Fed up with paying to upload textures into SL, and especially fed up with finding photos on the Net that I’d like to use, then having to download, resize and then upload them to SL (and pay), I decided to write a little app that would drag images into SL for me from the web. I tend to have these bright ideas at about 22:00 when I’m tired, and then find myself sitting up until 03:00 getting something working… which is what I did last night.
The premise is pretty easy, the SL object is scripted to listen for an image URL on channel 9. Once it receives a URL it calls a PHP page on my web server and passes it the image URL as a parameter. The PHP file then outputs a SMIL file which is a little slideshow of one image. The in-world object then sets the parcel movie URL to the URL of the newly-created SMIL file and the image shows on the object’s screen.
The file to create the lsl script, smil file and php script are available to anyone who wants to try it out and I’d welcome some feedback on the implementation. Seems to work fine for me and a test avatar, so I’m fairly confident I’ve got it right, but I’m sure improvements could be made. If you want to see it in action, go to EduNation III – there’s a working copy outside our headquarters.
Next plan will be to get it to read a notecard of images and write them out to the SMIL file, and then offer the user a menu of the images from the notecard to load to the screen. This would make giving a presentation using web-based images a reality.
Happy New Year!