A couple of days ago, I had a couple of people contact me about the Prim to Mesh generator because I had left a comment on the MP store about it, so I thought I would do a video explaining what it is and how to use it. I love this thing. It makes turning your objects and builds into mesh REALLY easy and it is what I use when I don’t want to fiddle around with other third party programs. I have made everything from coffee tables to whole houses with the help of this mesh generator.
You can find it on the marketplace or at the inworld store. DO try out the demo version first. I have linked you to the generator I got myself. I don’t feel like I can comment on any of the other ones on the MP as I have not tried any of them. Now, even though it is a bit pricey (L$4,526) it is really worth every linden you pay for it. It will save you a whole lot of land impact and in comparison to buying some items, it is really cheap to just make them and upload them. I can’t remember exactly how much the house I made cost, but it was only a couple of hundred linden all up. It could probably have been less, but I made some mistakes and had to re upload bits and pieces. The LI for it was only 93 in total and it had a foot print of 30.2 along the side, by 38.3 along the front. It did take me a good couple of weeks on and off and I never did finish the texturing and fine tuning that I wanted to, but it was a really fun and ambitious project and I had a lot of good times in this house.
This coffee table cost me a grand total of L$11 and has a LI of one and took me no more than 30 minutes in total to knock out.
I know there are a few ways of building in SL. Everything in the world starts with a prim. You can use third party programs such as Blender and Maya to build mesh objects and there are a LOT of fantastic tutorials out there already for these, so I won’t cover them here. If you are looking for some Blender tutorials, check out Haven Ditko’s series. She does this tutorial series especially for mesh for Second Life and her explanations are thorough and really easy to follow. If you are looking for Maya tutorials, I enjoy watching Mike Hermes channel. He has a LOT of tutorials on making a wide variety of things, although he is not specific to Second Life modelling.
Also, if you are considering building things, please check out Builder’s Brewery. They are an INCREDIBLE source of information and resources. They hold free classes at the Brewery in world as well as provide sandboxes to build in. The group is really friendly and they are always happy to help no matter what level you are at in your building.
Now I have done those couple of plugs, How does this thing actually work? Well…basically you insert a script into the object you want to mesh, the mesh generator then generates the mesh data and opens the converted .DAE file into a website for you to download. You then save that .DAE file to your computer and upload it back into Second Life as a mesh object. Confused? Then let’s make something so you can see how we do that in a bit more detail.
Build your object
So I just built a really basic door and it all starts, of course with a prim. I made this door out of 6 prims, one of which will be textured to be transparent so I can have a glass panel in the middle of the door, just because I like that particular look, but you could also texture it with a different woodgrain or paint effects if you wanted to. Either way, it is just a nice bit of detailing that won’t actually cost me anything in land impact.
Link your pieces together, but TEXTURE before you do!
Once you have all your pieces set up the way you want them, you need to link them all together. I like to colour the different faces BEFORE I link them, only because I find it makes it easier for me when I want to texture the back and the front the same way. So, any face that you might want to make a different colour or texture, just make sure you colour it differently to all the others and that will give you your different texture faces on the mesh model.
Drop in the script and hit generate on the gadget.
Once you have done all that, link up your pieces and then insert the script that came in the mesh generator folder into the root prim of the object and then hit generate.
Save the .DAE file to your computer
Once you do that, You will see a message about it generating the model and then you will be given a link to a website where you can download your .dae file. Download the file, and for tidy housekeeping, I like to rename the file straight away to something descriptive that I will remember.
Upload it back into Second Life
Then you go back into SL, go to your inventory and then click on the little plus sign at the bottom. From here, choose upload…model and choose the file name of the object. When you hit calculate, it will tell you your upload cost and how much your LI is. You can fiddle around a bit with the Level of Detail (LOD) and hulls and such here (see tips), but if you are happy with everything, simply hit upload and the model will be delivered into your inventory. Once again, I like to rename the model straight away so I don’t get confused with a whole lot of random “Mesh generator object” floating around in my inventory.
Rez it out into the world
Then you can rez it out into the world and texture and script it whatever way you want. You will be the creator of the object so also don’t forget to set your permissions if you plan to sell this item.
1. This is not just for building new objects. If you have old builds that you really like made out of prims, you can easily convert to mesh using this generator, but I believe the item needs to be full permission or modifiable. I haven’t tried it out with this as I prefer to build my own things, but let me know if you do!
2. If your blocks are at a right angle that you want to walk through….eg. A doorway, do NOT convert it as one whole piece as you won’t be able to walk through it. It will be treated like one solid rectangle. Which is fine for things like Windows because you don’t have to walk through them. Convert them in separate pieces and link them together afterwards.
3. To lower the hull count, make faces that touch transparent before you convert the prims to mesh.
4. When you are uploading, think about the LOD you actually need. This is the level at which an object will appear to collapse in on itself as you move away from it. A coffee table for instance, is always seen up close, so you don’t really need the highest LOD for that, especially if it is going to increase your upload costs!
5. And lastly, this may just be something I do because I am super obsessive about these things, but…keep your original premeshed prim shapes. There have been times when building houses that I have had to go back and tweak things and redo the mesh and if you have the original prim shapes, it’s much quicker and easier to just rezz that out than to have to build the thing all over again. When you are done with the build, you can just pack it all away into a box or you can delete it if you prefer, but you never know when you might want that same wall or floor again.
And that is it. The video goes into a little more detail about the actual building of the object itself, so if you are still a bit confused, please check it out and have a go!
Mesh Generator MP Store: https://marketplace.secondlife.com/p/Mesh-Generator-Convert-Prim-into-Mesh/5445477?
Mesh Generator Inworld Store: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Terriergate/8/224/3882
Body: Maitreya Lara
Head: Akeruka Lulu
Eyes: Atelier Pepe – Dreamy Eyes – 05
Top: Blueberry – Radiance – Denim Jackets
Skirt Emery Bangalore Shirt 1
Shoes: -KC- Alexia Sneaker Boots
Pose: own pose made using Anypose