#3 In Focus! – Animated textures.

In Focus! this article is the unique tool that as far as I know has no name! That  lets you bring in Animated Textures (GIF files) into Second Life with ease.

Animated christmas lights in SL created by ArbaCroatia

Animated Christmas lights in SL created by ArbaCroatia - Available free at Matty's Low Prim store (click for SLURL)

With Christmas time just been, a common question I was asked was just what is the easiest way to make Christmas lights go around the frames of your doors and windows… Well the simple answer is an animated GIF…

So with that let me throw together all you need to know about how to get that animated texture into Second Life.

First you need to know how to make them! there’s videos on popular sites such as You Tube. One of my favorite videos is one using adobe image ready, however since that product has been discontinued since 2007, that doesn’t mean your out of luck… there’s website tutorials and videos on how to do it in CS3!

I personally prefer Adobe when it comes to GIFS but if you goto good you can find a lot of other software including free software, including GIMP not to mention countless tutorials for it.

Once you have your GIF made and done however, many people get lost on just what the next step is, and this is where our tool comes in, a great tool ( http://www.peregrinesalon.com/anim/index.php ) made by Peregine Salon. The tool is easily explained in three steps.

Step 1. Select an animated GIF file from your hard drive.
Step 2. Enter how many frames per second you would like the animation to play at in SL.
Step 3. Press “Process”.

It then creates a script, and give you a link to download the texture as a .tga file to apply to a prim! Simple!

The only issue you have to be rather aware of, which Peregine nicely states, with a great way and warning on how to over come it…

Is with the number of frames in the original GIF File. This is because the way that SL Animated textures work is by laying them out in a Grid and then showing the different parts of the texture. To make a two dimensional grid on a graphic.

To over come this you need to think about the number of frames. Meaning a 47 frame GIF original would need to be gridded at 47×1 which with a maximum width of 1024, would look horrible. However if you duplicate one of those frames you have 48 frames, which is a much more reasonable 8×6 grid (the script picks the most  out of the most efficient lay out give the number of frames in the original graphic) With some tweaking in Image Ready from adobe of your graphic editor of choice you can get some great results with little effort

Gees sorry for this long one, hope I didn’t get carried away by this unique tool! Enjoy and hope it makes sense!
(let me know if it doesn’t!) A big thanks to Peregine Salon for the tool and help, wishing you all a great new year.

Happy Building!
BRN Blog Team!

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3 Responses to “#3 In Focus! – Animated textures.”

  1. Tweed Woodget Says:

    Great article Matty! I will try that out!

  2. Evus Mizin Says:

    Peregrine is great. But, how do you calculate how many frames can you fit in the grid? 3 by 4 is easy, but it does not work for 10 by 10.

    • Hey there! Sadly! I have no computer to jump in and see what the problem is… but! Whats actually happening thats making it not work? How many frames is it?

      The known issue as stated on the site is this

      Known issue:

      – number of frames in original GIF file. The way SL animated textures work is by laying them out in a “grid” and then showing different parts of the texture. To make a two-dimensional grid on a graphic, you need to consider the number of frames. For example, a 47 frame GIF original file would have to be gridded at 47 x 1 – which, with a maximum width of 1024, would look horrible. However, if you duplicate one of those frames, you’d have 48 frames, which is a much more reasonable 8 x 6 grid (the script picks the most efficient lay out given the number of frames in the original graphic). With some tweaking in ImageReady from Adobe, or your choice of graphic editor, you can get pretty good results with minimal effort.

      I hope this helps clarify, and gives you some ideas on making it look better!

      If you can post a bit more info I will try my best to help :)

      -LilMatty

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