Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Sculptable Prims

Written 30 April, 2007

Sculptable Prims

If sculptable prims become a reality (one notices that spring is wearing on and there is not yet, as promised, voice in Second Life), it will be huge.

No, the prims won’t be huge (I can slip you a bundle of non-sculptable huge prims if you like), but the ramifications will be.

What part of a prim is a ramification? Good question. I wish I knew. Guess we’ll have to ask a Linden about that And no mention of the huge prims, okay?

From the video on the SL blog, it seems that, among other things, surfaces can be dimpled and corners rounded. This will be huge for builders, and especially for the avatars who make complex curves found in animals and those remarkable prim statues one sees around the grid.

Builders will be able to achieve effects that were impossible before, and with far fewer prims.

But sculptors! They will be able to achieve astonishing effects; today’s statues will seem crude by comparison.

Sculptors take note—your existing work will not be rendered invalid, any more than the works of oil painters have been invalidated by the invention of watercolors. Your prim statues will become articles of historical interest and will one day grace the halls of the virtual museums of Second Life.

Check the Linden blog for a short film about sculptable prims.


Anonymous said...

What they did is actually a very common technique called "displacement maps" who - in contrast to "bumb maps" who only give the impression - actually change the geometry. I actually did some experiments with the "sculpted prim texture" fromt heir blog entry. Check the images in my (german) article here: http://forum.slinside.de/viewtopic.php?p=29305#29305

- Peter

Melissa Yeuxdoux said...

Given the appearance in the video, I'd say it's a lot closer than voice. The wiki entry says it will be on the preview grid "by the end of next week" (it was written last week as I type this), and a dated addition from April 30th estimates two months to availability on the main grid.

The big question is when exporters will be available for software other than Maya, in particular for the open source Blender package.