Archive for May, 2011

Using other People

For our Mashinima we needed more aliens to give a more crowded feeling so we got other members in our university group to put on the avatar alien costumes, then I recorded them.

More Initial Reference Images

For our design we were looking at having our creatures as half human half alien as if they were some kind of mutants.

We decided on a basic story they would have a higherarchy, King, Queen right down to the smaller soldier creatures just like with real life ants.

To get a better Idea of what the mountains looked like went and found some artwork that had already been created for the book like the book cover and fan artwork.

This a drawing for a fan of the book draw very accurately from the description in the book itself, we are actually doing the sunken temple which is the inside of the mountains so this could be used for a reference to style.

This is the type of organic we are looking to achieve the nature of the plant and the intelligence of the metal and glass.

With our build being a sunken temple we automatically assumed that it would be under water so this is the first step were we looked for inspiration.

We were very determined to get the texturing of our avatars correct, we were debating whether to have a cyborg looking creature to show intelligence .

As we were thinking of having our our temple under water we we trying to figure our how a avatar could enter the temple, we started looking at things like the lost city of Atlantis for entrences.

As this is an alien scene we wanted to have some random creepy things to add more detail to the environment, as this things are aliens we are not ment to quite understand what they are.

This is an underwater/underground temple so we we researched more into how it could be structurally, so we looked at old caves and mines. As they are not a key feature but we spent some time researching into the other objects the avatar may use like husky dogs.

Using Animation

For some of the propose of the of the environment and our final animatic we have used a program called Qanimator to create animations for our avatar to perform. To add to the interaction and to give our avatar a prop we have created one animation for the lantain so that he holds it in the correct way and this also gives a lighting effect in the tunnel.


This is the simplified version of Qanimator, anamator they both work in the same way esept one is for pc only. To start an animation first of all you have to have frame one as a default T-shape for anamator to recognise the Size and shape of the avatar, then you set the key frames and how and start animating from the key frames, just like Flash anamator fills in the frames.

Here Is the animation for holding our lantain, I first did the T-shape then Moved his arm up to a holding position, finally I saved the file as a .bvh and uploaded it to second life.

For Second Life to know to play the animation that has been uploaded just like sound a script has to be added to the object and the animation has to be dropped onto the objects.

Sitting animation

Using the same processes as before but adding a different script for the avatar to sit on a object.

Animatic Animation

For our animatic I have started to create some animation to give the Avatar some personality an to act less like a stick character when we come to film. For our animatic we have decided to created some kind of film tralier with our environment. Here I have started to make an animation for him to get up at the start, we are going to have someone control the avatar so the then can have the animation windows open an play them, as the other person on another computer records the action.

Here is the finished getting up animation that will be used in the animatic.

This the character after he has banged his head, just before you upload your animation you are able to choose the facial expressions to give that extra detail.

Animations don’t just have to be used to animate an avatar, here we have created one of our aliens and as it is smaller then the avatar it would not be seen. We have animated the character to be very small so it can not be seen so it looks like an alien instead.

Soud Effects

This is the most inventive way I have used sound in our build, this is a shot from underneth the water in our cave. Just bellow the water level I put a thin prim with a script telling it to play a splash sound on collision, this is so when our avatar entre the water it make a slash sound. Then underneth the water I have filled the area with invisable prims and added a scrip on them so when you collide with them to Loop a underwater bubl sound, so when you are in the water inside the prime it will paly an under water sound as if you are swiming, also the collision end scrip is so it stops the music when you leave the water.

Adding Detail

To make ours more of a game environment and to give it more of a dramatic feel rather then just running round aimlessly, we wanted to created more detail and interaction. Also this will also help with us out when we come to shoot our cinematic as it will give more focal points.

This is basically our finish product At first they were just some spinning blades that we put there as traps to give siome interaction, also this show that we were using some of the script that we have been shown in class. This didn’t fell like we had pushed our bounders far enough and this part of the maze uses five of the things we have been shown to do all collaborated into this one event. First of all the bladed are textured, we have a rotation on the blades, there is a partial script, and invisible texture on a prime the particle script is attached to and also sound.

For this to happen when we wanted it to there are different scripts you are able to but onto the the prim, the particles are on a collision script and the sound is on a collision script so when you enter the object it loops the sound. Now when you enter the object it begins to loop the sound, but even when you leave the object it still loops the sound, so I had to find a stop sound script to put on the collision end of the object which took some time to find. Also I recorded the sound myself for this interaction and edited it in Adobe sound booth.

This is the particle I created in Illastartor that we used for the blood.

This is the scrip that has been put onto the invisible prim to cause the interaction.

I have used sound a lot in our build there are a few screen shots of what sound is on bellow. We have put sound on the dripping blood, the spinning blades this was also recorded and edited by us, on the water fall, the flame in the maze, and on an invisible prim were the eggs are to give effect when discovering the eggs and also on an invisible prim outside for the wind.

Sound Scripting

Sound Touch

Adding sound is just as simple as adding a texture in second life, there are many default sounds that are available for use. To get the sounds to work they have to be put onto a prim, similar to how we did the particle script. The script basically tell second life how and when to play the sound. The sound has to be in a .wav formate or it can not be uploaded to second life, to upload a sound just go to the build-upload and then Sound. The scrip above is telling second life if the avatar touches the objects then it is to play the sound.

Sound Loop

This script Tells second life to play the sound in a loop, this is useful for repetitive sounds like water or wind.

Sound Collision

The sound script is very useful as if you create a phantom object so you are able to walk through it, this script tell second life to play sound on the collision start so when entering the object and also collision end so when leaving the objects. This could be used to key sounds at certain points.

Sound Random

This particular script plays the sound on a timer, also the timer can be set to random, when creating the sound it is important to drop the sound file on the contents part of a prim.

Now sound in second life works in the same way in which a texture does, not that it is an image by just a a texture needs to be seem less so it can be repeated and save load time so does a sound. In our build we have a waterfall and to put sound on that a 15 second sound clip of water would be rather large or the computer to stream every time you went near it. so to solve this problem I got the big sound file and edited out the part I needed an played it in a loop so it was not noticeable. Now as we already now know the sound file have to be put onto a prime, but we don’t want to be able to see the prim so if we use the transparent the prim becomes invisible, this means we can move were we want the noise to come from very easily. I saved out this file as a .wav file in 16bit for it to be uploaded to second life.

Particle Script and Water Fall

To add some detail to our sunken temple I created a waterfall, I used the moving texture script. The texture has a alpha channel on it so it looks less square, I repeated this with three similar textures to give the water fall more depth and different shades of colour. On the primitive shapes you are able to select each individual face and apply a separate texture to each, By doing this I could add a transparency to the other faces to stop the waterfall looking like a cube.

When creating the water fall I came across one of the problems of modelling in second life, I wanted the water to be falling at an angle, but a cube when tapered on one side makes the other side smaller rather then having controll of both sides separably. In the end I made the rock it was coming off straight and the problem was over come, but this could posse a problem in other situations.

Once the water fall was made I attempted to cover up some of the joining lines by trying to create a texture animation for the sprays of water at the bottom of the water fall. This was very ineffective and we needed a more realistic way of doing this.

 I had notice Anna-Beth ha a water fall in her sunken temple so I when and visited this to get an idea of the best way to construct ours.

Particle System

We strugele for a while trying to find the best way to produce steam,smoke ect, then we were informed there was a script that could assist us. The script basically releases a 2-d image from a point and the script allows you to control how it does this, by how frequent and how many time ect. We found this very effective, we used it for our waterfall and are going to adapt this script for fog.

To make the script work you have to create a prim for the script to go on to, once the script is on the prim it will let out default particle. If you make it spit out particles at a faster rate and tweek the transparencey it gives a very convincing smoke effect. Here I used a texture with an alpha channel to create my own particle I drew in Photoshop.

The particle effect is very diverse as it is controlled by a script that makes it possible to change its attributes, here I have use the same particle that I used for the waterfall steam but I made it so there was an acting force pulling it upwards to give the representation of smoke.

This i the flame with the partical script and also a sound script for grater realism.

This is another way we have used the partical script, similar to how the fire works there is a partical script on a cube throwing a custom made snow partical down to the floor, this prim was the duplacate to create more volume, this gives the effect of snow fallig.