Immersive 3D Environments

a central point for students enrolled in A&M624

A&M624 Blogs

A small reminder for you all to get your blogs underway.  And not just to create them but to actively post in them.  Blogs, though new to many of you, are becoming an important educational tool for reflecting on your work in the classroom, and in this particular course will form an essential part of the assessment process.

So get blogging, talk through your experiences inworld, share your discoveries (especially freebies *smiles), ask questions and reflect on your learning.  I will be checking them regularly so that I can answer any queries that come up and help guide you where you may be getting stuck.  Look at others’ blogs as well.  This is a shared journey and given the enormity that Second Life is (over 30,000 sims or islands the size of Kowhai) you will learn much from the other class members’ experiences.  Links to your class’s blogs can be found under the heading 2010 Your Blogs to the right of this pane.  Set yourself the task of creating at least one post per class session; mark it in your email calendar if you need to remind yourself, or on a sticky note on your home computer.

One of the things that will be great to share are sims or builds that excite you or leave you in some way inspired.  Links to these can be shared in your blogs by creating a SLurl, which is basically an offworld link to an inworld destination.  SLurls can be created by opening the World Map (top menu World/World Map OR Ctrl M) then clicking on the Copy SLurl button.  This will copy the SLurl to your clipboard and from there you can paste it into your blog post.  When a SLurl is clicked it will open a Linden Lab web page which will show you the World Map with the destination marked out for you.  Click on the “Visit this location” button (you must be logged in to SL of course) and you will be presented with a Teleport inworld to the destination.  Try out the one for The Ivory Tower of Primitives in the “Towards Week 3” post, so you can see how it works.

Isa

July 31, 2010 Posted by | General | Leave a comment

Towards Week 3

Isa Goodman Dances

Distance education in a virtual environment is an interesting thing. In the space we are going to share during this course you will not know me by my real name. There I am Isa Goodman. And you will not know me in any physical sense as the “real” Aaron Griffiths, because we will never see each other. I will look as Isa Goodman looks.

For those of you who have already ventured into Second Life and met up with me you will have, to some degree, already formed an idea of who I am based on just those two things; a name and a look. For one, being danced in the air in front of a 20 metre wide video of Pink Floyd may have added to that idea *smiles. As you will discover Isa Goodman dances.

The point I’m making here is that it is interesting just how powerful an idea of presense can be formed, of some knowing of who Isa Goodman is, out of what essentially is a set of texture-wrapped wireframes, scriptings and animations. Welcome to Immersive 3D Environments.

During this course I will mainly be guiding you through the aspects of creation within Second Life. For those who may consider this as not quite the powerful 3D application you were expecting to be learning, don’t be fooled. Second Life for all that to some degree it works at a more basic level of 3D object creation, i.e. primitive manipulation (primitives or prims being the name for the basic building blocks in 3D applications), it is still capable of extremely complex builds which are not only rendered 3D scenes (static images) but fully immersive interactive environments.  When you consider that in the fourth quarter of 2009 total registered accounts in the virtual worlds sector reached 803,000,000 (Retrieved from http://www.kzero.co.uk/blog/?p=3943, 28 July 2010) then you have some indication of just how ubiquitous virtual environments are becoming and how important developing an understanding of their potential is for those involved in the multimedia and technology sectors.

As we head towards Week 3 and the first building tutorials I would encourage you all to actively go into Second Life and start to familiarise yourself with the environment. At least attempt to master chat, Instant Messages, teleporting, creating landmarks, working with your Inventory and becoming fluent at moving not only yourself but your camera (an important tool in the building process). For those who have the time and wish to learn some of the basics of building prior to my first session, teleport to the Ivory Tower of Primitives (Slurl http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Natoma/193/172/26). Here you will find excellent self-paced, self-guided tutorials for the Second Life building system; an invaluable resource for beginning builders. This is not an essential part of participating in the building sessions but highly recommended.

Ivory Tower

The Ivory Tower of Primitives

July 28, 2010 Posted by | Building and Texturing, General | Leave a comment

Week 2 main tasks

The main tasks for this week are as follows:

1. Class List – I need to finalise the class list 🙂

2. Finalise course timetable – We need to finalise the course timetable.  We will be running Tuesday 3-5 (Clare mostly) and Thursday 4-6 (Aaron mostly).  For those of you who can’t make Thursday there will be an additional session on Tuesday (5-6) – I need a list of people who intend to come to that session.

3. Complete your google document. It must have a minimum of your real name, SL name, email address and Student id.

4. Access Second Life. Once in SL you need to collect the Orientation Challenge #1 from the SA+M land parcel (use this SLurl http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Kowhai/126/42/32 to get there) then find your way to Koru and complete the challenge.  Feel free to ask other students or Aaron or I for help with this.  Aaron will be there to meet you in Second Life.

5. On Thursday we will confirm that your blog is set up, access Second Life and do Orientation Challenge #2

For those students staying for Tuesday 5-6, I can help you with setting up your blog and/or doing more in Second Life – the choice is yours.

An important starting point for getting going in SL will be adding both Arwenna Stardust and Isa Goodman as a friend and joining the SA+M group in SL.  Once you have got to Koru these should be the first things you do.

July 27, 2010 Posted by | General | Leave a comment

Arrangements for Week 2

I have tried to work through a number of solutions to the timetabling issue and have (with Aaron’s help) found a solution that we hope will accommodate everyone’s needs.  Please follow this link to the NMIT Online site and read the document titled – New Course Timetable.  If you want to have any further discussion about the timetable and how it will work for you, I would be grateful if you could contact me directly before Tuesday’s class, as I would like to be able to get on with other things quickly.

Could I remind you all to have two things ready for this week:

  • Have your google doc set up according to the instructions on the NMIT Online site (we  can’t add you to the Second Life group until we see your real and Second Life names in your google document.)
  • Have your Second Life account created – I will be hoping to have you all logged in to Second Life and beginning orientation by the end of Tuesday!

The other thing which we didn’t get around to doing last week was to set up your blog which if you have read the course outline you will know is going to be an important part of this course.  Again the instructions for doing this are on NMIT Online if you want to make a start but if not I will help you with this in class.

Looking forward to seeing you all again.

July 22, 2010 Posted by | General | Leave a comment

Welcome

Welcome to the A&M624 blog.  Here you should find all you need to know for your time on this course and hopefully much more besides!

The course outline for the course is on NMIT Online. Please note that it is only in draft form at this stage as there are still some details that may change.  In particular I would like to discuss the timetable with you as I can foresee problems with running one four hour class.  We currently have the lab booked at the following times:

Lectures: Tues 3.00-7.00pm Self directed Learning: Wed 3.30-7.00pm  & Thurs 3.30-6.00pm

I am going to propose that we have a class Tuesday from 3-5 and Thursday from 4-6, with the other times as self-directed learning.  I will be interested in your thoughts on this and will discuss it with you in our first class.

One of the first things we will be doing is getting your own personal blog set up as you will be using your blog to record the work you do throughout this course.  Once you have got your own blog up and running I will add it to the sidebar here so that the rest of the class, as well as Aaron and I, can keep up with what you are doing.  Instructions for setting up your blog can be found on the NMIT Online site and I will be helping you do this in the first class.

July 4, 2010 Posted by | General | Leave a comment