Friday, May 25, 2007

Sculpted Prims for the Masses

I was very excited about the new sculptured prim building class, for the past few months I've been learning Blender just to build this new type of prims within Second Life. But Blender is extremely painful to learn, the millions of buttons adds to the confusion. Luckily there is a very good tutorial online that taught me a lot about blender. I was churning out good blender objects in no time.

I was able to make pretty complex objects in Blender, but ran into a wall when exporting this out to SL compatible sculpted prim UV maps. I found two tutorials ( by Amanda Levitsky and one on that claims to do a Blender to SL sculpted prim transformation.While I could follow these tutorials and get the prims they made in the end... none of these tutorials worked with the more complex objects I had. My results looked like this:

This was way too frustrating, and I cannot justify buying Maya (the officially supported 3D software by LL) simply cause of the price ($2000-8000). Maya has a free version, but it does not work with SL export function that Lindens provided. Blender seemed to be the best option (given how difficult it is to learn) due to it being an open source project just like Second Life.

For a week I've been disappointed with my Blender to SL projects, then I saw a simple tool by Yuzuru Jewell that made it easy to model things using a lathe like system. I remembered this was how I learned 3d modeling long time ago (can't remember the apple software I used), but this tool (called Rokuro) was incredibly easy to use:

And the resulting sculpted prim came out looking as it was ment to be :

This tool could be used by anyone, you don't need any sort of advanced 3d training, all you have to do is move the points and hit generate UV map and bang you got a cool Sculpted Prim ready to upload into SL.

This tool is most useful for anything that could be made on lathe like machine, ie, drawing an outline and having it rotated 360 degrees. It's good for vases, mugs, tumblers, pillars and so on. I will still try to mess with Blender, but till I figure that out my Sculpted Prims come out of Rokuro.


AterNox said...

Thanks Honey,

I too am trying to get Blender to spit out real objects. Rokuro worked like a champ! Ill keep you in mind if it blender magically starts.

Letum Fossil

Eric said...

I got a great tip from TomHa Zymurgy.. try using Amanda's template, but take the 32x32 TGA and scale it up to 256x256 with no interpolation. This works because SL compresses all files for upload and can botch the 32x32 map irreparably for use as a sculptie while the 256x256 will retain more detail. Another tip: try inverting the colors and flip the TGA horizontally, though Blender seems to work fine without this conversion. Also, if you don't already have it, I would recommend GIMP for working with TGA images. :)

- Nolocontendere Nikolaidis

Honey Wendt said...

Eric, I'll check this out, I was using very low resolution images, thought the problem might be at the end points of the object. I'll try these later thanks a lot.

I did a image invert in photoshop before uploading that fixed the inside out problem.