Saturday, January 27, 2018

The Ivory Tower Library of Primitives, Part II: The Ivory Tower

Written 25 January, 2018

The Ivory Tower is a great place to learn the essentials of working with primitives in Second Life. I learned not only what can be done with prims, but important building techniques.

I mean yeah, mesh is all the rage in Second Life, but prims provide a quick in-world way of creating things. Moreover, they are a great leveler of the playing field. Anyone can rez a prim. You don't need an expensive program to build with them, and you don't need to leave Second Life to work with them. Not a day goes by when I don't create or edit prims. I can't imagine my Second Life without them.

So yeah, Marcov Carter's Statue of Liberty, which stands in front of the ITLP, speaks to me.

The ITLP has some three dozen work stations on four floors, each with a notecard available in seven languages and each with examples of the primitive characteristics under discussion. Lessons begin with basic ways to work with a single prim and wind up teaching recursive building techniques that allow precise placement of dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of prims perfectly aligned with one another. This is an amazing and handy thing to know and it's the technique used to build the library itself.

The notecards are instructive, and better, they are funny, at least the ones in English. Use of color in the example prims help learners visualize the lesson, and replications of the blue, green, and red rotation and linear movement indicators show axes of movement. They are also made of prims and replicate exactly the look of primitive objects when Edit is selected. Check out the photo below:

Nope, my Edit window isn't open. That's the way the ITLP displays actually look.

Assiduous students will learn how to cut, hollow, skew, slice, taper, color, texture, and otherwise torture their prims, how to deal with the ways primitives behave in relation to their rotations, and, as they move through the work stations, how to create light and flexible objects, and, eventually, to builds like this spiral staircase:

A few months before my Second Life birth date of October 24, 2006, Lumiere Noir, the creator of the ITLP, moved it from the region Noya to its current location in Natoma.

I'm not certain whether Lumiere's avatar is the spy before or the spy after the vs. in the Mad Magazine cartoons, but whichever, it was apparently his usual avatar.

Lumiere died unexpectedly in August 2015; the Ivory Tower has since been lovingly looked after by Avi Arrow, who was kind enough to give me the sound for the little squeak every notecard giver at the ITLP (and now at Whimsy) makes when touched. Avi confirmed this when I asked her to fact-check this blogpost. She wrote:
The black spy was his most well known avatar and is the one most used when he was here full time.  This is why I use the black spy image in several places (including the sky) in order to keep Lumiere's presence connected to the Ivory Tower Library of Primitives.  Lumiere had many custom avatars before and after the black spy, but when he returned in late 2014, he started working on his last avatar named "Smirk" which he used for his Acid Trip display name character.  This avatar can be seen in statue form about 10 meters north of the landing point for the Ivory Tower which is the last place Lumiere was rezzed (where he last logged off).

That's Lumiere's Acid Trip avatar, above.

Avi writes:
Lumiere and I were partners in land and enterprise since late 2006, but Lumiere is the one who created the Ivory Tower Library of Primitives (or ITLP for short).  I am the one who has primarily managed the property and the Ivory Tower of Prims group, which freed up Lumiere to do what he loved most-- to create (or doodle as he called it), and to hold classes.
I'm glad Avi has taken on the responsibility, for the Ivory Tower Library of Primitives is not only a valuable place to learn how to work with prims, but a valuable piece of Second Life history.

Here's to you, Lumiere! And to you, Avi!

Teleport to the Ivory Tower

Next: The Ivory Tower Library of Primitives, Part III. The Building

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