Bracketing Virtual Products


After my earlier post (reLink) where I showed some images of the best in product visualization (both what’s available to the public and what’s in the labs), I thought I’d show the flip side; the relative low end of the scale. I’d considered jumping into There or Active Worlds, but went with Second Life for a number of reasons: a) it routinely gets slammed in the gamer press for low quality graphics, b) objects are often created by people unfamiliar with 3D modeling, and c) unlike other platforms of which I’m aware, the content is user-generated *inside* the virtual world. This isn’t a crit or analysis or anything like that. It’s just an observational post, so pushing the envelope in those ways made sense to me.

In any event, I logged in for a few minutes this morning and went looking around. There are plenty of big objects – houses, cars, airplanes, etc – but I was looking for something more mundane than what I normally associate with those categories. I found the perfect object in short order. For those who don’t know, the above image is a welder. I know this not because I’ve taken metal sculpture classes, but because welders just like that shown above were among my first professional design projects. I once wrote a post here commenting that the world is a box (reLink). Coming out of school where I was designing organic objects, that feeling was never more true than when I was given the assignment to design welders.


The above image is obviously of a real welder. The question I’d ask, after reminding people these aren’t representative of the same product model (note the nameplates) would be: is there anything significantly different between the low quality, user-created virtual facsimile I’m showing here and the image of the real thing? The next question I’ll leave to you.

{Bottom image source: eBay seller “Welding Supplies from IOC”}

4 thoughts on “Bracketing Virtual Products

  1. Nope nothing significantly different. But it always looks like someone tried to staple their idea of what something looks like in real life onto a virtual object. What always works best for me aesthetically in SL is when designers do not follow real world examples, like Curious Kitties. There’s something very refreshing about that build and others that are decidely alien to our everyday lives. The grass texture is awful and overused in SL. You would think people would look at it and think ugly, but I think they’re too concerned with facsimilie to see how awful it looks. This is a different world with different tools, so….I just wish there was more reaching forward. What works in the real world won’t work in SL because of spacial issues and the awful texture mapping if your going to be using low prims. But this wasn’t a post about that. Oh well, I like to vent my spleen.

  2. I’ve vented the same argument on the old forums; that trying to copy real products is boring and that people should be truly creative. There are a few, but there isn’t much imo.

  3. I’ve always argued that reality is poorly rendered.

    God needs a better graphics engine.

  4. Some people would say it provides a variety of “graphics engines” for each of us to sample.

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