Sculpt & Mesh: Then & Now

 

Folks who have been following my blog postings for a while will probably note that I’ve been releasing mostly mesh items for the past few months.  I still enjoy making sculpts now and then and the majority of my inventory is still sculpt, but there are just so many advantages that meshes have over sculpt that the additional hit primwise is usually far more worth it (and sometimes one can manage to be less primmy than if one were to use sculpts too!).

I recently dug up this old post of mine back from 2008, decrying the constant use of sculpts in clothing etc. It’s sort of funny because I can see areas where my position was hypocritical, yet at the same time it was true that the abusive overusage of sculpts (which eventually became the norm) was contributing considerably to viewer lag.

A few things remain problems, between 2008 and now:

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Sculpts are limited in their stitching type:

Sculpts are proprietary hacks that are severely limited by a set number of stitching types (shapes) that can be manipulated. UV layouts are always rectangular and always fit these stitching types completely in a similarly rectangular fashion. As a result, not counting some XML hackery*, someone looking to texture such an object will always be limited to only one rectangular texture that will always be applied in full to the object.

Restricting sculpts to a set number of stitching types also creates problems as far as distortion – bunching up at the poles of sculpts in particular comes to mind. Additionally, because sculpts are always limited to a specific UV layout, stretching things out too far between one or two set of verts could mean ugly texturing later.

Each sculpt represents 2048 triangles. No more, no less.
Sculpts are assigned only one prim per 2048 triangles. On the surface, this was a blessing because people felt they could be far less primmy while gaining more realistic looking objects, even if in a limited fashion. Prim hair that would be otherwise impossible given limits on the size of linksets was suddenly eminently possible. But let’s also remember that sculpts represent a minimum of 1024 quads/2048 triangles per prim, and due to the problems outlined above, in most cases it is not possible to make as good use of a sculptie as one can with a mesh with the same number of faces. Many game companies strive to keep full characters down to between 4000-6000 polygons total, yet some content creators now broach the maximum number of items within a linkset with each prim a sculpt (that’s 524288 polygons)! And that’s just one attachment! If it’s a boot, you’ll need to wear a matching set (doubling your polycount) and of course if you want to wear anything else, that will be more costly resource-wise as well. **


* Of note: there is a hack out there utilized by some content creators which gives some limited flexibility as far as adding an additional texture face to a single sculpt, however the fact remains that sculpts are mainly proprietary to Second Life and when used in other environments would most certainly be considered inflexible, wasteful and inefficient.

** For extra fun, let’s also not forget people using V2/3 can now add up to 38 attachments per attachment point now and there are a total of 30 attachment points on the avatar already. So for those keeping count, that’s a maximum 524,288 polygons per attachment, max 19,922,944 polys per attachment point, max 597,688,320 polys per avatar! It’s highly likely your viewer would crash long before you managed this, however it is important to note just how abusive this can get, especially in situations where everyone wants to look their best in front of a crowd.  This can be combatted by turning on avatar imposters and there is talk about adding visual muting functionality, but this does not remove from the fact that your viewer still needs to download this information before muting it.

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Of course, I realize my development of sculptie products over many years has in itself contributed to this problem, but I would have to say that is a big part of why many of the items I make now are mesh rather than sculpt. While I have always tried to keep prim counts down and use as much of a single sculpt as possible, ultimately sculpts (even in low quantities) present artificial challenges that are far more easily dealt with when modelling mesh.

I have noticed that some newcomers to mesh have elected to simply attempt upload of unoptimized sculpt assets as mesh (since that’s what sculpts are) and I have a bit of ranting I could do on that, but it’s best kept for another post. Ultimately, mesh represents a great opportunity for creators to both create more responsibly and make it look better at the same time; it is my hope that the content creator community does not squander it.

This past Monday, it was announced that 70% of active users are now using mesh-capable viewers, with about 28% of regions in SL containing at least some mesh content. Considering it was released to the public on the Main Grid back in August, this seems like a pretty healthy rate of adoption and given this format is much more of an industry standard, it makes me optimistic for content creation to come.

New releases for week of Jan 29 – Feb 4

Two new releases this week!

The Look-out is based on alpine cottages often used as fire look-out stations. Spanning three stories in height, this building easily rises above the rest to provide an excellent view while maintaining some modicum of privacy. The build includes three doors with customizable access lists. Including some mesh along with normal prims, this build is considerably more detailed than most sculpt or regular prim counterparts and was designed with efficiency and viewer performance in mind.

16 by 16m footprint, 98 LI at packaged size. Excellent for use on a 1024sqm parcel, on a flat or hilly surface.  Contains both regular prim and mesh parts – requires a mesh-capable viewer. Mod, copy, no transfer. ( Buy in store ) ( Buy on Marketplace )

I’ve also released some smaller items:

There are currently  5 associated sets, 5 individual textures each, great for mix and match. A fat-pack is also available. Each cushion is 1LI at packaged size, decorative and unscripted, but modifiable should you wish to add poses or scripting of your own. Again, mesh! So use with a mesh capable viewer. Mod, copy, no transfer. ( Buy in store )( Buy on Marketplace – ( Fur ) ( Dottie ) ( Fabric – Classic ) ( Fabric – Bright ) ( Leather ) ( Fatpack )  )

Blog change & new releases

Organica has been around for quite a while – since October of 2007 in fact! But did you know Organica Specialty Trees is affiliated with an accessory shop as well?

In fact, Kitheres Industries was my first project! Some time last year I decided to consolidate the shop and move it to a single spot located at Fort Stygian in The Wastelands. For a number of different reasons, however, it had to be put on the backburner and I haven’t really had the chance to add to the shop until recently. I’ve added a new product and I’ll talk about that in a sec.

I’ve decided not to keep two seperate blogs for updates and will be posting about both brands on this blog from now on. I will not be combining the subscriber groups, so if you are only subscribed to one brand, you will only recieve notifications for posts which contain relevant material. You are, of course, welcome to sign up for notifications for both.

The blog has been renamed ‘Kitheres and Organica’, which more accurately reflects my branding on Marketplace, however in-world both brands will operate as usual. Over the next few weeks, I will be sorting out proper categories for existing Organica posts and recently imported Kitheres posts, so hopefully things will remain organized and accessible to all.

With that said, let’s get to the new releases!

Kitheres:

Spatterdashery Boots are named such because they include a belt-bound spat along the length of the lower leg, covering the ankle region and reaching upwards, providing added material for the wearer.  These grungey boots are great for everyday wear and especially optimized for use in crowds due to their relatively low draw weight compared to comparable sculpt products. Available in three colours, these boots are 100% mesh modelled and textured from scratch. Left unrigged for easy resizing, the boots are mod/copy and contain removable resizer scripts – so you can use the script to resize the boots for you if you’re not confident with building things (then remove the script once you’re done) or you can remove the script entirely and just resize the boots as needed using build tools. ( Buy in store ) ( Buy on Marketplace: DemoCharcoalHazelOliveFatpack )

Organica:

Organica has joined Spruce Up Your Space and will be a participating merchant this weekend!

This Elm tree is wonderfully lush and detailed – it’s a great item to help create shade and atmosphere to a mature looking landscape! Full mesh, includes three foliage colours both scripted and unscripted. As this is a mesh product, you’ll need a mesh viewer to view.

This item will be available mod/copy on sale for L$150 for this weekend only! This introductory price will go away after Sunday, when I’ll add back a mod/transfer edition, so be sure to pick this one up before the sale ends! (Please note: sale is in-store only! This product will be added to the Marketplace next week 🙂 )

Other non-sale releases:

As mesh items with no transparencies, they don’t conflict with water surface rendering or other plants which use transparency, so they work really well as highlight pieces right next to the existing Cattail 1 set! This product includes two shapes for variety and each piece is 1 land impact at the size packaged. ( Buy in store ) ( Buy on Marketplace )

This new park bench is a wonderful addition to every outdoor area! Carefully modelled and textured, this bench seats and animates up to three people. Includes attachable book. Full mesh, so be sure to use a mesh capable viewer! Mod / Copy ( Buy in store ) ( Buy on Marketplace )

Land:

If you’re looking for the ideal spot for a quiet and wonderfully landscaped home, check out the land offerings below:

Some of the larger parcels have been recently vacated and have been split; they were originally offered at a larger size prior to a change in prim bonuses. As a result, I am pleased to offer four new smaller parcels in the north-east and south-east corners of the sim. They are all waterside to some degree and, located in a 1.75x prim bonus sim, all boast a healthy prim allottment. (Please note: Parcels 1A & 1B as well as 6A & 6B can be merged upon request if still available.) The details are as follows: Details and SLURLS below:

Parcel size Prims Weekly price SLURL
Parcel 1A – 1536sqm 614 L$1105 SLURL
Parcel 1B – 1024sqm 410 L$738 SLURL
Parcel 2B – 960sqm 383 L$690 SLURL
Parcel 6A – 1152sqm 460 L$828 SLURL
Parcel 6B – 1152sqm 460 L$828 SLURL
Parcel 8 – 1696sqm 679 L$1222 SLURL
Parcel 15 – 1680sqm 672 L$1210 SLURL

A land office has also been established in Organica in the News/Gift shop. (SLURL)

More information about land in Sylvan can be found here.

Organica at San Diego

Organica will be opening a new location at the Botanical Gardens of San Diego Balboa sim, Jan 22 2012, during the grand opening of San Diego 3D!

Visit the new location at http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/San%20Diego%20Balboa/149/211/33

 From the press release,

SAN DIEGO 3D GRAND OPENING

For Immediate Release

SAN DIEGO 3D is pleased to announce our official grand opening on Sunday, January 22, 2012.

San Diego 3D is a themed entertainment destination recreating the look and feel of San Diego, California in the virtual world Second Life. Using their avatar, visitors can explore some of San Diego’s most beautiful landmarks, in stunning, interactive 3D. Destinations include historic Old Town; Balboa Park’s Organ Pavilion, Museum of Art, and Spanish Village Arts Center; downtown; and the famous San Diego Zoo. For entertainment, they can catch a live performance at the Balboa Theatre, or dance in the ballroom at the Hotel Del Coronado.

San Diego 3D promotes tourism, entertainment, and the arts through strategic partnerships with businesses and organizations operating in the physical and virtual world. Founded in 2007 as “Diegoland”, the project passed into the hands of its current owner, Ayesha Lytton, in 2010. In 2011, the simulator was completely rebuilt by Akimeta Metaverse Development to create the most realistic replicas yet of numerous San Diego locations.

Our grand opening event will be held on Sunday, January 22, 2012 at the Balboa Theatre. This near-replica of the 1920’s vaudeville and movie theatre features numerous details accurate to the real building, including its famed wall murals and working waterfalls in the auditorium. The Balboa Theatre 3D raises the bar for live performances in Second Life, using realistic animations, sets and costumes to create a truly immersive theatre experience.

Our first concert showcases soprano Tamra Hayden, who has starred on Broadway and on tour in musicals such as Les Miserables, the Phantom of the Opera, and Cabaret. A talented songwriter in her own right, she will be sharing some of her own beautiful music as well as favorites from Phantom, Wicked, and more. Hayden and Lytton have been collaborating for several months with programmers Alchemy Epstein and Tangle Giano, as well as builders and designers to create the effects seen in the production.

The event is open to the public and all are welcome to attend. Formal or semi-formal attire is preferred.

Second Life SLURL: http://slurl.com/secondlife/San%20Diego%20Balboa/178/61/33

 

 

More photos of my work from the rest of the project can be found here.

Two new releases, more land now available

Another offering in the recent line of plants suitable for tropical or indoor environments, rubber plants are so-named because they are part of a larger family of plants which excrete a milky-white latex which can be used to create rubber. This package comes with two varieties, burgundy and green. As packaged, each plant is 3 LI. The included planter (with two plants) comes out to 7LI at packaged size. This is a mesh product, so you’ll need a  mesh capable client to view. Mod, Copy, No Transfer. ( Buy in Store ) ( Buy on Marketplace )

This set of bamboo (two units pictured in vendor) is an excellent choice for landscaping tight spaces in the Japanese theme or for populating a fuller bamboo forest if you prefer. Packaged at 6LE, they are a great low impact solution to add an Eastern ambience to your home.  Mod, Copy, No Transfer ( Buy in Store ) ( Buy on Marketplace )

Additional Note: Bamboo 1 has been discounted and moved to the plant shop as it is more correctly classified grass and not a tree.

Land:

Some of the larger parcels have been recently vacated and have been split; they were originally offered at a larger size prior to a change in prim bonuses. As a result, I am pleased to offer four new smaller parcels in the north-east and south-east corners of the sim. They are all waterside to some degree and, located in a 1.75x prim bonus sim, all boast a healthy prim allottment. (Please note: Parcels 1A & 1B as well as 6A & 6B can be merged upon request if still available.) The details are as follows: Details and SLURLS below:

Parcel size Prims Weekly price SLURL
Parcel 1A – 1536sqm 614 L$1105 SLURL
Parcel 1B – 1024sqm 410 L$738 SLURL
Parcel 2B – 960sqm 383 L$690 SLURL
Parcel 6A – 1152sqm 460 L$828 SLURL
Parcel 6B – 1152sqm 460 L$828 SLURL
Parcel 8 – 1696sqm 679 L$1222 SLURL
Parcel 15 – 1680sqm 672 L$1210 SLURL

 

Parcel #1A - FOR SALE - 1536sqm, 614 prims, L$1105/w

 

Parcel #1B - FOR SALE - 1024sqm, 410 prims, L$738/w
Parcel #2A - FOR SALE - 960sqm, 383 prims, L$690/w | Parcel #2B - FOR SALE - 960sqm, 383 prims, L$690/w
Parcel #6A - FOR SALE - 1152sqm, 460 prims, L$828/w
Parcel #6B - FOR SALE - 1152sqm, 460 prims, L$828/w
Parcel #8 - FOR SALE - 1696sqm, 679 prims, L$1222/w
Parcel #15 - FOR SALE - 1680sqm, 672 prims, L$1210/w

Two new furniture releases this week!

 

Based on traditional ‘kaidan dansu’, these chests and cabinets were traditionally used in tight homes that needed a compact means of reaching high places, such as a second floor or attic, without having to sacrifice storage space. As a result, kaidan dansu came about as dual function steps and storage devices.

This set includes both left and right-facing steps. Each chest is 4 prims total at the size packaged. Offered mod/copy/no transfer. This is a mesh product, so view with SL v3.0 or newer.  ( Buy in Store ) ( Buy on Marketplace )

This set of furniture includes paper lantern, end table, coffee table, and animated armchair and couch. The armchair seats one, couch seats two. Available in six different colours, seperately or as a fatpack. ( Buy in Store ) (Buy on Marketplace: ( white ) ( red ) ( blue ) ( tan ) ( brown ) ( black ) ( fatpack ))

Wilds of Organica: Burrowing and Snowy Owls

This update has been in development for a great number of months, dating some time back before mesh was implimented to the main grid. It’s been a project that has challenged me to learn avatar-based mesh modelling, bone offsets, animation, and more. I’m sure there is a lot left to learn still, but I’m proud to offer the following item as the inaugural product from the newest branch of Organica products, Wilds of Organica.

 



This mesh-based avatar is rigged and will crush your avatar down to about 0.5m in height, which you can adjust to some degree with avatar height and width sliders. Because bird wings require that av arms be swept back when not in use, the owl comes with a custom AO. The product also features customizable eyes, with up to 10 iris colours, three pupil colours, glow, awake, wary and closed eyes, all controllable from the Owl HUD. All scripting by Desolate Studios’ Neobokrug Elytis.  Offered mod/copy/no transfer.

For now, you can find the vendor for these avatars at the Wilds of Organica shop in Organica or on the Marketplace ( Burrowing Owl ) ( Snowy Owl ).

 

Two new trees, one new plant!

 

More meshy goodness for you this week!

This new all-mesh plant comes with a planter and one plant – with broad, uniquely marked leaves and no alpha textures, these are great for both indoor and outdoor use and will not experience alpha flickering. Offered mod/copy/no transfer. ( Buy in Store ) ( Buy on Marketplace )

This set of trees comes in both green and autumnal foliage. Offered both mod/copy/no transfer and mod/no copy/transfer. ( Buy in Store ) ( Buy on Marketplace )

By request, a new evergreen coniferous tree is being added to those available! This low-prim tree features detailed foliage based on the majestic cedars of Lebanon. Offered both mod/copy/no transfer and mod/no copy/transfer. ( Buy in Store ) ( Buy on Marketplace )

Land:

One last parcel is available in Sylvan; come check it out!

Parcel size Prims Weekly price SLURL
Parcel 2B – 960 383 L$690 SLURL

 

New Releases – Nov 26 2011

I’ve received some requests to make winter trees available as packs outside of their usual offering for those who wish to furnish their sims for the winter season, so I’ve made two packs available;

They are divided by foliage type – deciduous (leafy) and coniferous (needle). Each pack comes with seven trees plus frosted grass. All items are sculptie. Please note: These two packs are offered as is. No updates for items contained within these two packs will be sent out unless there is some defect.

The Coniferous pack includes:

Bristlecone Pine 1 (frosted)
Bristlecone Pine 2 (frosted)
Bristlecone Pine 2 (snowy)
Bristlecone Pine 3 (frosted)
Spruce 2 – Frosted
Spruce 2 – Frosted, Lit
Spruce 2 – Snowy
Grass 3 – Frosted

( Buy in Store )( Buy on Marketplace )

The Deciduous Pack includes:

Alder Grove 1 (winter)
Birch 2 Cluster (winter)
Birch 3 (snowy)
Oak 6 (winter)
Oak 8 (winter)
Sugar Maple 1 (lit)
Sugar Maple 1 (winter)
Grass 3 (frosted)

( Buy in Store )( Buy on Marketplace )

Christmas tree ornaments return to the store and will probably hang around until mid-January before they are put away for another year – they come in two varieties – star and tapered, eight colours to a box. All are mod/copy.

Check out the store for some holiday freebies as well!

 

Finally, a release unrelated to the upcoming holidays:

This ficus is the newest in the Ficus series and features a beautiful leaning trunk and detailed bark and foliage. This is a mesh product, so you’ll need SL Viewer 3.0 or newer. It is 8LI out of the box and is mod, copy, no transfer.  ( Buy in Store )( Buy on Marketplace )

Tiny Trees, Delicious Monsters and a little taste of Paradise

Three new items released this week!

Two new tropicals are available;

Known by many names, including ‘Swiss Cheese Plant’, ‘Split Leaf Plant’, Mexican Breadfruit, Ceriman, and even Delicious Monster (after the Latin name), Monstera Deliciosa are broad-leafed plants which in nature develop attachments to tropical trees and use them as a support to gain height. Domestically, they’re known as excellent low maintenance plants that do well in planters in homes, offices and commercial areas. Offered with a mesh version (small cluster of the plant set within a mesh planter) as well as a sculpt version (large cluster of plants, suited for outdoor use). The mesh version requires at minimum a mesh-capable SL Viewer such as V3.0+. Sculpts are viewable with SL 1.21 or newer. Offered mod, copy, no transfer. ( Buy in Store ) ( Buy on Marketplace )

When one thinks of exotic tropical flowers, it is hard to overlook the highly iconic Bird of Paradise plant. This plant is offered mesh only and takes up 8 LI out of the box.  Because it’s mesh, you’ll need a mesh-capable SL viewer such as V3.o or newer. Offered mod, copy, no transfer. ( Buy in Store) ( Buy at Marketplace )

A new bonsai is now available – it features classic Japanese Maple foliage which can be switched between red and green on click. This is a mesh item – you’ll need a mesh-capable viewer to see it. Offered mod, no copy, transfer and mod, copy, no transfer. ( Buy in Store ) ( Buy at Marketplace )

Land Update:

Only two parcels are still available in Sylvan!

Land:

Both parcels split from the originally larger Parcel 7 are now occupied, so there are now only two parcels available in the sim. Both are quite scenic – Parcel #2 is a square shaped lot in a quiet bordered on two sides by water on the eastern half of the region and the other (parcel 9) is a generously sized L-shaped lot that faces north-west, with a full view of the waterfall.

Full parcel details as follows:

Parcel size Prims Weekly price SLURL
Parcel 2 – 1760 704 L$1267 SLURL
Parcel 9 – 1584sqm 633 L$1140 SLURL