Saturday, November 10, 2007

Working on a Building

Written 7 November, 2007

Working on a Building

I’ve tried a couple of times to make a boxy building, without much success. Do the end walls fit inside or outside of the side and floor prims? How do you get those roof angles just right? How wide and tall should a doorway be?

With the exception of my recreation of my real-life house, I’ve abandoned my house-building projects.

I stopped the real-life house build, too, but for other reasons. It started to make me uneasy. One of me would be walking through the downstairs of my very house while the other one of me sat upstairs at a desk. Or we would both be in the same virtual space. If I had finished the build and furnished the house to mirror mine, it would have been even creepier.

I have built platforms and porches, but to date, I haven’t made a structure.

But that’s changing.

I’d been wanting to make a sky structure for exhibitions—at least that’s how it started out. I envisioned rooms full of art, connected by tunnels or walkways, much like the spaces at Virtual Starry Night. I started and tore down one build, and then decided what was needed was a hub from which the tunnels could originate.

So I pulled out a 20x20x.5 huge prim block, turned it into a cylinder, and placed a plywood cube in its exact center. Then, at the huge prim’s edge, I build a section of wall seven meters tall and six wide, put a circular window in it, and dragged a copy to the opposite side. I linked the three, making sure the cube in the center was the root prim. Woo hoo! I was ready to go.

I held shift and pulled upward, making a copy, hit CTRL-Z to put it back in its original position, and rotated it 45 degrees. I repeated twice more, making walls all the way around.

I bridged the gap between the walls by cutting a cylinder in half, hollowing it, and placing it across the span. I made a second on the other side of the huge floor prim, linked it to a pivot prim, and made three copies of the assembly. Woo hoo! I had a room.

There was more to do, of course. But about then Sweetie showed up, took one look at my building-in-progress, and began to tweak.

She asked me to cut a hole in the center of the giant prim. I did. She put a dimpled sphere in the hole, making a low wall, and then began to put in steampunk pipes and a dome to enclose and support the structure. Then she made a copy of the support and turned it upside down and suggested I made a copy of my entire structure and move it below the first so there would be a second floor. I did. Then I added some temporary textures, and what do you know! A floating structure!

Sorry for my doofy explanations of the building process. I’ll stop now.

Somewhere along the line I realized that I didn’t really have a hub for an exhibition center. What I had a was a floating structure that would make a very nice store.

And that’s what I’ll use it for.

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