Sculpties and Mesh – a Clarification

There’s been a bit (a lot) of talk in the places on the net that talk about these things about how we’re not keen for people to use sculpties and mesh in their builds and how that’s going to stifle creativity, make the event look like SL 2003, create earthquake, famine, cats and dogs lying together and generally suck. So let’s have a look at what we’re actually saying here.


Your sculpt map is basically another texture that your viewer has to load. The more loading you have to do, the more you get what I call loading lag (as opposed to sim performance lag). Loading lag is the vast information that has to come to your computer via the very narrow pipe that is your internet connection.Using 234 different sculpt maps in your build is going to lag everyone that comes near it as they try to download every sculpt amp and every texture. And lets not mention data caps.

We’re not saying don’t use sculpts. Sculpts are awesome and make SL all curvy and cool. What we’re saying is think about what and why you’re using them. Don’t use a sculpt if a prim will do the job. Also, with a bit of creativity, one sculpt can serve more than one use. A fairly standard square sculpt can be a pole, a brick, a rod, a tent-peg, a paving stone, a flat panel, a wall etc etc you get the idea. Making a build is one thing, making a clever low lag build is another challenge altogether.


The above principles apply a lot to mesh too. Although mesh doesn’t use a texture, it still has to download to your viewer. There is good mesh and bad (something to do with polygons, faces, edges and dowhackadohedrons). We love mesh – it’s cool – this year we have a full mesh stage that’s looking awesome – but let’s think about how we use it. We want the good mesh.

It’s also been commented that we must be wary of mesh as we asked in the application form if builders would be using it. What do we have in mind? Well, nothing rally. that question is there partly as an unofficial survey by me to see what kind of uptake mesh has in SL (cos I’m nosey) but mainly just to see if we needed to do anything about mesh. Possibly 1/4 to 1/3rd of builders currently might have mesh in their builds as of now, so really there’s probably no reason it needs to be treated separate. It’s just nice to know. And no complaints that you can’t see mesh please. The major viewers can all see it, just update to the latest version.

Yes we know there will be lag at this event. We can’t stop that.  We CAN do our best to try to minimise it. Thinking about our builds and how to make then as lag free as possible will go a long way in helping.

oh – megaprims – for the purposes of this event, a megaprim is any oversized prim made using an exploit in SL and is not made by you. We don’t want them at the event. and since the plots are 32 x 32m and you can now make prims up to 64 x 64 we don’t see why you need them. Replace them with your own and we’re all happy.




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2 responses to “Sculpties and Mesh – a Clarification

  1. Pingback: WHAT IS THIS CRAP? » Towel Day

  2. @Ktsyakumi; Hi! Excellent clarification and I love your quote, “Making a build is one thing, making a clever low lag build is another challenge altogether.”

    Regarding mesh impact there’s an excellent “how to” intro tutorial video by Larry Haverstein. The video explains “Prim Equivalence vs. Server Prims” (i.e., a mesh counts for more prims). The video explains how to adjust your viewer setting so that in Edit you can see exACTly how many prims your mesh is going to be counted. Also how to check before upload. Also tricks for optimizing your mesh to keep aesthetics without blowing prim limits.


    Cheers! : )

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