The Composer is an OpenSim application that make it quick and easy to build scenes full of objects. You don’t need to be an expert to use it, as everything is clearly laid out, and objects can be created, placed and modified just by clicking.
The Composer uses “modules”, which are separate objects that contain a large range of different items that you can include in your builds, such as buildings, plants, interactive signs, furniture, etc. These can be purchased separately, although to get you started the Composer comes supplied with a couple of basic modules.
NOTE: Due to restrictions in OpenSim software, your Composer can only work on Worlds that either (1) you own or (2) for which you are the Estate Manager. Attempting to use it in a World in which neither of these is the case will result in error messages. There is currently no way round this. However, any visitor will be able to use an App that satisfies those requirements.
The true power of the Composer is in the additional modules. To purchase modules, search “RezMela Composer module” in the Market.
First, place your Composer and any modules you wish to use. In this guide we’ll focus on the two supplied modules, but the same basic methods apply to all Composer modules.
TIP: You may want to put your modules out of the way somewhere so they don’t get in the way of your scene – as long as your modules are somewhere in the same World as the Composer they will work.
You can enable and disable modules by clicking the red or green button on the front. You might want to disable modules you’re not using if you have a lot of them. By default, they’re enabled and ready to use.
When you have the Composer and your modules placed, click the blue square on top of the Composer to sign in.
The first time you do this, the Composer will give you a HUD object and automatically attach it to your screen. Once this has loaded, you will see the Home menu:
This HUD will be the main way you control the Composer. When not in use, it shrinks down to a couple of small icons (which we’ll look at later), and when you sign in again it changes back to full size. If you ever detach the HUD, the Composer will detect this the next time you sign in and give you a new one automatically.
If you click the Finish button the Home menu, you will be signed out of the Composer; click the blue square to sign in again.
Now let’s look at adding some objects.
The Create menu
To create objects in your scene, click the Create button on the HUD. After a short delay while it loads the menus, you’ll see a list of categories:
Objects in the Create menu are organised into categories and sub-categories to help you find what you need. The more modules you have, the more categories of objects.
In our example, the two categories we have are:
- Basic blocks – cubes that fit together to make structures
- Layout tools – objects that allow you to place other objects precisely
Let’s look at the first category. Click Basic blocks and you’ll see the following:
We now have six types of block to choose from. You can click on any one of these to choose it for your scene – here’s the first type:
Here we see a preview image showing a brick wall cube. Having selected this, we just need to click on the base of the Composer to place a brick cube:
Now you’ve placed your first block, you can either place more objects on the base, or you can place them on the block you’ve created. If you place one block on another, it will be automatically lined up perfectly.
For example, if we click the back button (<) to go back to the list of blocks, and then select one with a different texture, such as Wood:
Now if we click on top of the brick block, a wood block appears, precisely aligned:
Note that this kind of automatic alignment only applies to objects that are designed that way, such as these blocks. Other types of object allow free placement anywhere on their surface.
Also remember that you can only place Composer objects on the Composer base or on other Composer objects. If, for example, you click on normal ground or on an unrelated object you’ve rezzed from your inventory, the Composer will ignore the click.
Now you can add more blocks, building up any shape you like.
If you want to move a block, you can do this by first selecting the block.
Left-click the block and hold the mouse button down for a second or so (this is called a “long click”). The block will glow, and a stream of particles will come from the selected block towards your avatar:
You can now click anywhere else in your scene to move the block to that place. Here, for example, the block has been moved up:
When you’ve got the block where you want it, you can click it again (just a normal short click) to deselect it and carry on.
Saving your scenes
Once you have created a scene, you can save it and recall it at any time.
On the HUD, use the back arrow < to get back to the Home menu, and select the File option.
You’ll see this menu:
This menu controls your saved scenes.
If you click the Save button, the HUD changes and a new input box appears on the top right of the screen:
You can type a name for your scene into the input box and click Submit to save the scene with that name.
You will now see the Home menu again. This time, you can click Clear to clear the current scene, and all your scene objects will disappear.
If you go back into the File menu and select Load, you can pick your previously saved scene from the list and the scene will be restored to how it was at the time you saved it.
The other options the File menu are:
- Rearrange (advanced use, covered elsewhere)
- Delete – delete any saved scene
- Import – drop an exported scene into your Composer
- Export – copy your scene’s save file to your inventory
Using the Import and Export functions, it’s easy to share your saved scenes with anyone – just export your scene, give them a copy of the saved scene notecard and they can import that notecard into their Composer.
There are various ways you can manipulate objects by selecting them and using the HUD.
Let’s look at the other objects in the Create menu, in the Layout tools category:
Objects in that category are divided into three sub-categories: Grids, Vertical and Cubes. All these objects have a common purpose: to let you position other objects precisely. And when you sign out of the Composer, these Layout Tools become invisible, reappearing when you sign in again.
For now, we’ll just use one of these objects to demonstrate the ways you can manipulate objects. From the Layout Tools category, select the Cubes sub-category:
This contains two very similar objects – pick either one and place it in your scene:
Don’t worry about how to use the Layout Cube. For now, we’re just using it as an example object. If you’d like more information about Layout tools, there is a separate guide here.
Select the cube by long-clicking it, and look at the HUD menu:
This is the Selected object menu, and gives you several ways in which you can act on the selected object:
- Remove – remove the object from the scene
- Resize – change the size of the object
- Rotate – turn the object around
- Nudge – move the object by increments
- Clone – make a copy of the object
And, of course, you can move the selected object by clicking anywhere in your scene, as we saw earlier.
Let’s look at each of these options in a little more detail.
If you click this option, the object you have selected will be deleted.
This option gives you a further menu with various size changes:
The + percentages on the left make the object that much larger, and the – percentages on the right make it smaller.
The Random option resizes the object by a random amount, useful for giving a natural appearance to some types of object.
The Rotate option gives you more choices:
All of these are rotations around the centre of the object, usually in the vertical axis (unless the object was placed on a non-horizontal surface).
The Nudge option also gives you a further menu of options:
The Forward, Back, Left and Right options move the object in that direction relative to the camera (that is, the view you’re seeing).
The North, South, West and East options move the object in those directions (use the viewer’s mini-map to orient yourself if necessary), useful for precise positioning in the World.
The Up and Down options, unsurprisingly, move the object up and down.
The Amount + and Amount – options let you change the scale of the above operations. Initially, all movements are in increments of 1m. You can see the current Amount on the bottom line of the HUD, together with the current camera angle (again, for precise positioning).
This option doesn’t have a following menu. Instead, the currently selected object is duplicated and the new object, positioned slighly above the original, is now selected automatically so you can place it where you like.
This is useful as a shortcut when you don’t want to backtrack through the categories to find a previously-created object.
Also, objects with properties (such as text and image objects, available in other modules) will have those properties copied. For example, if you create a text sign with a certain text in a particular color, the clone will inherit those and be identical in every way to the object you cloned.
This concludes the RezMela Composer user guide. If you notice any errors or omissions, or if you would like to see more content here, please get in touch and let us know.