Tuesday, November 11, 2008

CS 820 Class, Nov. 5th

After a wild week of classes, conferences and cool tools, I'm back online! *grins* This post serves as a record of this week's Second Life accomplishments in CS 820 and the plans for our next class.

Our Week 5 class began with a discussion of research and our analysis of the IAS Moodle. For Second Life skills, we studied camera controls and avatar movement. In addition to moving on ground, the class learned to fly and land!

We discussed the range of the text chat log (20-40 meters from your avatar) and the concept of spatialized voice over IP in Second Life.

Next, we reviewed virtual world physics via a simple collaboration activity. The students created spheres, enlarged them, made them physical and learned to pass objects between avatars.

To learn new 3D modeling skills in a virtual world, each student rendered a tube and learned to change its shape to create a one-prim stool, fountain and lamp. We learned to texture a single face of the project by using the Select Texture radio menu in the upper left corner of the build/edit menu.

Texturing the lamp led to a discussion of alternatives for horizontal and vertical repeats, a subject that we will reinforce in a later lesson. *grins* If you would like a copy of the lamp project, textures and instructions, left click the lamp sculpture at Acheron LV426 on the grass next to the castle.

We ended the class with a quick discussion of how to prototype our initial project ideas. My rough draft of the Security Control Interface Portal (SCIP) took about 5 minutes to model. The strength of 3D prototyping is that it gave the class a context for discussing alternative features, styles and behaviors.

For tomorrow's class, we are going to take student project ideas and model them, examining alternatives and planning textures. Our new virtual world building skills will include:
  • Linking Objects
  • Editing Linked Parts
  • Setting Permissions
  • Transfering objects
See you online! *waves*

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