Permissions and IP – Week 7

This week I want to look at how we use permissions and protect intellectual property in virtual worlds.  You might find these links useful

and there are more links in my notes which will be available here during the class.

The best way of understanding some of the problems that can occur are by trying to do something – so I have got a couple of challenges for you to do to see if you can overcome the problems!

Permissions seem simple but can get pretty complex – I hope this week’s class will help unravel some of the mystery!

 

 

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Using the Texture Boards on Koru

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.

Week 6 Communities

This week I want to start exploring communities in the virtual environment and its seems to me that the discussion really starts with deciding what we mean and expect from communities in our physical environments.

Before thinking about virtual communities we will begin the class talking about ‘real-life’ and online communities. We will find that as we start to apply those ideas to the virtual environment, many aspects remain the same.

The users of Second Life as a whole for example can be seen as a community and in fact there are a number of communities (or Groups as they are known in SL) on the Destination Guide.  Within Second Life, there are a large number of smaller communities mostly supported by the use of inworld groups which is sometimes extended to other forms of online media such as forums, email lists, facebook groups, blogs etc.  Many musicians who play live in SL have their own groups too.

Like most semi-formal communities Second Life has guidelines for expected community behaviour (the Big Six which we looked at a few weeks ago). This  helps to set the culture of the shared location (the ‘world’) and are different from the Terms of Service and both are listed on the Second Life website.  Likewise many groups also have their own set of rules ranging from how to behave on a role-play sim to what NOT to talk about in group chat!

Some communities are educational, some are for role-play, some for shopping or game playing or discussion.  There are groups for builders, scripters, musicians, sci-fi geeks, game of thrones fans etc…. use the Search inworld to check out places and groups for things you might be interested in.

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In your second assignment I am asking you to participate in a community in a virtual world.  I realise that you may choose an environment other than SL for this but in many ways Second Life offers the best choices.  All of you have joined one community at least ,’Muv601′,  but that doesn’t count for the assignment! Before next week (and yes I will be asking!), I want you to have identified  several communities that might be of interest to you and to have joined one of them!

If you are stuck for ideas you might be interested in joining the NCI community, which is a group of volunteers dedicated to helping new users of Second Life.  They have a number of activities every week which would be useful for fulfilling the requirements of Assignment 2. We will visit NCI at some point this afternoon.

Class notes will be here later – Good luck and have fun exploring.

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.

Week 5 Viewers and Locations/Builds

I am going to start by just talking through a few points on around viewers that are useful for your assignment and then I want to get on to more interesting matters!

I want to  spend some time considering what to look for in a build in preparation for your assignment 1 posts (check out Isa’s video from last week to provide some clues) not just in the actual building but also in the atmosphere that is created through colours, use of particles etc…  and what kind of things you can do there.   I am expecting some thoughtful consideration of the locations/builds that you decide to write about and I hope the guidelines I talk through will help.  We will probably then go exploring to try out the theory!

We might also try to get in to Jokaydiagrid again if your accounts have been approved – we’ll see how we go!

Notes are here.

 

Building 101

This coming Wednesday, March 15th, we will be looking at the basics of primitives (prims) creation, the oldest building blocks of Second Life (SL) and OpenSimulator. 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.

The next video was created for the 2013 class to highlight how to investigate a build; an excellent way to start getting your head around how objects are put together in-world; and 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!

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 this coming Wednesday’s session 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.

Different platforms – part 2

Today I want to finish off talking about different MUV platforms and give you a heads up about different viewers that you can use for Second Life and Open Sim (although we are only able to use Firestorm in the lab).

Last week you asked me when I would use different platforms, so I will talk a little about that too and I hope to spend the last hour or more introducing you to OpenSim worlds either  Kitely – a popular OpenSim grid or Jokydiagrid.  I will also explain about hypergridding but we may not be able to test it out.

Notes will be here later.

Saving Chat Transcripts

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. Not to worry! SL has it’s own note taker.

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 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 may need to reset this if you are using the lab computers; maybe saving off to a USB each session.

Class Resources, In-world and Off-world

Throughout the course there will be, as mentioned last Wednesday, a number of linked resources provided. Some I’ll post here in the MUV601 blog and others will be linked to from our parcel of land on Koru. Remember the floating sphere with the Welcome text over it?

If there’s another smaller sphere or two floating over that one, then clicking on those will reveal other class resources. I suggest you pop in-world occasionally to see if there are any around. These in-world resources will get changed as we move through the course so don’t miss out!

This first video is about moving in Second Life. Though most of you seem to have movement down fine the following video gives a quick overview with a focus on using movement keys rather than the on-screen controls. I suggest you watch this and subsequent videos in HD and full-screen so that you can see the menu details, etc.