SL Sculpts and Mesh

I have been pretty remiss in blogging compared to so many others, but when I decided to do this, I set out to create this blog for myself.  It is a way to record my adventures in learning a variety of things as they relate to my creating items in Second Life.

Again, making clothes for Second Life rather eludes me.  While I understand the concept and can create the necessary layers in Photoshop, they never quite seem to have that bit of pizzazz that true clothing designers do.  But, the real goal was to learn how to create them rather than being good at it!  

I simply prefer to make my little boxes to create houses and buildings for a variety of settings, mainly buildings for role play, fantasy, or something in the historical genre...or at least, my take on them.  So how does as this nattering fit in to the theme of this current post?

In August 2011, (yes, adding the date for posterity sake), Linden Labs rolled out their long awaited "Mesh" for Second Life. Mesh is suppose to be superior to sculpties by allowing more detail, and from what I hear, it may be easier to make make. For those that know little to nothing about mesh (and I am counted in that number) here is some information that hopefully will explain it a bit better.

For those that are unfamiliar with mesh, it is the building block of 3-D modeling, Wikipedia ( has the following to so say, 

"In 3D computer graphics, 3D modeling (also know as meshing) is the process of developing a mathematical representation of any three-dimensional surface of object (either inanimate or living) via specialized software.  The product is called a 3D model.  It can be displayed as a two-dimensional image through a process called 3D rendering or used in a computer simulation of physicial phenomena.  The model can also be physically created using 3D Printing devices.  Models may be created automatically or manually.  The manual modeling process of preparing geometric data for 3D computer graphics is similar to plastic arts such as sculpting."

Linden Lab's has this to say about mesh:

Mesh glossary

  • Mesh - A collection of triangles with a single transformation matrix, roughly equivalent to a "Prim" in SL.
  • Submesh - A subset of a mesh, equivalent to a "Face" on a normal prim. Associated with a texture entry.
  • Model - A mesh or collection of meshes, equivalent to a "Coalesced Object".
  • Project Viewer - A special version of the Second Life viewer that allows you to test new features before they are officially released.
  • Prim equivalence - Mesh objects are equivalent to one or more traditional second life prims. For information on prim equivalence, see Prim equivalence.

Types of meshes

  • A simple mesh is a mesh with a single face. It has a single color and texture, and can model a simple object in the real world.
  • A multi-face mesh is a mesh with multiple textures.
  • A rigged mesh is a mesh with an internal virtual skeleton. Manipulating the virtual skeleton causes corresponding changes in the shape of the mesh, which allows the mesh to be animated.

Confused yet?

Even from a non-technical standpoint, I find it is a very confusing subject.  The concept is easy enough,  shaping an item from a lump of clay (i.e. geometric shape cylinder, cube, torus, ring, etc.) However, it is the tools that are difficult.  Rather than using your hands to form the claim, you form the starter geometric shapes with 3D modeling software, such a Blender, Maya, 3ds Max, Wings 3D, etc. 

In Second Life, clever folks that understand and can use 3D modeling software to make sculpted or mesh maps for usage in-world.  Clothiers use the maps to make clothing items, such as sleeves, collars, shoulder pads, shoes, etc.  Builders use them from anything from windows, doors, vases, china, utensils, walls, etc. It is very fascinating and these items make the in-world experience much more realistic. 

Anyway, this is my current venture since I understand clothing...time to move on and pull out my hair learning this less than item in a complex world.


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