On building

I started building my first home the hard way: aligning objects one on top of the other. It took ages just to get the various parts of a wall fitting correctly around the windows. And when I was finished, ah well, the house was too small to let two people inside…

Worse thing was, I was taking so many primitives that I soon filled up my share! What was wrong? this house was a simple lodge, nothing fancy, and with one single room…

Well, the trick about building is simple: use “partial” primitives and lots of textures. Partial primitives is what you get when tampering with the primitives and create “holes” in them. Say you want a window inside a wall. Instead of building it the traditional way – 4 primitives for the wall around the window – you can get away with a cube with a “hole” in the middle (a square section). So you reduce the number of primitives to just one! The same applies to doors and other stuff.

If you need very detailed things – like a veranda’s grille, or several windows supported by a grid in iron or PVC – the best way to do is to use a texture. Use Photoshop or a similar program to get your overall image in the best detail you want. As you’re working with a texture and not with primitives you can get amazing detail. Then create a simple, thin cube and do it transparent. Now the trick is to apply the texture twice – on the “outside” and “inside” of the object. The easiest way to do this is simply to open your inventory and drag & drop a texture on top of the face. You can also do it from the object modeller (just select the radio button which says “Select Individual”).

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