Immersive 3D Environments

a central point for students enrolled in A&M624

Week 5 – What we’ve done so far?

Congratulations those who made it, still virtually standing, to the beginning of Week 5.  Having spent all the in-lab hours with you in Week 4 and looking back also at the previous week, I’d like to give you all some feedback.

Firstly, as some of you may have noticed, we are a week ahead of the timetable for my sessions having, to a degree, combined Building Introduction – creating in a 3D environment and Primitives – the building blocks of 3D into the first lesson and then completed Textures – bringing primitives to life in Week 4.  From my observations most of you now having a good grasp on rezzing prims, manipulating the position, size and rotation of them and the ability to link them as an object and save and retrieve them from your Inventory.  You have also learnt how to colour and apply textures to a prim and to individual faces, how to manipulate the textures in terms of repeats, offsets and rotation, and apply various effects such as transparency, shininess and bump.  Pretty good really for two teaching sessions so kudos to you all.

There are some skills still to be acquired, and one in particular that will not only help you in terms of building, but generally in terms of observing and participating in this environment; the use of your camera.  The camera is your view into Second Life and your ability to move it around, focus and zoom into objects is vitally important, making your experience much less frustrating at times and faciltating your ability to build in a major way if mastered.  On your inworld parcel this week I have positioned a video screen that has this YouTube video showing you how to manipulate your camera using the keyboard and mouse rather the camera tools provided inworld.  I strongly urge you all to watch the video and then spend time in Second Life practicing using your camera in this way.  No longer will you have to walk to the other side of a prim to see it; in fact with enough practice you can even send your camera to the other side of a sim rather than walking there.  Get that skilled at camera use and you will find that Second Life becomes quite a different experience.

As camera use comes with practice, so will your skills as a builder.  Though you can all rez and texture prims there is still a big step from wanting to build something to actually completing the task inworld.  Building is about visualising the prim shapes that you need to combine together to form your desired end result and then manipulating and texturing those prims to achieve it.  So this week we will continue looking at prim types and the different settings available for each and I will set you the task of creating something of your own, working alongside you to guide you through the process and explaining as needed different possibilities to achieve your end result.  A mass of textures will be provided so don’t concern yourself with that.  It is more the working out of the prim structure for your build that I want you to begin to master.  And please remember that only practice will get you the skills you will need for your final project build.  The land parcel we use as a class space is there for you 24/7 and I am often inworld so available to help you out if you need it.  Practice, practice, practice is the key here.

For the tour this week we will be looking at sims developed for education, not necessarily put together by just educators but those who are passionate about subjects that interest them and who wish to share that passion with others.  The group of sims we will visit have the collective name SciLands and include over 50 individual sims dedicated to things such as space travel, health and nanotechnology to name a few.

International Spaceflight Museum

International Spaceflight Museum - Click to Enlarge

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August 17, 2010 - Posted by | Building and Texturing, General

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