Introducing new Smart Items
From video and audio streaming to teleports and custom animations
Over the past few months, a lot of new tools have been added for creating content through the SDK. Now it’s time to make these available on the Builder through a set of innovative new smart items.
Explore the item palette and you’ll notice a number of new features you can add to your scenes. The following are just a few of the highlights:
Video and Audio Streaming
The Audio and Video Stream smart items allow you to stream live media into your scene. It’s as simple as just dragging a smart item and choosing a streaming url.
Both of these smart items come with default content sources you can pick off a list, or you can provide a custom link. Note that the source of the stream must be a site that allows you to show their content elsewhere. Unfortunately, several popular sites like YouTube don’t allow this, but there are a number of alternatives that do. The source URL must also be a secure https url.
If you want to host your own streaming service to stream into your scene, check out the tips in this previous blog post.
Display an image by URL
The Image smart item lets you fetch an image from an external URL and show it on a plane surface in your scene. This can be useful to display custom banners, art that isn’t available as an NFT or anything else to add meaning to your scene.
Note that images used here should be a maximum size of 1024 x 1024 pixels, have a secure https url and be hosted at a site that allows you to display their content elsewhere.
Several sites forbid the sharing of their images, but one option that works well is Imgur. When using Imgur, upload an image, then select Get Share Links and copy the link labeled BBCode (Forums), without the
Collect donations in your wallet
There are several new QR donation smart items with varying styles. These display the QR code for a wallet address that you provide. Players can scan this QR code with their phones and send donations to it using a wallet app.
Teleports and external links
Use the Teleport smart item to allow players to travel quickly to another location in Genesis City. You can use this, for example, to create partnerships with other scenes or to join non-adjacent parcels into a cohesive experience.
You can also add an External Link smart item to let players open a site in a new tab on their browser. You could use this to share institutional links, personal portfolios or whatever makes sense to have in your scene.
More lively movement and animations
The Toolbox smart item was already capable of moving, rotating or scaling any item in the scene – smart or not – now it can also do these things along a non-linear curve.
There are several options to choose from – some more subtle than others – but each breathes life into transitions with its own distinct character.
By tampering with the ease-in and ease-out phases of a movement, you can express a notion of heaviness, bounciness, clumsiness and much more. The little example below demonstrates how much these can affect your impressions. Each of the little robots looks the same and moves in the same way and at the same speed, but different movement curves speak volumes about each one’s personalities.
If you’re using 3D models that have built-in animations, you can now also use the toolbox to play, stop, pause or loop these animations at will. You’ll need to call the animations by name, so if you need to check what the animations are named, a good place to check is the Babylon Sandbox, where you can easily drag a 3D model to view it in more detail, including its animations.
Note that when a model is first loaded, the default behavior is that the first animation in the model is played in a loop. All models behave like this until the Toolbox smart item sends them an instruction that affects its animations. If you don’t want that to happen, a handy workaround is to define the first animation of the model as an idle animation that stays completely still.
And so much more!
Amongst the other newly assets we have:
- A large collection of voxel world styled cubes with various different textures and motifs.
- New trigger areas that are visible as glowing tiles or orbs on the floor, hinting to the player that there’s something to do.
- Alternatives to the invisible wall smart item with different shapes: a ramp, a cylinder, a sphere, and a half-sphere.
- More items that serve as hints to direct the player’s actions: an animated spark and different colored arrows.
Get started on bringing your scene to life. As always, if you have any questions, hit up the Decentraland community on Discord.