list isn't well sorted and the edge loop isn't well defined.

This is a very simple shape even and the difficulty of the simplification task increases exponentially with increased model complexity. This is seriously difficult five dimensional shape analyzis and retopoing on a grand scale.

An alternative solution is to do it the other way round: create the lowest LoD model manually and let the computer add details with height map amd/or algorithm based tesselation. This method is becoming increasingly popular for professional games and I think it's the reason why they are able to use automatically generated LoD as much as they do. I can't see how this can be applied to Second Life or Sansar though. Not only would it require serious software upgrades, the content creators would also have to adapt to a brand new aproach to content creation.

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2 hours ago, ChinRey said:

Oh no. All serious mesh makers I know of do it. It doesn't have to be that difficult or time consuming either. It can be if you really, really want to optimise but it's no big deal if you just want LoD models that is better than the ones the uploader generates and are familiar with Blender or Maya.

I wish. Spend some time in SL with the LOD factor at zero. It's awful.

Worst problem is buildings. So many buildings go see-through at lowest LOD. Fly around at LOD factor 0. Go to the demo sims of the major building makers. It's not pretty. This is why cities in SL don't look very good. The builders are getting low LI by zeroing out the lowest LOD, badly.

This is why I'm big on impostors. Many buildings could be reduced to a cube with pictures pasted on it for the lowest LOD. No more big triangles hanging in space. That's what needs to be automated.

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26 minutes ago, animats said:

Spend some time in SL with the LOD factor at zero. It's awful.

If only there was a way to publicly shame those creators, in a way that actually hurts them in the only organ that matters to them: the wallet.

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Posted (edited)
35 minutes ago, animats said:

I wish. Spend some time in SL with the LOD factor at zero. It's awful.

Worst problem is buildings. So many buildings go see-through at lowest LOD. Fly around at LOD factor 0. Go to the demo sims of the major building makers. It's not pretty. This is why cities in SL don't look very good. The builders are getting low LI by zeroing out the lowest LOD, badly.

This is why I'm big on impostors. Many buildings could be reduced to a cube with pictures pasted on it for the lowest LOD. No more big triangles hanging in space. That's what needs to be automated.

I am still a believer that the all-mighty Prim is still king. Were I to start up another sim, it would be 75% Prims. Maybe 10-15% Sculpties, and the rest mesh; sculpty and mesh used strictly and only for "attention to detail" things and never as major parts of any build. Way too many "parcel-builders' are over-meshing their places, turning them into one or the other: massive lag-fest OR crumbly polygon hell. Fact: Mesh ain't all that.

Edited by Alyona Su

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35 minutes ago, animats said:

I wish. Spend some time in SL with the LOD factor at zero. It's awful.

Worst problem is buildings. So many buildings go see-through at lowest LOD. Fly around at LOD factor 0. Go to the demo sims of the major building makers. It's not pretty. This is why cities in SL don't look very good. The builders are getting low LI by zeroing out the lowest LOD, badly.

This is why I'm big on impostors. Many buildings could be reduced to a cube with pictures pasted on it for the lowest LOD. No more big triangles hanging in space. That's what needs to be automated.

While I agree that this is WAY overused, I think there's room for debate over the use of setting LOD factor to 0 to demonstrate it. In most cases you'll be viewing LOD0 a lot closer and more prominently on your screen than they would ever be rendered with a default LOD factor. If a user with graphics set low can pull back the camera from an object and it doesn't decompose until its a small blob of pixels with no discernible detail anyway, then wouldn't the creator be justified in zeroing that lowest LOD?

Now, under those circumstances its very likely that LOD1 is probably more detailed than it needs to be and maybe they should make an impostor for that LOD while still zeroing the lowest  but really, isn't the only honest test to cam back and watch how gracefully - or not - it decomposes rather than saying "show me the worst LOD way too close "

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7 minutes ago, Alyona Su said:

I am still a believer that the all-mighty Prim is still king. Were I to start up another sim, it would be 75% Prims. Maybe 10-15% Sculpties, and the rest mesh; sculpty and mesh used strictly and only for "attention to detail" things and never as major parts of any build. Way too many "parcel-builders' are over-meshing their places, turning them into one or the other: massive lag-fest OR crumbly polygon hell. Fact: Mesh ain't all that.

That's what I do lately on my land, prim "blocking" with mesh detailing, the more you reuse mesh parts and textures and the better the performances tend to be.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Alyona Su said:

I am still a believer that the all-mighty Prim is still king. Were I to start up another sim, it would be 75% Prims. Maybe 10-15% Sculpties, and the rest mesh; sculpty and mesh used strictly and only for "attention to detail" things and never as major parts of any build. Way too many "parcel-builders' are over-meshing their places, turning them into one or the other: massive lag-fest OR crumbly polygon hell. Fact: Mesh ain't all that.

Sculpties are a menace with no benefits over mesh. Burn all sculpts.

  1. They cost more to download. (Bandwidth)
  2. They're a pain to texture.
  3. They can't do sharp corners without texture stretching.
  4. They're always spherical, physically speaking. (No custom physics model)

If you wanna talk about the most anti-beginner content, there's your prime candidate.

Edited by Wulfie Reanimator

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3 minutes ago, Wulfie Reanimator said:

Sculpties are a menace with no benefits over mesh. Burn all sculpts.

They do have one benefit, they can be set by script (uuid).

That's the only reason I still deal with them after all these years.

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1 hour ago, animats said:

I wish. Spend some time in SL with the LOD factor at zero. It's awful.

LoD factor 0 means that all objects are always rendered at lowest LoD. If you "optimise" for that, you simply disable the LoD system completely - not a very good idea.

 

1 hour ago, animats said:

So many buildings go see-through at lowest LOD. Fly around at LOD factor 0. Go to the demo sims of the major building makers.

You can safely assume I don't consider them to be serious mesh makers then. (Which is fair enough if they don't pretend to be anything but hobbyists who build for their own pleasure and nothing else.)

 

41 minutes ago, Wulfie Reanimator said:

Sculpties are a menace with no benefits over mesh. Burn all sculpts.

  1. They cost more to download. (Bandwidth)

That's not the case. An optimised sculptmap - without more pixels than is actually needed - will require somewhere between a tenth and a quarter of the bandwidth the same model needs as mesh. (An ideal sculpt map - what we could have used if LL hadn't bodged the programming back in 2008 - would have required a quarter of the bandwidth of an optimised sculpt map.)

Sadly there are lots of oversampled sculpt maps around and even the 4x oversampling used by several common sculpt creation programs will bring the bandwidth requirement close to mesh. With 1024x oversampling (the 1024x1024 sculpt map you used as example), the bandwidth goes through the roof.

 

57 minutes ago, Wulfie Reanimator said:

5. The resolution of the texture affects the amount of vertices it will have. (1024x1024 sculpt map = 1'048'576 verts)

That's not the case either. The maximum number of vertices a sculpt map can have, is 1024. All those additional pixels in the sculpt map are only there to increase the bandwidth, they are culled long before the model is rendered.

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1 hour ago, Da5id Weatherwax said:

While I agree that this is WAY overused, I think there's room for debate over the use of setting LOD factor to 0 to demonstrate it. In most cases you'll be viewing LOD0 a lot closer and more prominently on your screen than they would ever be rendered with a default LOD factor.

I replied to Animats before i saw read you post Da5id but maybe I should go more into detail.

LoD factor 0 means that all LoD swap distances are set to 0 m. That of course means that only the lowest LoD model will ever be rendered. To "optimise" for that, you have to make all LoD models identical. That would add considerably to the render load since it means even the smallest and most distant objects are forced to be rendered in full detail.

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Posted (edited)
33 minutes ago, ChinRey said:

That's not the case either. The maximum number of vertices a sculpt map can have, is 1024. All those additional pixels in the sculpt map are only there to increase the bandwidth, they are culled long before the model is rendered.

Ah, that rings a familiar bell. I also found these in the wiki:

Quote

At maximum resolution, a 32x32 pixel Sculpt Map would describe up to 1024 vertices (with each pixel representing a single vertex). The recommended sculpt map resolution is 64x64 pixels but in practice the highest level of detail for sculpted prims in Second Life is a grid of 32x32 vertices (larger images are downsampled), and the lower level of detail uses 16x16 or 8x8 vertices. - source

Quote

As of 1.20.14, 32x32, 64x64 and 128x128 textures are stored lossless JPEG2000 compression if you check the lossless compression box in the upload window. If the texture is sized outside this compression artifacts exist and can corrupt your shape ruining any attempt at photo realistic texturing. Also the assert server block doesn't recognize anything above 128x128 as a sculptie even though it will function if placed in the sculptie window (actually any texture can be placed into the window.) - source

Edit:

25 minutes ago, ChinRey said:

I replied to Animats before i saw read you post Da5id but maybe I should go more into detail.

LoD factor 0 means that all LoD swap distances are set to 0 m. That of course means that only the lowest LoD model will ever be rendered. To "optimise" for that, you have to make all LoD models identical. That would add considerably to the render load since it means even the smallest and most distant objects are forced to be rendered in full detail.

I don't think that's what Animats is trying to get at. The lowest LOD for any medium-sized or larger model should be solid at least, like buildings as his example. A building that turns into a floating triangle is bad and useless in every case. A building with the lowest LOD as a solid 6-sided cube is still useful when viewed from across the sim.

Edited by Wulfie Reanimator

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The property of a good lod model is that it is unnoticeable at the distance it is going to switch at.

Triangle messes typically aren't that.

With some objects, getting them to lod gracefully means that no, it can't be considered good AND also cost only 1LI.

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47 minutes ago, Wulfie Reanimator said:

Ah, that rings a familiar bell. I also found these in the wiki:

What the wiki fails to mention, is that a sculpt doesn't have to have 32x32 vertices. There is a minimum number of 4 vertices along each axis, there's a maximum total number of 1024 vertices and the total number has to be a multiple of 2.

 

54 minutes ago, Wulfie Reanimator said:

I don't think that's what Animats is trying to get at.

I know, that's the reason for my double reply. First I just mentioned it in passing in response to Animats, then I went into a bit mroe details in response to Da5id.

 

55 minutes ago, Wulfie Reanimator said:

The lowest LOD for any medium-sized or larger model should be solid at least, like buildings as his example.

I think there's one thing  we have to be make absolutely clear here: You can always keep the outer walls and roof of a building solid even at lowest LoD without increasing the land impact.

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2 hours ago, Wulfie Reanimator said:

Sculpties are a menace with no benefits over mesh. Burn all sculpts.

  1. They cost more to download. (Bandwidth)
  2. They're a pain to texture.
  3. They can't do sharp corners without texture stretching.
  4. They're always spherical, physically speaking. (No custom physics model)

If you wanna talk about the most anti-beginner content, there's your prime candidate.

I was trying to be pithy; I would only use sculpty if I cannot find a better Prim-based or *quality* mesh version, in that order. The scultpty object is relative: some sculpties look amazing, many do not, most would be fine (as it is a filler, not a detailed front-facing item.) As for LOD factors the default on Firestorm is 3 (of 4) and on LL Viewer is "Medium" (I know these numbers because I just installed both these on a new iMac Pro this weekend, where most of this discussion becomes moot ~grinz~)

When I use Catznip and Firestorm (on PC) I set LOD to level 2. It really helps performance and definitely shows the "quality" of every single Mesh creation, i.e. worth the price or not. If it falls apart at 25 meters, (Endeavor at Sirens Isle, anyone? WOW, what a mess,) it goes onto my "Utter Crappola" list. (And why I *never* buy anything I cannot demo or inspect myself.)

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, ChinRey said:

I think there's one thing  we have to be make absolutely clear here: You can always keep the outer walls and roof of a building solid even at lowest LoD without increasing the land impact.

Yes. Which is my point here, too.

Setting the viewer to a LOD factor of 0 is just a way to see that easily. Another way would be to build a street of houses and see if they look solid out into the distance.

I've been aware of this recently because a new neighbor in Kama City has been putting up tall prefab buildings on their parcel, then taking them down and trying something else.

tallbuildingcloseup.thumb.jpg.f5591e054e05a5b36c14f9f227686088.jpg

Mine's bigger than yours. The closeup view. Nice.

tallbuildingmed.jpg.79dee1f8fcae83438e2d0e7a025250a1.jpg

Coming apart at a reasonable view distance.

 

tallbuildingdistant.jpg.81b4b51e1f45865cb4a372709e525684.jpg

Low LOD. Lots of tris, but not the right ones. The top half is gone.

Lowest LOD is random triangles, but outside draw distance for this large object at LOD factor 2.0.

Here it is at LOD factor 1, the out of the box experience for new users.

tallbuildinglodfactor1jpg.thumb.jpg.f7374860f69ba23d9e4caf229c7153d6.jpg

Where's the tower? One midair triangle.

This is a very simple building outline - a cube atop a cube. It could easily have a good lowest LOD model visible out to the draw distance.

Cities in SL look strange and sparse because of this effect. It destroys the user's sense of place. You can't see landmarks. There's a very tall building near here I rarely see, because you have to get close before anything appears.

New Babbage has building inspection to prevent this sort of thing, but few other areas do.

 

Edited by animats
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What basics are you talking about? following your perverted "logic", they must learn how a computer works, how electricity works, what an atom consists of and how the universe works. Do you know the answers to all these questions? you can only criticize. I understand why people call you annoying spammer.

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5 hours ago, ainst Composer said:

What basics are you talking about? following your perverted "logic", they must learn how a computer works, how electricity works, what an atom consists of and how the universe works. Do you know the answers to all these questions? you can only criticize. I understand why people call you annoying spammer.

I said no such thing.

But if you want a simple analogy, in order to build a house, you start by laying down the foundations on which the entire structure will sit, painting the walls comes much later.

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its a pain in the azz to mess around with trying to modify your avatar.   i would rather buy another shape than mess around with sliders

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