Make an animated bug - Best Second Life tools

Make an animated bug - Best Second Life tools

In this section you will make a moving, animated bug.

animated bug

Step 1 Make a bug body

This bug body is made from two images:

Sculpt map

Bug body

Texture map

Bug body texture

You can edit the above image to make you own, unique bug body.

Upload the above two images to Second Life. Add the sculpt image to a prim whose type is set to Sculpt:

Sculpt mapped bug

Then apply the texture to the bug body:

texture added to the body

Making Bug legs

Make a leg prim

Log into Second Life and make a flat prim to hold your animations. This pim needs to be flat like this photo, when oriented at the 0,0,0 rotation:

Oriented <0,0,0>

You can then lay it flat, with a rotation of 270:

rotated 270

Set this prim to 100% Transparency:


Now select just the top face and set that one face to 0 Transparency:

0 transparency

Now select the bug prim and then select the board prim and link them with Ctrl-L so that theboard prim is outlined in yellow.

You do not need to add your texture to the prim. You must instead add it inside the prim in the Objects tab along with the scripts, which I will show you in the next step.

Scripting your pets

If you want to move on to making a bug, then go to the Scripting your pets section.

If you want to know more about the process I used to make these images, then read on. You do not have to do any of these steps unless you want to make your own, custom bug.

Making a Bug Body

This bug is 2 prims. Prim one is a sculpted body I made with Archipelis, which is a very useful sculpt tool. Archipelis costs 35 Euros and is an easy to use tool that can make mesh, sculpt and also the texture with a few mouse strokes.

I started with this image of a bug:

original image

The animated legs were made with a paint program by editing the original image twice. I then converted them to a GIF and then to a SL image. The result is this animated gif image in Second Life. This can be done manually, but the sequence I'll show you next works on much more complex things than these bug legs, it keeps the images perfectly aligned, and is thus far more useful on other projects you may want to work on.


Make this animated leg image

Imade this image by editing the legs of the original picture of a bug slightly, and saving it as two separate files.

Here are the edited bug images: The one of the left has no body, and the one on the right is a copy of that image but with the legs shifted slightly.

Leg 1Leg2

I moved each leg slightly and rotated them individually by 15 degrees. You can make a better animation by making more images and rotating them more or in different patterns with your own bugs and other pets. You need at least two images to animate the bugs legs.

Convert the images to a GIF

The two new images were then converted to a Gif89 image using . You can also use Gimp, PhotoShop or PaintShop Pro to do this step.

Navigate to the web site, sign up for a free account so you can remove their watermark, and upload the two images we made in the earlier step for the legs.

Your screen should look like this:

Click Continue and use the defaults for the next screen:


Click "create you gif" and let the machine process your new image:

download the gif

Click "Download" and save it to your hard disk for your new legs.

Convert to Second Life

Next, I used Gif2SLA, a free Gif to Second Life Animation convertor program by Gomer Maltz

ZIp file Download Gif2SL

You get the following screen after running the program ( no install is needed).


Cick "Load Gif" and navigate to the folder where you saved your GIF image:

file browser

Select the Transparency Option so the background will remain removed, and your converted GIF will appear:

Converted GIF

The resulting file name contains codes that will affect the how the converted GIF plays in Second Life.

The name contains a readable name, the number of images in the X axis (across), the number of images in the Y (vertical) axis, and the number of frames per second. This image is 1 wide, by two tall, and it will play at 10 frames per second. This is a bit fast for my bug legs, so I changed the last digit to 5. The resulting file name is "Animation1.anim;1;2;5"

The animation is then automatically played with one of my scripts from my library. This technique makes it very simple to convert GIF files for use in SL for any number of frames, with perfect alignment, and no scripting knowledge is needed.

Next part

Click to see the next part: Scripting your pets


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