This sculpt was a test to push the system (basically...every vertex counts, and is required to be reasonably accurate, with this done in a 64x64 mesh, which it was), because my pirate hat...came out lessgood than expected. I also wanted to make this table (someday, I'll actually get around to making the legs, and texturing, and all that stuff). Firstly, I uploaded it with the default uploader, to see how bad that makes it:
Not only does it mush the details and can't manage a flat surface, LOD also wrecks it even more:
Something that is only really easy to tell when you're in SL, at the side seams it often doesn't quite match up. While SL's compression sort of wraps when chopping things into little bits and gluing them back together again, it doesn't do a great job of it. In textures this is generally not something you'll notice- although upload anything that actually depends on real pixel data, and yeah, you will (I've got a small texture I need to upload through SLImageUploader because it has very obvious seams...that aren't actually there).
Here you can also see where the top vertices all pull to one, because the top doesn't technically exist. I didn't have the vertices to spare to pull it all to the center, so I'll have to take care in my texturing. (Note: while this is taken of the default uploaded version, the good one is fairly similar, and identical in the vertex pulling)
Finally, what happener when I used SLImageUploader instead. Flat pristine surfaces, a little distortion but not even close to as much, and a generally much cleaner model. This is something I can work with. The other was something I could give up on sculpties with.
Things to still keep in mind: the interpolation in SL rounds off edges. This is good, in that things aren't all sharp and pointy because we've got limited points. This is bad when you want to make things with...sharp points. This is a problem that can be sort of gotten around by clustering a number of points to remind it you really do want that.