Skydiving at Ai Pad in Second Life

Following me setting up a base in a houseboat on the New Linden Home Continent of Bellisseria in Second Life, I have been trying out a few vehicles, and thought I would reactivate my old Skydiving setup back from when I first joined Second Life in 2006, I used a skydive setup built by “Cubey Terra” (Second Life Marketplace) to demonstrate some of the features of Second Life to colleagues and friends. See my Blog Post on this.




Skydive at Abbots Airfield in Second Life

You can go to at Abbots Airfield in Second Life to try out Skydiving. A free simple chute is available near the Skypod launch system. And “Terra Sports Chutes” can be obtained via the Second Life Marketplace.

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Abbotts/159/119/47
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New Linden Homes 2019

Second Life - Ai Pad - Windlass Houseboat

New Linden Homes 2019 are available for Premium Members in Second Life. Details via:

Ai Pad


Ai Austin established a houseboat style home on the Bellisseria Continent at Damiano/92/20/0.

Nearby Boat Rez Zone by Lighthouse at Norse Auk/149/110/21 (Capacity 898).

Airstrip and Boat Rez Zone at Coral Waters/120/80/23 (Capacity: 3,786).




Vehicles at Ai Pad

Debonair Floatplane (39 land impact), Bandit 50 Yacht (32 land impact), Cobra G2 Speedboat (29 land impact), Rescue Dinghy (11 land impact), Supercar (Lora Chadbourne version, 222 land impact), and my detailed Supercar mesh (712 land impact)…

Yacht at Ai Pad at Sunrise Yacht at Ai Pad at Sunset

Bandit 50 Yacht at the Houseboats


Debonair 0412 Floatplane over the Houseboats



ERB-380 Rescue Dinghy

Customisation

Each Linden Home has a controller for the owner to alter visual appearance, décor, access security, etc. On the houseboats this is in the style of a lifebuoy…

Other Blog Posts about New Linden Homes

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Black Hole

A black hole and its shadow have been captured in an image for the first time by a network of radio telescopes called the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT). The image shows a supermassive black hole in the centre of Messier 87 (M87), an elliptical galaxy some 55 million light-years from Earth. This black hole is 6.5 billion times the mass of the Sun.

https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/chandra/news/black-hole-image-makes-history

The image bears a remarkable similarity to the simulation which predicted what would be seen after image capture, combination and analysis…

Black Hole - Simulated Image Black Hole - Actual Image

A graphical depiction of the elements of a Black Hole are shown in this figure from NASA…

Black Hole Elements

The Event Horizon Telescope has also already captured data which will allow the creation of images of other black holes, including Sagittarius A* at the centre of our own galaxy, the Milky Way.

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Virtual Worlds in VR

oculus-rift-set

This blog post is a reminder that we can still view OpenSimulator and Second Life content in Virtual Reality (VR) headsets such as the Oculus Rift using the CtrlAltStudio viewer. Though this viewer is based on an older version of Firestorm and does not support some newer features incorporated in the platforms, it still performs pretty well on most content. Details of the viewer, its capabilities and usage are in an earlier blog post.

Openvue


AiLand



AiLand – Gerry Anderson


OSGrid

Second Life



2019 – What Works and What Does Not

As mentioned before CtrlAltStudio in its last release is based on December 2014 Firestorm viewer code. This means a number of things introduced to Second Life and/or OpenSim since that date are not supported, or may cause the viewer to fail. There have also been many improvements in Firestorm and other viewers since then that are not included in CtrlAltStudio Viewer. Unless you really need Oculus Rift or stereoscopic 3D support you should seriously consider using another viewer instead.

Linden Lab’s cashier update of 15th Jun 2016 (TLS 1.2 enforcement) is not supported when using the built-in web browser (e.g. trying to purchase from the Marketplace). However, user/user transactions, transactions via in-world vendors and L$ purchases via the button in the top right corner of the viewer will still work.

Avatars have had added “Bento Bones” to extend the range of visual styles and animations possible. This especially includes extra head bones, many extra bones for the hands and fingers, and body bones to allow the addition of tails and wings. Wearing attachments which use the extra bones in CtrlAltStudio causes a nasty visual glitch where the mesh is stretched to the 0,0,0 point on the region.

Animesh for animated avatar style objects in world (like NPCs) has recently been introduced into Second Life and is not likely to work at all in CtrlAltStudio.

July 2019 Update

Testing in July 2019 with CtrlAltStudio 1.2.6.43412 and Oculus Rift DK2 and CV1 on Oculus 1.38 software with Windows 10 Pro version 1903 and Dell Precision T5810/Nvidia GTX 1080… all look fine except when exiting the viewer the screen has bad colour effects and needs restarting.

This may be due to the “Color Profile” being set by the viewer, and occurs with Nvidia GPUs. A fix was introduced in June 2019 for the Linden lab Second Life Viewer and the Firestorm Viewer for this…
https://releasenotes.secondlife.com/viewer/6.2.3.527758.html.

This information may be relevant … https://www.nvidia.com/en-us/geforce/forums/discover/239606/finally-a-fix-for-the-games-changing-the-color-profiles-/.

Garry Beaumont on MeWe suggested this fix without having to reboot the computer… “the only way out of that screen without shutting your system down is to do this… Right click the windows button (I know its hard to see) then go to the second tab up (you can just make them out) now click the top tab in the window that opens. You escaped without a shutdown”.

This has the effect of doing a log out for the user, which resets the colour profile.

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3D Modelling Info

This blog post is intended to provide some information and resources links for 3D computer modelling tools and development and delivery platforms to combine models to create virtual worlds and make these available to multiple simultaneous users.

3D Modellers

There are many such modellers, some licenced and some open source. A few are:

  • Blender – an open source modeler with a variety fo ways to import and export a range of 3D model types.
  • Sketchup – Sketchup models are scenes comprised of Collada (.dae) content. But exporters can create other 3D model formats.
  • Autodesk 3D Studio Max – a commercial licensed 3D modeller.

World and Scene Development Platforms

Multi-user Delivery Platforms

Multi-aspect Virtual World Environments

Some platforms provide several of the above aspects.

  • OpenSimulator – provides a way to do modelling within the tool as well as importing Collada (.dae) mesh objects, combine them into scenes or regions and deliver these to multiple users via a viewer.
  • Second Life – provides a way to do modelling within the tool as well as importing Collada (.dae) mesh objects, combine them into scenes or regions and deliver these to multiple users via a viewer.
  • High Fidelity – A platform which allows scenes to be created using prebuilt meshes in limited formats, do simple editing of the scene and publish those scenes for others to visit.
  • Sansar – A platform which allows scenes to be created using prebuilt meshes in limited formats, do simple editing of the scene and publish those scenes for others to visit
  • Sinespace – A platform which allows scenes built in Unity to be embedded in a multi-user virtual world delivery platform, along with some basic in world content modification tools.

3D Model Exchange Formats

3D model formats are used to store 3D model data in a form that can be imported or exported from the various tools or platforms. Some are more widely supported and used than others. many are proprietary. A few are open source.

  • .obj
  • .3ds
  • .dae (open source)
  • .fbx
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Virtual Harmony – Mars Expedition

Virtual Harmony is an OpenSimulator-based educational simulation grid with contributions by Barbara Truman at the University of Central Florida, Cynthia Calongne at Colorado Technical University, Andrew Stricker at the Air University and NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

An award winning rich educational simulation involving 3D/VR elements and AI systems is available on the Huffman region…

Some details are at:
https://vharmonyarts.com/sitePages/topic/67
http://vharmonyarts.com:9000/wifi/index.html
LoginURI: http://vharmonyarts.com:9000 (Visit via Hypergrid)
Mars Expedition – Blue Skies Over Mars
hop://vharmonyarts.com:9000/Huffman/681/136/27

More details are available in a presentation at https://www.slideshare.net/lyrlobo/vwbpe-2019-mars-i-vr-game-simulation.

A presentation was given at the OpenSimulator Community Conference 2018…
https://static.sched.com/hosted_files/oscc18/cf/OSCC18 Blue Skies on Mars Stricker Calongne Truman.pdf



Visit to Virtual Harmony Huffman Mars Expedition on 14-Apr-2019

Thanks to the Virtual Harmony team (Spinoza Quinnell/Andy Stricker and Lyr Lobo/Cynthia Calongne) I was given a guided tour of the Mars Expedition facilities…

Presentations by Lyr/Lobo/Cynthia Calonge about educational immersive experiences:

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Virtual World Avatar to be Next President

Following the success of film stars, comedians and others in recent popularity driven elections… a Non-Player Character avatar in the virtual world OpenSimulator is to be nominated as the next President of the USA.

A spokesman in the UK said.. “Bring it on… lets have an avatar as Prime Minister in the UK too”.

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I-X – Intelligent Technology

This blog post is intended to provide a quick overview of our work on I-X – “Intelligent Technology”, its underlying <I-N-C-A> ontology, and especially its application to intelligent planning systems and intelligent collaborative spaces using I-Plan and I-Rooms.

Austin TateAustin Tate and the Edinburgh Planning Group

Firstly a brief introduction. I am Professor of Knowledge-Based Systems at the University of Edinburgh and Director of the University’s Artificial Intelligence Applications Institute (AIAI). More information via http://www.aiai.ed.ac.uk/~bat/.

AI planning has been a topic of active research at Edinburgh since the 1960s and I have been exploring this area since the early 1970s. The Planning and Activity Management Group within the Artificial Intelligence Applications Institute (AIAI) in the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh is exploring representations and reasoning mechanisms for inter-agent activity support. The agents may be people or computer systems working in a coordinated fashion. The group explores and develops generic approaches by engaging in specific applied studies. Applications include crisis action planning, command and control, space systems, manufacturing, logistics, construction, procedural assistance, help desks, emergency response, etc.

Our long term aim is the creation and use of task-centric virtual organisations involving people, government and non-governmental organisations, automated systems, grid and web services working alongside intelligent robotic, vehicle, building and environmental systems to respond to very dynamic events on scales from local to global.

More on our planning technology, research and applications projects is described at http://www.aiai.ed.ac.uk/project/plan/

I-X and I-Plan

I-X LogoI-X – http://www.aiai.ed.ac.uk/project/ix/ or http://i-x.info – is a systems integration architecture. Its design is based on the earlier O-Plan agent architecture and incorporates a hierarchical viewpoint to it’s systems design. I-X provides an issue-handling style of architecture, with reasoning and functional capabilities provided as plug-ins. Also via plug-ins it allows for sophisticated constraint management, and a wide range of communications and visualisation capabilities. I-X agents may be combined in various ways, and may interwork with other processing capabilities or architectures especially where hybrid cognitive systems are joined to algorithms and data driven sub-cognitive modules where they can all work in an “intelligible” and human level explainable manner. I-X supports applications orientated towards “synthesis” tasks where such as design, configuration and especially planning. It is especially designed to support mixed initiative work between people, robots and computer systems working in a cooperative fashion.

An introductory paper to the approach is available here…

Tate, A. (2000) Intelligible AI Planning, in Research and Development in Intelligent Systems XVII, Proceedings of ES2000, The Twentieth British Computer Society Special Group on Expert Systems International Conference on Knowledge Based Systems and Applied Artificial Intelligence, pp. 3-16, Cambridge, UK, December 2000, Springer.
[http://www.aiai.ed.ac.uk/project/ix/documents/2000/2000-sges-tate-intelligible-planning.pdf]

In a nutshell, all aspects of agent capabilities, activities, tasks, objectives, plans, etc are represented in some way as a specialisation of a set of “issues”, a set of “nodes” (think of activities in a planning context or parts of a designed object), a set of “constraints” of various kinds and a set of “annotations”. We write this as <I-N-C-A>. I-X, our systems architecture, essentially just uses its computational capabilities to handle issues, apply nodes, manage constraints and interpret annotations to inform, explain or support the use of the construct.

<I-N-C-A> Ontology – Issues, Nodes, Constraints and Annotations

Here is a quick intro style paper on the idea of treating all aspects of task specification, planning, environment modelling and lower level activity as “constraints on permissible behaviour” and our <I-N-C-A> Ontology for plans, activity, agent capabilities and all things like that (though it actually is more general and applies also to designed artifacts, scheduled things and configuration tasks).

Tate, A.(2003) <I-N-C-A>: A Shared Model for Mixed-initiative Synthesis Tasks, Proceedings of the Workshop on Mixed-Initiative Intelligent Systems (MIIS) at the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI-03), pp. 125-130, Acapulco, Mexico, August 2003.
[http://www.aiai.ed.ac.uk/project/ix/documents/2003/2003-ijcai-miis-tate-inca.pdf]

My work on hierarchical planning over the years led to a very simple abstract ontology suitable for objectives, tasking, activity specification and capability modelling which is intended to be as flexible (and additive) as required for any application. The concepts within the ontology have been a core of standards such as NIST Process Specification Language (later an ISO process specification standard), etc. We call this <I-N-C-A> – it is an ontology suited for any “synthesised” things… and allows for design, configuration as well as planning applications. which allows for a set of constraints on behaviour where the types of constraint are “issues” to be addressed, “nodes” (which can be thought of in a planning context as “include activity” constraints, “constraints” themselves (in a planning context usually time, and object co-designation/non-co-designation and sometimes spatial), and “annotations” (which we use to capture underlying gIBIS style rationale of how issues/tasks are turned into selected activities under the constraints).

An I-X system can “handle issues”, “apply nodes”, “manage constraints” and “interpret annotations”. The idea is that the components in an <I-N-C-A> inspired system share and communicate constraints up and down, and that lower levels can communicate via partially shared constraints that can be understood between the levels (this often involves time, object = and /= ) so there can be yes, no and “maybe if” information passed between the levels to help home in on a mutually acceptable artefact (design or plan) in a mixed initiative fashion. Great where humans, organisations, robots and environmental systems are all cooperating.

Applications and Use Cases

I-X, I-Plan and <I-N-C-A> have been applied in a number of areas… many reflecting our applications and research funding interests in collaborative systems, operations centres, emergency response, etc. Links to projects are at http://www.aiai.ed.ac.uk/project/plan/.

2010-05-13-Train-for-Success-1We have also explored intelligent instrumented spaces in which people and knowledge-based systems can cooperate in areas such as mixed-reality distributed team operations centres using the concept of an I-Room – a Virtual Space for Intelligent Interaction.

<I-N-C-A> has even been applied as a business modelling approach without any software involvement to collecting information and making business cases for the potential opening of large scale plant across the world for a major food manufacturer.

More Publications

The above papers (as PDF) and others that go into more technical details on the I-X/I-Plan system and how it uses <I-N-C-A> can be found in the following documents index…

A couple of publications that may give a good overview are as follows:

  • Tate, A. (2000) Intelligible AI Planning, in Research and Development in Intelligent Systems XVII, Proceedings of ES2000, The Twentieth British Computer Society Special Group on Expert Systems International Conference on Knowledge Based Systems and Applied Artificial Intelligence, pp. 3-16, Cambridge, UK, December 2000, Springer. [PDF]
  • Tate, A. (2003) : a Shared Model for Mixed-initiative Synthesis Tasks, Proceedings of the Workshop on Mixed-Initiative Intelligent Systems (MIIS) at the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI-03), pp. 125-130, Acapulco, Mexico, August 2003. [PDF]
  • Tate, A. (2014) Using Planning to Adapt to Dynamic Environments, in Suri, N. and Cabri, G. (eds.) (2014) Adaptive, Dynamic, and Resilient Systems, Chapter 13, pp. 243-257, CRC Press, Taylor & Francis. [PDF]

Our earlier O-Plan planner use of <I-N-OVA> (a forerunner of the more abstract upper level <I-N-C-A> ontology) is described in these publications from 1984 to 2003…

  • http://www.aiai.ed.ac.uk/project/oplan/documents/
  • For an overview of O-Plan and its applications see… Tate, A. and Dalton, J. (2003) O-Plan: a Common Lisp Planning Web Service, invited paper, in Proceedings of the International Lisp Conference 2003, October 12-25, 2003, New York, NY, USA, October 12-15, 2003. [ PDF]


How this might be used alongside other Systems Architectures

<I-N-C-A> is intended to act as a simple, easily understood, upper ontology or outer layer for representing all aspects of tasks, activity, objectives and agent capabilities. Alongside an ontology and models for the objects in the domain, which <I-N-C-A> deliberately does not prescribe, it can offer a framework which can easily be deepened to meet the actual requirements while providing a stable overall basis which allows for system reasoning and human understanding.

The work on <I-N-C-A> involves the investigation of the use of shared models for task directed communication between human and computer agents who are jointly exploring a range of alternative options for a product design or for joint activity.

Six concepts are used as the basis for exploring task orientated multi-agent and mixed-initiative work involving users and systems. Together these provide for a shared model of what each agent can and is authorised to do and what those agents can act upon. The concepts are:

  1. Shared Object/Product Model — a structured representation of the object being modelled or produced using a common constraint model of the object or product.
  2. Shared Planning and Activity Model — a rich plan representation for activities, objectives and plans using a common constraint model of activity.
  3. Shared Task Model — Mixed initiative model of “mutually constraining the space of behaviour” (or objects/products/plans).
  4. Shared Space of Options — explicit option management.
  5. Shared Model of Agent Processing Capabilities — handlers for issues, appliers for nodes, constraint (model) managers and (possibly) annotation interpreters.
  6. Shared Understanding of Authority — management of the authority to do work (to handle issues and apply/execute nodes/activities) and which may take into account options and levels of abstraction of the model of the object or product.

Engagement with various standards setting groups has a part of the work: PIF, NIST PSL, OMWG CPR and DARPA SPAR all converge on a single core model of activity which can be related to the more abstract <I-N-C-A>.

IBM Project Intu – “Self” – Cognitive Architectures

Sample Project Intu Conversational Agent Sample Project Intu Conversational Agent

Resources for Discussion

http://www.aiai.ed.ac.uk/~ai/resources/2019-01-16-Briefing/

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Nonprofit Commons in Second Life

On 21-Dec-2018 the Nonprofit Commons (NPC, http://nonprofitcommons.org/) in Second Life held a Grand Opening of their newly renovated Community Virtual Library Nonprofit Resource Library along with ice skating to celebrate the last NPC meeting of 2018.


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Webots

On 18-Dec-2018 Olivier Michel at http://cyberbotics.com let previous Webots users know that the platform has been made open source via GitHub…

Today, after more than 20 years of proprietary licensing, Webots has become free open source software, released under the terms of the Apache 2.0 license. You can download Webots R2019a binary packages, contribute on GitHub, read the official announcement, and watch the video presentation.

Webots Resources

Webots has been used for some years in the Robotics classes in the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh, and was used by AIAI for Project AIBO as described in this blog post… http://blog.inf.ed.ac.uk/atate/2014/04/05/experiments-with-webots-6-4-4/

Webots 2019a Project AIBO
Unimate Puma NASA Sojourner
Apartment and Roomba Moon Bots
Sphero BB8

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Subnautica

Nautica is an exploration game based released by Epic Games in a watery world where your spaceship has crash landed and you have escaped in an escape pod equipped with a materials and equipment fabricator, materials analyser and limited storage (Inventory) facilities.

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Dual Universe

I am a Kickstarter Funder for the emerging MMO orientated Dual Universe platform. Dual Universe Alpha 1 usage is subject to a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) so this blog post only provides useful links and publicly posted images and videos by Novaquark, the developers of Dual Universe.

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Diva Wifi for OpenSim 0.9.1.0

OpenSim 0.9.1.0 changes the .NET Framework in use for compilation from 4.0 to 4.6. As at 12-Dec-2018 the sources for Diva’s addon modules are still based on .NET Framework 4.0 suitable for OpenSim versions up to the current stable 0.9.0.1. Small changes are needed to the *prebuild.xml files in those sources for Diva addon modules (and hence Wifi) to work with the latest versions of OpenSim.

First check the GitHub Diva source downloads directory as updates are likely once 0.9.1.0 is available as a stable OpenSim release.

Otherwise some helpful information and resources may be found in the section Update of Diva Addons for OpenSim 0.9.1.0 onwards near the end of this blog post…

Diva Canto provides the popular “Diva Distribution (D2)” precompiled version of OpenSim which includes a number of addon modules. One of these is called “Wifi” and provides a web front-end interface to OpenSim running in “Standalone” or “Grid mode with “Robust” services.

Wifi front end to Openvue Grid Wifi front end to AiLand Grid

Wifi is documented on the OpenSim Wiki at http://opensimulator.org/wiki/Wifi through which links can be found to Diva Canto’s download and source areas on Github. Wifi serves web pages which provide services such as:

  • Account creation, optionally controlled by the administrator
  • Configurable default avatars for new accounts
  • Account updates by both users and administrator
  • Account deletion by administrator
  • Password recovery via e-mail
  • Simple user inventory management

Wifi as an OpenSim Add-in

Up to OpenSim 0.8.0, Wifi was available as an add on module via compiled .DLL libraries which could be enabled for Standalone and Grid setups. From OpenSim 0.8.1 onwards, a more flexible “add-in” library mechanism that was already in OpenSim has been improved and Wifi now is provided as an add-in under that mechanism. This does mean that the build and configuration process is different.

Diva Canto has provided a blog post which describes the new Wifi mechanism and how to build and configure it, mostly geared at Unix/Linux users.

Wifi for OpenSim Robust Grids for Windows Users

In case it is helpful to those running Robust grids under Windows, I describe here the mechanism I use to build, configure and run Wifi on our own grids.

  1. Download the OpenSim source distribution as a zip file from one of the following:

    and unzip the source code to a suitable location. Note there is a folder called “addon-modules” at the top level (same level as the “bin” directory) which only contains a README.

  2. Obtain the source of the Diva addons via

    and unzip it to a temporary area. Copy the contents of the “addon-modules” from that area into the main unzipped OpenSim directory top level addon-modules directory. Take care as there is another directory “bin/addon-modules” which is NOT the one you want to copy to.

  3. As at 12-Dec-2018 the sources for Diva’s addon modules are based on .NET Framework 4.0. Small changes are needed to the *prebuild.xml files in those sources for Diva addon modules (and hence Wifi) to work with the latest versions of OpenSim.
    • The current (as at 12-Dec-2018) version of Diva Wifi and related adddons uses
      frameworkVersion=”v4_0″. Alter the prebuild.xml (plus prebuild.SQLite.xml and
      prebuild.MySQL.xml in 00Data) files in each directory to frameworkVersion=”v4_6″.
    • Alter some of the addon-module .cs files to remove warnings on compilation.
         ...\addon-modules\01DivaUtils\WebAppUtils.cs
                 catch // (Exception e)
         occurs twice
      
         ...\addon-modules\21Wifi\WifiMain.cs
                 catch // (InvalidOperationException e)
         occurs once
      

    Otherwise some helpful information and resources may be found in the section Update of Diva Addons for OpenSim 0.9.1.0 onwards near the end of this blog post.

  4. The following Diva addon modules are required for Wifi to work… the others are optional for uses beyond the Wifi interface and may be omitted…
    • 00Data
    • 00DivaInterfaces
    • 01DivaUtils
    • 1DivaOpenSimServices
    • 20WifiScriptEngine
    • 21Wifi
       
  5. You can now build OpenSim as usual, and the addons will also be automatically compiled. E.g., in a Command Prompt shell “cd” (change directory) to the top level of the OpenSim unzipped directory and then run “runprebuild.bat” followed by “compile.bat”. The resulting bin directory contains all you need and will have in it the addon Diva modules including Wifi.

  6. Wifi allows for extensive localisation with several provided languages and instructions on how to add further languages. A script is included in Wifi which creates a .dll file containing the resources used when the Wifi module starts up to populate the WifiPages area. This setup step uses a script that requires “ResGen.exe” to be available to run from a console and usually that means a path to the latest version of ResGen.exe needs to be on the “Path” environmental variable… e.g. on Windows 10 using .NET 4.6.1 ResGen.exe is usually located in…
    C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SDKs\Windows\v10.0A\bin\NETFX 4.6.1 Tools
    So long as ResGen.exe is accessible, then run the script at addon-modules/21Wifi/Localization/make_languages.bat or .sh.

  7. Before you run Robust.exe and OpenSim.exe, configure Wifi for your requirements by editing bin/Wifi.ini (but see the section “Disable Wifi in OpenSim.exe” below for a suggested improvement). A basis for your own bin/Wifi.ini file can be found in addon-modules/21Wifi. Since Wifi.ini sets Wifi as disabled by default, you will have to explicitly enable it and change necessary information to access your OpenSim data base, set your administrator avatar name and e-mail, etc.

  8. To allow tailoring of Wifi for your own grid, a directory “WifiPages” at the same level as the “bin” directory may be used where you can place specific *.html and any image/* files which will override the default equivalents in bin/WifiPages. The following pages can be overridden:
    • footer.html
    • header.html
    • links.html
    • splash.html
    • termsofservice.html
    • welcome.html
    • image/*

Disable Wifi in OpenSim.exe

With the default locations suggested in Robust.[HG.]ini.example and OpenSim.ini.example for the add-in configuration and registry locations, the addins are picked up by both Robust.exe and OpenSim.exe and use the same configuration for both. This means that if Wifi is enabled in Wifi.ini it runs in both Robust.exe and OpenSim.exe. This is not what is wanted for a grid and means that Wifi is served on the OpenSim default port (usually :9000) as well as the grid services port (usually :8002).

Hence, the following is the configuration used on Openvue and AiLand grids to allow for separate enabling of Wifi for Robust.exe and disabling Wifi for OpenSim.exe. Wifi.ini is MOVED from bin/Wifi.ini to config-addon-robust/Wifi.ini. These configuration settings may be useful as a basis for what others might wish to use…

-------- Robust.[HG].ini ----------------------
[Startup]
    RegistryLocation = "."
    ConfigDirectory = "./config-addon-robust"

-------- OpenSim.ini---------------------------
[Startup]
    RegistryLocation = "."
    ConfigDirectory = "./config-addon-opensim"

-------- config-addon-robust/Wifi.ini ---------
; Copied from Diva's Wifi.ini with [WifiService] Enabled = true
; and changes for your data base, admin avatar and grid environment
...

-------- config-addon-opensim/Wifi.ini --------
[WifiService]
	Enabled = false

Check your Data.MySQL.dll in Robust.[HG.]ini

In configurations for Wifi before the 0.8.1 add-in, Diva.Data.MySQL.dll was used as the “StorageProvider” both within the Wifi modules and for other Robust services. This is no longer necessary. The default StorageProvider = OpenSim.Data.MySQL.dll should be used for all normal Robust.exe services as configured in Robust.[HG.]ini as Wifi itself picks up the StorageProvider = Diva.Data.MySQL.dll separately from the settings in Wifi.ini.

Update of Diva Addons for OpenSim 0.9.1.0 onwards – using .NET Framework 4.6

Instructions to update the version of the Diva Addon Modules as at 12-Dec-2018 to Framework 4.6 and fix a couple of compiler warnings is available, along with a zip file of a modified version, via http://openvce.net/resources/downloads/diva-wifi/

Setting up the Default Avatars for Wifi

Using the provided example Wifi.ini file you have an indication that you can select one of three default appearances for newly created avatars set up via Wifi. But in a new environment you must set those avatars up first.

  1. Create the avatars with names “Female Avatar”, Male Avatar”, “Neutral Avatar”. and authorise them via the Wifi Admin is that is required.
  2. Login as each avatar in turn. They will usually appear as a cloud initially and then after a short while (depending on the version of OpenSim you are using) rezz to appear as “Ruth” wearing four basic body parts, new pants and new shirt. Note these parts come directly from the OpenSim Library and MUST NOT be worn in your final appearance for the default avatars. You can COPY these library parts into the avatar’s inventory if you wish, or create new body parts and clothing, but before you finish you should remove any items that show as “worn” that are located in the OpenSim Library as those will not rezz on avatars created based on these models.
  3. Create new body parts and clothing and edit them and/or add any other mesh, clothing, attachments or HUDs you wish to appear on the avatars.
  4. Note you can extend (or change the avatars names or labels) for the range of default appearances that are shown in Wifi and/or change the preselected default by altering Wifi.ini.
    ;; Syntax: AvatarAccount_<AvatarType> = "<FirstName> <LastName>"
    ;;         (replace spaces in <AvatarType> with underscore)
    AvatarAccount_Female="Female Avatar" 
    AvatarAccount_Male="Male Avatar" 
    AvatarAccount_Neutral="Neutral Avatar" 
    
    ;; Preselection for default avatar in new account registration 
    AvatarPreselection="Neutral"
  5. When you Create a new avatar via the Wifi web interface based on these predefined avatars the items worn will appear in the newly create avatar’s inventory under Clothes -> Default Avatar <AvatarType>.
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OpenSim VR Viewer Under Development – Resources

Resources related to a new open source OpenSim content VR Viewer under development by Melanie Thielker of Avination and others…

Open Source VR Viewer for OpenSim in Development — Low Cost Alternative for Social VR Projects, Blog Post: December 10, 2018…
https://nwn.blogs.com/nwn/2018/12/opensim-vr-unreal-viewer.html

New open source VR viewer for OpenSim may be coming soon…, Blog Post: December 10, 2018…
https://www.hypergridbusiness.com/2018/12/new-opensource-vr-viewer-for-opensim-may-be-coming-soon/

https://github.com/opensim/opensim-viewer
New viewer for OpenSim-based worlds. Originally using the Unreal game engine. Currently it uses the Xenko game engine for rendering.

To be visited in virtual reality with Melanie Thielker’s new viewer, the OpenSim regions first have to be converted to a format compatible with the Unreal/Xenko Engine. There is no support yet for getting the regions directly from OpenSim servers, or for having avatars in the scene.

Melanie Thielker’s presentation at the OpenSim Community Conference (OSCC’18)

OpenSim VR Viewer via OARConverter, Unity and SineSpace

An alternative way to view OpenSim content in VR would be to convert OpenSim Archive (OAR) files to Collada mesh via the OAR Converter Tool, import that to Unity and then publish the content into a SineSpace scene. [Sinespace Resources]

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Dreamgrid – Outworldz Dreamworld – OpenSimulator

Outworldz Dreamgrid LauncherDreamgrid is an easy to use OpenSim platform created by Fred Beckhusen, aka Ferd Frederix. It includes MySQL, Dynamic DNS name provision, OpenSim 0.9.1.0 Dev, 1, Diva’s WiFi admin interface and a wide range of add on modules. It sets up a virtual world grid with HyperGrid capability along with options to load a range of alternative content via OpenSim Archive (OAR) and Inventory Archive (IAR) files. It includes a simple update mechanism.

Addon Modules

Some Advice on Setting up Default Avatars for the Wifi Web Interface

See http://blog.inf.ed.ac.uk/atate/2018/12/12/diva-wifi/#avatars

Issues being Explored at Dreamgrid version 2.53 (10 December 2018)

There appears to be a problem when jumping between different Dreamgrid grids using hop://grid:port/region/x/y/z addresses in the address bar. Using the grid:port/region format in the Map tool appears to work. And using a hop:// in the address bar to a non-Dreamgrid (but still 0.9.1.0 Dev) grid works.

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OpenSimulator Community Conference 2018 – OSCC18

The OpenSimulator Community Conference (OSCC18) ran again this year on December 8th to 9th, 2018 and was once again organised and run by Avacon.

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High Fidelity – Futvrelands

On 17th November 2018 High Fidelity ran a Futvrelands event in honour of VR Day.





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Clamavi De Profundis – Tolkien Poems

Image from TheOneRing.net
Clamavi De Profundis is a family that loves to sing together and record inspiring and uplifting music. Their music is influenced by classical and fantasy literature as well as cinematic, traditional, religious, and classical music. In particular they have created some wonderful songs and videos based on poems from Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.

Far Over the Misty Mountains Cold (from The Hobbit) –
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8ymgFyzbDo

Song of Durin (Complete Edition) (from The Hobbit) –
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxfoa23skHg

The Song of Beren and Lúthien
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Smmy289iunY

Image from Clamavi De Profundis

Clamavi De Profundis have a Patreon Page where support can be given to the production of their music.

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Internet Shopping circa 1995 – Comments to the Press

I was amused to come across a press clipping of a 1995 article in the Edinburgh Evening News (“Keying in a spot of lunch” by Lindsay Reid, Evening News, 29th April 1995) in which I am quoted with several comments about the early emergence of Internet shopping…
Edinburgh Evening News 1995-04-29 Lindsay Reid Internet Shopping

Edinburgh Evening News 1995-04-29 Lindsay Reid Internet Shopping - Extract

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WordPress Blog Export and Import

I have been experimenting with export and reimport of WordPress blog posts and media content. If the Dashboard -> Tools -> Export (or under Dashboard -> Settings -> Export) was used to export “All” content and then the new destination site import occurred then I had believed that media such as images were taken over and put in the media library, but that the links/URLs in blog posts continued to point to the previous site. I now think there must be a two stage process to a full import of the posts and media.

  1. Import of the blog posts and media/images into the media library. [Takes a few minutes after which you are informed the import is complete.]
  2. Redirection of all the internal image URLs to the new local media library content. [Was completed overnight and no notice was sent to indicate this.]

An export and reimport of later content will just add new posts and media and not make duplicate entries. This is important bas the WordPress exporter seems to only allow a selective (e.g. data range) export of specific content such as posts and media, while the “All” export copies the entire blog to the export file (which is XML based). Unfortunately there can be a limit on the target site importer (15MB for the export/import file in the case of wordpress.com and 10MB for blogs.ed.ac.uk). My own blog is close to that limit as of today.

I note that my image rich blog of around 700 posts when imported to a wordpress.com blog uses up about 1GB of space (of the 3GB limit allowed there for free accounts).

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glTF

Robert Adams (Misterblue) has created the “Convoar” tool to convert OpenSim OAR files into glTF (GL Transmission Format). The following blog post goes into more detail.

http://blog.misterblue.com/2018/2018-07-01-Convoar-and-Converting-OARS

Robert explained to me that Convoar grew out of his personal project on virtual world scene simplification that he felt is needed for viewing OpenSimulator content in web browsers. Convoar is a stopping point on the way. He chose GLTF format because it is being used by Cesium and other web viewer projects. Today, the 3dWebWorldz project is using these OAR conversions to import into their web browser virtual worlds since there is a loader bundled with ThreeJS. There are also importers for most of the 3D editing tools.

Example converted regions (including our own OpenVCE OAR) are listed and available at

http://blog.misterblue.com/2018/2018-07-17-Convoared-region
http://misterblue.com/oars/

That OARs page includes links to view the 3D content via the “Simple Basil” viewer intended to act as a web viewer for virtual world content including from OpenSimulator.

glTF (GL Transmission Format) and GLB (GL Transmission Format Binary)

There are 3D modeller importers, exporters and converters for various 3D Model formats such as Autodesk FBX and Collada (.DAE) available.

The Khronos Group has provided a Blender add-on which enables glTF import and export via https://github.com/KhronosGroup/glTF-Blender-Exporter.

The Khronos Group have also created a Unity import and export tool available via https://github.com/KhronosGroup/UnityGLTF along with an included ready to open Unity project called “UnityGLTF” (not working on a test in Unity 2018.3.0b2).

IO-glTF is an open-source FBX importer/exporter plug-in that converts FBX file (and any file format that FBX can read such as obj, collada, …) to glTF. This plug-in can be used by any FBX based application to import/export glTF files. It needs to be installed in the Blender scripts/add-ons/ directory and then enabled under the Files -> User Preferences -> Addons tab.

There are also a range of online converters, such as:

A “glTF Binary” file is a .GLB file such as used in Oculus Home 3D model content. Facebook/Oculus provide a precompiled FSX to glTF converter at https://github.com/facebookincubator/FBX2glTF/releases and there is a glTF to Binary glTF packer via https://glb-packer.glitch.me/

See instructions at https://support.oculus.com/1702745539746285/#Importing and more detail at https://developers.facebook.com/docs/sharing/3d-posts/glb-tutorials

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Elf Clan

Elf Clan Gem Header - image from Elf Clan
Elf Clan is one of the oldest and largest virtual world fantasy role play groups. It has held lands in Second Life and various OpenSim grids. Its most recent home is on OSGrid but with affiliated Elf-themed regions on any other Hypergrid connected OpenSim grid as described in this blog post.

More information about Elf Clan and its activities is available on http://elfclan.spruz.com

Elf Clan on OSgrid is on the ElfClan region (note no space), with hypergrid address hop://login.osgrid.org:80/ElfClan or use hg.osgrid.org:80:ElfClan in the viewer map. (In October 2018 the region was named ElfClan-Sandbox).

To Join Elf Clan, search for the ELF CLAN group on OSGrid or the various Affiliate Grids (e.g. Kitely, DigiWorldz, etc.), and JOIN. It’s open-join on all affiliate grids. You can join on multiple grids if you wish.

ElfClan on OSGrid


Elvenworld on OSGrid – Affiliated to Elf Clan


Ai Avatar with Orcrist

Update on 10-Jan-2019 by @Wayfinder Wishbringer

Group website: http://elfclan.spruz.com

Elf Clan is very pleased to announce that we are re-established, set up, and for the most part fully operational on OSgrid (still updating a few scripts here and there). Search for ElvenSong region. We managed to rebuild ElvenSong, ElvenMyst and Replicant City on a 5×5 VAR, with Peter Lioncourt’s ElvenGlen and Koni Lanzius’ amazing ElvenWorld both next door, to form a 75-region continent with lots of sailing waters.

Visitors are welcome 24/7/365. ElvenSong and Replicant City are highly-interactive regions. Looking for awesome fantasy freebies? ElvenWorld is one of the best resources I’ve seen. ElvenGlen takes us back to the original Elf Clan region where it all began, re-built to the best of our ability. It’s been a real head-rush to re-create these regions on our own servers with full back-up capability, running as fast and smooth as ever. Opensim rawks.

Also check out Moontan Valeeta’s 2×2 Ithil Dae, a peaceful Elven fantasy region on Kitely grid.

Elf Clan is very pleased to be part of the OpenSim community. The “closed wall blinders” have been removed and we have expanded beyond our greatest dreams. The storm is not completely over (most ex-Inworldz members have still not received their OAR file creations even at this late date), but Elf Clan has weathered the storm and is as visitor-friendly as ever. We’re still unpacking boxes and working on some scripts here and there, but for the most part our lands are operational. Family-friendly, General-rated regions (please dress and act modestly as befits Elven lands). Feel free to bring your kids and grandkids. Have fun at the secret Dwagon Playground (if you can find it), visit the Elf Clan Crystal Museum, sail rezzable ships throughout the region, or explore the highly-interactive multi-genre science fiction world of Replicant City in high-sky ElvenSong. Bring your friends and explore, role play, pick up some freebies. Elf Clan welcomes you.

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High Fidelity – Load Test – 7 Sept 2018

A load test of the High Fidelity virtual world platform took place on 7th September 2018 and at least 356 avatars were in world in the same location at peak. A lot of different tests and exercises were run, including a trivia game. The performance was very good with only a couple of losses of the sound and one or two scene drop outs when logged on from Edinburgh Scotland.


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Sintel Resources

This page acts as a resource for the Blender Durian Open Source Movie Sintel Project and its Sintel character 3D models and avatars.

Blender Sintel Avatar Model

The Open Source Blender Project “Sintel” avatar has been used in a number of open source projects and a version is available to use as an avatar or character in environments such as Unity.

http://u3d.at.ua/load/modeli/ljudi_personazhi/sintel_character_for_unity/14-1-0-2929 by SaNEк [local copy]

2015-09-08-Unity-Sintel-1

It can be use to replace the Ethan visual model as described above. Just delete the Ethan visual model elements (EthanBody, EthanGlasses and EthanSkeleton) and insert the Sintel model instead. Then select the original Ethan “ThirdPersonController” and in the Unity Inspector change the Animator -> Avatar to the “SintelAvatar” you have included.

2015-09-08-Unity-Sintel-2 2015-09-08-Unity-Sintel-Run

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Pisten Bully 3D Models

Kässbohrer Pisten Bully Models imported via Unity3D and into a range of environments…


Original Models via 3DWarehouse.sketchup.com

Pisten Bully 100 via 3dwarehouse.sketchup.com by Tomme123456789

Pisten Bully 100 by Tomme123456789 Pisten Bully 300 by Digital Impressions

Pisten Bully 300 via 3dwarehouse.sketchup.com by Digital Impressions

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Fallingwater

Fallingwater in southwestern Pennsylvania is a vacation home designed in 1935 by architect Frank Lloyd Wright and often thought to be one of the finest buildings of the 20th Century.

Fallingwater 3D Model by Myles Zhang

Fallingwater PlanA lovely 3D openly accessible and modifiable model of the house and environment was created by Myles Zhang on Sketchfab.com [ Download Resources ] using 3D model source files originally by nottamun on 3dwarehouse.sketchup.com.

Fallingwater in Unity3D

I extracted the Collada (DAE) model of Fallingwater with its associated textures and imported those to Unity3D adding in some surrounding terrain. The trees and bushes were mostly replaced using Unity3D free assets and waterfall details were added and animated. Building and ground lighting was added, along with a day/night cycle. Doorways are not animated, so some of these were made into phantom (non-colliding) objects so an avatar can walk through them. Some pathways, corridors, doors and stairs in the house are not accurately modelled and can cause an avatar to get stuck, so some invisible barriers were put in place to help prevent this.

Fallingwater in Unity3D

Fallingwater in Sinespace

The build was then loaded in the multi-user virtual world Sinespace… it can be visited by searching for “Fallingwater” in the “Explore” panel in the Sinespace viewer.

Fallingwater in Sinespace Fallingwater in Sinespace

Fallingwater in Sinespace Fallingwater in Sinespace

Fallingwater in Sinespace via a Browser/WebGL

A WebGL version may work for some via this link… http://sine.space/locations/fallingwater


Fallingwater Plans

These diagrams are included with the Fallingwater model by Myles Zheng and nottamun…

Fallingwater Cross-section

 

Fallingwater Interior Model by Miles Zheng

A compatible interior model for Fallingwater is also provided by Miles Zheng on Sketchfab.

Fallingwater – Frank Lloyd Wright – Bear Run, PA
Myles Zheng https://sketchfab.com/mdzhang
http://projects.mcah.columbia.edu/fallingwater-2018/
CC BY 4.0

Tucked away in the sleepy forests of southwestern Pennsylvania sits one of the world’s most famous buildings: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater. Commissioned by wealthy department store owner Edgar J. Kaufmann and completed in 1937, the home’s cantilevered tiers hang suspended atop a 30-foot waterfall — Wright’s ingenious way of melding the man-made structure with its natural surroundings.

Fallingwater Exterior

Additional Files
https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1aq5pkstHra8hkWTeLePXfK04UabzgZzz

Fallingwater Interior

Additional Files
https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1wKiVt1810HrvPlm6jPISQRfRcpDzvRwB

Import to Unity3D

Obtain the models from the Sketchfab links above. You may need to be logged in to obtain these. This gives you zipped .kmz (Google Earth) format files. For each do the following:

Unzip the contents. Then take the .kmz file from that. You can ignore the textures which are also embedded in the .kmz file. Rename the .kmz to .zip. Unzip again. You will get a .kml file giving Google Earth model positioning inmformation (which you can ignore) and a “models” directory. In there rename the “untitled.dae” (the 3D model Collada file) to “Fallingwater Exterior.dae” and the “untitled” directory to “Fallingwater Exterior Textures”. Drag and Drop the “Fallingwater Exterior Textures” into the Project/Assets area in Unity3D. Then drag and drop the “Fallingwater Exterior.dae” into the Project/Assets area in Unity3D. It will associate the model materials with the textures already added.

Repeat for the Fallingwater Interior.

Copy the Fallingwater Exterior into the Scene/Hierarchy and place at 0,0,0
Copy the Fallingwater Interior into the Scene/Hierarchy and place at 0,0,0
Hide or remove the cylindrical background image named “Ambience”.
Consider making surrounding terrain to fit.
Consider using some of the additional files to add ambient sound, fireplace sounds, etc.

Posted in 3D, Virtual World | Tagged | 1 Comment

OpenSim Castle Cathedral Interior

The Epic Castle region in OpemSim (as described in this blog post) has interiors for some of the buildings created by Leora Jacobus. the cathedral includes an animated pipe organ and other interesting elements.



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Second Life Crystal Fortress

The Crystal Fortress is a gift provided in 2018 to avatars with premium subscriptions to Second Life. It provided a skybox for a 1024sq.m. plot that could be rezzed and placed at any height, interior furniture and a teleportation system all themed as rock or ice crystals. A guardian dragon appears to protect the structure.


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Pontefract Liquorice Festival 2018

Pontefract is a market town in West Yorkshire which was recorded in the Magna Carta in 1217. It sits within the Rhubarb Triangle and is well known for the manufacture of Liquorice and Pontefract Cakes (Pomfret Cakes). It holds an annual Pontefract Liquorice Festival. This years was on 8th July 2018.

Pontefract Liquorice Festival 2018 Poster Pontefract Magna Carta Plinth


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High Fidelity – Load Test – 6 July 2018

A load test of the High Fidelity virtual world platform took place on 6th July 2018 and over 200 avatars were in world in the same location at peak.


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