CQU’s Island in Second Life

25 01 2008

At the start of this month we got our Island set up. Over the last few weeks, I’ve been building the scenes needed by our machinima for the auditing course.

The building tools are quite good, and it has been surprisingly quick and easy so far to set up the scenes. I’ll post some screen shots of the work here somewhere, soon..

Of course the tools have their limitations, one of the most annoying is that you can’t seem to create objects that have more than 10 meters length on any axis. So for example, to create the road throughout our scene, I had to connect 23 slabs of 10×10, and that doesn’t count the foot path!

My other main annoyance is that aligning objects perfectly is more complicated than needed. Sure, it’s still fairly easy, but from working with graphic design tools every day that have awesome alignment tools I can see what the Second Life authoring environment is missing. For starters, the anchor point of each object is in the middle (of each axis); you can’t change this anchor point, if you could it’d be even easier!

Here’s an example of what I mean; to align two slabs of road, there’s no auto-align tools, so you have to take the x position of the first object for example, add or subtract half of each slabs width on that axis to get the centre point of the second object.. if you get my drift. Why bother aligning objects perfectly? Well, it’s a must – you get some bad graphic glitches if objects are overlapping, textures flicker and behave strangely.

A summary

If you could choose the object’s anchor point, and have better align and distribution tools, creating more complicated structures would be a lot easier and quicker.Still; all up the editing tools are more than reasonable, and to do simple things it’s quite easy and timely.

Pre-made objects and textures?

That’s another story completely.




One response

30 01 2008

I know it blows especially if you are accustomed to working in more advacned 3D apps, but it really isn’t too bad once you get accustomed to it. Most people just knuckle under and do the math and things come out pretty well. Many “pro” builders put out products with mismatched seams and edges which makes me freakin eyes bleed. There are of course tricks and techniques to help and the snap grid comes in pretty handy. However, if you want a groovy tool that will greatly inhance your building time, check out Skidz Prims or just do a serach on Skidz under the classifieds. It is a scripted building tool that produces scripted prims which may be snapped together, gapped, mirrored and rotated and a few other things. The down side for you (i understand from your posts that you are trying to keep costs down) is that the tool is a little over 3k L$ or about $12 USD. But is has free updates and really good product support in the form of weekly classes for biginning to advanced users.

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