Thursday, July 9, 2015

NEW Solid Sky Landscapes: sim-wide solid mesh merging into a surrounding, off-sim sculpted landscape

After several months of work I've finally finished the first six landscapes of a completely new type. I call them Solid Sky Landscapes.

Peaky Islands Solid Sky Landcsape

These sky landscapes are perfect for easily creating an additional level high above ground level, with a naturally shaped solid surface that almost looks like regular sim land. You can use them on full sims and homesteads. They only have a land impact of 80-160 (depending on the configuration you choose) so land impact shouldn't be a problem!

The Six Lakes solid sky landscape...

...with the solid mesh part in the middle, highlighted for this picture by "glow"

Two solid sky landscapes are already on display, and all six of them will be available in my store this weekend or at the beginning of next week. Solid sky landscapes consist of two parts: a solid mesh part within and a sculpted mega prim part outside the sim borders. These are their properties:

The mesh on-sim part:
  • The mesh part within the boundaries of the region is made of 16 meshes (or a few more when slopes are very steep) that fit together without gaps or seams. These meshes all have baked textures with normal maps to emphasize the terrain shapes.
  • All meshes are solid and can be walked/built on to allow for lots of flexibility without the need of problematic "invisiprims". You can, for example, walk into the water when available.
  • The meshes along the borders of the sim have vertical walls to prevent you from falling through the mesh surface. Without these walls you would fall through, even if the meshes themselves would extend exactly to the sim borders. The meshes have to be exactly in the right position to work well. If they are placed, for example, one meter away from their "sweet spot" you would fall through the surface when close to the sim border. A rez box will help you to position them correctly.
  • Big meshes like these generally have a high land impact. These meshes however have been meticulously cleaned to lower impact. All meshes together typically have a land impact of only about 50-60.
  • The meshes almost seamlessly merge with the sculpted surrounding landscape. It is positioned slightly above it to prevent parts of the surround poking through.

The mesh on-sim part of the Peaky Islands solid sky landscape

The sculpted surrounding off-sim part:
  • The surrounding part is made of 16 sculpted mega prims. They also have baked textures with normal maps to emphasize topography. The land impact of the sculpted surrounding land (and water, when available) is about 32-40. 
  • All surrounding landscapes also have a matching tree part. This part has a land impact of about 50-60. It can be removed when needed. The tree part can be connected to a HUD (many of you are familiar with the principle) to switch to another tree type. The surrounding landscape itself, however, cannot be connected to a HUD, and the textures cannot be changed
  • The water textures contain animated normal maps, which means you will see reflective moving wave ripples if you enable the Advanced Lighting Model in your viewer. Together with baked under water textures this gives quite a realistic picture.
  • The surrounding landscape and trees do not interfere with any sit-animations.

The peaky Islands sky landscape: high-quality sky living!

In order to use this type of solid sky landscape you need to be have rez permission on the complete region. You cannot use it if you own, for example, half a region or a 1/4 region parcel, unless your land lord allows you to.

You can visit the Six Lakes landscape here. The Peaky Islands landscape is rezzed at my store. You can jump over the bariers of the store and explore!

I will post more information here when all of them are for sale. There will be demos that you can take with you too. I'd love to hear your thoughts about this new kind of landscape!


  1. Hi there :) I'm probably not the first to ask, but I have this issue when I put these sim surrounds on my region - sits stop working! Especially on any sit that is for couples, the message comes back "No place to sit" when an avi tries to use it. Is this something that can be worked around? When I remove the sim surround, it works.

    1. Hey Canary! There actually is one workaround for that that I've found - if you check on the marketplace on Cheeky Pea's website, she has a script for free that you can drop into furniture. It's always worked for me when this issue pops up - I'd just be wary about dropping it into no-copy items. But it might help you with that problem :)

    2. Hi Canary. My latest landscapes, and also these new solid sky landscapes, have prim type set to "None". This excludes them completely from the Physics system. Lag decreases because of it and sit animations aren't obstructed in any way.So no problems at all with the new ones!

      On the older landscapes, setting prim type to None will double their land impact, which proved to be undesirable for most people. However, there is another solution available for those landscapes: a script that repeatedly checks for collisions. The problem with this script, however, is that it may cause spikes of lag (everything stalling) when you have moving physical objects in your region, like horses, boats, a hot air balloon etcetera. That's why I didn't add this script by default to the older landscapes.

      If you still have a problem with sits even after using Anonymous' solution (thank you for that!) then please get in touch with me and we can discuss which solution is best for you!

  2. hi :) i'd like to find beach island or same, i saw the example and it is very very nice, it could be what i need!!!!!

  3. Hi. These two landscapes are not available yet, but they will be on Tuesday July 14 or Wednesday July 15, together with four other ones.

  4. Very nice works, cant wait to get the six lakes version, awesome job.