A Second Life teaser

November 12th, 2006  |  Published in misc

This month my freelance work takes me to Nature Publishing Group to work on a new scientific project in Second Life. We’re not quite ready to talk about what we’re doing yet, but I’m so pleased with a bit of work in progress that I thought I’d put a teaser up here.

Many people find the creation of 3D models in SL to be rather tricky. This is because there’s no built-in way to import polygon data as a mesh of 3D coordinates from an external modelling tool. Imagine if there was a factory object that could read a list of coordinates and spit out the results straight into the world, like a virtual 3D printer. As part of this project, I’m working on exactly that.

Update: As I suspected, I’m not the first to attempt this kind of work, although it looks like I’m only the second or the third. Although I had a good look around before starting to code, it wasn’t until I published this post that a couple of people contacted me to point out this Second Life forum post which provides a scripts for doing much the same thing.

To try out my new system, I went looking for entertaining test data. I have fond memories of Quakeworld – it was the first multiplayer online game that I spent a lot of time playing, and it got me through my finals. Remember this guy?

There are plenty of handy tools out there that can unpack the Quake data files and extract the models into easy-to-parse polygons formats. So, here’s my Second Life test rendering:

There’s plenty of work still to do, and lots more to say, but I’ll leave it there for now.

Comments are closed.