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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Floppy bits

I have been spending my lunches getting to know the basics of the SL building tools, and while I know my way around the basics of a couple of building tools, this is quite a different story. Since the tools are in-game, there's no real way of getting a proper top or side perspective (though I see there are builder hud attachment tools available for sale from third parties which I assume do just that). I learned pretty quickly that the best way to do things once the actual primitives had been 'rezzed' was to 'build by numbers', fiddling position and size values in the modification dialogs instead of trying to gauge the stuff visually in a perspective view. Having to pay to upload textures is a bit of a dirty way to do things, but I suppose it's how they avoid their system being overrun with zillions of textures, and encouraging builders to be as economic with their texture work as possible.

Anyway, the first couple of things I've built are all dead simple-and all aimed at 'Tinies', knee high avatars like my little orange cat. The first I did was a booster chair for such small avatars, to bring tem up to 'biggie height'. Around the seat itself is a 'flixi' prim that behaves like cloth, in this case simulating a comfy blanket thrown over the chair :)

Next up is a two prim tiny tie I did, which was tougher than you might expect. The combination of working in a perspective view, and tiny hight not being the intended default height for the camera make getting a good view on things a bit challenging. This took quite a bit of tweaking to get positioning correct.

And finally, just for the hell of it I threw together a floppy top hat. Just call me the cat in the hat:

I'd like to do some actual clothing, particularly a nice waistecoat for my little guy, but I'm a bit uncertain about how to do the texturing for something like that with no template. I'm not about to go the trial and error route when I actually have to pay to upload a texture! I'll have to make some kind of plan..


Andrew said...

I still think an offline editor would be really cool... It's a pity there isn't one yet as that would make experimentation much easier; particularly for people like me who don't actually want to run second life, just play with the tools.

Flint said...

Well the client was open sourced a couple of months ago, so it's quite possible there IS a decent external editor. And if there isn't- well there's a project for you ;) I'm sure lots of people would pay for a decent editor, and your requirements couldn't be more set in stone-the engine is already in place and the required primitives and features are dictated by the standard client :)

Andrew said...

I found a 3dsmax plug-in which lets you model with SL primitives... Unfortunately I can't find it again this morning and it sounded like it was still a bit flaky :(

At least now I know it can be done ;)

Flint said...

Ugh.. but max is so nasty. Don't you want to build me a standalone editor? Pretty please? I'll even let you win at Gears!


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