Tutorial: How to Tint an Object in a Scene

One of the new (and somewhat controversial) features of this latest release of the Sansar client software is the ability to retexture objects. This ability is strictly limited to objects which you have already placed in a scene, and you cannot take the retinted object back into your inventory. Also, you are not allowed to retint avatar attachments or clothing, only stand-alone items in your scene.

Before you do anything, please read the Keyboard Shortcuts document to refresh your memory of the different keys that you can use when editing a scene.

Now, let’s go through this step-by-step with diagrams. There’s enough information in the official Materials Editing and Shaders document to completely overwhelm a novice, so we’re going to do something very easy to start: simply recolouring a mesh object.

First, click the My Experiences button in the upper right-hand corner of the Sansar screen, and select an experience. Once you have done that, open your inventory, and select the mesh item you want to put into your scene:

Retexturing Objects A 31 Dec 2017

(Hopefully, Linden Lab will soon create a folder system for inventory items! Having to scroll through everything on one level is rapidly becoming very unwieldy!)

Now, select Scene Objects from the Tools menu:

Retexturing Objects 1 31 Dec 2017.png

Left click on the item you want to recolour to highlight it in the editor window, and then right click to pull up a submenu. From that submenu, pick Materials:

Retexturing Objects 2 31 Dec 2017.png

Now, you will see a Materials Settings window, We’re going to skip over all the materials and shaders options for now. Scroll down to the very bottom of the window to the Tint options:

Retexturing Objects 3 31 Dec 2017.png

Now, you can either enter the RGB values into the three boxes if you have them, or you can just click the eyedropper icon next to the RBG boxes, and then select a colour from the colour-picker square. Once you have done that, remember to save your changes!

Retexturing Objects 4 31 Dec 2017.png

Congratulations! You have now successfully retinted a mesh object in Sansar!

If you want more information on how to use materials in your mesh objects, there are two very helpful Sansar experiences you can visit to learn more, in addition to the detailed Materials Editing and Shaders document I referred to earlier:

 

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Pick of the Day: Creator Academy: The Hall of Materials

Like Learn to Create Materials, an experience I highlighted back on Sept. 13th, the new Creator Academy: The Hall of Materials experience by Sansar Studios seeks to educate rather than entertain (although the following promotional video tries to do both!):

The Creator Academy is a place for you to learn about rendering materials, and audio and physics materials. There are examples of all these types of materials, and interactive exhibits where you can press buttons to try out different combinations of materials and see what they look like.

Creator Academy 1 25 Nov 2017.jpg

The Hall is well-designed, although I did find that the shiny, metallic finish of the grey metal plaques describing each display made reading the white lettering a little difficult at times (see picture below for an example). A higher-contrast text display (simple black lettering on a white panel) would make things easier for people with visual difficulties to read everything easily. I understand why they wanted to make it look “cool” and metallic, but I think this was a poor design choice. Many people who use and advocate virtual worlds have some sort of real-life disability. From the very beginning, Sansar needs to incorporate well-thought-out design features for people with accessibility issues.

Creator Academy 2 25 Nov 2017

Another problem I had with this experience, when I visited it a second time using a less-powerful desktop computer in desktop (non-VR) mode, is that the video displays demonstrating media surfaces would not play. I have noticed that Agustine had posted a bug report to the Sansar community forums about this particular issue, and I wonder how many other people cannot get video to play properly on media surfaces in Sansar. (As far as I know, Agustine is still having this problem, and it has not yet been fixed.)

The interactive displays, such as this one which demonstrates the effect of different values of PBR metalness and roughness values, have buttons which you are supposed to press in order to see what they look like on the mesh object.

Creator Acadmey 3 25 Nov 2017.jpg

I found that I could not get the buttons to work at all in desktop mode. When I was in a VR headset, most of the time I could not select the buttons either. Even worse, when I moved too close to the panel, it automatically selected a button from the bottom row! Based on my experiences and frustrations with these panels over several different visits to this experience over several days, this feature definitely needs work. Or perhaps some better visual instructions. (I was able to get the different buttons to work on my very first visit in a VR headset, but no matter what I did, I have been unable to repeat that success on subsequent visits.)

At the rear of the hall is a circular room with floor panels that demonstrate the effects of various physical audio materials in Sansar, which affects sounds like footsteps and reverb. The panels are for sand, ceramic, glass, carpet, dirt, brick, concrete, plaster, rock, gravel, grass, metal, water, wood, and snow (just in time for the Christmas experiences!).

Creator Academy 4 25 Nov 2017.jpg

I particularly like the glowing “dust motes” that circulate over the panels. It’s obvious that a lot of design thought and work went into this experience. However, the bugs and issues I encountered can make it a very frustrating exercise. Linden Lab needs to work on this one a bit more, in my opinion.

Atlas Hopping with Drax, Episode Thirteen!

I was tired, so I went off to have a long nap, and I forgot to join Drax and his friends for Atlas Hopping today! (Strawberry is still away due to a personal family emergency and she couldn’t join the group either.)

The three experiences which they visited today were:

Here’s Drax’s livestream of today’s event: