Tute with a view…

Posted September 22nd, 2010 by wonko

First a little machinema I made earlier: wonkoTOUR

…so I am enriching the noob zone where cybernauts come to learn to build, and am up to the tricky stuff, and have used a few approaches to counter the fact that some of our cybernauts may still be trapped in the concrete operational stages (ie. physically unable to think in 3D yet)

Scaling Objects in X, Y and Z

Scaling Objects in X, Y and Z

… so am looking at making things visually obvious. Stretching in X, Y and Z are simple enough – but punters need to┬árealize┬áthat the axes move as the object moves – sometimes X is up, sometimes pointing to the left and so on. Not sure if I have got it right yet, but have noticed our budding builder buddies are beginning to sensitively size things, so maybe there is just enough theory and plenty of exemplar for them to learn from.

Adding a splash of colour

Adding a splash of colour

How to describe colour – especially when you have to tell kids to spell it wrong … neways, Activeworlds uses either named colours or html colour codes, so I thought I would demonstrate both, with some colour swatches, link to the help pages on colour models and also to an active html colour mixer, so they can dial up complimentary colours, think that approach is ok, shall see when the punters start using it.

Texturing, an art-form in itself

Texturing, an art-form in itself

So to describe how to apply a texture, skin, appearance … we have hundreds of stock textures, very few of them have names that make sense to anyone (even the people who originally created them i would hazard to guess), so I showcase what the same shape looks like wrapped in a bunch of different skins, and link to the texture library – not sure there is a better way – having a full texture gallery would be ludicrous I think, but I think eventually we will catalogue them in our object database – browsing will still be hideous I suspect.

I dislike the fact that it is so difficult for the punter to add their own objects and textures in an Activeworld, without being given edit access to the master path .. one of a few bugbears I have about this environment (soz, am used to the creative freedom of Secondlife), still I guess there is a place for cookie-cutter construction with some individual tweaks – is easier for little kids also I suspect and after all, they are our clientelle.

Over at Non-Eco School, we planted an idea, well a tree really that was a place kids could post questions to a scientist – worked a treat, so borrowed that idea for a Builders Q&A tree:

Q&A on a grand scale

Q&A on a grand scale

Will be interesting to see what emerges as building issues – I do not do child psychology so have no real idea how successful these things are until I see kids going nuts using the skills.

…all good fun

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