|Creating Interreality: The Virtual Object System: Version 0.23.0|
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Blender is a completely free full-featured 3D modelling and animation application. Learning Blender's unique interface can be tricky at first, but once you work through some of the tutorials and get familiar with manipulating its split-screen windows and 3D geometry, it can be a very efficient and powerful modelling tool.
You can download and learn about Blender at http://www.blender3d.org (Try the "castle" tutorials in the "Education" section). Other useful resources are http://www.blender.org, http://www.elysiun.com and the Blender knowlege base, full of FAQ answers and tutorials: http://www.elysiun.com/support
To export your Blender scene to a COD file which can be loaded by a world server (such as OmniVOS, described in a later chapter), use the blenderExportCOD.py script included in the VOS 3D package, or downloaded from http://interreality.org/software/vr/blender/. The script has been verified to work in Blender version 2.33.
To use the script, first put it in your Blender "scripts" directory: "~/.blender/scripts" on Linux and MacOSX; in the Blender installation directory on Windows. You should then be able to find it in the File->Export menu as Export VOS COD.
Note that most of of Blender's features do not yet have any equivalent in A3DL or Ter'Angreal. Most notably, reflective material properties are not supported yet, only one texture image and one material can be used per mesh, and only point lights are supported.
When texturing objects, you need to use "UV" texture coordinates:
Select your object, create and link a texture with type "image" in the material's texture window ( ), and select "UV" in the material "Map From" panel.
In another frame, open the "UV/Image Editor" window and load your image using the menu in the window header.
Back in your 3D window, enter face selection mode using the "f" key or the face button ( ) in the window header, and select one or more faces.
Press the "u" key and select a UV mode from the menu. "Standard 1/1" is a good one to start with.
You can then modify the texture coordinate mapping in the "UV/Image" window. Select the image filename from the menu. (The polygon drawn over your image represents the shape of your selected faces.)
A portion of Blender's "World" settings ( ) will produce properties in the A3DL world as well: Mist density and color, and ambient light color (if a setting has a value of 0.0, no property will be created).
Typically, you want to use static geometry for most of your scene. If you do, but want to have some objects non-static (so they are movable), prepend the names of those objects with a "!" (bang or exclamation point). The export script will use this as a signal to export that object non-static. To force an object to be static on the other hand (if you use non-static as the default), then prepend static objects' names with "$" (dollar sign).
Further limitations you should be aware of: You cannot use packed textures yet; only the color, first texture layer, and alpha of a material is used; Only "image" textures may be used; only polygon meshes are supported (no curves or subdivided surfaces); vertex colors are not supported; only point lights (lamps) are supported; only the color and radius (distance) of a lamp is supported.