– Wrong meanings and confusion –
April 11, 2012 Leave a comment
Okay, so the first thing im gonna blog about, will be how Second Life redefines the meanings of terms. It is one of those things in SL that kinda bothers me, the weird, awkward and often misleading, misuse of words with a different meaning. It’s often due to a lack of any proper explanations of what it is by LL itself, resulting in people making up the meaning to the word themselves and it sticking, turning into a whole culture thing.
Here’s one of the words that bothered me from the very start, “sculpties”. Sculpted prims or sculpts or sculpties on sl are probably called that way cuz, you make a shape out of a ball primitive in a 3D program, your shape has a thing called UV map that your program uses to generate a 64×64 color image, called the sculpt map. you upload your sculpt map to SL and it uses the shape information of the sculpt map to transform the same kind of sphere prim into the same shape, that you made out of your sphere primitive in your 3D program, therefore its kind of like sculpting a shape out of a chunk of rock in its own sence. if you wish to know more about how this stuff works, im gonna write an article about the basics of 3D explaining all this stuff.
Now, the wast majority of people, including more than half of the SL’s content creators themselves, do not know any of this, and imagine the wildest things of what a sculpt could be. In addition, people with no prior 3D experience that decided they want to start creating content for sl, get easily mislead by the word “sculpt” and start off a completely wrong path. People downloading programs like “Sculptris” thinking its ment for making SL stuff, in some extreme cases even wasting huge amounts of money to buy commercial sculpting software. Not realizing that its has nothing to do with second life or sculpted prims and they wont be able to create content for SL using those programs. In the 3DCG world, there are special programs and plugins for sculpting, and sculpting is one of the many ways to give an object a shape. Sculpting literally means carving a shape out out of a ball or some other primitive, with different sculpting tools yourself and not making a shape and than making a map of that shape and than uploading it to SL and using that map to deform another shape.
So how does this happen?
Here’s a very good example, LL announces mesh and how excited they are about this exciting new feature, but do they bother explaining what exactly this new feature is? no cuz they assume people that are creating content, already knows what mesh is and the average consumer doesn’t need to know all this technical stuff right?
Everyone needs to know this, people are not cattle! But since they weren’t explained, they do not understand what they are buying and often get scammed or just disappointing in their purchase. While content creators get flooded with the most idiotic IMs from brainless consumers, having the most mind boggling problems and questions. Asking why this or that linden clothing layer isn’t working with the new mesh body that they just bought. By having this “the avarage consumer doesn’t need to know this” thing going on, Linden Lab is unintentionally dumbing down the masses, you get people thinking that meshes are some fancy type of sculpts or that meshes will lag everything and they will be forced to buy new computers or stop playing SL.
In fact, every confusing announcement LL made in their blog, caused a massive shitstorm in the comments section, and not a single Linden bothered reading or replying to any of those comments. Instead, LL just removed commenting all together.
What is mesh? A mesh is not some special sculpt, mesh is a type of 3D model is made up entirely out of 3point polygon geometry. Every single thing you see on second life, from the linden terrain, water, sky and clouds to avatars, prims and sculpts, are all meshes. All video games use this type of geometry and mesh itself in Second Life inst anything new, the whole game is based on it, a mesh cube is the same exact pile of triangles as a prim cube. What LL introduced was an easy way to upload custom meshes created outside SL(mesh import), that’s all there is to it. But just like sculpts, the word “mesh” has completely lost its original meaning and became a thing of its own in SL.
Of course no one knows that, some content creators who used to make sculpted prims, are having a crisis thinking they will need to find new programs and relearn everything they know to create meshes, not realizing that they already know everything there is to know and can start making mesh content right away, because mesh is what they where doing all this time when they made those sculpts. While others will try to scam the unsuspecting consumer into buying something 10 times more expensive “because its mesh!” to cash in on the whole mesh hype. There will also be talentless whores who will just rip and upload models they didnt make, from some popular video game like assassin’s creed, mass effect, crysis or batman and make some quick and dirty cash.
Bottom line is, people need to know what they are buying!
So yeah, that’s all for now. if you are interested and want to know more about prims, sculpts, meshes, uv maps and all that other 3D stuff, ill will post a basic introduction to 3D and how SL utilizes it, in the tutorial section.