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lifedancer

New Resident suggests for better object building in 2nd life

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Hello,

 

I just started on 2nd life about 10 days ago. Please read this and let me know what you think, or can add to this comment.

I have always enjoyed creating and making buildings and objects, I got my addiction from the SIMs series. But even wit the limitations of the SIMs buildings systems I have never been as frustrated and yet satisfied with building system since working with 2nd life's. But think I can already make some suggests to the developer.

Suggests:

1) A true cuting tool. - one that cuts in varied shapes, multiple directions and completely through object.

2) Linking system needs to start with a naming tag for the complex object menu to which you just link directly to as well as other multiple complex objects to. Instead of the frustrating clikcing method that is difficult whne dealing with many objects.

3) Fusing tool where you can fuse multiple objects into a new permanet none break down object that can be mulipulated by stretching, (this should cut down the system having to keep track of so many individual objects hopely reducing some processing lag by so reducing the amount of objects to keep track of.

Thank and Enjoy the New Year,

Lifedancer


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Welcome to SL, Lifedancer.

Your suggetions, while seemingly obvious on the surface, are entirely incompatible with SL's prim system, underneath the hood. SL prims are not simply surface models that can be manipulated at the per-vertex level.  They are parametric solids.

The things you're talking about can all be done any third party surface modeling program, such as Blender, Maya, Max, etc.  If you want those kinds of options at your disposal, you can create models in those programs, and then upload your models to SL from there.

 

So you understand fully how SL prims really work, and why your suggestions aren't compatible with them, let me respond to each of them, one at a time:

 


lifedancer wrote:

1) A true cuting tool. - one that cuts in varied shapes, multiple directions and completely through object.

To best tackle this one, let's start with what prims really are. Each prim is created by extruding a two-dimensional profile shape, along a perpendicular two-dimensional path.  Here's how they each work:

  • A cube is a rectangle, extruded along a straight line. 
  • A cylinder is a circle, extruded along a straight line.  
  • A prism is a triangle, extruded along a straight line.
  • A sphere is a half circle (D shape), extruded around a full circle.
  • A torus is full circle, extruded around a full circle.
  • A tube is a rectangle, extruded around a circle.
  • A ring is a triangle, extruded around a circle.

This is why holes in prims can only go in one direction, the direction of the path.  The hole is cut into the profile shape, before the extrusion happens.  Extrude a hollow rectangle along a straght line, and you get a hollow cube.  Extrude a hollow arc around a circle, and you get a hollow sphere.

To make a hole in any other direction, or to apply any other type of arbitrary cut, you'd have to apply it to the model after the extrusion, rather than before.  That would completely destroy the parametric object, leaving a fixed surface model in its place.  SL's built-in parametric editng system simply can't do that.

 

If prims were arbitrary surface models, then they could be cut in any number of ways, via any number of methods.  But  they're not.  Again, If you want that functionality, do your modeling offline, in a proper modeling program, and then upload the results.

 


lifedancer wrote:

2) Linking system needs to start with a naming tag for the complex object menu to which you just link directly to as well as other multiple complex objects to. Instead of the frustrating clikcing method that is difficult whne dealing with many objects.

If I understand your wording, what you're proposing would require that you know the UUID of each object, right from the start.  Text-based selection via UUID could certainly be useful, but it would also be pretty tedious, considering that every UUID is 32 characters long.  Also, it could get exceedingly complicated, since every instance of every object has its own UUID.

By the time you're done typing all 32 characters (without error) to select one object, you could have click-selected a hundred different objects.

 


lifedancer wrote:

Fusing tool where you can fuse multiple objects into a new permanet none break down object that can be mulipulated by stretching, (this should cut down the system having to keep track of so many individual objects
hopely reducing some processing lag by so reducing the amount of objects to keep track of.

What you're referring to are properly called Boolean unions.  The shape of one object gets added to the shape of another, and all hidden faces get removed. 

Generally speaking, Booleans operations in 3D are very computationally expensive, and are not suitable for realtime usage.  They'd create far more lag than they would save.

Any Boolean operation also would have to destroy the original two parametric objects, leavng a fixed mesh model in their place.  Again, this is not something SL's built-in parametric editor could do.  And again, if you want that functionality, use a third party modeling program, and upload the results afterward.

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LL recently added the ability to import mesh models created outside of SL in programmes like Blender, 3D Studio Max and Maya, where the tools you recommend are available.

 

I agree that LL should improve the in-world content creation tools as they are what draw in new users and allow for the variety of wealth of content available in SL, which in turn is SL's primary secret for success. However, as was pointed out the prim system works in a very specific way, catering to quickly streamed content over efficient, low-poly content, so the tools you suggest would not necessarily work with that.

 On the other hand, it is possible to take objects made using SL's prims and convert them into "sculpted prims", an SL-specific type of mesh model. Some resident made tools do this easily, but LL could make it even more simple for residents by building such tools directly into the SL interface. That would be an amazing change as residents of all skill levels would find themselves capable of easily constructing low-prim objects for more detailed environments.

 

 Another thing I've strongly suggested in the past is addressing SL's scale issues. This seems like a minor detail, but the rampant up-scaling (SL avatars tend to be 7 to 9 feet tall giants and buildings tend to be around double scale!) results in land seeming much smaller, buildings eating up more prim resources, and SL generally being uglier, less detailed because of it.

 

 Still, before you write off SL's content tools entirely, I recommend visiting some of the better looking sims in Second Life. I'm not currently able to log in, but do a search for Insilico, Doomed Ship, Hangars Liquides, Forgotten City, Bentham Forest and Hosoi Mura. Each of them is a great showcase as to what is possible.

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Chosen Few has done an excellent job explaining how SL prims are created by the system and why what you suggested will not work.  I would just like to add  as someone that has been building full time in SL for six years, including the time before the introduction of sculpts and mesh, that with practice and study it is amazing what  you can acheive using just SL prims.  Now with the additon of sculpts and mesh (which has not reached its full potential yet), soon the sky will be the limit.  So stick with it and have some patience. Learn how to make your own sculpt maps and mesh if that interests you too.

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I would be happy if they just would make it easier to make the first steps in building. The goal should be to get everyone able to build at least simple things or their own simple house. Most guides which exist deal with old viewers, show things which are poorly explained or just don't deal with beginner issues.

There should be one source for FAQs in different sections, more step by step guides...oh and more pictures where to find what tool.

 

I know what I'm talking about, I got the idea in my head to build my own house....after two hours I got frustrated :matte-motes-dont-cry:

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Thanks lifedancer for the suggestions. It's great that you're exploring and learning. I think the responses you got from folks here should be helpful to you, and also should give you some context to the constraints of the world. As you've seen, the vast majority of residents are helpful and welcoming. Remember that when you inevitably run into a troll - just move on and it'll be fine. :-)

I feel it's very important for residents to find that building in-world is both intuitive and engaging. Right now I think it can be very engaging, but it's not intuitive. Visit the locations Penny mentioned; it's truly amazing what has been accomplished with prims and the existing build tools. At the same time i want to give those residents that want it the freedom to make much more complex builds; mesh import is the primary pipeline for that need. 

 

One note - Kwak, I think what lifedancer meant about defining linksets is more this:

Define the linkset object first, say "My House", give it a description. Then select objects - Perhaps there's a menu which lists nearby valid linksets to join the object(s) to. You could choose the base object for collision as well. That's what I read, anyway.

I can see advantages to that workflow which treats the linkset as a real and separate thing, vs. the current one where it's more implicit and only exists as a result of it's children. I won't comment on whether we'd do something iike that. If we were to reconsider how you interact with linksets it'd be as a part of a larger redesign of the build/edit floater and workflows.

If I got that wrong, please let me know.

Charlar

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