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Maeve Balfour

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About Maeve Balfour

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  1. I think it may be possibly due to errant vertices not being in EXACT alignment along the vertical axis. I've encountered the same issue many times in the past, and it was driving me crazy (I was making perfectly flat plane surfaces for floors, with loopcuts to create edges for faked AO repeat textures, varying floor panel UV rotations for texture efficiency etc). There would often be a vertice somewhere that simply refused to sit in precise Z-axis alignment (a tiny decimal point out), and SL would interpret this as thickness in the plane - hence the random hovering effect. What I do these days (in Blender) is to go into EDIT MODE, select all the vertices in the plane surface, and then SCALE the Z-axis to ZERO (which forces every vertice into precise alignment). As far as I can tell, from my own experience at least, is that SL now treats the resultant plane mesh as perfectly flat (I use a perfectly flat 4-vertice plane mesh as the physics hull, flattened in the same manner - with the mesh object set to Prim Physics when it is rezzed in SL). I've tested these mesh floor planes with SL shadows enabled, and cammed around my AV's feet, and at least from what I can tell, my feet are planted nicely on the floor. Note: Footwear styles, hover settings etc may vary other people's results. I hope this helps solve the problems many seem to be having - It works for me, at least. :matte-motes-smile:
  2. Thankyou Perrie for pointing that out to me - that snippet of information had slipped past my radar. :matte-motes-smile: That should in theory go a long way to stopping a lot of the empty box MP fraudsters in the future (once they have used up all their "pre-made" stores prior to this coming into effect (many of the "new" stores I have spotted have been owned by AVs several months old, presumably created and "aged" in readiness for scamming). A positive move by LL, but as you said, LL needs to actually DEAL with the fraudster element as well.
  3. Wishful thinking on my part, but..... In the feedback section of the survey, I recommended (strongly) that LL include a "mesh uploader" status as a search filter. Reason? To provide a method to help screen OUT the fradulent empty box scammers. This primarily concerns those fake stores selling exhobitantly priced mesh avatar replacements / mesh full perm clothing kits etc. (Fraudulent mesh product listings (especially "full perms") have been getting an absolute HAMMERING by the empty box scammers over the past year or so). As someone who has been a mesh hobbyist creator for years (outside of SL as well as within), I can generally spot a fake product from a mile off. (These almost always use product shots stolen from 3D brokerage sites, which are far too good to possibly be SL inworld shots). Unfortunately, a great many customers don't have this knowledge, and time and time again I see people getting ripped off. (I tend to add suspect items to my MP favourites list to keep tabs on them - and sure enough, my hunches are always right... if I am quick enough, I spot scathing reviews on the suspect items before they are pulled and relisted, until the account is removed by LL. The scammer then probably returns with an alt account, rinse and repeat etc). To be a "mesh verified uploader", LL requires the account owner to have payment information on file (in addition to passing the IP test). If this status was implemented into a search filter, this should in theory filter out the majority of the fradulent "mesh product" empty box scammers (assuming the majority of the scammers are not using stolen RL payment info/accounts). Unfortunately, this is probably wishful thinking... Likely in the "too hard basket" for LL, plus uneducated customers will continue to be ripped off... Still, if implemented it would at least provide an option for screening out the scammers to a degree.
  4. I'd suggest looking into one of the software packages that have 3D painting capabilities. Prices vary widely, so I'd strongly suggest trying demos of them before making a final purchase. In a nutshell, this would allow you to have a 3D object (in this case, the SL AV), and be able to paint on it in a 3D viewport, rotating, zooming etc as required. Most would probably have some kind of "projection painting" ability, where you would drop a reference photo into the 3D scene (skin texture for example), and you would align the AV so that the texture is "cloned" onto the 3D surface as you paint over the area. However, this isn't a "magical make skin" solution - a lot of work will still be required to get a high quality result. Generally, it takes a bit of getting used to the method of 3D painting (falloff zones, backface occlusion etc). Still, it's an option worth exploring in lieu of the flat 2D template method. There are plenty of options out there - I would assume that Blender (free) has this capability somewhere in its depths (I just haven't learned Blender that far yet). One (out of many) to consider is Blacksmith3D, a package I acquired several years ago (it's been updated a few times since then). Takes some getting used to, but works quite nicely (especially for getting seamless results across unconnected texture UV spaces). This somewhat old Youtube channel has tutorials which should still be relevant - you will find a few specific to painting the SL AV (you will need to set up a modified AV file for the package to work with, explained in the associated videos). I'm not sure, but I think the software creator has a pre-made AV file somewhere on the Blacksmith site. (For the record: I'm not trying to sell Blacksmith3D; I've just had experience using it for painting on the SL AV in the past). Hope this helps. :matte-motes-smile:
  5. I'm just wondering if the group land bonus caps out (or not) once you acquire the equivalent of a full region. (I assume the bonus still applies, but checking to be safe). Currently I have almost 52,000m2 of land/tier (mainland) donated to my group. I am considering acquiring another quarter sim within one of my regions once it becomes available. If I buy it for my group, will it break my tier level (US$195 per month), or does the group land bonus still apply? ie: 65,536m2 (full sim equivalent tier) + 6,553m2 (10% group land bonus) = 72,089m2 (plus I guess the free 512m2 with premium membership). In my calculations, my existing 52,000m2 + an extra quarter region (16,384m2) would set my group land donations to 68,384m2.... below my estimated 72,089m2 group land cap. Am I assuming this correctly? Or does the group bonus land cap out once I hit 65,536m2? Thanks for your help :matte-motes-smile: Edited to reply: Knowl: I've used the land use fees calculator in the past, however once I go above the 65,536m2 (full region) amount, the page throws up a popup window stating - "The proposed tier goes over US$195.00/month. Contact Second Life support with further questions". Hence my asking here, in the hope someone has encountered the situation before. I'll probably have to contact LL directly - pity I live in such a distant corner of the (real) world; timezones etc. ...................... FOLLOW-UP information (Posting this since others may find it useful): I filed a ticket in regards to my above query. I received the following information via Guy Linden (thankyou muchly, Guy!) "The 10% group bonus, is just that, a bonus. If you donate 65536m to your group, you pay your US$195 monthly tier for that amount of land that you are using. "Because of the bonus, the group would be able to own another 6553m, or 72,089m total. You do not owe any additional tier for the group's bonus allotment. This works with any amount of tier you donate to the group. A two region tier of 131,072m earns an additional 13,107m group bonus. "Obviously, regions are 65536m, so to use the full amount of tier available to the group it would have to involve multiple regions." In a nutshell, this confirms what I had thought (but wasn't sure of, due to the ambiguous results given by the official land calculator).
  6. I've been looking into purchasing Substance Designer as well - it appears to be seriously powerful from what I've seen thus far, and would be a pretty neat addition to my workflow in general. Still undecided if its features are overkill for my own needs - although it would probably be handy to have later on, as my hunger for quality control in my mesh materials grows. However, a suggestion worth looking into in lieu - Bitmap2Material - produced by the same software studio as Substance Designer (Allegorithmic). It depends on if you want to simply create materials from bitmap images, or whether you are wanting to utilise the features list offered by Substance Designer. Bitmap2Material can either work as a stand-alone materials creator, or as a plug-in for Substance Designer, 3DS Max, Maya etc (unfortunately, not for Blender at this point in time - my own modeling program of choice). I had a brief dabble with it in the trial version, and it is quite impressive... To date, I've been using ShaderMap2, which is pretty good in its own right, but relatively limited in its fine-tuning controls. Bitmap2Material has a ton more sliders for this fine-tuning of results, and has me tempted to buy it at some point. (Substance Designer has a "light" version of Bitmap2Material built into it, I think - probably a watered-down version in regards to fine tuning controls). You might want to check on the licensing conditions - I would assume if you are creating for SL and intend to sell, you would fall into the more expensive commericial licence category. But yah, both Substance Designer and Bitmap2Material are pretty powerful tools - even if we can only use a handful of their outputs in SL.
  7. It is NOT O.K...... To have zillions of damned polys in a shoe mesh (or ANYTHING for that matter). I'm not talking about slightly overdetailed meshes... I'm talking about STUPIDLY high poly counts. It's a pity I can't actually name and shame here. I've recently come across probably the worst example of excessive modeling I've yet seen in SL. A shoe where every MINISCULE detail was modeled in geometry, down to the holes in the leather for brogueing (and THESE had insane amounts of polys for those tiny details too). In wireframe mode, the shoe is practically SOLID looking due to the denseness of the mesh. Not to mention the changeable sole styles which are all part of the main mesh, visible via flipping the alphas on and off, so all that insane polycount is there all the time. I would assume these had maxxed out LODs as well, as I couldn't see any kind of LOD swapping happening when I zoomed out. Ouch. The demo was about 262LI (for ONE shoe rezzed on the ground). So wear a pair of those lag monsters and you will drag down everyone else's framerates around you. How polite. Most of the other items on display at this location are just as terrible for polycounts. My framerates would drop to a slideshow when I zoomed in closer on some of the furniture there. Ironic, considering this location boasts the best of SL mesh etc..... So much for mesh education. The fashionistas just don't want to learn. Sometimes I think it's a waste of time posting advice on this forum. No wonder I've given up these days...... Bah.
  8. Possibly it might be the SL animations creeping into your own animation - SL has the ability to "blend" animations (eg, handbag carrying poses while the AV walks in an independent animation). Generally, if an animation only affects specific parts of the body, other animations are able to play and blend in. This can be useful, but also a pain if not wanted. IF this is what is affecting your animation, I suggest you try tweaking every body part (just a tiny bit - you just need to barely spin the pose dials on non-moving body parts ( I assume you meant you are using Poser 7?)). Anyways, by doing these initial tiny tweaks, you are effectively telling SL that you are animating the entire AV body - so the default SL anims shouldn't creep in. As such, your animation should play as you intend within SL. :matte-motes-smile:
  9. Your AV sliding / feet clipping issue is probably due to the movements you are applying to the HIP JOINT. Similar to Poser (and I assume DAZ Studio), SL uses the HIP of the AV for positioning inworld (location, movement from A to B, rotation etc). With your moving of the hip joint side to side and up/down, SL sees that as the entire AV figure moving side-to-side and up and down in world. This wouldn't be a problem IF the pinning of the feet you are doing in DAZ Studio was being recognised in the export process to the BVH file. My guess is that this isn't happening for some reason. Possibly there's an overlooked option in the BVH export section? (I'm not a DAZ Studio user, so I can't offer help here unfortunately). A possible workaround would be to manually keyframe the feet positions in relation to the ground plane for relevant frames in the animation in DAZ Studio - the start and end points of the hip swaying, and probably midway points to help get more natural looking movements. I am assuming DAZ Studio will interpolate the rest of the frames to suit. The headache will likely be in getting the feet to remain planted in the exact same ground location to avoid them sliding around - you could possibly get the feet coordinates for the relevant frames from your existing animation, and apply those manually instead of using pinning. Another option would be to place prim rectangular objects under the feet in DAZ, scaled and rotated to be a close match to the feet, and use those as manual positioning guides - since you will probably have to pull the feet/legs to get them to those locations for each keyframe. Not ideal, but should be workable. :matte-motes-smile:
  10. I suspect the smoothing you are applying is probably blowing out your vertice counts far beyond what SL sculpties will accept. I haven't made sculpties for about two years now, so my memory is pretty rusty these days about the processes involved. Have you followed ? This is what I used originally when trying to figure out how to create sculpties via Hexagon. It was enough to get me going back then. I don't remember ever having your specific issue.:matte-motes-smile: ..... On a side note: Although previously a long-time user of Hexagon, I've found it's really not overly suited to SL content creation beyond sculpties. If in future you decide to try your hand at creating mesh for SL, you should seriously consider migrating to Blender to make your life easier. (I've hit the limits of Hexagon's usefulness for SL content creation (no rigging, no native .dae exporting, crappy conversion to tris), and spent so much time exporting to Blender for menial tasks, I eventually just quit using Hexagon in frustration). Although I have fond memories of Hexagon (it being my introduction into 3D mesh making), it's just not up to the task for SL content creation in general.
  11. The movement is probably the default SL animations creeping into your pose (be sure to turn off any AOs as well). As far as I know, this is due to the way SL blends animations (eg: a handbag pose mixing with a totally independent walk animation). The way to overcome this is to ensure that EVERY body part has some kind of change applied (even just a tiny amount). The torso and neck movements you mention are probably due to those parts not having any changes made in your pose file - so tweak those slightly so their values change a fraction, and chances are that your refined pose will now be perfectly static. :matte-motes-smile:
  12. Definitely. As you have disovered, many merchants who create and sell mesh products haven't got much idea about proper optimisation for SL's realtime rendering environment. The more detail that needs to be created and displayed on your screen means the slower the framerate your PC can generate per second (the fewer times the screen can be "redrawn" means a laggier experience in that regard - hence your description of stop motion animation). Ideally, meshes SHOULD be created with as few polygons as possible - only using the barest minimum required to get a required shape, AND have proper level of detail (LOD) meshes for when the the detail swapping occurs (as the camera pulls away, these lower detail meshes will swap in, reducing the detail needing to be rendered for that object - meaning better framerates when done well). I suspect some merchants have the full detail for each of the four LOD meshes, which will also hugely affect framerates and induce this laggy effect in extreme cases. Sadly, I think a lot of merchants assume that MORE polys is better - and / or simply don't care about framerate issues. So yah, wherever possible, it's always a better option to wear (and use) optimised, efficient meshes - it will mean a better experience for yourself and those around you as well. Unfortunately, from what I can ascertain on my general Marketplace searches of late, a great many merchants don't seem to understand or bother with mesh optimisation. By all means, be very fussy about which merchants you buy from - and when you find ones who DO care about efficiency, stick with them (they are out there, but you have to search hard at times to find them). :matte-motes-smile:
  13. Thanks for the heads-up too, Chosen! :matte-motes-smile: I've been happily using the CS1 suite (primarily Photoshop) since I purchased it waaay back in 2004. I've often looked longingly at the new features of subsequent CS releases, but have never been able to justify the high price tags for my purely hobbyist usage. I can now reconsider my options... heck, $30 per month is less than I pay per month in my SL tier! Hmm... consider me sold! Nice move Adobe! :matte-motes-smile:
  14. It's possible that the hair meshes that are failing to rez up for you are too heavily detailed in their geometry. I can't be sure on specific brands or instances, but I have had the same issue myself with some hair demos etc, or that worn by people around me - they will either not rez up at all, or only partially. The partially rezzed up hair meshes, when I have inspected them in wireframe mode, have generally been hugely heavy in their polygon counts - and on my less-than-perfect internet connection appear to "time out" before rezzing up properly. Again, I can't be sure on specific brands etc, but this might be the reason. I have seen a lot of merchants who don't appear to have a clue about proper mesh optimisation for SL, and they just go insane with their geometry. Hugely slow to load, and a big drain on render framerates as well. (As an example, I recently made the mistake of buying a pair of mesh boots without trying a demo first (expensive too, ouch!). These would have to be a record breaker in regards to the heaviest item of mesh clothing I have so far come across... each individual boot weighed in at nearly 500 Land Impact EACH - seriously! On my 4096m2 plot, I wouldn't have been able to rez out the both of them! And people who wear monsters like these often whine about SL being laggy, LOL). So yah, possibly your issue is down to the overly complex geometry of the hair meshes. Also worth trying, especially for buildings and objects that fail to rez up, is to try RIGHT-CLICKING where you think they are (often they will then pop into view) - I have that problem sometimes, and I suspect it might be a viewer specific issue. :matte-motes-smile:
  15. In agreement to what Rahkis said - and many thanks once again for making so many wonderful and informative posts here in the forums, Code. Your knowledge shared in here is superbly helpful, not just to me but no doubt to countless others. Although I'm proficient enough with mesh, I am always welcoming of new methods, ideas and avenues to approach things by, so to me your postings are gold. Thanks muchly for all your hard work (I know how time consuming informative posts and tutorials are to make). Hence my many kudos I've been throwing your way - my little "thanks" to you in the background without me cluttering up your threads! (And many thanks to the other regulars who post around here too - I've learned a lot from all of you). :matte-motes-smile:
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