June 12, 2008

Pachymoticons

The next days were a bit experimental. Me and Megan searched for an emoticon editor so that I could create emoticons for the Case - Pachyderm community forums. We stumbled upon Pixelshop after all the Adobe programs didn't offer trials. I spent some time designing 20x20 pixel icons only to find out that they 1, lacked detail at such a small scale, and 2, were in the wrong format altogether.

I shrugged it off and turned to good ol' photoshop where I redesigned all the emoticons at 50x50 pixels.

The day after I designed all the corresponding images to allow for emoticon animation. Animations such as Pachy's trunk swaying, or eyebrows raising, or my favorite, sunbeams revolving around a really happy Pachy. They turned out pretty good and I could preview them by clicking "next" on picture viewer really fast. Since I don't have ImageReady to link and loop the animations, I'll have to send them to Megan. I'm anxious to see the final product, especially used by others!

Below are the base images for the emoticons...

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CCPL exhibits 4

The momentum from the days before carried the completion of the displays even further. I was able to start and finish the Dune display and add a prop to the John Glenn exhibit in one day.

The sandworm to the right of the Dune display might have looked better as a sculptie rather than formed by prims, but uploading sculpties was too complex a procedure at the moment. I visited a Dune roleplay island in Second Life and posted screenshots with links to the locations on the display panels (a simple upload of an image, copy/paste some code, and voila, when touched, the image hands the user a landmark). I also built a model city from Dune that can be seen on the left. Adding revolution code to the planet was fairly simple and texturing it to my liking was too (after a little time in photoshop nailing the surface just right).

The following day, it was crunch time. Me, Paul, and Craig all buckled down each began and (relatively) finished a display. I put Marvin in place, purchased a leaping dolphin on SL Exchange as well as a blinking "Don't Panic" sign, and did a little web surfing. I was able to find a site that let you play the 1984 Hitchhiker's text adventure, so I linked that to a "game box" I made and set on the table. What isn't seen, is the towel on the table. To make that, I took a picture of one of my bath towels (laid flat), uploaded the picture to my computer, uploaded the image to SL, and slapped it on a thin rectangular board.

Completing Dune and Hitchhiker's was actually a lot of fun and turned out being one of the more productive weeks.

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CCPL exhibits 3

These couple days I broke out of my rut and felt I was on a roll. I went code searching in Second Life and found some neat features. I began scripting by making a sliding door that opened on touch. From there I built a simple controllable UFO model. After that, I built two kinds of display screens that featured 6 different toggle-able images, and finally, I built a model of the Friendship 7 that would hover around the John Glenn display.

While slightly frustrating, the scripting was fun. It was easy to throw a couple of prims together and write the code necessary to make them spin or move. Little touches of animation really bring the display to life. Modeling and scipting was soon coming natural to me and I felt we'd have those displays done in no time.

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CCPL exhibits 2

What started out fast began to slow down as ideas were floating too long or failing when it came to designing the exhibits. We hadn't quite decided on which books to display which was essentially the first step necessary to work. I built a couple more props, but nothing that could stand alone as a display. The last couple days went slow and showed little progress...

CCPL exhibits 1

Me and Paul worked with Sue in Second Life this week. Our assignment: design 6 exhibits to showcase Cuyahoga County Public Library's sci-fi/non-fi space and science Summer reading list. We began by brainstorming and searching for display materials around SL. After gathering a few things, Paul and I designed some display props. Among those props were the books themselves, and a Marvin replica I built for the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy display.

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More Pachyderm

Having become so versed in Pachyderm over the last few days, I was to write a tutorial, complete with screenshots, on how to create a presentation. I also included some tips and tricks for Pachyderm after experimenting with shortcuts. When it came time to save my work, the file was so big from the screenshots, my computer's memory was unable to save the document. After some mild panicing, I split the document in two and saved them separately.

In the little time left that day, I designed a logo for the Case - Pachyderm website that was in the works.

Pachyderm Logo.jpg

First days of Summer employment (May 19th)

After finishing my first days of work for ITAC over the Summer, I've learned a lot about Pachyderm. With Pachyderm, I made a screen that included the art done for a video I made in the Fall of 2007. The screen had links to all the pieces of art, which upon clicking, brought up descriptions of each piece. It was a simple display and was completed fairly quickly and I began on another Pachyderm project.

This time, I made a much larger display to showcase more genres of the art I've done over the years. For the display, a web of my art serves as the title screen. When one of the branches is clicked, it takes you to a focused screen of that piece complete with text and audio descriptions I recorded. Megan then showed me a frame editor to further customize my presentation. My display turned out pretty good in the end.