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Maeve Balfour

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Everything posted by Maeve Balfour

  1. Possibly it's down to the sheer lack of mesh skillsets of most merchants - either too scared to learn HOW to create mesh properly, or they just can't be bothered putting in the effort to learn in the first place. Time learning is money lost, I guess... so they take the easy route with the samey templates seen everywhere. Speaking from the viewpoint of a mesh creator (NOT a merchant - currently I only create meshes for my own usage).... I wouldn't be surprised if many creators like myself are waiting to see how the Parametric Deformer project turns out - which will hopefully allow for meshes to better match AV body shapes (not that it would be perfect, but it would be far better than the situation is now for mesh clothing). IF the deformer ever gets the greenlight from LL for an official release, I reckon more mesh creators would be willing to work on mesh clothing - since the fitting headaches would largely be removed. Speaking for myself, I'm fine with creating mesh clothing for my own AV's shape specifically - but I baulk at the headaches involved with trying to guesstimate multiple sizes for wider compatibility etc etc... so I never release as a product (I am far too much of a perfectionist to release anything I am not happy with in regards to fitting). So no doubt other mesh creators are in my position as well... the hassles just aren't worth it. I guess the other aspect is time/money. For someone like myself, who creates purely for the love of the artform, I wouldn't care about how much/little income I would receive from product releases (if I ever dip my toe in as a merchant). I guess for the template using merchants though... many are more interested in making a quick buck than actually being remotely creative in an artistic sense. (I'm referring to the merchants who just slap a quickie tiling texture onto a supplied UV template, or those who just do a tint change to a baked shadow map... and then throw it onto the market.... about one minute of work! (Often a new mesh template is released on the MP, and within half an hour some merchant has vomited out a basic tint tweak for $300L or similar - wow, talk about effort worth paying for!)). Doubtless there ARE genuinely talented template texturers, who were probably super talented with the original art of AV clothing painting, but they seem to be dwindling away these days, drowned by the endless sea of mediocre merchants using the same templates... which is a pity. Unfortunately, I don't see this situation reversing... lazy merchants will always take the lazy avenue to make a fast buck. It just means discerning customers will have to search extra hard to find the real mesh gems among the dross. I know there are a few genuine mesh clothing makers around who DON'T sell or use templates... but they are few and far between. These are the ones I am always happy to buy from - knowing REAL WORK and love has gone into the making of their products.
  2. You can incorporate different textures per LOD mesh, BUT this will require using a separate material per new texture to do so. Keep in mind that a mesh can hold a maximum of EIGHT materials in total - this includes all the LOD meshes. In theory, one dedicated texture for your maximum detail mesh and subsequent lower LODs, and a separate dedicated texture for the lowest LOD would be sufficient. It's always a good policy to aim for the best possible efficiency, so a lower resolution texture for the lowest LOD mesh would be a good idea, especially since it would only be visible at a longer viewing range (and the pixellation would not be easily discernable). Each LOD mesh will need to have each material in usage, even if not actually intended for that particular LOD. A good method is to place each of the unused materials per LOD on tiny triangles and hide them from view inside the object. By doing so, each LOD mesh can, if necessary, have its own dedicated texture. However - the added materials and requirement for hidden triangles will possibly increase your Land Impact calculations slightly. Not by much (if at all), but keep this in mind. The gain in visual quality, though, should be more than worth it. :matte-motes-smile: ETA: Argh, beaten by Drongle AGAIN! :matte-motes-wink:
  3. Chosen Few: Yah, Hexagon has some pretty odd ways of working at times. I mentioned the program mostly because of my memory of its painful triangulation method - your solution from the DAZ forums is a workaround, although of course not ideal. I think Hexagon was probably designed more for quad-based modeling - specifically for rendering etc. Your diagram pretty much demonstrates how Hexagon converts quads into four triangles. Pretty useless as a default. I can't complain, since all those years ago Hexagon was my introduction to 3D modeling, so I guess I have a (biased) soft spot for it despite all of its quirks. However, I have outgrown its limitations - especially for SL modeling (no native Collada exporter, no rigging capabilities etc etc). I have since switched to Blender, with it having pretty much every capability I will ever need. Like a massive breath of fresh air - makes me wish I had made the change long ago! :matte-motes-smile:
  4. Land Impact (LI) is based around the 4 levels of detail (LODs) of a mesh object. These can either be set via automation in the uploader (with generally crappy, random results), or made by the creator themself, which is far better as it gives full control over how the different LODs look, and how the object will appear at various distances. Drongle McMahon is far better at explaining this than I am (he will probably post in this thread at some point). In essence though, LOD1 is the main mesh object, and LODs 2, 3, 4 swap into view at different distances as the cam pulls away. SIZE of the mesh plays a big part also, the larger the mesh object is, the further each LOD is visible for. Smaller objects have their LODs swap at shorter distances than larger ones. So the size inworld of a mesh, combined with how efficiently made the LODs are, have a large factor on the final LI. An efficient physics shape for your mesh (how AVs interact with your mesh etc) also have a major bearing. (I will let Drongle explain these in more depth). Relatively low LI is definitely achievable IF one is prepared to put in the work to attain these efficiencies (LODs and physics hulls). ..... In regards to triangulation: I prefer to divide each quad into triangles by hand (for more predictable results and inworld rendering results). However with larger, more complex meshes, this is often quite tedious. Not sure how triangulation works in Cinema4D, but I know from experience that Hexagon's triangulation method converts quads into FOUR triangles - NOT GOOD. As an option, if Cinema4D has the same issue, you could consider importing your mesh OBJ file into Blender and let it triangulate automatically from there (Blender converts quads into TWO triangles). :matte-motes-smile: EDITED TO ADD: Chosen Few beat me to the post - we must have both been typing at the same time :matte-motes-wink:
  5. Congrats Jacki - Sounds like you have the essential physics concepts covered at least. :matte-motes-smile: In a nutshell: SL uses the separate physics mesh you made as its "physical shape" for your original mesh object. This theory can be applied to pretty much any mesh you wish to create - You can create a very detailed main mesh object, and for its physics you just create a very simple shape to emulate its interactive properties. When modeled efficiently, the LI of the physics shape shouldn't adversely impact the LI of the overall mesh you upload to SL - it will probably be one of the other LI factors that have a higher value (and hence the Land Impact cost of your mesh). Enjoy your physics! :matte-motes-wink: EDITED TO ADD: Check out Drongle's post over the page for a more in-depth explanation of physics hulls (Drongle is a physics champion!) :matte-motes-smile:
  6. Jacki: You could make a plane to match the wall's dimensions, but you would still need to model in the gap for the doorway itself. Also, I'm not sure if your wall mesh had THICKNESS to it... if so, you would need an equivalently thick physics mesh to accurately match. To attain "thickness", you could just extrude your mesh plane to suit (doorway included), and then "fill in" the opposite side to make it solid. SIDENOTE: The normals per mesh face are used to describe the exterior surface of a physics hull in SL - so ensure all normals are facing outward (NOT into the "solid" parts of your mesh). The physics object should be saved as a SEPARATE FILE on your disk. (ie: Your original wall mesh object is a totally separate file to your physics mesh object file - so you have two distinct files). During the uploading process, after you have the original wall mesh in the window, you go to the physics section of the uploader, and point it to the separate physics mesh file you have saved. When you do this, the uploader will use the physics mesh file as its "data" for SL physics of your original wall mesh. Then simply upload. The physics mesh file's data is combined with your original mesh file - so it's all just a single upload (the two files become one in SL). :matte-motes-smile:
  7. Although there are options in the mesh uploader which can attempt to create a workable physics hull/shape from your original mesh, the best result is usually obtained by modeling a specific physics shape to match. In essence, you create a SEPARATE basic mesh object to act as your physics "hull" in SL. This mesh is NOT visible, it is purely used for AV interaction with your main mesh object. During the uploading process for your original mesh object, you just point the uploader to the specific physics mesh file, which is then combined in SL to give your original mesh its physical properties. Ideally, you just create a very simple mesh object which best describes the way you expect your main mesh object to be interacted with. Going by your description, probably a few basic box shapes to act as the walls themselves, leaving a gap between them for the doorway itself, and if required a box above and below the doorway (if AVs need to step up into the doorway itself etc). To keep the actual LI cost of the physics low, you should stick to large triangles in your physics mesh - the larger and simpler the better (removing any redundant faces (those that will not be interacted with, such as UNDERNEATH the walls etc) will help trim the LI). This is due to how the SL physics engine works - it handles large basic shapes for interaction far more efficiently than lots of small triangles - and hence you will be rewarded with a low LI cost for efficiency. Ideally, your physics cost should NOT exceed the other LI factors in your mesh object. Also, ensure the BOUNDING BOX of your physics mesh object matches that of your original mesh object (the dimensions overall should match corner to corner. This is so that your physics mesh accurately aligns with your original mesh object. When uploading your main mesh object, in the physics section, you simply direct the uploader to your specially created physics object. Easy. After rezzing your object, set its physics properties via the build menu and you are set. Definitely NOT as complicated as my description might sound - once you've done this a couple of times, it's a piece of cake. :matte-motes-smile:
  8. Yah, that's pretty much as already mentioned - limitations of the SL AV when it comes to certain degrees of posing. I've had this kind of issue when animating / creating poses - the SL AV just doesn't have enough geometry or sufficient weighting to allow for "elegant" results. The leg spike effect in your posted image is a symptom of that. The classic "flat buttocks" when sitting in certain ways is another result of it. Unfortunately, it's a fact of SL we all have to live with - the AV is probably never going to be changed, so we have to work around it's limitations like your example here. :matte-motes-smile:
  9. As what Chosen said, in the long run it's probably better to manually model out a relatively low polygon clothing shape from the beginning. An important thing to consider is using texturing to give the impression of more fabric draping detail than is actually there in geometry. This can work pretty nicely when done well. For example, you could model the target low-polygon (SL friendly) mesh garment as the actual mesh you rig etc. This would be UV-mapped ready for the next steps below. Then, make a copy of this, subdivide it a couple of times to increase the mesh density, and model in more subtle wrinkles and folds (the original low poly mesh would have the major folds and creases in the mesh, in basic low poly shapes). The important factor is to retain the original UV map of the low poly version (I would assume any cutting would probably damage or destroy the UV map - so you would only be pushing the mesh vertices etc around for shaping) From this more detailed, refined mesh, you can then bake out an ambient occlusion (AO) shadow map. When applied to the original low poly mesh, it will give the illusion of the subtle wrinkles and folds without actually requiring the geometry to achieve it. SL friendly, in essence. This shadow map would then be incorporated into whatever textures you want to create. Also, when LL eventually implement the upcoming materials project, you could use this high-density mesh as a basis to create normal and specular maps as well - these maps are essentially textures which the SL rendering engine uses to achieve shadow and "shininess" without using actual geometry - the jacket in the video link is a great example of that. So a low poly mesh model, such as clothing, can have the appearance of much more detailing than is actually there in geometry - the combination of efficient modeling, baked shadows and eventually the normal and specular mapping will all contribute to the high quality (and realtime render friendly) result. :matte-motes-smile:
  10. Assuming that this is a mesh boot attachment (NOT rigged) that you made or have modify perms for: You just need to rez a tiny prim cube, put it inside the boot's leg section, and LINK it to the boot mesh (I assume these are separate left and right mesh boots). The prim MUST be the ROOT PRIM of the linkset. Repeat this for the other boot in the pair. Hide the prim cube by setting its transparency to full. The boots in theory should stay where you want them to, since with the prim cube as the ROOT prim, the attachment point becomes the prim. :matte-motes-smile: Reason is that if these are mesh, their centre points don't align with the leg sections of the boot, and are probably too far out to get a decent fit when attaching them to the Avatar's lower leg. Hence it jumps out of place. (I had this exact same issue when I made my first ever mesh footwear items).
  11. In regards to a new Poser release, I wouldn't be expecting one until next year (going by past experience, at least). Poser-9 and Poser Pro 2012 (the high end version of the vanilla Poser-9) were released last year, and generally Smith Micro release a new version each two years. Poser sales like this tend to happen a few times each year, although the steep discount is larger than usual - possibly due to the sluggish market in general. At the price it's currently on sale for, it's a pretty nice bargain for what the program is capable of. (NOTE: Poser is NOT capable of actual mesh modeling. Think of it more akin to a "scene maker" application, where you import/load in pre-made 3D content and arrange/animate/light etc for rendered images and/or animations. Poser-Pro has weight painting functions etc which are aimed at content creators, but I'm not sure how useful they are for specific SL usage (Poser has a large third-party content market over at renderosity.com etc)). Poser is very good for creating SL animations, once you get over the initial learning curve. So you need to be prepared to learn its interface, know how to import the SL AV as a figure (mostly about files and folder placements, due to Poser's sometimes finicky requirements about file locations (pretty straightforward though), and then get yourself familiar with how the animation palette works. Sounds scary, but honestly, if you are willing to work through the manual, it's not too bad at all. DEFINITELY a vast improvement over QVAnimator etc, especially with the fine control you can have over animation tuning if you desire that level of detail. Keep in mind that Poser uses a somewhat archaic method of 3D navigation, which can be annoying (especially when you can so easily alt-mouse your cam in SL in comparison) - so expect some minor frustrations there. In regards to setup... Just a matter of getting the SL AV files, and getting them exported to the locations where Poser can find them (OBJ file and BVH file to the relevant folders). Poser will use those files to create a rigged figure which can be animated. YES - Poser can definitely export animations as .BVH files - perfect for SL. Just be sure to have the very first frame of any animation with the AV in the default T-pose position, which is what SL uses for orientation (it doesn't play in SL, just purely for referencing). Also, Poser can set the amount of frames per second, which is helpful to reduce file sizes in simplistic, slower moving keyframed animations. No other addons are required for SL animations. Straight out of the box it's ready to go (although I am using an older version, but the requirements should still be exactly the same for SL). I just did a quick Google search for Poser video tutorials, and plenty of results came up - some even relating to SL animations - so I think you will find enough information to get you started. (Poser 8 and 9 have an updated interface compared to Poser 7 and lower, but their functionality is identical for animating). I'd recommend learning the Poser basics first (interface, figure loading and posing), and then move to animating. Mostly so you don't confuse yourself by trying to learn too much at once. Also, Poser is perfect for creating static POSES as well - AND these can be used as keyframes in an animation timeline, so double bonus there (Poser will interpolate the frames inbetween). Again, study of the manual and learning the interpolation types properly will save a LOT of frustration, since these can cause headaches if you DON'T understand why you get certain animation results. Not scary by any means, just definitely worth getting your head around them. So yah, for the sale price, Poser 9 is a bargain. Before jumping in though - see if you can find an older version available for sale (Poser 8 or Poser 7). Myself, I use Poser-7 (from about five years ago) and it's perfectly adequate for SL animation. If you can find a version of that vintage for sale, you could probably pick it up for half the price. So yah, as a biased Poser user, I'd thoroughly recommend buying it. In addition to its animation capabilities, Poser's dynamic cloth simulators are a handy bonus if you make mesh clothing.
  12. You could try looking through Meli Imako's store. She sells merchant mesh clothing kits of good quality, for refreshingly reasonable prices. I've seen a skirt suit similar to the one you pictured, and being a full perm kit, you could use the UV templates supplied to create something very similar to this. A simple AV painted top for underneath the jacket would get a pretty close likeness. EDITED TO ADD: Just did a quick search for it. LINK HERE. Only 300L for a full perm kit, so a bargain for personal customisation. Of course, get the demo version to check for fit first (just like for any mesh clothing). Oh, and for the record, I'm NOT affiliated with Meli in any way. She just makes nice stuff :matte-motes-smile:
  13. I agree with you partially - people should be able to modify and copy an item they've purchased to their heart's content (Copy/Mod/NOtrans), especially since it cannot be passed onto anyone else. If nothing else, I'd personally consider it fair usage. For potentially "breakable" products, no modify is semi-understandable to me; however, if they are COPY as well, surely the owner is simply able to rez out a new one. In my own personal view, the no modify decision on COPY-enabled items is simply a method for a lot of merchants to price gouge their customers (especially with clothing). If you want different colours, you are forced to buy the same item multiple times since usually, you cannot even tweak the tints. IF the said textures were significantly different per colour (as in, a totally new texture each time) I could stomach it, but most times the different colour options are simply the same texture with a different colour hue applied (about 20 seconds work in a graphics program, once the original texture has been made). In the old era of sculpted clothing, creating different colours/textures might have involved a little more work (if the items contained many sculpties etc); however in this new era of mesh clothing, especially the endless pre-fab mesh retextures, merchants can slap on a texture super fast on a decently made UV-map. So yah, especially for clothing, the NO-MOD option is in my view a way to milk customers for easy money. Lock them in for a single colour, and if they want others, they have to buy again and again etc, or fork out for an overpriced fatpack. Thank goodness I just make my own mesh clothing to wear nowadays. It's far easier to get what I want.
  14. Personally, I think a large portion of the mesh on the Marketplace is by creators who haven't yet skilled themselves up anywhere near enough to be able to churn out quality products. This isn't me slagging them off by any means - mesh is a very large and complex topic - however, I feel that a good many of these merchants have jumped onto the mesh bandwagon far too early, haven't learned enough about proper mesh rigging and SL optimisation, and are, quite frankly, turning out low quality items as a result. Myself, I've been creating mesh on a hobbyist level for almost a decade, and still have a lot to learn. Mesh IS fun, and always has been for me - although I utilise it purely for my own creative usage and don't have much interest in raking in money as a merchant, either here in SL or out in the wider 3D brokerage market. One day, mayhaps, I might dip my toe into the SL Marketplace out of curiosity - although that is a pretty low priority for me (and would probably take the fun factor OUT of SL for me). The rush to be "first" etc with mesh, especially clothing, has resulted in a plethora of crappy meshes, or just that endless samey look of retextured merchant mesh clothing kits (and many of those are purely a tint job I could do myself in about 30 seconds, bah). You only have to look at the semi-regular new threads appearing in this forum to get an idea of the low skill base many merchants who want to make mesh possess - the "I don't know anything about mesh, but I want to make mesh clothing right now and skip all the boring stuffz!" type. In other words, a lot of them don't want to actually BOTHER with learning about making mesh properly, they just want to jump straight to the money making part. Or at least, that's the vibe I tend to get when I peruse these forums - that, and the tantrums some throw when they learn they actually have a lot of learning to do first to do it properly, make many of us weary in answering anymore (myself, anyways). And echoing what Masami said, many merchants don't have a clue about proper SL mesh optimisation and frankly, don't seem to give a damn about even learning - which when poorly made can have a big impact on lag and viewer render performance, which pretty much negates the benefits mesh can have. I have seen mesh footwear, for example, with so many polygons that their wireframes are almost opaque with their density, and take over a minute to rez (I acquired demos just to witness how crappy they were). I have made similar footwear myself (for my personal usage) with a tiny fraction of the polygons used (about 10% of the count, if that), which rez up faster than their textures do. Bah, I'm ranting now LOL. :matte-motes-wink-tongue: Honestly, there IS some good mesh clothing out there - you just have to sift through a lot of rubbish to find it. When you find something you like, always look for a demo to test out. I can pretty much guarantee that any mesh clothing maker who is any good at all, will ALWAYS have a demo for customers to try out for fit prior to making a buying decision. If there's no demo offered - just don't buy. Personally, if I can't find a demo, I suspect the product is low grade - with no demo on offer, the merchant is just burning themself. Their loss. In cases like that, save your L$. I'd rather support the GOOD creators than the crappy cash-in ones. On a more positive note - hopefully, once the deformer project finally sees the green light from LL for general release, it will help alleviate much of the fitting issues. It won't be a magic fix, but at least it should give the option for tweaking meshes for a better fit. Keep in mind, though, that crappy rigged mesh clothing will always be that, crappy. Just my thoughts on the state of mesh clothing, anyways.
  15. Assuming someone doesn't have a method to combine the two mesh objects into one (within Blender), you could consider keeping the two objects separate, BUT let them both share the same texture inworld. UV-map the window first, and assuming there is sufficient empty UV space left over, you could then UV-map the handle to utilise this empty space within the same texture. Care would need to be taken to ensure the separate objects' UV areas don't overlap and have sufficient UV "moats", but that should be easy enough to do if you use the unwrapped window UV-layout as a background image whilst mapping the handle mesh. I do this kind of thing often, using up as much texture space as possible in large build projects - little mesh objects often don't need much texture detailing, and can share empty texture spaces from other UV-mapped objects. It reduces texture "wastage" so to speak. Each mesh will only utilise the texture space defined by their respective UV-maps. So this method can be quite useful for very efficient textures, especially when densely packed with multiple UV maps. :matte-motes-smile: EDITED TO ADD: Something important to consider, however, is that any textures that utilise alphas should be kept TOTALLY SEPARATE from any "solid" textures (semi-transparent glass textures, for example). SL mesh doesn't like textures with alpha channels too much, unless used with careful planning (glass in a window mesh, for example, should be isolated to its own material, allowing it to use a separate texture with an alpha channel. Generally being a flat object, mesh glass could be usable in this fashion).
  16. I'm a bit confused about your usage of the term Frames in this context. If you are asking about the maximum number of frames per SECOND of SL animation, that is 30 (ie: 30 frames of animation per second of time). If you are referring to the maximum number of SECONDS or DURATION of a single SL animation, that is 30 SECONDS. So if you maxxed out everything for a SL animation file, that would be 30 frames per second MULTIPLIED by 30 seconds of time/duration, which would equate to 900 frames of animation (although I think the SL animation uploader won't accept that exact figure, probably more like 890 frames or something). Smooth mocap animations are probably running at 30 frames per second, for whatever duration they run for. IF these animations you are referring to run for LONGER than 30 seconds in total (mayhaps 2 minutes), then these would have been the original animation file split into chunks that the SL animation uploader will accept, and then "spliced" together via a scripted sequence within SL itself (basically, the script will play each of these animation files one after the other etc, and if cached up properly the joins won't be visible). Of course, if these individual animations are heavy in file size, there will be the issue of lag to consider for them to cache up in the first instances of playback. ................... You say that you are using Poser. I would strongly recommend grabbing the default SL avatar figure file and setting that up (I don't have the link handy; someone will hopefully point the location out to you (it's here in the SL wiki somewhere). This will be far more accurate than animating the default Poser figure. You will need to extract it to the relevant Poser folders for Poser to recognise it as a figure (LOL, Poser is a pain in that regard). You can also adjust the framerate of animations in the Poser Animation Palette. In the Keyframes tab of this palette, there is a RATE option - this sets the number of FRAMES per SECOND of animation. If you only have slow movements in your animations, it is often better to reduce this from 30 down to something like 20 or so, to keep down your eventual SL filesizes (probably without sacrificing much in animation quality). To increase the NUMBER of frames in total for the animation timeline (thereby increasing the TIME the animation plays for) just click in the second number box beside the word FRAME. By default it is set to 30, but you can increase this simply by clicking and typing in the number of frames you want the animation to contain. So for example, if your animation is set to 30 frames per second, and you input 300 frames in this section, your animation will run for 10 seconds (30 frames per second multipled by 10 seconds). I hope this helps clarify things for you. :matte-motes-smile:
  17. Ah, excellent point Darrius! I'll definitely do that from here on - Flagging items I suspect as empty box scams via the "keyword spam" option. A nice work around to at least get the item into LL's attention. Hopefully it'll reduce the victims being stung by this lowlife.
  18. Darrius: For genuine mesh uploaders, yes, it is a requirement for you to have payment info on file etc. In the case of this scammer, the products aren't even flagged as mesh (where the official Permissions / Mesh / Prim Count section is on the product pages). Only permissions are shown in that section. The merchant just has "MESH" etc in the product header and general information text. Unwary buyers will probably overlook this (being supposedly AV replacements, the prim count is most likely not a buying factor for many unsuspecting customers). Unfortunately, I guess some customers are unaware of what to be careful of, and in this case getting stung. So as such, I assume no payment info is needed at all for this scammer to list the fake items, and just simply creating a new account each time the prior store/account is closed down. I'm not sure how this would translate to cashing out - hypothetically, the PayPal account could be blacklisted, unless the scammer had multiple PayPal accounts? (No idea).
  19. Amethyst: I assumed as much, not having actually made any purchases myself. Hopefully, all persons being ripped off are filing complaints, and touch wood getting the transaction reversed before the scammer is able to cash out (I think from memory it takes a day or two for cashing out to occur, to help reduce fraud). Knowl: Thanks for the suggestions. I might consider an inworld AR next time to alert LL faster (the actual scammer doesn't have inworld stores, so I'm not sure how LL react to ARs about Marketplace fraud - could be worth a try). It's mostly frustration on my part, since the Marketplace doesn't offer a means to easily report scamming like this short of being ripped off yourself (at least as far as I am aware of). I can smell the scam stores a mile off, but tend to be helpless to alert others without violating TOS. Thanks for the advice though, much appreciated.
  20. Hi. I'm not sure if this is the appropriate forum to place this, but this is a question I want to raise. I'm hoping merchants here might be able to offer advice. As a mesh creator (for private usage only) and as someone who is generally creative, I enjoy browsing through the latest mesh listings on the Marketplace to see what others are doing, and occasionally buying. Also, having personally been in mesh creation for years, I fully know what is and isn't possible within SL itself. This said, I can spot a faked non-SL 3D render a mile off - these are almost always a scammer attempting to rip off unknowing customers with an empty box, and running way with their money (I have seen the scathing reviews many times in the past, so it gives a good indication). Getting to my point - Over the past week, I have spotted what I am pretty sure is the same scammer ripping off customers over and over again with an empty box, always opening a new store (often within a day) of his/her prior one being closed down. Usually with the same or similar fake products, almost always using promo images lifted directly from turbosquid.com (I have been a member there for years, so I often recognise these stolen renders). As soon as an item gets a bad review, the scammer pulls it and relists it. When the store is shut down, the scammer just makes a new one with a new account (each account is always only a few days old). My gut feeling tells me this is the same individual - the stolen renders used for the fake promo images are usually from the same small group of turbosquid.com creators. Is there any way I can report this directly to LL? I'm not sure if it's appropriate to flag items as being relisted when it's a totally different store - but I am pretty certain this is a serial scammer operating. I have been alerting the relevant creators on turbosquid.com of their renders being lifted, but there's not much else I can do that I am aware of. My main concern is that in the meantime, unsuspecting customers are being ripped off over and over again (often to the tune of around L$10,000 per time), getting a bad experience and probably making them distrustful to the genuine merchants. Should I do anything? Or should I just ignore my conscience?
  21. This is just an assumption that I haven't tested as yet, but worth a try (I am using Poser-7, but this should work for most versions): With the walkpathed animation loaded, go into the Animation Palette (keyframes tab), find the BODY row, and click the dropdown arrow so that the individual dial parameters are revealed. Select the full animation timeline ROWS for the BODY xTran, yTran and zTran, and then Control-C to COPY these keyframes to memory. Now go to the HIP row, click the dropdown arrow to reveal the dial parameters, select the same corresponding timeline rows for xTran, yTran and zTran, and then Control-V to PASTE the copied body keyframes to the HIP section. I did a quick test with a basic animation (NOT walkpathed), where I moved the figure via the BODY, and then copied the parameters above to the HIP keyframe rows, and it seemed to work fine - hopefully the same principle applies to walkpathed animations. (It's simply duplicating dial settings from one section to the other). You might need to delete other body parameters (legs, feet etc) if you get strange results. (In my case, I forgot to turn OFF Inverse Kinematics prior, and the feet/legs acted strangely with the Hip keyframe pasting. I deleted those errant keyframes, and the static body moved fine). If nothing else, this will hopefully create a clean HIP-only set of animation keyframes for the walk path, which in theory could be overlaid in a separate animation layer in conjunction with the original walk animation to get the movement in 3D space happening. Again, due to Poser's unreliable/quirky metrics conversion to SL, the results will probably vary. :matte-motes-smile: (And yah, the Poser interface is a really strange / old-fashioned one. Blame that on the long-term legacy mindset of the developers. I guess since I have used/persevered with Poser for so long now, I don't notice the painful interface as much as others do!) :matte-motes-wink:
  22. Hmm... The walk designer in Poser is something I haven't really played with much to date (despite using Poser for ages). Just wondering - I assume it generates a standard animation timeline, and as such, I would assume each frame would have hip translation coordinates on the dials. If you say, open up the frame when a specific direction movement changes, you could create a hip keyframe there, using the co-ordinates of the hip at that specific moment. This would in theory create the needed 3D hip movements in an exported BVH file. I'd suggest opening up the animation layers window, and try it in there (works kind of like Photoshop layers, in that changes are non-destructive to the underlying animation (the manual explains things better than I can here)). If you create hip keyframes for the needed walk path, and use the spline (green) interpolation, you should get a decent result. If your walk path is on a long curve, that could be a bit fiddly depending on how the "tweening" works. Probably extra keyframes would help - and the spline interpolation would help smooth out the transitions. Definitely worth trying to see if it will salvage your walk designer animation. (I should experiment with it myself sometime - another thing on my endless "to do" list!). :matte-motes-smile:
  23. Have you moved the AV figure's positioning in the animation via the HIP, or via the BODY? Reason I ask, is that the figure's HIP location is used for positioning etc within the 3D space, especially when saving out poses and animations as external files (and even as internal Poser animations and poses). If you refer to your animation's keyframe locations for the BODY (the translation dials etc), and copy those values to the HIP dials for the same keyframes, your animation should work fine (you might need a little tweaking, but it should work okay). It's a common oversight in Poser - it took me a while to realise the HIP is the critical factor for the body's translation/movement in the 3D space. I hope this helps fix your animation :matte-motes-smile: EDITED TO ADD: Also worth mentioning - Poser's measurement units can be a bit flaky when converted to SL, specifically the translation/movement in 3D space values. The distance you see the AV figure move inside of Poser may differ significantly when played in SL. At times, this can be a lot of trial and error if actual distance travelled is a critical factor.
  24. I second Drongle's suggestion of a multiply-effect overlay - it would make life HUGELY easier to create AO shadow effects. Currently, I'm forced to work with smaller surface areas to achieve a decent texture resolution AND faked AO shadowing, but this tends to be very limiting (in large architectural builds, in order to reduce texture overhead, I have to constantly repeat the same textures with included AO shadow effect, which gets repetitive very quickly, even if I have a couple of variations to mix things around). If some kind of multiply mask was possible (even if limited to low resolution, say 256x256) it would go a long way to solving the issue - especially if this multiply AO masking is independent of the underlying diffuse texture (with standard tiling/repeat capabilities) - I could keep the AO shadow in place, while changing up the diffuse texture's rotation, repeats and so on, which would vastly increase visual diversity while still maintaining a small texture palette overall. (Still, I am drooling over the possibilities of normal and specular maps, definitely!) :matte-motes-smile:
  25. A possible method is this: Use a repeating tile texture for the floorboards etc as normal, to get the desired sharpness. ABOVE this place an entirely separate mesh plane (about 1cm above the original floor) - this mesh plane will need its own dedicated material (I would suggest this plane being an entirely separate mesh to the room/floor mesh, to create differing centre points (explained below)). Place the AO bake on this plane, with alpha masking applied to the AO texture. This effect will give you sharp floorboards etc with AO shadowing. CAVEAT: Flickering and alpha sorting issues. I never used to use this method with old fashioned prims, purely due to the flickering you get with cam movements. However, POSSIBLY due to the differing centre-points of meshes (the floor plane mesh would most likely have a different centre point compared to the room's centre point), this flickering doesn't seem to be a problem in my own usage thus far. (I haven't explored this method to a large degree as yet, so your mileage may vary). I have done this with my overlay AO meshes placed about 1cm above the floor / for verticals, 1cm offset from walls etc, and have been able to cam around without issues. The critical issue is that the centre points for the relevant meshes MUST be significantly different, or the alpha flickering issue will occur. CAVEAT: Alpha vs alpha sorting: Same old timeless issue. If you want to use shadow planes for furniture IN ADDITION to the floor plane AO, the alpha fighting will be a potential issue. The degree of this will probably depend on the amount of transparency where they conflict, and whether or not the flickering will be noticeable. An example would be if you had the majority of the floor AO visible around the wall edges, and the furniture was placed well away from the visible floor AO areas - I would assume any alpha sorting issues probably wouldn't be visible, since in theory the floor's AO would be fully transparent where the furniture would be sitting. Again, mileage will vary dependent on the visibility of the clashing alpha planes sections. In general usage, I tend to be careful where I use alpha overlays, especially for walls. Mostly due to conflicts with AV hair alphas. Usually I have them placed in areas where, with general cam usage, it is less likely for AV's heads to be between the cam and the said alpha planes on the walls. A minor issue to some, but it can be annoying, so I always keep this in mind. Also, if you cam into a room using this alpha method, you generally get a split-second delay for the alpha textures to become visible (they "flick" into view - I assume this is the viewer sorting out their visibility or something - although this could be viewer specific). So despite the caveats, a mesh plane overlay with a baked AO is a possible method to explore as well. :matte-motes-smile:
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