RezMela™
Where virtual learning environments emerge at the speed of your imagination

Introduction


RezMela is a system which allows non-technical people to quickly create scenes in OpenSim involving many objects.

The user can select from a library of available objects, placing them simply by clicking on a 2D map representation (the control board).  Icons appear on the control board and, at the same time, the objects themselves appear in-world at the designated positions.


Once placed, objects may be moved, rotated, deleted, etc by simple interaction with the icons on the control board.



The naming of the parts


The RezMela system comprises two parts: the control board and the “rezzor”.


The control board is the main interface, from which objects may be created and manipulated.


The
rezzor is a moving object (a pointing hand) which travels around the scene, creating the objects as needed. It is not interactive, but it serves as a cursor, showing which items are selected.


As you create objects from the library, two more types of objects will appear: icons, which appear on the control board map, and world objects, the objects themselves, which appear in-world.


The collection of world objects, in their allotted places, is called a scene.



The control board


The control board (Figure 1)  itself is divided into sections:


Control board.png

Figure 1 The control board


1 - Main map


This is a map-like representation of the rezzing area, with north at the top.


2 - Teleport map


To the left is a smaller equivalent of the main map; clicking here teleports the user to the corresponding place in-world.


3 - Name display


This panel displays the name of the user currently operating the board.


4 - Environment controls


These buttons control the wind height and direction, water level and sun position.


5 - Preview panel


This shows a picture of the currently selected library object.


6 - Object thumbnails


These buttons show the objects in the current library category, up to a maximum of 20. If there are more than 20 objects in a category, arrow buttons to the left and/or right allow paging between them.


7 - Category buttons


These gold buttons can be used to switch between different catagories of library objects.


8 - Control buttons


These red, blue and green buttons control act on objects in the scene.


9 - Icons


These appear on the map section of the control board as objects are created.



Working with objects



Rezzing an object from the library


To rez an object from the library, first select its category (if not currently displayed), then select its thumbnail from the list. Its picture will appear in the preview pane.


Then simply click on the map where you would like the object to appear. The object’s icon will appear in that place, and the world object will appear in-world in the appropriate place in the scene.


Above the object will be the rezzor (Figure 2), showing you where the object is:

Figure 2 The rezzor



You can continue to create more objects by clicking again on the map, or you can select a different object from the libary to create that.


Objects can be placed on top of one another by clicking on an icon on the map.



Selecting objects


In order to work on objects in-world, it is first necessary to select them.


To select an object, left-click on the icon and hold the mouse button down for a couple of seconds (ie, long-click). The icon will glow, and in-world the rezzor will appear above the world object.


Whenever an icon is selected, its corresponding world object is also selected; selection always works in unison like this.


To deselect an object, long-click on it again, or select a different object by long-clicking.


If you want to make the rezzor go away, click on the red “Hide pointer” button the right-hand side and it will move away (to 120m above the SW corner of the region).



Manipulating objects


There are several ways in which you can manipulate an object in a scene. All of these require that the object to be manipulated is first selected.


You can move an object to a different place in the scene by clicking elsewhere in on the map. Both icon and world object instantly move to the new place. This is useful for broad adjustments ...


… or you can move it to
specific coordinates by clicking the red “Move selected” button the right-hand side. You’ll be prompted for the coordinates to move the object to (either X, Y and Z or simply X and Y, with the Z being calculated automatically).


You can nudge an object 1m north, south, east or west by using the four blue triangles on the right-hand side. This is useful for fine adjustments.


You can rotate an object by using the four blue circular arrows, representing 5° (small) and 45° (large) clockwise and counterclockwise rotations.


Lastly, you can remove an object from the scene by using the red “Remove selected” button on the right-hand side.



Clearing the scene


To remove all objects in the scene, use the red “Clear scene” button on the right-hand side. You will be asked to confirm this by a menu which pops up to the right of the control board.



Working with stored scenes


Once you have objects in a scene, you can store them by using the green “Save scene” button on the right-hand side. You will be prompted for a name, and the scene will be stored under that name.


To load a stored scene, click the green “Load scene” button and select the scene you want from the menu (to cancel, use the red X in the top-right corner). The menu will display up to six scenes at a time; use the red arrows to navigate up or down.


Note that if you save a scene with the
same name as a previously-saved scene, it will overwrite that scene.


You can delete a stored scene by using the green “Delete scene” button and selecting the scene to delete from the menu list. When the scene is deleted, the list will be shown again; use the red X to close it or select another scene to delete.



Environmental controls


The environmental control buttons near the top of the right-side controls let you adjust the following:


Wind speed and direction


Click towards any of the points of the compass to set the wind direction; the speed is dictated by the distance from the center. So, a light wind to the north can be set by clicking just above the center, whereas a strong wind to the west can be obtained by clicking near the left-hand edge. Note that the wind direction is to, not from, the clicked point.


Water level


Click anywhere on the water level graphic to set that level; higher up the button will set higher levels.


Time of day (sun position)


You can set the sun position by clicking any of the four images representing morning, noon, evening and night.




Working with the library


This section describes how to update the library with your own objects.



Files that make up an object


There are three or four files that are necessary in order to have an object in the library:


1 - The world object


This is the object itself that will appear in-world. It must contain a “world object” script.


2 - The icon


This is the object that serves as an icon on the control board. It must contain an “icon” script.


3 - The texture


This is the square texture that is seen on the thumbnails and on the preview pane.


4 - The config card (optional)


This is a notecard that can specify certain parameters; if omitted, all parameters are defaulted.


So before you can add a new object to the library, you must at least create the world object, the icon and the texture.



The Updater


Central to working with the library is the Updater (Figure 3), which is separate from the control board.


updater.png

Figure 3 The Updater


Clicking on the updater will give you a menu with the following options:


List gives you a notecard containing a list of all objects in the library


Download downloads the files making up an object, and gives you a copy in a folder.


Category lets you change the category of an object in the library


Delete lets you delete an object from the library


More options will become available when you are ready to add (or replace) files.


Now we’ll look at the stages involved in adding a new item to the RezMela library.



Creating a world object


To add an existing object to RezMela as a world object, it is only necessary to add the RezMela world object script to the root prim. It may be helpful to put that script in a small, invisible prim and link the main object to it - if you do that, make sure that the prim with the RezMela script is the root prim.


Note that objects will be created with the centre of the root prim aligned vertically with the top of any prim below it (or the terrain), so a tall object will be half-buried if the root prim is the full height of the object. This is why it’s normally a good idea for the root prim to be small and positioned at the base of the object (although see the “AdjustHeight” parameter below).


Rotation: Note that when a world object is created by RezMela, it has an initial rotation of 270° in the Z axis. This is for historical reasons. If you want your object to have an initial rotation that is different than that, it is necessary to use a dummy root prim of that rotation.


World objects should be named with W at the end; eg myobjectW.


Creating an icon


An icon object should be a small, simple representation of the main object. Again, if necessary, the icon may have a dummy root prim containing only the icon script.


Size: The relationship between the size of the world object and the size of the icon is nominally 40:1, although this can be changed in the RezMela configuration parameters. However, for smaller world objects, the icon may be disproportionately large in order to be visible and easily selectable. However, note that if other objects are expected to be placed on top, the height of the icon should proportionally match the height of the in-world object.


Rotation: The orientation of the icon when rezzed should match that of the world object, not accounting for the 270° imparted by RezMela. In other words, if the world object (including a dummy root prim if used) is rotated to <0, 0, 0>, the icon should also have a rotation of <0, 0, 0> when turned to face the equivalent direction.


Icons should be named with I (capital i) at the end, and match the world object; eg myobjectI.



Creating a texture


The thumbnail/preview texture should be a 512x512 representation of the object. Transparency is not supported, and is probably best avoided.


Textures should be named with T at the end and match the world object; eg myobjectT.



Configuration cards


Sometimes additional data needs to be provided about an object, which can be put into a notecard.


Currently there are three pieces of data that can be specified in this way:


Center = TRUE


With this parameter, the object is automatically positioned in the precise centre of the region. This is useful for terrain maps, for example, which extend to the edges.


Vertical = TRUE


Use this to make the object appear vertical even if rezzed on a sloping surface - for example, trees, lamp-posts, buildings.


AdjustHeight = TRUE


Use this if the world object’s root prim has to be the full height of the object. With this parameter, the object will be raised by half the height of the root prim.


Either or both of these settings can be put on separate lines in a notecard.


The notecard should be named with C on the end, and match the world object; eg myobjectC.



Adding (uploading) a new object into the library


To add a new object (one that currently does not exist) into the library:


  1. Create the world object, icon, texture and (optionally) configuration card as detailed above.

  2. Add the three or four files to the updater (Ctrl + drop is ideal for this).

  3. Click the updater.

  4. From the updater menu, select “Upload”.

  5. You will be given a menu of available categories; select the category you wish for the object.


Your object will now be added to the library, and the component files removed from the updater.


Note that only one object at a time may be uploaded in this way.



Changing an existing file for an object


Once a new object is uploaded into the library, it is possible to update the library with new versions of the world object, icon, texture or config card for that object.


To do this, simply drop the new version of the file into the updater, click, and select “Upload” from the menu. The file will be uploaded and removed from the updater.


Note that you can upload as many files as you like, even for different library objects, in one batch.