SLurl

Here’s the slurl to get to my creation – hopefully it works!

http://slurl.com/secondlife/Kowhai/103/21/1001/

Reflection

This assignment was a challenge for me not only because of my small skill set when it comes to Second Life but I also found it difficult to think about how I could incorporate the different requirements into my build. In regards to the process, the difficulty of the assignment could probably have been cut down if I had done more planning before I had started. I thought that fulfilling the requirements as I went was a good idea but in the end it wasn’t. I had trouble deciding how to incorporate them into the building and ended up doing it by making objects to go in and around the house that fulfilled the requirements. More detailed planning beforehand would have resulted in a more creative house that somehow fulfills all the requirements.

I didn’t have much of a process, all I did was a little planning as to how it would look, had a look at different houses in Second Life and YouTube videos and then dived straight in. This was not such a good idea and I would recommend a heavier emphasis on the planning and researching. I did do some experimenting with prims before I started building the actual house which was very helpful and I should have done more of that.

Going with the flow worked in one case as I decided to play around with the prims – stretching and repositioning them – and ended up with a slanted roof and the room being higher in one part. I like this part of the house a lot as it’s more interesting but it was also a result of my experimentation process.

The final outcome is different to how I thought it would be. I personally like the house better than the one I had originally designed but the randomness of items scattered throughout the house isn’t quite what I wanted. I would prefer to have had a house that either had all of the furniture in it or none but I had to fulfill requirements somehow. I think that the house itself is the best part and I particularly like the roof and the tall skinny windows in the main room. The prims the house are made of aren’t placed together perfectly and in some places it seems like there are miniscule cracks between some prims that make up the walls of the house. Visually, I like all the clashing patterns and bold colours that are in my house but they aren’t for everyone. The items that emit light in the house are my favourite items. The Chinese lanterns combine both transparent textures and light and I was quite proud of them. Other items like the balls guiding the way to the front doorway are a bit random and don’t quite fit the look of the build but they achieve the colour changing requirement. Overall I’m mostly pleased with the result and I feel it’s a good first attempt.

Problems and Issues

Building this house proved difficult especially when it came to fitting walls and things together and applying textures. I found it too difficult to understand how to do it with numbers so in the end I had to build the prims and then scrutinise them from every angle to make sure they were fitted together without any cracks. This has resulted in a creation that has small gaps in it and isn’t perfect but overall doesn’t look as bad as it could have. I think that for the way I made this house it doesn’t look too bad. With a bit more work this house could be made a bit better but I feel for a first attempt it has turned out ok.

Textures were a pain as they often went onto a prim and looked awful. I found it really hard to get them to sit perfectly on a prim so in the end some of them are a bit wonky. I had to apply the texture and then use trial and error to get them to sit how they are currently.

One embarrassing problem I had was working out how to upload a texture to Second Life that I had created myself. I could get a texture onto a prim by going through the build window and then changing the texture but it would disappear the next time I logged into Second Life. I sort of had an idea it wasn’t uploading as I wasn’t being charged money. After a quick google search I managed to find an answer and easily uploaded my required textures.

Scripting the colour and texture changes proved incredibly difficult. I really don’t understand the language but with help from the wiki and google I managed to scrabble together some code. The scripted prims all work when an avatar touches it as this was the easiest way to get something to happen and it worked when I tried it out.
Unfortunately the texture code doesn’t really work as it can’t find the texture to change to. I tried searching the internet for an answer but it wasn’t very helpful. I thought perhaps the texture wasn’t in the right folder but no matter where I put it the script still wouldn’t work. This is really annoying as it means it doesn’t actually work. But I attempted it.

None of my problems were solved very effectively but it was the best I could do and they have served to show me how I can improve next time and what areas I need to learn and practice a bit more in. I don’t think my skills are up to making a house anymore complicated than this and I don’t know how much of an enjoyable activity I found it. As stupid as it sounds, I really struggled with this and it was the small niggly problems like uploading textures that took up a lot time and made this assignment a challenge.

Fulfilling Requirements

So far the requirements have been covered by the building but mostly by the objects that come with it. This was done as an easier way to cover everything without having a weird looking house as well as requiring less imagination. Below is a list of requirements and how they have been covered as the build has progressed.

Minimum of 50 prims: the house and it’s objects are definitely at least 50 prims when added all together

Three different prim types: the house consists of cubes for the walls, floors and ceilings. As well as this there are triangles underneath the slanted part of the roof and Chinese lanterns hanging from the ceiling in two of the rooms are circle. There are a lot of other circles in this build such as with the decorations outside the house leading to the doorway. As well as this half circles are used a lot such as with the torches in the big room and also with the archway leading into the house. Triangles are used as well in the torches and lanterns as an attempt to make a flame.

Four different prim manipulations: the square windows in the two back rooms are made using the hollow feature of a prim. As well as this the flame that sits in the lamps and lanterns use the twist effect to create something that looks a little like a flame. The table that the pot plant sits on uses the tapering to create a pin like effect on the single leg holding it up. Although unrealistic I like it because it can’t usually be done and Second Life is about pushing the limits creatively. The weird chair thing I made uses a whole combination of these manipulations to create it’s hollow cocoon like shape.

Textures and colours: Textures and colour were used on almost everything in this build. The purple walls are a plain colour without any texture but the blue and white spotted walls are a texture as are all the floors in the build. The outside has a brick texture and the floors all have a different texture to them. Each prim had to have it’s textures adjusted so that they didn’t look stretched and in the case of the outside walls and the spotted walls, the pattern needed to match up. This proved a little difficult and in some places it still hasn’t been matched very well. This was done using offsets and repeats per face for both horizontal and vertical properties as well as rotating the pattern for some prims such as the outside of the triangles under the slanted roof. I think that the textures chosen were appropriate to what they were being applied to. My favourite is the top soil that lines the entire outside of the house. That is the one texture that I think looks good in most places.

Glow and Shine: Glow is used on the walls in the main room so that it looks like it’s glowing all the time even in the day. This was the plan anyway but it didn’t quite work. The glow doesn’t seem to show up so maybe some more investigation into how that works needs to be done. The attempt at a mirror in one of the rooms has a prim with a high shine factor on the inner prim. This was supposed to reflect that way that a mirror in real life looks but shine doesn’t really seem to do much to a prim visually. Shine is also used on the balls that light the way outside the house but they also don’t look any different with a high shine applied to them. The flames that are used in the lights in the main room and in the Chinese lanterns, have a glow effect applied to them so that they look a bit more fiery in the day time, but as usual it doesn’t make the shape look any different.

Multiple texture on a prim: Multiple textures were used on a single prim in the cases of the walls, ceiling and floors. This was because the tops and bottoms were different such as the outside of a wall would be brick but the inside would be a wallpaper pattern. With the roof, different colours were applied to it depending on where it was outside or inside. The floors had a texture on them if they were inside but the part that could be seen outside had a blank texture and a colour applied to it.

Scale: I didn’t build to any particular scale but an avatar can fit in the house. The only downside is that the ceilings are a bit too low to comfortably fit the camera view into the house. Maybe building to a proper mathematical scale would have helped fix this. Or make massive ceilings.

Scripted change in colour: The balls lighting the way to the door outside the house all change colour when an avatar touches them. This was the simplest way of achieving this goal as I didn’t really know how else to do it that I could script.

Scripted change in texture: The chair is supposed to change it’s texture when an avatar touches it but so far it isn’t working. This a pain as it doesn’t demonstrate what I wanted it to do.

Three textures with transparency: the long windows in the main room all have transparency applied to them so that they look like windows and not invisible. The flames that are in the lamps and lanterns in the house all have a smoky texture that is quite transparent. The Chinese lanterns themselves have a texture that alternates solid colour with nothing. This has been achieved by using a transparent texture.

Flexible path: I tried playing with flexible path on the flames that I made to sit in the lanterns and lamps in the house but I applied it to a triangle shape which apparently doesn’t work with flexible path. I’m still a little unsure on how to use it and I think it could be something interesting to look at using in the future.

Prims with light: the flames that are in the lanterns and lights all have the light property applied to them so they radiate light. These look pretty good at night time but aren’t even noticeable in the day time.

Sculpties: I created two sculpties for this build – both were tree related. I created a tree and a bush. The tree unfortunately is a but crap looking but it was the best I could do. Plus it was the first one I had ever made. The bushy grass thing looks a lot better and I’ve even put it in a pot plant holder inside.

Design and Development

Design and development haven’t been planned much but a great deal of thought was given to them. The design of the house has been drawn up and hopefully it will look similar in Second Life when it has been created. I haven’t really given much thought to scale as I don’t feel my math skills are up to the challenge of working out detailed measurements and so I’m just planning on building it by measuring against my avatar as I go. Fingers crossed it works.

While designing the house I have tried to incorporate most requirements for content creation where I can. Different shaped prims have been used as well as different manipulations such as various textures and colours. Although I have thought about some requirements I’m planning on putting the rest into the creation later as I go. I think I will do this through objects inside the house as I’m not sure how to include all of the requirements in a simple house. I know that I will be applying transparent textures to the windows as this will be better than having gaping holes to let light in. I would also like to use the light requirement in some form of light inside the house. I plan on applying different textures to a single prim with the walls as the inside of a wall will be different to the outside of it. The use of plants will help to cover the prim manipulations that are specified in the assignment requirements.

Planned Design

Initial Planning

I’ve thought long and hard about what exactly I should build for my project that would incorporate all the requirements and so I’ve finally settled on the idea of a house. The general census seems to be that a small house would be around 50 prims which meets the minimum amount needed. A small house will leave room to move if it requires more prims as the maximum is 300. I feel that a house can be more flexible with the amount of prims it will contain as it can be extended or made smaller to fit within the allowed range.

I started experimenting with building different parts of a house such as windows and steps as well as trying to include other specified characteristics like different shapes, textures and manipulations. The plan is to have a house with one bedroom, one bathroom and a living area. Whether or not it will be furnished is yet to be decided and will probably depend on how many prims are left after building the actual building. I’m not really going for attractiveness as I still struggle a little with the building – especially textures and getting them to line up with each other. But I will be trying my hardest to make it look not too shabby.

I’ve made a very basic floor plan, it just shows how I wish the house to be laid out. The planning is still in the beginning stages and I think that after I get into the building the designs will begin to develop a lot more and be easier to imagine and plan. It’s easy to imagine what it will look like based on the design.

Basic Floor Plan

Experimenting

Here you can see I’ve been playing around with an possible entrance way to a house. I created a set of stairs and also part of a balcony. Underneath I have used a 6 tubes and then tapered them to create legs. I also twisted a rectangle to make decorative columns and then played around with the texturing so that it looked a bit more like stone. I also hollowed out a sphere to create a bowl for decoration on the steps.

Window

Here I used transparency to make a window as well as some hollowing. Playing with these things has helped me in planning out what to make and how I can go about creating the different parts.

My assignment decision..

I finally made my decision on what to the assignment on and I have picked.. content creation! I was keen to give machinima a go, but I’ve heard it’s difficult and I missed out on the class yesterday where Isa was giving tips on how to make good machinima. It’s also something I’m not at all familiar with so I’ve decided to do content creation, concentrating on the visual complexity. I’m starting a bit later than I would have liked but hopefully next week I can have a go at experimenting with the practical part of the assignment.

Previous Older Entries