ShaderMap 2 – A map generator

With the coming of normal, specular and displacement maps to Second Life a map generator is an useful tool to add to your toolbox. ShaderMap 2 is one of such tools which sports an elegant and intuitive interface, ease of use and a low price tag of US$ 39.95. Currently ShaderMap is only available for Windows.

What is a map generator? A map generator is a tool that creates a set of images — called maps — which create special effects from an existing image. There are a number of tools to create maps, both free and commercial. ShaderMap is quite interesting for its ease of use and low price (only US$ 39.95). Check the video for an introduction, click the link to visit the web site: http://shadermap.com

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BlenderNation | Ten Awesome Tips for Blender

tips

Using the normal pass

Subdividing selected sections

Using vertex colors with cycles

Blending textures with vertex colors

Baking normalized ambient occlusion maps

Adding custom properties to objects

Controlling objects using constraints

Splitting edges

Selection Tips

Dupliframes

Ten tips for Blender with video tutorials. Though not all apply to Second Life, some are quite helpful. Click the link to read the full article.

Blender 3D Architect | Modeling stairs in Blender for architecture

As Allan Brito says in his post, making stairs is one of the most difficult tasks in 3D modeling. In this video tutorial you can learn how to model stairs in Blender 2.5. As always, make sure that your model is low-poly for Second Life. And check Allan Brito’s blog for more tutorials and books on Blender.

BlenderNerd | Material Basics

Materials in 3D modeling tools are used to apply color, textures and lightning to a model. This BlenderNerd video tutorial aimed to beginners explains how to use materials in Blender 2.5.

Artisan | Organic toolset for SketchUp

Artisan is a plugin for SketchUp, an organic toolset that works pretty much like the terraforming tool in Second Life. It’s a commercial product, price is US$39.00.

Quoting from the web site:

Artisan is a set of powerful organic modeling tools. It builds upon the subdivision tools in Dale’s previous plugin, Subdivide and Smooth, and adds new tools to SketchUp that provide unprecedented control over complex high-poly forms.

While subdivision modeling is the core of the plugin, the sculpting and soft transformation tools allow you to take your models even further. Artisan gives you the power to model things that were previously not possible in SketchUp.