# Building Walkable Stairs

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Why are some stairs "walkable" and some are not?   Is there a rule or formula for creating perfectly walkable steps the first time?  Recently, in creating a stair set of 16-steps,  I could "walk" up the stairs from from step one to four, but at step five I could not continue.  With "adjustments" I'm now able to walk up and down the entire 16-step stair, but I don't know what I did.  I did notice, though, that a couple of steps are not the same height as the other steps.  Thank you.

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Are you building Sculpy stairs or Prim stairs?  Sculpys that are not phantom will have an exclusion zone that an avatar cannot pass through. I have 16 step sculpy stairs (in the marketplace) that are built so that the excllusion zone is at the same angle as the stairs and therefore can be used without being phantom. It may be that another smaller angle would allow you to go only part way, while stairs at a 45% angle could not be used at all except as Phantom with an invisible "helper" prim that is actually walked on.

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If the steps are regular prim steps, your avatar will not be able to walk them if the rise is too high,

If they are sculpted step, then it depends on the way they were constructed.  Some stairs are constructed so the bounding box is on the same angle as the staircase and tight against it, then an avatar can walk up them with no problem. Angle doesn't effect this other than if they are just too steep for the avatar to climb, which is very steep.

Other sculpted stairs have a bounding box that is a block and prevents the avatars movement up them.  These type need to be phantom and have an invisible prim at the correct angle for the avatar to walk on.  You may have had the invisible prim at the wrong angle or perhaps some of the stairs were not phantom.

The last possibility was that the bounding box of another sculpted object was overlapping the stairs.

If none of these things seem to fit your situation, then tell us more about your stairs construction method and post a pic so we can help more.

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It doesn't matter if your building real life stairs, sculpties, or mesh.  All stairs need to be planned out first using a technique called rise versus run.  Expressed as a ratio, a staircase that rises 3 units (inches, meters, feet, or whatever)  and then a  run of 4 units would be express as 3:4 or 3/4.  Knowing this ratio allows you to pre-plan where each step should be to ensure a smooth climb.

http://www.shalla.net/StairStringer/Design.gif

Also a Google search might show you some interesting ideas and concepts:

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Having done a lot of RL architecture the angle for "legal" stairs is near as possible to 34 degrees or between 6-7 inches of rise per 11 inches of run with the 11 inches being pretty fixed. In SL this would be very shallow stairs and 45 or even 60 degrees is not uncommon. If you built a house that was very good in RL, in SL it would feel very small and cramped to the point of being barely useable. The way geometry feels in SL and RL are very different, and that difference needs consideration when doing any building.

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Elicea Igaly wrote:

Why are some stairs "walkable" and some are not?   Is there a rule or formula for creating perfectly walkable steps the first time?  Recently, in creating a stair set of 16-steps,  I could "walk" up the stairs from from step one to four, but at step five I could not continue.  With "adjustments" I'm now able to walk up and down the entire 16-step stair, but I don't know what I did.  I did notice, though, that a couple of steps are not the same height as the other steps.  Thank you.

For mesh steps

read this thread on building walkable steps from this post on -

http://community.secondlife.com/t5/Mesh/Problem-with-home-mesh/m-p/1788825/highlight/true#M18558

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Dragon Ronin wrote:

Having done a lot of RL architecture the angle for "legal" stairs is near as possible to 34 degrees or between 6-7 inches of rise per 11 inches of run with the 11 inches being pretty fixed. In SL this would be very shallow stairs and 45 or even 60 degrees is not uncommon. If you built a house that was very good in RL, in SL it would feel very small and cramped to the point of being barely useable. The way geometry feels in SL and RL are very different, and that difference needs consideration when doing any building.

Exactly! Certain RL architechural principles need to be disgarded in SL. An avatar can "walk" with a  normal gait up a slightly tilted ladder if the rungs are spaced close enough because the ladder acts as a ramp.

Add the fact that this is SL and you can also do things that are not possible in RL.

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Here's another trick for you. if you did prim steps, but the rise versus run was too aburpt to walk up them, you could add an invisible ramp prim to the steps, just like you do when making phantom sculpted steps. In SL you can walk up some amazingly steep ramps.

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Thank you Dragon :matte-motes-grin:  I was creating prim stairs.  I will take a look at your stairs in marketplace also.  I will need to check the step dimensions when inworld, but the only reason I needed 16 steps was because of the "walkability" issue.  The space I was trying to cover originally only needed 10 or 12 --wide--steps...(lol)...with my "adjustments" I ended up with 16.... Your information is helpful... Many thanks.

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Thank you Amethyst :matte-motes-smile:  The steps are regular prim steps.  I did consider that the rise was too high, but since I had modeled the steps I was creating on a set of "original existing" stair for a professional's build, it confused me.  (I I'm attempting modified a portion of the orignal build to create a deck with stairs on three sides--the "original" set of stairs is still on one of the sides.); and, the original stair set was only 10-12 steps.  I ended up with 16 after making my "adjustments."  --lol-- I'll need to go inworld and get the step measurements.  Thank you also for the sculpty info.

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Hello Hbit :matte-motes-big-grin: "WOW!  THAT'S COOL"   No doubt "a formula"  YAAY...Albeit more detailed than I expected...but, w/o trying it seems "on-point" to my query.  Have you used this source's formula yourself inworld?

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Thank you Rya :matte-motes-bashful-cute:  Will read and save...but clearly..(lol)...I've not "graduated" to mesh yet....  Do hope to get there this year, though...maybe with this project.  Many thanks.

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Thank you Amethyst....:matte-motes-big-grin:...for your additional comments... ALL OF THIS conversation is helping me solve my problem AND get a full understanding.  Many thanks...

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Thank you Ceera :matte-motes-smile:  ... for the tip trick...may be just as good as a "formula" in SL it seems....  BTW, the steps I'm creating are not steep...wide..but not steep.  I'm trying to duplicate an "existing original" stair around a deck--(modifying a pro-builder's design) to create a stair set around three sides of a deck.  The "original" set is still in place and is most likely mesh or sculpts, given it is a pro-builder's creation.....

What's interesting (to me) with my experiment is that the final stair set I created that is walkable, has a couple of steps that are MUCH higher than any of the steps that were NOT walkable at the fifth tier :matte-motes-nerdy:  That's why I came to the forum...looking for a formula and/or tip.   Many thanks for your reply..

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Many, many thanks Rya....a very informative conversation at that link...even if I'm not at "mesh-level" yet...help for this project and encouraging for improvement.  Many, many thanks.

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Many, many thanks Rya....a very informative conversation at that link...even if I'm not at "mesh-level" yet...help for this project and encouraging for improvement.  Many, many thanks.  :matte-motes-nerdy:

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It was in reply to Hibit as the note says. If you go to almost any building where the public uses the stairs you will find them to be the 34 degree standard. Older buildings and private houses are sometimes different; but when they are, the stairs are noticeably uncomfortable to climb or go down.

Btw - I notice you said they might be going over other sculpies. Not all sculpie stairs are made to use as mine are and if not phantom that could be the source of  the exclusion zone you are seeing. Keep in mind also that the exclusion zone is a rounded edge box around the sculpy when it was made.

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I see in some shops "Buy" and then in some places "Pay".

I have never studied/understood why there are two different methods.  Personally I prefer the "Buy" when I shop something because then you can check what is included there before actually making the purchase.

With "Pay" one cannot check what is included. One just pays and receives the goods and then after the purchase one can check what was sent in the inventory.

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