Hugsies Blog!

December 14, 2006

Basic camera tips for newbies!

Filed under: Second Life Shit! — Hugsie @ 8:44 pm

__ Free Cam controls
Your view of the world is not locked down from the position of your avatar like it is with other games you may have played. You can move your view a considerable distance away from your avatar position; look though walls, and track objects and other avatars as they move around.

__ Cam control panel
There are two ways to control your camera position and view. Click on “View” then “Camera Controls.” This brings up clickable panel with arrows you can use to control your camera view which can be moved a good distance away from where your avatar is. However using these controls can be rather cumbersome and slow.

__ Keyboard and mouse control
The advanced way to control your camera view is with your mouse and keyboard. Holding down the ALT-key will change your mouse cursor into a square magnifying glass with a + symbol on it. Now left-click on any object (or your avatar) and your view will center onto that object. With both the ALT-key and mouse button still held down, move your mouse around to “orbit” your camera view around the object, and to pan in and out.

Keep in mind that you’re not really “zooming” into the object when you move your mouse up and down, you’re merely moving your camera position closer (or away from) to the object you have centered. Zooming is a different function I’ll explain later.

Also notice on your mini map as you use your free camera. You’ll see a white “wedge” that represents your view of the word in reference to where your camera is in the simulator, NOT your avatar which is represented by a large yellow and white dot. The point of this wedge is the position of your camera, and you’ll see it move around on the mini map as you use your free camera view.

__ Transparent objects
When you’re doing this and clicking on various objects you see, be wary of transparent object that might be in your view. You’ll focus on these transparent objects when the object you want to examine might be behind that. Press CTRL-ALT-T to highlight transparent object so you can try to get around them. Press those same keys again to turn this function off.

__ Tilt viewing
With the ALT-key and mouse button held down, also hold down the CTRL-key and you’ll be able to move the angle of your view up and down as you move your mouse up and down. This will let you look at objects above and below, unless the object is on the simulator’s ground, you can’t move your view below that, but you CAN move your view though other objects.

__ Panning
Also if you hold down SHIFT with all the other keys pressed, you’ll be able to PAN your camera up and down, left and right with the mouse. Yeah it seems rather cumbersome pressing all these keys down but it won’t take too long when using these keys becomes second nature, and you’ll barely remember a time when you didn’t know how to do this.

__ Zooming
To zoom in and out on an object, with NO other keys or buttons pressed, hold the CTRL-key down while tapping on the number keys [8], [9] and [0] (at the top of your keyboard, not numpad). The [8] key will zoom out, the [0] key zooms in, and the [9] key resets the zoom to normal. As you zoom in and out, you’ll notice the white transparent “wedge” on the mini map will narrow or widen.

__ Follow Cam
Another camera trick is to ALT-click on any avatar you see, and your camera view will automatically follow the avatar like a guided missile. If the avatar moves/flies too far away your camera will still keep the avatar centered but it will appear smaller the further away they go. If they move too far away, or they teleport away, your view will just sit there static. This also works with any moving object, not just avatars.

__ Resetting your Cam
At any time your view goes weird, or you just want to stop looking at whatever you’re looking at, or you’re lost. Pressing ESC twice will reset your camera view to where you are. Also if you’re not sitting anywhere you can simply use your arrow keys to walk a step and your view will reset that way also. But to avoid bumping into anyone, it’s best if you pressed ESC twice. Also keep in mind pressing ESC twice remove the chat bar at the bottom of your screen, so press ENTER to bring that back, or click the “chat” button.

__ First Person
You can also go into a First Person view, called mouselook. Easiest way to do this is to spin your mouse wheel forward (up) and you should snap into a first person view with a small square as a reticle. If moving your mouse wheel up doesn’t put you into mouselook view, press ESC twice to reset your view properly on your avatar, and try it again.

Hope this information is useful for you!

You should know that your character is called an “Avatar” (ave-ah-tar) which is what represents you in world. It’s also called an “avi” (Ave-e) for sort, not to be confused with video .avi files! You can change your looks at will, even sex, and you aren’t limited to just appearing human.

Keep in mind most people do not consider Second Life a “game” like other MMOs are. There are no goals to quests nor skills to acquire, or XP to earn for your character. It’s a social environment where you make friends, enemies, and can basically do anything you want. You can make up your own goals to achieve, create your own games (using the SLS script language) and build your own world as you see fit, and make money doing it if you know how.

__ HUGSaLOT Valkyrie


1 Comment »

  1. Thanks for putting all that info in one spot; it certainly helped me!

    Comment by Melissa Yeuxdoux — January 31, 2007 @ 8:00 am

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