Now that meshes are finally out i can finally spend some time on my favourite computer craft, which is 3D modeling. Now some of you might say “But hey Kyrah, you’ve been modeling things for SL for quite some time now, what do you mean by that!”
What i mean is that frankly, making sculpted prims is a torture, there is zero optimisation possible, it’s a compact and fast format, granted, but that’s not what i call 3D modeling.
Here is the result of a few days of work, I started a new project, a simple pair of paw gloves, for those out there who like pet play. This is a completely different challenge compared to sculpted prims, it’s much more flexible, but at the same time there is a lot more steps involved.
- The first thing is that i have to make my models twice. If you want to bake pretty highlights, you need a high detail version of your object, with all the little elements that you want to showcase in the texture.
- You also have to make the low polygon model. What’s great compared to sculpted prims, is that you can be really clever and optimize the model as much as you can, the more optimized, the cheaper to upload and the less prims it will count for.
- You have to make a proper UVW map for the low polygon mesh, this is where some people can make some great texture optimizations, such as if you are making a crate, you can assign all the sides of the crate to use the same region of your texture, while still being part of the same “face” in SL.
- You have to make a collision mesh, but honestly this is probably the less troublesome part, i tend to use simple boxes for everything that doesn’t require anything precise, because it save upload cost. But even for a complex object, the collision hull is really not a big deal. Just keep it convex.
Now if you’re making clothes the extra step is skinning the object on the avatar skeleton, i have yet to dabble into this, hell i’m not sure I want to because I was told those attachments can’t be resized in any way. Which would be okay if every single SL avatar wasn’t nearly unique.
The two first pictures are from the “high resolution” model in 3D studio max, you will never see this one in SL it’s there for texturing only because it is way too polygon heavy!
The two last pictures are from the “low polygon” version in SL white with a light shiny in viewer 3.x the little pads are actually treated by sl as a “second” prim face, the sl model is 2120 triangles at it’s most detailed lod, it’s still missing the wrist strap and buckle but it’s on the “to do” list.
I’m not sure about the polygon count, 2120 so far seems to be more than decent, the strap and buckle will probably add 500 to 1000 more, i could add much more details to the low poly mesh but I do not think that it is necessary or reasonable. (and it has nothing to do with lazyness, it’s a simplified version of the high resolution mesh, and i did that one first.)
- strap & buckle.
- UVW mapping for both models.
- (eventually) rigging/skinning.
- Making a left copy.