Ethos Erlanger's First Virtual Life© Blog

Building in Virtual Worlds

Archive for the ‘Virtual Architecture’ 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 »

I am still looking for plans to the Guggenheim

Posted by Ethos Erlanger on August 1, 2009

How can I find dimensioned plans and cross sectional drawings for the Guggenheim?

Has anyone seen them? Would you please share them with me?

Thanks.

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

I Have Started the Washington Monument in My Sandbox

Posted by Ethos Erlanger on July 22, 2009

The incomplete Washington Monument in front of a photo of the St louis Arch

The incomplete Washington Monument in front of a photo of the St louis Arch

I started this version of the Washington Monument in Second Life.  I did complete one version that is 88 meters tall in SL and displayed at Shakker Park, this one that you see in the photo above is in my local OpenSim sandbox. Built according to the Erlanger Scale, The top of this monument is 278 meters above the ground and when it is completed, it will use more than 400 prims in Second Life.  If Second Life allowed prims larger than 10×10 meters it could be build with only 17 prims.  Large monumental builds that are a true scale recreation are rare in Second Life because of the prim size limitation.

Using the Erlanger Scale, the base of this monument is 27 meters square.

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

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

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

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 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 Sim Mapper – No Longer Available

Posted by Ethos Erlanger on May 20, 2009

UPDATE 10-3-2009

Linden Labs has stopped supporting the server that made the map data that was used by the Erlanger Sim Mapper to show the image of a region.

This is truly sad. It was a very useful tool for builders. I have pulled it off the market and cannot develop another script to make it work properly without the user having to pay for an upload of a texture. Even after the texture is in-world, I cannot automate the process of applying it to the map.

I apologize to all the customers who have bought and use this product.

Sim Mapper V2.00 Builder Version_001

As I was searching for ways to make a scale model of the building and the site I would be working on for Empire State College, I realized that taking photos straight down was problematic. If I got high enough to get the whole sim in the photo the cloud layer would be in the field of view.  Going lower forced me to widen the angle of the lens or leave some of the sim out of the photo. Even positioning the camera is a challenge when you are trying to shoot down onto a scene.  I moved ahead with the tools I had, but I did remember this after the project was done and decided to look for tools I could use.  I found several sim map tools available for purchase on Xstreet. The one missing part that I expected to find was the scale of the map listed in the product description.  As a design tool I expected it to be made to some scale; Any scale.

When I did not find the tool that I expected, I went to Ty Jaehun for the scripting help I would need.  She quickly found the code she would use and wrote the proper script.  I made the adjustments to the script so that only the prim face I chose to texture with the map would get changed to the desired map information that was retrieved from Linden Labs. Then I realized that I would have to create the textures for the white map grid lines and side rulers.  I have made a few textures before, but none as precise as these would be.

The result is the Sim Mapper.  As far as I know, it is the only map made to a scale that can be used for detailed precise locating of scale model objects on the map. I like to plan my work in detail. This comes from my many years of building on terra firma. The scale I used to make the Sim Mapper is 10 meters in the region is represented by one meter on the Sim Map.

Posted in 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 »