An Apocalyptic City in Blender: Lazy Speedrun

I was watching another lazy tutorial and had the impulse to try it out for myself. So here is a speedrun of an apocalyptic city. One basic building multiplied many times. No need for elaborate post-processing stacks or piles of artfully arranged rubble, this is the MVP (minimum viable product) shipped to you in 20 minutes (or less, in the case of this slightly sped up video…)

I think that me making these sort of videos is the present-day equivalent of trying to embark on digressions when I have an exam or important project to complete; instead I suddenly get all sorts of ideas to do ridiculous things like make more screencasts of myself doing something in Blender.

For years I’ve watched countless online tutorials on YouTube, many of which were set to some generic vaguely-inspirational electronic music. (I confess that I have playlists full things like youtube tutorial classic Tobu’s Candyland and other NCS Releases) and I took great joy in choosing royalty-free background sounds for this.

People, the keyword for this type of tutorial background music is “CORPORATE TECHNOLOGY”. Don’t go for CINEMATIC or DRAMATIC or INSPIRATIONAL, as there is a chance it might end up too teenage-over-the-top self-aggrandising. As it turns out “CORPORATE” plus “TECHNOLOGY” usually results in something blandly aspirational and futuristic.

Low Poly 3D People of Second Life

Despite being a long-time casual Second Life user, I have always been using a Macbook Pro which has always consistently seemed nearly unable to handle the graphics for Second Life. You would think that I would just switch up to a proper gaming pc by now, but somehow despite having tried to switch to Windows, I still have a preference for the Macbook Pro…

The price for sticking to the Mac is that in order to avoid lagging in Second Life I have gradually turned the Quality lower and lower, and the Draw distance smaller and smaller, until I’ve even on occasion set it to a ridiculous 64m. It means that things in the distance (a range which I can clearly see) do not load until they are within 64m of my virtual self. When I zoom in and out, things appear and disappear, meshes load and unload.

So in Second Life there’s the concept of “Land Impact” of how when you upload certain meshes in certain scales, even if you thought it was a low poly model in Blender, it may be interpreted as a complex mesh due to the “level of detail” settings on the model at the point of importing. So a lot of shops on SL Marketplace sell their wares by advertising the low land impact that their items have. No use having something beautiful but can’t be loaded by many people because it uses too many resources. There’s a very interesting post here about how ‘detailed’ meshes can be uploaded with low land impact and there’s much to understand how about the scale at which one imports the file and the LOD rings ( level of detail) which affects how the object is viewed from different distances.

So recently whilst walking around the “Village de Provence” in La Garde-Aris in Stringray Bay, I encountered a holiday scene of visitors to a village tourist spot. Lest you feel lonely in this beauty spot, like many other places in Second Life, they’ve scattered lots of 3d people all over the place so you can feel like one with the other holidaymakers and shoppers…

But don’t worry, these low poly people are just about to load up properly!!

Yeah, don’t you go imagining some fantastic hi res metaverse experience when I tell you about me walking about in Second Life… because this is actually what my Second Life experience is like sometimes on this machine… <insert sweatdrop>