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Mesh vs. Sculpt


Maryld Althouse
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OK, I'm a bit of a lurker here - seems others are much quicker to answer questions than I can.  I've been scripting for a while now, and I admit I'm a beginner with building things.  Recently, I've started messing with sculpts and meshes.  What I've run into makes me wonder just WHAT Mesh is good for:  Not everyone has Viewer 2 or FIrestorm - so they can't see mesh yet.  I myself prefer a different viewer, for now. 

Wanting to make something rather simple (I thought), I tried to make it as a mesh.  I knew before hand that my object made with regular prims would be about 15 prims or so - not bad, but I was hoping for 10 or less.  Made my mesh, uploaded via Viewer 2, editted, looked good.  But the base - a wrought iron type stand - was 6 prims.  The same as I would have had with regular prims.  Switching back to my normal viewer, it looked horrible. 

So, my question - is it too eary for mesh yet?  Since not everyone has the capability to see it, it's not for everyone.  And had I sculpted the base the same way, it would have been 1 prim (or at worst, 2).  Can someone please explain to me what benefits I'll get from making things via mesh, as opposed to regular prims, besides the obvious that certain shapes will look better as mesh.

Thank you.

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I completely get what you're saying. There is a level of detail you can get with mesh in some instances that you just can't get with sculpting. BUT...LL has gotten so greedy with their prim equiv's with the meshing. Also, I uploaded something that was 5 prims put together and it costed 167 Lindens. LOL I couldn't believe how much it was to upload a simple prim that had no texturing or anything extra. Just a small collar basically.

 I think they should tone down their asking prices and equivs just a bit. It seems that I would prefer sculpting to meshing simply becausse of the cost of L and prims.

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First of all, did you make levels of detail versions and a physics shape for it?  If not, the cost may be unnecessarily high.  How many triangles in your stand model? (I assume it is something like a plant stand or side table).  The mesh costing rewards you for efficient design, and penalizes you for inefficient design.

Benefits of mesh that prims or sculpts cannot do:

* Custom texture (UV) mapping for up to 8 textures, selectable smooth or hard edges.

* Custom physics shape for collision

* Rigging to animate when worn on the body

* Fractional prim count for some objects, and lower count than some equivalent prim builds.

Drawbacks:

* Mesh is not flexi

* Large or complex mesh can cost more than sculpts or prims for the same result

* Making LOD versions and physics shape is more work

* Mesh features are only at first release, some things were left till later by LL in this first version.  Many people cannot see mesh objects yet, although viewer support is improving quickly.  Note, it's Viewer 3.0 for mesh features.

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Daniel, you have it pretty much right.

My first try was to make from mesh a generator I made with prims. It took about 12 prims originally. My first try with mesh was about 36 PE or LI now.

After making a new physics shape for it that dropped to 7 or 8 LI.

After making all my LoD's it dropped to 2. It is enough below 2 that when I added a script it stayed at 2. I haven't checked it with new releases of the viewer recently. But, even if it were 4 I would be way ahead of the game.

It is really a matter of how well one handles the details.

Also, those that think the Lindens are charging too much... brace. The logic behind L.I. (previously PE) is going to be part of every new feature that comes into SL. That isn't a bad thing when one realizes it forces amateur 3D modelers to learn efficient modeling. The over all result will be a cheaper more efficient SL with less lag.

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  • 4 years later...

On mesh horse question, yes.

antique artistry made the first that I know of, and a couple of mesh horse avatars have come out since, though that really isn't the same.    There are quite a few static horses as well.

     At the AKK Hores Ranch we just released a small herd of animated mesh horses that took 3 years to get right.  Of course that counts time out and the relearning a rl brain anyurism caused, then more time out for family deaths and a heart attack.   Still it was a challange to say the least, to get the multiple meshes and animations right and a low LI. We made them copy mod, so they had to be low enough to rez on the ground (app 120) while being high rez enough not to turn to into a stack of triangles at more than a few feet away. They do all that the older prim/sculpty horses did, but much smoother.  I guess it was worth it, but sure as heck was not an easy thing to do by any stretch. 

  it has great potential, but learning to do it from scratch, and do it right, is no small feat.

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