NURBS to Sculptie

abstract: The tutorial describes a reasonable way to convert NURBS surfaces to sculpted prims. We recommend that you install the sculptie import/export scripts from Domino Marama, but we also show a way to create sculpties with blender’s built in node editor and without any script usage. Please also take a look at our new page (plus video tutorial) about Gaia’s transformer script nurbs2sculptieImportant Note: Please take a minute to read the Tutorial license terms.

High quality download: nurbs2sculptie.wmv


Hello, and welcome back to our blender tutorial series.
Today i will show you, how to convert a nurbs surface into a sculpted prim. First i will show you the easy way, by using Domino Marama’s sculpted prim exporter for blender. Then i will show you, how you can create your sculpt map, without usage of any external script.

ok, as allways, delete the default object first. Then split the view, and open the UV-image editor. After you prepared your view, create a NURBS sphere. You can sculpt your object in any way you like. For demonstration purposes, I will create a simple heart now, and here we go.

Please note, that in your own projects, you can alternatively select spheres, surfaces, tubes, or even donuts. In any case, you perform the same steps, as shown here in this tutorial. You only have to take care later about the stitching type. Obviously a tube transforms into a sculptie cylinder, and a donut, transforms into a torus.

Sculpties can only be generated from meshes. So once we are finished with our sculpting, we have to convert the final result into a mesh. And this is done in object mode. Simply open object, convert object type, mesh!

Now we need to unwrap the mesh. In this step, We have to take care about some very specific constraints. Especially we must create perfectly squared UV-maps. With nurbs it turns out that this task can be performed by applying a well defined process. Here are the steps, which you have to perform:

Step 1: go to edit mode,
Then go to top view,
Now choose all vertices.
Finally open the UV-unwrapper and select: project from view, with bounds.
This step is only needed to initialy populate the UV-map.

Step 2: go to the UV image editor
There, select: quads constrained rectangular.
This forces the usage of rectangular faces.

Step 3: Go back to the 3D view,
switch to face select mode,
deselect all vertices,
now right click on one arbitrary face to select it.
Right click again to make it the active face.
Once you performed this activation, select all faces by pressing: a, twice.
Call the UV-unwrapper again, but now select: follow active quads.

Step 4: in the UV image editor, you see a more or less distorted UV map now.
This is normal. Still in the UV image editor, press the g-key, and click the left mouse key immediately.
Now the UV-map has changed significantly, but we still do not see the expected result.
But don’t worry. We are still on the right track.

Step 5: Go back to the 3D-view
Open the UV-unwrapper again,
And select: “follow active quads”, a secnd time.
Now we get a rectangular UV-map.
Well, it is not yet perfectly sized, but that will be done in the next step.

So, proceed to Step 6: go back to the UV-image editor,
and there, scale the mesh up or down until it fits as perfect as possible into the image.
You can make your life easy by selecting, “Layout clipped to image size”, and just scale the map, until it fits perfectly.

we have created the UV-map now. in the final step, we have to bake the sculptie. If you have installed the sculptie scripts from Domino Ma-rama, just go to Object mode, then render,bake SL sculpties.
If you see a black stripe at one side of the sculptie, you did not precisely adjust the UV-map, or the vertex points are not adjusted at the correct positions. In that case, enter the UV-image editor again, and readjust your UV-map, until it covers the hole image space. Then do again: render, bake SL sculpties. And you are done. Your Sculptie is now ready for import to OpenSim or any compatible online world.

If you want to know how you can create a sculptie map without any script help, then hold on. I show you now, how this is done:

First, we remove the sculptie image,
Now split the view,
and then open the node editor inside the new window.

Now open the material buttons,
and create a new material.

In the node editor, click on: “use nodes”,
Now the node based material is initialised.

We can remove the material node from the node view.
We do not need it any more.

Add a new geometry node.
And finally add a new mapping node.

In fact with the help of the mapping node,
we are going to create a red green blue color cube,
Which spans over the object bounding box.

Each vertex of the object, lies somewhere in the color cube.
The red green blue color values at the vertex positions,
are used to colorize the UV-map.
And this is exactly, what we want to happen, when we create a sculptie.

We need to adjust location and size to zero point five,
And we will use the orco output-connector, which passes the original vertex co ordinates into the mapping node. At the end, we connect the final output node, and we are done.

Now create a new image of size 64 times 64,
then go to edit mode and select all vertices.
Finally, render, bake render meshes, full render.
the result is the sculptie map.
save it to disk, and import the result to your online world.

And enjoy your heart.

12 Enlightened Replies

Trackback  •  Comments RSS

  1. lacey says:

    Hey I’m stuck on the G step, I didn’t make a heart I made a veil and I used multries and it says error, action can only be used for level one… any ideas? I’m stuck on that part with my image everywhere!

Post a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *