Monday, August 15, 2011

Commands in the Wild - Color

'Commands in the Wild' is an AWBuilder Tutorial series that features common usages of building commands.  This series assumes the builder is familiar with basic building and offers specific usages and techniques related to specific commands.

Quick Links:
ActiveWiki - Object Scripting
ActiveWiki - Color
Use color to make seamless curves in low-lighting conditions
Example 1: Curved Surfaces
Location: Obsidian Drive-In Theater in Alphaworld
Anyone who has ever built in Activeworlds is aware of the struggle between textures when they are occupying the same space.  This is called zbuffer, and there are several ways to deal with it when doing precision building.  When building curved surfaces, object collision is often unavoidable without considerable effort.  One of the ways to overcome the visual mess of z-buffering is to not texture the surface, but to instead color it.

With no direct light applied by nearby objects in a scene, colliding objects with the color command applied will not appear to be zbuffering.  As a technical note... they still are, but the pure color is similar enough for the collision to not be a visual issue.  This is why objects designed in this way should not be near light sources, because they will effect the colors brightness and induce enough difference for the zbuffering effect to be noticable.

Use color to easily create painted lines on surfaces by sinking the object

Example 2: Painted Lines
Location: Obsidian Cove Athletic Park in Alphaworld
Perhaps the most common usage of the color command is to represent painted lines that commonly appear outdoors on roads and grass.  Color is ideal in this situation, because it is clean and the objects it is applied to are often thin and can be sunk into other objects to create a unique condition. 

In the case of creating roads, better-quality roads are often created by using rectangular objects as 'road paint', which are then sunk into flat surfaces and repeated over the distance of the road.  This solution is also versatile, because the builder can simply manipulate the road paint to change which sort of intersection or exchange they would like to create.

Use color to provide additional details in the scene

Example 3: Expanding upon existing objects
Location: Southern Highlands in Alphaworld
A very helpful usage of the color command is to add component pieces to existing objects for the purpose of making that particular instance the object unique.  In the screenshot, the t_awhedge01.rwx object has been made unique by the addition of numerous red berries.

Other common examples of this are to add colored buttons to rectangular panels, colored decal to vehicles, and colored windows to building frames.


  1. Great guide on when and where to use color :) Maybe you could put up something on color tint as well? I know tinting those bushes with the red berries would really make them different from others or maybe some darkening of concrete to make something look weathered? :D

  2. Easy to understand and put into use. Thanks :)