In which I begin a challenging construction

Having seen so many wonderful creations in and about Steam SkyCity I felt the urge to begin a new construction project of my own.  After giving the matter some thought I have come up with a few promising challenges.  One thing that fascinates me is the many ways in which those bound to the mortal coil mark the passage of Time.  Also, in my researches into the mysteries of incantation (a.k.a. “scripting”) as practiced in the SL metaverse I chanced upon an article laying out the formula for causing an object to rotate in reaction to the path of the sun  (Link).  Taking my inspiration from this I have decided to construct a simple Horizontal Sundial with, hopefully, a realistic shadow that will follow the course of the sun.

The first thing I needed before beginning such a project was a suitable set of textures for the base, face and gnomon.  In my earlier peregrinations I had come across several repositories of freely available textures.  For instance, the NCI Nova Civis  facility in Oxbridge Village, indeed all NCI facilities throughout the metaverse, has several.   For what I needed though, I recalled several excellent textures available at The Muse Village.  By the by, they also have a lovely art museum and several other interesting locations; but, that is a topic for another time.

At the Muse Village free textures wall I acquired a stone texture for the base, a clock face for the dial face and a wonderful metallic brace texture that I could use for the gnomon.  I’m not entirely happy with the clock face.  It is too dark on most of its surface, for one thing.  For another, the hour marks are not ideal.  But, it will do for the nonce.  Once I get this construction working I can go looking for a more suitable face texture, or perhaps make my own.

Assembling the base and gnomon was a trivial matter involving only two primary shapes, a cylinder or the base and a tetrahedron for the gnomon.  A little manipulation of the textures and voila!  I had the basic structure of my sundial. 

Now comes the tricky part.  I have to construct a darkly colored shape that will serve as the shadow.  I was pondering this when a serendipidous conversation among the SecondLife Hobos  group wafted over the aether concerning this very thing.   One of the members mentioned a freebie shadow kit available at a place called the Design Center in Idea City.   As I was a little shaky on the use of shadows in SL construction I translocated thereto with great haste.  While there I strolled through their advanced textureing tutorial and picked up the aforementioned shadow kit, a set of shadowy textures.

Satisfied for now, I will leave the challenge of the rotating shadow for another day.

Published in: on 10 March, 2009 at 1:05 PM  Leave a Comment  
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