Ethos Erlanger's First Virtual Life© Blog

Building in Virtual Worlds

Archive for the ‘Education in Second Life’ Category

I have changed my Blog Title

Posted by Ethos Erlanger on October 3, 2009

Seeing how Linden Lab has requested a highly respected website (See: http://tinyurl.com/ydgq75s)  to change their name because of their use of the copyrighted, trademarked or otherwise not-to-be-used-by-anyone-for-any-reason word, two-word-phrase, or image, I am taking a preemptive step to forestall the wrath of the almighty.

I never meant any infringement.

I actually like Second Life.

I just think that now is the time to begin thinking of them as less than the premier virtual world and stating this in my blog. If I happen to raise their ire… well, so be it.

It is simply beginning to look like they have a sour attitude towards their own customers.  Some of their actions are driving a wedge between them and their clients that send them real currency every month to pay the electric bills and salaries of their employees.

Give me your thoughts please.

Posted in About Ethos Erlanger, Education in Second Life, General Information, Second Life, Virtual Architecture | Leave a Comment »

Building – The Guggenheim

Posted by Ethos Erlanger on September 22, 2009

The Guggenheim is a large project. At a scale that I am familiar with, the Erlanger Scale, it will be approximately 100 meters wide and about 60 meters deep. The Erlanger Scale is a scale factor of 1.6x. Remember that the main rotunda in Real Life is listed in many documents as having the dome 95 feet above the floor. Well, translated to SL, this is about 47 meter high. And the Annex Building (designed by Gwathmey Siegel) is 135 feet tall or 67 meters tall in SL.

I did a study of the ramp that winds counter-clockwise up and around the rotunda. As my avatar walked down the six stories and quarter mile path I was at the ground level in slightly over 3 minutes.  This translates to a walking speed (more like a brisk trot) of about 5 miles per hour. This brings me back to the realization of the need for a “museum walk” as I have discussed before. This is one of the few areas where I allow myself to complain a bit about Linden Lab not allowing us the controls needed to manage the walking speed of our avatar.

Enjoy your Second Life,

EE

Posted in Art, Education in Second Life, Second Life, The Guggenheim in 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 »

Massing of The Guggenheim on a Sim Map

Posted by Ethos Erlanger on May 28, 2009

The Guggenheim on a Sim Map

The Guggenheim on a Sim Map of ARCH Network

I put out a 10×10 meter Sim Map of ARCH Network, and then created a scale massing model of The Guggenheim to see what it might look like. The space shown here is in the Northeast quadrant of Arch Network and is just North of the newly reopened Dakota Skies Gallery and this photo gives you an idea of what The Guggenheim might look like in Second Life.  The space needed to display this architectural icon by Frank Lloyd Wright would be more than 1/4 sim.  When it is finally built, it will be an aid to everyone who is striving to grasp the shape, size and spacial interplay of this wonderful work of art.

Enjoy your Second Life … E

Posted in Art, Education in Second Life, The Guggenheim in Second Life, Virtual Architecture | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

My Quest For The Guggenheim

Posted by Ethos Erlanger on May 28, 2009

Massing of The Guggenheim on a 10x10 Sim Map

Massing of The Guggenheim on a 10x10 Sim Map

This quest started about two weeks ago. Well, the idea is older than this, but the journey began when I took the first step forward.   I sent an email directly to the Guggenheim Museum in NYC asking for their help in obtaining dimensioned drawings of the building that we all know of as “The Guggenheim”.  I had not done this before.  Making contact with such an institution is not part of my daily activities.  I did inquire with a few friends in Second life and asked for their advice on how to approach them.  I got a few ideas from my friends, but I soon realized my feelings of unpreparedness where just feelings inside me.  I had no guidebook to go by.  There are no travelogues that show the way for me to follow.  So, I took Torley’s advice when he wrote:  “No Single Right Path”.  What I got from his wisdom was: “Just Do Things Your Own Way.”  (I paraphrase)  Often I am a perfectionist.  I want my work in this life and the other to be of the highest quality.  This, as you know, often leads to procrastination.  So, I jumped in feet first.  I wrote an email.  Now that I have yet to hear from them, I am sure they are busy.  So today, I called and left a voice message.  Geeze, I hope I am not bothering them.  I really want to build the Guggenheim in Second Life.

Then I said to myself: “Self” Just Do It!  I phoned Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects LLC.  I wrote an email to The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation.  And, I wrote to ArchitectureWeek to ask each of them where I might find the information I needed to recreate this icon of architecture.

Have I covered all the bases?  Was I polite and clear in describing my needs to them?  I do not know, but I will push on until I am deeply immersed in the creation of the Guggenheim in Second Life.

I hope you will follow me along on my journey.  If you can help, I will appreciate it.

Did you read the post I wrote about the TourCam?  The idea really got started long ago when I first though of doing the Guggenheim.  When I visualized the magnitude of the long spiral, I knew the standard avatar walk was not right for The Guggenheim.  I am still searching for the right solution to slow down the speed of the walk so that it is more suited to a thoughtful, reflective walk through a museum such as this.

Enjoy your Second Life … E

Posted in Art, Education in Second Life, Second Life, The Guggenheim in Second Life, Virtual Architecture | 2 Comments »

The Size Change Test

Posted by Ethos Erlanger on May 26, 2009

A Test Video.

sl-2009-05-25-20-03-40

Well, I was doing a quick test of a script to change the size of a prim.  Seems like such a simple thing. Then I read that there is a 0.2 second delay built into the llSetScale so I wanted my test script to run without seeing the effect of the default time delay. The way I did that was to add my own delay of 0.75 seconds with the llSleep.

default
{
state_entry()
{
llSetScale(<1,1,1>);
llSleep(0.75);
llSetScale(<2,2,2>);
llSleep(0.75);
llResetScript();
}
}

So I put the 0.75 second delay into it and watched the effect.

I am puzzled by the way I see the first size change increase from a 1x1x1 cube to the 2x2x2 as a somewhat gradual growing in size. Then, as it changes back to the smaller size, it jumps back in an instant.  So….. I start wondering why it appears differently when it gets larger than when it gets smaller.

Here’s what I always do when I have a scripting question. I send a full mod copy to my friend Ty and ask her “why?”.  I think she knows everything about the LSL scripting language so I figured she would know this answer or at least know how to find the answer in the LSL wiki.

Sorry Ty…  (I bet you start getting lots of calls now to help fix other peoples scripts.)

What she said was that for her it appears to jumps from small to large and back again. So I ask another friend and the answer was totally the opposite of what I see. It appears to jump from small to large and gradually reduce its size fron large to small.

So, now, I have a video of what I see to show you.  Run this script in a prim and see what you see.

Enjoy your Second Life … E

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

The TourCam by Ethos Erlanger

Posted by Ethos Erlanger on May 21, 2009

With and Without TourCam

The TourCam was originally named the BuilderCam. It is a HUD that I designed to allow you to walk through Second Life and look in the direction you are walking or facing from the vantage point and at the exact same level as your avatar’s eyes.

The home in this video is displayed in Second Life on Architecture Island by Crescendo Design.  I recorded this video using a HUD that I designed called a BuilderCam. It recently was renamed the TourCam. The idea of this camera is that it allows you to view in front of the avatar as you walk and still have the use of your mouse for any normal activity you would use your mouse for such as touching objects, opening doors or editing an object.

Other uses I have found for the TourCam include building. This HUD provides a convenient way to work without having your avatar get between you and your work. Flying is possible with this camera, but not as fully functional as without it. The TourCam is really intended for walking and level-ground standing avatar use.

Slow walking can be achieved by holding the space bar down as you walk. Try it and see how you like the slow-motion feeling you get. You will need to let up on the space bar to go up stairs or any steeply inclined surface.

Arrangements are being made to freely distribute this TourCam at Architecture Island.

Enjoy your Second Life … E

Posted in Education in Second Life, Second Life, Virtual Architecture | 1 Comment »

The BuilderCam by Erlanger Design

Posted by Ethos Erlanger on May 19, 2009

The BuilderCam TourCam is a HUD that I designed to allow you to walk through Second Life and look in the direction you are walking or facing from the vantage point and at the exact same level as your avatar’s eyes.

The home in this video is displayed in Second Life on Architecture Island by Crescendo Design.  I recorded this video using a HUD that I designed called a BuilderCam TourCam. The idea of this camera is that it allows you to view in front of the avatar as you walk and still have the use of your mouse for any normal activity you would use your mouse for such as touching objects, opening doors or editing an object.

Other uses I have found for the BuilderCam TourCam include building. This HUD provides a convenient way to work without having your avatar get between you and your work. Flying is possible with this cam but not as fully functional as without it. The BuilderCam TourCam is really intended for walking and level-ground standing avatar use.

Slow walking can be achieved by holding the space bar down as you walk. Try it and see how you like the slow-motion feeling you get. You will need to let up on the space bar to go up stairs or any inclined surface.

Arrangements are being made to freely distribute this BuilderCam TourCam at Architecture Island.

Posted in Education in Second Life, Machinima, Second Life, Tutorials, Videos on YouTube, Virtual Architecture | Leave a Comment »

Building an Octagon Roof In Second Life

Posted by Ethos Erlanger on May 10, 2009

Creating an Octagon Roof in Second Life

There are scripted tools available in Second Life to position prims, but this tutorial is intended to allow you to build the octagon using only the construction methods available from Linden Labs in their standard SL viewer.

I start by planning the size of the roof based on the size of the building.

This tutorial describes only one case of the octagon roof where I will use only eight prims for the roof.  This tutorial will focus on the basics that allow you to make a roof from 8 prims that could make any size up to a maximum of 17.32 meters across from side to side. If you need an octagon roof that is larger, then you will need to use more prims than the 8 shown in this tutorial. In another follow-up tutorial, I will show a more general case where the size can be made larger than I can make from 8 prims. you will need 24 prims or even more to make roofs of larger sizes, but the method requires a few additional steps, and the prim shapes are not all the same for the larger roofs.

The roof configuration I chose for this tutorial was made due to its general good appearance regarding the slope of the roof.  It is based on the roof slope of 30 degrees up from the horizon.  This is not generally the way a carpenter would build a roof in the USA, and I am unfamiliar with how roof rafter layout is done in the rest of the world where metric dimensions are used.  Most carpentry that is done with standard rafters by carpenters (and not made using factory-made wooden trusses) would describe a roof in terms of its rise and run. A roof that is a 6/12 pitch would be 6 inches high for every 12 inches measured along the bottom of the roof or the top of the ceiling. (The horizontal plane.)

Let’s start with the octagon that we have already built in our first tutorial about the octagon building.  This octagon has a wall length of 4 meters. We need to know the distance from the center of this octagon to the outer surface of the octagon.  We could use the trigonometric functions to learn this, but I will show you how to let the Second Life user interface give you this distance.

Set your octagon with its center at a whole number location on the coordinates of you sim.  I have chosen 100, and 100.  I do this so that the location of the individual prims is easily learned by subtracting 100 from its coordinates on the grid.  From its location on the grid, we quickly know the distance from the center of the octagon if it were measured along a straight line on the grid.

Find one face of the octagon that is perpendicular to either the x axis or the y axis. Offset this prim by half its thickness. Now the location of the center will read where the outer surface had been.  This dimension is useful in making your choice of the roof size for this building.

Let’s say you choose your roof to overhang the walls by exactly 0.5 meter, then you can simply add 0.5 meter to the value found in the preceding step. Or, again you could offset the wall prim used in the preceding step by one full thickness of the 0.5 meter thick wall.  This again allows you to know the distance from the center by reading it directly from the edit window.

The dimension you choose is your choice. You can make this decision of the length for this dimension and the method of construction will remain unaffected.

From your chosen dimension, you will first determine the length of the roof edge of one of the 8 roof segments.  The formula used is based on the Trigonometric function for a right triangle with a 22.5 degree angle.

The formula for the roof segment edges L1 is as follows:

L1 = 2 x (Base Length x Tangent (22.5deg))

For a Base Length of 5.5 meters, the Roof edge is 4.556349186 meters

Enter this value with at least 7  digits after the decimal place. While the build window only shows three digits, the SL system records several more digits that are not shown. This extra accuracy will benefit you in how close the prims edges come to each other. ( I continue to discuss with knowledgeable people how many decimal places are really of value for the accuracy we need for this type of construction, and the answer varies from 5 to 7 decimal places.)

Now, from the same base length we can determine the roof segment’s longest dimension L2. We will place the roof at a 30 degree angel from the horizon so, the formula for the long dimension is:

L2 = Base Length / Cosine 30deg. Again, enter this value with 6 or 8 digits after the decimal place.

See the video here:

Video Tutorial of Building an Octagon Roof in Second LifeThere is no narration, so continue to read the explanation that follows.

1)    Create and position the first roof segment.

2)    The Roof’s Edge length L1 will be the X dimension of the prim.

3)    The Roof Segment’s long dimension L2 will be to the Z dimension. The Y dimension is the roof thickness and again, just like the octagon walls, we will make it 0.5 meter thick.

4)    Taper this prim along the X axis to the full 1.00 value.

5)    Place this prim at the same center as we chose for the octagon walls. In my case it is X=100, Y=100, Z= 2,104.

6)    Now rotate this prim along it’s Y axis by 60 degrees.  The reason we use 60 degrees for this rotation, is that it is measured from the vertical position as it was built.

7)    Now Make a copy by the shift drag method along the Z axis and bring it up to any height above the first prim.  Now, rotate it around the Z axis by 45 degrees and then drop it back into place at the same height as the first prim.

8)    Repeat this process 6 more times.

9)    As you can see, we have been building along the construction lines that define our roof’s top surface and the centerline of each of our roof segments is on that construction line until we shift it ½ the prim thickness down along the normal line that is perpendicular to the roof surface.

10)    With all prims at the same height, change to local ruler mode, and shift each of the roof segments down to their 50% location along the local ruler.

I have tested these steps and used them to build a number octagon roofs.  If you experience difficulty with these steps, then it is entirely my difficulty in communicating their intent.

Some time soon, I hope to make a video tutorial for these steps which will surely be easier to comprehend when you see it in a visual form.

Posted in Education in Second Life, Second Life, Tutorials, Virtual Architecture | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

C.O.R.R. Construction in Virtual Worlds

Posted by Ethos Erlanger on May 1, 2009

C.O.R.R. (Center line, Offset, Rotation, Reference)

While I was preparing the tutorial for the octagon building, I wanted a way to define what it was I was showing the viewers.  In the virtual world that is built with the Prim, we must build objects with some limitations in the tools and techniques.  Wonderfully scripted tools have become available from gifted authors to aid us in prim positioning and sizing, but these scripts can also slow us down with many operations and turn into an unneeded crutch.

For building geometric shapes like buildings, as opposed to organic shapes such as trees and rocks, I position prims based on the distance each prim is from the center of the adjacent prim. Therefore I build along the Center Line of the prim.  This concept may be the most difficult for many of us to become accustomed to, who are emigrants to the metaverse from the terraverse. We are simply accustomed to measuring to the edge of an object such as a table or the walls of our homes.  Now it seems we must always be thinking: “where is the center of of the prim.”  When you get used to this concept, you will find building in the metaverse will become easier and faster.

To locate a prim based on the edge or face of the prim I Offset the prim by 50% of its width from its center.

To place a prim at an angle to the construction line, I Rotate the prim around its center.

To position a prim in relationship to the center or edge of any other prim, I use the Reference prim as the tool to locate other prims.

As you build geometrically shaped objects and buildings in the virtual world you will find these terms are at the CORR of you techniques for almost all of your prim placement.

As you view tutorials by me or other builders, think in terms of the CORR positions and movements.  With these concepts in mind, you will more quickly understand what you need to do as you build your virtual world.

Posted in Education in Second Life, Second Life, Tutorials, Virtual Architecture | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »