Before starting with Modeling
With modeling, we mean making your own 3d models. And this one of the most entertaining things you can do in Activewords. But before you start, you need to know that several things are needed to be done before you can bring the 3d model into the 3d scene of Activeworlds, and you need to have some knowledge in advance about modeling and texturing programs.
Modeling in AW : what do i need to have ?
For modeling you have enough with the a modeling and texturing program, but to bring them into Activeworlds, you need to have all of these:
1. A modeling program
On the internet, you can download a modeling program and install it on you computer. These are some of the most popular modeling programs (freeware or payware):
Truespace, Wings3d , Blender , Sketchup, 3sMax , Poser , Maya,..
2. Tutorials and manuals
In most cases, you don't know how to start with modeling. But for all these programs you will find manuals , tutorials and videos on the internet.
In Activeworlds, in some worlds, there are also classes, where citizens can chat and learn about the different modeling programs and modeling techniques. They use also pictures, text files, and voice chat to explain everything. Also on this website you will find tutorials.
3. A texturing program
If you want to make nice models, you need to use nice textures for these models.
One option is to make seamless textures. With these textures, you can make a texture pattern , without seeing any border lines between each texture part of the pattern.
Another option is to make a texture masks. A masked texture is a silhouette of the picture that has been cut out with the texturing program. And this is a lot easier than cutting out the shape with a modeling program.
Some of the most popular modeling programs are (freeware and payware) :
Photoshop, Paint , Gimp, Corel Draw, Paint Shop Pro,...
There are also plenty of tutorials, manuals and videos for these texturing programs.
4. A conversion program
In Activeworlds, you can only use the extensions .rwx and .cob, and in some cases .x, those file formations can be used directly in Activeworlds. But by using conversion programs, you can use almost every 3d-model in Activeworlds.
The most popular conversion program for AW is Accutrans
5. Your own 3d-world

Models that you have created (and converted) can be viewed in Activeworlds by exporting the model (and textures to go with that model) into a 3d world. The public worlds use only the default models. For additional models, you need to buy your own world, where you can bring all of them into your 3d scene. For a 3d world, you have to pay. You can do this by going to the website of Activeworlds.com and in the upper right corner you click the icon "store", where you buy credits , and with those credits you can buy a world. If you don't have the money to buy a world, or if you don't want to spend money on it, then you can send the 3d model by mail to another citizen, who can bring the model online in his/her world.

6. Your own webspace
If you have your own 3d world, but if you don't have your own webspace , you will probably use one of the default object paths of Activeworlds, and you cannot add you own models. When you have your own webspace , you can put the object path of your choice on this webpace, and add your own models and textures as well. And also a lot of other freeware models and/or payware models.
In addition to that they also offer a domain name, which you can use to make your own website. That website can be used to support your 3d world.
There are a lot of websites offering webspace of more than 3 gigabyte, with unlimited webtraffic , and for a price of less than 60 dollars per year.
We also advise you not to use freeware webspace, e.g. for uploading your textures, but to use your own webspace. There are 2 popular examples when things got wrong . *1* Yahoo started in the late 90s with a Yahoo Geocities, and you could upload your pictures (and textures) for free. But a few years later, this service has been stopped and the url-links didn't work anymore. *2* In august 2017, the freeware image uploader website PhotoBucket, decided to disable image deeplinking (=causes extra webtraffic), unless you paid for it.
7. An FTP-program
FTP means "file transfer protocol", and it is used to bring the files to your webspace (and vice versa). : all the objects and textures must be put into separate file maps (models, textures, avatars, sounds, sequences, groups). These maps are called the "object path" of your world.
There are a lot of freeware ftp-programs on the web.
FileZilla , WS_ftp
In your world settings, you need put the link to the object path of your website. Then only the objects will load in the 3d scene of your world.
8. A file zipping program
When uploading new files to your object path, a lot of files need to be zipped (otherwise they won't load), others don't need to be zipped.
Avatars need to be zipped, also the avatars.dat file needs to be zipped.
Models need to be zipped (= the mesh of the object, without the textures)
Textures do not get zipped, but .bmp files (for masks) need to be zipped
Sequences , groups, and sounds need to be zipped , except for mp3 files (do not get zipped).
Some zipping programs have also the option to add an object password. This password must be the same for all the objects for which you want to add a password, because this password needs to be entered in your world settings (as an option). Objects with another password won't load.
There are a lot of zipping programs (freeware and payware) on the web :
7Zip , WinZip , WinRAR
Useful tips
* about the name of the models : don't make the names too long , this is also the case for texture names
* try to avoid underscores and other symbols , and try to avoid using capital letters as well
* most modelers use a prefix as an identification, followed by a hyphen , for instance :
fw-dorext1 -> fw= fantasy world models set
eg-sign1 -> eg= egyptian models set
win-wall01-2 -> win = winnetou (name of the modeler)
cda-xumb1 -> cda = count dracula (name of the modeler)
This is also useful for yourself , so that you can find easily your own models.
* also use a good classification for your model names , so that you can also easily find the models back on your computer.
For instance, use similar object names for a set of objects.
More information
In this AWTimes, you can already find tutorials about the items mentioned above :
8. Making your own object path - venice3d.net/2013create8.html
9. Object path content and management - venice3d.net/2013create9.html
10. Zip & FTP - venice3d.net/2013create10.html
1. Using picture files in AW - venice3d.net/2013create1.html
11. Using textures in AW - venice3d.net/2013create11.html
12. Using models in AW - venice3d.net/2013create12.html