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Fleur’s quick and dirty guide to Version 6 Part 3 – A New Balloon, I call it the Speed Balloon

This is Part 3 of my quick and dirty guide for Version 6 intended for new and lapsed and returning users ) Before starting this you need to have introduced yourself to Sculpt Studio Version 6 by being familiar with everything listed in Part 1 and Part 2 of this guide.

Ok I know its mostly WORDS 🙂 but knowing the terms helps you ask the right questions, and get the right answers.  So it pays to learn them.  And it won’t work just to read it, unless you’re already quite experienced, you need to work along with this guide otherwise I think it will be much tougher for it to sink in.
Finished balloon


Although better geared for the lack of tools in version 4, Ghanie’s balloon is still worth working through (if you’re a masochist :)).  By the time you’ve got a decent grasp of the concepts in Parts 1 and 2 of this guide you should be able to adapt what you’ve learnt so far to work through it.  If you’re still very new to Sculpt Studio and SL building, and if you want to make a speed balloon using the newer tools, read on.  I’m going to use common Sculpt Studio and standard Second Life building terms in this guide.  If there’s a term you’re unfamiliar with, check the wiki or ask in the Sweet Sculpties group.

Assuming you can rez a stack already, and make a sculptie, you will require knowledge of the following concepts and related terms to make the speed balloon:

Step 1 – decide whether you want to work through the 32 slice or 64 slice version of this workbook

I’m going to give two sets of instructions, one for a simple balloon shape using 32 slices which does not include the string and one using a 64 slice stack which includes the same balloon plus the string.  It doesn’t really matter which instructions you follow, however the 64 slice version includes the string so it will take a little longer before you get to a finished balloon.  If you’re very new its probably better to stick to the 32 slice version.  The only difference between the steps required for the balloon shape from 32 slices to 64 slices is the slice numbers we need to work with, otherwise the procedure is the same.
For the advanced users working with the 64 slice stack version:
I’ll be gearing the instructions towards the 32 slice stack users assuming the rest of you are more advanced, so if the instruction I’m giving is different for the 64 slice stack (will only be the slice numbers i’m referring to) I’ll put the alt numbers in brackets.

It would even be possible for me to use the same instructions for the balloon shape section of both 32 and 64 slices by one of the following methods:
  • turn the whole stack upside down so that slice 0 is at the top
  • make the balloon shape using slice 0-31 and use slices 32-63 for the string
  • But for this exercise I’m going to stick with working with the stack in the position its rezzed in and give 2 sets of instructions whenever I’m referring to slice numbers.

    Step 2 – Rez a slice stack – 32 or 64 slices

    • Click the studio base (or the words ‘Sculpt Studio’ on the HUD)
    • Choose Rez slices > Blank > 32Slices (64slices)

    Step 3 – Change to sculpted slices

    You can skip this step if you want, but it will help you visualise your balloon.

    • Click the studio base (or the words ‘Sculpt Studio’ on the HUD)
    • Choose Settings > Sculpted Sl.
    Your slices are gonna get circular 🙂

    Step 4 – Load the pole slices (Slices 0, 6 and 31)

    • Touch Slice0 (Slice32) (use the HUD or touch the slice direct)
    • Choose Load Slice > Pole*
    Follow the same steps to load a Pole slice to Slice6 and Slice31 (Slice38, Slice63).

    Not essential (so you can skip this bit), but food for thought:

    If you’re working on the 64 slice stack, you can also load poles to Slice0 and Slice31 now.
    Also at this point, 64 slice stack users may want to select slices 0-31 and drag them to the side or resize them to get them out of the way, although its not necessary, it might make things easier to see.
    Fleur says:
    Me, I have one of the columns set up on my HUD to load Pole slices in just one click.  If you want to set this up for yourself now, all you have to do is click the letter under the column you want to use, click ‘Change’ and find the menu option you want that column to do.  Now all i have to do is click in the little square for that slice and column and a pole gets loaded.  How cool is that.

    Step 5 – Resize the taper point

    I’m talking about the bit of the balloon where the knot is.  I’ve chosen Slice 6 (slice38) for this , we’ve already made it a pole.

    Fleur says:
    A single pole will make a point here no matter what size the slice is, but because we’re going to be using B-spline sizing to make the balloon shape, we need to make it very small.
    We could even make a bulge to become the knot here when we get better at using the studio, but thats more advanced and will take more time, so just trust me when I say it won’t be long before you know what you’d have to do to achieve that.
    Changing the height (z-size) of an individual slice does not change the resulting sculpt or points in any way, so the slice height you choose to work with is completely a matter of convenience and preference.

    Because of SL scaling limitations, to make the slice very small we need to make it taller first.

    • Edit Slice6 (Slice38) using sl building methods – Right-click the slice, choose edit from the pie
    • Make the slice taller – Use Stretch and grab the Z(blue) handles (make sure Stretch both sides is also checked)
    • Resize the whole slice – Use one of the corner white handles to shrink the slice down
    Do the same thing for Slice 31 (Slice 63). It doesn’t have to be quite as small as slice 6 (38).

    Fleur says:
    If you’re not experienced in SL building you may need to experiment with this to get it small.  And if you’re standing a long way away from the studio, it might seem like the slice disappeared, it didn’t but it might be too small to see from where you are, so get closer.

    Step 6 – Set up the sizing B-spline

    • Set up a from-to for Slices 6 to 31 (Slices 38 to 63).   Either click slices 6 and 31 and choose from .. and to .. respectively, or use the HUD to get the From-to menu for that slice range.

    64 slice users will need to change HUD pages to see slices 38-63.

    • Save your work before continuing*
    • Select B-spline from the menu – the first B-spline controller will rez
    • Click the B-spline controller (transparent pink ball)
    • Choose Locks.. > Unlock S X (size X)
    • Do the same thing to Unlock S Y
    * base > .txt Slices will do it quickly, remember to do this regularly

    Fleur says:
    Now, you might want to also want to work through the Locks menu and test out locking everything else at this point, but its not necessary for this exercise, and could cause some undesirable results.  Sometimes the twisting of slices in your b’splines are unavoidable no matter what you lock, especially if you’ve moved the start and end slices of your range off 0,0 in relation to the stack, or pulled your controllers away from where they were in the x/y plane.  If that was all greek to you, don’t worry about it now 🙂

    Step 7 – Activate the B-spline controller (just checking)

    • Click the B-spline controller (pink ball) and choose Activate.

    You’ll see something happen the slice sizes will change.  Resize the controller and they will change a bit more.  Its not enough yet, so lets add a couple more controllers

    Step 8 – Add 2 more controllers

    • Click the B-spline controller
    • Choose Add Ctrl +
    • Click the controller again and choose Add Ctr –

    Step 9 – Reactivate and resize/move the controllers

    The controllers will now be inactivate, so lets activate them again.
    • Click any control and choose Activate
    • Using regular SL buiding methods, Resize and move (up and down) the controllers to get closer to the balloon shape you want
    Once again, its VERY IMPORTANT that your edit settings have ‘Stretch both sides’ checked ON.
    Here’s a picture showing where my controllers are to get a decent balloon type shape (note the controller numbers).
    Balloon B-spline locations

    Step 9 – Make the balloon end

    • Save your work (touch the base, choose .txt Slices)
    • If you’re happy with your balloon shape, you can kill the controllers now.
      Unfortunately these can’t be saved (yet), but this was pretty easy right? you could recreate what you just did in a flash.
    • Use the HUD to get the From-to Menu  for Slices 1-6 (33-38 for the 64 slice stack users).
    • Choose ‘Size‘ – ok you get the idea, its not quite right, but if you move (and resize) slice 1 to get it looking more balloon endy and do it again, we’re nearly done. (Do From-to 1-6 again and choose Position, after you move slice 1 to get them nicely spaced)
    • When the balloon end is looking right, touch Slice 1 (directly or using the HUD) and choose ‘Copy…‘ > ‘Copy Posi‘ from the menu.
    • Touch slice 0 (directly or using the HUD) and choose ‘Paste…’ and ‘Paste Posi’ from the menu.
    Congratulations you’ve finished your balloon.
    32 slice users can now make their balloon sculpty.

    Step 10 – 64 slice users only

    Since you guys are the more advanced users, I’m just going to quickly list the tasks to be completed before your sculpty is finished:
    • Save your work (touch the base, choose .txt Slices)
    • Resize slices 1 and 30 to very small
    • Bring slice 31 to where you think the string should start (tuck it inside the balloon end).  Being a Pole slice you don’t need to resize it, which is pretty convenient cos we will still be able to grab hold of it
    • Copy the position of slice 30 to slice 31
    • Place slice 1 where you want the string to end
    • for now leave slice 0 where it is, we can move it later
    • Get the from to menu for slice 1-30 and choose Size
    • Get the menu back and choose Position
    • rez a B-spline controller, this time leave the size locks on, and resize the controller, make it smaller since we’re working in a small space
    • Rez a couple of additional controllers, maybe even more, depending on how curly you want your string
    • Make them all small enough to grab hold of
    • Activate them and pull them around, you can curve, twist, loop and even knot the string
    • When your string is stringy enough, copy the position of slice 1 (touch it using the HUD might be easiest) and paste the position to slice 0
    Contgratulations, you’re done too.

    Challenges/exercises, things to ponder …

    Can you make the balloon end less circular and more rubbery looking? How would you do that?
    answer:  Move the points on slice 1 and morph between slices 1 and 6.  Make sure the pole is tucked inside the balloon end.
    Can you make a knot in the balloon?  How would you do that? Would you make it inline in the balloon shape? or would you try to make a knot with the string?  Why would you choose one over the other? Which one is best?
    answer: You could make the ‘knot’ by just converting slice6(38) back to a circle and and making a buldge using the size bspline right there after shrinking say slices 10 and 4 and adjusting everything else accordingly.  Or you could get fancy with your string b-spline and try to make a knot that way.  No one way is best, it depends on what you need, and also how you plan to texture it (see below).
    Considering the balloon and string is one sculpt in the 64 slice balloon, how would you texture it?
    answer: If you stick to exactly half, then exactly half of your texture will be dedicated to the string and half to the balloon.  Even in your more ambitious sculpts if you move your points in crazy distorted ways, the position of the points in one slice always equates to one straight line in your texture.  If you need more detail on the balloon for a detailed logo or image, you might want to dedicate more slices to the balloon and less to the string.
    Ok think I’m done, and I didn’t even make a balloon today 🙂

    3 Comments on “Fleur’s quick and dirty guide to Version 6 Part 3 – A New Balloon, I call it the Speed Balloon”

    1. #1 Fleur’s quick and dirty guide to Version 6 Part 2 - From-to Exercises – Sculpt Studio
      on Jan 8th, 2010 at 6:23 pm

      […] you’d rather make a balloon first, try my new improved balloon tutorial, or see Ghanie’s older ones noting that they’re more geared to earlier versions when […]

    2. #2 Martin Glom
      on Mar 9th, 2011 at 2:51 am

      awsome tutorial just by loocking at it and messing around im already getting the hang of the studio im not quite there yet but im looking at every tutorial to get the basic ideas of it working first then i can go and hopefully create some nice sculpts 🙂 i tryed to shape the balloon as shown above and ended up making some vase looking thing (bump) lol suppose i need to get my shapes in order

    3. #3 Martin Glom
      on Mar 9th, 2011 at 3:05 am

      any ideas when i load the b-spline from 6-31 is loads 3 instead of one is this normal for version 6.04 instead of clicking the controller and using Add Ctrl +

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