Sunday, November 30, 2008

What!?! Particles for all avatars? Even for those that cannot script?

Posted by Alpha Auer

If you are anything like me, that is completely in love with particle effects and yet incapable of scripting your way out of a paper bag, then Jopsy Pendragon has the solution for you... And what a solution! What a veritable virtual feast this is!

The Porgan 1800 Particle Organ, is a full featured particle generator console with big differences: A fully visually intuitive, three dimensional interface, which allows you to preview your effects in 3D, alerts you to over usage of system, warns you of potential mishaps and errors - all of it in an easy to understand, user friendly and visually appealing manner. Virtually every imaginable variable that goes into creating a particle effect, from colors to wind to age to particle count, can be fine tuned and adjusted through various levers, dials and pickers on the console. Furthermore this beauty of a generative tool lets you use your own alpha channeled tga files.

You can easily create up to three different particle effects combined together creating truly stunningly complex and sophisticated visual effects, superimposed upon one another. Then, with just one click the Porgan will rez a mod+copy+trans version of your combined effect! (or, if you prefer, it will print scripts too!)

The huge difference between this console and all the many particle generators that I have fumbled my way through and never ever gotten the hang of, is that Jopsy Pendragon has involved the factor of human visual memory as a cognitive aid within his design strategy, creating a remarkable interface through clearly individuated input devices, most of which reflect their inherent functionality in their iconography. So instead of rows upon rows of identical looking buttons, which are based upon the assumption that we already know what they stand for, what we a looking at; the Porgan 1800 presents us with an interface that allows us to differentiate visually and to memorize the look as well the location of individual commands. A remarkable design system - indeed one that it might behoove many a real life interface designer from cell phones to TV remote controls to take a really close look at and to learn from.

Well, immediately having purchased my personal console I am now a true convert. And have I been playing with it! In fact, so entrancing is this process that I stand here in dire danger of turning into a complete recluse in front of my wonderful Particle Organ, admiring effect upon effect that I release into the virtual air of my island. I will start rebuilding Syncretia pretty soon and right now it looks like as if there will be oh so many many particles in version 2.0...

Well done Jopsy! Well done indeed!

You can view, try and purchase The Porgan 1800 at the Particle Laboratory to where you can teleport directly from here.


radarm said...

I tried posting a comment yesterday, but got an error message - let's try again.

This particle generator of Jopsy's is very, very cool. He's right about other particle generators in SL, they don't really help you grasp what you're doing as you tweak and play with things. This one does.

Very very cool. Thanks for the post on it!