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Maeve Balfour

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Everything posted by Maeve Balfour

  1. Nice to hear that Pamela - I have often wondered how mesh products are doing in regards to sales. I think it's one of those chicken and egg things... the more people can see it inworld, the more readily they will embrace it. You can be rightly proud of yourself, though, in making everything yourself. I think genuine customers who want quality will recognise that fact, and hopefully learn to avoid the rip-off merchants selling stolen content. Still, being competitive with the low price full perm builds would be difficult - although I often wonder at how (or if) buyers are able to customise their textures on these builds - I would assume most of these use a plain AO shadow map which would be a pretty low resolution across an entire build... customised textures would be terribly blurry and distorted. So it might be a point of leverage there... ................. On a sidenote... I am pretty disappointed lately with what I am seeing on the MP - the stolen content is really beginning to flood in now. Certain individuals are hammering out new stolen meshes pretty much every day (lifted from games, mostly AV replacements), and I think others are seeing how easy it is, and beginning to do it as well to make a lazy fast buck. It's really gathered pace the past few weeks. Much of it is just meshes dumped into SL from what I can tell.. some are too lazy to even rig them (calling game ripped characters "statues"). Many I suspect don't even have UV-maps. Almost NONE of them specify LI costs (usually an instant clue). There's only so much one can do in regards to notifying the original IP owners / creators. It's pretty sad, the way this is going (though I am hardly surprised by the fact).
  2. _______________________________________________________________________________________________________ Coby Foden wrote: Actually with the deformer we do not tweak the mesh clothing items to fit onto our own shape, but the deformer adjusts the clothing to fit onto our shape. Thus, when we change our shape the deformer adjusts the clothing accordingly to fit onto our adjusted shape. _______________________________________________________________________________________________________ Thanks for that correction, Coby - I haven't been keeping myself fully updated with the overall progress of the deformer project (more just me keeping myself aware that it is being worked on in the background). That said, what you mentioned actually makes the potential for the deformer EVEN BETTER than I had assumed it would - I had made the (incorrect) assumption that residents would still need to do some manual slider adjustments of their mesh clothing to get it to fit, but with the deformer being designed to do this automatically, that makes it a seriously powerful (and much needed) fix to the mesh clothing debacle. :matte-motes-smile:
  3. Eileen: The deformer is a project currently being developed by Qarl Fizz (a former Linden). This project was crowd-funded in the latter part of last year by SL residents, and Qarl is working on it as his time allows. The general concept is to develop an open source code which can be (hopefully) incorporated into all mesh capable viewers, which will allow residents to adjust the way mesh clothing fits their AVs, in a similar way to how AV shaping works now via the slider system. The goal is to make it so that all clothing meshes will be tailored to fit the default SL AV shapes, and residents simply tweak these mesh clothing items to fit their AV. No idea on when this will be completed, or even IF. However, I would be fairly certain that this project will be completed eventually by Qarl or others - this is too important a project to be abandoned. Just a matter of "when it's done". HERE is an outdated video from Qarl's blog (from a few months ago), which gives a good insight of what the project is hoping to accomplish. Note that this is nowhere near done yet, but definitely worth watching - Keep an eye on the mesh forum for more detailed posts. :matte-motes-smile:
  4. Also worth keeping in mind in future, especially once it gets established, is MESH footwear (as long as the merchants allow proper modding via manual size editing). Reason I say this is because a well-made item of footwear made in mesh is generally a single object - which means it isn't subject to the limitations of a resized linkset being hindered by individual prims reaching their minimum size etc. I've made mesh footwear items (for personal usage) which can be scaled down to almost microscopic (silly) sizes - to the point that you have a hard time even seeing them (LOL, I've done this by accident during the mesh upload process, when I forget to set the scaling factor - when rezzed, it will appear like a tiny speck of dust, until you resize it!). So if merchants making footwear in mesh would dump the stupid (and from my point of view, needless) resize menus and let residents size them manually, there is no reason why mesh footwear can't be scaled to fit any AV - even tinies. (NOTE: This only applies to mesh footwear worn like standard ATTACHMENTS; rigged footwear cannot be resized). :matte-motes-smile:
  5. I would assume that the deformer will be based on an opt-in system per mesh - so hopefully, older style mesh clothing made pre-deformer release won't be broken. Obviously, if the deformer is used on them, unpredictable results would occur due to the different AV shape it is based upon. Any clothing I plan on making (when I learn rigging in the near future) will be based on my OWN AV's shape, since it will initially only be for personal usage. However, once the deformer is officially released, it won't take much effort to slightly reshape the clothing mesh to fit the standard SL AV and re-rig accordingly. All it really means is going back a few steps in the mesh process, pushing around the vertices slightly until they fit correctly, and rigging from there. (I've had prior experience making clothing to fit DAZ figures (for personal usage), so I have a fair idea of how SL rigging will work, and the general process of fitting clothing meshes to different figure shapes etc). If a merchant has a massive inventory of clothing meshes not compatible with the deformer, it would be entirely up to them as to whether or not they go and redo the clothing. Most likely, merchants will probably have to clearly specify whether or not their clothing is specifically deformer compatible or not. So personally - I am planning to just rig my clothing for my own specific AV shape for now. When the deformer is eventually released, I will switch over to fit to the standard SL AV, and convert any of my existing clothing as well. (Who knows, the deformer might be officially released by the time I get around to creating much mesh clothing - but not holding my breath on it being any time soon). :matte-motes-smile:
  6. I would strongly recommend you try out the various 3D modeling software DEMOs, and go with the one you feel most comfortable with. Generally, it comes down to the software interface and personal preference. Overall, 3D mesh modeling follows standard workflows - so as long as your chosen software package (or combinations of packages) can handle this, then you would be set to create mesh models for SL. General workflow tends to be: Modeling a mesh / UV-mapping / Material mapping / Rigging (if applicable (clothing etc)) / Exporting to required file formats (Collada in the case of SL). Although you may not be a big fan of Blender, if you persevere with the current version (having had a much-needed interface update), you would have the benefit of a pretty large user base here on the forums for times when you get stuck. Worth considering on that point alone. Software itself doesn't need to cost a fortune, either. There is a wide range of free or relatively low cost packages out there. Some which come to mind which would be suitable for SL would be Blender, Carrara, Hexagon (which I use, but it lacks a Collada exporter though, however it's currently free until the end of April), Wings3D, and quite a few others. As long as they are proper 3D MESH modelers, you would have a good starting point. So yah, just find a DEMO or free modeler you are comfortable with, and then work from there. If your chosen program doesn't do EVERYTHING you need to get your model into SL, there are plenty of ways via exporting to get it to the required final format (Collada) to upload. :matte-motes-smile:
  7. Yah, I've been experimenting extensively with this method, Jenni, and it does make a vast difference overall. So much so, that I now design my builds specifically to take full advantage of hidden LOD swaps for the interior sections. I tend to find that keeping rooms to individual mesh modules seems to work best in this manner - mostly due to their lower LOD swap ranges. I have found that this land impact advantage tends to be lessened dramatically if several rooms are grouped in a single mesh, simply due to their larger volume and longer LOD ranges. It actually SAVES land impact cost uploading rooms as individual meshes, purely to keep their volume compact and keep their LODs as short as possible. Depending on the room, I either use a similar trick with the windows (having an opaque "screen" using only a couple of triangles usually, to mask the LOD swap for LODs 2-3-4) or if the room is totally hidden by the exterior "shell" of the building, I just simply utilise the flat plane I mentioned in my post earlier (with one triangle for each material used in the mesh). The land impact savings for interior rooms can be massive when done like this (separated from the exterior mesh completely) - generally via economical geometry and this savage LOD method, my room modules are usually between 1 to 3 land impact each (up to around 22.5m x 22.5m x 7.5m high). In these kinds of cases, I generally don't mind if the exterior mesh shell of the building is a little bit costly (within reasonable tolerances), due to the separated interior mesh modules being so efficient in comparison. :matte-motes-smile:
  8. Drongle will probably be able to explain this much better than I can.... The land impact in the display cost (if I am remembering the name of it properly) comes down to a combination of size, geometry complexity and LODs. Generally, the larger a mesh is, the greater the exponential land impact cost is - again, dependent on how much detail is in the actual mesh. So a complicated mesh will rapidly grow in land impact the larger it is sized - whereas a simple cube mesh will remain barely changed (I made a basic cube skybox a while back as a test - hollow on the inside and fully enclosed, using eight materials and UV-mapped, with the actual mesh used for the physics hull - and it's land impact didn't change much (if at all) right up to 64m3 (if memory serves me correctly, it remained less than 1LI). This would be due to its very basic geometry and (probably) because of my ultra-low LODs I applied (eight-face flat plane to describe the materials, for LODs 2-3-4)). At full size, I couldn't cam out far enough to see the first LOD swap. With your windows - I am guessing that if you link them together into a larger mesh, the combined LI will probably exceed their combined total when left individually. This is an example where the linking will probably cost more than the individual meshes - the small size of your windows and low geometry works in their favour individually, but their overall size when made a single mesh will probably push up their overall cost.... I would guess that the larger mesh volume in this case means a much longer view distance before the LODs start to kick in, hence a higher display cost (the small individual windows will have a much shorter LOD range, so a very low LI). Also, factor in that if you have customised LODs made for each individual window, you would need to use these and recreate their LODs by placing them according to the combined mesh linkset you mention - so the LODs keep their appearance. However, the caveat is that the overall LOD vertice count will rise, which will push the overall land impact up IN ADDITION to the overall larger mesh volume. A higher LI cost as such, but on the flipside, you gain a longer distance before the window LODs start to kick in. As always, it's about compromises - whether you prefer lowest land impact, or longer range LODs. Personally, in this case, if the LI count of the windows combined as a single mesh is far higher than them left as individual meshes, I would consider linking smaller groups of windows instead - say, all the windows on ONE side of your house as single meshes. The LI would still go up somewhat, but the volume overall would probably be much less - which should result in a lower LI. Plus you would gain a longer LOD range as a side benefit compared to the windows as individual meshes each (although I would still highly recommend using customised LOD meshes for each LOD swap). Also, consider whether or not you need to define actual physics hulls for the windows. If these are going to be inset into a separate wall mesh, you could let the wall mesh have the full physics hull modeled for it (by creating a mesh consisting of large, simple cube shapes stretched to cover the wall sections AND the gaps where the windows would fit). In this case, IF the windows don't need to be interacted with physically, you could simply define a simple flat 3-vertice triangle as the physics mesh during the upload process - and inworld set the window meshes as phantom. The triangle physics mesh is only used to keep the uploader window happy (it requires SOMETHING defined for physics - and since anything will do in this case with the final result being phantom - the smallest possible object is fed to the uploader). With this miniscule detail for the non-used physics hull, the physics cost won't affect the final land impact cost, as it will most likely be the lowest weighting in the uploader - probably the display cost will be the highest factor, and hence the eventual land impact decider. I hope this helps a little. :matte-motes-smile:
  9. Nice tutorial. The process is similar in concept to what I am experimenting with in 3DCoat - adding mesh topology to voxel sculpts, as well as working in reverse (UV-mapped SL mesh converted to a base voxel for further sculpting). This kind of thing is ideal for baking out highly detailed AO and faked specular textures (adding the illusion of more detail than is really there in geometry - and should be handy for the eventual materials project LL are working towards). I would imagine this kind of thing is also achieveable in Blender via the retopology method shown in this tutorial. Fun stuff! :matte-motes-smile:
  10. Nacy: Yah, it's purely for community spirit that I contribute my knowledge here on the forums. I'm not an "uber-expert" in mesh by any means - I've just accumulated knowledge after being a hobbyist-level mesh creator for a number of years outside of SL. As such, this general experience means I am able to offer relevant help in here for SL mesh. Just like you, I don't feel any sense of entitlement to make others pay for my knowledge - I actually enjoy sharing it, especially when it helps others reach their creative goals. Money doesn't come into it at all for me... if it did, I would have been a merchant long ago. (One day, mayhaps I'll dip my toe in out of curiosity, but nothing serious... it's just not really a priority for me (nothing at all against merchants, though)). It's just fun being nice, and giving something back to the community - it's a good feeling. :matte-motes-smile:
  11. Nacy: Yah, it's a very rewarding feeling, isn't it? :matte-motes-smile: Although my time inside of SL is very limited for the most part, I've had great joy in teaching a close friend the art of mesh creation. She's amazed me in how far she's come, especially considering she had never even opened a mesh modeling program prior to me starting to mentor her. Nowadays, she would be pretty much my equal in regards to skills - and she has specialised in areas I haven't had a chance to properly explore yet - rigging especially - so later I will benefit from her expertise there. A win-win! I think the most important thing from me, as far as I can tell, is just passing on my general mesh knowledge as an overview - the broader picture of the procedures - and letting her work from there in her chosen program (Blender). Just knowing WHAT she needed to learn, step by step, is what helped her get to where she is in such a short space of time. The fact that she is also a very focussed and determined person no doubt contributed to her achievements - for the large part, my guidance has been merely pointing her in the right directions, and explaining general 3D concepts - and letting her work from there. Although unable to take on the role of an active mentor (severe lack of time in SL), I am always quite happy to share my relevant knowledge here on the forums - it's the next best thing. Sharing of knowledge means we all benefit, in the longer term - enhancing each other's creativity. :matte-motes-smile:
  12. For the physics, I always create a very basic mesh shape - best way I have found is to take very simple cube prims in my mesh program and stretch them to shape to best emulate the physical surfaces (and matching the bounding box volume). This is exported as a .dae file as normal. In the uploader window, for the physics section, I just specify this custom physics mesh file - I don't touch any of the other options (analyse etc) - I just point the uploader to the physics mesh file, and leave it at that. Works fine each time for me, doorways etc work as designed. I would assume (correctly, I hope) that if the pre-made physics mesh is heavily optimised already, there shouldn't be any need for the other options in the physics section of the uploader. (Anyone correct me here if I am wrong). At any rate, my physics cost is almost always the lowest cost factor in the uploader weights - and for my mesh builds, it doesn't affect my final land impact cost - one of the other land impact cost factors are always higher. Also, for flat plane surfaces, you can use one-sided planes for physics as well quite nicely - just ensure the normals are pointing in the correct direction (example, for a simple floor plane mesh, the physics plane mesh would have the normals pointing upward - they should be pointing in the same direction as the original surface you are emulating physics for). :matte-motes-smile:
  13. Again - it's probably the physics cost. When welded together, you have probably created lots of tiny nooks and crannies under your table as a result - and as such, far more complicated surfaces for the physics engine to calculate. Definitely try out the cube physics shape concept, and see how the results change. I'm pretty sure you will see a drastic drop in your land usage cost. Even a set of basic mesh cube prims stretched and shaped to emulate your table a little more accurately (basic table top and four legs as stretched or flattened cubes) should still make a definite reduction on the physics cost element. :matte-motes-smile:
  14. Probably physics cost - did you check the various weights displayed in the uploader window? I am pretty certain that the physics would be a big factor in this - your use of torus and cylinder shapes are pretty severe on the SL physics engine if not optimised (due to their complex shapes in general - SL physics works far more efficiently with large, flat, simple cube shapes generally - torus shapes are especially difficult for SL to calculate the physics for). I would suggest creating a simple cube mesh as a physics hull, to cover the volume of your table. This cube is simply a basic physical representation of your table (it isn't visible) - I would assume people wouldn't be walking UNDER your table or anything. So try creating this, sized to match your table's bounding box volume, and in the uploader (physics section), select this cube as your physics shape - Generally, I don't touch the analyze sections; I simply specify a pre-made physics mesh. Then upload - this physics mesh will become one with your main mesh. In general - It's a good idea to create specially customised physics hulls to match your mesh objects. Your original mesh object can be as detailed as needed (within reason obviously for realtime render performance etc). The PHYSICS mesh would just be built from simple mesh cube prims, stretched and shaped to roughly emulate the interactive surfaces of your mesh original. Larger, simple triangle surfaces are far more efficient than tiny triangles packed densely - so design physics meshes accordingly. You will be rewarded by a low physics cost for your effort. I'm pretty sure this will cut your prim count by a big degree - possibly even lower than the 22 prim original (depending on the vertex complexity of your original model). :matte-motes-smile:
  15. Not sure because you haven't mentioned it - but have you gotten to the stage of learning about UV-mapping your meshes yet? If not, then that is a critical phase of the mesh creation process - in very basic terms, a UV-map specifies how textures are applied to surfaces, via defining mesh face areas on a square texture space (akin to a dressmaker's pattern, if you can visualise that - your mesh laid out flat so that a flat texture can be mapped to it). UV-mapping is a bit of an art in its own right, as much as creating actual mesh shapes is. It's definitely worthwhile learning this properly, as it will massively increase the ease (and versatility) of texturing. A complex shape cut up and laid out flat via a well made UV-map will be fairly easy to apply textures to, if the "dress pattern" so to speak is easy to follow. This UV-mapped mesh is exported as the standard collada file to SL - the mesh will carry this UV-map with it. In regards to texturing inside or outside of Blender - You would probably only use Blender for "baking" shadow maps and specular (faked shine) - these are simply 3D generated textures which you use to overlay your 2D texture in a paint program. Possibly you would use Blender's nodes section to create procedural textures, but again, they would still need to be exported as image files to use in SL. You would need Blender (if that is your preferred program) to create your UV-map, but once you have done that, you export the resultant map to a jpeg or similar image file, and simply use that as template to create your textures on with a paint program like Photoshop or freebie program (whichever you prefer). If you have ever tried creating AV clothing via painting on the templates, then this is exactly the same concept - those AV templates everyone uses are UV-maps. I should state that personally I am NOT a Blender user - however, the general principles of mesh creation are universal, regardless of program used. Don't give up though - it's a steep learning curve at first, but mesh is definitely worthwhile sticking with and figuring out. You will love creating with it once you master the basics. :matte-motes-smile:
  16. Maeve Balfour


    I agree with Senkiya's suggestion of a simple flat surface with a texture for any of the lower LOD meshes (you would need to create these by hand, which will give you far better control of the visual results). You would need two of these surfaces, back-to-back, facing outward in opposite directions. Since the strings themselves are straight, they lend themselves well to being replicated in texture form without much in the way of pixellation. To achieve this you would probably need to do material swapping in the pre-made lower LOD meshes (the swapped material would utilise the strings texture with transparency). (Getting a little bit technical... Each mesh (LOD1-2-3-4) needs to have the exact same materials in each, so this will involve hiding unused materials per LOD mesh on tiny hidden triangles - for example, with the full detail LOD1 mesh, a tiny triangle with the unused strings transparency material could be hidden inside the handle). Also, since the strings texture would require some alpha transparency to achieve the effect, you would need to isolate that texture to a separate material - reason being that meshes can be badly affected by textures with alpha channels. However, by utilising material faces, you can isolate individual textures which require alphas to specific parts of the mesh, which means this alpha glitching WON'T affect the rest of your racquet mesh - just the strings section. Also, be sure to keep the strings texture (which uses the alpha transparency) to a totally separate texture file, and texture the rest of the racquet with a standard texture (WITHOUT transparency). This will also avoid the alpha glitching affecting the entire racquet mesh. :matte-motes-smile:
  17. Glad to have been of assistance, Mellissa. Although I definitely don't condone getting others to upload meshes for you, as long as you create ALL your meshes entirely yourself, and don't infringe anyone's copyright or intellectual property, theoretically there won't be any trouble (but I'm no lawyer by any means!). Again, I must clearly state that I strongly disagree with this in concept, since your friend is still taking risks uploading content not created by his own hands. Regarding your question with mesh pricing - I'm assuming you are referring to the cost of the uploads themselves? If so, the costing is based on land impact calculations during the upload process. This varies widely, dependent on many factors - mesh complexity, physics, render cost etc. Generally speaking, the lower in land impact cost a mesh is, the cheaper it tends to be to upload. Most of my mesh uploads tend to only cost around $11L or so, sometimes a little more depending on complexity. DEFINITELY far more cost effective than creating things via masses of sculptie objects - as an example, a relatively complex mesh boot I made (not properly optimised though) was only about $20L to upload... if I had attempted this with sculpties, I would have needed at least 20+ sculpties at $10L each. So mesh in this regard is by far more cost effective. Also, mesh efficiency in regards to land impact is rewarded with lower upload costs - a win-win. :matte-motes-smile:
  18. CaptainCrazy: My method of having separate interior and exterior meshes works fine, in regards to physics hulls. Each mesh component has its own physics hull built in (uploaded with the original mesh), and each piece simply slots together logically when assembled in SL. The physics hulls overlap in places etc if necessary, or abutt each other. The end result is consistent physics throughout - anyone walking through my builds won't be hindered at all - no physics gaps, no invisible barriers etc. If you model your physics hulls efficiently, they will almost always be less than your overall mesh land impact cost. Simple cubes stretched to emulate interactive surfaces are all that are really required for the most part. :matte-motes-smile:
  19. The requirement for mesh uploaders to have their payment information on file is a permanent thing. It's required to be able to identify residents who upload meshes to the grid. Why? Basically, it forces uploaders to "have skin in the game" as the former mesh team leader Charlar Linden said. Meaning, uploaders can be held responsible for what they upload. In the vast majority of cases, this shouldn't be a problem at all... it's designed to allow LL to hold users to account who deliberately upload and/or sell stolen mesh content (meshes ripped from games, lifted from Turbosquid etc). If the rightful copyright / intellectual property owners decide to take to task stolen content, LL will be able to point them in the direction of the offender(s). I think it's a quite reasonable requirement, personally. It won't stop ALL fraud and illegal activity, for sure - those determined to steal and sell stolen mesh content will no doubt find ways around this. Looking around the Marketplace, there are plenty of offenders selling what I believe are dubious meshes, however, if the rightful owners decide to take legal action against them... they risk big slapdowns. Their loss. I would hesitate to recommend having friends upload meshes for you. It just opens an entirely new can of worms - not saying that you would do anything wrong in the slightest, but the potential for innocent parties to be stung by uploading stolen meshes unknowingly is a big risk to be taking - as the originator of a mesh upload, they will be the ones held to account. If you don't wish to have personal details on file with LL, I am afraid you are severely limiting your usage of mesh uploads. Your choice, though.
  20. Prim equivalence for mesh (generally referred to as land impact or LI on the forum here) is best learned via experience - I would strongly recommend uploading a few meshes over on the Aditi test grid (no real currency involved for uploads there) in order to get an idea of how the calculations work. As said prior, there are several factors involved in the overall land impact result of a mesh - however, efficiency IS rewarded with lower land impact costings, so it's definitely worthwhile exploring. In regards to how many buildings per sim... well, how long is a piece of string? If you create heavy, unoptimised meshes with thousands and thousands of vertices, you won't get much mileage from mesh compared to prims. BUT, if you create efficient mesh buildings, you would probably run out of land space before you ran out of prim allowance for the sim. It's all dependent on the mesh costing you end up with. From my own experience thus far, I recommend splitting up mesh buildings into interior and exterior sections, and link them together inworld. This is to take advantage of the level of detail (LOD) factors - the exterior mesh details are the most costly, due to the long view and render distances, and the need to retain reasonable quality via LOD swaps. Hidden (or mostly hidden) interiors, if uploaded as separate meshes, can have much more severe drops in LOD quality, and hence reap big rewards in reduced land impact. (I've talked at length about this concept on the forums here). I've been playing around with big builds in experiments as such, with the exteriors taking up the majority of the land impact (heavily dependent on size and mesh detail in regards to land impact), and the individual rooms (roughly about 15m x 15m x 7.5m high, at about 1.5 to 2.5 land impact per room). Building meshes like this leaves a ton of prim allowance left over for other things. If nothing else, your mesh buildings should be FAR cheaper in land impact than any equivalent build via standard prims. Also, keep in mind the strain textures place on things. It's a good policy to UV-map with efficiency, and wherever possible reuse textures in a variety of ways. It will help reduce lag overall, often by a big degree. :matte-motes-smile:
  21. Only avatar related meshes can be rigged and animated as such, at least for the foreseeable future (ie: avatar body replacements, clothing, hair, rigged "cyborg" mesh attachments etc). Anything that is NOT designed specifically for avatar usage like this cannot have custom rigging - which is a pity. Mayhaps in the future this will change, but for now, any kind of rigging and related animation requires the official SL avatar rig to work. The mesh cat mentioned would require an actual avatar to wear it, with suitable "deformed" animations to make it animate convincingly. I've seen an example like this that works quite well (Zooby's mesh cat AV), but yah, it is still required to be worn in order for it to utilise the standard avatar rig for animation. There is a (very limited) animation workaround that can be used for basic mesh animations, but this is potentially very expensive in regards to land impact. In essence, meshes can utilise up to eight different material faces (similar concept to the faces on a prim cube) which can take independent textures. It is possible to take a mesh and create basic animation "frames", and combine all of these (up to eight) into the single mesh object, each with a different material face. Then using a script, it is possible to "fake" animation by flipping between a visible texture and a full alpha (invisible) texture, cycling through the material faces as such. Not very efficient, but possible. Still, this is a very poor alternative to proper rigged mesh. Personally, I long for the day that SL is capable of utilising custom rigging - but it will no doubt be a very long wait. :matte-motes-smile: EDIT: Bah, beaten to the post by Drongle yet again! :matte-motes-wink:
  22. Poser is perfect for SL animations, as long as you adhere to the constraints required for them to be compatible within SL. If you have a completed animation ready (below 30-seconds in duration), simply select the figure and export as a BVH file. Then in SL, upload the animation file by selecting this BVH, and you can check it in the preview window (though the preview leaves a bit to be desired, frankly). Be careful with the various settings (animation priority, looping etc) - it would probably be a good idea to utilise the Aditi test grid until you are confident with your animation uploads (no real currency involved in test uploads there - although anything you upload there is not accessible on the main grid). Once your animation is uploaded, its ready to use however you wish (poseballs etc). Things to keep in mind: The HIP joint is used for positioning reference. If you move your AV around during the animation, it's critical to position via translations on the HIP joint itself - otherwise your AV won't shift position at all. You need to reserve the FIRST frame of your animation for the default T-POSE of your AV figure. This frame isn't actually played in SL animations, but it IS used for positioning reference. Any subsequent frames can have whatever animation poses you wish. If you DON'T use the T-POSE in the very first frame, your figure will go flying off into space - very disconcerting for the uninitiated! (Been there, done that LOL). Be sure to use the official SL AV for animating with (instead of the default Poser figures). This is to ensure accuracy, especially for figure positioning etc., as well as joint naming conventions. I can't remember the specific spot to download the SL AV figure files, but they are around the SL database here somewhere - a search on the forums here should uncover a link to them for you. I tend to set the framerate at 30 frames per second, which seems to translate okay into SL. I tend to cut my frame count at 29 seconds - if I work at the full 30 seconds, often SL won't accept the animation (being "too long"); so to save on headaches, I don't exceed 29 seconds in duration. If your version of Poser utilises animation layers, be sure to explore them - they can be a HUGE timesaver! Best to read up the manual or online on how to utilise them, but animation layers in Poser are a GODSEND! Also, be sure to tweak EVERY joint in the figure during the animation, even if they don't NEED to be moved. If a joint (say, the head, neck) has no animation information, you will get the default SL animations creeping in, resulting in strange movements (like your head looking around etc). So a tiny tweak (barely visible) for each joint in the figure in the second frame (immediately AFTER the T-POSE frame) should eliminate this. Poser can be a bit of a pig sometimes when it doesn't want to behave itself, but in my (biased) view, it's probably THE best figure animation software out there for a reasonable budget - and ideal for SL. Have fun! :matte-motes-smile:
  23. A possible solution is in the parametric deformer project for mesh clothing that Qarl Fizz is working on. An unexpected (beneficial) side effect of the conforming meshes is that it appears to pick up the AV physics as well. (around the 7-minute mark)Don't get your hopes up too high at this point though - this project is still far from completion, and many things such as the physics are subject to change. But worth keeping an eye on all the same. :matte-motes-smile:
  24. I'm glad you solved the problem Pamela. :matte-motes-smile: Physics can potentially throw up some nasty surprises if not optimised, as you discovered. I agree with both Drongle and Kwakkelde - it's always good policy to create a basic physics hull for each mesh, even if it's not intended to be used. They are generally quick and easy to make, and almost always lower in land impact cost than the other LI weighting factors in the uploader window, so shouldn't increase the overall LI. But most importantly, as Drongle said, an optimised physics hull included with the mesh during the upload process stops customers from accidentally "breaking" a mesh by inadvertently changing its physics properties - if your products have simplified physics hulls included, even if intended to be used as phantom, at least your customers won't get any nasty surprises... and as a result, less potential headaches for you as well! Glad you found a happy result though! Definitely keep experimenting with simplified physics hulls - as you have already found, there are potential LI savings to be made as well. :matte-motes-smile:
  25. I tend to agree with Drongle, assuming it's down to an unoptimised physics hull, Pamela. It's definitely worthwhile creating customised physics hull meshes. As Drongle demonstrates, very basic, simple cube shapes are all that are required. They don't need to be pretty at all - just sufficient surface detail to provide the basic interaction required (sitting points, physical barriers etc). A hull designed like this is very rarely much more than a couple of LI at most - and larger, simple flat surfaces are generally much cheaper in LI than complicated small surfaces. I can relate to your issue though - Once I uploaded a test room module mesh in a hurry to preview it on my plot, without having time to create a physics hull. I had the exact same experiences as you did Pamela - left as default and / or phantom, it was only 1.3LI (from memory). As soon as I changed it to prim physics, it disappeared (too large for my parcel's 500+ prim capacity). It wasnt anything fancy either - just goes to show what can happen though. So yah, definitely invest a little time exploring the physics aspect. It's fairly easy - just utilise basic box shapes to emulate interactive surfaces (keeping the overall bounding box identical to that of your original mesh to ensure proper alignment). :matte-motes-smile:
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