Over the course of this assignment I had a number of features I wished to implement into my build but had a huge amount of difficulty achieving. As a newcomer to Second Life, I am sometimes unsure of which things are possible and which are not in the context of Content Creation, so my initial plans might have been slightly too ambitious. Below I have highlighted some of the most frustrating errors that I encountered and the various methods to solve them that I attempted.
I originally wished to have a giant mirror at the back of the stage where my changeable texture currently sits. I did some research on this idea and I found several tutorials that said this effect was possible. However, upon following the instructions, most of them required the build to be turned on its side so that the area you wished the mirror to sit could be filled with water, which would then automatically reflect the surroundings. Hardly a good choice for my project! So instead I decided to implement Isa’s texture change script in order to make my build better fit the assessment criteria.
Mirror, mirror, on the wall…
It was my original intention to have a spinning disco ball that reflected a group of lights that I would point at it. I managed to get the ball to spin with relative ease (I made some slight modifications to a script in order to speed it up slightly), but I faced a similar problem to that of the mirror in the sense that I couldn’t enable to item to reflect anything. Instead, I decided to add a particle script to the disco ball which gives it a pop concert-style effect.
Every stage needs trusses to surround it, to support lights, pyrotechnics, and other fixtures vital to a performance. However, my graphic design skills leave an awful lot to be desired, and while I did design the tile texture for the stage and the steps behind it, I found the texture for the trusses on the Second Life marketplace (it was only 50 linden dollars!) It came in a pack with three textures: one for a large truss, one for a small truss, and one for the ends. I felt the low price made it foolish for me to spend hours creating my own version which no doubt would not have been as good!
A small truss
Once again I have been feeling very motivated this week and I’ve made great progress with my build. I have absolutely loved this assignment so far as I love anything that requires creativity. In this blog post I will take you through all the requirements of this assignment and how each one of them has been fulfilled by this build.
- A minimum of 50 and a maximum of 300 prims used in the construction
The current build stands at 117 prims
- At least three different primitive types
The disco ball uses a sphere
The trusses, stage, and steps are boxes
The main portion of the light is a cylinder, and the light beam is a cone
- At least four different forms of prim manipulation
1. The top section of the lights is a sphere which has been path cut by 50%,
2. The light beams have a .80 taper on its X axis
3. The truss in the background and its counterpart on the other side of the stage has been twisted (B 90, E -90)
4. The same trusses have been top-sheared (X .50)
- The use of different textures and colours throughout the build with consideration given to using appropriate textures, texture repeats, offsets, and rotations
The four side faces of all the trusses have horizontal repeats of 2.9 and vertical repeats of 1.1. The texture has also been rotated 90 degrees.
The main stage has a texture with horizontal repeats of 25 and vertical repeats of 11
- At least two different texture manipulations
The disco ball has a medium shininess
The light beams have a .10 glow setting
- The appropriate use of multiple textures on a prim
The 4 main sides of the trusses use the ‘truss-large-aluminium’ texture, while the ends use the ‘truss-end-aluminium’ texture
- The appropriate scale for purpose both in construction and texture use
The size of the stage and trusses were originally based on this real-world stage design. The largest trusses are 14m in length and the stage is 25m in length.
My build focused on visual complexity, and the following criteria are specific to that section.
- A scripted change in colour
The lights lights change colour between red and blue on a 3-second timer
- A scripted change in texture
The striped backdrop changes to a metal grate upon clicking it.
- The use of at least 3 textures with transparency
The trusses use three different transparent textures: the top, and the 4 sides (large and small variants)
- An instance of a prim with light
The light beams have the light property set to true
- Prim movement through scripting
The disco ball is set to a slow rotation using a script
- An appropriate particle system
Since I was unable to have light coming from the disco ball, I thought a good compromise would be to add this particle system. I used the script that Isa provided for us but made some slight modifications to the number of particles emitted and the radius
I often find long weekends are the perfect opportunity to take time out and work on assignments. I must say, with my mounting to-do list I was extremely grateful for the time! Since I have no lectures on a Friday I was left with 4 days off, which meant I could dedicate 1 day to each subject. So Sunday morning I was up bright and early, and ready to start building!
Over the last week I have been following various tutorials on building in Second Life and re-reading the blog posts from Clare and Isa, and I finally started to feel confident enough to start building for myself.
As my concept is creating an ideal performance space, I did quite a bit of research on different stage designs. I had initially chosen a design from the following screenshot:
I created my stage to look almost exactly like this, as this screenshot was very helpful in providing a guideline for sizes and lengths of the trusses. As an inexperienced builder it did take me some time, but I was quite proud of myself that I managed to do it!
However, after I completed the design I found the stage to look quite boring and uninspired, and this project is supposed to result in an ideal performance space for me. So I started drawing various other designs and finally chose on one that I liked.
My progress at the end of week 2:
The wooden panel at the rear of the stage will be replaced by a texture in due course, and of course after the stage is finished I can begin adding more complexity (i.e. instruments, scripting, texturing).
I must say I’m quite pleased with the progress I’m making!!!
The initial planning for this assignment has taken me quite a bit longer than originally anticipated. It’s the one I’ve been most looking forward to so I really wanted to make the right decision from the list of possible areas to explore.
In one of the first lectures of this class, Clare had mentioned that it would be possible for me to organize an event which could be a musical performance of some kind. As I am a keen singer it seemed ideal for me and a really fun way to get away from the stress of all the other assignments I’ve been handed!
Unfortunately after a conversation with Clare and a bit of thinking over I decided to change directions and go for ‘Content Creation’ instead. I still don’t really know enough people within the Second Life community to make the attendance at the performance worthwhile, and I also reasoned that if I was to host a performance, I would also have to create the venue myself, which would count as content creation.
At Clare’s suggestion, even though I am no longer doing the performance, it would be quite fitting for my content creation to focus on creating an ideal performance space. With that in mind, I am working on taking all of my favourite elements from places that I’ve performed and putting them together for this project.
I am currently reviewing all the notes I have taken on prim creation and looking at some other online tutorials so I am still very much in the experimental phase, but I am hoping to get something properly created in my workspace this week.
Watch this space!!!