Ethos Erlanger's First Virtual Life© Blog

Building in Virtual Worlds

Archive for June, 2009

Linden Labs Should Fix the Avatar Walking Speed

Posted by Ethos Erlanger on June 23, 2009

I have finally decided to speak up about the state of simulation in Second Life. It stinks!

The speed of the walk at 3.19 meters per second (mps) is incredibly unusable for anything other than a game.  I am trying to create the slow walk. Why? Because Linden Labs can’t attack the problem of the [physics engine/avatar walk] in any logical way that simulates real human motion.  Why is it impossible to have an avatar walk up stairs without a velocity equal to 3.19 mps? Hold the space bar down and you walk slowly. But now your avatar is unable to climb stairs.

This affects machinima artists and architectural walk through simulations.

The following is what I wrote in a new feature request on the SL JIRA #SVC-4445: (Please vote for it http://tinyurl.com/l9lz3u)

When using the space bar to slow down the avatar walk, there is no longer enough force applied to the avatar for them to walk up steps or ascend an incline. Currently the standard walking speed is 3.19+ mps (approx. 11.48 KPH) which is unrealistic unless you are taking a brisk walk in the country, or trying to get to English class in a 3 minute passing period. A good speed for the slow walk would be about 0.75 mps to 1.00 mps but it should still allow an avatar to step up an incline equal to a scale set of stairs that would approximate 7.75″ rise x 11″ run or approx. a 35 degree angle.

This is critical to the future use of SL as a tool for architectural collaboration and a realistic casual walk-through of the interior of any scale model of a building of any size or scale.

FOOTNOTE: 3.19 meters/second = 11.48 Kilometers/Hour = 7.13 Mile/Hour

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Posted in Machinima, Second Life, Uncategorized, Virtual Architecture | Leave a Comment »

Sculpties do not rez the same for everyone?

Posted by Ethos Erlanger on June 21, 2009

I am searching for evidence that confirms or refutes the assertion that sculpties do (or do not) appear the same for everyone.  I am led to understand that sculpties are made to appear by the video card itself.  Does this mean that every video card maker renders things differently? Has this ever been tested?

Although interesting, I am not conerned too much about “Level of Detail” otherwise called LOD.  I know that a partially resolved sculpty prim is quite un-viewable, but that is really an issue for the creator not the viewer.  Tell me I am wrong?  Where is the evidence?  Please comment and point me to the evidence I need to understand this issue from every angle and user perpective.

Posted in Sculpty Prims, Second Life | Leave a Comment »

Twitter and Fresh Ideas – Scripting

Posted by Ethos Erlanger on June 21, 2009

My daughter warned me! She said “Twitter is OK, but it can be over stimulating” and followed with: “Don’t say I didn’t warn you.”

What did she mean “overstimulating”?

There are a lot of fresh ideas that I have been exposed to through twitter. Some good daily doses of genuine humor. Some good links to topics that I had heretofore not been exposed.

This “over-stimulation” is a good thing.

The freshest idea came to me when a new tweeter  began following me named @freeSLscripts. Actually, it was not anything they said. The name alone made me want to ask: “Where can I find well-commented scripts that I can learn from?” The SL wiki is not always clear about the use of some script instructions. And, my learning of the LSL is best done when I see something in-context with some comments that explain what is going on in the script.

So, for anyone out there interested in learning or teaching scripts, please share the best of your knowledge with good meaningful comments in your scripts.

Posted in Education in Second Life, LSL Scripting, Second Life | 1 Comment »

IP / Ethics / Remodeling in VWs

Posted by Ethos Erlanger on June 18, 2009

The title is short. Here is the full version.

IP: Intellectual Property

Ethics: what is the right thing to do?

Remodeling: Taking a home built by another builder and changing it for a private client.

The idea is straightforward. The client asks me to modify the home they have to more closely meet their needs. How is this different from the real world scenario?

First, it is nearly impossible to work on or edit the prims of another builder. When given the edit rights by the property owner, the prims can be edited, but seldom are homes transferable, so copying a prim is not possible. Making new prims is not out of the question, but linking new prims owned by me to prims owned by the property owner cannot be done.  So, backup copies and packaging the build into a rez package is out of the question.

Finding the exact same textures is not as easy as you may think. If I already own the textures, great. But if I do not, I am forces to re-texture the entire house to get a match. Not the same as painting, is it?

How do I serve the request of the buyer and still respect the IP rights of the original designer?  I could replicate the entire build. How different is that from an architect or designer copying the blueprints of another architect?

Do I walk away from a good job? In Real Life, a room addition is simple and pretty hard to argue where the old house leaves off and the new work begins. This does not seem to translate to the virtual world in the ordinary sense and I will look forward to seeing how it is resolved in the new millenium.

Posted in Second Life, Uncategorized, Virtual Architecture | Leave a Comment »

The Tour Cam Opens My Eyes

Posted by Ethos Erlanger on June 10, 2009

I am receiving a great deal of scripting help from Ty Jaehun as I struggle to overcome the inherent shortcomings of Seconds Life’s physics and avatar walking velocity.  Actually, she is doing all the hard work in this effort.

I made a gadget to wear that would apply a force back on me as I walked forward. Then I learn that this would slow me down to a point that I could not climb stairs.  I also tested impulse. I almost think that the forward impulse may work better.  Maybe even a llMoveToTarget will work.  The script is being developed to allow the use of an animation to allow my avatar to appear to walk slower and take shorter steps.

Second Life Walking is Nothing Like Real Life

To prepare for the writing of the animation specifications, I needed to see just how long a standard SL avatar stride is.  (I define a stride as being the length of one leg moving forward.) Well folks, here is the shocker.  As I walked from one location to another that was 20 meters apart. It takes only 18 strides. This is approximately 1.1 meters and sorta close to 44 inches.  You try this in your real life and see what you get.

This is so far removed from being a scale-like walk it is something I would like to put in as a JIRA request for an added feature.  I almost think we need two or three more ways to control the speed of a walk.  Linden Labs should find a way to allow the avatar size to control the walking speed and stride length.

A standard walk should be slower and realistic. A brisk outdoor walk can be a bit less than what we have now as the current stride and speed.  Then a jog could be approximately what is available now as a “Run”. Finally a full out run should be available from Linden Labs that would look like a real sprint and be faster than anything available now.

Enjoy your Second Life… E

Posted in LSL Scripting, Machinima, Second Life, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Working on Another Replication

Posted by Ethos Erlanger on June 8, 2009

I seem to be caught in this web that makes me replicate homes from the Teraverse in the virtual world. I really want to find out if a virtual tour of a home that people live in is a believable tour.

Laura’s Dream is an award winning  home I built in 1999.  It is a lot more work to build in Second Life from prims than it was to build from plans in the real world. It has a lot of 45 degree angled walls and a bay window. These are challenging in Second Life. They eat up a lot of prims.

Photos to follow.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »