A Strolling Bear

Kirmden has developed a very innovative use of timers, movers and related commands to create a strolling bear. The bear walks around and has a look at the aquarium in Verne Research Park. Kirmden has kindly provided us with the details of how he did this, which is featured below. Screen shots and the Youtube video are by YG staff. And below that, we have managed to get a great interview with him. Thanks, Kirmden for all the help here.

How to make a strolling bear, by Kirmden

Initial Idea
My strolling bear animation idea came from a tutorial in AWSchool. I wanted to try extending this tutorial by incorporating a walking sequence. Location: Fish Tutorial in AWSchool, Approximate coords; 27N 119E facing S.

To keep things simple, I made a level path with square corners for the bear to follow.

Setting out the bears

Laying out the bear's path

Test Steps

Test by animating a walking bear in a straight line for several meters using the seq and move with time commands. Experiment with the time until the walking sequence matches the speed of movement. Record the ratio of (move distance)/time that has the best fit for the selected sequence. Use this ratio for each segment of the walk as it keeps the bear consistent. In my case, I found 1.25 worked best. Your mileage will vary.

Test animation code example: create seq qwalkm loop, move 6 0 0 time=4.8 ltm reset. I used this ratio (6/4.8 = 1.25) for my bear to calculate time based on distance for each segment of the walk. I used Bach’s corner turn as it worked well for my bear. This can be adjusted using rotate rpm=a/(6*t) where angle a is set to 90. The time for rotate is part of the walking total walking time for each segment.

sign posts for commands

Note that most of the timer commands are on these signs below the build.


Place a bear at the starting location. Face the bear so that 90 degree turn is accounted for at start (the bear quickly turns first). Note the bear turns left or right depending on rotate + or -.

Clone the bear and move the clone in a straight line to the location where the bear should turn next. Count these steps (1 arrow click = 0.5 meter). Continue placing bears and counting steps between each clone until your circuit is complete. I have 16 bears in my set up.

I numbered my bears to keep them in order. Each bear is set initially to solid and visible off. Solid off is needed when the bear is invisible or visitors will not know what hit them if they walk into them.

After all bears are placed, create a looping timer. Note; When starting, you will not know how long the timer should last.

Create a looping timer. The commands: create timer TB 306400 loop=-1 global.

Create the walking segments using the at command. (tb1 and tb2 are bears). The command: at tm TB 1, visible tb1 no, visible tb2 on, seq qwalkm loop name=tb2, move 6 0 0 time=4.8 ltm reset name=tb2, rotate 60 time=.25 wait=4.55 name=tb2.

The distance between bears is 6 meters (or 12 arrow clicks). Time=4.8 is calculated from the (move distance/time) ratio. The rotate wait=4.55 accounts for the rotate time (4.8 - .25).

The next segment starts when the last ended. The command: at tm TB 4800, visible tb2 no, visible tb3 on. Note that time is in seconds and timers are in milliseconds.

timer commands

An example of the commands used on the bears

The finishing touch was to change to a wait sequence while bear is looking in the aquarium window. Strolling restarts when timer loops.

To see the bear in motion, here is a Youtube video that shows him walking around.

Kirmden's Steam City build Kirmden's Verne Centre. Coords: Yellow 1774.46S 1704.23E 0.06a 354

Interview with Kirmden

Randy: How long have you been a citizen of Active Worlds?

Kirmden: I do not know exactly, I have around under different names since about 2000.

Randy: When did you start building?

Kirmden: Hard to say, but i got curious and started looking at the command lines. I thought it very interesting that some builders could have a style using the provided objects.

Randy: How did you choose your Avatar name?

Kirmden: That was from a long abandoned comic book project I thought of drawing while in high school.

Randy: How did you find Active worlds?

Kirmden: Absolutely just stumbled into it while cruising the web. What hooked me was the ability to fly over and through objects.

Randy and Kirmden

Kirmden and Randy

Randy: Sure. It's always been a fascinating place. What you do you like most about Active worlds?

Kirmden: These days I like fiddling with the commands. That is what is keeping me here. It is the learning that I like best. That and seeing the results (or lack of) straight away.

Randy: Yes; instant reward. What would change if you could?

Kirmden: Oh, well if it were possible to add some logic such as an if/else statements to the commands, that would be fun.

Randy Wouldn't it just! Do you like building contests?

Kirmden: I feel too hurried as I am a slow builder. However, I have entered a few in the past.

Randy: I can relate to that. What do you like about them?

Kirmden: Contests can bring out some creative solutions when under a deadline.

Randy: Good point there. What kind of contest would you most like to be a part of?

Kirmden: Not sure, as I like the free-for-all, but the themed contests are better and more focused.

Randy OK, so if you had your 'druthers, you would prefer a themed contest with a reasonable time frame?

Kirmden: Yes, and the Contraption Contest is a good example - not so tightly defined and lets everyone go with ideas yet with a target goal.

Randy: On the topic of building, where did you learn to build?

Kirmden: I started by just observing. Then I claimed some property in Alpha to experiment with building and found that I liked it. It was after discovering AWSchool that I kicked my building knowledge up and started to enjoy just fiddling around.

Randy: So AWSchool was helpful?

Kirmden: Very helpful. I still hang out there.

Randy: Great to hear. What is your favorite world to build in and why?

Kirmden: Yellow, because of the larger cell density. I also have some building projects in AWReunion because of the object collection in that path. I still use Alpha for experimenting with the standard objects.

Randy: Sounds like a good mix. What build are you most proud of?

Kirmden: I get better as I go and my recent projects in Steampunk City are my best and favorite. I also like that house I built in AWReunion.

Randy: How long did these take to build?

Kirmden: Many months. I think I have enjoyed building in Steampunk City for about a year or so. That house in AWReunion took about three months. That house is on a much smaller lot.

Randy: What was your inspiration for your Steam City build?

Kirmden: Jules Verne and that submarine. There is no submarine in my Steampunk City project, but you might see echoes of a submarine and a couple of references to that story. One of the greatest things about building in AW is the ability to tell a story visually.

Randy: Awesome! What new commands have you been using in your builds, like physics, or scaling?

Kirmden: Those physics commands are new to me and I am still discovering how to use them. Thank you to OzySEO for setting up that experimental area in Yellow. I found that most helpful to get started.

Randy: Yes, Ozy does some excellent work. Now, do you have anything you could share with other builders, tips or advice?

Kirmden: Well, there is help out there and AWSchool worked for me. But every building you see is potentially a learning opportunity. Go explore and have fun.

Randy: What projects are you planning for the future; anything you would like to share? Any builds and or events like a party?

Kirmden: Currently I am shifting gears and making another small house in AWReunion for the Winding River project. After that, I might ask for another lot in Steampunk City.

Randy: I think we would be delighted to oblige you there. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Kirmden: Not at this time, this was fun. Thank you for the opportunity to share.

Randy: Delighted to have caught up with you.

And finally...
Check out the AWSchool! There are lots of tutorials and DIY help examples there. Workshops are frequently run on various building topics.

If you have anything you would like to see in the build tips page, please contact the Gazette at yellowgazette@cox.net. We are happy to help. If there are any errors in this page that you have found, send Ozman a telegram please.