Blender and Shrink Wrap for Second Life

If that title makes no sense to you and you make sculpties then pay attention. There are some great 3D models spread around the Internet. The problem with using them in SL is there is no easy way to get them into SL. The only meshes we can bring in, for now, are Sculpties (4/09).

Sculpties have strict limits on the number of vertices a mesh can have and the number of rows and columns of vertices. You can bring in almost any arrangement of vertices. The problem is it may look like vertex vomit (I heard that somewhere). One must get the numbers right for it to look good in Second Life. Shrink wrapping is a way to turn those models into sculpties. One can take a premade sculpty mesh and shrink wrap it over another model. Presto easy conforming mesh.

Also, if you are a 3D modeler, starting with the limited meshes that can be made into sculpties is awkward if not limiting. Shrink wrap frees one a bit. The following is my trip through learning to use Shrink Wrap.

First I found CG Cookie’s
Video Tutorial Blender Shrink Wrap Modifier on using Shrink Wrap. (10 min) I looked up the page on the Blender Shrink Wrap Modifier and Blender Shrink Wrap Introduction. It explains more of the details on what the modifier actually does, important for dealing with SL’s LoD issues (Second Life: Level of Detail – LoD).

Sculpty Importer Web Site

Sculpty Importer Web Site

If you are new to Blender and Sculpties… this is not your post. Sorry. Google Blender Noob to Pro for books and online tutorials. For the Second Life types, if you do not know of Domino Marama’s Sculpty Importer, you need to get it. There is a huge thread on the Second Life forum titled, Blender Sculptie Importer – Attached. There is an amazing amount of information buried in this thread, from the technical math to tips on making sculpties. The Importer aids in the creation of sculpties and simplifies baking the sculpty maps and keeping vertex counts correct.

PhyraxDesigns does a basic Second Life Blender Shrink Wrap Sculpty tutorial using Domino’s tools and Shrink Wrap. It is a good over view of the process.

Once I sort out the details and work with this Blender feature, I’ll write more. Have you used the feature?

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