Thursday, July 2, 2009

Sculpty Hair: Or, Why Am I Wearing This Prim Cube on My Head?

Just WTF is this? It seems to be a one-prim sculpty.
It was like an acorn was sitting on my head!

This hair NEVER resolved-- and I have a 9xxx series NVIDIA card
with DDR3 memory and a megabyte of RAM!
Sometimes sculpty makers get it just right-- but the hair is still stiff as concrete
Written 30 June, 2009

Sculpty Hair

Or, Why Am I Wearing This Prim Cube on My Head?

Okay, so I’ve now been to all four sims of the Hair Fair (I told Sweetie there were only three so I could sneak away and maybe score a fashionista hair coup. When she said funny, looks like there are four sims on the map, I said oh, the Lindens now let you profile cut sims like you can cut prims, and that was the end of that. She’s still mulling it over. Well, what I think Sweetie is mulling over is whether she’ll keep me after I snuck away to that fourth sim.)

Sooo, having been to all four sims and tried on at least two hundred hairdos, I can say definitely that sculpty hair seems to be in. A good eighty percent of the new hair was sculpted, many from new shops. Some dos had a few flexiprims for effect, but the word of the day, clearly, was sculpty.

A big day for hair, I thought, was when tresses stopped being thick and inflexible and became fine and moved with the avatar. Now, it seems, we’re back to thick, stiff locks, at least until 1) sculpty makers get better at what they do and 2) Linden Lab releases flexible sculpties.

The new sculpty hairdos tend to look as if they have been fixed with a combination of several gallons of Dipity-Do and a dozen cans of Aqua Net hair spray. They’re just icky. They don’t move an inch, and it looks strange when your AO shifts position—and even when it doesn’t. So, Dick, I’ll give that sculpty hairdo a score of 65, ‘cause you can’t dance to it.

Truthfully, I never even SAW some of my sculpty demos. I got tired of walking around with my head obscured by a sphere or looking as if I had a hair-covered prim stuck to the back of my head and deleted the non-rezzers.

The sculpty hairdos have the advantage of having low avatar rendering costs—usually less than four hundred. Some of the regular prim hairdos these days have ARCs of more than 5000—an indication they’ll place considerable load on both the server and your viewer. They look nice, but OMG!

I found it strange so many hairmakers have suddenly moved to sculpted prims. I doubt all those folks have been hidden away these past two years learning how to make and texture sculpties. No, rather, I suspect someone somewhere has released a sculpty hair-making kit and it’s selling like mad.
That person, and the person who sells those laggy non-removable color- and size-changing scripts should be sent to the cornfield.
Sculpty hair has a long way to go before it's as subtly realistic
as this high-ARC hairdo from Sweet Hair