Thursday, November 1, 2012

Placing My Bet

It has poisoned everything. Everything I see, even everything I dream.  I feels like I have a stone in my chest.  No appetite.

I remind myself that a lot worse things could happen. It's just a job, after all, not a life. But when your job requires creativity, you really need to feel some creativity, and for the time being, I don't. At all. 

"Oh then you don't love creating just for the sake of creating." the copy leftists will say. "You are just greedy!"

Imagine that you have a garden -- you had to dig up rocks and bring in a load of soil and build frames for it -- and you plant the seeds and fertilize using your homemade compost and you water and you weed and you pick off the bugs. All fun! 

Then comes time for harvest, and you look forward to feeding your family the delicious food you have grown.  And then your neighbor comes in with a wheelbarrow and cleans you out. Not only that but he dumps all the harvest into a big fire and burns it up.

How motivated would you be to plant another seed?

(Yes, I know, the analogy is not perfect -- no analogy is. Maybe the neighbor just takes half. Whatever.
Or change it to cooking a big Christmas dinner for your family -- assuming you enjoy cooking for your family -- the list making, the shopping, the chopping, the cooking.)  

I create not just for myself, but for my family, and for my customers, many of whom have become friends. It is not about me creating things in a vacuum for fun and never has been.

I just don't feel like finishing this kitchen I am in the middle of working on when I know that as soon as I am done with it, someone will come along and take it and pass it around as a freebie. I do enjoy making freebies for my customers -- but I want to decide what to give and whom to give to. It is hard to imagine at the moment wanting to spend weeks making something for someone else to copy and give as a freebie at the same time I have it up for sale.

I know other creators, some of them among the best in Second Life, who got tired of swimming against the tide. They got tired of preparing and faxing DMCAs. They stopped creating. Some left Second Life. Quietly, because there was no fight left in them. 


But there is one hope, and only one: The honest people in Second Life, who will delete any stolen content delivered to them rather than passing it along, and will support creators whose content they enjoy using.  They are the one and only defense against those who want to destroy Second Life completely.

Together, creators and honest customers keep Second Life alive, because they are investing either  work or money or both into it.  Together they keep SL living and vibrant with creativity while the copiers try to drain it of its creative lifeblood. The copiers are the cancer of Second Life.

And writing those words, I come to a decision: I am placing my bet on those who support life and creativity.  

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The end of a miracle?

A little over three years ago, I found myself in a difficult situation.  My mother had fallen down a flight of stairs and shattered her arm, so we moved her to our town where we could look after her -- "we" being my disabled husband and I.  As a teacher, I had the summer off to move her and get her settled -- but as the new school year approached, I wondered how I could go off to school each day and leave only my husband to look after my mother. Sometimes he was up to it, but sometimes he was not.

So I took a big risk and resigned my position and began creating and running my store full time. And by full time, since I am a very slow creator, I mean 10-12 hours a day most days. A house can take me months.  But it worked out, and I was able to just about replace my teaching income with my store income. I am able to work from home and be on hand to help with caretaking tasks.

 Never a day goes by that I do not recognize what a miracle this is.

And now I discover that most of my store, including houses and furniture, has been copied and is being handed out free. 

And I wonder what I ever did to make someone want to destroy my livihood. But I know this kind of maliciousness is simply beyond my comprehension. I cannot imagine inflicting such an injury on another human being. I have some idea that they justify their attacks by asserting that 3D artists (or musicians) should not be able to make a living, but I am not clear why that is. It doesn't matter; everyone who does evil has some justification for it.

I don't know what the effect of this attack will be long term. But there is nothing for me to do except this: Be grateful to those who do think the work of 3D creators has value and that we do deserve some compensation for the goods and services we devote so much work to providing.

To all honest customers, let me just say "Thank you for making a miracle possible!"

It remains to be seen whether the attackers have put an end to it or not.  I know I cannot spend 60 hours a week working to provide free content for others to distribute. However much I enjoy creating, I have to make a living. 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The NEW La Galleria Mesh Kitchen is here!

The mesh kitchens I have made over the last year were a big step up from the regular kitchens, which were already the best in Second Life -- but this newest one is another giant step forward.  So much so that I made a whole page describing how everything works, here -- it is actually the notecard that comes  with the kitchen, with pics.

It has a more flexible layout (though still fits all of my houses), a refrigerator with mesh food, a new larger island, cabinets, a fireplace,  a teacart that rezzes really cute things, and more things to rez from the bar. It also has new cutting edge scripting that allows owner and guests to attach utensils directly, without going into inventory. And lot more new things!

I will be updating the other mesh kitchens in the same way -- owners will get an automatic update.

Come by and try it out! It's right by the La Galleria central landing point.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Evolution of a Second Life Brand: La Galleria

Very few Second Life brands grow into large stores; those that do, offer something unique and of exceptional quality, combined with excellent service.  This is an account of one reason La Galleria grew from a tiny parcel to four sims in less than four years.

I sold my first item on Christmas day 2007. It was not long after that that I began developing what were to become my signature products, the first of their kind, the dining sets for dinner parties.

2008 Easy Set Dining Sets

I admired those placemats I had seen in other stores, which would rez different meals from a menu -- but what I wanted was something for a dinner party.  I did not want my guests to all choose a different meal, with some eating hamburgers and some soup -- I wanted to choose and serve the meal.

I knew nothing about scripting so I made dinners and desserts for different numbers of place settings which the hostess could drag to the table top already linked -- nothing sculpted! -- and the Easy Set brand was born -- and with it the first true dinner party dining experience in Second Life.

2009  Dinner Party Dining Sets

In 2009 I found an amazing scripter who worked with me to design a system which would not only rez meals and desserts from a menu, but would allow for food to be added -- and the Dinner Party Dining Sets were born, the first dining sets in Second Life to rez linked meals in different numbers of place settings.

2009 Dinner Party Food Add-Ons

I began making extra food sets to add to the tables; the first holiday dinners were created, and many people shared their first holidy meal with loved ones in Second Life.

2009  Dinner Party Kitchens

Designed to prepare and cook and clean up after the meals available for the Dinner Party dining sets, while entertaining guests.

2010-2011  More food items created; original food items upgraded with sculpts.

2011  High detail MESH versions of the Dinner Party Dining Sets

2012 High Detail MESH Dinner Party Kitchens

2012  New MESH Dinner Party Holiday Turkey Dinner!

The new mesh Dinner Party Holiday meal is the product of three people -- my talented design partner Nacy Nightfire, my brilliant scriptor, Rolig Loon, and me -- working a total of almost two months to make something unlike anything seen in Second Life before!

  • High detail, realistic mesh with almost half the prims of sculpted dinners.
  • Touch a fork, wine glass or roll and they leave the table and fly to your hand, and you begin eating. When done, click Detach from a menu. The items return to your placemat. No more digging through inventory!
  • Seven different sets of china to choose from, including one for Christmas.
  • Four different placemat and runner color combinations to choose from.
  • Click the green bean casserole to turn it and the green beans on the plates into Brussels sprouts.
  • Candles change colors to match holiday decor.
  •  Candles rez festive bows which can change colors to match holiday decor.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

"That Spark" and the Second Life - Steam Connection

Linden Lab just announced that Second Life would henceforth be associated with Steam -- some service through which millions can connect to different game platforms.  I was reading a thread in the Second Life Merchant forum about Steam's potential effect on SL business and came across this insightful post by Madeliefste Oh, which I thought bears repeating here (the bolding is mine):

Madeliefste Oh wrote:

It will help, maybe not enough for all merchants to survive the crisis, but anything LL does to promote their world is better then keeping silent.

I really don't care that it might bring in people who have different expectations. When I first arrived in SL I came with a game mindset as well. And I had no clue where to start, trying to get stronger, trying to get money, getting to know the right people, finding a home, or learning how to make things.
But soon enough I met people, and I talked to them in my attempt to find out how to play 'this world'. And they learned me everything what a newbie needs to know: how to travel around, how to use IM, where to go for freebies and how to make money by camping or dancing in a club.

In I simply forgot my expectations that came from gaming experience, because this whole concept where you set your own goals seemed much more interesting to me, then playing around in a preprogrammed world. Above that I was highly fascinated by the idea this world was completely made and owned by it's residents. To me this seemed the place where the collective fantasy took place, all with all a place to be.

Virtual wolds will never appeal to the masses who are looking for easy amusement. Freedom is not the easiest toy to play around with. You must be willing to take initiative and make your own meaning. I'm convinced that there are still millions of people who will enjoy SL, and have the potental to become a loyal resident. Some of them will be hanging around in the gaming community, some of them will be playing farmville sort of games, some of them will have no gaming experience at all, and some of them have even never touch a computer for their fun. 

But I see nowadays is the threshold to become a participant in the economy much higher then five, six years back when we had camping all around. When it was easy to get some startmoney by camping, almost every new resident did get involved in the economy. That stopped when LL banned camping.
There is less money coming in the economy, but the supply of goods continues to increase. The more goods available, the harder it will be to get your product seen by potential buyers. So the profit per product will decrease for every merchant.

We definitely need a lot of people with empty inventories around to keep this pyramid economy working.

Monday, July 30, 2012

That Spark We Have

Gwyneth Llewelyn has an excellent in-depth article called "What makes us return to Second Life?" here. It's a thought provoking analysis, including the comments.

The essential point Gwen makes is:

"Once the ‘spark’ of SL catches someone, no matter how hard the interface, they will remain around. If that ‘spark’ never arises, then the interface will make no difference whatsoever."

She goes on to make the same point about tier, lag, and various other things people cite as being responsible for driving people away -- people who have the spark stay in SL anyway. 

I have long believed this absolutely. I have put up with the usual inconveniences, irritations, and outrages in SL -- and as a merchant I feel like I get a double or triple dose of it -- but never for a moment have I considered leaving or even taking a break from SL. Even when I was new and wandering around in what seemed like a deserted post-apocalypic world by myself hour after hour -- I was utterly fascinated. I had no thought at all of creating anything -- and yet, in that astonishing compression of time that occurs in SL, within six weeks I had sold my first item on the marketplace. From the first moment, it was like I had receptors in my brain for the SL experience.

"The SL experience" is of course extremely diverse -- not everyone becomes a creator -- but Gwen identifies the common element, the "spark" that keeps most of us veterans coming back day after day year after year -- a fascination with learning:  

"I think that’s the ‘problem’ with Second Life. It is too complex, too different, bringing completely new experiences, which are hard to learn. The vast majority of mainstream users simply don’t have the appropriate mindset to deal with it. For them, it’s an incredibly complex tool with very little entertainment value. But for those few for which learning complex tools is part of the fun, SL is the right place to be. The point is that there are very very few people willing to do that. And I claim that all of them (or pretty much all…) are already in SL, or, worse, they have already left."

The love of learning is the spark that keeps people coming back to Second Life. (There is probably a bit more to it, like love of novelty and plain quirkiness, too, and yes I suspect a higher IQ than average.) We don't all learn the same things, but we all must learn (or spend a lot of time helplessly whining). Gwen's reply to my comment:

"Pamela you'd be surprised about how many handicapped and very old people (with tons of diseases and crippling disabilities) I have met in SL who, in spite of all the difficulties — a lousy viewer crashing all the time; a hopelessly confusing user interface; an insane amount of things to learn which have little resemblance to real world skills (e.g. how to locate a new dress, find a shop, pay a vendor, receive a packed item, unpack the dress, and attach a HUD to change ribbon colours — I mean, that's the kind of thing you have to learn in SL, but which has nothing to do with anything done elsewhere!); all that on top of serious physical difficulties to deal with the interface, or sitting in the same position for hours, or lacking enough agility or flexibility (or even members!) to click on 3 buttons and drag the cursor... it's amazing what is required of us residents to master!
Nevertheless, all these people do it. It was incredibly challenging for them. But they managed to learn everything. And they're among SL's most faithful residents, doing an incredible amount of things..."

However, I can't quite agree that we have exhausted the supply of people who possess the combination of characteristics necessary to form an attachment to Second Life. There are plenty more out there -- they may be a tiny percentage of the population, but the pool we are drawing from is pretty vast.  I just don't think they are being recruited.

Gwen has done a thorough job of analyzing all the reasons people claim that SL is not growing -- but she zeros in on the core reason: LL is not attracting enough people who love learning the kinds of lessons SL requires. And I would just like to add my amen to this, and to suggest that instead of marketing SL to bubbleheads (okay I know that is mean) who want their fun without having to learn anything or making any effort, market to the kind of quirky, creative, oddball lovers of learning that DO stay in SL no matter what awful things LL does!  

How exactly to do that I don't know -- I have done (very) informal Meyers-Briggs surveys of forum posters, as have others, and have seen that certain personality types are way over represented in SL. I would advise Linden Lab to begin doing some market research along these lines, and find out who their hard-core customers really are.  Then design a marketing campaign to appeal to them, and put it where they will see it. Easier said than done, I know. 

I will add one suggestion about a marketing campaign, taken from my teaching experience. I taught a remedial class to teach kids to pass the state tests so they could graduate -- not a class that anyone particularly wanted to attend. And yet, if I do say so, minds were blown in that class, and kids who had had no idea how to pass tests wound up graduating. Yet still it was a hard sell. Then one day, a very popular kid was walking by my door and said to his girlfriend, "You really ought to take that class, it really works." and BINGO I knew what to do. I videotaped interviews with that kid and others, and they very honestly and earnestly testified to the value. I never had to say another word to get kids on board -- I just sat them down and let the kids in the video tell them. 

Listen to your hard core residents, Linden Lab -- and use us to do the recruiting for you. 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Teen Style

If you like the knock kneed pouting teen look for your avi, here are a couple of teen bedroom styles you might like:

Sneak Peek!

My new mesh Casa di Galli will be ready in a few days -- here's a quick unedited peek:

Monday, July 9, 2012

The cutest mod!

Kalia Anatine Hax and Riot Hax sent me a pic of what they have done with their Americana Cottage -- isn't it the cutest thing????

Saturday, July 7, 2012

One Voice

One Voice is the name of the group of SL creators and bloggers who have banded together to raise funds to help Gala Phoenix defray the legal expenses of defending herself against spurious accusations of IP infringement.  Why do I say the accusations are spurious?  Look at this analysis and decide for yourself: 

Here is a timeline of the whole affair:  Salome's detailed and timelined posts on the subject:  &

Every content creator is vulnerable to this kind of attack, one that costs income if not entire businesses.

The fundraiser will be the 9th-15th at I am donating 100% of my proceeds from the sale of this mesh wicker set to the Gala fund:

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Look at what you can do with mod skills!

Kimmie Rayna had already cannibalized her Rose Manor to make a matching garage, and now she has done the same with her Americana Cottage.  Yes, cannibalize -- she unlinked various parts of the house, copied them, and used them to build the garage.  Compare these pics of the garage with the pic of the Americana in the previous post:

Want to learn to make cool things like this?  Check out the Editing Linked Prims page in this blog!

Friday, June 22, 2012

The Americana Cottage

This is the American version of my mesh house (English cottages do not have front porches) -- includes a pool in back.  156 prims for the house and everything linked to it.  It has some very special touches created by my design partner Nacy and me.

I will post a marketplace link when it is listed.

Check out the La Galleria Flickr Page!

If you have not checked out our Flickr page, you will find a very interesting collection of pics showing what different La Galleria fans have done with their homes!  Here is a peek:

The page is at  - and we would love to see what you have done with your home!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Super Low Prim Mesh Brass Bed Set!

Nacy and I had been wanting to make a brass bed bedroom set for a long time, and we are thrilled with the result!  The linens and brass bed (which are not linked so you can buy just one or the other if you like) together are just 19 prims!

The bed linens have three configurations -- covers up, covers down, and sleep under covers.

Comes with a lot of great mesh accessories -- fireplace, armoire, bachelor's chests, blanket chest, two candlestick lamps, a beautiful ginger jar, chair with ottoman, pictures, plant, rug, and more!

More details on the Marketplace here

The set can be seen by the landing point HERE.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

A Sad Tale

On the right is a loveseat I made. On the left is one that has been given out for free across the grid. Go ahead and click (twice) to see details.

Notice anything?  Now I am not saying they are identical because the mesh is not identical.  But under copyright law, that really doesn't matter.  If someone downloads my mesh, takes it into some 3D program, and changes it a bit -- or even changes it a lot -- or just makes a copy from scratch -- it is still IP infringement. 

A friend was visiting and noticed the two sofas side by side; she suggested I slide one sofa over so they occupied the same space.  I tinted mine yellow so you can see which is which. Here is what they look like:

Amazing, isn't it? A near perfect match, down to the piping on the cushions and the front of the arms.

In cases like this I often hear people say "Oh that came off the internet, there are tons like that on the internet."  Well in this case, no there are not.  Here is a search of "leather sofa" :

If anyone sees a loveseat/sofa that looks like mine, let me know. Because I have never seen one. The loveseats were not "both modeled after the same RL source" because I did not use one.

Am I wrong for saying "I know my work. This is my work."?  Some think so. What I think: It is wrong to take credit for the work of someone else, and worse to sell or give it away. 

A natural question is, how would you prove something like this in court?

"Substantial similarity is the standard developed and used by United States courts to determine whether a defendant has infringed the reproduction right of a copyright. The standard arises out of the recognition that the exclusive right to make copies of a work would be meaningless if infringement was limited to making only exact and complete reproductions of a work"  

UPDATE:  After due consideration of the fact that picture of my sofa appeared several times in the mesh forum where the maker of the copied sofa and I post, I am willing to give the benefit of the doubt that the copy may have been subconscious.  Certainly it is a copy, but there is no way to prove intent. I did contact the maker in IM first, and when I never heard back from him, I drew a conclusion about his motives. I don't think it is an unwarranted conclusion but there remains the possibility of unintentional copying, and so that is the premise under which I will operate. I will not file a DMCA; the maker of the copy can decide the right thing to do.

ETA:  There is someting in Intellectual Property Law called Subconsious Copying; there is also the psychological phenomenon called Cryptomnesia

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Another peek -- this time the inside!

Saturday I will be releasing my mesh house, all beautifully furnished with my mesh furnishings and kitchen. Here is a peek at the inside (shadows not enabled):

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Mesh House Sneak Peak

I have been working for several weeks on my first mesh house (not counting my mesh skybox, which was a sort of mesh test build that turned out rather nicely).

I still have QUITE a lot more work to do on it, but here is a sneak peek of the front (wait until you see the inside!):

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Jazzy kept me updated as she relinked her house to save prims -- and in the process I got valuable feedback about what I need to include on my Homeowners Page instructions for the process.  Jazzy graciously agreed to share her experience here:

Hello to all you Pamela Galli fans! I purchased the Rose Manor home from Pamela several weeks ago. I have had lots of questions regarding different functions of my house. Pamela has been so helpful, always getting back to me right away.

        When Firestorm came out with an update, my fireplaces went bonkers and were jumbled. I contacted Pamela and she suggested having the sim restarted.  During our conversations about this, Pamela gave me the url to her blog to read on mesh.

While I was there I also read her article on lowering LI (Land Impact) by changing linked, unscripted, and non-sculpty prims to Convex Hull Physics Shape Type. This option is on the Features tab in your edit window. I decided to try it on my house and other items on my land. It was kinda hit and miss at first. I had to unlink the windows from the rest of the house, then I linked all the windows back together.

 The reason for that is they have scripts in them and to get them all to work at the same time they had to be linked separate from the house. then I had to unlink the doors from the house. These are all easy enough functions to perform. But, I forgot that the sculpted items had to also be unlinked. So I went back through the house and unlinked any sculty items.

Then I realized I couldn't walk through the doorways. HMMM? So I contacted Pamela again. I'm sure her patience was being tested by then with me haha. [Editor's note: Nope!] But, she explained that Convex Hull when used will fill in openings such as doorways. So, I then proceeded to unlink the surrounding doorways and wall pieces.

Yeah, I know it sounds like alot right? Well, I kept going and discovered the roses were sculpties. So I unlinked them and the numbers went down. If you try to change a sculpty to Convex Hull it about double the prims. Very good lesson for me. So, after all that was said and done, and I soft linked the house and took a copy, I saved 77 prims! It was well worth the effort! I only had 125 prims left now I have 202! Amazing, huh?

          On this little adventure I also got a look at the mesh dining sets and living room furniture and bedroom furniture Pamela has made from mesh. Awesome! Looks so real! I was really kinda against mesh at first, thinking I was being forced into accepting it whether I liked it or not. But, OMG! I can see so many good things about mesh now. Fewer prims, much more flexibility in building. I'm sold!
Thanks Pamela for all your help and the information you have shared with me!

                         Jazzy Lupindo

Friday, March 16, 2012


La Galleria is featured in Icon Magazine this month!  One of my customers, Anne Daumig, approached me about doing an article -- she is a writer for the magazine.  I am very pleased with how it turned out!  Click below to open the magazine -- the article is titled Home Sweet Home.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

What is Live Chat for?

I have a customer who bought a lot of things from me inworld -- none from a scripted vendor, all objects or boxes -- who received none of them in her inventory. Or at least she sees none of them. These were bought from two different sims, and I have had no other reports of problems, so pretty sure the problem is with her inventory. When I have given her a replacement of one item, twice, she had the same problem. We have both contacted Live Chat, to ask them to just look in her inventory and see if the items are there or not -- and fix the problem.

Support told me if she contacted them, they could check her inventory. However, when she did that, she was told to file a ticket, which she did, but she is understandably eager to get the things she bought. She owns a sim; I own four, and yet Live Chat seems only to be able to say File a Ticket.

Here is my attempt, at the end of my second call to Live Chat, to find out what Live Chat IS for:

You: Tell me this -- what is live chat for?
BethA: I understand your frustration and I know this is not the answer expected. But I am unable to assist with this matter. Please review the link provided and await reply to your support ticket.
You: What sort of things does Live Chat address?
You: What types of problems?
BethA: I am sorry, but I am unable to list all the issues Live chat is able to handle. For information on troubleshooting and help, please visit the knowledge base and search for solutions to issues as they arise. If you are unable to locate a solution, please file a support ticket.
You: Okay well then tell me one type of problem that Live Chat addresses
You: Because I don't know
BethA: Was there another issue I can help you with since we have addressed the issue that brought you into chat today?
BethA: If there isn't anything else I may assist you with, you have a great day! Bye!
If you need additional assistance, please feel free to contact us again.
This chat has been ended by the operator.

Excuse me?  It's a pretty simple question.  Is it a secret?  Is there ANYthing that Live Chat responds to?

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Truth About Mesh

A customer wrote me the other day, saying how much she loves my things -- but is everything I make from now on going to be mesh?  After all, since Phoenix became mesh-enabled I have had a new mesh release every week.  She was wondering because she "still is not understanding this mesh" -- and she is not the only one.

Before I tell the answer I gave her, let me explain as clearly as I can about mesh rezzed objects -- not worn mesh like clothing and avatars, which I know little about.

First, understand that everything in SL is actually made of mesh, whether regular prims or sculpts -- and mesh is just a bunch of triangles.  If you change your viewer to Wireframe mode, you can see that this is true, as in the pics below, one in regular view and one in wireframe. Yes, even a regular prim cube  IS REALLY A MESH (made of 24 triangles)!

This August "mesh" was introduced -- by that is meant, generic mesh, the kind that is used in all games, and not some special limited type, like prims or sculpts. Without getting all technical, using this mesh means nearly infinite flexibility, without the limitations of sculpts, and also means you can often do more with fewer prims.  

Some facts about mesh objects rezzed (and not worn):

1) You can modify mesh as you would any sculpt -- scale, tint, texture.

2) Unlike sculpts, and like prims, mesh can be created to have up to 8 different faces that can be textured and tinted differently from one another.  For example, these two doors and two drawer pulls below are all one mesh object, but have different textures applied -- I could also tint the doors or pulls separately from each other, even though they are one mesh object. 

3) Mesh doesn't use a sculpt map; it is not made from regular prims; it cannot be created inworld.  It is made in a 3D program and imported into SL.

                                 THE BEST PART: MESH AND PRIM COUNT / LAND IMPACT

A customer (one who had been happily buying mesh products) had build her own house, entirely of regular prim cubes.  I told her to go into her (mesh) viewer's Edit > Features Tab and change the Physics type to Convex Hull instead of Prim. Instantly the prim count went from 173 to 87.

How?  Because now there are now TWO PRIM ACCOUNTING SYSTEMS IN SECOND LIFE, and you can choose which one you want to use for each object. The new term for Prim Count is Land Impact (LI), which means "how many prims are actually deducted from your total available in About Land".  It is almost certain that many of your objects can be reduced in LI like this -- but many others can not or can even double in prims -- you have to know how to tell the difference, which is not as complicated as you might think, because:

Jenni Darkwatch has written a complete, SIMPLE explanation HERE.

Try it yourself with a mesh viewer:  Rez two cubes and link them. Check the prim count -- it will say 2 (2) (the second number is the Land Impact or actual prims counted against your parcel total).  Now go into the Features tab and change the Physics type to Convex Hull -- voila, one prim!

Bottom line:  Anything made entirely of regular prims (except torii/donuts) and unscripted, try making Convex Hull.  Huge objects, however, can have a much higher prim count.

Consider this:  Every sculpt mesh must have exactly 2048 triangles, whether you are making a mountain or an olive. 2048 is way too many triangles for some things, too few for others. It's like baking a cake when you must use exactly one cup of sugar in everything -- too much for some things, too little for others. For the new mesh, you can use only as many triangles as you need, keeping the prim count/Land Impact as low as possible.

For example, the two doors, drawers, and pulls in the mesh pictured above has a prim count of one.  No way could I have made those with a prim count of one with anything but mesh.


An informative blog post explaining mesh is HERE.

So, the short answer to my customer's original question is that most of what I make from now on will be made of mesh or a combination of mesh and regular prims. For 3D artists, the ability to make much more detailed 3D objects is just too irresistible. It's like, once you discover Legos, you are not going back to Tinkertoys.  

For a fuller explanation of why I am a mesh supporter and some explanatory pics, read my blog post HERE.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Why I changed my mind about mesh...

I was very skeptical that mesh would improve Second Life -- and I still have the same reservations, mainly about the relative ease of importing ripped models, compared to say, sculpts, which only exist in SL. I also did not want to have to learn Blender -- well, I wanted to, but had serious doubts about my ability to do so at more than a basic level.

It's just that now, for me, the pros are outweighing the cons.

The first of these is the ability for everyone to cut prim count (now called Land Impact or LI) by 40% not only with mesh items but with  unscripted items which are made entirely of regular prims (except torii/donuts) -- and sometimes even with sculpts and/or scripts.  How?  Using a mesh enabled viewer, select the item, go into the Features tab, and change the physics type to Convex Hull.  Try it first with two plain cubes - two linked cubes set to convex hull = 1 Land Impact (or Prim Count).

Second is that for the first time, I can actually choose almost any furniture design and not only make it with a reasonable prim count -- I mean Land Impact! -- but do a far better job of making it look exactly like I want. Artistically, mesh is simply irresistible!  I never want to go back to trying to make sculpts and prims look like real furniture. Making mesh things is just too much fun (well, when not beating my head against the Blender wall), and my things just look way too good!

Mesh has done for SL content what Windlight did for the environment -- and yes, unfortunately, some computers may not be able to handle it.  And that is NOT because mesh is harder on viewers than prims or sculpts, because they are definitely not -- it's the viewers themselves that just seem to require more processing power, no matter what they are rendering.  Hopefully later versions will be faster.

I don't know if this honeymoon will last -- how long before the grid is flooded with thousands of ripped models? But for now, I am glad that SL just got a big boost in quality. Here are some pics of some of my mesh sets: