Friday, May 15, 2009

New Features Lead (Eventually) to High Quality Merchandise: I. Sculpties

Written 6 May, 2009

New Features Lead (Eventually) to Higher Quality Merchandise

I. Sculpties

Sculpted prims have been around for—what?—eighteen months?

The first sculpted objects for sale were crude. Even if the sculpted shape was itself elegant, the textures that wrapped around them weren’t. But over time content creators have learned to map textures onto sculpted prims with great accuracy and have become wonderfully clever at making complex shapes that can cut down dramatically on prim usage.

Witness this cluster of palm trees from Tobias Novi at Tree House Designs. Only two prims are used to make four trees.

And compare it to this cluster of palms from Lilith Heart's Heart Garden Centre, made with conventional shapes and weighing in at 30 prims for three trees and some grass..

I much prefer Lilith’s beautiful painted textures to the more photoreal textures used in the sculpted palms, but we’ll nevertheless be placing some of the latter on light-prim Whimsy Kaboom.
Now witness this sculpted walkway and cabana from Antreas Alter at Real! Waves. It uses only eight prims fore everything—the hut, the cushions, the fire, and the long walkway.

Compare to this tiki hut by Babe Daligdig of JC Solutions. I long ago removed an array of palm leaf clusters and the ladder from Babe’s build to cut down on prims, but it still uses 42 prims.

I like Babe’s tiki hut better, but it’s difficult to justify the additional prims.

I’m certainly not knocking Lilith’s work, or Babe’s. When they made their palms and tiki huts there WERE no sculpted prims. Lilith has begun to work with sculpties, and I imagine Babe is working with them too. But the immense strides made with sculpted prims and their lower prim count make their sculpted competitors attractive enough to purchase—even though I like the originals better, and even though I don’t like to use a lot of sculpties because of the problems in rezzing them..

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