What is UV Mapping and SL Building

Okay for all of you that don't know me, I AM NOT a technical geek. If you want technical explanations or information, you will need to find another source instead of this blog. My goal is to put things in terms that are simple and hopefully, easily understood by the average person like me, who has little or no experience with 3D modeling, graphics, animation, scripting, or sound experience prior to coming to a virtual 3D world.

The explanation is a bit technical (at least for me anyway) but should give you an idea what the Second Life Avatar (AV for short) is. With clothing, you are making a 2D texture in a graphics program (Photoshop, PSP, Gimp, etc.) and wrapping it around the AV, which is a 3D object.

For those of you new to UV Mapping check out the following description of what UV mapping is.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UV_mapping. It should give you some idea what how the world of Second Life is created.

All the objects you see in-world are 3D objects of a sort including the Avatars that are us. Second Life supplies you with a basic 3D modeling program in-world via the Build function. This basic building function allows Residents to create 3D objects in world without the use of special, and oftentimes, expensive external software. It comes with all accounts, basic or premium.

The basic building block is called a Primitive, or Prim for short. You materialize a basic geometric prim and manipulate it by stretching, shrinking, cutting, or twisting it into shapes and putting those shapes together to form a collective creation. Most of what you see in the world of SL has been created by the Residents of that world. There are some really talented creators, or builders in SL many offering free or for sale items to others. But, don't let that stop you from trying to create yourself. While it can be frustrating at first, it can be very fulfilling.

Please note the SL AV, while it can be manipulated through the built in sliders to create a myriad of human looking shapes, it is not considered part of the basic building function. It is separately manipulated in the Appearance function. The AV is a special item and the overall AV Map cannot be changed per se like primitives can.

Okay, now that I have confused the issue, feel free to comment and clarify!


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