NASA Perseverance Mars Rover Landing

On 18th February 2021 the NASA Perseverance Mars Rover landed on Mars..

This was my setup for watching the mission with NASA TV Live and a real time simulation of the landing in NASA Eyes…

Along with participation in the British Interplanetary Society Mars Rover Landing Party in Zoom…

The Rover is the size of a small car…

Real Time Landing Simulation

First Image from Mars

Congratulations NASA and JPL

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Importing Mesh to Second Life and OpenSim

This is a page of resources related to creating mesh models suitable for upload and use in Second Life and OpenSim.

Beq Janus Advice

Beq Janus, who improved the mesh uploader now in use in Second Life/OpenSim viewers, and hence understands the limits, offered this advice…

  • Mesh limits more correctly should be interpreted as applying to each mesh element, not the whole model.
  • It is each sub-mesh in a model that has a 64K vertex limit because as you might surmise there is a 16bit index involved.
  • Every material is split into a separate mesh because it will enter the renderer differently depending on its nature (alpha blended, bump mapped, etc).
  • If a hard-surface model approaches the limits you need to go back to the drawing board… it is not a good model for any gaming platform.
  • Nurb models are certainly not allowed.
  • The models need to be triangulated too, not quads, you can let the uploader do that for you but frankly I would never leave a job like that to be done automatically.
  • You will need to take your curve based models and convert them to mesh. Again, even if you did have the option to convert on import the viewer would have to decide on the sampling frequency and you’d lose control of how it appears.

Collected Hints

  1. Any 3D modelling software will work, as long as it can output models in COLLADA (.dae) format. Note: Second Life uses COLLADA 1.4.1. (see Second Life Wiki – Mesh Background Information
  2. A “model” can have many separate “mesh” parts in it.
  3. The maximum mesh asset size after compression is 8MB, roughly equivalent to a 256MB raw COLLADA file. An entire region can support up to 128MB of distinct mesh assets after compression, not including attachments.
  4. A single convex hull is limited to 256 triangles.
  5. Maximum number of vertices is limited to 65,536.
  6. Scale limit is set to 64 meters.
  7. Take care to create low polygon meshes (as few verts as possible).
  8. Use no more than 8 face textures (8 materials assignments) on any mesh. These will import as “faces” in Second Life/OpenSim, which can be individually textured. You need to create a UV mapping for your model and its mesh parts which defines what part of the texture will go on which polygons of each mesh.
  9. Avoid intersecting faces (unless intersections are intended).
  10. Avoid duplicate vertices (unless you want to use the split modifier).
  11. Avoid creating more than 21844 tris per texture face.
  12. Avoid creating extremely small polygons (< 0.1 cm edge length).
  13. Make sure the objects, materials, submaterials and textures in the meshes do not contain any spaces. (so not “Box 001” which will give the “Error: element is invalid”, but “Box001” or “Box_001”).
  14. You can use any of the modelling tools while working on your model, but in the final form it should be saved before export as an Editable Poly.
  15. Before you export your mesh, make sure that it doesn’t have any stray vertices or overlapping edges. These will either cause unexpected visual results in Second Life or worse, the mesh will fail to upload entirely.
  16. For all meshes, make sure that the “Up Axis” is set to “Z-up”. If the axis isn’t set to Z-up, the mesh axis will be flipped on its side and/or rotated in Second Life/OpenSim.
  17. Advice on Levels of Detail (LOD)… note the need for the bounding box to be identical in all models, and all LODs to have same number of textures. See
Posted in OpenSim, Second Life | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Importing Mesh to Second Life and OpenSim

Supercar @ 60

This is an extended version of an article which appeared at on 28th January 2021 –
60th Anniversary of the first broadcast of Supercar on TV.

Supercar – The Wonder of the Age for Six Decades!

First Broadcast: 28th January 1961

Gerry Anderson TV was a backdrop to my school years in the early 1960s, a favourite when returning home from school. Having seen the programmes from Twizzle, Torchy and Four Feather Falls.. Kaiya Kalamakooya kala kaiya! … and beyond. But my absolute favourite was always Mike Mercury in Supercar!

Supercar is an experimental multi-purpose vertical take-off and landing craft. As well as its ability to fly, Supercar can travel on and under water, on land with a ground effect cushion from its vertical boosters, and even go into space. It is designed to perform a range of missions including search and rescue. Supercar is based at the Supercar team base in the remotely located Black Rock Laboratory within Black Rock Desert in Nevada, USA.

Well… there she is Mike….Supercar! [YouTube Episode 1 (3:25)]

… exclaimed by Professor Popkiss to Mike Mercury as Supercar is finishing a ground test in the first episode still sends tingles through my spine. The tech details were really appealing to my interests in science, engineering and aerospace. All the procedures for the familiar Gerry Anderson “launch sequence” began in Supercar…

Charging port engine, …, 9000, 12000, 15000, interlock on, Fire One

There are lots of superb details. I like the one where Dr. Beaker is examining a Supercar engines test and commenting on the crazing of the ceramic material of the blast shield. Reg Hill did a fine job of designing Supercar and giving it exciting capabilities on land, under the sea, in the air and even into space.

The sound effects for Supercar startup and flight added much to the atmosphere and Barry Gray’s music added a lot to all the Gerry Anderson TV series.. and Supercar has a very rich repertoire of themes and incidental music. The “Mike Mercury March” (aka “Mike’s Theme”) played as Supercar races to the scene of another rescue is wonderful.

While still at school I was so keen that I arranged a petition and got thousands of signatures from locals to send to ITV and AP Films to ask them to produce more episodes and show Supercar more on TV.

Having seen adverts in TV Comic, I was an early member of the Supercar Club which had a tie up with National Benzole “Super National” petrol and produced a flexi-disc with a Supercar story along with the Supercar theme and more Barry Gray music. I still smile when I remember my dad pulling into a National station to fill up, and as we drove away he accelerated fast and shouted out “zooooom”. The annuals each year, several Shipton Plastics “Plaston” PVC models (which we floated in our fish pond and tried to film in action in front of a back projection sheet), Budgie diecast Supercars and more merchandise followed. My dad, who had been in the Navy, even got me a captain style hat like Mike Mercury wore which I mounted my Supercar wings on.

It is wonderful that over the years since then we have been able to get the whole 39 episodes of Supercar from Series One and Series Two on DVD and that many new merchandising items and fan produced materials have appeared to keep the contents alive.

TV Comic ran strip stories in colour for many years and promoted the “Supercar Club” offering a golden “wings” badge and pilots licence to members.

When Supercar was still on air in the early 1960s, I was taken by my dad to a TV trade show at Earls Court on London, as he ran a TV retail and repair store. And as we went around I heard a loud announcement that “Anything can happen in the next half hour”! Turning round to the big screen just in time to see the black and white image turn to COLOUR and STINGRAY appear. So there was plenty to look forward to, even though Supercar remained my interest.

A number of scientists and engineers have noted how they were influenced in their career choices and areas of interest from watching early Gerry Anderson programmes. And so it was in my case too. The Black Rock Laboratory team under Professor Popkiss and Doctor Beaker created Supercar (fictionally) using a grant from the US Air Force and their research people. Reality can follow fiction… I have (in real life) received research funding for my Artificial Intelligence work on planning, command and control of spacecraft and in search and rescue applications from the US Air Force Research Laboratory and the US Defense Advanced Research Agency (DARPA) using the very same research mechanism that funded the X-15 rocket plane (and, one imagines, Supercar).

I have been fortunate to be part of the international community who continue to enjoy Gerry Anderson TV and work with some very creative people all round the world who are also very interested in Supercar over the years.

60 years later and Supercar is still in my life via the detailed and accurate 3D models produced 25 years ago with friends and collaborators around the globe and still looking good today as computer graphics have improved. The fan produced resources and computer models created with others internationally has enabled me to create virtual world and virtual reality experiences to continue to enjoy Supercar, to visit the (virtual) Black Rock Laboratory and take Supercar out for a spin in flight simulators and space simulators.

Mick Imrie in the UK in the late 1990s created Supercar and Black Rock Laboratory 3D computer models, originally in Cinema4D and subsequently ported by others in the Gerry Anderson Model Makers Alliance (GA-MMA) to Studio 3D Max, Lightwave, etc. See Supercar 3D Model – Mick Imrie and Austin Tate – 1998

Shane Pickering, a private pilot in New Zealand, in the late 1990s worked on schematics and internal details for Supercar compatible with the TV shows and annuals. See Supercar Schematics – Shane Pickering and Austin Tate – 1999.

Brian Douglas, a Microsoft Flight Simulator enthusiast in the UK, worked with me in 2003 to improve the visual appearance and flight dynamics for the earlier versions of Supercar for Flight Simulator I had created. See Supercar for Flight Simulator – 1996-2003.

Kez Wilson at Misc!Mayhem in Texas created the Supercar Comic published in 2003, working with script writer Michael Wolff, and I was happy to help with its production using our 3D models used to get accurate outlines for rotascoping of some image panels. I met up with Kez and Graydon Gould, the voice of Mike Mercury, at a Fanderson event that same year. See Supercar Comic – Kez Wilson and Michael Wolff – 2001-2003.

Playing Mantis in the USA produced the Johnny Lighting miniature diecast Supercar models originally in 2001 with colouring reflecting “The Little Golden Book” drawn images. Working with their designer Alan Pletcher I was able to give a little input to improve the later versions for colour and details to better reflect Supercar as seen on TV. I was fortunate to get deliveries of each new variant and limited edition that came out over the following years.

I have also had fun interactions with Martin Woodhouse (who along with his brother Hugh wrote the stories for Supercar series one), Dirk Maggs and some of the good folks at Fanderson.

The fan produced resources and computer models created with others internationally has enabled me to create virtual world and virtual reality experiences to continue to enjoy Supercar, to visit the (virtual) Black Rock Laboratory and take Supercar out for a spin in flight simulators and space simulators. See Supercar for Virtual Worlds and Virtual Reality.

Roof Doors Open!


More info, computer models and images:

Supercar at 60 in OpenSimulator

Supercar 60th Anniversary Limited Edition Treasury Box

Availability February 2021 – Anderson Entertainment – Supercar 60th Anniversary Limited Edition Treasury Box (alternative URL: Reversable DVD cover art by Chris Thompson (who also did the Pilot’s Licence Replica artwork) and new artwork by Lee Sullivan and Tim Keable. Note the spacing of “Made Expressly for THE SUPER CAR CLUB” on the backing card for the Supercar Wings badge. As confirmed by Jamie Anderson, this is a deliberate nod to the original backing card from the maker… J.R. GAUNT & SON LTD (Ribbon Makers).

Posted in Gerry Anderson, Supercar | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Watch the World – Starry Night

Robbie Dingo (aka Rob Wright) produced the “Watch the World” machinima in Second Life in 2007 depicting a build of the Vincent Van Gogh “Starry Night” painting…

More information via

Posted in Second Life | Tagged , | Comments Off on Watch the World – Starry Night

Second Life 2001 Lavender Lake Balloon Festival

Lavender Lake Air Balloon Festival for the month of January 2021 explore four regions floating through the sky in your personal hot air balloon. You can also rez a boat and sail, or jump in the water and explore marine life the whole year. See Second Life Destination Guide.

Teleport via:

Posted in Second Life | Tagged , | Comments Off on Second Life 2001 Lavender Lake Balloon Festival

Century Wings SR-71 Blackbird

Century Wings produces a range of high quality diecast aeroplane models… one being the 1/72nd scale Lockheed Martin SR-71 “Blackbird”. I have the following article:

SR-71 Blackbird USAF 60-6937 NASA YF-12C 1975
Century Wings Item No. 910720
Production No. 0401 of 1,200 limited edition

Images from Century Wings

Posted in Aircraft | Tagged , | Comments Off on Century Wings SR-71 Blackbird

Diva Canto – OpenSim Tutorials

Diva Canto has created a number of YouTube videos (originally in live session on twitch) to document the steps to create an OpenSim grid (version on Linux Ubuntu…

OpenSimulator: How to set up a multi-simulator grid (Part 1) [2hr. 20 mins.]

OpenSimulator: How to set up a multi-simulator grid (Part 2) [1hr. 2 mins.]

OpenSimulator: How to set up Wifi on a grid [57 mins]

More details and advice for educators using OpenSim in classes can be found in this New World Notes blog post (11-Feb-2021).

Posted in OpenSim | Tagged | Comments Off on Diva Canto – OpenSim Tutorials

Second Life – Firestorm Holiday Party 2020

Posted in Second Life | Comments Off on Second Life – Firestorm Holiday Party 2020

Firestorm VR Mod 6.4.12

Firestorm VR Mod is a version of the popular Firestorm Viewer for Second Life and OpenSimulator with modifications to provide VR capabilities for VR Head Mounted Displays (HMDs) via SteamVR. Firestorm VR Mod is now available from (Assets)

For Firestorm VR Mod community support use the Discord Discussion Channel:
P373R-WORKSHOP by p373r_kappler [Invite]

Table of Contents
Usage Black Edges Black Display Settings FPS Advice
Fn Keys Xbox 3D SpaceNav Source VRLand Test

Firestorm includes support for EEP (the Environmental Enhancement Project), support for the Chrome Embedded Framework Live Video Streaming, and various improvements for OpenSim support.

Peter Kappler maintains “P373R VR Mod” source code modifications to allow the Firestorm Viewer to work with VR headsets at – go there to download his latest viewer add on modification source code and for his usage information, advice on trouble shooting, etc.

@humbletim has created an automated scripted build system initiated by @thoys using GitHub Actions (GHA) which merges Peter Kappler’s VR Mod code additions into stock Firestorm and which can autobuild a release executable version. See Look under the Releases tab for the Firestorm VR Mod entry and then the installer for Firestorm VR Mod for various platforms is under the “Assets” chevron.


VR Mode instructions are available via prompts in the viewer or via information on In short…

  • Press CTRL+TAB to load or unload the SteamVR driver. Do this each time you want to enter VR mode after starting up.
  • Press TAB key to enable and disable VR mode.
  • Press F5 to open the settings menu, you should see a text menu in the middle of the screen. The settings menu works only when VR mode is enabled.
  • Press F6 to increase the selected value. Press F7 to decrease the selected value.
  • Press F5 again to switch to the next menu entry.
  • By pressing F5 on the last menu entry the menu will close and save the settings in a config file which is located in
    and which can be edited directly. Pressing TAB for VR mode reloads the config file.
  • Hold F3 to see some debug info (example here).
  • Press F4 to disable and enable HMD’s direction changes. It is better to disable the HMD’s direction interface when editing and flying with the camera. This may be subject to change in future versions.
  • In the camera floater two buttons has been added to offset the HMD’s base rotation.
  • Moving the mouse to the corners or the sides will shift the screen to this direction so menus can be accessed more easily.

For issues on some specific headsets you might wish to try the Firestorm VR Mod Discord Channel: P373R-WORKSHOP by p373r_kappler [Invite]. Peter Kappler also offers the following advice…

  1. Firestorm VR Mod works best while sitting and using mouse and keyboard.
  2. WindowsMixedReality users may need to press windows key + Y to unlock the mouse when the HMD is worn.
  3. If your Hardware cannot maintain constand 90 FPS you could try enabling motion reprojection in your HMD. In WindowsMixedReality it can be done by uncommenting “motionReprojectionMode” : “auto”, in the config file located at “C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\MixedRealityVRDriver\resources\settings\default.vrsettings”.This will make the HMD interpolate between frames and create a smoother experience. Vive and Oculus should have similar functionalities which can be accessed from SteamVR settings.For Vive it is called Motion Smoothing.

Black Edges or Strips in HMD Display

Firestorm VR Mod shifts the display in VR mode to an edge if the mouse or pointer is placed towards an edge or corner of the viewer window. This is to allow easier access to menus, user interface buttons and HUDs. It can be confusing though if you enter VR mode and find that part of the view is black. It is usually because the mouse is placed towards a corner or edge. Just move the mouse back to the centre of the screen and the full VR view should appear.

All Black HMD Display

This was an issue in earlier versions and is mostly resolved now… but it can still occur with some headsets. In case you encounter issues with a black HMD display… Peter Kappler suggests the following:

  • Create a program-specific profile for the viewer in your graphic card settings and enable FXAA.
  • Second Life only supports FXAA. Other types of Anti-aliasing can be disabled.

Settings and Setup

Firestorm VR Mod installs into its own folder and uses its own user Settings directory so that the VR Mod viewer can be installed alongside the standard Firestorm viewer. Note that if you want to import existing Firestorm accounts/settings you have to manually copy them over between AppData/Roaming/Firestorm_x64 and AppData/Roaming/FirestormVR_x64 folders.

As usual, Ctrl+TAB initially sets up SteamVR (and HMD support as needed), TAB is used to toggle VR mode on or off, F5 lets you select and step through the various VR HMD or user specific settings for IPD, texture shift to register the left and right eye images, and focal distance to change depth perception, etc. F6/F7 are used to increment and decrement each setting selection.

Peter Kappler suggested the following process to establish suitable settings for your HMD:

  1. Set IPD to 0 (zero)
  2. Then adjust Texture Shift until image is sharp and focused
  3. Then adjust IPD which separates your cameras to left and right to get a good 3D effect

If you see a lot of hover tips showing under the mouse it could be that the debug setting “ShowHoverTips” is set to TRUE (the default) which may show something constantly under the mouse even for inert unscripted objects. You can turn that off via Debug Settings or via Preferences > User Interface > 3D World > Show Hover Tips. Via that same preferences panel, you might alternatively prefer to lengthen the delay before hover tips are activated.

In VR Mode it may be useful to show local nearby chat in “bubbles” over each avatar’s head. This can be done via Preferences > Chat.

Advice on Frame Rate

You do need to ensure you have a good frame rate to have a comfortable VR experience. The Firestorm VR Mod Viewer will not work well if the Second Life/OpenSim region you visit cannot normally be displayed in 2D with a decent frame rate. In VR mode you can assume you will get roughly 50% of the frame rate that shows on the 2D normal screen. At low frame rates bad flickering will occur in VR mode. My suggestion is to look at the frame rate (in Firestorm it is displayed in the upper right hand corner of the viewer) and to adjust the graphics settings (especially draw distance, shadows and quality sliders) until you have around 100fps (and definitely more than 50fps) and then try VR.

Peter Kappler also suggested: Particles… a fireplace is going to eat 20 to 30 fps! So turn them off for VR.

In some situations the rendering of Linden Water, the water surface and its effects, can significantly reduce frame rates. In an environment that makes sense, such as a meeting room, disabling Linden Water can boost frame rates. Do that via Advanced (Ctrl+Alt+D) > Rendering Tyles > Water (or keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shift+Alt+7).

Tips from David Rowe for using the CtrlAltStudio VR Viewer (which is no longer maintained) may also be relevant:

  1. To improve your frame rate, reduce your draw distance and/or tweak other display settings such as advanced lighting model, shadows, FOV, pixel density, etc.
  2. Make sure you don’t have Preferences > Graphics > Rendering > Limit Framerate enabled.
  3. To display avatar chat above avatars use Preferences > Chat > Visuals > Show chat in bubbles above avatars.
  4. With floating text you may want to adjust the distance the floating text fades at so that distant text is not so annoying in VR mode: Preferences > User Interface > 3D World > Floating text fade distance.

Function Keys and Gestures

If you have issues with some of the Function keys (F5 or other Firestorm VR Mod keys) not working… look to see if the F keys involved are mapped to active “Gestures”. You can find a list of the gestures you currently have active and the keys associated with them using the “Gestures” toolbar button… or the Comm -> Gestures menu item (Ctrl+G shortcut).

Xbox One Controller

An Xbox One controller as used with the Oculus Rift (or an Xbox 360 controller) can be enabled, as usual, in Firestorm via Preferences -> Move & View -> Movement -> Joystick Configuration -> Enable Joystick.

You will probably find the controls are under or over sensitive, or some buttons and triggers don’t do what you expect. See this blog post and the image here (click for a larger version) for some suggestions as to how to amend the settings…

You might want to enter “-1” rather than axis “5” as an indication that axis is not mapped. With the setup suggested the “A” button toggles between the normal avatar view and “FlyCam” mode allowing you to move the camera separately to the avatar.

3D SpaceNavigator or SpaceMouse

3DSpaceNavigatorAs with all versions of Firestorm, the viewer supports other forms of “joystick”. One is the 3Dconnexion SpaceNavigator (aka SpaceMouse) which is a “3D mouse” supporting both avatar motion and by clicking the left hand button the separate “FlyCam” camera control.

My recommendation is to install the SpaceNavigator just by plugging it into Windows and receiving default Windows drivers for the device. I do not install any special SpaceNavigator drivers as suggested on the Second Life Wiki, some of which are incompatible with Second Life viewers.

Firestorm VR Mod Source

This version of Firestorm VR Mod is based on the Firestorm source code at Commit r63477:5b44308aee43 (Wed, 02 Dec 2020 21:32:05). Firestorm source is available at Look under “Commits” and select the branch for Firestorm_6.4.12 (link here).

With Firestorm VR Mod Peter Kappler uses a coding approach which injects VR capabilities into the Firestorm Viewer to make the mod easier to maintain in future and for others to repeat or adapt. The source is available from his web page at [Local Copy].

Impressively, the source is written in a way that it requires only some editing in the llviewerdisplay.cpp and adding 2 files to the project. All changes are marked with #####P373R##### comments. Peter also included the openvr header and lib files you will need in the rar. For information about the rest of the files you will need, read how to compile Firestorm at

Note that the VR Mod source remains stable since version 6.3.3 with no changes are needed for insertion into Firestorm 6.4.12.

The GitHub Actions (GHA) source by @HumbleTim used to combine Firestorm source and Peter Kappler’s P373R VR Mod addons and build it using Visual Studio 2019 is available via (Firestorm_6.4.12_VR Branch)

VRLand – Test Area

VRLand on OSGrid is a metrics area for performance testing and to establish virtual field of view in your headset.


More detail at:

Ai-Austin-with-Oculus-DK2-800x640You can also pick up a VR Headset attachment for your avatar in OpenSim on the OSGrid VRLand region. The 3D models of the Oculus Rift were provided for free use by William Burke (MannyLectro)and imported to OpenSim by Michael Cerquoni (Nebadon Izumi).

A free copy is also provided on the Second Life Marketplace by Grebo Fright …

Posted in OpenSim, Second Life, VR | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

SpaceX Starship SN8 Test

Tuesday, December 8th, 2020 – Raptor Abort at T-1.3sec

Wednesday, December 9th, 2020 – Go

Go to 1hr. 48 mins. into video for launch.

Richard Angle’s Timelapse of Launch and “Landing”

Image from Teslarti and @RDAnglePhoto

Try Starship Yourself – with X-Plane: Starship

From Laminar Research for IPad and iPhone

Posted in Space | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on SpaceX Starship SN8 Test

Second Life – Firestorm Gateway SciFi Portal

The Firestorm Gateway in Second Life has developed a SciFi Portal. The portal provides roleplay explorers with a SciFi environment to explore and interact with:

  • Starship bridge, engineering and other locations
  • Shuttle flights
  • Supply area to get free SciFi uniforms and equipment
  • SciFi roleplay areas
  • and more…

Details can be found at:

Some locations that may be useful are at:

Posted in Second Life, Space | Tagged , | Comments Off on Second Life – Firestorm Gateway SciFi Portal

Scenegate – OpenSim Viewer – Resources

Introductory articles on the SceneGate viewer in its simpler beginner mode and its extended more advanced modes can be found in this blog post [SceneGate OpenSim viewer with beginner and extended modes. 16-Feb-2020]

Posted in OpenSim | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Scenegate – OpenSim Viewer – Resources

OpenSimulator Community Conference 2020 – OSCC20

The OpenSimulator Community Conference 2020 (OSCC20) was held on 5th-6th December 2020 on the OpenSimulator Community Conference grid. This is the 8th virtual annual conference for the OpenSim Community which has run annually since 2013. More details at

Opening Event


Shopping Zone – Ruth2 v4 and Roth2 v2 Open Source Mesh Avatars

Organizers – Many Thanks


VR – using Firestorm VR Mod

OpenSim Commits 2019-2020 – Gource Visualisation

[OpenSim code development from 2008 to 2017… Youtube]

Posted in OpenSim | Tagged , , | Comments Off on OpenSimulator Community Conference 2020 – OSCC20

Grid Hopping

Firestorm (15-Nov-2020) is now at Release Candidate stage and undergoing final QA testing. There are improvements to the handling of OpenSimulator “hop” addresses, especially to ensure that the current grid is inserted into Hypergrid addresses rather than always (incorrectly) using the original login grid.

This is an issue that has been outstanding for some time in virtual world viewers that support access to OpenSim. See, for example, Firestorm JIRA FIRE-10549. My own test page for hops has been tracking progress on this for over 7 years and is at

To show you how far this has moved things forward in the latest Firestorm viewer… here are tests starting with a local login avatar (e.g. on AiLand) and a login avatar on OSGrid (a well used open grid) and then using the following hop addresses in the address bar. It includes hops to OpenSim software based on various versions including (now over 5 years old code),, and dev (the latest in development version) grids, and even some grids with “Modified” code. Of course I deliberately avoided grids I know will fail (see later)… but note one of the hops is for OSGrid which separates the GatekeeperURI and LoginURI and does assume the default :80 without including it in the address. PROGRESS

Start via your own local avatar login on a grid on any recent, properly configures Grid and region. E.g., for me that is an Ailand avatar login on AiLand…


Start via local OSGrid avatar login at, e.g., Vue-Port region…


Also note that due to a separate OpenSim/OSGrid issue, repeat returns to some grids need TWO teleport tries to work. First reports “You appear to be already logged in. Try again”. Second always works. See

Problematic or Failing Grids/Regions

Grids that separate their LoginURI (e.g. and GatekeeperURI (e.g. are still problematic – and it may be that the Simulator Features OpenSim Extras GridURL is incorrectly set via the grid’s configuration. GridURL is set from the Robust GatekeeperURI overridden by the region’s config-include/GridCommon.ini GatekeeperURI.


OSGrid appears to work in hops and it is another example of a grid that separates its LoginURI (e.g. and GateKeeperURI (e.g. but in its region config-include/GridCommon.ini it adds aliases to the GateKeeperURI to its LoginURI. This may indicate that the viewer is not yet properly picking up the GridURL/GatkeeperURI and using it for all Hypergrid teleports.

Some DreamGrid-based grids seem to have some issue and also fail… e.g., I cannot hop to one of my own experimental grids (not running all the time):


Some regions on OSGrid (e.g. Lani) will ALWAYS give “The region you tried to teleport to doesn’t exist anymore” message, which I am exploring with the region owner. OSGrid Lani region is not reporting its GridURL in SimulatorFeatures SimulatorExtrtas. It appears to be on OpenSim code from 2015.



Fails with “The region you tried to teleport to doesn’t exist anymore”

x-grid-info and x-grid-location-info


Enabling Extra logging Useful to Diagnosing Hop Issues

Edit the logcontrol.xml file in the Firestorm install folder… on Windows for the 64bit Firestorm release that is for example C:\Program Files\FirestormOS-Releasex64\app_settings. Go to the bottom and see a line with “import” in it. COPY that line TWICE leaving those there now in place and change the extra lines to GridManager (no space) and SLURL.

You can then explore the way in which the viewer creates each hop or “SLURL” by searching for “#SLURL#” lines in the Firstorm.log files created for each run of the viewer which is put in a location such as C:\Users\yourname\AppData\Roaming\Firestorm_x64\logs.

You can also explore what information a Grid/Region is giving back to the viewer when teleports occur. This is communicated on a call by the viewer of “setSimulatorFeatures” (look for that string in the Firestorm.log file) and returned in XML format by the destination “root” or “main” region and each “child” region within the viewer draw distance range. This contains OpenSimulator specific parameters in an “OpenSimulatorExtras” section.

Temporary Mapping of Hypergrid Destination Region to Local Map

Hypergrid destination regions are temporarily mapped to the source grid local map at any value of X and Y < 32. This range is reserved so large regions can fit. Region corner is parked at y = 0.

Posted in OpenSim | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Grid Hopping

Blender Avatar Rigging – Simple Guide

Ada Radius has improved the armatures on 26th January 2021 in her GitHub RuthAndRoth References area… the readme gives the details of what replaced that file.

avatar_skeletonV3.blend replaces avatar_skeleton_with_custombonesettings.blend, and has two armatures in the .blend file… use the avatar_skeleton.xml armature for rigging to export as Collada for Second Life and OpenSim.

These notes are a reminder of the process to use Blender to take the Ruth2 v4 mesh avatar, add an “armature” for rigging and go through the process of exporting Collada (.dae) and importing to Second Life/OpenSim. It follows a very helpful tutorial on 4th November 2020 by Ada Radius and Kayaker Magic on Discovery Grid.

Gather Resources

A place to start might be this GitHub Ruth2 Wiki page on… Clothing Creator Guide … and much more technical detail is in this Wiki page on… Blender and Rigging.

  1. Blender 2.83 or later (using 2.90.1)
  2. Ruth2/Mesh/Ruth2_v4/Ruth2v4Dev.blend (GitHub/Ruth2)
  3. Reference/Ada Radius/avatar_skeleton_with_custombonesettings.blend (GitHub Reference)
  4. Guidance notes at Reference/Ada Radius/ (GitHub Reference)

Simple Process Guide

Open Blender with a new project, remove default cube.

Check if Edit > Lock Object Modes is ticked tick and if so turn if off. Save as defaults for future via File -> Defaults -> Save Startup File.

Add Ruth2 v4 mesh parts dev kit via File > Append Ruth2v4Dev.blend and select the “Object” mesh part you want to work with.

In Outliner, if present Delete Light and Camera.

In Outliner, if you have a mesh part named “headMesh”, it is just the Second Life/OpenSim classic avatar head shape for comparison purposes and not part of Ruth2 v4. Delete that too.

Rotate mesh 90 degrees on Z axis to face right in front orthographic view (as armature already is as you will see later when you append that).

Use Object > Apply > All Transforms to ensure all subparts of rotated outer container/mesh are transformed.

Add armature via File > Append avatar_skeleton_with_custombonesettings.blend and select “Object” avatar_skeleton.xml. When using “Append” in Blender always bring in the “Object” which will pull in any related items needed, i.e. to avoid confusion, you should not try to only bring in the separate “Armature” part in this case.

Select avatar_skeleton.xml and choose “Edit Mode”. Select > All, Armature > Bone Roll > Clear Roll.

Return to “Object Mode” and in outliner, select mesh first and then avatar_skeleton.xml. The armature must be the last thing selected. Then use Object > Parent (Ctrl/P) to get Parenting options. Set to “Armature Deform”. Parent should then be shown as avatar_skeleton.xml.

Now carefully check all the mesh properties as described in the Ada Radius guidance notes.

In the sample mesh part I was checking the Ruth2v4 (head, body and hands, no feet) had the required single Armature Modifier, but also a “DataTransfer” Modifier to Ruth2v4FeetFlat. “DataTransfer” and “Weld” may be able to be left in as according to Ada Radius… “those are Modifiers that do apply well on export from Blender and import inworld. Not perfectly, but well”. So I left that in. Ada adds…

The Data Transfer Modifier has several uses. In this case I use it for separate objects that we want perceived as a single object inworld. With the settings I used, it matches the face corner normals to the target we point it to. It works fairly well, depending on inworld lighting and how well the textures match. If you see a modifier called “Weld” it’s the same thing

Export to Collada

Select the mesh part you wish to export… note its the mesh part which is now parented to the armature… i.e. do NOT select the parent armature.

File > Export > Collada.

Via cog settings icon, use Operator Presets > SL+OpenSim Rigged (which sets nearly all settings needed, but check against guidance notes).

For rigged mesh items (like the Ruth2 avatar mesh parts themselves, or rigged mesh clothing) in the Extra tab you must ALSO tick “Keep Bind Info” (otherwise the mesh in Second Life/OpenSim will look like a spindly deformed alien when imported).

Export Collada.

Import – Mesh Upload to Second Life/OpenSim

Import to OpenSim/SL via the Mesh Uploader as usual. Make sure to use the Second Life only version of the viewer (with Havok Physics) if uploading to Second Life. Make sure to tick “Include Skin Weight” in the Options/Rigging tab if it is not already preselected.

Avatar Mesh in OpenSim after Texturing for Bakes on Mesh

When the Bento Hand Relax animation normally running in Ruth2 v4 is added to the imported mesh the fingers deform. This issue is currently under investigation by Ada Radius (as at 5th November 2020).

Posted in OpenSim, Second Life | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Blender Avatar Rigging – Simple Guide

AI Planning Conferences

The International Artificial Intelligence Planning and Scheduling (AIPS and ICAPS) Conferences have used a variety of named during their history… now up to 30th International Conference on Automated Planning and Scheduling due to held in nancy, France but due to the Corvid-19 pandemic run as the first virtual event. A list of the international AI Planning Conferences is available at:

This numbering misses out the first event in June 1990 which we can maybe think of as “Conference Zero”…

First International Conference on Expert Planning Systems, Brighton, UK, June 27-29, 1990.

There are also European Conferences on Planning, which had a very broad, beyond Europe, participation… More details at

Posted in AI | Tagged , | Comments Off on AI Planning Conferences

jOpenSim – OpenSim with Joomla

A blog post with resources related to jOpenSim, a component which allows the use of the Joomla Content Management System with OpenSimulator.


jOpenSimWorld is an OpenSim grid which uses Joomla and the jOpenSim component to provide its web interface. The Welcome area of jOpenSimWorld uses the OpenVCE virtual collaboration environment and I-Room building contents. A free 4,096sq.m plot is available to new residents on the Canary Islands region.

hop:// Islands/19/236/22

DreamGrid with jOpenSim

jOpenSim is included in Fred Beckhusen’s DreamGrid distribution for OpenSim from version 3.71 (released 27th October 2020)… documentation at

Note on Starting Apache Web Server via DreamGrid

On first and every subsequent startup two DOS boxes appear for OutworldzFiles\Apache\bin\rotatelogs.exe. Fred Beckhusen notes that Apache brings up two black boxes for the “loggers” – one for errors, one for activity which cannot be supressed. If Apache is installed as a service, the DOS log windows go away. This also lets Apache run your web page/blog/wordpress even if your grid is offline.

Also, there are two popups in OutworldzFiles\PHP7\ext\php_curl.dll for procedure entry point “libssh2_scp_recv2”. Fred Beckhusen points out that those error are from the OpenSim maps, which needs PHP curl. PHP will not run curl without loading a obsolete version of OpenSSL.

Posted in OpenSim | Tagged , , | Comments Off on jOpenSim – OpenSim with Joomla

Halloween in Second Life 2020

Halloween has arrived on the houseboat on the Bellisseria continent in Second Life (Ai Pad) courtesy of some Halloween decorations, pumpkins and light sets provided by Linden Lab.

Posted in Second Life | Tagged , | Comments Off on Halloween in Second Life 2020

ICAPS 2020

The ICAPS’20 conference, originally planned to be held in Nancy France, is being run virtually and using as a social hub and via that Zoom to access meeting spaces…

HPLAN Workshop – Hierarchical Planning

Organised by Pascal Bercher and his team, it was good to see many old friends, colleagues and new (to me) folks in the even run via Zoom…

The workshop was kicked off with an invited talk by Robert Goldman about SHOP3.

Invited Talk by Leslie Kaebling, MIT

Posted in AI | Tagged , | Comments Off on ICAPS 2020

Pisten Bully in OpenSim

I just love the Kässbohrer Pisten Bully.. see some blog posts on this via So I could not resist taking some snapshots of a model of this created by “Imperator Janus2” (OSGrid) on the AiLand grid in OpenSim using the latest Firestorm Viewer with EEP (Environmental Enhancement Project).

Posted in OpenSim | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Pisten Bully in OpenSim

Ruth2 Mesh Clothing in Second Life

Now that Ruth2 v4 is released (see this blog post), it may be time to explore some of the clothing options available for her. Ruth2 is a low-poly open source mesh avatar for OpenSimulator and Second Life. There are a number shopping areas which provide “group gifts” free to anyone who is a member of the store group. Often group membership is free or low cost.

Remember Ruth2 v4 herself can be obtained at no cost via the Second Life marketplace or the inworld location…

  • Second Life Group: “RuthAndRoth” (free to join) – Group name place holder.
  • Second Life Group: “Ruth and Roth Community” (free to join) – Most active and recommended for use.
  • Second Life Marketplace Store: RuthAndRoth
  • Inworld Location: Fireheart/240/223/21

Maitreya “Lara” fit clothing works quite well on Ruth2 v4, though not an exact fit. Using some alpha masks with the bakes on mesh body can be made to work pretty well. So start with Maitreya fit (or “Medium” or “Small” fit mesh depending on the style.

Addams Clothing

Join the Adamms Clothing group, activate the tag and look for the group gifts on the central plinths.

Seniha Originals

There is a large set of group gifts available in the centre of the store. Make sure to join the Seniha original group and activate the group tag.

!Soul by Shannon Bryon

Duck Girl

Duck Girl Mesh Clothing for Ruth2. Use the “Ruth” versions where provided, or try the “Altamura” or “Maitreya” versions for close fit otherwise.

Posted in Second Life | Comments Off on Ruth2 Mesh Clothing in Second Life

Ruth2 Mesh Clothing in OpenSim

Now that Ruth2 v4 is release (see this blog post), it may be time to explore some of the clothing options available for her. Ruth2 is a low-poly open source mesh avatar for OpenSimulator and Second Life.

Remember Ruth2 v4 herself can be obtained at no cost via the OSGrid RuthAndRoth region. You can also find some teleporter boards to various OpenSim Hypergrid locations there… along in some cases with some preselected items from the many that are available. A number of useful additions, such as potentially relevant alpha masks” are also included in the selection boxes.


Taarna Welles – Grid – Savvy – Reboot and ReMake Fashions

Taarna Wellles is one of the original development team for Ruth2 and provided a number of clothing options via her ReBoot stored on the grid…


Sara Payne – Fire and Ice Grid – Covey Stores

Sara Payne, aka Manwa Pastorelli, provided a number of Ruth2 mesh outfits, shoes and animation on the Fire And Ice

hop:// Stores/123/142/22

Alternate Metaverse

Alternate Metaverse (AMV) provides a number of mesh starter avatars and a box of starter mesh clothing, hair and Animation Overriders (AO) that could be useful. Find them and more via the “AMV Annex” or the “Bare Lilies” regions…

hop:// Annex/114/131/26
hop:// Lilies/154/154/9922

Ruth2 v4 Shapes and Skins – Na’vi, Drow and Elf

Posted in OpenSim | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Ruth2 Mesh Clothing in OpenSim

Nani OpenSim – Resources

This page is to provide resources related to the Nani branch of OpenSim to assist in testing OpenSimulator. This branch is developed by Nani with support from Hyacinth Jewell of HG Luv Grid. Details of the Nani OpenSimulator version can be found at

Nani OpenSim was branched off from the OpenSim Dev Master on May 5 2018. Nani release versions reflect the release date. E.g. 20.6.11.

An example Nani-based grid is Alternate Metaverse (AMV)


Bakes on Mesh (BoM) on Nani Grids

The 8th October 2020 update to Nani OpenSim makes BoM work more compatibly with viewers that use Second Life/OpenSim style BoM (left hann image). In Firestorm 6.3.9 and beyond users should see BoM equipped avatars correctly. Users using Firestorm 6.0.2 will see fall back coloured faces on BoM avatars (right hand image).

It looks like at the current Nani software release (8th October 2020) that a manual rebake is necessary if you change anything that affects the BoM layer, such as adding classic clothing items or alpha masks. So bakes are not being updated and pushed back to viewers.

There is a mechanism by typing /#bom me in local chat for you to let others around you still using Firestorm 6.0.2 to see BoM avatars. You see this message in local chat:

BoM detected! You may not appear correctly to people with older viewers.
      If you would like to use our bake feature... type in chat
      /#bom me
      ..and you will appear normally to people with all viewers.

There are a few glitches still with the baked head not working or not hiding the underlying classic avatar. But its getting there.

Posted in OpenSim | Tagged , | Comments Off on Nani OpenSim – Resources

OpenSim using .NET 4.8

From 11th September 2020, OpenSim can be built using .NET 4.8 as well as the current default .NET4.6. .NET 4.8 and the necessary compiler tools can be made available by installing Visual Studio 2019 Community Edition.

OpenSim using .NET 4.8

Visual Studio 2019 Core plus additional modules:

  • NET Framework 4.8 SDK
  • .NET Framework 4.8 targeting pack
  • C# and Visual Basic Roslyn compilers

Then use runprebuild19.bat and compile.bat

OpenSim using .NET 4.6

For continued use of .NET 4.6 OpenSim also needs:

  • .NET Framework 4.6 targeting pack
  • Note that the .NET Framework 4.6 SDK is NOT NEEDED.

Then use runprebuild.bat and compile.bat

Visual Studio 2019 Module Installation

Install individual modules at initial installation time or later via
     Visual Studio 2019 -> Tools -> Get Tools and Features -> Individual Components


For Diva Wifi addon module language resources generation, you also need to ensure that the PATH environmental variable has resgen.exe and al.exe tools on the path.
     C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SDKs\Windows\v10.0A\bin\NETFX 4.8 Tools

Posted in OpenSim | Tagged | Comments Off on OpenSim using .NET 4.8

Second Life Book Club – Larry Niven

Second Life Book Club – Larry Niven in Conversation with Draxtor
Wednesday 2nd September 2020 (12pm PST)

Ringworld Cast of Characters Discussion

Larry Niven reading Lucifer’s Hammer

Larry Niven in Conversation with Draxtor and Philip Rosedale

Larry Niven Avatar

Second Life avatar for Larry Niven designed by Silas Merlin… image from Draxtor

Ringworld in Space Simulators



Posted in Second Life | Comments Off on Second Life Book Club – Larry Niven

Ruth2 v4

Ruth2 v4 Revision 2020-09-02
Based on Blender Mesh from (was Ada Radius Draft 11). Use a viewer which supports Bakes on Mesh, e.g. Firestorm.

Ruth2 is a low-poly mesh body specifically designed for OpenSimulator and which can also be used in Second Life™. It is built to use standard Second Life UV maps using a scratch-built open source mesh by Shin Ingen, Ada Radius and other contributors from the RuthAndRoth Community. Ruth2 v4 is the fourth version of the mesh avatar updated to be built and rigged using Blender 2.8 and with improved documentation of the workflow to make it reliably repeatable and credits to all the asset creators involved.




Ruth2 v4 is provided as a single mesh that is designed to work well with Bakes on Mesh. It has a simple alpha capability without needing separate mesh parts and alpha masks can be worn to give more control over hidden areas. rather than use Bakes on Mesh, skin textures may be applied, but you should then add a full body alpha mask to hide the underlying system avatar.

The “Ruth2 v4 – Mesh Avatar” box contents are designed so that they form a complete initial avatar using Bakes on Mesh. You can switch to your own shape, skin, eyes and hair and/or use the HUD to change your appearance. Some example hair, underclothing, hair bases and a range of alpha masks are provided in the “Ruth2 v4 – Extras” box. Skins as used in the HUD and more can be found in a “R2 Skins – Female” box.


Ruth2 v4 uses a single combination HUD, created by Serie Sumei, for alpha masking, skin and eye texture application, finger and toe nail colour, and other features. The skins and eyes that are available are set via a notecard (!CONFIG) in the Contents of the HUD which can be edited to incorporate your own skins (11 slots are available) and/or eye textures (5 slots are available).

The Skin Alpha Mode can be changed between Alpha Masking with cutoff=128 (the initial setting) and Alpha Blending. Depending on the Alpha Mode that is used on hair, clothing or other attachments that use partial alpha it may be useful to be able to change the setting used on the mesh body to avoid some parts not displaying correctly.


Ruth2 v4 – Mesh Avatar – This is the normal distribution box and is designed so that once unpacked its contents can be “worn”. It contains basic “classic” avatar shape, skin, eyes or hair to form a complete outfit, but these can be replaced with the users own preferred content.

  • Ruth2 v4 (Body+Hands+Head)
  • Ruth2 v4 Eyes
  • Ruth2 v4 Eyelashes
  • Ruth2 v4 (posable) Flat Feet, and Fixed Medium and Fixed High Feet
  • Ruth2 v4 Toenails for the feet options
  • Ruth2 v4 Five options for fingernails
  • Ruth2 v4 HUD
  • Initial skin, shape, basic eyes and basic hair
  • Basic underwear

Ruth2 v4 – Mesh Avatar Business – A special version of the Ruth2 v4 Mesh Avatar for G-Rated or Business usage is provided with a modified body shape and skins which have simple baked-on underwear.

Ruth2 v4 – Extras – This is a box of useful extra elements and options.

  • Ruth2 v4 Body (only)
  • Ruth2 v4 Business (Body+Hands+Head)
  • Ruth2 v4 Business Headless (Body+Hands)
  • Ruth2 v4 Hands
  • Ruth2 v4 Head
  • Ruth2 v4 Headless (Body+Hands)
  • Ruth2 v4 Head+Vneck (section of body)
  • Ruth2 v4 Elf Ears
  • Alpha masks
  • Sample hair and hair bases

Ruth2 v4 – Resources – This box is not normally needed. It contains textures and other resources with original UUIDs as used within the other assets. This can be useful if moving the assets across grid, or to repair elements.

Ruth2 v4 – Mesh Uploads – This box is not normally needed. It contains mesh for all Ruth2 v4 elements as originally uploaded and before attaching a root prim or any texturing.

R2 Skins – Female – Skins and related skin textures as used in the Ruth2 v4 HUD and alternatives from


See this Wiki page for information on Bento Mesh Bodies and Heads…

The following avatar appearance slider controls are not supported due to technical constraints as described in this Wiki page…

  • Head Shape
  • Eyelash Length
  • Eye Pop
  • Ear Angle
  • Attached Earlobe
  • Jowls
  • Chin Cleft
  • Upper Chin Cleft


  • Ruth2 v4 with attached Bento head will work with most shapes. The headless body, to use with system head or other mesh head, will work well with the sliders except body fat, and extremes to neck length and thickness, because of the neck seam. There are a few head sliders that don’t work: Head Shape, Ear Angle, Jowls, Chin Cleft.
  • Texture Alpha Mode – Alpha Blending or Alpha Masking? Ruth2 v4 is set initially with mode Alpha Masking with a mid cutoff of 128 (the cutoff range can be 0 to 255) as this may work well with the addition of clothing and hair that use Alpha Blending as transparent edges can appear if too many overlapping items use the same alpha mode. But Alpha Blending can often look smoother. The Eyelashes are set to Alpha Blending mode for this reason since they act more like a hair attachment.
  • The Ruth2 v4 mesh near the toes is adjusted to avoid the toenail area of the skin, as many skins bake in toenails. Ruth2 v4 is designed to make use of separate mesh toenails. For best result, paint over the system toenails and remove as much detail as you can from your foot skin that is probably designed for the system avatar’s duck feet.
  • The HUD Options Tab allows for the posable flat foot pose to be altered and an “ankle lock” facility attempts to keep animations from moving a joint or two. The ankle lock is sometimes needed to counter-act an interaction between some poses/animations and non-flat feet that otherwise bends the foot back another 45-60 degrees. Not every raised foot needs it due to variations in rigging and if the feet were posed with animations already or not.
  • Multiple fingernail shapes are available. The HUD is not currently enabled to support selection between these. Just add and remove the option you wish to use.
  • Due to the scripting facilities used in the HUD, Ruth2 V4 scripts will not work on early versions of OpenSim such as (now five years old). Please update.
    But to help, a box with unscripted versions of the main mesh avatar is available on OSGrid on the RuthAndRoth region. This version does not include the HUD, the body parts are unscripted except for relaxed hand pose activation in Ruth2 v4 (Body+Hands+Head). This version should work for BoM with an appropriate viewer, or apply skins and manually apply alphas where needed.


Ruth2 v4 is designed to have low “avatar complexity” when worn to reduce lag. Asset sharing of the meshes and textures has been encouraged wherever possible with all assets made freely available to allow for reuse.


Please contribute via the GitHub Repository and send your feedback by posting to the Discord Channel.



See Documentation/Packaging/LICENSE.txt

The main Ruth2 v4 mesh components have an AGPL license and other components have Creative Commons or other open source licenses. Basically, you can use and distribute the materials as you wish, but any modifications to the AGPL meshes that are distributed or made available in a service must be made publicly available at no cost and released under the same terms granted in the LICENSE.


Various Authors and contributors to the Git Repository in alphabetical order are:

  • Ada Radius
  • Ai Austin
  • Chimera Firecaster
  • Elenia Boucher
  • Fred Beckhusen
  • Fritigern Gothly
  • Joe Builder
  • Kayaker Magic
  • Lelani Carver
  • Leona Morro
  • Mike Dickson
  • Noxluna Nightfire
  • Sean Heavy
  • Serie Sumei
  • Shin Ingen
  • Sundance Haiku
  • Other contributions and testing by members of the OpenSimulator and RuthAndRoth Communities.

The ‘R2’ logo may be used to indicate projects or products that are either based on or compatible with the RuthAndRoth project mesh bodies.

Posted in OpenSim, Second Life | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Ruth2 v4

Second Life – Cloud Uplift – Testing

Linden Lab are moving Second Life from their own servers onto the Amazon Cloud – a process known as “Cloud Uplift”. This will take place over an extended period during 2020. Some regions are already operating “In the Cloud” on the “Aditi” Second Life test grid. See this Blake Sea is now up on Aditi – Second Life Blog Post.

Inara Pey, as often, has provided very helpful blog posts on the Cloud Uplift and her testing with her extensive range of vehicles to try out region crossing to see if that is improved.

Some Entry points on the Aditi test grid where boats and seaplanes, etc. can be rezzed to test are:

  • Blake Sea – Half Hitch (secondlife://Aditi/secondlife/Blake%20Sea%20-%20Half%20Hitch/119/45/22)
  • Blake Sea – Japan (secondlife://Aditi/secondlife/Blake%20Sea%20-%20Japan/207/248/22)
  • Blake Sea – Beagle (secondlife://Aditi/secondlife/Blake%20Sea%20-%20Beagle/207/208/13)
  • Blake Sea – Mainbrace (secondlife://Aditi/secondlife/Blake%20Sea%20-%20Mainbrace/211/241/16)
  • Blake Sea – Atlantic (secondlife://Aditi/secondlife/Blake%20Sea%20-%20Atlantic/245/219/16)

Supercar on Blake Sea on Aditi in the Cloud

Supercar looks fine in the Cloud and region crossing looks good. I deliberately flew into a region on a corner with void beyond, and not surprisingly found myself ejected with my vehicle safely returned to my “Lost and Found” folder. Supercar is rumoured to be capable of flight at very high altitudes at Mach 5. Other aspects of the test are “CLASSIFIED” 🙂

Region Crossing Improvements on Agni (Main Grid) and Aditi (Beta Grid)

Whoosh! What’s Up with Region Crossings? – April Linden Blog Post 13-Aug-2020

Posted in Second Life | Tagged | Comments Off on Second Life – Cloud Uplift – Testing

GenCon – Online

GenCon ( is a (normally physical) convention for tabletop gamers (like Duungeons & Dragons) with extensions to all sort of other role play games. It has been running since 1968 when it started in Lake Geneva, Winconsin, USA, and is usually held in Indianapolis. Due to CORVID-19 the even is being held virtually from July 30th to August 2nd, 2020. See

VRazeTheBar is organising a set of GenCon events on regions in Second Life. The Welcome Region is already open until July 30th at and will provided access to the multi-level gaming areas when the conference runs.

Inara Pey’s Blog Posts on GenCon in Second Life, 14-Jul-2020 and GenCon: Sneaking a Peek in Second Life, 23-Jul-2020.

RazeTheBar Opening Event – 30th July 2020 – Second Life

RazeTheBar Closing Event – 30rd August 2020 – Second Life

Simultaneous Event – Gen Con RazeTheBar Closing Event and Crew Dragon Return to Earth

YouTube – VRazeTheBar GenCon Online 2020 Highlights – 21-Aug-2020

Posted in Games, Second Life | Tagged , | Comments Off on GenCon – Online

Hubs by Mozilla

Mozilla Hubs is a virtual collaboration platform that runs in a web browser on desktops, tablets and mobile devices. It can support wireless standalone VR headsets. Desktop VR setups like the Oculus Rift are supported via a WebVR compatible browser (e.g. Firefox). See list of supported devices.

Simple 3D spaces can be selected from an initial range, or created in a tool called Spoke. Other users can be invited to join in the room using a shared URL. The room can have 3D objects, media and video screen facilities, etc.

Avatars are very simple and can be selected from a set provided. Default names are assigned to users unless the user changes that (saved locally on each browser used).

Posted in Virtual World, VR | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Lost Horizon – Music Festival in VR

Lost Horizon has been created by the team behind Glastonbury’s Shangri-La festival within a festival, and in conjunction with VRJAM and Sansar to be “the world’s largest independent music and arts festival in virtual reality. Lost Horizon is a REAL festival in a virtual world. A fully interactive and multi-stage event to explore… raising money for The Big Issue and Amnesty International”.

ShangriLa – Glasto – Day 1 – July 3, 2020

The Tech: I was using Oculus Rift via Sansar to attend the festival. Access worked quickly and without glitches. After arrival at the ShangriLa entry portal, there were teleport portals to the four stages (Gas Tower, Freedom, Nomad and SHITV) and the Art festival area. The performers looked like they were performing against a green screen so they could be placed into the stage area of each performance space, and appeared as 2D video streams on stage. The stage area was unreachable by users so the illusion was maintained.

On entry through the portals to each stage or experience the user was placed in a sharded version of the experience. Users will normally end up in an arbitrary shard. Each shard had a Sansar official helper who was there to answer questions in chat (nice feature), a different official in each shard as far as I could see. There were perhaps 40 to 60 avatars in each experience, though a lot of NPCs were scattered around to make it look much busier. Voice was active in each shard so people could chat (or shout) over the music. Emotes can be used for dancing animations. The entry area can be bookmarked as a “Favourite” location, and if selected prior to teleport, the “instances” available can be listed along with the number of avatars in each, prior to selecting a specific one to enter. The specific instance URL can be shared with friends to let them join you without ending up in a separate shard.

The experience was very well designed and performed better in comparison to the VRChat-based Jean-Michel Jarre VR concert on June 21st, 2020 [See Blog Post].

ShangriLa – Glasto – Day 2 – July 4, 2020

The festival continues to work really well. It may be worth noting that larger performing groups need to be careful they don’t step outside the field of viewer before their green screen. Make some marks on the flor for the area covered by the camera. Otherwise the outermost performers can get clipped by the edge of the frame breaking the immersive effect, which is otherwise good, so long as you don’t get close to the stage and loom from one extreme side at an angle. Then the performers can look a bit flat 🙂

It is also nice that the community is not so large that you are likely to bump into old friends from Sansar, Second Life or OpenSim, which enhances the community festival experience.

Posted in Media, VR | Tagged , | 1 Comment