nand Nerd . info - Sculpt Texture Generator

Introduction

Welcome to nand Nerd's Sculpt Texture Generator. If this is your first time visiting these pages they may look a little daunting, however I urge you to plow in and play with everything available as I have attempted to make this as easy to use and intuitive as I can.

What is a Sculpt/Sculpty/Sculptie?

Within Second Life we have a series of primitive building blocks, known as prims or primitives. The Sculpted Prim, (sculpt, sculpty, sculptie etc), was created to give more control over the shape of primitives and allows us to make objects with lower prim-count or more smooth/organic shapes. Sculpted prims are made up of 1024 points, each point is defined by a colour on an image, the image being the sculpt map texture (as I call it, some prefer to drop texture from the term as it can confuse between the texture applied to decorate the primitives surface and the image used to define the position of the sculpts points). Originally sculpt map textures were generated using plug-ins for 3d applications such as Maya and Blender but residents came up with stand-alone applications designed specifically for making sculpts (i.e. ROKURO). Following from these tools some clever scripters developed in-world tools (i.e. Sculpt Studio) which allow you to define your sculpt in Second Life to be downloaded from an external website and then uploaded into Second Life. The list of all these plug-ins, stand-alone websites and in-world tools is too long and too often updated for me to post it here but thankfully you can find it on the Second Life Wiki [link].

How does this differ from other Sculpt Tools?

Please dive in and play with the tools, load a few of the examples and modify them to your needs. Most of all, have fun. If you have any problems drop me, nand Nerd, an IM in Second Life and I'll try and help.

Page by page breakdown

Revolve

The Revolve page acts like a lathe, you turn your model around it's height and chip bits off it until it's outline takes the form you're looking for. In more mathmatical terms it takes a series of radii and revolves them around the z-axis.

So what do you do to get started? Well this page is a great place for starting with as there isn't too many numbers to change, you can just dive in and start playing with the numbers in the boxes, either by typing in new numbers (from 0 to 127) or using the plus and minus buttons. Alternatively you can click on the preview window on the right and the radius will adjust to that point, updating the number on the left as appropriate.

When you are done adjusting the shape of your sculpt scroll to the bottom of the page and click Generate Texture. The page will reload with a sculpt map texture at the top of the page (it's the one which looks like an accident in a paint factory). You then download this image to your computer and upload it into Second Life (note that this step costs you L$10, which isn't a lot on it's own but if you're uploading a few it quickly adds up. I recommend using the Emerald Viewer's temporary upload feature to check that the sculpt is as you expect before you spend your Linden Dollars on a permanent upload).

Z,R Revolve

As a natural progression from the Revolve page this allows the points to be moved up and down the vertical. With this you can make "hollow" sculpts where the surface turns inside itself (like a vase).

If you have made a shape in Revolve you can transfer it over to Z,R Revolve by clicking the button at the bottom of the page.

One major change between this page and Revolve is the addition of checkboxes to select which point you wish to place on the preview. When you choose one it will highlight it in the preview with a little green box and you can click around on the preview to place it.

Variable Radius Sphere

In a similar vein to Revolve this is a simple page to let you quickly define the radius of a sphere at different points along its height.

Constant Cross-Section

This one takes a series of x,y coordinates and creates a constant cross section.

Z,R Cross

The big daddy of all these tools. It applies a cross-section at a series of points which you define in a similar fashion to the Z,R Revolve page. Instead of acting like a lathe this is like an extrusion where you can vary the scale at different elevations.

Rounded Cylinder

A quick tool to make a cylinder where the edges are rounded off. These might be handy for making cushions for example. Just select a radius between 0 and 120 for the top and bottom edges and hit Generate Texture.

Waves

This one is more of a toy than a tool. It uses a few variables to create a series of sculpt maps which when animated look like ripples.

Sculpt Quick Guide/FAQ

Applying a sculpt map texture to a prim. First you'll need to rez yourself a prim. Hey, you do know what the terms rez and prim mean right? My appologies if you don't, these words have been absorbed into my vocabulary over my time in Second Life and it's easy for me to forget to explain these things. The term rez is used in Second Life for the action of creating a prim or dragging an object out of your inventory and into the world. As an aside, some folk talk about "rezzing in", where the objects and/or textures in their vacinity are still loading on their screen. A prim, short from primitive, is the building block within Second Life. They come in different shapes, cubes, cylinders, spheres, torus, tubes, sculpts are a few. To create a fresh prim you usually just need to right-click the ground or an object near-by you and choose create. The build/edit window will pop up and you can choose which prim type you'd like to rez. Select a cube and in the edit window press more>> to expand the edit window if it's not already expanded. From here you'll find a drop-down menu on the right which allows you to change the prim type. Change this to Sculpted and you'll now be able to drag a sculpt map texture onto the placeholder on the edit window to change the sculpt's shape.

My sculpt looks like it's inside-out. Cause: the order of the points or slices on your sculpt can result in it looking inside-out, where you look through the closest surface at the opposite surface. To fix this you can either re-order the points or slices to run clockwise or you can simply check the checkbox which says inside-out in the object's edit window (the invert checkbox also solves this problem by flipping the texture it makes).

I want to be able to save my work so I can come back to it later. Sure thing, I am currently working on a way to sign into the website using your SL name and save the pages to be loaded at a later date in the same way you load the examples.

Can I save the parameters to my own computer? Not quite yet. I have started working on a feature which will allow certain pages to export the parameters in the format used by popular in-world editor Sculpt Studio. The main advantage being that you can take the sculpt out of these pages and further develop it. Following from that work I would also look to reverse the process and allow Sculpt Studio notecards to be edited in these tools.

I want more points to work with. Sculpt map textures no longer need to be square, we can now stretch them to give us more points in each slice or more slices (we're still limited to a total of 1024 points). To this end I have added the option to work with more or less points/slices on each page. This isn't public yet as I'm ironing out the kinks but should be accessible when you register to save your sculpt settings.

Where can I register? I'll be setting up a registration point somewhere on the mainland (got a little parcel which should serve the purpose) and also hoping to put a registration point in The Art Door's homeland, Rendervisions Isle. Watch this space.

Where can I see examples of sculpts made with these tools? You can drop me an IM in-world and I'll pass you a few examples. When I eventually get the registration point setup I'll also include a few example sculpts nearby.

When I press enter the page reloads. If you're used to hitting enter to move from one field to another then I appologise that this behaviour isn't available on my tools. When you hit enter the page (form) is submitted (like hitting the Generate Texture button) and the sculpt map texture is made. Instead of using the enter button a few taps on the Tab button should take you to the next field.

It was broke before I touched it, honest. If you spot anything wrong with these tools please drop me an IM describing the fault and which page you were on. I'll take a look and try and put it right (or incorporate it as a feature).