Mine is just a material(s) world (in Kitely at least)

Fallingwater showing interior lighting reflected on the bedroom terrace using materials
Fallingwater showing interior lighting reflected on the bedroom terrace using materials

It’s been almost a year since I last wrote using the “f” word.

You know.

“Fallingwater”.

You almost got away with nigh-on a full year with nary a mention. If only I could have just kept quiet ten more days. Sadly, however,  I can’t; and for that you can blame two people: Oren and Ilan over at Kitely :D.

The Great Room with materials added
The Great Room with materials added

You see, back in November they introduced materials processing support into Kitely, with a further update at the start of December. Given the nature of Fallingwater – notably the stonework in the build – I had to hop over and give things a go.

So, as and when I can, I’ve been spending time jumping into Kitely and adding normal and specular maps to Fallingwater. I still have areas in the build – noticeably in the stucco finish and with the ceilings – where I need to re-scale the repeats; with the addition of normal and spec maps the patterning is a little exaggerated and somewhat overbearing (as seen in some of the images here). This is going to take a little more time to fix, and time is one thing I’m fast running out of with the holiday season tap-dancing its merry way ever closer to me.

I am, however, reasonably satisfied with the look of the stonework, where I think the additional maps really bring things to life. I’m also pleased with the stone flooring as well, where the specular map helps bring the polished shine of the original to my build – although I still have yet to get the texture suitably tinted to match the original a little more closely.

As to how materials works on Kitely, there’s an easy answer: “exactly like they do on Second Life”. I did have some issues with applying maps across multiple faces, wherein maps would fail to apply to some faces; however, I’ve found this to be a problem elsewhere within OpenSim when using diffuse maps, so don’t see it as a problem specifically with Kitely’s implementation of materials.

The footpath up to the guess house and staff quarters, with materials help bring the stonework to life
The footpath up to the guess house and staff quarters, with materials help bring the stonework to life

Materials also helped m bring a little more life to the water passing by under the house, where a specular map helped me to create the impression of the house lights being reflected in Bear river. Again, it’s not perfect (the ability to independently animate the specular map from the diffuse would help) and entirely dependent upon windlight settings, but the result works reasonably well under the region’s default lighting (Bryn Oh’s Mayfly). A specular map also brought a “wet” sheen to the rocks of the falls as well.

There’s more I’d like to do with the place in the future. Not only sorting out the stucco finish, but things like raising the level of the house so I can correctly scale the falls themselves and try to re-created a more accurate look to the rocks of the falls. But that kind of work is going to have to wait a goodly while until I have the time I need to devote to being in-world in Kitely. Sadly, that’s not likely to be any time soon. Or perhaps that’s fortunately for you, as you won’t have to put up with more of my witterings about the place :).

A better feel for the stone walls using the guest house wall as an example
A better feel for the stone walls using the guest house wall as an example

9 thoughts on “Mine is just a material(s) world (in Kitely at least)

    1. Wow, that was amazing! When I was working on materials I used a brick texture as my test material over and over, so in my mind “materials” became synonymous with “bricks”. It’s great to see materials actually used to their full advantage.

      (By the way, like a bird, I didn’t realize that the doors were transparent so I kept bumping into them until I figured out they need to be opened. Maybe add a few scratches there…)

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      1. Thanks, Oren!

        Yeah, the doors are a but of an issue if you don’t realise they’re there. I was thinking of making a texture with one of those little warning signs you can sometimes see on glass doors as a health & safety thing to get people to open before walking. Either that or see about sripting them to open on proximity. :).

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    2. Thanks Graham!

      It’s getting there. I’ll be happier when I have the time to spend re-scaling the stucco finish to the outer walls and the plaster finish on some of the innter walls :).

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  1. I’m curious about this build because of the way the Frank Lloyd Wright Virtual Museum was treated in Second Life: http://archvirtual.com/2010/12/03/despite-cease-desist-order-frank-lloyd-wrights-spirit-of-innovation-lives-on/

    Is Kitely just not on the radar of the FLW Foundation or is it a private space and therefore not seen as infringing on their concept of his heritage? The museum had been one of my favorite places to visit in SL, and I still had a few pics to post after it was closed: http://grinnsworld.wordpress.com/2013/11/21/the-right-theme-at-the-right-time/

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    1. The FLWF treatment of the Virtual Museum was unfortunate, and most likely complicated over the initial licensing agreement between the parties involved, and it is to my regret that I didn’t cover the Virtual Museum in more depth in these pages.

      I’ve been aware of the risk involved in referencing this build as “Fallingwater” since the day I started work on it, and that risk of removal is perhaps greater with the more recent iterations of the build, as I have somewhat moved from a model inspired by the original to being based on freely-available plans and drawings of the original. Whether this would bring me into conflict with the FLWF or not, I have no idea; that’s a bridge to be crossed if ever they and I find ourselves facing it.

      In the meantime, the build in Kitely remains very much a private build – as do the several which still exist in Second Life, Minecraft and over virtual / game environments. More than that, I cannot say.

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