Sunday, January 3, 2010

Building a House in Blue Mars





This was mainly practice in building and setting up a house, not a commentary on my favorite architecture style. The house is made in 4 sections (walls, front windows, door, and roof), which allows making mix-and-match variations. I actually made it as a whole house in 3ds Max, then saved it in sections (by deleting everything but the section I wanted). That way I could be sure all the parts would line up.

Also, I wanted the door to be walk-through, so it had to be imported as a separate item with the Item Editor and unchecking the "create auto proxy" box. That way it ends up "no collision", ie the avatar can walk through it. All the rest of the house pieces are ungrouped individual parts, so their collision boxes are around each piece. If your pieces are not box shaped you will have to mess around with collision "proxies". That is a separate invisible model which has collision turned on, while the main model does not. For example, with a tree, the default collision is a box that the whole tree fits in, out to the leaves. Instead I use a copy of the trunk as my invisible collider, so the avatar can walk under the branches. Besides telling the software *where* you bump into or walk on things, a simple collision shape like a box or cylinder is much faster for the software to deal with than a model with thousands of triangles in it.

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