I’m delighted that several of my VR students have responded to my call for expressions of interest in creating, as their main project for the module, a safari vehicle for Uthango / Virtual Africa.
There are a few online tutorials for building vehicles, some listed at the end of this post; if anyone knows of other tutorials, please let me know about them. I’m aware of no clearer, more straightforward, tutorial to get started with, however, than this one from Jeff Heaton:
‘A Speed Guide to Virtual Driving in Second Life: Find out how to use Linden Scripting Language to control virtual vehicles in Second Life.’
animated in the following video:
I’ve made the following recommendations to students:
- make sure you know what a safari vehicle looks like. E.g. do a Google image search or book search. It’s important that the model you finally deliver should like like a bona fide safari vehicle, not simply what you imagine it should look like
- look at Jeff Heaton’s video tutorial on YouTube and at his text tutorial “A Speed Guide to Virtual Driving in Second Life” at http://www.devx.com/webdev/Article/35357
- it’s also worth checking SLexchange.com, onRez.com, SLshopper.com and elsewhere for L$0 full-perm vehicles that you can therefore take apart (you’ll then better understand how vehicle are built and perhaps also find stuff that’s reusable)
- work as a team to share resources, ideas, insights, etc, but each of you should be building your own vehicle. A prize will be awarded at the end for the best one, with myself and Uthango director Dorette Steenkamp as judges
- you’ll donate your car to Uthango; but (and here’s the additional incentive) you’ll be able to sell your completed vehicle, winning entry or not, on SLexchange, etc, when it’s complete (i.e. you retain ownership of the intellectual property), with the following two provisos:  since the safari vehicles must be unique and exclusive to Virtual Africa, the vehicles you sell must be discernibly different, and  all due credit, as appropriate, is given to Jeff Heaton or to anyone else whose work you’ve re-used
- Dorette Steenkamp and I will always be available to offer guidance and advice–don’t be nervous about asking us.
Further readings and references
For a tutorial on modeling (i.e. ‘sculpting’) a vehicle in Wings 3D (hence ensuring a low prim count), see:
‘Wings 3D: Tutorials: Box modeling a car with all Quad topography’
Linden Vehicle Tutorial
SL Scripting Guide: 08 – Vehicles