Posts Tagged 'building'

Virtual Worlds Making a Serious Impact

Yay! Another guest blogger!

Svea Morane coordinates Second Life activities for Mayo Clinic as part of his administrative role there. Mayo Clinic is a medical group practice with 56,000 employees, providing patient care, professional education and research programs. You can read more about Mayo’s work in virtual worlds at MedCity News and at the StarTribune of Minneapolis.

Some days SL makes you proud

A little while back I had one of those days where you want to put a gold star on the calendar so you don’t forget it, and Second Life played a huge role in making that day so great. Second Life helped different Mayo groups deal with real issues. Along the way it made me look good for having the tool available and SL associates to make it sing. 🙂

In the first instance our facilities and project management folks were re-designing some space for another work group in our organization. Approximately 50 people will move into the space and utilize conference areas, project areas, open desk seating, drop-in worker seating, closed-door office areas, and reception. We modeled the space to scale in Second Life, using replicas of the actual textures, floor and wall coverings, desks and tables, lighting and even correct views out the windows. The build was done in a couple of weeks with the help of skilled SL builder, Oura Scribe.

The magic came when members of the facilities staff and the soon-to-be occupants saw the space and went through it TOGETHER in Second Life. People saw issues and solutions together, right in front of them, in ways they had not after looking at 2D paper drawings for months. The team were thrilled with the communication, problem solving and resulting cost savings that came from that meeting. SL delivered something of value to every person in the room.

Later in the day, we were able to show another build, not a “to scale” build but a “concept” build, which showed how some ideas for providing services to different groups in one space could actually happen. This time the participants were internal staff, and external partners. Again we had the help of SL builder Oura Scribe, who worked with us over the course of a few weeks to put a 3D face on a bunch of concepts.

When the group got together and walked through the space, the magic happened again. People discussed and smiled and wrote notes and pointed and laughed and made decisions. One very experienced member of the group said “I have been close to this project for over a year. And it never really came together until I saw this”. The build that was presented may never resemble the actual space when created, but the way it helped the discussion and brought ideas together was an amazing thing to witness.

So thank you SL, for giving me a gold star day, and a solid reminder of the very positive things that can come out of this environment and the people we meet here.

Thanks to YOU, Svea! Both for blogging and for the fantastic work that Mayo is doing in SL.

Lost All Control

Maybe I haven’t lost ALL control. But my inventory has. Not just my SL inventory. My opensim inventory is rapidly becoming a disaster as well. (Don’t look in my RL closets either.)

But this post is a serious plea for assistance. I am doing development in opensim. I have co-developers. We are all working on pieces of the whole. In our regular software development we use a version control system. We need something similar inworld with our prims. It doesn’t even have to be that complicated. We have very few prims and we simply want to remember which is the latest version. Does anyone out there know of something? Has anyone developed their own method that could be shared? We are constantly asking “WHICH one of these is the latest version???” We need to clean up our act. We know it can be done better. As I stood here looking at the boxes, trying to figure out which was the right version, the sun moved across the sky. HELP!!!!!! *watches as all the blue boxes fall on me*
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Locks Cannot Stop Her

You would think that after all this time, after setting the property to LOCKED, that I would stop taking my house. Sigh. I was trying to make some room for more prims, doing a bit of cleanup around the property. I decided the flowers on my side dresser could probably go back into inventory. I clicked on them, did take, got the message that some objects were locked, did I STILL want to take the object. Well, I was multi-tasking. Not very well apparently. Bigger Sigh. Yeah, you stupid application, I don’t know why the darn flowers are locked but YES, TAKE them.

Oops. Was my house. Yet again. A lot of the day went like that. All I will add is that I also ended up wearing a gazebo at one point. *grin* I detached it. I decided it made my butt look fat. *grin*.

It’s Your Move

it's your move
Most of my landscaping work is done. The trees are built and planted, ditto the flowers and bushes. I am particularly pleased with my meadow flowers – can’t wait to show you. I’ve been wandering about giving another “once-over” to how things looked. It occurred to me that the garden social area needed something more. Else. Different. But what? Aha!!! Checkers!! That is not just a game, it is an intellectual challenge.

red checkerI built a checkerboard. I built checkers. Oh, that was FUN!!! 🙂 I had a vision from my childhood of plastic checkers with crowns or something on them. I googled for images of checkers to see what might look right to me. Wow. There are a LOT of different ideas for checkers out there. I saw one that had a simple geometric design. I rather liked that concept. Besides the simple elegance of the lines, I figured I could actually build something like that as opposed to crowns. *grin*. I tried a few ideas to get the concentric circles. I finally settled on a hollowed cylinder. I have yet to find any use for the ring prim. The ring simply does NOT fit MY idea of what a ring should be. Oh well.

black checkerMy checkerboard is not scripted. Yet. I think that for the time being I will put out a notecard that explains how to edit and move the pieces. Maybe in the future I will be brave enough to tackle scripting the pieces. But for the time being, we can consider my checkerboard not just an amusement but a “learning experience”. *grin* Or as we say in Development: it’s a feature.

It’s your move.

The Creative Process

Total Frustration.
Open clenched fists, let it drop……
Children were simpler.

Building 101

my working nurserySo. I’ve been building. Wow. There’s a lot more to this building stuff than just rezzing a box. As I mentioned a few posts ago, I have joined the Impossible Missions Force. *grin* The Incredible Metaverse Force? The Intrepid Magicians Force? Actually, our mission is not impossible at all – there are some absolutely amazing builders/scripters on this team (present company excluded) It’s just that I keep hearing the IMF theme song playing in my head as I login to face that day’s “mission”. I rather doubt I need to worry about being captured or killed in the line of duty, but I do wonder why they were never warned of death by exhaustion and lack of sleep. *grin* I wonder if this post will self-destruct in 5 seconds?

My 2nd tree - the small chestnutI whined to you about the textures. I can’t do that anymore. I have been supplied with some magnificent textures. It’s up to me to do them justice. I started with the landscaping assignment. (Technically my first challenge was the scrum song but, sigh, no one actually wanted those results. Bigger sigh. You and I – we did SUCH a great job on those songs.) Anyway, landscaping that island went well. I was asked to make trees. Sculpty trees. I have never worked with sculpty anythings before. weeping willowSo, back to my good friend and unofficial mentor, Honour. HELP! 🙂 Crash course in tree building. Here is something that I suspect many of you will not believe or understand. I have GREAT difficulty in visualizing 3D. I know SL gives us arrows, etc. Sometimes I understand and the object moves as I suspect it will. But mostly – it is totally hit or miss. If I am not in the groove – I can over shoot my target repeatedly for 10 minutes or more. The mega rowanI just can’t SEE it. I can only see one dimension at a time. So sometimes building is incredibly frustrating. Editing is frustrating. Believe me when I say that building a 3D object is a major challenge to me visually, not just creatively and technically. So I built a tree, a weeping Japanese cherry, under Honour’s eye. Because SOMEONE needed to be able to see. *Grin*. It was not bad (you can see it front and center in the first picture above). I showed my tree. It passed El Exigente’s approval. *grin* So – the verdict was delivered: build more trees. my 3rd tree - the oakGulp. I foolishly promised 3 trees within 2 days. Tree 2, a small chestnut, was okay. Went relatively smoothly. Then, as several of you know, I was building like crazy and getting nowhere. I put up a very snarly “busy”message. Kudos to Oura here. She broke through the snarl and offered to help. She served as my eyes because I was in one of my blind to multiple dimensions states. I managed to build the frames for a weeping willow and for an oak. I got the oak done by the deadline. I had a weeping willow done. But it was “eh”. It looked good head-on, but if you camm’ed up, and looked down, oh my oh my. Anyway, I managed to get that done the DAY I said it would be done (rebuilt that foliage 4 times) but I didn’t make it by the daily team meet. So what was my reward? “Ahuva – keep building sculpty trees. And if you could do some mega-sized ones as well, that would be awesome”. Awesome. mega chestnutHow can you resist a challenge like that???? I can’t. Sigh. So, I returned to churning out trees. As you may have noticed by a prior post, *grin*, it had its ups and downs. But – I learned to build trees. I did get better. Yes – I see things that need to be fixed on the weeping willow. Yes – of course J found the one bare branch in my beautiful oak. But… I am learning, I am getting there. My mega-chestnut is, imho, beautiful. The rowan is quite spectacular, but I did have people critique it along the way. So I don’t consider it 100% “mine”. Only the mega-chestnut. That is “mine”. *grin*

ahuva's_chairsI’ve learned other things as well. That trying to build what you see in RL is not as easy as you might think, no matter how simple the form appears. I took a picture of a chair that I thought would be perfect for the first island, a social gathering space. I did indeed build something very close. Ahuva-built garden furnitureThanks to PatriciaAnne for advice about the arms. I actually stumbled on one answer as she was responding, but she saved me much time by explaining the other issue. *grin* Love you, PatriciaAnne!!! I also learned that it really makes a difference where you put the root prim. 🙂

How it looked it edit modeBadges. LOL. I am making handouts and freebies for the people, too. I am not just a gardener anymore. I worked on a conference badge. It’s not that easy to make a shape that fits about a neck. Just think on that a bit. It must curve and bend and shape. It must be a tortured prim or a sculpti. Yes – I got help learning how to do that too. *grin* But I was extremely pleased with it. I figured out the textures all myself – got the logo on the lanyard, oriented correctly. 🙂 Then I wore the badge. Edited it to position it properly. Looked fine. Came out of edit and…. oh wow. I must not have SAVED my changes??? The badge went flying through my shoulder, instead of staying positioned in front. Repeat the edit, looked fine, come out. Repeat the badge through my shoulder. how it looked when my AO took overI sat and stared. And watch as the badge MOVED. ROFLMAO. I was trying to be clever. MANY items get attached to the chest of the avatar. I wanted to put the badge someplace it wouldn’t interfere, in case the people were wearing an attachment. So I attached it to …….. my nose. *giggle* Which was fine til my AO moved my avatar’s nose. The badge followed the nose. LOL. Okay, that just wasn’t going to work. At the moment – the badge is attached to the chest. *grin* I’m hoping that will be okay for most folks. It’s those little things that get you. The kind of thing that once you “know”, you never do again. But if you don’t know, it can be quite baffling.

shadowsJust for good measure, while I was still struggling with “more sculpty trees”, I was told to add shadows for realism. I had never seen/done a shadow. I got that it was a texture, but, confession: I have been really bad at making my own textures. I spent hours figuring out how to do an alpha texture of just TEXT!!!! It can’t get any simpler than that. Sometimes I really wonder if I should have stuck to scripting. Anyway, I was up til 12:30 am the other night struggling with 2 sculpty trees (hence my Apology to Joyce Kilmer. That post has a subtitle but I suspect my life is forfeit if I print that.) I woke at 4:30am to continue working. I made 2 shadows. Look – they might not be the best shadows. But they are mine. I made them. By myself. one good, one not so good shadowBy the meeting deadline. In the picture that shows trees with shadows – the shadow on the right foreground is not mine – was given to me by a teammate. The shadow on the left distance is one of mine, layered and copied. You can see that my shadows have a way to go. But, I AM doing this. I may not be the best and there might be flaws, but I am making my deadlines and meeting my commitments. I am doing the best I can. It seems to be okay.

So, for your viewing pleasure, I have included here my chairs, tables, badge, shadows and some trees. Happy Trees to you, until we meet again!

I miss you all

working, workingI am SO busy!
Excited. Challenged. LEARNING!
Oh I LOVE my job!!!!!

I have some photos
of great SL music times
but no time to write.


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