by FreeWee Ling (cross posted on www.freeweeling.com/blog/)
One of their team then developed an interface tool called SketchLife that could import Sketchup models into Second Life linksets, complete with texturing.
This was at a time when the maximum prim size was 10 meters and before sculpted prims (much less mesh) were commonly used. So most of the builds were created as facades without any consideration for interior space or prim efficiency. So, for example, the iconic Winthrop Hall clocked in at over 1500 prims. Other builds were similarly primmy.
Last month when it looked as though we would be imminently losing three of our four sims, I scrambled to free space on the remaining sim (the one with Winthrop Hall), which was already very close to maximum capacity. I was able to get edit permissions on some of the major builds, though most of the original builders (who are also the owners of the objects) are no longer active in SL.
So I set about restructuring a couple of the buildings to increase efficiency. Most urgent, of course, was Winthop Hall itself. Since all the builds were made of normal prims, it was a fairly simple matter to link as many as I could in sections and simply convert them to convex hull, thereby cutting in half the land impact. For example, there are 72 columns in upper and lower colonnades on each side of the building. Each column has a base and a 2-part capital, so a total of 576 prims just for columns. Add 40 prims for the arched headers and you have 616. Just by linking and converting them to convex hull I reduced the land impact to 308.
In addition to using many parts just because they were using standard prims with a size limit, much of the building was simply pieced together, adding prims wherever needed to fill in the facade. The main roof of Winthrop was about 24 prims stitched together. By taking a couple of those prims and stretching them I could reduce the count to 4, converting to convex made a land impact of 2. (I could have reduced it to 3 prims but since I d0 not own them and do not have copies of the original textures, I had to add a couple that had the correct end textures.)
I was able to save about 500 land impact from the original Winthrop Hall build without actually changing much. I did a similar job on the adjoining Hackett Hall that saved another 200 or so.
There are other objects that can't really be altered, like the bust statues of Socrates and Diotima made by the great prim sculptor Chuckmatrix Clip. Each curl of Diotima's hair is a torus prim and that statue alone is 158 prims. With all the twisted and cut toruses I'm not sure there would be much savings by converting to convex hull, and in any case I don't have edit perms on these objects.
With my rebuild of Winthrop Hall, I was able to clean up a lot of the interior space (including simply deleting a few dozen superfluous prims) and I inserted a reduced scale copy of my skybox into the space. It does feel smaller, but is probably closer to actual scale than my original. I made the windows line up better with the exterior and a few other changes, but one issue is that the beautiful entrance foyer was added by another builder from whom I was not able to get edit perms. That space does not precisely line up with the main hall, so I had to adjust my interior to line up with his doors. This means the floor is lower than it should be, making the undercroft area unusable. In all I'm fairly pleased to have the exterior and interior integrated, though I'm still tweaking some details.
|Looking into Winthrop Hall directly from the foyer for the first time. I made the decorative iron railings in normal prims, patterned after real life. They're 56 prims, so I should probably convert them to sculpts or mesh.|