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nachtai

Where Should I Start? (New To Second Life but skilled at meshing)

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Hello!
 

I am a first time second life user looking to expand my creating to something less limiting. I previously have created for other games extensively for years and I consider myself to be more of an intermediate mesher (I am skilled in using blender to mesh, sculpting in zbrush, and texturing in both photoshop and substance painter). The reason I am moving away from these other games are because these games are so stifling with their poly limits and I would like to stretch my creative abilities.

I know that Second Life creators are pretty hush-hush with their secrets on creating but I am hoping that one of you (or more) will be generous with tips and tricks. I guess I am looking for a starting place? Is there something I should be learning to do that is specific to second life?

Any tips or tricks would be greatly appreciated.

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2 hours ago, nachtai said:

Is there something I should be learning to do that is specific to second life?

Let me see. Assuming you're not talking avatar/wearble stuff:

  • The LoD system is unique to SL and rather horrendous. Everything uses three LoD models and the swap distances are determine by object size only, there's no way to adjust them to fit what the item actually needs.
  • SL uses the Havok physics engine so if you're familiar with that, you should be off on a good start there. However, we only have access to the less efficient physics shapes, triangles, hulls and triangle lists so you need to be a bit careful.
  • Max texture size is 1024x1024.
  • The mesh uploader has a lot of functions you should avoid like the plague. It can generate the LoD models for you, it can generate the physics model for you and it can add smooth normals but it sucks at all of this and if you want to make mesh with any quality at all, you should do all of it manualy before you upload. The only thing it does reasnoably well - apart from actually transferring the files to the server of course - is triangulate convex quads.

But most of all: if SL is more forgiving to high poly meshes (and high texture densities) than modern game engines, it's not because it handles those things better. It's actually considerably worse. The onyl reason is that SL doesn't have an effective laod accounting system in place so it's pretty much open to anybody to overload servers and clients to their hearts' content.

I'm not going to preach in this thread so I leave it to you to decide whether you care or not but Linden Lab has finally started to take notice. The overload problem has become so serious one of their engineers actually compared it to a DDOS attack. So they're woeking on a brand new load accounting system now. How far they are going to go is anybody's guess - I don't think they've even decided themselves yet - but there will be at least a little bit of load control in SL soon so this may not be the best time to start uploading lots of too-high-poly-for-games meshes here.

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1 hour ago, ChinRey said:

I'm not going to preach in this thread so I leave it to you to decide whether you care or not but Linden Lab has finally started to take notice. The overload problem has become so serious one of their engineers actually compared it to a DDOS attack. So they're woeking on a brand new load accounting system now. How far they are going to go is anybody's guess - I don't think they've even decided themselves yet - but there will be at least a little bit of load control in SL soon so this may not be the best time to start uploading lots of too-high-poly-for-games meshes here.

First of all, thank you so much for responding! I will take all of that into consideration and look into the Havok engine because I had no idea that second life had a specific engine it runs on! I definitely don't want to upload any server breaking meshes and I am quite used to having a poly limit so I understand completely. 

Also, I would eventually like to do wearable (clothes and accessories), and I am good at using Marvelous Designer, and I know how to retopo and make normal maps, and all of that. 

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1 hour ago, nachtai said:

First of all, thank you so much for responding! I will take all of that into consideration and look into the Havok engine because I had no idea that second life had a specific engine it runs on! I definitely don't want to upload any server breaking meshes and I am quite used to having a poly limit so I understand completely. 

Also, I would eventually like to do wearable (clothes and accessories), and I am good at using Marvelous Designer, and I know how to retopo and make normal maps, and all of that. 

If you are looking for an AREA that is in need of MORE MESH (honestly nowadays finding something different is like finding a pot of gold or the grail)  it would be everyday menswear (not sweat pants and tanks and hoodies --- plenty of those). Ask most men and they will tell you how difficult it is to find anything beyond that to buy.   Other than that dive in and ask questions as you need to.   There are a few brands that do a good job in that area but they don't produce TONS of stuff and I am sure more good quality items would be appreciated. 

 

The BETA grid is your friend as uploads are free (well they give you faux money and you pay with that). I think you need to send in a support ticket in order to be able to get to Aditi (name of grid) now.   I have been going for a decade. 

 

welcome. 

Edited by Chic Aeon
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8 hours ago, nachtai said:

I will take all of that into consideration and look into the Havok engine because I had no idea that second life had a specific engine it runs on! I definitely don't want to upload any server breaking meshes and I am quite used to having a poly limit so I understand completely.

You won't break the servers with physics since that's the one field where the load is kept strictly in check. But with rezzable objects you may run into trouble with excessive land impact it you're not careful. Wearables don't use physics at all so all you need to do for those is make a single triangle mesh and use that as the physics model. I'm not sure how common Havok physics is in the game industry. It's rather expensive and quite a it of an overkill for most purposes and I also have the impression that Microsoft, who bought Havok a few years ago, want to keep it to themselves and isn't too keen on sellling licenses at all.

 

8 hours ago, nachtai said:

Also, I would eventually like to do wearable (clothes and accessories)

In that case you also need to know about the rigging issues. Most people use m"mesh avatars" these days. A mesh body is essentially a piece of human body shaped clothing covering the entire avatar and everything you wear on top of it will have to be rigged to match. Each brand has its own rigging and the sellers can be rather restrictive about who they share the data with.

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On 11/6/2019 at 6:51 PM, Chic Aeon said:

The BETA grid is your friend as uploads are free (well they give you faux money and you pay with that). I think you need to send in a support ticket in order to be able to get to Aditi (name of grid) now.   I have been going for a decade.

 Thank you so much for this response @Chic Aeon. I have opened a ticket with Support to get into Aditi. Also, I understand about male clothes, they always seem to be scarce when it comes to actually menswear and not just streetwear.

@ChinRey Ah! That's something I didn't get about how mesh bodies worked. So mesh bodies don't replace the standard body, they just cover it up. That makes total sense. And I have seen that a lot of the brands have an application for the mesh bodies, so I don't really plan to be working on clothes until I build a pretty good Second Life portfolio. The content I made for the  game I previously created for (The Sims) probably wouldn't be a sufficient portfolio.

I am really excited to learn more, and I am immersing myself in the forum to learn from others' postings!

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50 minutes ago, nachtai said:

 Thank you so much for this response @Chic Aeon. I have opened a ticket with Support to get into Aditi. Also, I understand about male clothes, they always seem to be scarce when it comes to actually menswear and not just streetwear.

@ChinRey Ah! That's something I didn't get about how mesh bodies worked. So mesh bodies don't replace the standard body, they just cover it up. That makes total sense. And I have seen that a lot of the brands have an application for the mesh bodies, so I don't really plan to be working on clothes until I build a pretty good Second Life portfolio. The content I made for the  game I previously created for (The Sims) probably wouldn't be a sufficient portfolio.

I am really excited to learn more, and I am immersing myself in the forum to learn from others' postings!

There ARE still folks using "classic fitmesh" and even "classic mesh in sizes" and with those you use the default skeleton, so no applications needed. I suspect there is a decent hole in the full perm classic and fitmesh category. There are still shops that carry those type of garments since not EVERYONE has a mesh body LOL (especially men). So you might practice on classic fit menwear for your portfolio and make some sales along the way. Just a thought. 

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