Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Building & Texturing in Second Life - TRU Textures

First Project
It might not look much but believe it or not, after 7 years in Second Life and being a professional texture artists I have never (ever) built or textured anything...like ever.

I knew the basics, just enough to help me get by but I have never built or textured anything.

Today, out of shear frustration, I just started retexturing the store.

It started with the search terminals that have been in the same cherry wood theme for 4 years, I made them black.

Then for some reason, perhaps some false sense of confidence I slapped a texture from my MoonShadow collection on one of the walls of the four arched surrounds to the reception area and then 4 hours (and many help IMs - unanswered!) I ended up with four really nice textured architectural elements.

The hardest thing, the thing I struggled with the most was lining textures up, especially on the arches but the sense of job satisfaction far out weighs the initial frustration.

Its something I need to do anyway.

As a texture artist,  it's a weakness not fully understand how textures work in Second Life and already,  I can see the importance of textures from the MoonShadow collection that I did not include.

Like a basic plain plaster and one with different degrees of edge shading for all the little elements that make up a build such as the column basis here:
Prim Edge Shading. 

Not convinced?

Take a look at the same structure with plain unshaded textures (below)
Plain Textures No Edge Shade. 

Of course, being the perfectionist I have become over the last 3 years, ideally, there should also be some shadow from the upper piece on to the base it is resting on but then it starts to get complex and time consuming and with a full sim to re-texture and re-model, I have to draw the line somewhere.

What I have learnt is I LOVE it.

I have tried using 3D software and its soooooooo technical.

Welding seams and vertices is tedious for me were as building in Second Life, whilst the result is similar, the process is much more intuitive.

The TRU Texture store in Second Life has been “lacking” for 2 years.

My theory in the current design was to keep the building textures simple so not to compete with the actual textures for sale and displayed in vendors on the wall.

On reflection, I was way off the mark.

I want people to teleport in and immediately think: “WOW nice textures!”

The store should be a major advertisement for the potential of what we are offering, not some bland, uninspiring grey building with each store looking exactly like the other three.

A well built and textured location makes people want to explore, a boring and ugly location makes people want to teleport away to somewhere more inspiring and interesting, so that’s the aim.

It might take me a month but I am enjoying it so much anyway and it's a positive learning curve too.

It's a builders dream!

I have 100,00 textures to use,  edit and play with and whilst I may have never textured or built before today,  I have always known that “It's the texture that makes or breaks the build"

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