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Maeve Balfour

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Posts posted by Maeve Balfour

  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:

    • Like 1
  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.

    • Like 2
  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.


  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.



    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.


    • Like 1
  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).


  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.


    • Like 1
  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).


  16. Echoing what others have already said here: BLENDER.

    I'm in the process of converting to and learning Blender myself, having used a messy workflow for years involving several different low/mid-range software packages. Blender will allow you to create pretty much anything you need for SL in the one program - so none of the annoying exporting/importing/exporting blah I have put up with until recently.

    Plus as already mentioned, Blender's user interface has undergone massive changes in the past year or so, and is FAR more user friendly than it used to be (I had looked into Blender a couple of years back prior to the update, and had put off adopting it purely due to its painful interface at the time). Now, however, it is pretty logical and intuitive in its layout - probably scary for a mesh newcomer with all its options, but definitely worth sticking with.

    Also a vast userbase as well. Free CAN mean good sometimes!

    Just be sure to learn all the basic mesh theory principles (common to all generic mesh creation) before tackling anything ambitious, regardless of what software package you settle with. You will just be setting yourself up for a world of frustration otherwise.

    For Blender specifics, a good starting point would be the tutorial video series at Gryllus (it assumes zero knowledge of 3D, and steps you through the basics of Blender upward).

    CG Cookie has another good starter tutorial series.

    But most of all - have FUN! :matte-motes-smile:

    • Like 1
  17. Just chiming in to convey my kudos to you too, Code. :matte-motes-smile:

    Although I've previously created rigged clothing for usage in Poser (3D rendering etc), I am still learning to optimise for SL's low poly environment and so I'm always open to new ideas and methodology. Your posts give me new ideas and directions to approach SL clothing creation from - I especially like your pants post (the upward slanting loops method to better follow the AV edgeflow).

    Of course, there will always be generic issues common to 3D we will have to live with - but half the fun (at least to me) is in developing work-arounds to avoid and/or hide the annoyances.

    Your posts are gold - a forum mod should sticky this for easy future reference. :matte-motes-smile:


  18. Rya: I guess in my case, I am just happy enough to create purely for the sake of it. It's what drew me into SL in the first place, the ability to build and experience it inworld (originally with prims when I first arrived, and now mesh). With mesh, instead of just creating something and rendering it as an image, with SL I can actually interact WITH it in a realtime environment - which is pretty awesome in my opinion. That alone is enough reason for me to push my creativity abilities.

    Financially, I have never really had any urge to sell. I guess some income to cover my inworld costs and tier would be handy, but I already budget for that with my RL income, so it's not a major priority. Plus lack of time to dedicate to the running of a store and customer service is also a factor. The headache type of customer you mentioned earlier in this thread just emphasises my reasons for not becoming a merchant as well.

    Hence I admire the dedicated SL merchants such as yourself and many others - the ones who are passionate about what they create (and not doing it with the minimal work / fast-buck cashcow mentality). The energy required to maintain quality builds AND quality customer service is something that would drain me... I am happier just to create for personal usage (less headaches).

    And you mustn't sell yourself so short (in regards to your reference of your skillsets). You are obviously enjoying what you are doing, enjoying being creative, and willing to learn and improve. THAT is admirable. Sheer skills alone mean nothing without passion behind them. Hence me being more than happy to share my knowledge with others on the Creation Forum when relevant, if it helps them improve on their passion for creating. I would guess that other regulars there would have a similar mindset.


  19. It never ceases to amaze me how STUPID people can be when they leave MP reviews. Much of the time, I think they just find the page, and click BUY NOW without even trying to read the information presented or look a little closer at the images (or heaven forbid, consider checking the items out inworld if they are picky). Hence, when purchased items don't meet their exact demanding preferences, they throw a sad and leave a scathing review.

    Pfft...! Small wonder I have never bothered becoming a merchant, despite creating many dozens of mesh items for my own personal building and landscaping requirements, clothing as well. I know I could sell them easily (I have had requests many times to sell), but I can't be bothered dealing with the idiot customer element. This MP review example, and a review "bullying threat" thread I read a few minutes ago, just confirms my reasons.

    I know there are many GOOD customers out there (hopefully in the majority, surely?), but it's the nasty, idiotic and downright spiteful customer element that puts me off even bothering.

    I admire the people who work hard to be good merchants - the tides working against you constantly would just wear me out in no time.

  20. I posted in THIS THREAD about this kind of thing yesterday.... I had actually been spurred on in anger, in reference to the exact same "merchant" you were ripped off by Kirinn (I actually saw your review on the product (you were quite reasonable about it), and I left comments as well - however the product was pulled within an hour or two after).

    My anger was because I had seen this fake store appear about a day before (simply by doing my daily search for "mesh" / "newest first" (I enjoy looking at what people are creating in mesh etc, hence my daily looksee)). I had instantly sensed a scam, and then you (and others) were ripped off in the hours that followed (I tend to "fave" a product or two from suspect stores, simply to keep track of them later - and saw these later had one-star reviews)).

    Being a mesh hobbyist creator, I can spot these scam stores from a mile off, yet I am powerless to act on it - and time and again I see unsuspecting customers being ripped off by these scumbags. I am fairly certain it is just one or two individuals behind it all - exact same method of operation each time. They set up a fake storefront with a fairly new AV (often only a week or two old, although they might be letting them get a bit older now, judging by this latest AV (about a month old)). ALL the products in these fake stores carry images stolen directly from the same few 3D brokerage sites I am familiar with (usually AV replacements, clothing or vehicles), all at exhorbitant prices (6000L and upward). (I can always find these stolen images' original location via a very quick search on the brokerage sites I am familiar with). Unsuspecting customers are ripped off, and items are pulled and relisted "clean" as soon as negative reviews are left, or at least until LL pulls down the entire store and bans the AV account. And then a week or less later, they pop up again, same method, different images from the same sites. Rinse and repeat, the scam continues.

    It makes me furious because I can see the crimes being committed, yet cannot warn anyone other than leaving comments on reviews left by angry ripped off customers - which nobody will likely see, since the items are pulled and relisted within hours. LL should be utterly ashamed of themselves - they are making a lot of commission from these scammers, judging by the dozens of angry reviews I have been fast enough to spot.



    (copy and paste below from my post in the other thread, but it is relevant here):

    Biggest giveaway clue (if their "items" are mesh related): They NEVER have the items listed as Mesh: 100% Mesh (located under the Permissions section on the right hand side of the product page). Instant reason for suspicion if the items are hugely pricey and supposedly full-perms. Genuine mesh uploaders are REQUIRED to have their RL payment details on file with LL (a means of identification) - of course, criminal scammers won't do this. Hence their LACK of ability to have the Mesh: 100% Mesh status on their products. No details on file, so they cannot upload mesh - so of course they CANNOT be selling these "fantastic" items they are faking. Usually, the AVs involved are only a week or so old (although the latest scammer has an AV about a month old - so they are possibly "ageing" them first now).
    (NOTE: This doesn't apply to mesh prefab kit retexture/resellers, of course - they are simply reselling an existing mesh kit already uploaded to SL by another party. Also their items are usually decently priced as well).

    I'm just posting this in a faint hope of saving some unfortunate resident being suckered by this scam method.

  21. I've seen this kind of thing happening repeatedly on the Marketplace in the past six months or so, but in regards to MESH items. Or more specifically, FAKE mesh items - in that a fake store is put up, filled with "products" baiting customers with too-good-to-be-SL 3D rendered images stolen from various 3D brokerage sites that I am familiar with (being a reasonably competent mesh hobbyist, I can often easily recognise where these images are stolen from, or very quickly find them with a simple Google search).

    I can spot these scam stores from a mile off, but sadly many residents cannot - and time and again I see unsuspecting customers being ripped off (judging by the scathing reviews I see them leave, IF I am quick enough to read them before the fake items are pulled and relisted). Often customers are ripped off to the tune of several thousand L$ for these fake items. (There was a store I spotted less than a day ago doing this - several angry reviews were left by stung customers in the few hours the items were listed for - and now the store has been cleaned out, ready to start again). Usually the fake items are avatar replacements, clothing items and vehicles from what I have seen to date.

    I suspect these scams are often run by the same person, since the exact same bait and switch method is used over and over again, often with varying images lifted from the same sites. When LL close them down, I am pretty certain they just create another account and start again, rinse and repeat, ad infinitum.

    Biggest giveaway clue (if their "items" are mesh related): They NEVER have the items listed as Mesh: 100% Mesh (located under the Permissions section on the right hand side of the product page). Instant reason for suspicion if the items are hugely pricey and supposedly full-perms. Genuine mesh uploaders are REQUIRED to have their RL payment details on file with LL (a means of identification) - of course, criminal scammers won't do this. Hence their LACK of ability to have the Mesh: 100% Mesh status on their products. No details on file, so they cannot upload mesh - so of course they CANNOT be selling these "fantastic" items they are faking. Usually, the AVs involved are only a week or so old (although the latest scammer has an AV about a month old - so they are possibly "ageing" them first now).
    (NOTE: This doesn't apply to mesh prefab kit retexture/resellers, of course - they are simply reselling an existing mesh kit already uploaded to SL by another party. Also their items are usually decently priced as well).

    I'm just posting this in a faint hope of saving some unfortunate resident being suckered by this scam method.


    • Like 1
  22. Don't worry, I had this EXACT same issue when I first started making mesh footwear!  :smileyvery-happy:

    I believe it's simply due to the centrepoint of your mesh shoes being out of kilter compared to the attachment points on the feet or legs (I'm assuming these are simply ATTACHMENTS, not rigged meshes).

    Just drop in a tiny invisible cube prim around where the ankle would be, and link the shoe mesh to it (repeat this for both left and right meshes - one prim per mesh). Note: The invisible prim MUST be the root prim, otherwise this won't work as far as I know.

    Now the shoes should attach and stay in place properly.  :matte-motes-smile:

  23. Personally, I'd find it easier (and quicker) to simply model the creases and folds into a mesh by hand, in a clean, low poly mesh (MD works entirely with randomised triangles, from what I understand), and then work on baking in AO etc from a higher resolution version of the same mesh (keeping in mind that normal maps and specular maps will be available in SL in the near future for additional detailing).

    However, if your heart is set on cloth simulation, I'd suggest taking a look at Poser (if you can find an older version to purchase, you can most likely pick it up fairly cheaply (Poser 7 upward would do)).

    Poser's dynamic cloth section is pretty impressive, and generally very underutilised (even within the Poser 3D community). It will accept suitably modeled clothing meshes, and drape them over a posed figure - keep in mind that this is primarily designed for 3D renders or rendered animations. However, I imagine it can be useful for taking a quad-based mesh (modeled to suit the target figure's T-pose) and then letting the simulation run to get some nice clothing folds drape into place. You then export the mesh as an OBJ file at the animation/simulation frame which has the best looking result, where you can continue working on the mesh etc. (I've seen tutorial videos which demonstrate the process - quite impressive, when done well).

    Note that this isn't a magical "make clothing" program - you will still need to model mesh clothing in a 3D modeling program, to then import into Poser, from where the cloth simulation would be run. You will need to get the SL AV imported into Poser as a figure (a bit of messing around, due to how finicky Poser is with its folder hierachy demands). Also note that Poser's interface is pretty non-standard when compared to general 3D programs (although I've used Poser extensively in the past, I've actually grown to hate its interface these days, after experiencing Blender's vastly superior controls). So be warned, you will have some hefty learning curves.

    You could try searching Renderosity.com for tutorials on Poser's cloth room, or the forum there. If you are willing to cough up some cash, search the Renderosity marketplace for video tutorials by Fugazi (probably the best source of cloth room tutorials available, from what I recall).


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  24. The theory of normal mapping itself is often used for real-time render environments (games etc) - using a normal map like the tutorial you linked to in order to give the impression of more geometry than is really there. A very efficient method in regards to rendering impact, especially with low detail geometry.

    Until now, usage like this in SL hasn't been feasible (other than baked AO textures)..... BUT..... it is coming pretty soon (or rather, "LL soon").

    THIS is what has many of us mesh creators excited - the upcoming materials project, which I believe to be nearing a test viewer release (if what I have read elsewhere is accurate). Normal mapping is used to suggest extra detail which isn't there in geometry. Specular mapping can be used to define "shininess", very effective in conjunction with a normal map. As you can see in the video, the normal map can generate realtime shadow effects without using geometry - so a lower LI for a higher detail effect.

    (Unfortunately, the link text erroneously refers to specularity and reflectivity as the same thing, which it isn't. So NO mirror effects etc).

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  25. Jennifer: What you are seeing there is pretty much a universal issue in 3D in general (not just SL). For example, users of Poser clothing often get the same "poke-through" problems (when posing figures for 3D rendering/animation, different items of mesh clothing will intersect, creating the sort of problem you pictured) - the solution there is often to use morphing parameters which allows a degree of "tweaking" of the clothing meshes to fix it - but that is not feasible for realtime environments like SL.

    An idea I have as a mesh creator (I'm not currently a merchant), which I'm surprised no clothing makers have picked up on yet, is the use of material zones in clothing meshes to potentially reduce the amount of poke-through. Each mesh object, be it clothing or whatever, can have up to EIGHT material zones defined (same principle as faces on prims - each material/face can have its own texture, colour, transparency etc - just that mesh allows creators to define their material zones however they like). My concept would be, for example in your skirt, to have a few material "bands" around the top of the skirt, each with the same original texture, BUT with the ability for the customer to change transparency to 100%.... so if the top two material bands were poking through a top, for instance, they could be made invisible to hide the issue. Of course, there would be limits of how well this could work, depending on the clothing items being mixed, but surely it would help to some extent.

    Sadly, probably due to NO MOD perms set by most merchants, they probably won't allow users to tweak transparency manually because the dreaded customers might then change the texture or colour (heaven forbid!) and cost them sales. Even so, a HUD option for setting transparency could be a workaround.

    If I ever get around to being a merchant, it's something I would definitely explore - maximising customers' ability to mix and match clothing. Having been a Poser user in the past, hiding clothing parts etc was second nature to me - and it would be ideal here in SL with the material workaround.


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