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Tuesday, October 14, 2014


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Pussycat Catnap

Based upon my own small attempts - about a day for the texture to product up for sale stage.

If the project is within my skill set I can go from a UV map to a product listed on Marketplace and for sale on my land in that time frame.

A few hours of tweaking around in photoshop. And hour to upload the texture and apply it. And hour to set up product boxes. An hour to list it.
- A lot of rounding off on those last 3.

If I had to model an original item in mesh, and I knew how to do that, I'd guess it would add another's day's work as it would involve:

Making a base model that is sized to fit right around my base figure.
- adjusting that for each desired based figure.
Rigging it.
Fitting it - doing whatever is required to make sure fitted mesh responds with the ideal 'weighting'.

Adjusting the UV Map for the ideal amount of pixels in the most exposed spots, and the easiest level of photoshop work.

And I'd guess half the time is modeling the mesh, and half the other steps - with the UV Map the quickest of the bunch.

But for mesh... I am just guessing.


i am both a consumer and a creator...and how long it takes is so different ..it is to hard to estimate this...some folks i have seen them whip out a gorgeous mesh clothing item textured and all in one day where others it may take them a month...a very hard thing to calculate

Pussycat Catnap

Hmmm... Advertising / Packaging - I forgot to factor this in.

The first time around this is a project of several days.

Making yourself a good photoshop template with your logo in an ideal spot, and good framing for your subjects, choosing typefaces for the brand, product, and product info.

The use of filters like putting a masking edge or border, and so on... these things take both time and artistry.

Once you have a template down though - you can spill images of new products into them quickly.

Then you need a good 'screencapture studio' setup - a spot somewhere with some presets for posing, lighting, framing, backdrop, etc...
- A couple of days and a lot of likely poorly selling products to finally get this right... :)

- Anyone who thinks this is unimportant should take screenshots of some products they were impressed by, and products they found bland...
- BUT in both cases have not yet bought...
- Put them side by side, and compare...

There are a lot of very bad examples of 'store display' in SL. There are also a lot of very good examples. If you compare them... its kind of obvious.
- A good hint is to hit some club malls or freebie shops. Those tend to have the worst product displays (this is not universal, sometimes those have amazing displays). Then go teleport around some top SL brands.

Many shops kill their chances before ever opening by not thinking enough about product display (and my own stuff is no shining example BTW... because knowing the theory is not a recipe to getting it right...).


I would say it completely depends on the product (because, like, nails take less time than a dress, and a new face takes a lot less time than a new body design).

But for average stuff...from inspiration to release, two weeks to a month, and full time creators have more than one project going at a time.

Cube Republic

If they're any good one or two hours for the mesh, 20 mins for the texture baking and around the same for rigging.

Strawberry Singh

I know with some of the designers I work for, it takes them weeks and weeks to complete one item.

I would say on average, it probably takes them, from start to finish including thought process, mesh creation, texturing, styling, shooting, etc... around 15 days with breaks and rests or 120 hours.

Cube Republic

That's a long time Strawberry. Then again it depends if they do SL for a hobby or income. A 3D modeler is worth at least 35$ an hr, so they would have to sell a lot of tops or frocks to cover their time, not to mention their living expenses.

Aki Shichiroji

RE: the assertion that it should only take a few hours to make something - it doesn't appear to take in to account design, textural detail or even LOD optimization, to say nothing of packaging and promotion. All of these things must not only be considered in the context of the one product but in the context of the brand as well.

Let's not forget that not all clothing is just a baked texture on a bit of geometry. Slapping a colour down on a model and baking the texture is certainly a valid design choice, but that isn't the only choice available out there and in many cases the design process begins long before a new mesh ever even hits the 3D workspace, extending well in to the actual execution of the idea.

The time spent in each of these stages will of course vary from creator to creator, but the implication that a content creator isn't professional just because they can't grind out a shirt in a few hours is a bit disengenuous here.

Above all, it shouldn't matter whether someone can or can't churn out a shirt in a couple of hours. SL is a community that has provided opportunities for people of all skill levels and varying strengths to present their ideas and none of that need be written off as a receipt-back scribble.

The things we take for granted are things many others cannot fathom accomplishing, or at the very least, things others feel would be some inconvenience to make themselves.


Aki Shichiroji i really agree with what you said. i once held the idea that if it takes longer it's better, but a great artist i know named avatar galextra showed me that it is not the time you take but the respect and care you put into creating it that matters. she creates them in a very magical way, and sometimes it takes hours, sometimes days or even weeks. sometimes it all come togather very quickly and sometimes it takes time to bring it to it's very best. either way is wonderfull and each artists may find that both happen to them. i only know from seeing her work that that is the experince i have found.

Tracy RedAngel

I've worked in the graphic arts field and other art fields for nearly 20 years, and the more experience you have at what you do, you're probably going to be able to accomplish what you set out to do more quickly. It also depends on what type of project you're working on. One thing I've found is the only value customers/clients put on time is what it costs them...not you. When people buy something, they think of what they're getting, not how long it took to make the thing they want. I think it is good to encourage people to realize that fully baked mesh models, skins, hair, etc take time to create. But wouldn't expect it to factor into anyone's decision on whether to buy something.

Tracy RedAngel

...or appreciate it.

Jane Primrose

I think it's very variable, depending on things like how much time they can spare from RL to work on it, whether they're making everything from scratch or putting together pre-existing components (e.g. they've made a good teeshirt mesh so now they can just apply new textures to it to release new designs), whether it's a type of product they've made a lot of or something they're trying out for the first time, how lavish and detailed it's going to be, whether they feel inspired, and so on.

But I know enough about creative work to say that several hours, absolute minimum, would go into each piece, from initial idea to product ready to sell. And of course it's not just the artist's time on this project, but their talent, imagination, taste, and all the time and effort they've spent in the past learning and practising the skills they're using now. Who can calculate that? It's not just the time they spent actively doing those things, either, but the time they spent thinking about them, even dreaming about them as they slept.

It bothers me a lot to see people haranguing content creators and taking their work for granted. By all means complain if you didn't receive all that you paid for or the product was somehow defective, but be polite and remember that in most cases the problem was caused by an honest mistake or oversight, not by the designer being lazy or a jerk.

I used to know an artist (who works in comics rather than on SL - she's a digital colourist mainly but draws well too) who sometimes attended sci-fi and comics conventions and took a booth in the Artists' Alley, taking commissions for sketches and con badges (like a decorated, personalised name tag, if you're unfamiliar with cons). One woman commissioned her to illustrate a badge, and she said 'It should be ready in two hours.' The woman happened to come by again after only an hour, and my friend said 'Hey, I was able to finish your badge faster than I thought, it's all ready.'
'Oh, good,' said the woman. 'So it should be half the price you said, right?'
'No... it's the price we agreed on.'
'But it only took you half as long as you said!'
Whereupon my friend patiently told her that she was not charging for her time, she was charging for her skills, and if the woman didn't want the badge at the price she had, after all, agreed to, my friend would simply keep it and sell it to someone else.
Which, iirc, she did.

CronoCloud Creeggan

I figure it could take anywhere from a few days, to a few months depending on the products/workflow/time commitment the designer has.

zz bottom

Can only speak about how My soul mate and me work.
We can build in less then a hour just by using in world mesh studio and photoshop and then it can take months to where we decide to upload it to marketplace or our in world shops or we can build for more then a month and then released it in only one day.
We build several diff things at same time and we start building others before we pack and start selling what we did before and as i cant resist i tend to offer the already ended builds as gifts, lol, making my soul mate a bit mad:)

Verity Goodnight

I guess... a week per item? On average - there are designers who seem to put out 5 or 6 things a week and then others who do something once a month or so.

I suppose there needs to be time to sketch out the design, then make it in mesh and textures and rigging and whatnot and test it and then fix anything that needs fixing from the testing then doing the adverts and uploading it.

Arcadia Codesmith

My favorite hair designer can make about one rigged mesh style a week, maybe two for hair fair crunch time, but that's like a second full-time job with overtime.

That's not factoring in the the YEARS it took her to learn prim hair design, mastering textures, doing custom sculpts, and then relearning everything to work with 3D modeling.

I keep telling her to ditch her day job and start shopping her portfolio around to studios that are starving for modelers and riggers, but her skill exceeds her confidence by orders of magnitude.

Adeon Writer

Scripting alone usually takes about 20-30 hours of solid work for fully original HUDs & attachments.


4-20 hours? It depends on what item they are making.

Item 1: Bangle. Plain or with a simple design painted on it. This is a cylinder with a tiny bit of work added. Seriously, this is less than 4 hours but maybe you make many colors and like to thoroughly test your resize scripts. So, 4 hours is likely to much time, but enough considering designs or patterns may need to be painted to offer some variety. Really though, you know some will chuck on some gold material and then silver, bake it and prep it and be done. The plastic looking one with designs on it? Yeah, another product. Maybe I should put this down to 2 hours? Either way, not much time at all.

Item 2. Mixed fabric jacket. This is harder to make, it has multiple items, folds and wrinkles that may even difference for the different fabrics. Not to mention how are these different fabrics sewn? Are stitches visible? Rigging and test fitting to different sizes and whatever other work is needed for different avatars and the whole weight painting and method LL brought out (something about collision bones comes to mind) so you have maybe 4 hours just in drawing and modelling part of it. If you sculpt it you will end up maybe going through reducing or even making a second model to rig and animate and bake down to this simpler one. The rest is a few hours at least, if not way more. So, complicated items require maybe hours designing and maybe even test modelling or rigging, if it is something different technology wise or you want to estimate the ugly factor before placing a certain seem or fabric type.

Carl Metropolitan

It depends on what tools they are using and the skill of the creator. Someone making a mesh outfit in MarvelousDesigner is going to be a lot quicker than someone doing the same item in Blender. Conversely, a creator who's made 200 outfits with any tool will be faster than someone attempting their first one.


The tools are very costly if you do not use pirated or free versions. I know talk about licenses are boring but if you play by the rules you have to take them into consideration.

Huge difference if you work full time or on evenings as a recreational hobby. I can make a prototype have it rigged in a few hours, but the tweaking and texturing takes the most time. plus all the different sizes.


Time is very dependent of a couple of factors in SL
SL enjoys of a wide variety of designers. They are not better or worse than the next as that to me is only given by the amount of items people get from them (notice I didn't say sell).

First, designer A who wants to create everything by himself/herself from scratch. In other words, draw textures from 0 and not take them from the internet, script everything, make animations and also make prims, sculpties or mesh builds from 0.

Second, designer B gets full perm items, animations, textures and scripts and combines them in multiple ways. Designer B sometimes even adds custom details here and there.

Lastly, designer C gets all his/her sculpties, animations, and mesh builds from websites to upload them into SL and trade them.

Of course, there is the last kind, designer D who is a hybrid of all previously mentioned.

Usually, for the same kind of item, designer A will take the most time to complete the work, and designer C will take the least.

Additionally, experience plays a huge role. Usually, a designer loses very valuable time researching the inner-workings of SL for the first time a type of item is designed.

For example, the first time I tried rigging a custom tiny mesh avatar I spent one month smashing against all the bumps in SLs mesh upload pipeline. However, the second time it only took me a day to rig a completely new mesh avatar.

Much information about the bumps in SL is not publicly offered by Linden Labs. For example, the fact that SL is programmed to consider the lowest LOD the most costly, so having 100 vertices in it instead of 50 makes the difference between 1 land impact and 20 land impact. This was not stated in any source from Linden Labs back then, and I only found out from my smashing against it.

Time depends of the kind of designer you are, the kind of item you are designing, and the experience with designing in general plus the experience designing for SL.

Gealya Aeon

I'm not a content-creator and I'm not a professional designer, or CG artist. So what I mention below reflects my ignorance.

A new haute couture release by Soraya Vaher: I'm guessing a few hours to a few days, not including ruminating/sketching/dreaming. (By weeks, I mean full-time person-weeks.)

The very first liquid mesh jeans: maybe a few months of analyzing the weirdness of SL's mesh systems, then a month of developing the rigging, 15-30 min. of texturing and then many weeks of iteratively getting things to work in SL so as to be sellable.

Siddean Munro's first hands/feet: maybe a few weeks if she started from scratch, less if she used existing starter meshes. Then a week or two for her scripter to make the HUDs. She specifically mentioned that her mesh head took months of dedicated work.

The Mesh Project: they look like a group of friends from a commercial production setting who got together to try things in SL. I'm guessing there were about 3-4 people involved, that the prototypes took a few person-weeks and that getting their in-world store going with all the window dressings and all the server-side coding took a person-month.

Animations: I spoke once with maker of bits-n-bobs, an early animator. He said that making a 30-sec dance in Poser took him 1-2 months full-time. Motion-capture at the quality of Humanoid? Using existing infrastructure, maybe it took a few person-days to make a prototype, then a few person-months to get it to look good in SL.

A gesture with annoying text and sounds: I made one once in about 15 minutes with an Adobe sound-editor (I forget the name).

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