Immersive 3D Environments

a central point for students enrolled in A&M624

Week 10

This week we move into the part of the course where you will be mostly working on your own project work and of course completing the evaluations of other builds that we have talked about.

Please remember to paste the URLs of relevant blog postings into your google document under the appropriate headings.  If you can’t remember what those headings are then please go back and look at the course outline again. It is all documented there.

I will be looking for

  1. Blog postings of your evaluations of other builds/virtual worlds (3 minimum)
  2. Blog postings documenting your project work.  This should include details of your project brief, your ideas and designs, your evaluations and comments on the work that you do – don’t forget to use plenty of pictures etc to illustrate your ideas.
  3. Don’t forget that you can also leave comments on other blogs and include those URLs in your google document too.

Formative Assessment

The formative assessment date is this Friday (Sept 24th) and I will be taking a copy of your google doc on that day so that Aaron, Lisa and I can consider the work you have done so far and let you know what you need to do to pass the final summative assessment.  This is your chance to get formal feedback on your work against the criteria that will be used to grade it.  I am posting the grading criteria on to the NMIT Online site, together with information about writing your project brief.

Organising Second Life Time

Aaron wants to make best use of the class time in Second Life from now on and as the Thursday class is now poorly attended we have decided to move one hour back to Tuesday.  Aaron will now be in the Second Life class area on Tuesday 4-7 and on Thursday 5-6.  Clare will be in attendance in A217 Tuesday 3-5 and Lisa Tuesday 3-7 to assist in ‘real life’.

One concern that Aaron has is that quite often several of you want help at the same time. Obviously it is difficult for him to answer everyone’s questions  properly without spending some time with you and he doesn’t want you to feel that you are sitting waiting when you could be doing something else! So we are going to trial a kind of ‘appointment system’ – I will explain in class.

I am going to check out your google docs now and have a look at your blogs too.  I was very pleased to see the progress that some of you are making!


September 20, 2010 Posted by | General | Leave a comment

Please participate

One of our Graduate Diploma in IT students is currently running a survey on the use of Facebook for his final project.  He would be very grateful if you took part!  It only takes a few minutes to do and is completely anonymous.

You can find the link to the survey here :


September 20, 2010 Posted by | General | Leave a comment

Projects and Project Brief

There are a couple of things you need to think about when deciding what you are going to do for the design and implementation part of your assessment.

  1. Do you want to work with others or on your own?
  2. Do you want to take on all or part of one of the projects suggested, or
  3. Do you want to write your own project brief?

You might want to start thinking about these questions and we can discuss the advantages and disadvantages and the options  in class. It will not make any difference ultimately to the work that you do for the assessment but it may alter the process that you go through.  While working with someone else can help you with the skills that you don’t have, scripting perhaps, but of course collaboration can be a double-edged sword and you may feel you have less control over your work!

September 13, 2010 Posted by | Individual Projects | Leave a comment

Critical reflection and appraisal

This week I want to focus on another of the learning outcomes of this course and one which is also evaluated as part of the final assessment.  The outcome is

Critically analyse their own and others’ work, and explain the relationship between project aims and outcomes.

You will see in the assessment section of the course outline that this is translated into this ( I have changed the formatting but not the content).


Critical reflection and appraisal (20%). (Learning Outcome 4).

At various points during the semester you will be asked to provide a critical reflection of the work that you have undertaken so far and to record that reflection in your blog. Your reflection will include (but is not limited to) such things as:

  • problems and issues that you have faced and how you solved them (or not),
  • how you have interpreted the project brief,
  • how well your design/build meets the project brief and
  • areas which you would like to develop further etc.

You will also be asked to comment on at least two other students work and provide suggestions for how their work could be, for example, improved/extended or re-interpreted. Details on the expected content for these critiques will be available later in the course. You will also be expected to post relevant and helpful comments on others blog’s and reply to those left on yours. (INDIVIDUAL work)


One good way to practise this kind of appraisal is to keep a reflective journal of your ideas and your work.  Even those ideas that don’t eventuate can be useful when you go back and look at them.  I had thought that you would be able to use your blog to do this, as it is a great way to keep track of digital resources.  Lisa is going to show you and talk about her digital journal and how she both manages it and uses it.

Daniel has also provided a blog entry talking about the first things he has built in SL and I would encourage you to have a read of that too.  I will be expecting to see postings along these lines over the remaining weeks.  I realise that this is difficult until you have a clearer idea of what you are going to be building and we can also start those conversations now.

September 13, 2010 Posted by | Critical Evaluation | Leave a comment

Sculpties 101

This week for the technical session we will be having a quick look at one of the advanced modelling options for builds in Second Life; Sculpties.  To read up on exactly what a sculptie is visit this FAQ page on the Second Life Wiki.  That will give you an overview of what we are talking about in the inworld session.  Sculpties allow more organic models to be built and also facilitate the reduction of prim numbers on a sim if used correctly.  Below is an image of an in-world modelling tool developed specifically for creating sculpties but many standard 3D modelling applications such as Blender or Maya can also be used.

Sculptie Example - Click to Enlarge

Once we have looked over sculpties I will then be available to work with you on your individual projects for the rest of the session.  Don’t forget to post your interaction ideas on the blog (Particles 101 is where we are gathering them together) so that all the class can share in the thought process and the working out of the interaction scripts.


September 7, 2010 Posted by | Building and Texturing, General, Individual Projects | Leave a comment


So that all of you may work on the group parcel on your own projects unhindered by others’ work, and so that we may have space for our class sessions, I will be creating individual workspaces for you up above our space on Kowhai (generally known as skyboxes in SL).

There will be teleporters to each workspace by the pavilion where we have our discussion sessions and a teleporter back down again on each workspace platform.  If you require a workspace please comment your request to this post.


Individual Workspaces

Individual Workspaces

September 3, 2010 Posted by | Individual Projects | 7 Comments