Friday, August 17, 2007

Terrain Sculptor - Maps Sims and Creates Sculpties

Terrain Sculptor is a tool I've made which maps the terrain of Second Life sims and generates sculpty textures for them. It's written in C# and runs on .NET 2.0. The tool uses the libsecondlife client to log in an avatar to retrieve the terrain data. It also downloads the world-map image of a sim so that it can be used as a texture. A "decal" version can be generated which includes a border to align better with the sculpty. The elevation data can be saved seperately as a binary dump or as a grayscale image. The process typically takes only a few seconds after logging in and the files are saved automatically.

Visit Terrain Sculptor Page

The technique for retrieving terrain data using libsl is taken from the heightmap example in the libsecondlife source code. I used the technique for making sculpties from heightmaps explained by Pamagester Darracq and LaeMi Qian in the SL Wiki.

I've tried to make the application friendly, but it's not a shrink wrapped product. The source is open so people can contribute improvements if they like. Sooner or later I'll add something to generate decent land textures for the sims instead of using the world map image with builds on it (I've done something similar in the past). An obvious missing feature is the ability to generate a grid of sculpty textures instead of one for a sim to achieve a higher resolution. In theory this shouldn't be too hard but I haven't looked into it in detail. I've found that the map decals align better with the sculpty if you offset the decal texture by .015 for some reason.