Monday, May 21, 2007

LinkRez chain link programming working

A few days ago, I wrote about how symmetry and mirroring issues would affect using necklace links for collar fringes. I re-coded LinkRez so there are two different "path types," which I'm calling "split" and "follow" for now (based on the directions of the axis arrows of the links). In the previous post, I used little oval links with tiny red and green arrows on it, but the above picture shows more clearly how the two different path types will affect placement of chain links.

The picture on the left is using a "split" path type, which obviously doesn't work for this particular necklace chain link. However, the "split" path is exactly what you'd want, if there was "directionality" along the path of the necklace -- e.g., you wanted all the necklace links to point "backwards." The picture on the right is using a "follow" path type, which works better here, so that all the links are "following" one another.

Necklace chain link programming

The major progress is that I've added using notecards to "program" link placement, with lots of flexibility. I dissected a freebie necklace by Random Calliope (a truly gifted jeweler), so that I'd have links to play with, which included large and small oval pieces, and a metal ring.

Although Random's necklace is a full-permissions freebie, I don't have permission to actually distribute the links, so they won't be included with LinkRez. I'm just using them for testing purposes. (I got tired of looking at plywood blocks and links.)

Incidentally, it took me about 30 to 40 minutes to create ~2,000 prims worth of necklaces, including these four and another half dozen or so. They were each differently sized, shaped, and had different link compositions. Much of the time was actually tweaking scripts and notecards, and dissecting Random Calliope's necklace. In any case, much quicker than placing them by hand ;)

In the above picture, the right two necklaces use only a single link type, either a large or small oval. The one with the small oval is more than 255 prims, so wouldn't be linkable.

The left two necklaces use various notecard programs, to define what links to place, how many times to repeat, whether the links are placed flat or whether the links have alternating angle changes. Zooming in on the second necklace from the left:

Here, the necklace program consists of:
  • starting with a CENTER large oval link (so the total # of links will be ODD in this necklace; there's an option to have an EVEN number, too)
  • then, repeating a small oval + large oval set five times
  • then, repeating a large oval + metal ring four times (to "80 degrees")

    the above links were all placed "flat" to the body

  • finally, using just metal rings, but alternating the angle + and - 20 degrees from "flat" against the body
    • the "length" of the metal rings was decreased from what was used in the previous segment, so that they would intersect, while the earlier segment, they touched edge-to-edge
It's an ugly necklace, but a successful test of the notecard-driven necklace interface. Lots and lots of customizing is possible. "Repeat" segments can be for a set number of times, or until the necklace has rezzed an arbitrary number of degrees around the necklace path (0 degrees is the fron, 90 degrees is to the side, 180 degrees is all the way in the back).

I think it's pretty cool.

Female body shapes in SL

There's really not going to be any great way to fit each and every possible body shape in Second Life. What fits one avatar perfectly, digs into the collarbone or upper torso (which, ahem, tend to be rather generous in a large proportion of the female SL population) of another avatar, or floats far above the chest of a third person. For obvious reasons, shorter necklaces are much easier to fit, and necklaces that are longer in front have significantly more "issues."

I'm going to have to test (or, more likely, have some friends test) LinkRez on avatars of all different shapes and sizes, and collect more information and tips on how to best fit necklaces. The nice thing is that once you've found a set of settings that fits YOU perfectly, all subsequent necklaces made with those settings (regardless of changes in link composition) should fit just as well.

Peronaut mainland rental sim

There was some good activity with additional tenants joining the Peronaut community over the past week or so!

There are now six 2,048 sq m parcels left, several of which will adjacent to a new Public Park that Sierra Mills has been working on. It has a really nice mini-rock waterfall, and a curvy pond, as well as a gazebo. I think it's going to be great.