I haven't blogged in a while, but I thought this was worthy of a NEWS FLASH. It looks as if a new type of prim is on the way: the Sculpted Prim. There's info about it over here on the Second Life Wiki: http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Sculpted_Prims
Cubes with rounded corners, at last! It would take a long time to really think through all of the ramifications of this great new tool. But just think how many prims one could save, creating even simple shapes like rounded cubes . . .
Looks as if I'll have to get Maya. I'm always a bit bummed out when I have to use a tool other than Second Life itself to create content, because I like my virtual workspace in SL. I like shoving prims around the surface of the frozen pond between the cabin and the covered bridge on my snowy Second Life parcel, with my friends working around me and joking in Skype. Looking at a modeling program running in a window somehow just isn't the same. But I'll still be virtually "with" my friends/coworkers, and it'll be worth it to build even cooler stuff.
I wonder how things built with the old prims are going to look next to things made out of these sculpted prims. I usually design things so they are pretty compatible with the SL building system, so I think most of my stuff will probably look all right. But wow, there's going to be such a temptation to redo things!
Hope they get the Blender exporter working pretty fast, because Autodesk's Maya costs a pretty penny, and I would hate to see a lot of folks unable to make use of the new prims. There's a free Personal Learning Edition of Maya available over here for anyone who wants to give it a try: http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/index?siteID=123112&id=7639525. It's free to use for non-commercial applications, but there's a watermark, and I don't know how that might mess up a sculpted prim. And I don't know if anyone is entirely clear on where to draw the line between Second Life businesses as a game and Second Life businesses that are RL businesses.
MORE NEWS: Torley Linden just blogged about the new prims, with a bunch of info and images: http://blog.secondlife.com/2007/04/27/the-advent-of-an-illustrious-age-of-sculpted-prims/. Included is a link to this amazing video: http://s3.amazonaws.com/Media_Archive/Videos/Sculpted-prim.mov .