Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Basic Building in Second Life - Easy Step By Step Instructions PT. 1

When I first started Second Life I went through the steps on Help Island to learn how to edit items, and what the red, green and white tiny squares and arrows did, etc.  I wanted to learn to build and purchased a book online called "Second Life: A guide To Your Virtual World."  It was a good book and has helped many creators learn to build but I am a hands on learner.  I needed to be instructed step by step.  What I needed was a "Building In Second Life For Dummy's".  Then I met someone who was willing to teach me.  She made it easy by not assuming that I already knew terminology or even the basics.  I have returned this favor with many residents through the years.  Recently, I had someone ask me if I could write these instructions on a notecard that she could read and learn on her time frame.  So I am putting these instructions on the blog to hopefully help others.

Beginning Basic's:
You must be on land that you can create objects or a sandbox. (A sandbox is a public sim or parcel that anyone can build or rez items.  Just search "Sandbox" and choose one.  If it's too crowded then teleport to another.)
*Please note that menu's may differ slightly from the picture I have depending on your viewer.

1. Point your cursor to a spot on the ground and right-click.  You will get a pie chart, choose "Create".  A menu will appear and you’ll see some geometric shapes that you can use to create.

For this lesson, click the box/cube shape then click the ground again and a prim box will appear.  The box will have a light wood texture.  Congratulations, you just made a prim box! 
Now right click the box and the pie chart will appear again.  This time choose "Edit". You will see Red, Blue and Green arrows.  These arrows allow you to move the object to the left, right, up and down.  You will also have the long gray dialog box with tabs that say General, Object, Features, Texture and Content. In the General tab write something like "First Box" in the name slot, then click the "Object" tab.  This tab is the one you will use for most of your basic building.

Below the Features and Texture tabs, you see the word "Box" this is the shape of the object you are editing. Touch the arrow next to the word "Box" and you will get a drop down menu with different shapes. Scroll down to "Sphere" and click on it.  See what happens?  The box is now a ball shape.  Now select Box again and its back to the cube shape.  On the Object tab you will also see "Positions (Meters)  this will become important when you learn advanced building.  SL uses the metric system for measurements.  The position values tell you where the center of the object is relative to the basepoint of the sim you are on. The X increases as you move from west to east, the Y from south to north, and the Z from down to up. Below that is Size.  The box default size is .05 or .25 meters. We will discuss that in part 2 of this building lesson.
Now back to your box.  You want to make it bigger. While still in edit mode press Shift and CTRL at the same time.  The arrows are now small box shapes in red, blue, green and white.  Click on the blue square and while still holding Shift & CTRL left click and hold it down also, now only the blue square shows up.  Drag the blue square up or down.  See what happens?  You made it shorter and taller.  Also the value increased and decreased in the Position and Size dialog box.  Bring it back to it's original size and lets try the green square the same way, this will allow you to stretch the box from the left side or right side.  Try the blue square pulling it towards you or away from you.  As you can see pushing the blue square flattens the box like a poster or picture.  Now try the white squares.  As you can see this keeps the box's shape but makes it larger.  For this lesson, make the box larger to about 1.17500 x 1.17500 (Does not have to be exact for this lesson).
Congratulations.  You can now stretch and resize.
Now we will texture the box.  While still in edit mode go to the Texture tab.  You will see the color is the default white and the texture is the default like wood.  Put your cursor on the white rectangle and push.  A color chart will pop up.  Choose the dark red then click "ok".  Now your box is red and so is the rectangle under color on the menu.  Press the rectangle again and when the color chart pops up choose the dark blue now your box is blue.  Touch the rectangle again and choose the white color from the chart and your box is back to the default light wood.  Now below the color is Texture with a square that has the light wood.  Put your cursor on that square and press.  Now your inventory shows up on a side menu that says Pick:Texture at the top.  For this lesson we will be using a texture from your SL library.  Scroll down to Library and choose from the Fabric folder.  Choose Fabric - Zebra Skin, then "ok".  Now your box has a zebra fur texture.  Notice the square on the dialog box under "Texture" also has the Zebra texture.
Congratulations, you now have a zebra skin box!

Set the box aside for now and we will begin lesson 2.
Point at the ground and right click and choose "Create" again from the pie chart only this time choose the sphere shape then click the ground.  You now have a ball with the default light wood texture.  Let's texture the ball.  Repeat the steps above but this time let's choose "Fabric - Basketweave from the library fabrics folder and click "ok".  Now click the color and choose a light blue color and click ok.  It should look something like the pictures below:

Now we are going to take this ball and make a bowl. Click the objects tab again.  You see the shapes dialog box now says "Sphere".  Below that is "Cut Path" and below that is "Hollow" with up and down arrows.  Click the "up" arrow and keep pressing it until the dialog box says 95.0000.  What happened was the ball is no longer solid, now it's hollow.  Now go up to the Cut Path arrows and press the "Up" button until it reads 0.5000.  This should have cut the sphere in half.  Now open your inventory tab and go down to Library, scroll down to Misc Textures folder and find "Blue Plasma"
Drag that texture to the inside of your bowl.  Now it should look like the picture below.

We want our bowl to be more shallow, so right click, choose edit from the pie chart and while holding Shift and CTRL and left click to get the little stretch squares and drag the blue square down until your bowl is the depth you want.  Congratulations, you just made a bowl.

Now we will do a little more advanced building with your zebra skin box.
Right click on your box and choose edit again from the pie chart.  We are going to duplicate the box so that we have two zebra boxes exactly the same.  While holding down the Shift button, left click on the blue arrow and drag it up.  This will copy the zebra box.  Now you should have two zebra boxes.

We ant to flatten the top box. Hold Shift and CTRL buttons down to get the red, green and blue little squares again that we use to stretch.  Click the top blue square and drag it all the way down until the box is flat.

Now edit the bottom box and hollow it like you did the sphere. In the objects tab, on the "Hollow" dialog box, click the "up" arrow and keep pressing it until the dialog box says 95.0000.  Now your box is hollow but you notice that it doesn't have a top or bottom.

Move the flat box down into the hollow box so that your box now has a bottom, you will need to make the bottom a little smaller so it doesn't poke out of the box.  Right click the flat bottom and move the red and green stretch squares in a little until the edges no longer show on the outside of your box.  Now you need to link the bottom and the box together.  Right click and edit the flat bottom piece.  Hold down the Shift key and move your cursor to your hollowed box and while still holding the Shift key, left click the box.  Now look at your grey menu box and you will see the Link and Unlink buttons, choose "Link".  Now your box and bottom are linked together so if you move itor take it into your inventory and rez it out again, it will stay together.  You notice that your one prim box is now two prims.  Congratulations, you just made a opened box.

Now we will make a snowman : )
Right click the ground and choose create, choose the sphere shape and touch the ground again.  Now you have another ball shape.  Open the texture tab and press the texture box on the dialog menu, choose from the Library file, Primitive Island - Snow1.  Now let make our snow ball a little larger by holding down the Shift & CTRL keys at the same time and dragging the little white square out a little.  Now your snowball is slightly larger.  We want to duplicate/copy this snowball so that we have 3 of them.  Hold the Shift key, put your cursor on the blue arrow and left click and drag up then repeat.  You should now have 3 snowballs as pictured below.

Now we want to resize the snowballs so that the one on the bottom is larger, the one in the middle a little smaller and the one on the top a little smaller than the middle one. Right click and drag the little white squares in or out to resize the snowballs.  Now stack the snowballs on top of each other to the way you want your snowman to look.  Edit the bottom one, hold shift, then move your cursor to the second ball while still holding Shift, left click it then the same with the top snowball and in your dialog menu choose "Link".  Now all 3 snowballs should be linked together.

Now we want to make a face and buttons for our snowman.  For the eyes, mouth and buttons, create another ball shape, color it black (Open texture tab, click on the color rectangle and choose black then ok) Then copy/duplicate that ball until you have 9 black spheres.  Resize them to make them small enough to make eyes, a mouth and buttons and move 2 of them to the top snowball to where you want the eyes.  Now link the eyes to the snowman using the steps above.
Now we want to make the carrot nose. Choose create from the pie chart and choose the cone shape.  Color it orange from the color chart and stretch the cone to make a long carrot looking nose.  Move the carrot nose to the face and place it where you want it.  Link it to the snowballs and eyes already linked.  Now move 4 of the black spheres to form the mouth and three of them down the middle ball for buttons and link them all together.  If done right your snowman should be 13 prims all together and look like the photo below.

If you have gone this far then you may want to make a hat for your snowman.  Create another shape only this time use the Cylinder shape.  Color it black and copy/duplicate it until you have 2.  Resize the bottom one to make it larger then flatten it like you did the box bottom.  This makes the hats rim.  Position the other black cylinder shape in the middle of the flattened rim and link them together.  Drag it up to the top of your snowman's head.  If you need to resize the rim or the hat top to fit your snowman better, you need to edit the linked parts.  To do this, right click the hat and in your grey menu box, check "Edit Linked" then touch the part of the hat you want to resize then hold Shift and CTRL down at the same time and drag the little white square to make that part of the hat larger or smaller.  When you get the hat just right, uncheck the Edit Linked.  Now link your hat to the rest of your snowman.  Congratulations!  You just made a snowman!

Now you have learned to create shapes, stretch the shapes, hollow the shapes, cut the shapes in half, color and texture your shapes and link them together.  Practice with different shapes and don't be afraid to experiment with the different tools.  You can always delete it and start over.  Make a habit of making a copy of all parts you create and have fun!

I will be publishing more advanced building tutorials in the future including more shape manipulation, sculpts, scripts and advanced texturing so stay tuned.