Tweekly Digest: 11-Jan – 17-Jan

  • Ahah! @radioriel now playing Gryphon. I see what they did there. ->
  • RT @jediskywalker01: @HamillHimself My favorite quote from #TheForceAwakens Has got to be this one👌🏻 https://t.co/9KSOHjR9GD ->
  • ♫ "David Bowie – Dead Man Walking (Moby Mix 2 US Promo 12") – 05:22" on A_A Bowie (Tunemark Radio) weird, but in a good way. ->
  • ♫ "David Bowie – Sue (Or in a Season of Crime) " on Polygon of Voracious Audio (Tunemark Radio) ->
  • ♫ "David Bowie – Lazarus " on Polygon of Voracious Audio (Tunemark Radio) #Blackstar ->
  • ♫ "David Bowie – 'Tis a Pity She Was a Whore " on Polygon of Voracious Audio (Tunemark) Another literary reference… ->
  • ♫ "David Bowie – Space Oddity" on Devil's Night Radio! (Tunemark) ->
  • ♫ "David Bowie – Fame ('90 Remix)" on Devil's Night Radio! (Tunemark) ->

Tweekly Digest: 28-Dec – 03-Jan

New Year’s Lesson: Keep Trying And Ask Questions

Thanks to the extremely helpful and patient +Aine Caoimhe, I learned a thing or two today about Blender.

Regarding a question I had about the mesh plant prim I made to replace a legacy plant sculpt, I almost got it right. My original mesh has 4 planes, which means 8 faces once uploaded:

You definitely want to keep the mesh version rather than the sculpt for 3 reasons:

– far lower face count
– easier control over texture
– if you don’t make them phantom, vastly lower physics impact

I would make it in Blender by:

1. Add > plane
2. Make the plane as per the way you did it (one of the three)
3. Unwrap it
4. With the pane selected in Object mode, use the hotkey sequence shift D R Z 60 which will duplicate it and rotate the duplicate 60 degrees on the z-axis.
5. Repeat that to duplicate and rotate again, giving you three of them

(when you duplicate an object it also duplicates any modifiers and UV mapping)

7. Join all three pieces making them a single mesh
8. Add a solidify modifier with thickness of 0.0005, offset of 0.0, and un-check the fill edges option…this will make them double-sided and you don’t need the edges filled when they’re that narrow in spacing

That gives you a single mapped mesh object with the minimum 6 faces (12 after triangulation) where it’s all nicely mapped. The physics after import will a shape with only 12 faces too, making it extremely light on the region resources.

The “identical” sculptie would be at least 128 faces and if set to non-phantom has a much more complex and less sim-friendly physics shape.

I was SO CLOSE. THISCLOSE to getting it right. So I went back and redid a new one with 3 planes, 6 faces. This is the old sculpt on the left, new mesh with 4 planes on the right. There are edge artifacts on the Legacy sculpty, where the creator (LK) was not careful about cleaning up the edges or having them scaled all the way down.
Compare Sculpt to Orig Mesh_001

And this is the new one, on the smaller plant.
New 3plane vs 4 plane_001

Next, it looks like I’ll have to go back and redo the crates later, maybe when I need them for props again. I’ll be building a survival shelter and of course the boxes and crates and pallets are fair game.

+Aine Caoimhe again:

I would recreate them in Blender since you can really cut down on the face count if you keep them simple boxes (don’t add bevels, etc.).

I can’t tell from your pictures if you’re using Blender render or Cycles but I suspect that’s Blender render. I’d suggest getting used to Cycles materials set-up since as you become more advanced you’ll likely want some of the additional controls/features of Cycles that the older Blender render engine doesn’t allow.

General method:

Make 1 box.
Mark seams and unwrap it
Assign a material to it (maybe “box1”)
Duplicate it
On the duplicate, delete the material and assign it a different one…it will still preserve its UV mapping so you shouldn’t need to do anything further
Continue doing this, each time with a new object and each time assigning it a new material (unless you want two or more boxes to share the same material, in which case just assign it that mat).

You are allowed to import a single mesh with a maximum of 8 different materials so you can join your boxes into a single mesh object provided it doesn’t exceed this. If not, you can join 8 materials worth of boxes as one object, then another 8 materials into a second, etc… On import each material is a “face” from an in-world texturing standpoint.

You can select multiple objects at time of export which will take them out as a single dae and, on import, come in as a linkset.

Doing it this way, each box ought to be only 6 quads = 12 tri which makes it easier on graphics cards. Because of the way SL calculates LI (to inflate the cost of mesh artificially) there’s likely not going to be much/any savings on that level.

You can find more detailed info about cycles materials assignments and unwrapping in my intro series of tutorials (http://ainetutorials.blogspot.ca/p/list-of-tutorials.html) or +Chic Aeon has done some great ones too.

I’ve read everything Aine and Chic have posted recently on G+ and I also see posts on the official SL forum for mesh, though I don’t go there often. They are extremely helpful and generous with their hard-earned expertise.

I did want to make a couple of “hero crates” that are more detailed, with inset faces and raised edges. That can wait for another free day. The next time, it all begins with a single box, in Blender. Don’t worry, I always delete the default cube automatically and start fresh. 😉

Exporting builds from SL or OpenSim so far is of limited use, as the prims come in with triangles everywhere and hidden faces that have to be deleted. I learned when I imported various other objects (my old store, a Victrola that I made in class) that the triangle count gets CRAZY on small, tightly curved sections, and the corners of buildings are a mess. I managed to learn where to find the “tris to quads” in the Face menu, but the shortcut in Edit mode is Alt-J, need to commit that to memory. It’s nice to bring in a build for reference purposes, though. With the box assemblage, I really could have gone in and dissolved all the unnecessary faces and verts, though.

A friend of mine from Steelhead, Zaida Gearbox, has been doing wonders with mesh conversions – her Mission style furniture is GORGEOUS; I think she uses Mesh Studio to clean it up – I can only hope to produce nice things like that someday. Her store is on the Marketplace, and she has a location in St John. I thought maybe I’d be able to do conversions like that, too, but there’s more to it in getting it right.

I didn’t get much done IRL today, but did at least start the “castaway” narrative. Now I can think about the next part of the story, which involves salvaging some useful and repurposing some wacky items, and I need to think about adding some geology (not geometry) to my island refuge, which means finally getting that rock project correctly done and building some lava and tufa cliffs.

Don’t worry, there’s a twist for how I get started making clothes, hats, and other survival gear – and later on, a reason for making vintage stuff, too.

What A Maroon: A Narrative of Blender Blundering

Here begins my tale – I’ve somehow become marooned on a desert island (actually, an archipelago) and my only hope of survival is to make or build or salvage or scrounge whatever I can.

It was a dark and stormy night, etc. etc., and here I am on the beach of a lovely but desolate island, with a random assortment of crates. I fell off a container ship, along with several containers, boxes, and barrels. We were in shallow waters and struck ground, and I went over the side. Unfortunately, the crew didn’t see me or hear my screams for help. I found myself clinging to a steel container that turned out to be partly full of bean-bag chairs, so it was riding high in the water. Then it broke apart on the reef, and I had a bad time there getting scraped up on the coral, and lost my shoes. But the water was shallow, and there was little wave action inside the reef, so I managed to struggle to the beach, surrounded by a bobbing assemblage of boxes and other flotsam. Fortunately, I managed to drag a Blender crate to shore, so now I just have to figure out how to make stuff with it. No pressure, it’s just a matter of my continued survival, right? And there’s a box o’ GIMP, so I can make things look nice while I figure out how to rescue myself. I’ve got a pallet of duct tape, too, although most of it is at the bottom of this little lagoon. Guess I’ll be doing a little diving soon if I want to make shoes and shelter.

PilesOCrates_001

Meanwhile, the ship’s crew somehow got the ship off the sandbar, with little or no damage other than the loss of a few containers and one rather irritating female Jonah. By the time I got myself out of the water and pulled everything up above the high-tide line, the ship’s lights were already receding in the distance. I suppose they won’t figure out I’m gone until… breakfast? Or Panama customs? Great. I’m somewhere in the South Pacific, with little hope of rescue, but some hope of making myself reasonably comfortable while I wait for another ship to come along.

All I have to do to survive is to salvage stuff from the containers that fell off the ship when I did. So far all that’s floated to shore are the things in wooden crates – the barrels went farther down around the point and are probably halfway to Tahiti by now. Too bad, they had most of the food – so I’ll be eating a lot coconuts, crabs, and shellfish.

I can hear fresh water falling somewhere behind me, and this little islet seems to be connected to the larger island by a land bridge. I’ve got 2 lonely coconut trees and they’re dropping

I am going to Liberal Arts Major the shit out of this.IF I can figure out Blender and stop blundering, that is.

PilesOCrates_002DuctTapeandCoconuts_001

 

Tweekly Digest: 21-Dec – 27-Dec

Tweekly Digest: 14-Dec – 20-Dec

An Amazing Day

The typo-monkey’s week off is nearly over, but we were productive today, and made new friends, too.

Lela's Place is Open for Business

The shop in St John is open, although the doors keep closing.

Although I didn’t take pictures, at one point I had 3 Dinkies AVs in the shop looking at my stuff and met new friends Chronometria and Abya, along with an old friend Jesa Li, whose storytelling project is really getting interesting.

Earlier, I met Chronometria at Tinys Inc. – she was willing to have me check how the fedora fits on a Dinkies BUNNEH avatar, and is it ever cute:

Chrono Bunneh Ears

Those ears just slay meh, they are so cute. The fur lays like real fur would along all the curves. And her eyes blink and the mouth moves when she types.

Chrono made a lot of really helpful suggestions and urged me to think about fixing the “pet beds” so that Dinkies can sleep on them, like on this bed she put together from freebies.

Chronometria Demos a Dinkies Bed

Before the Invasion of the Dinkies, which was really a ton of fun and exhilarating, I heard crashing sounds from outside of the shop.

CiCi's Taxi Jitney

It was an adorable yellow jitney or tuk-tuk, that my neighbor CiCi was driving around somewhat randomly and optimistically around St John Parish’s narrow streets (the French Quarter predates concepts of modern city design).

But with all of that going on, I managed to work on several variants of the “snappy fedora” ilk and get them listed on the SL Marketplace and in Caspervend. With the new “Viewer Managed Marketplace” way of doing things, I have to say it’s a snap. It all got migrated for me over the summer while the typo-monkey was off gallivanting, and I came back to find it was all done. Creating new listings is easy, updating old ones is even easier.

I do wonder what’s up with Caspervend’s Prim Bay:

Capture

But in any case here’s what’s now done and dusted:

FedorasLelasPlaceCaledonPlaid
FedorasLelasPlaceDinkies2
FedorasLelasPlaceMacbethTartan
FedorasLelasPlacePinkLindenPlaid
FedorasLelasPlaceSteelheadPlaid

Not only that, but I set up all the former pet beds as “Dinkie’s Sleep” beds. Will have to refresh the listings and then see about making frames and doing them in mesh later.

And that’s about it.

Possible future projects – furniture, in mesh. Feeling inspired, but first Dhughan needs to get “on the stick” and get his own 2 pending projects done.

Second Life Marketplace – @LC@ Chameleonic Holiday Fedora 2015

Celebrate the holidays in style with this fun and festive green fedora. The hat band looks like a candy cane – and after the holidays, you can retexture with any tileable or horizontal textures you have. Change the band and wear it for St Patrick’s Day, too.

Source: Second Life Marketplace – @LC@ Chameleonic Holiday Fedora 2015

Tweekly Digest: 07-Dec – 13-Dec

Blender: Straighten Up And UV Right

Finally, I got something figured out with Blender! After much looking around, got a clear answer from Blender Stack Exchange.

Tiny Hat Fedora Test

How can I straighten ALL the vertical UV lines at once? Is there a hotkey short cut? Or if I have to do them one by one .. is there at shortcut for that? Thank you!

Source: How do I straight UV map’s – Blender Stack Exchange

The answer turned out to be both “There’s an app for that!” which didn’t work, and “do it the old school way, like a boss,” which did. The instructions are beautifully clear, concise, and helpfully illustrated with GIFs that repeat so that you can watch the steps as it’s done.

I tried to install the app but didn’t seem to succeed. However, it may require a restart or even a reboot.

After more than a year languishing on my hard drive and stressing me out, I finally got the “Tiny Hat” fedora model unwrapped – more or less correctly, I think, although there are a couple of issues I need to solve, and I need to tweak the “faces” to add at least one more for the top.

Uploaded to Haleakaloha, my test grid, and the LI says “0” which is bunk, everything on the home grid is free.

Reminders and checklist:

  • It’s friggin huge, needs to be resized down before uploading
  • No need to upload with textures, remember to uncheck that.
  • I do have an AO map along with the UV map and also a shaded/diffuse AO map (with the colors I set for the materials).
  • Need to figure out how to add edges between 2 stray vertices that I can only see on the UV map,not on the model. Whut the whut now?
  • The first iteration will end up as a group gift YAY.
  • More new stuff to come.