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Maeve Balfour

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Everything posted by Maeve Balfour

  1. Assuming you are already familar with the usage of Cinema 4D, just build the kinds of mesh models you are wanting to import into SL - but importantly, keep them as low poly as possible. Keep in mind that SL requires triangulated meshes (as opposed to quad meshes), so you will need to convert any quad meshes (especially prior to UV-mapping etc... I am not a user of Cinema 4D, so I don't know if this facility is built in... Blender does an excellent job of this, so I export my mesh to it for this step, before taking it back to my modelers of choice (Carrara / Hexagon)). Gaia Clary has been ever so kind to produce a series of superb video tutorials regarding mesh creation for SL. A good starting point would be here: http://blog.machinimatrix.org/optimizing-meshes/ Be sure to further explorer the site, as there are many tutorials for mesh etc in regards to SL. Have fun! :matte-motes-smile:
  2. Thanks Tanakaakio - I was sure I had read that ages ago, TY for posting the links, very handy. And yah, I have been uploading both left and right meshes for footwear too - it works well enough, until mirroring inworld is one day (hopefully) implemented. :matte-motes-smile:
  3. I'm just wondering if it's possible yet (or if it is planned at all for the future) for meshes to be mirrored in-world? As an example, say, for a left-hand shoe mesh - it would be great to have a facility in-world to mirror / flip a mesh like this to be identically opposite - in this case, the mirrored mesh would become a right-hand shoe mesh. In theory this is just a flipped set of vertices. From my general mesh experience, a flipped mesh will still take the original UV-mapping (I proved this in-world, by importing a mesh I mirrored prior in my 3D modeler, and applying the same UV-texture from the original non-mirrored mesh - a perfect fit). I vaguely remember reading many months ago that it is planned to accommodate mirrored meshes at some point - although mayhaps my memory is incorrect on this matter. Any feedback welcomed. PS: Keep up the wonderful work Linden peoples. I truly appreciate your efforts! :matte-motes-smile:
  4. When UV texturing, I find it is good practice to slightly overfill beyond outline borders of each piece, to avoid this specific problem. When the texture maps are resized, often the anti-aliasing effect will cause the fringeing effect seen in your examples here (the slight mixing of colours in the "smoothing" involved in reducing an image size). By texturing a few pixels outside the dimensions of each piece in the UV layout, this tends to remove the problem. I am fairly sure this is the case happening here - I hope this helps for you :matte-motes-smile:
  5. Nothing to be worried about there - prim cost is a term created by LL in regards to server rendering cost (NOT payment cost). It is a measure used to calculate mesh cost in a sim - so a single mesh is thus given a prim equivalency depending on its complexity. (This is a heated topic over in the mesh forum, which I won't go into detail about here). But yah, nothing to be concerned about - keep rezzing those prims! :matte-motes-smile:
  6. Not sure if they have exactly what you are searching for, but try checking out Coco, Aohara and DeLa (their inworld stores should come up in search). They tend to make a lot of sculpted clothing which work in conjunction with AV textures. For the record, I am NOT advertising them - I just shop there a lot! Note, however, that due to their nature, the sculpted clothing is sort of like wearing cardboard by its nature (it doesnt flex with your AV's movements etc). So it can be rather hit and miss as to how well it looks when your AV is moving. Also, keep an eye out once mesh hits the main grid - I think there will be a move to mesh modeled clothing which will most likely conform to the AV rigging - as in, it should move and flow WITH the AV bending and twisting... Exciting stuff if it works as I think it will. :matte-motes-smile:
  7. Alpha masks worn on the AV are a perfect way to get a nice snug mesh clothing fit, and are fairly easy to make. On the main grid, custom alphas are already being used in conjunction with sculpted clothing (footwear mostly), so will be ideal for use with mesh as well. (Assuming the user has a V2 compliant viewer, in order to use alphas - I think most are now capable of this as far as I know). To create one, it is simply a matter of painting one in the shape you require over the AV - If you know how to paint clothing, you can easily create an alpha map (tons of tutorials out there in regards to clothing painting, usually also explaining how to create alphas as well). In essence, in a graphics progam you would create the alpha map (eg Photoshop, you would create an alpha channel, fill it with black, and anything you paint in WHITE will be what is VISIBLE on the AV, and any area in black would be invisible - save this out as a flattened TGA file and upload to SL; grey areas are intermittent levels of invisibility). I'm not sure of the limits of wearable alpha layers - in V2 (which I use), I can apply multiple alphas simply by choosing to ADD instead of WEAR (eg, feet and torso alphas (this also works with tattoo layers)). However, apparently this isn't a common feature with TPV's (I know that Phoenix doesn't support this as yet). I hope this is helpful to you - but yah, alphas can definitely be your best friend for clothing :matte-motes-smile:
  8. Congrats on your progress Bodzette - what you have achieved is no walk in the park for sure, but proves that if one is determined, they can learn anything! I think the most daunting thing for newcomers is getting their head around all the different steps involved in creating a finished mesh object - creating and shaping the mesh itself, UV-mapping and material mapping, and then texturing it effectively. No easy feat to grasp it all... but once figured out, these basic steps are pretty much the backbone of most 3D creation, so are skills definitely worth having and refining / building upon. Be warned - mesh is a very addictive beast! :smileyvery-happy:
  9. I've been quietly trying things out, figuring out my required workflow for SL mesh creation etc. Enjoying it, although I am somewhat despondent at how the costing factor (prim equivalency, upload cost etc) are turning out. I have experimented with AV attachments (footwear), and looking into rigged clothing, as well as building an experimental 64x64 structure to see how the prim cost factor worked out (reasonable, but very "rubbery" depending on LL's costing whims of the day). No reporting, although I haven't had any issues to comment about thus far. Just watching quietly to see how the costing eventually works out. Although it doesn't seem to affect the cost factor, I still take great pride in making my meshes as efficient as possible, in regards to server load etc. I will definitely be using mesh, for private use especially, due to it being far easier to shape and texture when compared to standard prims and sculpties. I enjoy the total freedom it brings to my creativity, albeit at a potentially high cost - my creative freedom is worth more than upload and cost issues. :matte-motes-smile:
  10. Hi Maar - Chances are that you have already tried this, since you said you know your way around Poser's basics etc... Still, I will mention it all the same... Have you tried checking the HIP movements of each AV in the 3D space? (check the dial values). A common mistake is for people to move the AV bodies around, without actually using the HIP to create the movement. Poser (and the exported BVH files) use the HIP as physical reference for positioning (and in SL's case, it uses the default first frame T-pose to calculate the AV location in the second frame onward etc). So it's possible you might have moved the correctly animated AV via the HIP, but mayhaps have used the incorrectly animated AV's BODY for its movement. Just a thought... I hope this helps in some way :matte-motes-smile: EDIT: A side note - I HAVE noticed that often the distance you move your AV through physical space in Poser is often not accurately represented in SL for some reason. (Though two AVs together will move the same corresponding distance). I suspect this might be due to Poser's tiny measurement system when compared to other 3D applications, OR possibly something to do with metrics preferences... (clutching at straws with ideas tho).
  11. Thanks for the tip bodzette (also thanks for your answer to me directly over in the Physics Uploader thread). I am now able to log in with the current viewer, after lowering my graphics settings prior to logging in. Not ideal, but good enough for testing with - at least I'm not hitting a brick wall anymore in regards to accessing the mesh grid. :matte-motes-smile:
  12. I am also having the same problems (currently using release 2.7.3 (232686) - Jun 11 2011 15:48:29 (Project Viewer - Mesh)). I have a test building with multiple doorways, which prior to this, worked fine when uploaded. Now, when I upload the same mesh, the doorways and small openings appear to be closed in the physics hull. Larger openings, for example 8m x 8m or so, appear fine - so it appears mayhaps smaller openings are automatically being closed? Also, I noticed a couple of smaller surfaces of floorspace (about 1m x 3m) appear to have become phantom (I fall through them), whereas previously they were solid (these are located immediately adjacent to doorways which have been affected by the physics issue). I used the same process as I have previously for the physics aspect - the highest LOD of the mesh for the physics (I haven't made a proper physics mesh yet for this build); in step one I use Method-Surface and Quality-High (I didn't use close holes this time around, although previously this worked fine without affecting the doorways; and step 2 for simplification I select Retain%. When rezzed, I set Physics Shape Type as Prim. As far as I can tell, this is possibly a new bug in the uploader? .... UPDATE: Currently I am not able to relog to test further - damned video driver issue keeps crashing me out again (grrrr!). So much for me hoping this latest viewer update fixed my video issues :matte-motes-confused:
  13. Hi TzunCet, welcome to SL :smileyhappy: Similar to you, I work with a variety of 3D software (and gradually deciding on my workflow in the process) - mostly Carrara or Hexagon for the actual modeling process itself. To export the mesh INTO SL itself, at the moment I use Blender. I barely know how to use Blender at all; I just merely use it for the export process for now. The process is pretty straightforward (follow the Machinimatrix video which shows that step - very easy, plus it can convert your quad mesh into triangles if needed). An IMPORTANT thing to know is that SL requires mesh to be in triangle format to work properly. If you are working in a quad-based mesh format, you will need to convert it to triangular mesh BEFORE commencing on UV-mapping and material mapping (in my limited mesh experience, any change to the mesh itself will destroy any UV-mapping etc). So to avoid potential pain, I suggest converting your mesh to triangles beforehand. (I used Blender for this step - it is quite elegant in the method it uses to convert to triangles - a simple split through each quad (converts to 2 triangles); much easier than doing it manually (no doubt if I looked harder, I could find a similar function in Carrara... Hexagon converts each quad into 4 triangles - far too heavy). As time allows, I will explore actual AV clothing mesh - using the AV mesh itself as a mannikin to build over. I will probably use Blender for the actual rigging though... the machinimatrix video appears to be fairly straightforward in this regard. So I will have to learn enough of Blender's interface to manage this step, but that shouldn't be too big a task - just enough to navigate myself for this step of the modeling process. So yah, it's a matter of figuring out a comfortable workflow. As is the case with 3D in general, often a montage of programs are needed to get the results you want. As stated earlier, I prefer to model the mesh itself in a program I am familiar with, and then for the conversion process / rigging etc, I export to Blender (or whatever program is the best to use). At least we don't HAVE to use high-end expensive software if we choose to - just whatever works best for us. Have much fun - mesh will be awesome when it eventually gets released to the main grid! :smileyhappy:
  14. Drongle - I downloaded the latest develpment viewer as you suggested (I was using the bog standard mesh viewer)... and yah, it has more options for LOD control as you said. I had a quick bit of experimenting - adjusting different counts for each LOD (keeping the high and medium LOD at the actual original mesh triangle count, and reducing the low and lowest counts to varying amounts (roughly two-thirds for the low, and about half for the lowest). Seems to be a far better result this way, I am happy with how the mesh model holds its detail, even at long view distances. I could probably tweak this further with more trial and error, and will play with that later. As it stands... the mesh cost is 23.0 .... a lot higher than the original 2.9 with default LOD settings, but I guess still far more efficient than the normal prim count / texture sets an equivalent sculpted shoe would require (although I'm no expert by any means in regards to streaming costs etc, so correct me if I am wrong in my assumption). Since this shoe is designed to be an AV attachment, I guess the prim cost isn't too major a concern; although I DO care about render cost - hopefully this is somewhat within reasonable bounds. As a side note... the reduced LODs combined with my AO texture seems to work well in maintaining some kind of recognisable detail at distance, despite its small size (foot size), which I am very happy with. Thanks again Drongle for setting me on the right track - now I know I am heading in a productive direction :smileyhappy:
  15. Thanks for the tips Drongle.... I can see your point, that the reduced segments of the shoe would make the LOD distance even smaller again. I have yet to really properly explore all the options in mesh upload dialogue. I have previously looked at the default LOD levels on offer (first tab) and assumed the triangle counts were unable to be raised above their upper limits (ie: Medium LOD 385, Low LOD 97, Lowest 49) - and thought that I would have to squeeze my mesh into those counts for it to be accepted (hence my concept before of cutting my shoe mesh into segments). From what you have mentioned, I will explore the advanced dialogue section and see what results I can obtain (I will have a look when I get a chance to log into the test grid next time). My mesh itself (full LOD) due to its organic shaping is relatively expensive in triangle count, although I kept it as conservative (low poly) as possible in the modeling process - from memory, the total triangle count is a fraction over 1K polys (the shoelaces are pretty expensive, although I could probably reduce this a little more; the main shoe shape itself is about 625 polys). For what it is worth, I think the prim cost was about 2.3. I would be happy to create my own reduced LOD meshes to retain greater control over their deformation etc. Regarding the creation of reduced LODs, I assume I would have to create relevant UV mapping and textures to go with them? (I am impressed at how the automatic LOD system is still able to map my textures to the reduced meshes). I guess in the upload section there are options for including textures for each LOD level etc. Thanks again for your input - your advice is a big help for a learner like me :smileyhappy: And thanks Vivienne for your comment - Glad that you like what I have come up with so far :smileyhappy:
  16. Having followed the mesh forum for a little while now, I guess I should begin posting (I have questions to ask in later postings, and hopefully I can offer some helpful advice as well from my limited knowledge). This is what I am working on while learning about SL mesh: A bootie. I still have things to learn and work out, but this is my progress so far: (The shadows are baked-in AO textures). There is a basic leather texture (white/pale grey), but I will work on proper textures later on. This is the same mesh, but with colours applied onto the material maps (via the edit prim settings inside of SL). I love the possibilities of materials, plus the control of UV mapping (compared to sculpties and standard prims). And.... one more shot for vanity :smileywink: I am grappling with the LOD issues though, when this mesh is reduced to fit an AV's foot - it breaks up terribly via the default SL LOD (due to the tiny size and heavily reduced LOD distance, as far as I can tell). I am considering cutting this mesh up into segments, in order to keep triangle counts down around the second lowest LOD level, to hopefully overcome this issue, and create a separate mesh for each segment that won't squeeze into the lowest LOD count. Not ideal, I know - although it would still be much more efficient than creating it via sculpties. (Feel free to offer alternative suggestions!) But yah, I am very excited by the potential of mesh in SL - much greater creative freedom! :smileyvery-happy:
  17. I think it's when you are actually just about to purchase land (ie, one mouse click from paying for it) that LL lets you know your land tier entitlements. For your first 512m2 purchase of land, you will be told that the monthly tier for it will be free (as that is your entitlement with the premium membership). For any land purchase above that level, you will be told of the cost per month to you for its use. Your land holding will say zero (0) that you can use because (I assume) you haven't made a land purchase yet. After you buy the land, the land holding will adjust accordingly, as well as showing you your prim allowance / prims used etc. I only upgraded to premium about two weeks ago - and land purchasing was pretty straightfoward. I hope this helps
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