Immersive 3D Environments

a central point for students enrolled in A&M624

Particle Systems 101

Particle Laboratory Transport

The Particle Laboratory Transport

For the technical sessions this week you will be working some more at designing interactions and, along side that, investigating Particle Systems which are  basically the special effects side of Second Life.  Particles are used to create everything from flames to waterfalls, fireflies to tornadoes.

You will be travelling to the Particle Laboratory in smalls groups to gain some understanding of what particles are, the scripts used to put them together, the different forms particles can take, and also to collect sample scripts for your own use.

As the smaller groups move to visit the Lab I will remain with the others, where I will work with each of you as required to take you through creating your own interaction.  What you will be required to do is come up with the design of an interaction between an object and an avatar that initiates at least two events and uses at least two functions.

I do not expect you to know the actual syntax of the events or functions you require but instead to describe in plain English, as comments to this blog, what you would like to happen.  I will then guide you to the correct events and functions to use and show you how to put them together as a script so that the interaction works as you would like it to.  You will then be required to post, as a follow up reply to your original comment, the actual script used and a brief summary of how it works and whether it met your purpose.

An example of a possible interaction would be that the object scans a designated area and when it detects an avatar it sends the avatar a message and changes its own colour.  Make sure in your design brief that you state everything required; in this case you would want to state what you are scanning for (i.e. avatar, object etc), the distance and arc to scan and how often the scan repeats itself, what will happen if no avatar is sensed in the scan area, what the message is, whether its in main chat or IM, and what colour to change the object to.

Particle Laboratory Tutorials - Click to Enlarge

August 31, 2010 Posted by | Building and Texturing, Scripting | 11 Comments

Evaluation Exercise – #1

Last week Aaron asked you to explore the SLENZ Project Foundation Studies build in more detail, particularly looking for the different kinds of interaction that were part of the build.  This week I am going to ask you to revisit that build with an eye to evaluating the build in its entirety.  All your work on this should appear as a posting in your blog.

A critical  evaluation of something is a purposeful, reflective summary of what the thing is,  how and why it was created, who it is for, how is it used and what appear to be its strengths and weaknesses.  Of course it isn’t possible for you to know everything about a ‘build’ just by looking at it – you need to explore it, test out the functionality of it, investigate the various elements of it, such as the textures, the use of different kinds of prims, the scripting, investigate who uses it and why and provide your observations on the aesthetics and design of the build.  For your final assessment I will be expecting to see at least three such critical evaluations – done properly this could be the first of those three.

You are free to do your evaluation in whatever manner seems best to you but if you would like guidelines then I suggest that you follow the process below.

1. Write a detailed description of the build including first impressions of it, the approach to it, the overall design and ‘look and feel’ of the place.  Don’t forget to provide information on where in SL the build is and provide a SLurl.  I would also expect to see at least two photos of it.  This description should also include details of the different parts of the build – e.g. The Stairway, The Forecourt, The Interview Rooms, The Shop etc…

2. Write a description of the community that uses the build.  You may need to search on the internet for information about this – the SLENZ blog is a good place to start (look under interesting Links on this page).  Imagine what it would be like to be a student in a class that used this build – how do you think it would feel?  This video may help in your understanding.

3. Write a short description of each of the following aspects of the build:

  • the shape and type of prims used (look at the complexity of shape, the size, total number of prims, use of transparent prims etc.)
  • the textures
  • interaction and scripting

4. Write up your observations of the build – how does it feel to be walking around it? do you find it aesthetically pleasing?  What aspects of the design work for you and which don’t?  Does it feel like a ‘real’ place or is it total fantasy? (Is it important to have private changing rooms for example? why do you think they were built?)

I realise that if you do this evaluation properly, paying attention to as many of the elements as you can, then you will not be able to finish this in one session.  However, I want you to publish what you have done at the end of the class – you can always go back and edit the post later.  I would like to see the evaluation completed before next week’s class.

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