Making your own object path (OP)

If you have a world on your own, you can choose to use standard object path offered by Activeworlds. But you can also choose to make your own models or choose to buy some nice models for your world or choose to use some freeware models. By using your own special models, you can make your world more exclusive and make it different from the other worlds. Some building worlds have wide range of objects, builders prefer building in a world wih a huge object choice. Here you can read how you can start with your own object path. In the AW Forum we can find a complete explanation , posted by Karten(#315184), Only a few pictures are missing in order to see how it works. http://forums.activeworlds.com/read.php?4,48

.But before starting with this, you need to have first webspace and an FTP program, so that you can upload the object path , so that all the files are online.


Your own webspace

First you need to find on the internet for a web company which offers webspace or web hosting. (unless if you use your own computer as webserver). If you want to upload all standard object paths offered by Activeworlds, then you need to have 1Gibabyte of webspace ,but 2 or 3 Gigabyte is better.But you can also run the world with only the objects you need , then 50 MegaByte would also be sufficient. In the example on this picture at the right, the object path consists of ±1.5 gigabyte of data.

You also need to know which webtraffic the web hosting company offers (e.g. 20 Gigabyte per month). Some companies offer unlimited webtraffic. And most of these web hosting companies also sell domain names, for starting up your own website, which can be used to support your 3D world. You need to know also which extra price you need to pay if you want more webspace or more webtraffic.

You can find webhosting at a very low price (= less then 60 dollar per year and even cheaper). If you don't trust the company, you can always ask at other world owners which webhosting company they use for their object path and if they are satisfied of their services.

An object path (= OP) consists of : models, textures , avatars, sequences, sounds (and groups).

An FTP-program

When you have finally bought your webspace, you will receive from your webhosting company an email with the host name, FTP user-id and FTP password. Now you need an FTP program for this (=file transfer protocol). You can find a lot of freeware FTP programs on the web . In this example, WS_FTP is used. Once you have installed the FTP program , you enter the username and password, and when you have made connection, you can start to make up your object path. In the e-mail of your webhosting provider you can also read where you have to put the files. If it is not very clear in which directory, you can start uploading a smaller amount of files to check if it works e.g. the mars object path.
Note hat an OP (Object path) and an actual Web site can easily coexist, just that subfolders and file arrangements are critical to function OP to function properly.

A Zipping program

You also need a program to zip files, because some of those objects need to be zipped before sending them with your ftp program into the object path. In the article below, you will see which type of files needs to be zipped. With the zipping program you can also put a password on your object. You can also find several freeware zipping programs on the internet.


Setup of an Object Path for AW type worlds

An AW Object Path (or OP) is basicly a web site with a special arrangement of sub folders and files. All the avatars, models, textures, gestures and sounds come from the OP, after the world tells the browser where the OP is what it needs from the OP. The folder and file is structured in a specific manner that needs to be carefully followed to work properly.

The main 5 subfolders are
Avatars, Models, Seqs, Sounds, and Textures.
One older subfolder and one newer subfolder may also be present:
Lowtextures and Groups.

When you receive files for the OP, they will come in packages or sets
Avatars will include an Avatar mesh file (mesh= the object without textures) and several texture files, and may include an extra gesture file or two.
Models will include the Model mesh and usually 1 or more textures.
These are put in the various subfolders as explained below.




1. Avatars
Avatars are mesh files can be any of several types, usually an RWX, but can also be COB or X types. The mesh gets zipped and placed in the Avatars subfolder.
Be sure you note which type of mesh (RWX, COB, X) it is as this is needed when creating or editing the Avatars.Dat file.
Also the Avatars.Dat file, once it has been created or edited, gets zipped and placed in the Avatars subfolder. The structure of the Avatars.Dat is not part of this topic.


2. Models
Models are also mesh files that can be RWX, COB or X.
This mesh also gets zipped and placed in the Models subfolder.
NOTE that any models used in world that are NOT RWX type models require the correct extenion be included when used in world.
Also Avatars can also be placed in Models subfolder for use as objects since they are basicly complex models.
NOTE! When Avatars are used as objects from any other subfolder the extension must always be used even if its RWX.



3. Seqs
SEQs (sequences)are gesture files that get zipped and placed in the Seqs subfolder for use by avatars.

4. Sounds
Sound files may be of types WAV, MID and MP3, and all go into the Sounds subfolder.
The WAV and MID types get zipped, but the MP3 types do NOT get zipped.
The WAV sounds do not need the extension when used in world.
However the MID and MP3 (I think) files do need the extension included when used in world.


5. Textures
Texture files all go into the Textures subfolder, whether they are for Avatars or Models.
The JPG, PNG and GIF types do NOT get zipped, and are simply put in the subfolder.
NOTE that JPG extension MUST be JPG and not JPEG.
The BMP mask files get zipped before placement in the subfolder.

6. Groups
Group files are AWG files created from the browser or from small propdumps.
The AWG gets Zipped and placed in the Groups subfolder.
Structure of the AWG is not part of this specific topic.



7. Media

You can put media files (WMV, MP3, etc.) in a new folder : media. The only downside is that the browser won't automatically recognize them, and they have to be called like they were hosted anywhere else (i.e. activate media url=http://example.com/op/media/filename.wmv).

Media files are not part of the normal OP structure, they should not be zipped.


Several notes on ZIPPED files!
1 To insure the browser can properly unzip the zipped files, it is safest to always us Traditional Zipping and NOT higher compression methods!
2 Since the advent of scramble coding of the various subfolders and files in the Cache/Art folder, passwording is not as critical as it used to be
3 If you do choose to password file, I recommend that only that avatar and model mesh files be passworded. Because of the way the Avatars.dat, SEQs, sounds (WAVs and MIDs), and BMPs are stored locally, I recommend these not be passworded. Group (AWG) files as well really dont need passworded since they are not the actual objects or avatars.