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  3. Furniture Nodes – Rooms (Blender)

Furniture Nodes – Rooms (Blender)

An essential aspect of rooms, furniture nodes are mounting points for furniture item, the position a chair might appear when added to a scene. In Blender they will generally be linked to the rooms root bone, skeleton.Room, and are included based on the degree of interaction a room is to have (what avatars can do). Normally arranged in a grid pattern, they can also be randomly placed where needed, on a cliff face for example. And although they are needed for furniture, not all node types need be included, omitting ceiling nodes from an outdoor scene for example.

See here for more information on furniture nodes, Catcher & Pitcher nodes, and Seat Handles.

For more help adding seats to furniture see here.

IMPORTANT

With the availability of FBX furniture rooms can be made using nodes, an Empty in Blender, and/or/in combination with, Armatures (one) and Bones (multiple).

Furniture nodes for a simple basement room, includes floor, wall and ceiling
Furniture Nodes

 Even relatively small rooms can contain a fair number of furniture nodes depending on the level of interaction desired, although not all types needs to be included.

Type of Furniture Node

There are three main types of furniture node;

  • Floor
  • Wall
  • Ceiling

Generally speaking floor (*.Floor) nodes are used for furniture that should appear upright on surfaces, seats, benches, couches etc.; wall (*.Wall) for furniture appearing on walls or orientated to face inwards/outwards, suitable for windows, pictures, mural hangings etc.; and ceiling (*.Ceiling.) for furniture hanging from ceilings, pointing down into rooms, or from ‘upside-down’ surfaces, lamps, light fittings and so on.

  • Floor – orientated along the vertical axis, in Blender Z points UP
  • Wall – orientated along the horizontal axes, in Blender Z points IN/OUT
  • Ceiling – orientated to align to the vertical axis, in Blender Z points DOWN

IMPORTANT

In Blender, and generally, the Z axis is import for determine the orientation of nodes per-type but they can be rotated and spun to match the surfaces they might represent, a consideration more useful for floors and walls, nodes that might need to match the contours of a ground surface or brick wall for example, than ceiling .

 

Furniture nodes point in specific directions
Node Orientation

Each node type faces a particular direction to match behavioural expectations for furniture items mounted to those points – a chair dropped onto a ceiling node will be upside-down for example.

Furniture Node Names & Numbers

To distinguish furniture nodes from one another – floor from ceiling, and nodes in a rooms overall skeleton – furniture from seat, each is given a specific name or label based on the following ‘expression’;

[skeleton node type].[furniture node type].[n]

Here [skeleton node type] represents the position of the node in the rooms overall skeletal hierarchy, e.g. a furniture node instead of a camera node; [furniture node type] denotes the type of furniture item the node is associated with, e.g. chairs, picture frames or hanging lights; with [n] being a unique identifier that also acts as an incremental counter – how many nodes there per-type. Using this simple expression the 135th floor node would be labeled;

furniture.Floor.135

Whilst the case sensitive labels attributed to each node, furniture.Floor., can be duplicated across a set, the appended numerical value, [n], must be unique to each node so IMVU can properly distinguish them individually, that is;

furniture.Floor.01 » furniture.Floor.999
furniture.Wall.01 » furniture.Wall.999
furniture.Ceiling.01 » furniture.Ceiling.999

 

IMPORTANT

Numbers can be written as 01 » 09, 10 » 999 (01 … 09, 10, 11 … 99, 100 … 999) or 01 » 09, 010 » 999 (01 … 09, 010, 011 … 099, 100 … 999), and must be preceded by a period/full stop. Although it’s technically possible to include 999 or more nodes in a room, IMVU recommends no more than 650.

 

Furniture node naming convention
Node Names

The names or labels given to each node is based on what they do and where they are located in the rooms overall skeleton – this distinguishes walls from floors and furniture from seats.

Node Parenting

For standard furniture rooms all furniture nodes need to be linked to the rooms origin, skeleton.Room. This is done through the use of Parent in Blender. First select the furniture nodes to be connected using (Shift+) right-click then skeleton.Room – this must be selected last. Once the nodes are highlighted, from the Object menu choose Parent » Object, then Object (Keep Transform) from the Set Parent To pop-up that appears, this links everything together so skeleton.Room now influences the furniture nodes.

skeleton.Room
» node.Room
» » Omni01
... + misc
» furniture.Floor.01
... + floor
» furniture.Wall.01
... + wall
» furniture.Ceiling.01
... + ceiling
IMPORTANT

The order in which the nodes are selected is important, skeleton.Room must be last (it will highlight a slightly brighter colour than other nodes in the group to indicate this) – skeleton.Room is the ‘parent’ object furniture then being its ‘children’.

 

Parenting

Once furniture nodes are positioned they need to be linked to skeleton.Room using Parent – select the nodes, skeleton.Room last, then from the Object menu choose Parent » Object, then Object (Keep Transform).

Updated on September 24, 2018

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