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Video killed the Radio Star

Actually ‘Mesh Killed the Prim builder’ but thats a less catchy a title……

Mesh …. bloody mesh…… it’s nice in that it lets you halve or even drop your prim count to a third of what it would be with normal prims. BUT … you have to make 2 or 3 versions of your build for LOD etc. You can’t just build in world and end up with something nice as the guy nextdoor will have meshyfied and got 3 times as many prims on his build and it’ll look way more detailed…. and to rub salt in the wound it’ll rezz faster to ! lol. 

I tried blender yet again, made 3 cubes joined together, exported, and imported to SL, yay, 3 cubes, mesh ones , fab … but only one LOD and what a fuss to get 3 cubes. I then spent some time trying to get my head round blender yet again, it’s just such a pain, not at all intuitive to make anything. In SL you have the grid and prims and you can just make what you imagine, simple and straight forward.

Then I looked into mesh studio ….. okish , I’ve watched people use it in babbage, it seems a lot less grief than blender, at least your building in world. BUT you still need to make several versions of anything….. it’s a whole layer of palaver ontop of normal building it seems. 

The thing with prims is it’s all little parts making the whole, you can pull stuff appart and rejig it countless times after it’s ‘finished’ *cough* and get it just so. With mesh you have to do all that before meshification or you have to redo it for each LOD all over for the sake of one new window. Also you end up with something that still looks like it’s made with prims at the end of it. 

I was all set to try really hard to get to grips with blender so I could make mesh parts to make things from or buy mesh parts like I’ve bought sculpted bits and bobs , but that seems to less ideal. You could still fuss with it like prims now but you’d be sacrificing prim count for convenience. I’ve tried the whole convex hull thing, thats not bad as I halved prim counts in some things I made. But it still feels like doing that would make anything you built second class to a full mesh building. 

All in all it seems like SL is slipping away from the inworld creation system that I liked so much. Not having to jump through hoops to make something, just plonk prims together and have it take shape infront of me. Now I think if I don’t go fully mesh then everything I make would be less good.

There are so many ‘why didn’t they do this or that’ questions I’ve been asking myself, like if modern PC’s can handle all the fancy lighting etc then why not up the prim counts in sims, even if only in private ones. if you kept your build to not too many stupidly tortured prims then you should be able to use more prims then now, kind of like the convex hull thing does.

Like if you use less textures in a plot of land, few scripts, then you get double the prims, and if you use simple prims you might get double again so four times the prim count for being prudent ….. that would make the prim people happier.

I’ve noticed a lot of mesh buildings and objects, even though they have way lower prim counts compared to older stuff, all seem to have higher rez textures applied. Which is the bane of SL as it is, let alone all the UV maps at 1024×1024 that things will be covered in now. It’s like the future SL will be lower prim wise but way higher in high rez textures as you have to use a 1024 one to make a UV map that covers a whole object look decent. I go round places and the mesh objects do rez faster but they can take longer for their textures to rez I’ve noticed, so you see more grey buildings than before.

I’ve just lost my urge to build anything at the moment :( I went and bought a yacht to do something else instead … and ironically it’s a flipping mesh one too !


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  1. Nathaniel Lorefield Nathaniel Lorefield October 2, 2012

    The thing is mesh is more convenient for moving creations like engines because you aren’t limited by the single texture per prim of sculpts, and aren’t limited by having all the moving parts unlinked to have them more detailed. I can get away with having one script in an engine with 10 or more moving parts. Also, it’s not exactly killing prims. Some things are still lower LI in prim building, especially curved objects. As with prim builds, there are good meshes and bad meshes. Besides, the rest of the gaming world has been mostly based in mesh for years. It’s just a matter of climbing the learning curve; Learning new skills is never a bad thing.

    The one thing I have a problem with is that only people with payment info can upload meshes.

  2. Toshiro Tigerauge Toshiro Tigerauge October 2, 2012

    I didnt know the thing about needing payment info to upload. But Id say prims still have their place, for some things like large domes or curved walls or hulls, a linden prim often is a lower LI than a mesh section would be.

    Im not sure what you mean by making different versions of a mesh for different LOD`s, generaly you only need one. As for the editing the build thing, that is a drawback mesh has, though you dont HAVE to make a mesh build in one part with everything included, its fine to make a mesh window frame and use it where needed, rather than 10 windows all as one mesh, then you have a little more editing scope on the build later. I also find a combo of mesh and prims works better for some things than a full mesh build. Its not eradicating the inworld building experience for me personaly, i still stack prims, mesh just makes them go further :)

  3. Osric Worbridge Osric Worbridge October 2, 2012

    There is more than Prim count (Land Impact) to consider. Yes mesh does require some extra steps but it also lowers the physics and server use.  This frees up the servers and reduces lag in SL.

  4. Amber Ilsker Amber Ilsker October 2, 2012

    I just can’t see me wanting to do more than use mesh parts with normal prims, like you do now with sculpted window frames etc. And convex hull the prims to lower the LI too.

    The LOD thing, as far as I can makeout you need to have high , med and low LOD versions and a physics one too. I made a high LOD only mesh object and set my LOD settings in firestorm lower than my normal 4. As you pull your cam back it turns into a origami mess, but doesn’t do it with LOD in the viewer set to 4. So if you have lower settings graphics wise you’d see mesh things as crumpled heaps of angled triangles from a distance if a special low LOD version isn’t included. You don’t have to do several LOD versions, maybe 2 would suffice but it seems best to do that and have a even lower physics version too.

    I’ll have to live in a prim only ghetto in one corner of babbage and huddle up in my sculpty bed from now on !



    • Osric Worbridge Osric Worbridge October 2, 2012

      The LOD on mesh tends to be better than sculpts especially now that sculpts have been given the lowest priority. (Yes my beloved sculpts have been made a red-headed stepchild)

      The number of models depends on what you are building. My building hase one template model for all bit lowest LOD (The lowest I let the uploader generate at lower settings) and a simple physics model. The physics model is just a copy of the template with just the flashy bits and textures removed.

      I drop my viewer from 2.5 to 1.2 to test load. Getting access tot he Beta grid helps to avoid wasting money on upload experiments. It only requieres taking a quick test and payment info.

  5. Toshiro Tigerauge Toshiro Tigerauge October 3, 2012

    All meshes have all 4 of the settings for high. medium, low and lowest. If you are building mostly with boxes and straight lines, a low land impact resolution on mesh studio will create a stable mesh that even people on lowest SL video settings can see at a decent distance. With curves it becomes more costly for LI to do that. Loki did a thread recently explaining how the different mesh resolutions affect peoples viewers at differenbt distances.

    As for using mesh parts like people use sculpt ones with prims, I see nothing wrong with that at all. An entire build doesnt need to be 100% mesh to benefit from having some mesh details, and a flat wall looks the same wether its mesh or a prim, so nobody will notice :D

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