Fixing floating above floors


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.

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.

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.

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

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:

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.

Meshify your world from inside of Second Life – to save on prim cost of houses and other objects

EDIT: Someone’s contacted me saying doing this made their house phantom. If this happens to you and you’ve figured out the details of how / why / what parts – how to control that… let me know so I can add some notes. Going to try and cause it if I can and figure out details. Its a tricky process, results can vary – and takes a lot of fiddling to get to the goal.

A short blog today on a new ‘open secret’ some of us have found since mesh hit the grid.

The idea seems to have been publicly outed by Ciaran Laval.

A lot of mesh content is now getting out there in SL. Not everyone can view it yet – the new viewers have some bugs that are still keeping some folks out, sadly enough. Some of those bugs are mesh, but some are just other bugs… Hopefully that’ll clean out soon and we’ll all be able to see this stuff because some of its plain amazing.

Making mesh though, is another big hurdle. People will tell you to go download Blender and just ‘learn-2-model-noob’. Well that’s not so easy. Nor is spending 10-grand on Maya much of an alternative.

Learning Blender isn’t impossible though… but if you’re like me and not yet there, its not the end of your ability to take advantage of Mesh creation.

In fact, the little secret, Convex Hull – works by turning your prims into ‘mesh prims’. Now the truth is that everything in SL already -IS- a mesh of some kind. Its all polygons and giant files full of weird variables (open up a .obj file someday, they’re text-readable, and pretty scary to try and human eye read. Long ago I had to edit one to find a problem in an art project).

Convex hull means your prim is counted using the new Mesh Cost equations rather than as a 1-for-1 prim, the old “grandfathered in” way.
Two Prims as Prims
Under the features tab there’s a pulldown to change a prim to a convex hull. That turns any prim into a ‘mesh prim’ (there’s a third option called “none” that I have not tried).
Two Prims as Convex Hull

– You can use this to make your own homes into Mesh homes. This is worth considering because if you learn the ‘energy flows’ of ideal prims, you can cut the ‘resource cost’ of a build by as much as half – taking say, a 60 prim building down to 30 or so.

To do this, unlink all the prims, and then experiment with different linksets – convert two linked prims to convex hull, see their cost, add another, see the new costs, and so on. Removing any prim that takes the cost up by than 1. Many will add zero to the cost, others will add 1 on their own or round you up to the next prim cost.

Two basic rules: You CAN do this with sculpties and prims that have scripts in them. But doing so can take a single prim and make SL think its over 100 prims… That’s one of those ‘do not try this at home’ things. Try it in a quiet mostly unused sandbox for the lolz. 😉

– Because if you blow past the prim limit, your item gets returned on you, and you might have trouble rezzing it again if your limit won’t let you…

As for the ‘art’ of finding the ideal linksets that save prim cost; I call it the ‘energy flow’ because if you look at which linksets work best together and which end up expensive, it looks a lot like Feng Sui energy patterns…
– if the lines flow in similar ways, they’ll save you prim cost. If they move about disruptively, meshing them can cost dozens of added cost.

Looking at some ‘mesh houses’ on the market, it looks like they are actually prim houses with this done to them, whereas others look like imports from a 3D application.

Its a good trick to try. Here is the top portion of my house in Ironchurch:

And the same piece, as prims:

But note that the two prims linked above in the first screenshot, when used as a floor in my home had different results:

Curiously I toggled the color of these two to red and white a few times, and that made their prim cost drop to 1. It stayed 1 after I changed the color back to white. I have no idea… I thought it might be because one of them used to have a script in it…

But I applied that script to the two prims in my sky platform, seen in the first screenshots, and that only toggled them between 1 prim without it and 2 with it (treated the scripted ones as if still prims).

In a further complication, see the stairs next to those 2 prims? Well in walking up them a few hours after making this blog post I discovered something else – the bounding box of a cut convex hull is not the same as what is visible. Apparently some of that hollow area was ‘solid’ – I was not sure if I had a mesh problem or a ghosted prim, but by toggling them back to prim, I was able to finish walking up the stairs.
– So test your converted builds to make sure they still work as intended.

So my description for this is getting more and more “its all Feng Shui.”

It very much seems that, as I told a friend; “it you move it so the north wind blows at you, that’s bad. But if you align your corners with the south wind, armies will advance in your favor and the sky monkeys will grant you prims… O.o”

Experiment, until you manage to get your prim costs down.

Also keep mindful of calculation delays and errors. If a value seems off, select something else and then reselect the item. Often values will “correct” after doing this. I’ve seen them jump up double when converted, only to drop down a few moments later. That works both ways. In making my screenshots, I ended up with one showing the 34 prims I had selected, set as prims, with a value of 25. Reselecting them changed it to 34. I know the 34 is correct because I originally grouped them up selecting one prim at a time. In Convex Hull Mesh, they cost 17.

As one more major bonus, non-mesh viewers can still see convex hull prims. I went to my house here using v1.2.3 on my old PC, and everything looked normal.

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