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Sculpted prim

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A Sculpted Prim (or Sculptie) is a Second Life 3D primitive object whose shape is determined by a texture. These textures are called Sculpt Textures or Sculpt Maps. You can use sculpted prims to create more complex, organic shapes that are not currently possible with Second Life's prim system.

A Sculpt Texture or Sculpt Map is a standard RGB texture where the R (red), G (green) and B (blue) channels are mapped onto X, Y, and Z space. Sculpt Textures are similar to so-called "normal maps", but instead of encoding surface normals they encode surface positions. They are also similar to displacement maps, but instead of a single scalar distance we have three values — one each for the X, Y, and Z coordinates. Sculpt Textures are also very similar to parametric (e.g. NURBS) surfaces. See Sculpted Prims: Under the Hood for details.

Sculpted prims work with UV maps. Instead of making an object with a certain, very distinct shape, you take an object with a very generic shape and use the texture file to tell it where to move vertices. That way the poly count stays low and things still look good.

For more technical details see the links below.

Sculpted prims, if implemented properly, may draw the attention of more professional animation and movie feature production skilled 3D artists to Second Life as a useful place to display game, movie and advertising graphics and 3D special effects.

Sculpted Prim creation software (free)

Sculpted Prim creation software (not free)

A Sculpt Texture or Sculpt Map is a standard RGB texture where the R (red), G (green) and B (blue) channels are mapped onto X, Y, and Z space. Sculpt Textures are similar to so-called "normal maps", but instead of encoding surface normals they encode surface positions. They are also similar to displacement maps, but instead of a single scalar distance we have three values — one each for the X, Y, and Z coordinates. Sculpt Textures are also very similar to parametric (e.g. NURBS) surfaces. See Sculpted Prims: Under the Hood for details.

Sculpted prims work with UV maps. Instead of making an object with a certain, very distinct shape, you take an object with a very generic shape and use the texture file to tell it where to move vertices. That way the poly count stays low and things still look good.

For more technical details see the links below.

Sculpted prims, if implemented properly, may draw the attention of more professional animation and movie feature production skilled 3D artists to Second Life as a useful place to display game, movie and advertising graphics and 3D special effects.

Sculpted Prim creation software (free)

Sculpted Prim creation software (not free)

Current implementation problems or limitations of Sculpties

As of July 25, 2007, serious limitations on Sculpties include:

  • There are only 8 bits of data used for each X, Y, and Z point in the UV maps, instead of 16 bits.
  • There is some JPEG2000 compression of all uploaded texture files, even those in lossless TGA, BMP, and PNG format.
  • Level of Detail (LOD) for displaying sculpted prims is set to the integer 3, which corresponds to capping the visual detail displayed in the Second Life client at 64x64 sized uploaded sculptie textures. This problem can be fixed but because of the compression during upload, greater detail can lead to more visible anomalies on the object.
  • Sculpted prims are only 'seen' by SL's collision system (serverside) as misshapen spheres, meaning they are very limited in practical use and are best reserved for non-structural decorative elements. They are only fully (visually) rendered 'clientside', in the users browser.

See also

External links

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