Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A 3D Trick of the Eye for Novice Builders

Roderick Makes Some Armor
Location: Counting Prims

I'm writing a longer post for the VWER Web site about the lessons learned from nearly a month in Jokaydia Grid. Here's a tip I learned as I rebuild a superior version of the Virtual House of Usher.

Roderick has many familial heirlooms noticed by Poe's narrator, "sombre tapestries of the walls. . .phantasmagoric armorial trophies which rattled as I strode." The tapestries are easy. What about those trophies?

I could MAKE a suit of armor with my 20K prims, right?? Um, no.

Instead, I did this Shadow-box trick, until I got some mesh armor for Roderick’s family collection! As a drawing teacher told me not so many years ago, "trick the viewer's eye." Here's my technique:
  1. make shadowbox of two prims. The back prim is a flat rectangle; the top prim is a hollow cube aligned to show the back prim.
  2. color the inner surface of the box black and give its outside a wooden texture.
  3. put your “model” (some armor, a skeleton) on the front surface of the back prim at the rear of your box. I used Photoshop to simulate, in the 2D .jpg, the 3D interior of a box.
  4. I'm still playing with how to tilt the back prim inside the shadow box to make the 3D effect most realistic. From close up, of course, it vanishes.
If you try this technique, send me the pictures! If you are in Jokaydia Grid, stop by for free decor. Both suits of armor are full perm so help yourself to a copy.
Suit of Armor #1

Extra credit awarded if you put the shadow box behind an archway. I made one of those with a single prim as well, using alpha-layers and other geeky Photoshop tricks that require their own post, if not a full-on tutorial.

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