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why why why?


Braydon Randt
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ok,  the same question has been asked many times,  so i figured why not ask it again seeing that mesh is now here and is being pushed heavily. 

This is not a technical question over streaming,  or vertices etc  but more a realist question of why use a mesh when a sculpt will work just as well.

I know there will be " because it can have 8 texture faces .... yadda yadda"  but in the real use situation,  if you create in SL I have watched various tutorials for the implimentation of mesh and it seams as though 

1.  It costs more in uploads

2. mostly i costs more in prims 

3. in order to combat item 2 you should do your own LOD version there for costing more in time and money.

 

You really cant state things like " its faster"  as in real use terms its not or " its better" as also in real terms a sculpty is a mesh of sorts so  ...  in real terms it isnt. 

I can do mesh objects and have done out of SL,  i just find the uploading of various LOD factors and a lot of work to acheive what can be done as sculpties,  cheaper,  faster and with less PE loading.

Please can somebody just enlighten me,  other than making a hole in something,  or throwing away 500 vertices to try and make a UV that isnt totally distorted why are meshes the holy grail ? and why should i be using them over sculpties

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I posted similar to this a while back and though I love the way Mesh clothing works, I see very little additional applications for it under it's current cost restraints.  

But, as of lately I am starting to suspect that something much bigger is in the works based in large part with the hiring of Humble.  

This could very well become what had been envisioned all along and that was to create a 'build it yourself" game platform and not just a Virtual World.  That gamble was on a game but it turned out that LL created the Virtual world as mandated by their users and the lack of resources to create a worthwhile game engine.

With discussion of NPC's and such for the game down the road, and the fact that the foundation of their new CEO is as a game builder, I see some significant changes which make financial sense.  WoW has 14,000,000 members paying $12-$15 a month. They introduce a charity pet and they make millions for that charity.  The money is in the games not the worlds.  Mindcraft is also a huge success and it is a game builder.  

Which lead us back to Mesh.  All other games use Meshes and nothing else. To do a robust game you must have mesh or they just don't run efficiently.  In the end, I think what we are really doing, is paying to beta test which I don't mind as long as I can make a few dollars as well.

 

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ive played with clothes development with mesh in SL,  and it was so restricted,  i just didnt see the point other than accessories. But i spend a lot of time making and tweeking my textures for sculpties even applying baked normals etc within Blender,  Yet before I leap over to making items in mesh ( those said accessories) I just find it hard to consider a more expensive time consuming way other than sculpties.  Of course if there is further developments down the line fair enough such as dynamic bump mapping etc.  but that can also be applied to sculpties  UNLESS  that said bumpmapping is places on a different texture layer therefor making ye olde prims virtually incompatible.

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Quite simply - Edges.

 

I have been in SL for a while and sculptys have always disappointed me - they are just bubbles with (well) crafted textures.

 

Mesh offers Topology.

Can you make one sculpty that displays like this?

 Hand_002.jpg

This is not an 'anti-sculpty' reply (they have their uses), just pointing to the 'bleeding' edges. 

?

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By all means, make a cost/benefit decision over which building method to chose.  If mesh is too expensive for you both in terms of your time and the upload costs then create with sculpties.  If you can't afford the upload cost of sculpty textures or the time to make them, then use prims and free textures.  No ones putting a virtual gun to anyone's head demanding they switch to mesh.  It's just an expanded tool in the creators tool box.

Mesh give people more options and some flexibility to, as mentioned, for achieving optimized topology, eliminating unnecessary vertices and create useful UVs that are easy to take into a graphics program and texture. That can make a big difference in certain types of building and it can be a negligible difference in other types.

Obviously the increase upload/prim cost it's not worth it to a lot of people and they shouldn't feel obligated to go in that direction.  As for myself, I don't remember being told this was implemented to save us money on upload.  I completely accept that the added complexity and control has a cost associated with it.  In the 4 years I've been in SL the upload prices have stayed constant, which has been a very fair deal.   I don't resent the additional price of mesh upload as long as it is  consistent and understandable.

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'Throwing away 500 verts'   can be quite a big deal if you think gridwide content, or even a sim build and take render load into account.

 

Considering most sculpties have 1024 verts, some random examples:

Vase with 3 bamboo sticks and some leaves: 12 sculpties

Sculptie couch: 15 sculpties

Wintersweater: 19 sculpties

Sculptie heels with feet: 50 sculpties per shoe

Hair on my head: 76 sculpties

 

Detailed modern style mesh chair (not yet optimized): 740 verts

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Yeah, sculpts and prims are just poly heavy like hell. It truly makes a difference if you spam the world with thousands of unnecessary triangles from sculpts and prims, or do it with only as many as needed. Applying that to a whole sim, you will end up with a fraction of the triangles than what we have now with prims/sculpts.

IMHO, it's time to say goodbye to sculpts and the "everything has to be one prim" mentality.

Although, I saved a A  LOT of prims by rebuilding some of my prim/sculpt buildings. The mesh builds look better, they load way faster than sculpt maps, they are way more render friendly, and they have way less prims than the prim builds.

Of course, achieving that requires time and effort. If someone don't want to invest time and effort, keep on spamming the world with polys.

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From my perspective i'll give you the answer:

 

Meshes are easier to work with than sculpts.

 

Sorry but it's the truth. I'm a 3D modeller have been since 3D Studio Max 1.0 when it was a Dos 6.22 program. I know my way around meshes and really can't wrap my head around sculpts. they're fiddly and making a mistake on one means having to re-upload the damn thing 20x which to me costs more than importing a single mesh.

Sculpts were never meant to have hard edges they're nurbs in their basic form. Meshes were. I can add and subtract faces and edges from a mesh. I can't do that with a sculpt.

 

To sum it up:

Sculpted prim = Kludge

Mesh = Next logical step

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As has been pointed out many times, there are very few instances when a sculpty is of any benefit at all. It takes some learning of the upload window and how everything works, but once you understand it, there is no reason at all that a mesh is not faster than a sculpty, or less prims.

Generally, I do not make LODs for most of my models. I just don't have a reason to do so on most of them, and I really know how to play with the LOD generator. Using the generator not only saves a little time, but you also can use it to test the model out for what is the best combination to get a low PE. There are models that I've made that basically require me to make a certain LOD, because the generator does not have enough polygons to do it better.

Take this with a grain of salt, mesh not being my main focus, but I've only created 1 example of a finished mesh product that is actually more prims than what some1 can accomplish with a sculpty. Generally, the bigger, more detailed, and complex the project, the more prims I'm saving. I even have some meshes that are 20+ prims less than anything like it on the marketplace, but I really only made that 1 for myself.

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With discussion of NPC's and such for the game down the road, and the fact that the foundation of their new CEO is as a game builder, I see some significant changes which make financial sense.  WoW has 14,000,000 members paying $12-$15 a month. They introduce a charity pet and they make millions for that charity.  The money is in the games not the worlds.  Mindcraft is also a huge success and it is a game builder.  

 

 

When I posted about NPC's in the key-framed animation discussion. It was meant to be for content creators in SL who build game systems within SL it  has no backing by LL at all. Though that doesn't mean LL couln't make their own content. The whole key-frame discussion is about content creators being able to create "believeable" interactive NPC's for their in-world games without having to dedicate local machine resources to running tertiary clients. But that's just one possibility of key-framed meshes.

 

It also means vehicles can have moving mesh wheels that are part of the main model without using cylinder or the super-vertex-heavy and lag inducing torii. Or in some cases a whole seperate mesh.

 

In any case. This is just tip of the iceberg. Mesh will continue to be developed and mesh-specific features will be added further down the road.

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that was my question though, 

 

Not to highlike things that im being tight fisted etc.  and as i said i am more than capable with mesh objects,  i was more interested in the logistics of mesh over a sculpt.  and why LL isnt making it more user friendly with things like LOD,  or at least allowing you to upload your own LOD models as part of your upload,  they should reward you for making things better as currently it feels like a chastisment for lowering PE with the additional upload costs

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Nacy,  thank you for your reply.

I have been in SL since 2006,  and have ran two successfull building ventures and currently i can build with mesh just fine,  i am also a scripter and I am not asking "why am i forced to use meshes"  what I am asking is what is the actual bennefit.  

I am quite confident in my ability to make an optimized mesh object with blender.  Yet I watched a tutorial this evening on mesh optimization and uploading additional LOD objects to replace the rather lackluster LL LOD implementation.  I feel that this additional cost to eqaute to what you would get by using a sculpty is a false economy of time and effort.  Or at the very least in my eyes its more of a punitive messure for bad modelling,  of course a bad model is never wanted either in a commercial game development enviroment or second life,  yet as i stated in the original post this is not about vertices because in that argument ...  you create one sculpty and yes its wastefull of vertices, i agree whole heartedly,  but you pay your 10L$ and that it.  Yet with a mesh object you will work harder and longer to drag down those unecessery vertices which i agree is good practice,  yet the rewards for such are not so apparent to justify 4 uploads for LOD,  1 upload for texture and a prim equivilant that unless you are extreamly clever and dont have high expectations for detail will equate to that of a sculpty.  I want to use mesh,  yet as a clothing maker,  it is limited..... and any business in second life will tell you ... you have to look at overheads in production so I am trying to analyse how making in mesh would be a bennefit to the overall product.  And with respect I dont accept "qaulity" as being something that can be argued.  which is why i also stated that arguments such as qaulity were not in question. A sculpty is far more efficiant as a streamed item over that of a mesh as it is only a texture that can be squeezed down to a minimal size in comparison to that of a mesh object. therefor ....  it is more costly to home that object on the server side,  and yes meshes are easier to manipulate in your 3d app that you choose to use but in these economicly stunted times additional costs as a builder ..  are pushed through to your customers and customers who allready smart or resent paying those costs ( and yes ..  i do get asked why i charge more than 20L for an item) you really do need to look at the end result.  I have yet to see a situation where one strides over the other in terms of functionality so it comes down to cost. or rather the implimentation of mesh by LL making it expensive by default...  as I stated earlier  I have been in SL since 2006 and have owned a sim,  yadda yadda so i have no issues in paying my way in life nor do i expect free ...  what i expect is for LL to impliment tools that complimentry to SL,  rather than trying to shoehorn industry standard tools into a non standard enviroment,  maybe if mesh was available pre sculpty then the query would be null and void.  As for creating usefull UV's I can texture most items and am not in the world of " photo source" products so I have to hand draw everything and have become quite used to working with the flattened mess that sculpties give you. But the question is ....  what is the advantages ?  rather than singing the praises of either mesh or sculpties.  I am not a fanboy for either,  mesh was introduced to be competitive with other 3d world enviroments  yet in its current state it does not support any of the 3d "tricks" to make those low poly models into good looking items such as bump mapping.  So i was curious as to why if i dont get hit for waisting vertices in a sculpty why would i use mesh to get a similar result where i would get hit  or in deed have to pay 4 times for efficiancy or suffer a prim load.  becuase in the world of sl ...  prims =  land,  land = money or ....  efficiancy = lindens and lindens =  money. and allthough you are indeed right the costs have not gone up,  yet people are expecting sl to be free from start to finish and in deed building the better mouse trap does not gaurantee capturing the mouse only that it the complexity of the machinery gives more oportunity for failure 

 

 

 

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Not sure what you mean by '4 uploads' Braydon. The LODs upload in one step with the original model and the upload cost goes either down, if your hand made LODs are more efficient than the autogerated ones, or up if your LODs require more geometry.

For testing purposes can always use the beta grid, although rumor has it that we will be getting a better preview feature in the future.

I'm far from being mesh professional, but you can make a mesh with the attributes of a sculptie (poor LOD behavior, painful to texture) just as fast as a sculptie by using auto-generated UVs and LLs uploader LODs.

If you are after quality however, i felt that the somewhat longer mesh workflow beats the headache of having to tweak a sculptie numerous times until it looks right. For me, building has gotten alot more fun again.

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Brayton, I'm delighted for you that you have the unique skills to hand texture your sculptie maps, most do not.  Mesh solves that hurdle for the majority.

Rather then think in terms of the cost of mesh upload being a rip-off, did you ever consider that with sculpties we were getting a significant discount?  That LL absorbed much of the true cost of this kludgy approach to bringing handmade models into SL?  Mesh may in fact be their opportunity to price things correctly, and yet they aren't taking the option to continue to offer sculpties away, or raising the price to upload and use them.  I applaud them for this. Very generous on their part.

If you've been in SL since almost it's inception, you know things are always a "work in progress here".  Mesh is by no means finished, nor is anything else in SL.  To complain about it's deficiencies at this point is just a downer and not productive.  Just make your suggestions and report your issues and expect it will realistically take a while before all things are implemented and working smoothly.  And you, like the rest of us, won't always get "our way".

As to "what i expect is for LL to impliment tools that complimentry to SL,  rather than trying to shoehorn industry standard tools into a non standard enviroment."  You are entitled to your expectations. Mine are polar opposite.  I expect LL to align itself more usefully and efficiently to industry standards and turn this into a  more standard environment that all people can join and use easily without wasting hours (MONTHS!) of their time learning some wierd proprietary method of building before getting up to speed to enjoy themselves creatively.

 

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this is what i was looking at hearing,  it wasnt a case of mesh bashing ,  as i really do think its a positive move forward I was looking at what can be acheived and its main differences,  not the technicality as i said with regards to wasted vertices etc....  but more over the general "feel" of it.  

 

this is something i made with sculpties and only 7 prims

my wagon

but working in mesh,  and its by no means a comparison I did a head,  which was one of my first mesh items away from sculpties,  but it wasnt for SL

Iva Finished Render.png

 

 

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arton Rotaru wrote:

Why Mesh...

Prim--Booth_003.jpg

Xmas-Booth-front_02.jpg

 

Now, considering building a Xmas market with the booth, lets say having 10.

Prim booth: 10 * 48 = 480 prims. 10 * 20000 = 200000 triangles.

Mesh booth: 10 * 17 = 170 prims. 10 * 1467 = 14670 triangles.

 

 

Nice! Yeah, I can hardly stop myself from adding more and more stuff when it comes to things like scenes or structures. Most of the little details are really only costing less than half a prim to add to the total.

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that was my whole statement base medhue,  that we should look at what the cost is overall ...  as to most lost vertices are not really any problem of theres..  its not efficiant by any way possible and sculpties are actually far more cooler in the fact that they work how they do,  and when you can do things with sculpties ..  mesh is like 10 times easier.  But its still hard to think ..  if you make something for 100L$  you can for example cost 70l$  in uploads ...  and in some respects ..  that mesh object can be made a lot less ..

 

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Braydon Randt wrote:

 But its still hard to think ..  if you make something for 100L$  you can for example cost 70l$  in uploads ...  and in some respects ..  that mesh object can be made a lot less ..

 

Much like Arton, my uploads are under 20L and then I have to upload a texture. I could really care less about the upload fee, unless it was over 100L. I tend to upload a model at least 3-4 times, and the texture a couple of times. I think these are a small price to pay for the ability to sell those models. I'm the same way with animations. Upload fees are just a tiny cost in the overall cost of selling products. Really, it's not even comparable to paying for classifieds or even listing enhancements. Now, compare that fee to buying Maya or 3ds Max. Heck, I just bought another Kinect today for my mocap system.

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