How to correctly upload mesh

Building using prims, sculpties and meshes. Texture creation techniques.
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Mike Lorrey
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Re: How to correctly upload mesh

Post by Mike Lorrey »

Ada Radius wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 3:57 pm
ya and baking is buggy and painting takes time. I haven't tried ezbump - is there a link? I tried a couple of online normal map makers which no longer seem to exist and the Nvidia plugin for PS. I ended up paying for CrazyBump, which is somewhat crashy but saves a lot of time if the normal map should be the same shapes as the diffuse and specular maps.
Mike Lorrey wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 12:39 am

Ok I still haven't figured out baking, I just map things and use diffuse textures applied inworld. If I need bump maps i use ezbump.
I am really not a fan of the painting tools in blender, it takes time and you get color bleeding over into places you don't want it. Now, if I could just make a ton of materials, color each material, and then unite all the mapped materials into one, keeping their color, merged as a bitmap, that would be cool and useful.
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Hypatia Emerson
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Re: How to correctly upload mesh

Post by Hypatia Emerson »

You can Mike using Cycles render instead of Blender Render. You set up your materials in the material tab assigning the mesh to each one. Then for each material you use the Cycles nodes to create the result you are looking for and bake that result. Creating the materials and getting them mapped right on the mesh is a bit of a challenge until you get a library of groups working but then its smooth sailing. Unwrapping is much more of a challenge in the long run. You can even map standard texture images that way to only parts of the mesh. Let me know if you would like some links to videos on youtube.

Edit: Merged as a bitmap? You might have to convert it from png first.

Second Edit: I'm told you can do the same baking in blender render but I have never tried it. (asked a friend)
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Mike Lorrey
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Re: How to correctly upload mesh

Post by Mike Lorrey »

Hypatia Emerson wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 4:47 pm
You can Mike using Cycles render instead of Blender Render. You set up your materials in the material tab assigning the mesh to each one. Then for each material you use the Cycles nodes to create the result you are looking for and bake that result. Creating the materials and getting them mapped right on the mesh is a bit of a challenge until you get a library of groups working but then its smooth sailing. Unwrapping is much more of a challenge in the long run. You can even map standard texture images that way to only parts of the mesh. Let me know if you would like some links to videos on youtube.

Edit: Merged as a bitmap? You might have to convert it from png first.

Second Edit: I'm told you can do the same baking in blender render but I have never tried it. (asked a friend)
Thanks I've avoided Cycles Render because the nodes looks like its a royal pain in the butt to do nodes for each material for each mesh. I map materials just fine, or mostly fine (the cylinder mapping function seems to only work right when your selections axis is vertical, for instance).
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Re: How to correctly upload mesh

Post by Hypatia Emerson »

Yes I hear that a bunch about cycles. I prefer it because you have to set all the same settings for blender render but as far as I can see there is no way to save them for the next use. With Cycles I set it up one time then group the nodes and add it to a file that has all my material groups. When I get ready to create materials (as seldom as I can possibly manage cause I hate it too) I just append that file with the material groups and can then add whatever group I need in just 2 steps instead of fiddling around trying to remember all the settings, what folder I have that texture in or did I use diffuse or glossy last time.
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Re: How to correctly upload mesh

Post by Tess Juel »

Some really good advice here!

But:
Ozwell Wayfarer wrote:
Fri Jan 29, 2016 6:01 pm
Polycount/Tricount is always context sensitive but a rough guide would look something like.
A rock - 20-300 tris
A basic chair - 20-100 tris
A cliff face - 500-2,000 tris
A house - 1,000-9,000 tris
A tree - 750- 8,000 tris
A castle or mansion - 6,000-20,000 tris.

Note the upper thresholds are rather generous.
Rather generous is an understatement. I didn't look closely at all the numbers but for a tree, even 750 tris is very high. I once read post at a Unity forum where they recommended 300-500 tris as a benchmark for trees. I'd say even that is a bit on the high end for openssim and you certainly shouldn't go higher. Unless it's a very special extra quirky feture treee of course - that's a completely different story.
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Re: How to correctly upload mesh

Post by Ozwell Wayfarer »

Sorry for the very late reply.

Yes I deliberately made those ranges quite generous. The upper limits are more intended as a: If your above this, your just flat out wrong. Its also aimed at the casual user just downloading things from around the place. A designer should obviously be able to do much better.

But also I have played around with Unity quite a bit, and I have never seen a decent sized fairly realistic tree come in under 500 tris. Ever. Unless your talking about JUST the trunk.

Most of the in-program tree generators you can either purchase or get for free spit things out at about the 750-2000 range for a basic no-frills tree. Some go much higher.

So I'd have to read the thread but I think below 500 is pretty optimistic unless your doing the whole low poly/cartoon style thing. In which case, yes you should easily be staying under 50-200 tris per model, trunk and foliage.

Also, it really, really depends what you are doing. If your making a 16 region mega-world, even 200 tris per tree is probably too much.

If your focusing in on just one region, you can opt for a much higher detail level.

This is why its very hard for designers to provide items that will work in every circumstance.

I think I mentioned in another thread that i would never go bigger than a 3x3 world (9 regions). And even that is kind of pushing it IMHO.

Because the larger you go, the more you have to spread your resources out. 16 regions is just not viable unless your using it as a sailing sim or a racetrack or some such that requires a lot of space but quite sparse detail.

Unfortunately people tend to not go for the cartoonish look in SL and OS. They want realism, which usually comes with a higher polycount.

There is a reason a lot of mobile MMOs and games choose that cutsie cartoon style. Its not just all about the visual. Its about the resource usage too. But for some reason that never caught on in our SL-based spaces.
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Re: How to correctly upload mesh

Post by Tess Juel »

Ozwell Wayfarer wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 6:10 am
So I'd have to read the thread but I think below 500 is pretty optimistic unless your doing the whole low poly/cartoon style thing.
329 tris (If pictures from Google Photos work here)

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

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Ozwell Wayfarer wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 6:10 am
Also, it really, really depends what you are doing. If your making a 16 region mega-world, even 200 tris per tree is probably too much.
Yes, I'm with you there. If you want a lot of trees, you don't want a lot of tris (sorry about the pun) for each. Something like this 99 tris tree perhaps:
Image

or even as simple as this one with only 52 tris:
Image

An even better solution for forests and larger groups is to use groups with several trees in a single mesh.

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Ozwell Wayfarer wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 6:10 am
Most of the in-program tree generators you can either purchase or get for free spit things out at about the 750-2000 range for a basic no-frills tree. Some go much higher.
That's a big part of the problem. It's so easy to simply download Tree[d] or something like that, click a button and get instant moderately complex trees. Both the hypergrid and SL are full of those trees these days because it's such a quick way to make trees. But it's a quick and dirty way and if you want more than a handful of them, it's murder for performance. especially on a grid like Kitely where the region often has to be loaded on the server before you can even enter it. I wrote a post about it on my blog, comparing a 1082 tri Tree[d] tree and one of my own (245 tris) trees side by side. You can read it here: https://opqmesh.blogspot.com/2020/03/wh ... eshes.html
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Re: How to correctly upload mesh

Post by Michael Timeless »

I know this will not be much help but here is another thought.

During my time in SL I worked with quite a few people with handicaps who "walked" around their sims. In those sims they had the ability to view most of the sim depending on their graphic cards. What immediately stood out were the lower res/low poly trees and items, which looked like wooden poles jarring against the high poly trees. To use an extreme example wom or the Heart mega tress high prim would be "viewable" from a distance.

When you move to Opensim with its larger sims the problem becomes even more noticeable. In OS you not only have stick figures poking out of wood glades but terrain that fails depending on slope/angle. I've purchased quite a few "trees" that fall into this category and stopped using them altogether for those reasons.

So, one thing to keep in mind. While you will get better performance with the smaller counts, for some people coming in from SL and using larger sims for the first time it causes them to lose interest. So, for what it's worth, make sure that people who don't understand mesh, or LOD or server performance are aware they are going to be disappointed.

I built a very high lag 25x25 sim. The scenery was its most important feature. It used only 50 unique tree combinations and terrain to limit viewer interaction. The user was able to log into a very low item area and with flying disabled worked well but again, it was a unique project with few solid (non-phantom items) and even fewer scripts or particles.

While it may be obvious knowing your audience is always important.
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Re: How to correctly upload mesh

Post by Tess Juel »

Michael Timeless wrote:
Sat Aug 22, 2020 10:13 pm
When you move to Opensim with its larger sims the problem becomes even more noticeable.
That's very true although it's a serious problem in SL too of course.
Michael Timeless wrote:
Sat Aug 22, 2020 10:13 pm
What immediately stood out were the lower res/low poly trees and items, which looked like wooden poles jarring against the high poly trees. To use an extreme example wom or the Heart mega tress high prim would be "viewable" from a distance.
Oh, I hope my pictures didn't give the impression those trees are typical "low poly" ones. Visually the 329 tri tree is about the same as the Tree[d] trees that people lvoe to alg down their sims with these days - or something like the trees at the Kitely Welcome Center if you like. The 99 and 52 tri trees are simpler of course but still very much "proper" mesh trees. The difference is that they are optimised mesh with most of the dead weight eliminated. You probably have to take my word for it though. I don't have a region on Kitely myself and nobody buys from an unknown merchant of course so the only way you can actually get to see them in-world is if you happen to stumble across me at the mechant sandbox.

You shouldn't undrestimate regular low poly plants btw, they still have their place and if they are used intelligently they can blend well with more elaborate vegetation. Even the simplest four tri plant shape can be very effective and you find them even in high budget games and simulation witht he most elaborate graphics.

---

I think I'm going to show some more picture. I mentioned groups with multiple trees made from a single mesh in my previous post but didn't give any examples. Here is one - just some quick pictures taken at my SL workshop so the bakground is a bit dodgy. This is a group of 64 poplars covering a 64x64 m area. In Second Life the group has a land impact of 21 and the LoD is perfect - even with RenderVolumeLODFactor at 1.0 you'll never see any distortion regardless of view distance and they are visible right up to you chosen draw distance.
More relevant for Kitely, the trianlge count is 1212, that is on average 19 tris per tree.
The trees are as detailed as they need to be for a fairly dense forest where they don't have space to spread out very wide.
Image
Image
Image
Image
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I'd like to say I don't want to brag ut my mother told me not to lie so I won't. ;)

There's more to it than that though. This is the kind of meshthat should make up the bulk of SL and opensim content. Not all of the mesh, everybody should be allowed to enjoy building for opensim and this level of optimisation is of course beyond the skills of most happy hobbyists. But there are plenty content creators who have the necessary skills but they've been told it's not possible so they never tried. Even worse, I know content creators who know perfectly well that it's possible and how to do it but they don't because it doesn't sell. The myth that lower triangle and pixel counts mean lower visual quality is too ingrained in the virtual population at large and it's very, very difficult to fight that misconception.
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Re: How to correctly upload mesh

Post by Michael Timeless »

I would like to offer a suggestion.

If you would like to demonstrate this on a large 4x4 in Kitely I would be more than willing to give you a sim for two weeks 4x4 to demonstrate your work to potential clients. In your going to sell these in the Kitely Marketplace I would even make the same offer in a much larger 6x6 sim in Discovery Grid.
In kitely I can give you either a flat greed 4x4 or one I already have terrain features that I use for my Fallingwater sim with all the prims and scripts removed to really showcase your work.

In either case let me know when/if you'd like to do this and I will prep the sims for your use. Perhaps take the time to advertise when you want to hold the event and I will have it ready a few days before the event.

Consider it free advertising. I've been in ten or fifteen different grids over the last eighteen years. Having no mesh or sales skills myself (although I'm trying in my free time to learn blender) I do everything I can to promote content creators with real skills.

As a safety precaution, if you agree, I'm sure we can talk to Ilan about securing the sim during your "show" so no backups or other foolishness takes place and your work is protected.

I'm not always in kitely so feel free to hit me on my email account timeless.owltiger@gmail.com I check it several times a day most days.

One last thought. You might want to contact some of the people here if you decide to do it. We have several people online who have blogs and write for assorted virtual magazines. Perhaps we could even have an "artist showcase" for scenery creators.

Michael Timeless.
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