Friday, April 30, 2010

First Try at Hair - Now released

This is my first try at doing hair for Blue Mars.  It's going through their technical check, and should be out in the next few days.

EDIT: The hair was released yesterday (May 3).

Sunday, April 25, 2010

My Clothing Collection So Far

I have a few items for sale now in Beach City (in the secret hidden shops *laugh* - actually two shops close to the landing point, but they are not marked).  The items that are done and available part time are shown here:  Clothing Gallery

Since they only have a few shops spaces, I can only display 4 items at a time for now, so I have to rotate them out periodically.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Rezzing a Prim in Blue Mars

Blue Mars Block Editor Rez a Prim from Danielle Eber on Vimeo.

I did this video to show it's possible to build in Blue Mars in a very similar way to how building is done in Second Life.

In the video I have the "Block Editor" open. Blocks are the equivalent of land parcels in SL. I have two floating windows open to save time in the video, the RollupBar, and Material Editor, which are docked as tabs. They are detachable and can be moved outside the editor entirely onto a second monitor, which is what I usually do when working.

Clicking on the RollupBar shows the Browser list, which is similar to the Objects part of SL inventory. Then drag a cube from the list to the perspective view to "rez" it. The object properties now show on the RollupBar, and I go ahead and turn on shadows as an example. Note there is an "Edit Mesh" button there, so you *can* in theory edit objects directly there, but it's a pretty crappy editor, so everyone I know uses an external 3D program to do that.

Switching to the Material Editor tab, this is the equivalent to the SL Edit window Textures Tab. Clicking the folder icon on the Diffuse texture slot opens a file chooser, and I go ahead and pick a different one from my wood textures folder. In the cube I have one sub-material per side set up, which are listed in the explorer pane, but you can assign your own arbitrary mapping of polygons and UV coordinates to which sub-material they show.

The seventh sub-material is the "Collision Proxy", which defaults to the "bounding box" of the model, but if you want to make a custom proxy, you can, like if for some reason you want avatars to sink to the waist when walking on a surface, you can set up the proxy that way.

Last I switch to Preview Mode and drop an avatar into view to bump into the box. This makes it easy to test things as you build. The next step would be to save your build and "Export to Engine", where you can log in to the Blue Mars servers and test your project with a live avatar.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Tharsis Version 5 Available for Download

The latest version of my under-construction city is now posted for download (on the right)

The reason for the two month gap since the last version is I was mostly doing several other things: updating the builders kit, and writing a tutorial on the "Material Editor".  New stuff in this version includes:

- Replaced most textures that were DXT3 with DXT1 (except alpha textures), since that takes half the file size.  Optimized some texture sizes.  A lot of behind the scenes fixes to file pointers and cleaning up editor errors. Not all models have been fixed of glitches yet.

- Added demo shopping street and modular store/office building.  It is built on with 4 meter modules that can be put together in many floor plans.

- Improved terrain layer textures for the mountain area

- Added a Demo house built entirely with the builder kit shapes and textures, to prove you can actually use the kit for interesting projects.

- Added some sample boxes with bump textures, and a sample material display model (the box with the ball on it).  Sample displays like this are a standard way to show how 3D materials look.

- Added Kitchen appliances model to the Modern House

- Added Earth globe just for fun.