Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Prometheus' Other Sin: Stealing Fire
Location: Virtual House of Usher
"Stealing" is a bit harsh, since I did locate scripts licensed for non-commercial use from FoxSan and The Online Script Library.
Making a fireplace has stymied me for a while. Jokay Wollongong kindly provides Azzura Supplee's excellent heavy smoke script at her Newbie's Dome, so the top of each chimney was all set. But what about the fire? Even when I had the scripts in hand, there was the problem of putting it all together.
This account is for you novice builders. Pros know these tips. I still fumble somewhere in the middle.
1) Root-Prims are Just That: This prim is the one to which others get linked and, when linking items, is the last one to be selected. In my case, I wanted a prim containing the fireplace script, so I made a small prim, put the script inside, and textured the prim to be transparent. My fire-box, chimney, and logs (a few with a little particle script to make sparks fly) got linked to the root.
Here Roderick links a smoke-emitting prim to the top of the chimney. he clicks the newest prim first to edit, shift-clicks to the already linked chimney, then links them. This preserves the root prim's primacy. I found on some objects that I'd otherwise lose the root-prim's primacy, a very important feature when, say, the root has a script that activates on touch.
The next image shows the root prim in the center of the fireplace's linked-set.
2) Texturing Tricks: Viv Trafalgar gave me a hard time once about getting my builds properly tinted. I didn't know what she meant, and though I still may have it wrong, I found that having my one-prim hollow "firebox" tinted slightly orange inside have the illusion of reflected firelight. You can see it in the image above, at the inner right face of the firebox.
Since the firebox was a prim hollow at each end, I also noticed another problem that a tinted prim solved. I placed a charcoal-tinted fire-back inside and at the back of the opening. That avoids the common issue of how the OpenSim and SL clients render transparent images that intersect. Without my fire-back I'd lose part of the fire...just as in in real fireplace. Instead of heat escaping up the chimney, however, in the virtual fireplace parts of the fire would simply vanish, depending upon the camera's angle.
My Promethean sin will be complete when I box up the Usher fireplace and put it at the Newbie Dome at Jokaydia Grid. I hope the gods are kind; they have been to all of us who make our virtual people: Prometheus' other sin.
I'll be content as long as vultures do not come to feast upon my liver. I suspect a few will flap around, perhaps in the comments section of this blog, but pesky and nattering carrion-birds are part of life online and in new spaces such as virtual worlds.