New tool for creating sculpties in Second Life. Plopp: “PloppSL allows you to create intriguing Sculpted Prims for SecondLife™ easily. Both texture and model are created in one step. Simply paint the front and back side of your model and it will be converted to a Sculpted Prim by PloppSL.”
I noticed recently that Linden Lab still has not fixed the individual template downloads on their templates page to include the UV Map layers I mention in my tutorial(s). I think I pointed this out around the time 1.1 came out, which was, well, a long time ago (October 2003). So make sure you download the entire set of templates—the UV map layers are in those files.
Or, alternatively, you can do what I do and use Chip Midnight’s fantastic, high resolution templates which include more detail (like where eyelashes are found).
Update Linden Lab once again changed the location of their template files without leaving a URL to forward requests, so I’ve updated where appropriate on my site.
Recent news gives promise to the idea that one will be able to model outside the Second Life viewer in a more traditional 3d application and import to the grid. This has always been possible for at least a year with Jeffrey Gomez’ Prim.Blender and Blender, but while Jeffrey’s work is a technical achievement nonpareil, I’m not a fan of Blender and it wasn’t an easy process for complex models.
Recently, though, some projects have been quite encouraging, including, of course, sculptie prims. Even more exciting are some of the complex models that can be created using sculpties and a recently created uber sculptie exporter for Maya: qLab.
Also on the horizon is a new script from TU Delft that will aid in importing complex models from Maya.
The TU Delft Second Life working group has now written an import function for doing this from Maya. So now all technically drawn objects such as buildings or cars can be converted in one go into Second Life.
Update: just saw this weblog post from last Autumn over at eightbar about a Sketchup importer. Looks like it’s only useful for very simple models and doesn’t appear to have been enhanced any further. (via Vint Falken).
The recently released statistical data on the SL economy are quite fascinating. (As an aside, I wish we could get better data for our in-world transactions. Right now the daily transactions a user may download from SecondLife.com do not include Object Name, making them all but worthless for tracking sales data. C’mon LL just give us object name!).
Of key interest is the Sources and Sinks table which gives one a really great snapshot of the SL economy and helps complete the picture as to how LL will transition SL into a “platform” and away from a traditional MMO service. With stipends and dwell going the way of taxes (remember those?) the primary Sources of income for residents will be either purchasing straight from LL, purchasing from other residents (Lindex), or revenue from the sales of content and land.
Also of note is the amount spent on Classifieds during the month of April: L$ 3,824,573. Noteworthy because I think this sink is an enormous waste of money for residents using it. In my own personal tests over a few weeks with Larsen Shops I tried a couple different methods of trying to drive traffic with classifieds in an attempt to determine their effectiveness. We saw barely any difference in overall traffic and no difference between high-priced classifieds and low. Maybe someday Classifieds will be worth paying for, but at this moment in time, don’t waste your money. If you do want the slight benefit, buy an ad for the lowest amount. And make sure your keywords appear in the text of your ad.