Fixing floating above floors

floatfloors1

I feel the ‘physics’ of the floor of this thing is a little off…

This happens a LOT with mesh buildings. To fix it I MAKE SURE my ‘hover height’ is 0′ and I have no ‘shoe adjust’ worn, then edit the linked parts, make the floor physics ‘none’ and then put a transparent prim under it low enough that my feet are at the ground. Often the floor IS the root prim – and root prims CANNOT be physics ‘none’, so I link my new hidden ‘underfloor’ and make it the root.

A few building brands actually do this floor fix included in the product – when you edit them you’ll often find a hidden prim under the floors. First time I saw that I thought it was sloppy work, until I learned why.

floatfloors2
For this screenshot I made the hidden floor a little bigger just to show where I’ve put it – now my feet are at the right spot, I can make this hidden floor less wide to fit inside and then transparent it.

floatfloors3
Best way to make a transparent prim is to use ‘default transparent texture’, set alpha mode to ‘masking’, and cutoff to 1. – that’s low lag and no alpha glitch (where you see far things in front of close things)..

Gonna be a little more complex on the second floor – I have to make a cut for the stairs there. So 3 linked ‘convex hull’ prims will be used.
floatfloors4

And do make sure to do all of this with a copy:
useacopy_001

I also made the new one smaller. Scale: 0.77017670939811 – which is easy to do with a free linkset resizer script. Just remember that if you add new prims to the link AFTER using the resize script, then it will go crazy if you size it again without ‘resetting’ the script. The large one in the background has a land impact of 71. The smaller one in the foreground has a land impact of 44 – and that is AFTER I added in my hidden floor prims.

And once you’re happy with what you’ve got, it is time to put it to use. The grounds of my home in Second Life:
slhomeatgroundoct2016

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Second Life 2.0 – my initial hopes for doing the new ‘base avatar(s)’

(this post is a tad stream of thought as it was not an intended blog, but just hit me as something I wanted to get out there, pretty much as I have been typing it in…)

Over on Hamlet’s blog, in my comments to a new article, I outlined my thoughts on how I feel they should do the avatar for Second Life 2.0.

I like -some- of what I said there, but I don’t so much like my first comment there (I got a bit dumb / juvenile when one of my triggers was pulled by the article claiming the SL avatar is actually not bad… Thus I’m not going to link back this time…)

So here are my thoughts (and somebody remind me to come back and add images from some of the things I mention here):


The SL 1.0 avatar is bad, and was bad even when it was made.

I can pull out Possette from Poser 4 in the late 1990s and show you all the ways, in detail, that the SL avatar has been bad from day one.

And I can take Possette into a 3D modeling application and scale her polygon count down to whatever SL’s is – and she will STILL be worlds better.

And Possette is considered a BAD 3D model…

SL’s avatar has anatomy problems from head to toe. Poor rigging. and absurdly bad morphing range choices (the fact that a female avatar’s arms are too short unless the dial is set to 100, and that is still too short if she is over 5’6″ tall… this is just WRONG).

Time is no excuse.

Primitive technology is no excuse.

There simply was no excuse.

The lessons to learn from it are simple: Look at that. Now do something very different.

Here is my idea of different:

The mistakes in the SL-1.0 avatar can be avoided by hiring actual 3D-modeling professionals who have specific game-design experience. People who will know how to rig for real-time animation, how to model for it, and how to model morph points for the needed levels of variety.

The mistakes can be further avoided by making 3 completely different meshes: male, female, child.

– This also lets you put in ways to force the child one into ‘G-rated’ skins, and prevent the adult ones from being ‘morphed’ into too-childish of appearances.

You might then need some ‘swap points’ – specific cut points in the mesh where limbs can be removed and replaced with other 3D models, including the head, and in the adult models the ‘pubic region’.
– so that your community can easily customize the avatar later on.

In the adult female, also the bosom as a swap-part. The shape of this can vary a lot from woman to woman, and recent products in the SL Marketplace show that there is high demand for that reality to be met in our avatars. By having it as a swap out spot, “where to connect” becomes a lot easier for future content developers to determine when making their product.

(I should be able to go into appearance, and use a pull down menu or something to simply select what head to show, what kind of left upper limb to show, etc… from among those I have made or bought then linked to that point).

– this kind of customization was seen in MMOs from 2004 on (think of City of Heroes as an ideal example – some of which can be seen in the modern replacement MMO Champions).

From the get-go, every model should have the ability to bake at least 3 kinds of textures onto it: a skin, a shadow map/tattoo layer, and an alpha-mask.
– Even for rezzed objects. There is no reason alpha maps should be limited to the base “nude” avatar, and the “tattoo layer” is more or less akin to a “shadow layer” on a rezzed object so those should be treated as such in a uniform sort of way.

There is no need to ever add support for texture based clothing in today’s modern 3D – just start out doing “mesh worn clothing” right from day one… Using a comform to shape system akin to some of what is now seen in Daz3D’s auto-fit system… but more locked in because you’re only dealing with 3 meshes…

Next up…

A system to swap out the ENTIRE mesh, and its rigging, for a custom one… so that users can later add in animals and whatever… But with some tight limits.

(alternatively, you start with a 4th mesh, that is just balls connected by sticks, in a quadruped form, and then have a rigging for that – thus helping boost consistency for animators.)

Proportions:
This is so vital…

Unless you are going for a specific aesthetic, a cartoon look – you MUST have correct proportions as the default.

That means you model these 3 meshes for real human proportions of an adult male, female, and a child of the ‘default chosen age’ (which my GUESS would put at 8 based on what I observe in SL as the norm among child avatars that are dedicated to being such).

– Your middle of the dial, unmorphed avatar, MUST be proportionate.
As in, the ’50’ setting of every shape dial is proportionate, and as tall as the global average, or the average in your ‘nation of choice’ (and here you pick something reasonable like the USA, and not like my Amazonian Jungle cousins).

– You then do 3 ‘special head morphs’ to start… Caucasian, African, Asian. Yeah I know that doesn’t even cover my own ethnicity… I think those 3 suffice however as, in art, other ethnicities are usually doable as blends from them.

This is something seen in a number of Daz3D / Poser figures. A couple of full head morphs that if dialed to ‘fully applied’ give a generic look from a given ethnicity. You do these as morphs and not head swaps, because its much more interesting to apply them partially in a mix.

Mesh clothes don’t care if you’re tall or short, thick or thin. They care about stretch of bust-waist-hips

Sept 18, 2015 Edit: Obviously fitmesh bodies are the clothing made for them are an exception to this. As to regular fitmesh on the default avatar – for some reason I have as yet been unable to find any that actually fits…


I keep seeing this over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, again… πŸ™‚

Something like this:

The […] standard sizes are ridiculous. Oddly, they seem to have decided that [large are fat][small are skinny][etc]. I wonder if those who created the β€œstandards” ever [assorted complaints]

This is because the person concerned is reading a word the way say, men use it when they shop in the real world.

Mesh clothing works a little more like a lot of T-Shirts do, and a lot of women’s cloths. Where a size small means you’re skinny, and a size large means you really don’t need to stop at Burger King on the way home tonight.

Think of it like this, using the standard sizes:

XXS: Michael Jackson would have done a concert to feed you.
XS: You look thin
S: You’re fit.
M: You shop in the plus size section.
L: You have reserved seating at the local Fried Chicken joint.

And just bump those one position for men, since male STandard sizes go from XS to XL. Male XL is basically female L.

You could still be taller than Abe Lincoln, or Shorter than Mini-Me. It just don’t matter.

Look at the standard sizes program, notice how it only seems to care about a few certain dails:

Women:
Body Fat
Torso Muscle
Breast Size
Love Handles
Belly Size
Leg Muscle
Butt Size
Saddle Bags

Men:
Body Fat
Belly Size
Torso Muscle
Love Handles
Leg Muscle
Butt Size
Saddle Bags
Package
Pectorals

Notice what’s not in there?

Height. Having T-Rex arms or legs. Your neck. Your head. Your ‘thickness’ dial.

Why? Cause mesh doesn’t care. These are scale dials, or for the head – would not be important unless you wanted to buy a mesh ski-mask to go rob the local stop-n-rob in Bay City (hey I own that shop…)

There are only two dials that matter for mesh that are -NOT- in the lists above; Breast Buoyancy and Cleavage. If you don’t know why – you’ve never touched real boobies… πŸ™‚

So if you’re tall and thin, and you looked at Standard Sizes and thought “this is broken”… go try the XXS or XS size. That’s probably you.

Mesh fits a -LOT- more people than some think. Many who feel it doesn’t fit them are in fact within the zone of commonly used settings.

The deformer won’t help these folks. If they grab a ‘large’ mesh and deform it to their tall but thin avatar – it will be a mess of nasty triangles poking out. They need a small mesh, because they’re thin.

Some folks waiting for the deformer, will be in an EVEN WORSE MESS once it gets here, because they “never read the manual.” These folks just need to learn what mesh does effect, and then they can find existing items that are close. And the deformer will just take that close and get closer. It won’t turn a circle into a square folks – it will take a square and bevel it.

Standard Sizing Package For mesh Clothing Design; Good or Bad Idea, or a Bit of Both?

Still need to do some edits to this… There’s a lot of argument (hardly debate, more rantish most of the time) against the ideas of standard scales and proportions for avatars. Folks often pick a horridly distorted shape, or make one for sale; and then become attached to defending that choice when made aware of its problems. Others choose a ‘fun-house mirror look’ on purpose, for effect – but these folks tend to actually know what they’re looking at, and have purposeful distortions designed for a specific intent.

Various arguments have formed over what can be done, or even if anything should be done, to address this.

Mesh now complicates the whole feud – due to the lack of its ability to ‘auto fit’ some shape dials, while perfectly matching others… Or in short; mesh will auto size itself to any height, limb length, or body width. But if your ‘bust-waist-hips’ fail to match the model used to make the mesh clothing, you’re out of luck.

Go shopping for mesh clothes and you’ll discover that this is rapidly dissolving into exactly the chaos people predicted when they warned of the problems of Linden Lab not including a deformer… There’s a motley variety of dimensions to clothes on the market, and the labels are near meaningless. Small from brand A is ‘the fat lady sings’ in the eyes of brand B… And even if two brands match for waist and hips, they might have very different ideas of bust…

I’ve read a little bit on the idea of starting a standard, and have been somewhat critical of it in past topics. Still not convinced, for some reasons noted below. But it also may be the only real solution we have unless and until Linden Lab decides to grace us with the “gift” of including the code community members had to fund a third party contractor former Lab employee to make without any guarantees it would even be adopted… That deformer… the sort of thing that really should have been a ‘cannot ship mesh without’ line in the sand element. This is the kind of lack of core feature that in most development communities, management should have laid down the law and put people’s jobs on the line to get in there before Mesh was released.

I’m ranting…

Ok, so, the above in mind, I stumbled across something interesting last night while looking for a completely different thing on Marketplace (I was looking for an SL version of a Bobo Shanti turban hat for a female Rastafarian – which is NOT those touristy hippie tam things – and that somehow landed me here after giving up on search and just hitting a few random browse buttons.)

Someone on marketplace is attempting to develop a standard sizes fashion system. 5 sizes based on these dimensions:

Medium:
Body Fat: 11
Torso Muscle: 38
Breast Size: 58
Love Handles: 31
Belly Size: 6
Leg Muscle: 56
Butt Size: 44
Saddle Bags: 36

Small:
Body Fat: 7
Torso Muscle: 35
Breast Size: 52
Love Handles: 28
Belly Size: 3
Leg Muscle: 50
Butt Size: 38
Saddle Bags: 33

The ‘package’ is a freebie with 5 shapes, that I assume have those numbers alongside the other values – the notion being that you just need to stay close to the dimensions here and any mesh clothes made for it will fit you.

It also comes with a long notecard explaining the objectives of the project, which seems a very noble goal. Some anticipated concerns are answered, such as ‘what if my shape doesn’t match these numbers’.

Finally, it has a download link to a zip file of some mesh objects – bodies to load into a 3D application to use for building clothes to match.
– I need to learn how one takes the SL avatar mesh out of SL and into a 3D app, to see how this part was done.

– The problem is they have 3 sizes under M, and only 1 above it; which is way above it. Some of the reviews on Marketplace have slammed the project for this. I would say it needs at least 1 more size in between M and L.

Note how the dimensions are basically bust-waist-hips related. Not height. Also not ‘Thickness’. That’s because mesh doesn’t care about height or limb length or avatar thickness; it rescales to those automatically, but not to these other things.

But it is missing cleavage which is extremely important. That said, its something that in RL adjusts depending on what you wear anyway, so no one has any business complaining a clothing item fails to match their cleavage setting, unless they’ve never seen a real woman’s body. πŸ˜‰
– Honestly no ‘breast’ setting should seen as something to get attached to. Its the nature of wearing or not wearing clothes that it ‘mashes up’ the soft tissue there. Folks just need to get used to changing the dials for that part of the body to fit their outfit, because anytime you put something on in RL, that’s exactly what happens to you.

The standard sizes ‘team’ claims to have surveyed 500 female avatars, but I see no link to a blog or to the survey for it to be checked for accuracy. While 500 is a valid sample size (anyone who has actually studied polling at a university level knows this) – the question that is more important is how were they selected… Again, never saw any forum post or group notice or blogs announcing it. But maybe I just missed them. So the product should link to them.

Curiously M and S are very similar to my own dimensions for those parts.

Me:

Body Fat: 3
Torso Muscle: 37
Breast SIze: 50
Love Handles: 29
Belly Size: 0
Leg Muscles: 50
Butt Size: 45
Saddle Bags: 30
– So I’m going to test some items made with this system and see how well it works for me.

I’m also wondering now if my avatar has a bit of a ‘bubble butt’ on other people’s screens… πŸ™‚

Almost every shape setting not listed above (again except for cleavage) DOES NOT MATTER for mesh. This means two people can be the same “size” on this system but actually have completely different ‘shapes’.

I’m also of the opinion that for standard sizes they should have used dimensions from the real life fashion industry for some top brands, and not SL. Second Life avatars are notorious for being deformed monstrosities… πŸ™‚ Something to help people look better would be good.

Something like perhaps, a Proportion guide, if not fashions with sizes based on the variety real life fashion designers contend with.

Addendum from a comment I left on the nwn blog:
SL of a year from now will likely be something very alien to the SL of today. Mesh frees up a lot of past limits.

Right now folks are paying most of their attention to clothes and avatars, because that’s “sexy”.

Things like tears, ‘male bits’, hair, feet, tails, ears, and so on will bring dramatic changes even for ‘non-furries’.

But the big shock is going to come when things that you rez on the land get a serious looking at – since those need to consider prim cost, and the prim cost of a mesh is set by its -SIZE- when rezzed.

The smaller you make it, the less prims it uses.

And that will cycle us right back into discussions about things for avatars: since mesh items worn on avatars -AUTO- scale up or down regardless of avatar scale – the need to be the size the item was made for now no longer exists (you just need to have the bust-waist-hips it was made for).

– And that too will go away if we either adopt some standards like this project, or Qarl’s code makes it in. Hopefully Qarl’s code will make it in.

But do get ready to make your avatar smaller… because pretty soon that’s going to be coming up as a hot topic again when this discovery of how size affects prim cost becomes more widespread. I predict lots of flame wars, a few accusations of ‘techno-communist-child-avatar-agendas’ and other irrational insanity… but once people realize they can wear all their mesh clothes on any size, many will likely just go with the size that lets them have the most prims on their land – not for the reasons of scale so often advocated in past, but simply so they can more fully fill up things like the space of a linden home.

Mesh scaling to reduce prim cost – smaller scale in SL really is better now

Today’s blog gets right to the core of all the debates about scale in Second Life.

The ‘Resource Cost’ of mesh items appears to be directly connected to their -size- and not just complexity. The smaller the item you rez, the less it will cost.

This is something I’ve been noticing the more Mesh objects I get on my land.

From houses to furniture to plants to… whatever… the trend seems the same. I’m going to illustrate it with a dramatic example.

The LAQ Decor 100% Mesh Cottage:

I took this house and scaled it down to work for a ‘to scale avatar’ – making the doorway entrance 2.2 meters in clearance (the prim says 2.3, but it clears 2.2). Fitting a 7’2″ person.

Standard door size in the USA is 36″ x 80″, or 2.03m tall, so this new ‘smaller scale’ is still big. At 7’2″, it is basketball player breezing through in comfort.

Originally the house was 76 prims:

And that doorway was a good 3 meters. Fit for a giant at 9’10”. Just to give you an idea, that is -TALLER- than the Na’vi in the movie Avatar.

Scaling it down reduced the cost to 45 prims:

That’s a savings of 31 prims. NOT a trivial amount. One tiny corner of the floor went phantom, so I had to add one prim more in by putting in a floor. But convex hull linking that floor prim to another prim on my land got its cost right back (In fact 4 prims linked in a convex hall for some walls and platforms, came to 2 at convex hull).

This makes a POWERFUL argument in favor of scaling down builds in second life, and by extension, scaling avatars down to a ‘to-scale’ size, to take advantage of these smaller builds.

Those 31 saved prims can fit a lot of furniture. I could fit my entire mesh living room into that budget 3 times.

Especially when the mesh recliner chair given out by LAQ Decor -also- reduced in prim cost when I scaled it down to a human-sized avatar.

In scaling this house there were two problems. Two prims had a face at a size of 0.01 – the smallest allowed in Second Life. I had to find them (individually selecting every prim until I knew which ones were this size), and then make that one face larger (I chose 0.1 arbitrarily), and then rescale. They were transparent prims so them getting distorted was not an issue. Normally when I do this after rescaling I go back to those prims and make that one side 0.01 again.

Here they are:


(I need to rescale these images, they’re kind of big…)

This scaling down of course will only work on mod items. So make sure to avoid no-mod mesh if you want to be able to manage your prim cost.

Really you should never buy no-mod items anyway. Especially for things rezzed on your land that you will likely want to edit and adjust over time as you gain experience in Second Life, and a sense of personal virtual style.

The LAQ Decor house had to be mod, it was in a rez-box. If you pay attention to my screenshots above you’ll see I was selecting 4 objects. The house is not all liked up. This is common for houses – a smart buyer can ensure a mod-able build by buying things sold in a rezzing system like this.

To resize it I selected all of the prims and just chose the stretch option, then stretched it down with my avatar standing in the doorway until it felt like the relationship between the two resembled me and my RL doorway. Then I walked inside and stood next to the windows. BUT my avatar is 5’4″ or 5’6″ – not 8-feet like some you’ll see in SL. It helps to scale down your avatar first, so you can then eyeball everything else for your chosen dimensions.

Low Prim Mesh Furniture is here

3 prim mesh couch
See this couch. Its 3 prims. The tables behind it and in front of the camera are 1 prim each. The lamp there is sculpty, and 2 prims. The set comes with a chair also, for another 3 prims. All copy and modify.
Low prim mesh living room.

This is the kind of prim count we’re used to from sculpty furniture. But on the level of detail we’re used to from prim furniture.

But it gets better. This bench is 3 prim:
Low prim mesh bench
– Its just amazing to look at. Something like this on prims would be pretty costly. Vaguely possible on sculpty, but in mesh its just a clean package.

And take a look at this 3 prim shelf:
3 prim mesh shelf.
Which since it is modify, I think I’ll need to scale down.

These items are from Organica, and there’s a lot more where they came from. The shop is mostly known for its plants and floating sculpty sky islands. But it looks like they’ve been busy branching out into a few more areas.

This is mesh done right – efficient modeling which results in very low prim costs once brought into Second Life, but with a very appealing look. The items are also well scripted with some engaging sit animations.

Check it out, and if you make furniture, get up to speed; because this stuff is coming. πŸ™‚

Oh and my avatar up there, she’s wearing this:

SFW Mesh skirt and blouse.
dDx Jocasta hair.
Slightly modified the hair to cover human ears so it would work with a neko.
Neko parts are taken from the Dark Spot Designs Ocelot and the [AX] Neko Cat.
Bought new eyes for the first time since 2009 – By Snow Hybrid Eyes in violet.

Breaking news: For February only, Daz Studio Pro, Bryze 7, and Hexagon 2.5 free from daz3d for February – giving SL mesh creators a powerful suite of apps to work with.

Breaking news: For February only, Daz Studio Pro, Bryze 7, and Hexagon 2.5 free from daz3d – giving SL mesh creators a powerful suite of apps to work with.

The ‘scoop’ for this one was broken over at the My Black Rose blog, which I learned of from Living in the Modem World (does anybody still have a modem? πŸ™‚ ).

Daz3d Studio is a tool for taking prefab models from Poser or Daz or Renderosity, and such, and making beautiful art from it. Long before I knew of SL I was a digital artist via Poser, and Daz. In fact I learned about SL from the Poser 7 launch party in 2006.

Daz considers it IP theft to use -any- of its models, no matter how modified, in SL. Period. End of your sued off butt’s discussion. πŸ™‚

So why is this at all news for Second Lifers?

Hexagon.

Mesh.

Hexagon is a full blown 3d modelling application that is usually very low priced. Its something Daz bought years ago from a small company that was folding, and then kinda sat on not knowing what to do with. It went from the ‘promising darling of the 3D hobbyist world’ to forgotten almost overnight. But in the process Daz put it out on the cheap and I scooped up a copy.

Now its free. For February.

Get your butt over there and get it, before that changes.

Hexagon at one point tried to become -the- sculpty making tool for Second Life. During all the Second Life hype, it added tools specifically for modeling Sculpties. They’re a little confusing, but they are there. So there’s one benefit right there – a sculpty modeller that is made to ensure your result will be within sculpty limits.

But it doesn’t export to collada. So, with Mesh on the rise… and so many ways to make sculpties… who cares?

Well that’s where Daz Studio re-enters the picture. Daz Studio can import .obj, which Hexagon does export, and save it to collada.

Why care when blender is out there?

Hexagon is just more polished, with a professional UI. Not something put together by and for tech geeks with obscure menus that are only understandable by people who speak binary as their native language… Hexagon was one being considered for mass market, so its UI can be used by actual humans (and nekos).

Furthermore, Blender is dropping official support for Collada. Soon to be left to ‘3rd party addon makers to patch back in’ – meaning an unknown horizon.

So here it is, a free and easy to user alternative. If you get it within the month of February.

Oh, and there’s Bryce too. Its one of those apps with a ‘click here and get art’ button. Not bad, in fact its a GREAT application. Get it, but you won’t be using it for Second Life. Unless you use it to make posters to sell to SL people to decorate their homes. πŸ˜€

Just consider it an added bonus for now. Once you’ve got some free time, you’ll see why this is an amazing deal for you, even if you never master using this stuff for Second Life.

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