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LESSON 3: Here is a fun sculpt that introduces a favored method of mine: using a photo to guide your sculpt. It is not the easiest way to make a balloon. It can really be ANY photo or set of prims.

It is particularly good for more organic sculpts, at least until you can better predict the outcome of your sculpt and do it by eye. The same concept can be applied to making sculpties out of your prim items … don’t worry if it comes out lumpy, just get some practice zooming and panning your camera around as well as getting comfortable with that SL stretch feature. NOTE: If you would like to save yourself L$10 on an upload, find the photo of the pink balloon at Lithe (my new island SIM) and grab the tutorial items in it; it’s on the wall by the entrance.

NOTE for PC users: To “pan” your camera, hold CTRL+ALT as well as the left mouse button and move your mouse around. To “zoom” your camera, hold down ALT while holding the left mouse button and move the mouse around. Practice it until it becomes second nature! … MAC users: look up your shortcuts! Sorry, I don’t know where but there are a lot of MAC support people around. You might find one in the Sweet Sculpies group.

1. Using a photo guide
2. Creating a shallow hollow affect
3. zooming and panning



studio –>> rez slices –>> MYblank
studio –>> particles

We’ll be using the following photo for this tutorial. You can either  save this one to your drive and upload it or grab it for free at my Lithe sim: (there are other useful items in that box so grab it anyway!) … either way, apply it to a prm sized 2x2x2 (because that’s how big our group of slices are).

Set the repeats to 0.78 and 0.78 so that the top and bottom of the balloon meets the edges of the prim.

Select all your slices and set the transparency to 90 so you can see through it.

TIP : Zoom out so you can see all your slices … place your mouse above and to the left of your slices … hold down the SHIFT button and your left mouse button … then drag your mouse diagonally until you’re to the right and below your slices (similar to highlighting a group of text). It should highlight at least a few of your slices. Keep dragging until you capture all the slices. It takes some getting used to, but with practice, you’ll be able to grab any group of slices with little effort. If you highlighted something you shouldn’t have, just click it to de-select (but don’t let go of the SHIFT button!).

Place your balloon box in the middle of your slices on the X axis. And on the Y axis, set the edge of the box to the middle of your slices (if you set the Y size to .01 and it falls at the edge of your slices, you did it right .. but change the size back to 2m!). On the Z axis, be sure they are equally touching the top and bottom slices.

touch slice 0 –>> Load Slice –>>pole
touch slice 31 –>> Load Slice –>> pole

Zoom in and adjust your camera so you can see below your sculpt. Right-click –>> edit Slice 0 and set the size to 0.1×0.1×0.01. Repeat for Slice 1 and 2. If you pan around the “front”, it should look like this.

Move Slice 1 to the bottom of the balloon prim and rotate it to match the bottom of the balloon tie.

Right-click –>> edit slice 2 and set the size to 0.036×0.036×0.01 and move it just above the balloon knot. Then move slice 0 to the middle of the balloon knot.

This creates a semi-hollow affect. Slice 0 is a point, completely closed. It brances off to a circle in slice 1 and a smaller circle at slice 2. It’s just a really small part of the balloon so we’re not going to worry about the small details of the knot and such.

Zoom out so you can see the whole balloon. We’re going to work on the main shape now.

Move slice 3 down so that the bottom of the balloon meets the middle of the slice.

right-click –>> edit slice 3

Pan so that you’re looking up at the balloon but can still see the front. Using the stretch features, shrink the sides (by sliding the red boxes inward) so that the edge of the slice meets the edge of the balloon. As long as the “stretch both sides” box is checked, you only need to look at one edge while shrinking the slice. Continue until you can’t comfortably see the edge of the balloon anymore which is about the middle of the sculpt.

Don’t worry about being exact. It is a balloon after all. We’ll work on more exact sculpts in the future.

Now look at it from the top. Shrink Slice 31 all the way so that it’s out of the way (that will be 0.01m on the X size). Start shrinking the slices under Slice 31 to meet the photo of the balloon until all slices are adjusted to the photo.

We’re half-way there. I know, we could have used the white boxes instead of the red. We could also copy and paste the X into the Y size because it IS perfectly symmetrical.

But this lesson is all about practice so move the balloon box so that the Y position is in the middle of the slices and the X position matches the edge of the box wtih the middle of the slices.

Now zoom and pan wherever you like to stretch the slice edge to meet the edge of the balloon. Here is my view for the top part …

And here is the end result after moving the box out of the way.

so lets see what this baby looks like!

studio –>> edit frame

click frame –>> auto adjust

studio –>> say slices

While it is auto-adjusting, paste the output into a new notecard and name it “balloon-SCULPT”. Drop the new notecard into your studio. I plan to be going back to this box in a future lesson so please save it.

While your frame was moving, it was scanning each point in all the slices to make sure they all end up in the box. Once it’s finished, touch the frame and click “Sculptie!”.

frame –>> sculpt prim –>> sphere

When you get your link (it’s different for everyone), copy and paste it into your web browser. You’ll get a window with an option to copy, save, or cancel th uplaod. Click save and save it onto your desktop.

Upload your image, making sure the “use lossless compression” box is checked.

Right-click –>> edit the “sculpt prim” and drag the sculpt map into the “sculpt texture” window; you’ll find it in the “Object” tab. NOTE: THIS IS DIFFERENT FROM THE WINDOW IN THE “TEXTURE” TAB.

After double checking that you put the sculpt texture into OBJECT tab, go ahead click the texture tab to set the texture to blank, high shiny, and apply your favorite color. I picked blue.

And now you have your first sculptie! Mine is a little lumpy because it’s late and I’m tired, hehe. How does yours look? Don’t worry if yours came out lumpy also … we’ll learn to smooth them out soon.

But let me know you had fun by sending me a copy :-).

And put it away for future use (save the prim with the balloon photo also). We’ll tweak it and make some string to go with it in a future lesson.

8 Comments on “LESSON 3”

  1. #1 tibbi
    on May 13th, 2009 at 11:10 pm

    Question abou this line: “Move Slice 1 to the bottom of the balloon prim and rotate it to match the bottom of the balloon tie. ”

    Is that done with SL edit, or are we doing with the SS menu somehow?

  2. #2 Ghanie Lane
    on May 14th, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    SL edit is the easiest way to do it.

  3. #3 Ginevra Lancaster
    on May 15th, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    Just bought the studio and went through until lesson 3… but didnt manage to get a ballon at all, looks more like a golf club 🙂
    will try again tomorrow when i m a little more awake
    ty in any case for providing such a detailed tutorial!

  4. #4 Ginevra Lancaster
    on May 16th, 2009 at 5:13 am

    ok now got something that (vaguely) looks like a ballon 🙂

  5. #5 weiwei
    on Jul 28th, 2009 at 6:15 pm

    great job but I had a problem, when I finished stretch all the slice both X and Y size, scultie after edit frame, follow the link and got peview, I suddenly found I left X size of slice 3! the ballon was all right except the slice, how careless of me! so I had to stretch again then generate a new ballon, but with all effort, the preview was always the strange shape, just like a octopus. I try to upload the tga file and the problem still existed…who could tell me why?

  6. #6 Chanty
    on Sep 18th, 2009 at 1:33 am

    Hello.. Just for the NEW ppl like me to this…

    *While your frame was moving, it was scanning each point in all the slices to make sure they all end up in the box. Once it’s finished, touch the frame and click “Sculptie!”.

    {frame ->> sculpt prim ->> frame ->> name}
    Now Type in ur local chat window: /285 sphere
    I used channel 285 u can use any u want….

    Ty Ghanie & sorry to add this line but I didn’t get fast first.. Goofy me I was trying to find sphere in the menu…Lol..! maybe u meant say with –> but also I’m not familiar to it…!! Thx.

  7. #7 Chanty
    on Sep 18th, 2009 at 4:09 am

    Wooow… after just lesson 3 I made my 1st sculpt {a funny Head} Ty so much..
    When I got it yesterday I cldn’t figure out how to make it work….
    Thx to all for offering their knowledge and support..
    All the Best…. Chanty.

  8. #8 dezgray
    on Oct 15th, 2009 at 6:04 am

    Just purchased the kit and wow my balloon was well not so round lot I have a lot of learning ahead of me but I got through it and getting the concept on use for my first day of use thanks to this excellent tutorial thanks so much for this and also the you tube video helped me a bunch too it would be awesome to see more video tutorials and such on this for the newbies like me ;0) thanks again

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