The Perfect Mirror

February 1, 2010

One of the things you can do with Windlight is to turn water into a perfect reflection without any waves or distortions. It’s very simple to do. This is how I make the “Mirror” preset for water.

In the menu, choose “World” and then open the “Environment Settings” item. You can then choose “Environment Editor”. Click the button to work with “Advanced Water”. From here, you have lots of controls. Before you Do anything, click the “New” button and then click “Save”. I called my prset “Mirror”.

Setup the following:

  • Water Fac Color: White
  • Fog Density Exponent: 0
  • Underwater Fog Modifier: 0
  • Reflection Wavelet Scale: Set each to 10
  • Fresnel Scale: 0
  • Fresnel Offset: 1
  • Refract Scale Above: 0
  • Refract Scale Below: 0
  • Blur Multiplier: 0

You now have most of the work done for you, but there is one last step. Go to the “Image” tab and click on the normal map. For the texture, choose “Blank”. Don’t worry about the big and little wave directions. Just make sure to save your “Mirror” preset with one last time.

One more thing to consider is that this takes a lot of CPU to render mirrors, so zooming out pretty far can cause the viewer to freeze or crash. However, If you need photos with the mirror effect, this is one way to do it.

posted by Dedric Mauriac on Nowhereville using a blogHUD : [blogHUD permalink]

The Comment Box

January 10, 2010

The comment box was perhaps one of my first big projects in Second Life. The earliest copy that I have in my inventory is from January 1st, 2006. I was making something that could hold notes from visitors and let people see the titles.

Over the years, the comment box has had many changes and updates. Zakk Starr asked me if I had any updates since version 1.9 that he got a few years ago. I handed him a copy of 1.13. I was curious myself and took a look at the newer version.

Oddly enough, I was unfamiliar with a ton of new features that I had put into it. This feeling is the same with most projects that I work on in real life and the virtual world. I move onto so many things very quickly that I forget what I have done.

It’s now smaller in height, but anyone can resize it. The newest model only uses 3 prims instead of 7. Two of them are sculpties. You can choose different textures for the box itself that change both the text and color. A technique has been used so that each individual texture actually contains 16 images, so there is one texture for each color, but all images have the same text. There is only 1 script instead of four. Scripts are compiled in mono. You can adjust privacy settings so that people may or may not see titles of note cards, or get the notecard itself. An access list allows you to control who else may adjust the settings on the comment box as well. Improvement in determining who dropped in a note card, rather than looking at the creator of the note card alone. The owner is sent an instant message as new notes are dropped along with the name of the person, note, and a slurl.

The comment box has come a long way since it’s inception. Previous the the comment box, there was an art easil that I made to display my real life artwork. The earliest copy that I can find of it is version 1.3 from December 31st. I’m sure I made a few before that. The easil is closely related due to how it was able to read the information from note cards and images, display that information as hovertext, and give out note cards. It also cycled through the paintings on it’s own.

posted by Dedric Mauriac on Applewood using a blogHUD : [blogHUD permalink]

Geodesic Kaleidoscope Dome

December 28, 2009

Pooky Amsterdam invited me over to have a look at a kaleidoscope dome. While the media loaded, It appeared that I was in the middle of a black megasphere. I then saw that it was made of many pieces like the old domes before megaprims became popular. This gave an advantage of flipping the texture on each prim. As the owners changed the different videos playing, each one had a pretty wild kaleidoscope effect. What would be really wild is if they clipped the texture to show a sliver of a video, and made something that was like a real kaleidoscope.
posted by Dedric Mauriac on Open Habitat using a blogHUD : [blogHUD permalink]

Same web texture for multiple prims

December 27, 2009

Earlier, I had though that the viewer was creating a separate texture for each prim that displayed a web page. After looking a bit closer – specifically at a page that keeps generating random content, I found that the same web texture is generated once and mapped to all prims. This helps out on client-side resource usage since only one browser instance is used. I am a little concerned about why my viewer crashed on a page that had 9 frames. One of the benefits of a web page on a prim is that it is constantly updated/animated with any javascript timers. For example, the XStreet page keeps changing the featured itmes that are displayed on its own. This introduces the ability for me to display a single product image, with overlayed information regarding the price, description, creator, permissions, etc. I think I’ll avoid frames overall and stick with just multiple images and text on a single web page.
posted by Dedric Mauriac on Nowhereville using a blogHUD : [blogHUD permalink]

Pages on a prim

December 27, 2009

I’ve got my little experiment setup to do the following. Touch a prim. You get a dialog asking which page you want to change (1 to 4). After choosing the page, you are asked to enter a URL. The url is sent to to be shortoned to a 5 character code. Afterwards the four codes (1 for each page) is sent to a server that I have on my local network which generates a frameset of 4 pages. Those four pages are shown in-world, but only portions of the texture. It’s nice how it works out, but resource intensive on the client. I’ve already crashed once when I tried it with 9 pages and 3072×3072 resolution. The SL viewer UI only allows me to go up to 1024×1024, but scripts are not limited. Pages with a lot of content seem to take longer to display as well.
posted by Dedric Mauriac on Nowhereville using a blogHUD : [blogHUD permalink]

The blackness of it all

December 27, 2009

I was trying to setup my parcels media texture and decided to hit the old “Play” button to see what the parcel was actually set to. It turned out to be a SLCN.TV show, but my interface immediately turned black. Everything. All text boxes have black text on a dark gray background and is very hard to read. Some text boxes have a birght blue text (read-only?). I hadn’t seen a bug like this before. Perhaps Dazzle has changed in some way. Funny, as I hadn’t downloaded any new clients recently.

Update: After seeing Stuart Warf’s comment, I searched the JIRA for a related issue and found VWR-13966 (User interface goes black when playing media) regarding this problem. Go vote!

posted by Dedric Mauriac on Nowhereville using a blogHUD : [blogHUD permalink]

Linden Home – Dorajee

December 17, 2009

This region is full of houses that all appear to be the same, except for the texture. Talk about cookie cutter. The quality of the homes are ok, but the lack of diversity is really hurting the community. Each home here has large clear windows that allow you to see into your neighbors home. I imagine the control panels inside each door allow the owners to put up some privacy in different parts of the house. Although there were a few regions with this themed style of architecture, I did not find a community hub in the center of them.
posted by Dedric Mauriac on Dorajee using a blogHUD : [blogHUD permalink]

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