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Archipelis Designer user manual

Introduction of the tool

Thank you for using Archipelis Designer 3.0.

Archipelis Designer is an innovative concept in 3D design that you will find both exciting and easy to use. You can easely create professional looking models within minutes by simply tracing a background image or by just starting with a blank view.

The model is automatically textured as well as ready for a variety of export formats. Archipelis Designer uses an intuitive approach to sketch out shapes which can then be enhanced with textures and photographs.

How to create 3D models with Archipelis Designer

Archipelis Designer takes a different approach to creating 3D models by simply drawing its shape! Just draw the contour of the various shapes of the model (for example: the head, the body, the legs) and Archipelis Designer automatically merges them and applies textures. It is also possible to use a picture or photo as a background and follow the contours on it.

Thus, very simply and in about ten minutes, it is possible to create realistic organic models and to export them in widespread 3D formats like OBJ, Collada DAE, HTML 5.0 WebGL, VRML, X3D, DirectX 3DS Max and more over Second Life.

Main features:


When you draw a contour in this drawing area, the corresponding 3D shape appears. You can move around it using the mouse (left mouse button down). You can also change the size and location for instance with the "circle command".

You can draw a second shape near the first. When you click on [merge], the fusion of the two shapes is resulting in the unified 3D model with a parameterized quality/resolution.

It is also possible to work with pictures on the background. For that, just drag and drop an image into the drawing area. This image is used as the basis of your work to draw various shapes.

Presentation of the user interface

The graphic user interface is made of various areas:

Project menu

The content of the [project] menu is:

Shape section

Archipelis Designer works with shapes to build the final model. Each shape belongs to a group. When each shape is selected you can choose through boolean operations to define how to merge the current shape with others within its groups, whether to add, substract or intersect.

Let us take an example to illustrate the operators. Here you have a pear. A strange shape has been added on the right with [union] operator. The model is then merge and the result is:

With [intersection] the result of the merge is:

With [difference 1] (i.e. "pear minus strange shape") the result of the merge is:

With [difference 2] (i.e. "strange shape minus pear") the result of the merge is:

After drawing a shape, it is possible to adapt it, modify it or parameterize it. All these parameters do not change the contour which has been drawn. Note that the [mirror] command is also available in the command circle (see next section).

Group section

In Archipelis Designer, a group is a set of shapes that can be merged together. But, note that two groups "do not merge" together. Most of the time the groups can be used to represent two different objects in a single 3D model for example.

Each group (i.e. set of shapes) is identified with a dedicated color as a column on the right side and the current selected shape is surrounded in Orange. The little white cross in the selected shape is to remove it. Shapes in groups are organised this way:

You can create a new group ([add group] command).

In this section you can choose the quality of the merge of all the groups with [merge Quality]. [low] setting allows you to make a Lower poly model (but less precise), as [no limit] setting makes a high resolution model (it is time consuming and generally not useful). [medium] and [high] are intermediate settings. [merge] starts the fusion of the shapes to create the final 3D model.

For instance, in the previous image, you have an example of a merge (on the left, the quality is low and on the right the quality is higher).

Texture menu

Archipelis Designer allows you to load multiple textures on each viewing plane (i.e. up to 6 textures for each face of a cube), when you trace an image the texture is automatically applied to the 3d model.

Command circle

For a given current shape, a circle is displayed around. Here you have access to several commands which are listed below, using the left mouse button.

Mode bar

Several modes are available, the current active one is identified by a little orange spot at the top.

Visualization bar

The visualization bar allows you to use commands to set the views and rendering style.



Archipelis designer can export to a variety of formats. Your may choose from the following export options. Before exporting you will need to save the project and name it.

If you need to export the 3D textured model, select the [textured] style in the visualization bar before exporting. Otherwise select another style.

Using Archipelis Designer to create Second Life content


Archipelis Designer can export 3D models into Linden Labs' Second Life (SL) format. It is important to remember that you will need

Archipelis Designer restrictions use:

In order to import acceptable 3D models made with Archipelis Designer into Second Life, please use the following guidelines:

How to export?

Step 1 - Export to sculpty prims (also called sculpties)

Once you have created a textured model with Archipelis Designer, save it to a project file with [save] or [save as] (if not already done). Then click on [second Life] and [export] menu. Then, the export process starts immediately. Wait for one or two minutes and you will find in the directory of your project file a new subdirectory called "Something.ScultedPrims" (you may have to confirm the deletion of this directory if it already exists). Inside, you will find BMP images (geometry_XX.bmp and texture_XX.bmp) and two LSL scripts (ArchipelisBase.txt and ArchipelisRez.txt).

Step 2 - Connect to Second Life

Connect to Second Life and go to a place where you're able to build objects (a sandbox area for instance). As previously said, you will need some L$ to upload all the images.

Step 3 - Uploading all the images

With the menu "File > Upload Image (L$10)..." and then the button "Upload (L$10)", upload all the images "geometry_XX.bmp" and "texture_XX.bmp". Close the windows corresponding to these images. All these images will appear in "My Inventory > Textures". Click on "Inventory" to see that. Note that before all that you may clean up this directory (to avoid conflict with previous uploads).

Step 4 - The object ArchipelisBase

Go in build mode with the menu "View > Build B". Click on "Create" button. Click somewhere on the floor to create an object (whatever it is, cube, cylinder...). Here it is important to set the name "ArchipelisBase" to this object.
Drag and drop all the previously generated images that are now in "My Inventory > Textures" into the content of the current object you are editing.

Click on "Content". Click on "New Script...". Double click on the script called "New Script" that has been created. Copy the content of the file called "ArchipelisBase.txt". Replace the definition of the script by a paste action. Click on "Save" button and close the script window.

Select the object you are editing and with the right mouse button click on "Take" to put it into "My Inventory / Objects".

Step 5 - The ArchipelisRez object

Click on the "Create" button of the build window. Click somewhere on the floor to create a second object (whatever it is, cube, cylinder...). You can call this object "ArchipelisRez" but it is not mandatory.
Click on "Content". Click on "New Script...". Double click on the script called "New Script" that has been created. Copy the content of the file called "ArchipelisRez.txt". Replace the definition of the script by a paste action. Click on "Save" button and close the script window.

Drag and drop the object called ArchipelisBase you created at step 4 (it is in "My Inventory > Objects") into the content of the current object you are editing. Then, delete the object "ArchipelisBase" in "My Inventory > Objects".

Step 6 - Completing the export

Leave the build mode by closing the build window. Click on the object ArchipelisRez in front of you to rez. Your 3D model appears. Now, you can delete the ArchipelisRez because it is no longer needed.
By going back to the build mode (menu "View > Build") in "Edit" mode and by selecting all the shapes of your model, you can rotate or translate the selection.

Once all is OK, you can click on "Take" by activating the right mouse button to put this model into your inventory. It will be "My Inventory > Objects > ArchipelisBase" and you should rename it with a better name.


Archipelis Designer integrates Fred Beckhusen's animation script. This script allows you to created animated sculpted prims within Second Life (in world). The documention of this script can be found here:


This version of Archipelis Designer allows you to export your model into .DAE Collada format. Some of the vitual world application can import such kind of 3D files.