Sansar with Avatar 2.0

sansar-logo

Linden Lab updated Sansar to use a new richer avatar skeleton referred to as “Avatar 2.0”.


Quests and Tutorials



Posted in Virtual World | Tagged , | Comments Off on Sansar with Avatar 2.0

Ai Austin Mk 2

A bit of a refresh of the Ai Austin avatar which I have been using in Second Life and OpenSim since 2006…

Ai Austin Mk. 1

Ai’s original skin was a gift back in 2006 from a fellow educator who joined Second Life on the same day and who was a neighbour on the “Saengseon” region where “AIAI2” had its first virtual world base before moving to its own facilities on the “Vue” (Virtual University of Edinburgh) regions.

Ai Austin – Flight Suit

Ai’s usual outfit in Second Life is a Flight Suit… provided by Krashen Byrne soon after Ai originally joined Second Life. Ai obtained the original artwork for the outfit from Krashen with permission to use it as Ai wished, but not to distribute it further. You can usually find Krashen’s Flight Suit at the Flight Shop at Abbotts Aerodrome in Second Life.

Ai Austin Mk. 2

As mesh bodies and heads, such as the Ruth 2.0 and Roth 2.0 open source avatars, and new virtual world viewer facilities, such as Bakes on Mesh, come along it was time for a refresh to set up for using these…

I’m a Lumberjack.. but I’m Alright… or Maybe an Oil Rig Worker…

In Second Life

Ai Austin Mk.2 Profile Pictures


Other Avatar Appearance

Here are some of Ai’s outfits built up over the period in Second Life…
http://blog.inf.ed.ac.uk/atate/2016/08/06/ai-austin-10/

Posted in OpenSim, Second Life, Virtual World | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Ai Austin Mk 2

Institute for Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence work at Edinburgh can trace its origins to a small research group established in 1963 by Donald Michie, who had been a member of the code-breaking group at Bletchley Park. And over the years there have been a number of different organisational structures and department names for the AI groups. The history of AI@Edinburgh has been provided by Jim Howe, the Head of the Department of AI at Edinburgh for many years. There is also a time line of Computing and Artificial Intelligence work at Edinburgh in the University of Edinburgh’s Edit Magazine.

Now the AI@Edinburgh groups working on research, teaching and innovative applications of AI are coming together under the banner of the “Institute for Artificial Intelligence” within the School of Informatics.

Artificial Intelligence @ Edinburgh over the Years

  • Experimental Programming Unit, 1965
  • Department of Machine Intelligence and Perception, 1966
  • School of Artificial Intelligence, 1973
    + Machine Intelligence Research Unit, 1973
  • Department of Artificial Intelligence, 1974
    + Artificial Intelligence Applications Institute, 1984
  • In 1998, the University joined together three departments: Artificial Intelligence, Cognitive Science and Computer Science, as well as a number of research institutes including AIAI and the Human Communication Research Centre, to form the School of Informatics.
  • Centre for Intelligent Systems and their Applications, School of Informatics, 2011
  • Institute for Artificial Intelligence, School of Informatics, 2019

Over five decades of world-leading research, teaching
and innovative applications in AI at Edinburgh

Posted in AI | Tagged | Comments Off on Institute for Artificial Intelligence

Pangea Roleplay on OpenSim Metropolis Grid


I have blogged before about the Pandora Universe group in Second Life which offers role play based on the “Avatar” film directed by James Cameron and based on Pandora, a moon of Alpha Centauri and the Na’vi that inhabit the moon. Ralph Steglenzer altered me to the OpenSim “District 153 – Pangea Roleplay” region on Metropolis Grid…

Access Metropolis Grid via the viewer map: hg.metro.land:80 arrive at the metropolis Grid Welcome area.

You can then teleport via the map to:

  • “Pangea – Welcome” or use hop://login.metro.land/Pangea%20-%20Welcome/
  • “District 153 – Pangea Roleplay” or use
    hop://login.metro.land/District%20153%20-%20Pangea%20Roleplay/
  • “District 153 – Pangea Roleplay” Forest Area:
    hop://login.metro.land/District%20153%20-%20Pangea%20Roleplay/884/280/30

  • Note: may need hg.metro.land rather than login.metro.land





More information: http://pangea.myftp.biz/
More Pictures: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/rly88r4mczg2zz8/AAAh8dU2a2769DjYOWO3EvaTa?dl=0

Another Pangea themed role play area on Metropolis Grid as at Pangea (944,146,31).

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

Bakes on Mesh – Resources

Update 31-Aug-2019: Ubit Umarov, an Opensim developer, is working on further implementation of Bakes on Mesh for OpenSim with support for all 11 bakes textures (already in latest dev master) and the new Universal wearable.

This is a blog post to collect together resources related to the Bakes on Mesh [BoM] feature for Second Life and OpenSim. This has been in testing for some time by Linden Lab on Second Life, and the official Linden Lab viewer release 6.3.0.530115 dated August 26, 2019 as well as all Second Life regions supports this. More detail in these articles…

https://community.secondlife.com/knowledgebase/english/bakes-on-mesh-r1512/
https://modemworld.me/2019/08/27/bakes-on-mesh-a-basic-primer/

Firestorm view code is currently under development to merge in the changes to support BoM and development versions of Firestorm 6.3.1 are being tested for this.

Bakes on Mesh facilities allow mesh avatars to be used with standard avatar skins, tattoos and tight to skin wearables which is useful for undergarments, etc. It can help avoid the need for “appliers” used to apply textures onto mesh avatars, and “onion skin” outer meshes to give layers for clothing.

OpenSim and Bakes on Mesh

OpenSim dev master code as at OpenSim 0.9.1 1079 0e33014 (2019-08-28 04:54) can support some parts of BoM (thanks to Ubit Umarov) and using a test build of Firestorm 6.3.1 (thanks to the Firestorm team and Bill Blight for the test build – autobuild configure -c ReleaseFS_open – with map search patch and a couple of other tweaks):

  • The 6 basic bakes channels work for BoM (HEAD, UPPER, LOWER, EYES, SKIRT, HAIR)
  • The 5 added bakes channels are not supported for BoM (LEFTARM, LEFTLEG, AUX1, AUX2, AUX3)
  • The new “Universal” wearable type is not supported
  • Bakes are done using viewer side code and are a maximum of 512×512
  •  

Ruth 2.0 and Roth 2.0 Mesh Bodies with BoM

Open source resources in action… OpenSim virtual world server, Firestorm Viewer and Ruth 2.0/Roth 2.0 low poly mesh avatars…


Ruth 2.0 RC#3 and Roth 2.0 RC#1 Mesh Bodies with BoM on OSGrid RuthAndRoth region using Dev Master code as at 28-Aug-2019.

Example Simple Mesh Body and BoM

The Aditya_for_BOM.dae Collada sample avatar mesh file provided by Linden Lab can be found via the Bakes on Mesh Knowledge Base Article at https://jira.secondlife.com/browse/BUG-139234. Note its a very simple mesh body and a lot of the usual avatar shape adjustment sliders will not work on it (e.g. it has very large feet that cannot be changed).

This can be edited and textured manually with “Bake” textures when worn and edited, or this script could be used to set up the faces of the sample Aditya_90 avatar for BoM… thanks to Ubit Umarov…
 
 

state_entry()
    {
        llSay(0, "Script running");
        llSetTexture(IMG_USE_BAKED_HEAD,2);
        llSetTexture(IMG_USE_BAKED_UPPER,4);
        llSetTexture(IMG_USE_BAKED_LOWER,3);
        llSetTexture(IMG_USE_BAKED_EYES,0);
        llSetTexture(IMG_USE_BAKED_EYES,1);
    }

Simple HUD to Show Bakes In Use

NOTE: A HUD that may have parts BoM textured when attached to a HUD position will locally make the relevant parts of the underlying classic avatar transparent in the view of the avatar that attached such a HUD, but that does NOT show to other users. Its probably a viewer bug to have this difference in behaviour?

For testing… but see note above… a simple HUD can attached set up to show all 11 BoM textures that can be applied to a worn attachment. As shown in the following image, when using a viewer that supports BoM (such as the forthcoming Firestorm 6.3.1, test build 57811 pictured) the “basic” bakes channels already supported by OpenSim dev master code at 28-Aug-2019 (head, upper, lower, eyes, skirt, hair) are instantiated (skirt and hair are transparent in this example) whereas the new bakes textures (leftarm, leftleg, aux1, aux2, aux3) are not.

If a viewer that is not updated to support Bakes on Mesh is used, a set of coloured “fallback” textures will be displayed. These same fallback back images are used on any object face that is BoM textured when it is displayed in world, rather than attached to an avatar.

As a comparison, the same setup in Second Life with a BoM capable viewer looks like this…when a BoM textured object is rezzed I world it shows the coloured “fallback” textures…

Bakes on Mesh Resources and Issues

OpenSim Source Code – Dev Master –
http://opensimulator.org/viewgit/?a=shortlog&p=opensim

Firestorm Viewer Source Code – http://hg.phoenixviewer.com/

https://jira.secondlife.com/browse/BUG-227553
https://jira.firestormviewer.org/browse/FIRE-24333

BAKES Texture Constant Names and Associated UUIDs

IMG_USE_BAKED_HEAD 5a9f4a74-30f2-821c-b88d-70499d3e7183
IMG_USE_BAKED_UPPER ae2de45c-d252-50b8-5c6e-19f39ce79317
IMG_USE_BAKED_LOWER 24daea5f-0539-cfcf-047f-fbc40b2786ba
IMG_USE_BAKED_EYES 52cc6bb6-2ee5-e632-d3ad-50197b1dcb8a
IMG_USE_BAKED_SKIRT 43529ce8-7faa-ad92-165a-bc4078371687
IMG_USE_BAKED_HAIR 09aac1fb-6bce-0bee-7d44-caac6dbb6c63
IMG_USE_BAKED_LEFTARM ff62763f-d60a-9855-890b-0c96f8f8cd98
IMG_USE_BAKED_LEFTLEG 8e915e25-31d1-cc95-ae08-d58a47488251
IMG_USE_BAKED_AUX1 9742065b-19b5-297c-858a-29711d539043
IMG_USE_BAKED_AUX2 03642e83-2bd1-4eb9-34b4-4c47ed586d2d
IMG_USE_BAKED_AUX3 edd51b77-fc10-ce7a-4b3d-011dfc349e4f

Bakes Fallback images for OpenSim have a solid colour 32×32 and are saved as JPEG2000 (.j2c) with “JPEG2000 Codestream Only” selected as save options (JPEG2000 J2C stream format). They also have “Lossless” (no compression) selected though that may not be important.

Posted in OpenSim, Virtual World | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Bakes on Mesh – Resources

Firestorm VR – Visiting OpenSim Virtual Worlds

As noted before in this blog post Peter Kappler has created a VR version of the Firestorm virtual world viewer (based on version 6.0.1.56538). It can work very well indeed for Social VR purposes allowing all the capabilities and content available in Second Life and OpenSim to be used in scenes where chat, get togethers, tutoring sessions, seminars and other meetings take place.

Here are a few environments in OpenSim virtual worlds tested in Firestorm VR that are more for fun and role play regions…

OpenSim – AiLand – Gerry Anderson Regions

My usual test regions with mainly mesh content for Supercar (Black Rock), Fireball XL5 (Space City) and Stingray (Marineville)…






OpenSim – AiLand – Castles and Pirates

Heavy mesh regions on Castle Spring, Castle Winter (with heavy blizzard), Cove and Tortuga…




Posted in OpenSim, VR | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Firestorm VR – Visiting OpenSim Virtual Worlds

Oil Rig Training Experience in Firestorm VR

The RGU Oil Rig enhanced education and virtual training experience created by the Robert Gordon University (RGU) Oil & Gas Centre in Aberdeen, Scotland ported to OpenSim OSGrid has been tested in Peter Kappler’s Firestorm VR 6.0.1.

The VR mode view is seen here…

The 2D Firestorm VR screen is shown here… looking identical in quality to the view seen in the HMD…

Typical frame rates were 38-40fps. A little less when other tools were running.

Dell Precision T5810 with Xeon CPU E5-1620 v3 @3.50GHz.
32GB Memory, SSD drives, Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 GPU.
100Mbps broadband connection.
Oculus Rift DK2.
Windows 10 Pro version 1903.
Firestorm 6.0.1.57000 graphics quality: Ultra, view distance: 256m.
OpenSim – OSGrid Oil Rig – region objects: 9492 (land impact: 9786) – mostly mesh.




Another Comparison of the 2D and VR images for a scene on the Oil Rig…


Posted in OpenSim, VR | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Oil Rig Training Experience in Firestorm VR

Social VR using Firestorm VR

As noted before in this blog post Peter Kappler has created a VR version of the Firestorm virtual world viewer (based on version 6.0.1.57000). If the graphics settings, draw distance and scene complexity allow it, this can work very well to view 3D content. It is not best suited to build and creation modes. But it can work very well indeed for Social VR purposes allowing all the capabilities and content available in Second Life and OpenSim to be used in scenes where chat, get togethers, tutoring sessions, seminars and other meetings take place.

If the scene in a normal 2D view is adjusted to achieve at least (say) 50fps then it should work will in the Firestorm VR viewer. Make Graphics settings, draw distance and other changes until you achieve that sort of frame rate or the scene will be choppy or flicker. For Social VR functions draw distances can be quite small, so even very busy mainland Second Life regions become accessible.

Some specific figures I observed on one Second Life scene trying to make the view distance (256m), graphics settings (High), etc the same for the comparison…

  • Linden Lab 6.2.4 96-106fps
  • Firestorm 6.0.2 176-188fps
  • Firestorm VR 6.0.1 2D mode 136-144fps
  • Firestorm VR 6.0.1 VR mode 82-84fps

Put simply it looks roughly like Firestorm 6.0.2 (normal 2D) 100%, Firestorm VR 6.0.1 2D mode after enabling SteamVR in settings 75%, Firestorm VR 6.0.1 VR mode 50%. But the 6.0.1 VR mode is still roughly the same as the Linden Lab 6.2.4 viewer in 2D mode.

The following images were take on a Dell Precision T5180 with 32GB Memory and Nvidia GTX 1080 GPU, with High graphics settings and 128m view distance.

Here are some examples of Social VR settings in Second Life and on OpenSim grids…

Second Life


OpenSim (OSGrid, Openvue and Ailand Grids)





RGU Oil Rig Training Environment in Firestorm VR


Click here for more images of the Oil Rig region in Firestorm VR.

Posted in OpenSim, Second Life, VR | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Social VR using Firestorm VR

Firestorm VR – Resources

Update 31-Aug-2019: Peter Kappler is working on an updated version of Firestorm VR. I will post information here when details are available.
Peter indicates the new release should address the black screen issue.

Peter Kappler <pete@gsgrid.net> [YouTube Channel] (PWNED Magic in Second Life) has created a VR version of the Firestorm Viewer using OpenVR/SteamVR that should be compatible with Vive, Oculus Rift, and Windows Mixed Reality headsets (HMDs).

Wagner James Au blogged on this in January and February 2019, and David Rowe, creator of the CtrlAltStudio VR viewer, pointed me at this development just in time since CtrlAltStudio now has a messy visual glitch on exit to the operating system [Blog Post on CtrlAltStudio VR Viewer].

https://nwn.blogs.com/nwn/2019/01/windows-mixed-reality-firestorm-sl-vr-open-source.html
https://nwn.blogs.com/nwn/2019/02/firestorm-sl-open-source-vr-viewer.html

YouTube Video: Second Life Firestorm VR V0.3 test, 27 Feb 2019:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0_PQBQ_E4I

Discord Discussion Channel: P373R-WORKSHOP by p373r_kappler [ Invite ]

Download

Here is the ready to run installer and source code for version 0.3 27 Feb 2019 Build 57000** (currently based on Firestorm 6.0.1.56538):
Installer: http://gsgrid.net/Phoenix601VR-V0.3.rar
Source Code: http://gsgrid.net/FirestormVR_Source_V_0_3.rar [only needed to build the viewer from source]
** The “57000” serial number that is reported is not meaningful.
Peter chose that as beyond the current version at the time to avoid update messages.

Installation

  • Install the special version of the Firestorm viewer.
  • Put the openvr_api.dll contained in the compiled version .rar/.zip into the top level of the freshly installed firestorm folder with all the other dlls.
  • Start SteamVR. [Install SteamVR if you don’t already have it available.]
  • Start Firestorm.

Once you are logged in:

  • Go to Preferences -> Move & View and set the Field of View to 1.80 (default 1.04)
  • Go to Preferences -> Graphics-> Steam VR Tab and tick to enable Steam VR. (a viewer restart may be needed, so do that to be sure)

For the Oculus Rift these settings should also be adjusted:

  • Preferences -> Graphics -> Steam VR -> Texture Shift: Setting appropriate to your HMD. For example it is set to 0 (the default) for Oculus Rift DK2, and set to 200 for Oculus Rift CV1. If you have double vision in VR mode in your HMD, move this setting until the image is in sync.
  • Preferences -> Graphics -> Camera distance from center: Set to your inter-pupil distance (IPD) to get a good 3D image. If this setting is not accurate the 3D view can look too flat or layered. Note that a setting of 0 means the image will be 2D.
Headset Type Texture Shift Camera Distance from Center
Oculus Rift S ? ?
Oculus Rift CV1 +200 IPD (e.g. 64.0mm)
Oculus Rift DK2 0 IPD (e.g. 64.0mm)
Oculus Rift DK1 N/A N/A
Vive Pro ? ?
Vive Cosmos ? ?
Valve Index +200 IPD (e.g. 64.0mm)
Samsung Odyssey+ +71 IPD (e.g. 64.0mm)

Usage

PRESS TAB key to enable and disable VR output.

The Camera Controls floater has two extra buttons << and >> to let you turn the angle at which your camera points.

If you move the mouse to one of the four corners of the screen the HMD view jumps to show that corner in VR mode. This enables menus and HUD attachments to be more easily reached. Return the mouse to the centre of the screen to return to normal HMD directional view.

When in VR mode, the F4 key can be used to disable (and reenable) the movement of the view direction with head movement. F5 can be used to zoom out the VR view through stages further away, then it toggles views centred on each corner before returning to the default VR view. [Note: F4 and F5 may be confused in some headsets or not work as described?]

The Firestorm VR Viewer will not work well if the Second Life/OpenSim region you visit cannot normally be displayed with a decent frame rate. The higher the better. At low frame rates bad flickering will occur in VR mode. My suggestion is to look at the framerate (in Firestorm it is displayed in the upper right hand corner of the viewer) and to adjust the graphics settings (especially draw distance and quality sliders) until you have around 50fps (30fps min.) and then try VR.

On my Oculus Rift setup SteamVR usually was launched whenever the Firestorm VR viewer was started, and that automatically started the underlying Oculus software. But if the SteamVR or Oculus Home screens shows in the HMD or the HMD is blank rather than showing the Second Life/OpenSim virtual world display, start SteamVR first, check Oculus Home is launches, and then run the Firestorm VR viewer.

Tips

Tips from David Rowe for using the CtrlAltStudio Viewer may 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. You can use keyboard shortcuts to show and hide dialog boxes such as the Conversations window (Ctrl-T), Inventory (Ctrl-I), e.g., if you want to select a landmark to teleport to, Ctrl-Shift-M to display the minimap, etc. Keyboard shortcuts are shown beside menu items.
  4. To display avatar toasts in the Rift — Preferences > Chat > General > Show chat in bubbles above avatars.
  5. 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 > Graphics > Rendering > Floating text fades.

If you have issues with some of the Function keys (F4, F5 or other Firestorm VR 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)

Peter Kappler also suggested some things:

  1. Particles… a fireplace is going to eat 20 to 30 fps! So make sure they are off.
  2. I moved my cache to a RAM drive. Just make a 2GB RAM drive. SSD is no comparison to RAM drive. Its way faster. Not even NVMe (non-volatile memory express) can reach that kind of speed. E.g. see SoftPerfect RAM Disk : high-performance RAM drive for Windows.
  3. F5 modes: There are two modes: one where HMD rotation is locked (F4 to lock), and one with normal HMD rotation on. The problem is that if you have HMD rotation on its hard to use flycam or edit things since it does not select properly. That’s where you turn it off.

Debug Settings

There is a Firestorm Viewer Debug Setting “EnableSteamVR”. This performs the same function as the Settings -> Graphics -> Steam VR -> tick on/off. Default Off.

There is a Firestorm Viewer Debug Setting “TextureShift”. This performs the same function as the Settings -> Graphics -> Steam VR -> Texture Shift. This may need to be adjusted for different VR headsets. I found it could be left at the default setting of 0 for the Oculus Rift DK2, and needed to be set to +200 for the Oculus Rift CV1. Adjust this if you have double vision in VR mode.

There is a Firestorm Viewer Debug Setting “EyeDistance” to adjust the interpupil distance (IPD). This performs the same function as the Settings -> Graphics -> Steam VR – Camera distance from center slider. This is an important setting to get good 3D depth. Set it to the Interpupil distance for your headset (64mm is a sensible default). If set to 0mm the image will be 2D. If set wrongly you may find that the 3D effect is in distinct layers or not as good as it can be.

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…
https://hugsalot.wordpress.com/2012/12/03/joystick-settings-for-firestorm-with-xbox-360-controller/

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.

Firestorm JIRA

A Firestorm JIRA Issue relates to this…
https://jira.firestormviewer.org/browse/FIRE-24047

This JIRA issue has comments concerned over low frame rates and poor support for all the menus, popups and creator/editing facilities in Second Life and OpenSim. Personally, I don’t think ALL the creator/build menu facilities are needed all the time, and those can be done by switching back into VR mode… which is easy with the TAB key method uses to switch between 2D and VR mode. Concerning frame rates, some users are probably seeing very busy mainland regions with tens of thousands of objects. When I use Firestorm on OpenSim builds with a few avatars in training modes I can get 160fps frame rates! And high frame rates when we have used private regions on Second Life for educational meetings.

User Experience with Firestorm VR 6.0.1

  1. Question: In the Steam VR settings tab, what does “Zoom out the display” do?
  2. Text: Peter Kappler’s notes indicate “The slider “Lens distance” lets you adjust the distance between the 2 cameras to improve stereo depth separation. ((There is a bug with world not updating while slider > 0)). Slider set to 0 uses only 1 camera (non-stereo) and doubles your fps.“. There is not a “Lens Distance” slider… but it is the Steam VR tab setting for “Camera distance from center”.
  3. Improvement: The “Texture Shift” slider is difficult (impossible?) to reset to 0 if needed. You can instead set it to 0 (or any specific value) via the Debug Settings for “TextureShift”.
  4. Bug:The default value set for “EyeDistance” in Debug Settings is 0.064. It should be 64.0. I.e. in millimetres not metres. It can be amended in
    <firestorm-install-dir>/skins/default/xui/en/panel_preferences_graphics1.xml
  5. Improvement: The mouse cursor in VR mode only shows as a simple arrow pointer. It does not change to the custom cursors such as seat, hand, etc as active items are pointed at.
  6. Bug: The Debug Setting descriptive text for “TextureShift” is incorrect. It is a copy of the descriptive text for “EyeDistance”.
  7. Bug: On the Camera Controls tool, after using the <> added buttons the circular movement controls get squashed to the lower left or disappear.
  8. Clarification: F4 and F5 button descriptions are difficult to understand. Does this work as described? And may it differ in different headsets?
  9. Improvement: The various SteamVR related debug settings could be collected together and identified more readily by prefixing them all with SteamVR, SVR or just VR. So for example SteamVREyeDistance.
  10. Improvement: Change the app_settings\grids.xml loginpage strings for the Second Life and Second Life Beta grids to http://viewer-login.agni.lindenlab.com/ rather than http://phoenixviewer.com/app/loginV3/

Amended Firestorm XML Configuration Files

I have created two amended .xml configuration files which can be placed in the special version Firestorm installation directory to (hopefully) improve some of the Settings tool tips, and correct two of the bugs described above…

<firestorm-install-dir>/app_settings/settings.xml
<firestorm-install-dir>/skins/default/xui/en/panel_preferences_graphics1.xml

Obtain these at:
http://openvce.net/resources/downloads/Firestorm/Firestorm-VR-6.0.1/

Sample Tests

Some specific figures I observed on one Second Life scene trying to make the view distance (256m), graphics settings (High), etc the same…

  • Linden Lab 6.2.4 96-106fps
  • Firestorm 6.0.2 176-188fps
  • Firestorm VR 6.0.1 2D mode 136-144fps
  • Firestorm VR 6.0.1 VR mode 82-84fps

Put simply it looks roughly like Firestorm 6.0.2 100%, Firestorm VR 6.0.1 2D mode 75%, Firestorm VR 6.0.1 VR mode 50%. But the 6.0.1 VR mode is still roughly the same as the Linden Lab 6.2.4 viewer in 2D mode.

The following images were take on a Dell Precision T5180 with 32GB Memory and Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 GPU, with Ultra graphics settings and 512m view distance.

On OSGrid RuthAndRoth region showing approx. 50fps in VR HMD mode…

On OSGrid Black Rock region showing approx. 40fps in VR HMD mode, nearer 75fps when seated in the vehicle…

HMD Black Screen on TAB

Unfortunately after a successful initial test period and what appeared to be a working setup I experienced the (Oculus DK2) HMD screen going black when switching to VR mode in Firestorm VR via the TAB key. And whatever I tried did not seem to fix it. I tried reinstalling Steam and SteamVR, uninstalling and reinstalling afresh both, upgrading to the Steam and SteamVR Betas, downgrading again to the release versions, and reinstalling Firestorm VR.

The following worked for me after the black screen in the HMD TABbed view occurred…

Start Firestorm VR… turn off the Steam VR enabled tick box. Change the graghics settings (I went between High and Ultra or vice versa). Then DO NOT enter VR mode with TAB. Instead stop Firstorm VR, SteamVR (and Oculus Home). Then launch Firestorm VR again, tick Steam VR enabled (I did that before login but that may not matter) and TAB to VR. My assumption is that something about the gpahics settings interferes with the VR mode HMD display unless the settings are committed in some way when a relog and Steam VR enable takes place. Just ticking Steam Enabled on and off while its running does not seem to fix this problem.

Peter Kappler gave me feedback which indicates it could indeed be related to specific graphics settings or changing them…

There are people that have issues with having tracking but no image. It may have something to do with deferred lighting or shadows in the viewer. Or GPU buffer settings since I copy the images directly from BACKBUFFER before swap.

Peter also offered some advice on Discord to others with the HMD black screen problem…

Nvidia GPUs: In the Nvidia Control Panel -> Manage 3D Settings -> Global Settings, there is a setting for Virtual Reality Pre-rendered Frames. Check it is set to 1. Also check that Triple buffering is OFF. Then under Program Settings check that these settings are not explicitly overridden to something else for Firestorm VR.

AMD Radeon GPUs: AMD drivers have a setting called Flip Queue Size… make sure it is set to 0. The flip queue size option may not be available in recent AMD driver updates in which use the “Main3D_DEF” and “Main3D” settings to change your “flip queue size”. These should match. I.e. “0” and “0x3000”.

Posted in OpenSim, Second Life, VR | Tagged , , , , , | 9 Comments

Rock Climbing in Second Life

Continuing the development of sports in Second Life…. Yasmin has created a lovely rock climbing area to test out her developing rock climbing apparatus and scripts.

Visit via this landmark… Nitida Ridge

@Inara Pey has done her usual detailed and excellent Blog Post on the Rock Climbing at Nitida Ridge

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Rock Climbing in Second Life

The People’s Moon

As described at https://thepeoplesmoon.com/explore/, The People’s Moon has been co-created By British artist Helen Marshall of the People’s Picture, and Christina Korp of the Aldrin Family Foundation, and unveiled at iconic global locations on Saturday 20 July 2019…
“The People’s Moon will dominate London Piccadilly Lights screen, on the actual day and hour, flashing back 50 years to when humans first walked on the Moon. The combination of 10,000 photographs submitted by the public, NASA historic clips and giant photo mosaics of the Moon will be shown simultaneously in New York’s Times Square, and in a long-term installation at the Kennedy Space Center where the mission of Apollo 11 launched in 1969, and at a special presentation at the ArtScience Museum in Singapore’s Marina Bay.”



Margaret & Austin, as at 1969, are included in the image…

#Apollo50th #ThePeoplesMoon #MyGiantLeap

Posted in Space | Tagged , | Comments Off on The People’s Moon

Second Life – Apollo 11

20th July 2019 marks the 50th Anniversary of the First Landing on the Moon. The National Space Society arranged an experience in Second Life to celebrate the event… #Apollo50th #SecondLifeChallenge

https://community.secondlife.com/blogs/entry/2586-apollo50th-secondlifechallenge/
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/National%20Space%20Society/30/51/3674


Did you see that Buzz! Houston… we may have a problem!

Second Life Spaceflight Museum

See also Second Life Spaceflight Museum: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Spaceport%20Alpha/49/81/24

Posted in Space | Tagged , | Comments Off on Second Life – Apollo 11

Sansar – Apollo 11

20th July 2019 marks the 50th Anniversary of the First Landing on the Moon. So a good time to revisit the Apollo 11 Experiences in Sansar… Apollo Museum and Tranquility Base… #Apollo50th



Posted in Space | Tagged , | Comments Off on Sansar – Apollo 11

ImmersiveVR – Apollo 11

20th July 2019 marks the 50th Anniversary of the First Landing on the Moon. So a good time to revisit the Apollo 11 ImmersiveVR Experiences via the Oculus Rift… this time using the Apollo 11 HD update… #Apollo50th

Posted in Space | Tagged , | Comments Off on ImmersiveVR – Apollo 11

Second Life – Relay for Life 2019

A Relay for Life event in Second Life took place on 30th June 2019 in the Blake Sea sailing area – “Raft Up 2019” – with the audience able to observe the activities from a floating grandstand…
Blake Sea – Haggarty – Floating Grandstand
Blake Sea – Crows Nest – Nearby Boat Rez Zone

SLT 9am-11am: Joy Canadeo Live DJ
SLT 11am-1pm Luke Flywalker: Live DJ
SLT 12pm SLCG** Rescue demonstration
SLT 1pm-Close: Benny the boozehound Live DJ
SLT 1pm LCC Cruise to the raft up
** SLCG = Second Life Coast Guard






Posted in Second Life | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Second Life – Relay for Life 2019

Seven Dales Heritage Run 2019

DLMC-Logo-sThe De Lacy Motor Club (D.L.M.C) in Yorkshire has been running rallies, car trials and driving tests for over 50 years as noted in my previous blog post. My wife Margaret and myself joined some other family members and entered the Seven Dales Heritage Run again this year for a nice run through East and West Yorkshire…



Best turned out car and crew… Ted Meek and Morris Tate in the 1968 Austin Mini Countryman…

Half Way Halt…

Entrants List

Posted in Motor Racing | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Seven Dales Heritage Run 2019

Vue Balloon over Bellisseria

I previously tried the Michie Marine Balloon from Balloon from Michie Yokosuka on the Second Life Marketplace over the New Linden Homes Bellisseria Continent in Second Life. Some snapshots are in this previous Blog Post. A balloon like this was used to provide tours of the Vue regions in Second Life [YouTube Video 8-Aug-2019 3m:19s]

I replaced the balloon envelope texture with one that is the same as the “Vue Balloon” based on a real life event where a balloon “glow” took place in the University of Edinburgh Old College Quad in January 2006.





Virtual University of Edinburgh (Vue) Balloon Tour and 2006 Balloon “Glow”

University of Edinburgh Ballooning Club Glow in Old College Quad, January 2006 image used with permission of David Gifford
Vue Balloon Tour Machinima in Second Life – 8-Aug-2008 [YouTube 3:19]
Posted in Second Life | Tagged , | Comments Off on Vue Balloon over Bellisseria

Supercar in FSX in 2019

Supercar still works great in Flight Simulator FSX nearly 25 years since the first version of the add-on was created for Flight Simulator 5 using Flightshop Aircraft Factory in 1995… http://www.aiai.ed.ac.uk/~bat/GA/supercar-msfs.html







Bruce Artwick Organization, @microsoft / @dovetailgames @fsxinsider / @steam_games

Posted in Games, Gerry Anderson, Supercar | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Supercar in FSX in 2019

Sailboat around Bellisseria

Time to take the Bandit 50 Sailboat (from The Mesh Shop) out for a more extensive run down the West Coast of Bellisseria, the New Linden Homes Bellisseria Continent in Second Life.




Sailing with the Ruth 2.0 open source low-poly mesh avatar along for the ride…


There are also some nice free sailboats in the Second Life Marketplace from Michie Yokosuka.

Posted in Second Life | Tagged , | Comments Off on Sailboat around Bellisseria

Speedboats around Bellisseria

Having tried a range of aerial vehicles and a yacht in the New Linden Homes Bellisseria Continent in Second Life, I explored some other vehicles. I found several nice speedboats in the Second Life Marketplace from Michie YokosukaMichie Marine Sport Cruiser SD35 and MM Div(e) Speed Boat models.

Michie Marine Dive Powerboat


Michie Marine Michie Sport Cruiser SD35



Posted in Second Life | Tagged , | Comments Off on Speedboats around Bellisseria

Balloon over Bellisseria

Having tried a helicopter over the New Linden Homes Bellisseria Continent in Second Life, I explored some other vehicles from the same creator. I found a lovely free balloon on the Second Life Marketplace from Michie Yokosuka – a Michie Marine Balloon model – with ascent burner effects.


Posted in Second Life | Tagged , | Comments Off on Balloon over Bellisseria

Helicopter over Bellisseria

There are a number of people travelling by helicopter over the New Linden Homes Bellisseria Continent in Second Life. So I thought I would try one out. I found a lovely free one on the Second Life Marketplace from Michie Yokosuka – a mm R44 Clipper2 model – appropriately with floats for water take off and landing. It has animations for doors, rotors, etc. and a very nice down wash effect on the water surface.






Posted in Second Life | Tagged , | Comments Off on Helicopter over Bellisseria

Supercar over Bellisseria

The new airstrips, boat rez zones and car rez zones have now appeared on and around Bellisseria continent, the location of the New Linden Homes in Second Life.

I am using the ones at Norse Auk and Coral Waters to try out Supercar since this model has a “land impact” of 715 prim equivalents, which is beyond the capacity of a single Linden Home plot (351 object limit).


Approach Over Ai Pad on Damiano




Underwater off the NW Coastline of Bellisseria

Airfield and Boat Rez Zone on Coral Waters


Balloon Flypast

Posted in Second Life, Supercar | Tagged , | Comments Off on Supercar over Bellisseria

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
Posted in Second Life, Virtual World | Tagged , | Comments Off on Skydiving at Ai Pad in Second Life

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

Posted in Second Life | Tagged , | 3 Comments

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.

Posted in Space | Tagged | Comments Off on Black Hole

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.

Posted in OpenSim, Second Life, VR | Tagged , | Comments Off on Virtual Worlds in VR

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
Posted in 3D | Tagged | Comments Off on 3D Modelling Info

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:

Posted in OpenSim, Space | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Virtual Harmony – Mars Expedition

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”.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Virtual World Avatar to be Next President