Educational aims and content

Exterior shot of main door into seven gablesThe House of Seven Gables is a book by Nathaniel Hawthorne, and also a real building in Salem, MA. This build was commissioned to approximate to the real building to act as a classroom for a literature class being run at Seton Hall University.


exterior shot of seven gablesIt will not take you long to spot differences. Firstly the windows in my build are much larger, at the request of the client - letting the learners see out of buildings was important, particularly since the learners will also be learning their way around in SL. Additionally, there are no internal walls, although there are translucent partitions which can be duplicated and moved around easily, again to prevent camera lines being obstructed so students can concentrate on the learning. There are also doors in the wrong places, and the door and bay window for the cent shop have been swapped around, all at the request of the client.


Technical notes

Building gables, particularly gables which are hollow (you can see up into the attic space in the stairs picture) takes quite a lot of cutting, shaping and developing. Different heights merely adds to the stress. That said I think it actually works very well, and was worth the time it took.

Interior shot of stairsSpeaking of the stairs... although the hand rails etc. cost prims, the actual (visible) stairs are 1 prim for each section of the staircase, with a second invisible ramp prim. This is my first dip into scultpy prims. The process is quite easy, make your scultpy staircase, rez it and position, then make the stairs phantom (SL still interprets them as a sphere!). Then put an invisble, but solid, ramp prim there to walk up. Without the railings etc. and including the landings, this split staircase with 24 stairs can be done in 5 prims, 6 if you want a more attractive curved landing.

Although not pictured I also made a sculpty-prim bell for over the cent shop door. Working in sculpties takes a while to get used to, but massively saves prims (as with the stairs) and can make smoothly curved (like the bell) and organic shapes much more natural in appearance. This is the first time I've worked with them in a build for a client, but it works very nicely, and I will continue to work with them in future.


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