Buddhist temple in Admiratio Village

Building Tips

Precision and scaling

In the past two issues of the Yellow Gazette we have discussed some points about precision, and how to use the object properties box to see exactly the coordinates of any object. This month, we will look a bit more at scaling objects. Frequently you may find that the set of objects you want to use just don't seem to fit together. Before scaling, you had to really work hard to use these objects together and to prevent the dreaded Z overlap which made things flicker as you walked past them. With scaling, you can set the size of any object as precisely as you want it. Here, you use the X,Y and Z coordinates again, and simply put in a number to either enlarge or reduce that coordinate's size. Any object's size is as it is shown, and can be seen as X=1, Y=1 and Z=1, or 1 1 1. X is always the first coordinate and Z the last.

wall014.rwx straight

So, let's re-size a couple of objects. The first one is wall014.rwx. This picture shows the object in its 'natural' state. Of course, you can turn the object so that the coordinates face in different directions, but you should have a good reason for doing this.

wall014 with scale

Now, you want to resize this object because you want it much taller and, a bit narrower and a bit thinner. So, let's use the properties box Action text field and use the command: create scale 0.75 2.5 0.5. You can see that the X (length) is 60% of the original; the Y (height) is double, and the Z (width) is only half.

On Lag...

When you are building complex sites with lots of objects, textures, and pictures, you and others may experience what is called 'lag', that is, moving around slows right down. The reason for this is that each separate object, texture, remote picture and sound file all take time to download as you walk through the site. The higher you have your Visibility, the slower things will go because the browser has to download more stuff and that does take time.

There are some tricks that can help you in your build to save space, such as using a 'create name' program to save characters in the action box. However, there is a down side, and this is that 'name' can create a considerable amount of lag, depending what you are using the 'create name' command for. Bach Zhaa has stated that there is in fact no need for the 'create name' unless you are animating something, like a double door opening. He also suggests that the use of mirrors a lot can also generate a lot of lag (I have had personal experience with this). To eliminate lag from mirrors, use them in a zone so they are only on when the zone is entered. You can also use a 'bump' or 'activate' command on the mirror object or another object with the 'name' tag, which is a form of animation.

In the next issue of the Gazette, we will be looking further into the problem of lag, including how particle emitters can generate some nasty lag, and how to overcome it.

Do you have any questions on building?

Does anyone have any building questions they want answered or do you have some tips you want to share? Please contact Ozman and also to give feedback on this article, particularly if there are any mistakes. He is doing this from experience. And as always, be sure to check the AW Help page and the related AW wiki pages for further help.

For new builders, be sure to visit AWNewbie, and AWSchool worlds for very good tutorials, on-line help from qualified teachers, and lots of very good objects.