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Make a Bee fly to flowers and gather honey in Second Life

bee sign

I've always loved birds and bees and love to make them. This bee was inspired by this sign I saw at the Texas State fair:

I'll show you how to make a bee that gather honey from flowers, and takes it back to a hive. This project includes several neat tricks I've learned:

1) Except for a small burst of script activity every few seconds, this script uses few resources.

2) It works in OpenSim, too.

2) I created a very fast wing-movement effect that create no server-side lag at all, even for very high wing rates. This is the same trick I have used in my fairies and hummingbird projects, and now you will know how the trick works. I've never seen it published before, and I have only seen it used once on a (rather expensive) set of butterflies.

Make a Bee Hive

The first, and easiest thing to make is a beehive. This beehive is a single, unscripted prim.

Right click and save this texture to disk. Upload it to Second Life.

BeeHive texture

Make a prim and set it to type = Sculpted, and drag the texture onto the Sculpt Texture window.

You should get a beehive shape:

Beehive shape

Right click and save this texture to disk, and upload it to Second Life.

Neehive texture

Apply this texture to the texture window:

Beehive texture

Name this prim to 'Beehive'. It must have this name for the bee to find it.

Make a Bee Body

Make a prim and set it to type = Sculpted, and drag the texture onto the Sculpt Texture window.

Bee body sculpt

You should get a bee body shape:

Bee body shape

Now upload and apply this texture to the body:

Bee texture

You will get our "Spongebob Squarepants" bee face:

Bee body

I chose to make my bee rather large so it is easy to see. I also exaggerate it's features, partly for cuteness, but also to avoid the 'uncanny valley' effect.

uncanney valley

If you want to know more about this fascinating subject, check out the article at wikipedia.

Make a Bee Eye

This next section uses a neat trick to make an animated eye blink.

First, upload this texture to Second Life.  I made a set of 4 images of an eye, and added the eyebrow shade individually. These 4 images are made into a animated GIF, then made back into a flat texture using Gif2SL by Gonta Maltz. How to use these tools is explained in another post, Create-Gif-in-Second-Life

Eye blink texture

Now make a prim, type = Sphere, and add the texture to the sphere surface.

The eye script:

default
{
    state_entry()
    {
        llSetTextureAnim(ANIM_ON|LOOP,ALL_SIDES,2,2,0,0,3);
    }
    on_rez(integer p){
        llResetScript();
    }
}

You should see the eye start to blink:

Bee eye 1 Bee eye 2 Bee eye 3

blink

Now shift copy the eye and place it and shape it to bulge out from the head:

bee eyes

Make a Bee Leg

upload this texture to Second Life:

Bee leg sculpt

Make a prim, type = 'sculpted', and apply the texture to the sculpt texture window:

Bee leg photo

I colored my legs black, then slid them under the bee body:

Bee body

Make a Bee Wing

This next sculpt is one of the best ideas I have ever had, and you get it for free. This extremely useful sculpt took me weeks to create. It is an X-shaped wing sculpt designed to make wings using an "animation movie" script.

X-wing

This specially shaped prim allows a movie to be played on it. The movie will play entirely on your client, and so it has no server lag at all.

I made this 8-sided sculpt in AC3D. It took a lot of experimenting to make.  The file is the 14th one I saved, and there were countless undos in between those 14 saves.

It looks like this in AC3D.

8 sided prim

Once you have uploaded the sculpt map to Second Life and added it to a prim, it should look like this:

WIng sculpt

Now save, upload and apply this texture to the wing sculpt:

Be sure to click this image and get the larger resolution image that results.

bee wing texture

And then add this script to the Object tab:

default
{
    state_entry()
    {
        llSetTextureAnim(ANIM_ON|LOOP,ALL_SIDES,1,2,0,0,10);
    }
    on_rez(integer p){
        llResetScript();
    }
}

Your wings should start beating 10 times a second. You can change the rate they beat by editing the last number '10' in the above script.

Wings

For those of you who want to make your own wings, here is a template you can use. Just follow the pattern in my bee wing with your own wings. Each wing is 128 pixels wide and tall, the overall image is 1024 X 256.(Click to get larger image)

Here is an example butterfly wing:

butterfly winmg

Link Your Bee

Now add a cube prim under the bee.   Select all the prims in your bee, and click and unclick and click again on the box that is under it so that the box is the last thing clicked and highlighted. Now press Ctrl-L to link them together.

Make a flower

You will need one or more flowers for your bee to fly towards. As far as this bee is concerned, a suitable flower is any prim named 'Flower'. If you already have pretty flowers with mod rights, just rename them 'Flower'. If the flowers are no-mod, rez a small box, name it 'Flower', and make it invisible by setting the texture alpha to 1.0. Place these boxes wherever you want your bee to fly.

Don't have a flower? Here is a texture you can apply to a flat box to make one.

flower

Make a box, flatten it, and set it to 100% invisible. Select the large face, set it back to 0 transparency, and apply the texture. Repeat for the other side.

FLower

You can add more of these prims in an X shape to make a better flower.

Just be sure to have at least one out on your land, and name it "Flower"

Make a Bee fly to flowers and gather honey in Second Life

Now it is time to fly your bee!

You will need two sounds and a script.

Buzz1 and Buzz2 are different bee buzzes. Save these wave files to disk, and upload them to Second Life. I put them into a zip file because saving wav files is harder for some browsers than saving images. The two sounds must be in the prim Object contents along with the script, and they must be named buzz1 and buzz2.

There is an updated bee script in the script library here. You want the one that says "OpenSim Bee" for Second Life or Opensim.

Once you put this script in your bee, it should sit for a  second. It will then fly to the nearest flower, face it, and gather pollen. After a few seconds, it will move to the next flower. When it is finished, it will fly to the beehive, and disappear inside.

Troubleshooting:

If your bee flies backwards or crooked, edit it and turn the box around. 

If they eyes don't move, be sure to put the script in the eyes.

Back to the Best Free Tools in Second Life and OpenSim.