SL Building And Texturing - Introduction


People often comment on my builds, usually with the adjective "amazing" or "incredible" somewhere in the sentence. Well, I have to say, it's really not that hard; at least not for the simple block buildings I tend to specialise in. There are two big secrets, well, techniques really, to building beautiful-looking buildings and in the coming few tutorials I'm going to show you how it's done.

The two really, really, really important things you need to remember are Prim Edge Alignment and Texture Offsetting.

Before I launch into the tutorials proper, I'll spend a few moments explaining what these terms mean (at least to me).

Prim Edge Alignment

Essentially what this means is that, typically, the façade of a building will be made up of a number of objects (or prims to use the SL terminology). To avoid "seaming" (unsightly lines at the joining vertex of two prims) or "orthogonal reflective interference" (thanks, thom!) (where the faces of two prims overlap on the same plane, creating a weird flashing effect as you move), you need to precisely align the prim faces so that they touch each other exactly. Then, when you come to apply the texture (using texture offsetting, of course), the two prims will look like one (unless you've selected them in build mode, in which case their outlines will show up)!

Texture Offsetting

Texture offsetting involves using a single texture across two or more prim faces and adjusting the number of repeats and offset on each face so as to precisely align the texture on each face; creating a seamless whole (assuming you've done your prim edge alignment properly). The way I do this is usually to draw the façade on paper (yes! paper! The stuff we used to use before computers were invented) and work out sizes for the texture I'm making (and part of the coming tutorial will be explaining how to do this in the GIMP.

So, those terms defined, it's on with Part 1

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