I was heavily involved in VRML back before the turn-of-the-century. We attended SIGGRAPH in LA, New Orleans and New York. We manned a booth at the LA SIGGRAPH. That’s how I found out that my last several years work had been stolen by SGI Cosmo, a major player in three-dimensional computer graphics.
But around the year 2000, I decided that three-dimensional computer graphics was just not developed enough to maintain my interest. Almost 20 years ago. I’ve been involved in computer graphics since but not actual three-dimensional worlds.
I had seen Second Life© early in 2000 and thought it was pretty good but I wasn’t really impressed. Especially since all the avatars look like twentysomethings with cool hair and perfect bodies. I wanted somewhere where I could look like me. Well, now I’m impressed!
Several months ago I was introduced to SketchUp, the free Google program for three dimensional graphics and I loved it! For not so obvious reasons, it was one of the first 3D programs where I could work comfortably with the 60° coordinate system advocated by Bucky Fuller. Additionally, the possibility of having several people accessing the same workplace and be able to communicate in a virtual environment is especially appealing. This led me to Second Life.
I thought, “Wouldn’t it be great to export the models I had done in SketchUp into Second Life?” On further investigation I found several sites with instructions on how to do just that. The real kicker though is that it may be easier and faster to do directly in Second Life! It’s a balance between complexity in the virtual environment and mobility restricted by bandwidth.
I am using a Dell XLS 18 with the Intel HD 4000 video that appears to be working fine. The detail I’m able to get far surpasses anything I could’ve imagined… No, let me take that back. It is exactly what I imagined! The ability to interact with the environment and other avatars in real time with very high level of realism.
Of course, my first task was to see if I could create an avatar that looks like me. I’ll let you be the judge. The amount of control I have over my appearance is amazing. The facial expression, the gestures and the ability, as the owner, to change the environment.
I find it also quite therapeutic to be able to have my avatar get out on the dance floor and dance like I never could in real life. It provides a level of social interaction I just don’t have any more. I don’t want to go out to eat with people, I don’t want to travel with anyone unless it’s absolutely essential. Too many things can go wrong and there is very little upside. I’m not looking for girlfriend.
So now I need to tie consciousnesscreatesmatter.com with tetraplegiacr.com and Second Life© and see if we can’t get something interesting going.