As a complement to my Life with Linux blog series, I’m introducing another series which explores what I can do in virtual worlds and immersive Internet environments on Linux.
In the previous installment in this series, I discussed setting up a very basic four region world in . Other than a rather badly dressed avatar, there was nothing in the world except flat land. Once you start building things, you’ll want textures to apply to parts of your creations. For example, you don’t make a brick wall by creating hundreds of little red bricks and stacking them, you make one of more large rectangular sections and then apply a texture with images of bricks on them.
A texture can be almost any image, but many of the interesting ones for building are tiled: the right and left, and often the top and bottom, edges line up when two objects having the same texture are placed next to each other. I’m assuming the sizes of the objects and various stretching factors of the textures are correct.
Some texture images are created artificially in programs like PhotoShop or GIMP, others are just photographs, and yet others are photos that have been adjusted so that the textures can be tiled. If you create your own textures consider making them freely available to others.
In the spirit of Linux and open source and free things, here are some resources for getting textures at no charge to you. I’m going to include some in-worldlocations since the Second Life viewer runs on Linux desktops with appropriate graphics hardware.
Free Textures in Second Life
These textures are either completely free or cost only L$1 per box. I highly recommend getting the GNU Textures by Jai Nomad from the GNUbie Store. Note that the same textures often appear in different packages from different providers, sometimes with slightly altered names.
There are also free textures available on the Second Life website. You’ll have to download these through your web browser and upload them into Second Life, but there is quite a variety available. Each upload with cost you L$10. They are also usable in OpenSim and there is no upload charge for sims you host yourself, as well as many other free hosts.
Textures you get directly in Second Life do not need to be uploaded. If you happen to buy any textures in Second Life, pay strict attention to the licenses about how and where you can reuse them.
Free Textures on the Web
The OpenSim wiki page for free assets has several links for textures. I’ll return to several of the other types of assets and what you do with them in later entries.
Among those listed are:
Other sources include:
Some of the sites offer you the option of buying the textures in bulk and others restrict the number of downloads you can do per day. Remember that these collections may overlap with each other. Also make sure that you are grabbing a texture suitable for tiling if that’s what you really need.
If you get serious about building in virtual worlds you’re going to need a good supply of textures to complement your construction skills. Start building your library and edit it periodically to remove low quality textures or those you know you won’t ever use.