Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Building with Prims

Primitive shapes, or prims, are basic 3d shapes like boxes, cones, and cylinders which have textures applied to them and assembled in groups to make more complicated objects. In a 3D modeling program such as 3Ds Max or Google Sketchup they are your starting point to create complex items. Not everyone knows how to use these programs or is ready to learn them, and people did quite a lot in Second Life with only prims to build with (they have since added more complex shapes called sculpties)

To make it easier for people just starting out, I am working on a building kit of pre-made prims, which you can install in your Blue Mars directories and just drag into the perspective view to use. Currently if you resize an object by different amounts in the XYZ dimensions, it breaks the physics collisions. That means an avatar will not walk on or bump into the item properly. If you change all three dimensions together, it still works. Therefore I have to make a variety of shapes in different proportions to cover what people will want. If you want a shape not in the kit or want something more complex or custom, then you will need to go use one of the 3D programs to make it. It will take a while to make the full kit and instructions, but I wanted to show a preview and let you know I am working on it. Along with the texture pack that is already available these will let you start building right away.

The first photo shows the various categories of shapes (box, cone, cylinder, etc). The second shows the various box shapes I have made so far. I need to do the same for the other shapes. There is also a flat alignment grid to help you measure and line up what you are building, then you can delete it once you finish.


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