Author Archives: Aaron

The Default Script Slideshow

For those who need to revisit it or missed the session on the default script here is a Slideshare slide show that goes through the steps for you. The slide show is also available on the projector in-world.

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Scripting 101

This coming Wednesday we will be looking at the basics of scripting (programming) in Second Life.

To help ease you into scripting I have added a number of resources below that you should take a little time to browse through. I have also placed a number of scripting examples onto our parcel for you all to interact with and consider the processes that occur.

The LSL Portal
The Second Life Wiki: LSL Portal. This is the index for the Linden Scripting Language (LSL) and contains all the EVENTS and FUNCTIONS available to the language. The ‘Getting started with LSL’ section is worth having a look over for those who have never programmed before.

A Script Deconstructed
This SLENZ Build Deconstruction post looks at the welcome script that I created for the SLENZ Build. It provides the full script as a pdf file and talks the reader through the scripts construction. This isn’t about learning to create this script rather just think about the process and the different options that needed to be built into the script to have it function appropriately for the user.

Consider how it would feel for the user if there wasn’t a function built into it to recognise that the user had already received the dialog box and they were constantly spammed with this every time they were detected. Scripting is very much about usability.

A Gentle Introduction to Scripting in Second Life
This Wikibook is written for the SL user who has no experience with computer programming; or, for users with programming experience who would like a gentle introduction to LSL.

Collision Based Effects
Also provided are two resources accessible from our inworld parcel. These look at collision based EVENTS and FUNCTIONS. One is another script deconstruction from the SLENZ build, the other more visual in that it contains a video of three different uses of the llVolumeDetect FUNCTION. The stair described in the deconstruction has been set up on our parcel as one of the script examples mentioned at the beginning of this post.

Koru’s Texture Boards

This coming Wednesday we will begin to look at textures; an essential aspect of any build you create. So that you all have a good range of textures available for your building projects I have placed two Texture Boards on the group parcel on Koru.

MUV601 Texture Boards

MUV601 Texture Boards

These textures have been gathered and put together into the boards and made available as full permission textures for your use. A Texture Board is a tool, freely available in Second Life, to help you organise and view your textures, and can be more user friendly than trying to look through textures one by one in your Inventory. How to access the textures in the Texture Boards is set out below.

When first rezzed a Texture board displays as shown below.

A Rezzed Texture Board

A Rezzed Texture Board

The Board contains the texture preview section to its left, a larger screen to the right to display the selected texture, and the categories, tiling and previous and next buttons at the bottom right. To select a specific category, in this case Metals, Glitter etc, click on the button. It will highlight as shown below.

Button Display

Button Display

The Board will then display thumbnail previews of textures in that specific category as shown below.

Category Thumbnails Displayed

Category Thumbnails Displayed

The button display also contains a Previous and Next button. Clicking on these will cycle back and forwards through the thumbnails of a particular category if it contains more textures than will fit on the display at one time.

Previous and Next Buttons

Previous and Next Buttons

To display a larger view of any particular texture click on its thumbnail image. It will show as highlighted with the texture name overlaid, and a larger version of the texture will display on the selection board to the right.

Thumbnail Selected

Thumbnail Selected

Some textures are tileable, i.e. when the texture has more than one repeat on a prim face the texture repeats without obvious breaks, as all edges of the textures are designed to flow perfectly into their opposing edges. Note that some textures will be designed to only tile vertically or horizontally depending on what their end use is. For example a texture for a wall may only tile horizontally as the texture may have been created to have a specific top and bottom and only tile well along the wall. To view how well a texture tiles click on the Tile button and the texture will display as shown below, with the full texture in the centre of the selection screen so that all edges will display their tiling quality. To turn off tiling click on the Tile button again.

Viewing the Texture Tiled - This One is Considered Tileable

Viewing the Texture Tiled – This One is Considered Tileable

A Non-Tileable Texture

A Non-Tileable Texture

To obtain a displayed texture hold your cursor over the larger image. The cursor will display as a hand as shown below.

Hand Cursor Displayed

Hand Cursor Displayed

Click on the large texture and the following dialog box will display. Click on Keep to take the texture into your Inventory. The texture will now be available in your Inventory for use in your building projects.

Texture Dialog Box

Texture Dialog Box

NOTE: You might have noticed that in the resources you receive in class this week, there is a blank copy of this board (Texture Board – Empty) for you to use if you wish. If you need instruction on how to load it with your own textures I will do a quick session at the end of this week’s class.

Building Resources

For those that missed them please see below for links to the building resources that have been provided on our parcel in-world to date. Do make sure from now on that you check in-world each week as generally there will be additional resources made available there.

Printable Resource: Building in Second Life 101
Web Resource: Building 101

I’ve also added an additional video that reviews copying and selecting and linking and unlinking prims and also editing individual prims in a linked object. It also shows you another method for selecting prims that we haven’t really covered in class so something new to learn there too. While it has been captured in the Second Life viewer it is just as valid for Firestorm. As usual it’s best watched in full screen and high definition so you can see the menu details.

Seeing your Second Life

How you see your Second Life world is all down to how well you can use your camera. These are your Second Life eyes, so to speak. For a long-term resident like myself using my camera is second nature, just like looking around in RL. But as a newbie I know it took me a while to become conversant with the camera controls.

Now I must say straight up that I seldom have the onscreen camera controls visible. I’m all about keyboard and mouse. For those that do not know these options, this is from Linden Labs’ community page on camera controls.

Keyboard controls

By using your keyboard and mouse to control the camera, you can view nearly any object or avatar from any angle or distance.

  • Alt + Left mouse button: Press and hold to zoom your view in when you move the mouse up or down. Orbits your view around the focal point when you move the mouse left or right.
  • Ctrl + Alt + Left mouse button: Press and hold to orbit your view around the focal point when you move the mouse in any direction.
  • Ctrl + Alt + Shift + Left mouse button: Press and hold to pan your view parallel to the plane of your screen.
  • Mouse scroll wheel: Zooms in or out.
  • Escape key: Resets your view to its default location behind your avatar.  Moving your avatar also resets your view.

Once you have the basics down pat the following video from the Firestorm team introduces you to a number of tips and tricks for advanced camera use.

Enjoy!

Isa/Aaron

MUV601 Assignment 3

Please note that the criteria for Assignment 3 is now available through the link under IMPORTANT DATES 2018 in the left-hand sidebar. If you have any questions or concerns feel free to use the Comment section in this post to raise them so that everyone can benefit from the answers.

Looking forward to seeing you all on Wednesday when we start building!

Isa/Aaron

Building 101

Next Wednesday, March 21th, we will be looking at the basics of primitives (prims) creation, the oldest building blocks of Second Life (SL) and OpenSimulator. As mentioned last week, aside from the original primitives, two additional building options are available these days, sculpties and mesh. Their complexity puts their initial creation beyond the scope of this course though you will learn how to build a sculpted prim from a provided sculpt texture/sculpt map later on. As regards just prims however, some amazing builds have been created using only these basic building options and they still play an important part in in-world creations.

Three resources are available to prepare you for Building 101, one a printable web resource accessible from the MUV601 parcel, the other two the following videos. Although the videos and imagery were captured in the Second Life viewer the instruction is just as relevant for the Firestorm viewer, as prim creation and manipulation use the same methods and the same menus. This first video demonstrates the creation of a basic prim and its manual positioning, rotation and resizing.

For part of last Wednesday I took you through how to investigate a build; an excellent way to start getting your head around how objects are put together in-world; and I also showed you how you might be able to learn more about an object’s creator. This next video was created for the 2013 class and while some of the interfaces are a little different, most of what you see is as relevant today as it was then. It starts out on the sim Kowhai, which used to be next door to Koru and contained the original MUV601 class parcel. It goes into some depth in terms of not only looking at how a build has been constructed, but also about finding out a little more about creators of a specific in-world object.

Both videos are best watched full-screen and at high definition so that you can see the menu details.

Enjoy!

Virtual World Best Practices in Education Conference 2018

Just to let you all know that there is an inworld conference happening this coming weekend; the Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education (VWBPE) conference.

The VWBPE Conference is a completely virtual conference that is conducted using simulated environments. Participants experience the conference through a virtual reality type setting including conference rooms, theatres, exposition halls, meeting spaces, and other types of venues similar to a brick and mortar type conference.

The conference is free to attend.

The calendar of events is here. I will be presenting on a research project called Avatars as Data Points that I have been involved in as a creator and programmer over the last 6 months, with Victoria University.

Definitely worth going to have a look if you have time. There are usually some pretty good presentations. Remember though that the times are in PST. Something one learns to content with quite quickly when inhabiting virtual worlds; time zones. You can convert time using this time zone converter.

Aaron/Isa

Saving Chat Transcripts

As I mentioned on Wednesday, during in-world sessions a lot of information is delivered in a short space of time and it can be very easy to miss or forget bits and pieces. I then proceeded to show you how you can save those chat sessions using SL’s own note taker. I’ve repeated that information below in case you missed it.

Open Preferences (Avatar > Preferences OR Ctrl P) and navigate to Privacy > Logs and Transcripts. The logs contain basic conversation information (name and date) and items are cleared after 30 days. The transcripts however are txt files of all the conversations you have inworld, including IMs and the main chat. Very handy if you want to review a session. The settings I use are shown below.

You can select where the logs and transcripts are saved in Preferences > Network & Files > Directories. You can change this to suit your own network.

Creating Display Names

When you first create your SL account you are required to choose a name for your avatar. This is called the username and is the name you use to log in with. By default it is also the name shown above your head.

Now it may be that you were hasty in choosing it or the name you wanted was already being used. Don’t worry because you can change the name that you display to the world; your display name.

Open your profile, Avatar > Profile, and select the spanner icon next to your name (see image below).

Note that your display name can only be changed once a week but for good continuity with the people you engage with inworld, it really is best if you decide on one name and stick to it.

IMPORTANT: At the end of next Wednesday’s session (14th March) I will be creating individual skybox workspace platforms on Koru for each of you. Each platform will have a personalised TP up to it so it would be good to have your display names finalised by then.