Making Seamless Textures with Gimp
Seamless textures are useful in Activeworlds, both for building and modelling.
When you want to use a texture pattern, there shouldn't be any clear division lines between each texture , everything must fit smoothly. When building with seamless textures, you shouldn't see any interruptions between the textures.
Gimp is a freeware program , and there are some easy methods to make a texture seamless. But not all textures are the same (stucco, brick, grass, terrain...), and sometimes other methods are required to make a good seamless texture.

  Image corrections with Gimp

Gimp is a freeware program , There are maybe hundreds of complicated methods to make image corrections, but we will show you the most obvious and useful ones.

Gimp has a Clone Stamp Tool, which you can also find in other texturing programs.
We will see how to copy, move and rotate image parts and how to join them together.
We will see how to modify colours and how to make perspective corrections.
And finally also about how to change the image pixel size.

  Making a masked picture with Gimp (2)

There are still more methods of making masks with the freeware program "Gimp". Some methods are useful to cut out complicated images from a background, such as : wired fences or branches with hundreds of leaves. Here you have 5 more methods to make a masked pictures. In total you can see here 10 ways to do it, try them all out and choose you favourite ones...


  Making a masked picture with Gimp (1)

GIMP is another popular freeware texturing program . There are a lot of tools which you can use for it : : the Fuzzy Select Tool, the Alpha Channel, the Lasso Tool, the Scissor Tool , the Erase tool, the Paintbrush tool, the Colour Select Tool, Color Treshold, the Pen Tool (Path Tool), Layers Masks, etc.

This means that there are also several methods to make a masked picture. Here you see the first 5 ways make a masked picture.

  Making a masked picture with

A masked picture is a picture which has been cut out of an image and all the surrounded parts have been made totally or partially transparant. Here we will learn to make quickly a masked object with a freeware program : Paint.Net. You can use the masked objects with .png-extension also in your building scene , but also here on this webpage (without a background). And you can use them for modeling as well. So there are various useful applications for this.


  Action commands
  Object tagging

Object tagging can be used in modeling for making a sign object or picture object. But you you can also model objects with multiple tags. For these tagged objects, you can use the tag command, and change the texture of only a part of the model. Or you can apply multiple tagging and change 2 or even 3 textures on 1 model. This technique is often used for walls , where you can use the same model and apply other wallpaper/tile/stucco/wood textures for the inner walls and brick/stucco/wood textures for the outer walls.


  Action commands
  Opacity / Transparency

There are 3 ways of creating transparency : first by using transparent objects or by creating transparency with a modeling program, secondly by using the opacity command, and third by using masks which have a "level" of transparency. We will also see that combinations of masks and opacity will cause transparency in an unexpected way.

  Action commands

We already learned about the name command as a part of Bach Zhaa's animations workshop ( see article 26 . ). But the name command is often used and has several applications. Here we will see more examples with the name command.

  Action commands

Skew makes a similar way of distortion as the shear command. The different is that for the skew command, you need to enter the angle degree of distortion, whereas for the shear command, you need to enter a percentage of the length of the object for the rate of distortion.

When comparing shear with skew, we will see why the skew command is less popular than the shear command, and why shear is the best choice for landscaping

  Action commands

Another way of transforming objects is with the shear command. Wiith scale, you can change the sizes of the axises of the object, whereas with shear, the volume of the object is preserved, but you can put 1 or 2 of the axises of the object into another degree. The result is that the model is oblique and distorted or often even deformed.

The shear command is often used for shearing land pieces. In building areas where you have no terrain rights, you can still make a nice landscape with hills by using sheared land piece objects.

  Action commands

Instead of modeling a new object, you can scale it into a different size : you can scale uniform but you can also transform the object, by scaling one axis of t he object more than the other axis. Scaling is very frequently used in building : if you have a gap between 2 objects, you can easily cover it up by scaling. Finally you can also make animations with the scale command and make the objects grow or shrink.

  Physics (1) examples

Explaining the gravity with words is not always easy to understand, that's why we will explain the same commands but with some clear examples. You can also find places and worlds in Activeworlds , where you can find a wide range of examples with gravity commands.

  Physics (1)

Physics commands were introduced with version 5.1 and can be considered as "advanced building". There are more than 10 different commands which all have a different effect on gravity. We will start with the easiest ones and explain what their function is.