Le Chateau Motel in Second Life


https://community.secondlife.com/blogs/entry/12092-second-life-destinations-le-chateau/

https://secondlife.com/destination/le-chateau-motel

https://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Swing%20Island/50/109/34/

Creator Victoire Sire says that the inspiration behind Le Chateau is a typical 80’s style American motel. I was interested to see that (from the poolside) it looks VERY similar to a Miami Beach hotel we stayed at in the mid 1980s called “Chateau by the Sea” on Collins Avenue, North Miami Beach.

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Diva Wifi for OpenSim 0.9.2.* and later

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

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

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

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

Wifi as an OpenSim Add-in

Wifi is provided as an “add-in” library. Diva Canto has provided a blog post which describes the new Wifi mechanism and how to build and configure it, mostly geared at Unix/Linux users.

Wifi for OpenSim Robust Grids for Windows Users

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

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

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

  2. Obtain the source of the Diva addons via

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

  3. You may wish to alter some of the addon-module .cs files to remove warnings on compilation.
       ...\addon-modules\01DivaUtils\WebAppUtils.cs
               catch // (Exception e)
       occurs twice
    
       ...\addon-modules\21Wifi\WifiMain.cs
               catch // (InvalidOperationException e)
       occurs once
    
  4. The following Diva addon modules are required for Wifi to work… the others are optional for uses beyond the Wifi interface and may be omitted…
    • 00Data
    • 00DivaInterfaces
    • 01DivaUtils
    • 1DivaOpenSimServices
    • 20WifiScriptEngine
    • 21Wifi
       
  5. You can now build OpenSim as usual, and the addons will also be automatically compiled. E.g., in a Command Prompt shell “cd” (change directory) to the top level of the OpenSim unzipped directory and then run “runprebuild48.bat” followed by “compile.bat”. The resulting bin directory contains all you need and will have in it the addon Diva modules including Wifi.

  6. Wifi allows for extensive localisation with several provided languages and instructions on how to add further languages. A script is included in Wifi which creates a .dll file containing the resources used when the Wifi module starts up to populate the WifiPages area. This setup step uses a script that requires “ResGen.exe” and “al.exe” to be available to run from a console and usually that means a path to the latest version of ResGen.exe and al.exe needs to be on the “Path” environmental variable… e.g. on Windows 10 using .NET 4.8 these usually located in…
    C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SDKs\Windows\v10.0A\bin\NETFX 4.8 Tools
    So long as ResGen.exe and al.exe are accessible, which you can test by trying to run them in a Command prompt (cmd.exe), then run the script at addon-modules/21Wifi/Localization/make_languages.bat

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

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

Disable Wifi in OpenSim.exe

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

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

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

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

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

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

Notes on the Diva.Data.MySQL.dll StorageProvider used by WiFi

The WiFi Module uses the tailored Diva.Data.MySQL.dll as the “StorageProvider”. The default StorageProvider = OpenSim.Data.MySQL.dll should be used for the normal Robust.exe services as configured in Robust.[HG.]ini. Wifi itself picks up the (still necessary) StorageProvider = Diva.Data.MySQL.dll separately from the settings in Wifi.ini.

Setting up the Default Avatars for Wifi

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

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

Artemis I launched at 06:47hrs UT on 16-Nov-2022 from Launch Pad Complex 39B at Kennedy Space Center, in Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA.


Look Back at Earth – 57,000 Miles Out


Close Flyby of the Moon on 21-Nov-2022



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Mastodon Microblogging

Mastodon LogoMastodon is a micro blogging social network similar to Twitter. But it is based on open source code and a distributed network of servers. You find a suitable server to register an account on and have a handle such as @username@site. You can then follow people on that site locally or on other sites via a federated setup.

Mastodon Mascot@atate@mastodon.world
@aiaustin@mastodon.world



mastodon.social image mastodon.online image

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Fireball XL5 and Four Feather Falls in Colour

The Network on Air free streaming evening on 28th October 2022, the 60th Anniversary of the first broadcast of Fireball XL5’s Planet 46 opening episode, included colourised episodes of Four Feather Falls (First Train Through) and Fireball XL5 (The Sun Temple).

Hosted by Robert the Robot on Fireball XL5’s 60th anniversary with the restored version of Planet 46 – first shown six decades ago: 28 October 1962.


Trailer


  • FOUR FEATHER FALLS – First Train Through
  • SUPERCAR – Pirate Plunder and Supercar “Take One”
  • FIREBALL XL5 – The Sun Temple, The Granatoid Tanks and A Day in the Life of a Space

https://new.networkonair.com/presented-in-supercolorisation/

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HG Safari – WesLorien – ElvenWood

The Hypergrid Safari Group met on 19th October 2022 to visit the grid.vibel.eu grid’s “WesLorien ElvenWood” themed region by Roland Francis.

https://www.vibel.eu/regions/weslorien (Diary Blog Post of a Visit by Elbereth Elentari)
hop://grid.vibel.eu:8002/WesLorien/71/172/31

HG Safari blog post on the visit by Thirza Ember 20-Oct-2022.

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HG Safari – Hobbiton

The Hypergrid Safari Group met on 19th October 2022 to visit Outworldz grid’s “Hobbiton” themed regions by Fred Beckhusen (avatar: Ferd Frederix) and David Denny (avatar: Darkness Papp). The grid can be accessed via http://www.outworldz.com:9000.

hop://www.outworldz.com:9000/Hobbiton/487/357/23
https://www.outworldz.com/cgi/freesculpts.plx?q=OAR-

HG Safari blog post on the visit by Thirza Ember 20-Oct-2022.

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Openvue Continent on DreamGrid

The Virtual University of Edinburgh “Openvue” grid on http://virtual.aiai.ed.ac.uk:8002 has been operating since 2007 on the OpenSimulator platform as an open Hypergrid accessible resource looked after by Prof. Austin Tate (avatar: Ai Austin) in the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh. Openvue has now been moved behind the University firewall and thus will not be accessible externally via the Hypergrid. It will continue to be available within the firewall or via the University’s secure VPN. This is part of a networking security effort by the University to close open ports for services run by individual departments or schools or by normal staff members.

Openvue OARs via open.ed

The Openvue regions separately and as a single 4×4 varregion “continent” continue to be available as OpenSim Archive files (OARs). See this blog post (19-Jul-2021) or this open.ed blog post.

The OARs can be downloaded via https://vue.ed.ac.uk/resources/open.ed/
Right mouse click on any .oar and ensure you save it as an .oar file (or it might be unzipped by the server before the download). OAR files are actually .tar.gx (.tgz) files.

Openvue continent OAR via DreamGrid

Openvue is also available as an OAR (4×4) that can be loaded into a 4×4 sized region on DreamGrid, one of the largest OpenSim distributions [OAR File, Readme, Thumbnail Image]. CC BY-NC. For flexibility and future protection it is not exclusive to DreamGrid, so can be mounted on any OpenSim grid you wish.

Also available at the Outworldz OAR Library via
https://www.outworldz.com/cgi/freesculpts.plx?q=Openvue

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OpenSimulator Mantis Reporter Statistics

http://opensimulator.org/mantis/summary_page.php


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Converting Ready Player Me Avatars for Second Life and OpenSim

This blog post provides resources and information for a route to take Ready Player Me avatars through Blender into Second Life and OpenSim to travel across the Hypergrid.

Workflow for Conversion

  • Obtain Ready Player Me avatar .glb URL.
  • Download avatar URL with ?textureAtlas=none&pose=T on the end.
  • Start Blender and delete the default camera and light.
  • Import .glb to Blender and check avatar is in T-Pose.
  • Extract textures via Texture Paint tab, select each texture via the drop down menu and then Image -> Save As.

Export FBX for other platforms such as Unity

This is a good point at which to export an FBX version of the avatar if you wish to use it in other platforms, such as Unity. The settings for “Add Leaf Bones” box and the “Bake Animation” box for FBX Export appear not to matter, so defaults are fine. The FBX avatar and its textures can be inserted into a Unity project’s assets directly. For Unity I suggest uploading the textures to a folder first, accepting any recommendation to “Fix” the normal map images. Then add the FBX model to ensure that the materials all are correctly setup with bumpiness normals.

Set Finger Pose to Second Life Splayed Fingers

The Ready Player me T-Pose has the fingers in a line. Second Life and OpenSim T-Pose rest pose has the fingers widely splayed. The steps in the bullets below should be undertaken BEFORE doing the character conversion. Missing out these steps will still give a reasonable avatar but leave the fingers deformed.

  • Add (temporarily) the Bento Buddy Rig Creation Safe Rig which have splayed fingers as expected in Second Life and OpenSim) to act as a comparison to the Ready Player me T-Pose which has the fingers straight.
  • Enter Blender Pose Mode. It is also useful to set the skeleton to be in front in Viewport Display.
  • Rotate the bones of the avatar’s fingers and thumbs to closely match the reference rig. It is best not to scale or move them to avoid bad hand positions. You can mirror the changes on one hand to the opposite hand using the “Pose Options” setting for “X-Axis Mirror”.
  • Select the avatar “Armature” and under Bento Buddy Rig Tools click the “Rebind associated mesh” button.
  • Check that the Pose and Rest Pose for the mesh are now identical (with splayed fingers).
  • Remove the temporary Bento Buddy reference safe rig.


You can save the splayed fingers T-Pose in the Bento Buddy Library for later reapplication to simplify these steps on other avatars. Use the Bento Buddy Animation tab -> Enable Posing Library. Select the avatar and “Add Pose” from the rig, rename it to something meaningful (e.g. “T-Pose Splayed Fingers”) and “Save Lib” to save a .bpl (Bento Pose Library) file. You can then skip the steps above by loading the .bpl pose library file and applying the pose to the avatar (note to make the Pose Apply button to be active you might have to click off the Armature in the Blender Outliner and and back on it). Though its safest to restrict the change of bone positions to just the thumbs and fingers which you changed by selecting them and using the Posing Library option to “Apply to selected bones only”. You can streamline that procedure by manually editing the .bpl file to only leave in the “pose_matrix” positions for the fingers and thumbs.
[Resources here https://openvce.net/resources/downloads/ReadyPlayerMe/]

Convert Avatar Rig/Armature to Second Life/OpenSim version

  • Under Bento Buddy Character Converter, load the mixamo_no_prefix.bbm map (Ready Player Me avatars have a Mixamo compatible skeleton) and click Convert
  • Use Bento Buddy to export for Second Life/OpenSim (select all three options including Project Full Rig)
  • Import to Second Life/OpenSim ticking both “Include Skin Weights” and “Include Joint Positions”

Note that there is also a readyplayerme.bbm. After 1-Oct-2022 versions of Bento Buddy will likely have readyplayerme.bbm (28KB) set as a copy of mixamo_no_prefix.bbm (28KB), but before that readyplayerme.bbm (2KB) would not give a full conversion and would leave the hands unconverted.

Prepare the Avatar

  • Attach the uploaded mesh avatar (e.g. to Avatar Center)
  • Change the Description field of the avatar mesh to include the licence information:
    CC BY-NC 4.0 https://readyplayer.me
  • As with any mesh avatar in Second Life or OpenSim, you will need to add an “Alpha Mask” to make sure the underlying standard avatar does not show through the mesh. This should make all parts transparent (Lower, Upper, Head, Eye and Hair)

Texture the Avatar in Second Life or OpenSim

  • Texture the mesh faces using the Diffuse textures and Normal Maps (for bumpiness). The shininess/metallic textures don’t work well and may be omitted

Texture with diffuse textures and add bumpiness “normal” textures to the mesh inworld. You probably don’t want to use (yet) the Metallic/Roughness/Shininess (PBR) where that is provided for soem faces. Though Physics based Rendering (PBR) is under development for Second Life, so you may wish to keep the textures to hand.

To texture the teeth you may need to Disable the Camera Constraints (Preferences -> Advanced) to be able to swing the camera inside the mesh head to select that mesh part.

The hair colour is a simple coloured image. You can alternatively change the hair colour using the “Blank” texture and setting a colour.

Avatar .glb files that are downloaded may have a single face with three textures that represent the texture (diffuse), normal map and metallic/shininess (PBR), or maybe have multiple faces for hair, face, skin, top and bottom. The single face format does not allow hiding of the hair, glasses, etc for in world customisation as described below.

Hand Relax Background Pose

  • You could add a hand relax low priority pose into the mesh
  • To “relax” the hands when not in a pose you could use the RuthAndRoth “bentohandrelax” script and “bentohandrelaxP1” animation. These are available in the Ruth2 v4 and Roth2 v2 distributions in Second Life and OpenSim or via the (GitHub RuthAndRoth “Extras” repository Animations Directory).

In-world Customisation

  • Optionally make some parts transparent (such as hair and glasses, hats, etc) to allow use of in world attachments for those parts
  • Try the Avatar Shape sliders as many will work

A number (but not all) the “Edit Shape” sliders work on Ready Player Me avatars to adjust the general shape.

Some parts such as the hair, accessories such as glasses, etc can be set to 100% transparent and the underlying avatar shows through (such as setting a bald head). This can allow some measure of in-world customisation. It also allows standard avatar attachments such as mesh and flexi hair to be added on without initially uploading a bald headed Ready Player Me avatar.

The head and body parts and textures cannot be altered. Facial hair, eyebrow details, make-up, etc are all baked onto the skin textures which have a unique mapping for Ready Player Me avatars. Hence tattoos and other elements that can be applied to skins in Second Life or OpenSim will not work.

The eye texture can be changed, even to a Bakes on Mesh (BoM) Eye (ensure you use an underlying avatar mask that allows the eye to show in that case). The normal eye texture iris image is slightly larger than the standard Ready Player Me one, so you may wish to adjust the image horizontal and vertical scale to (say) 1.1.

Licence Details

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

Beorn’s House on OpenSim


Beorn’s House is a 256mx256m region for DreamGrid (OpenSim) with surrounding mountainous landscape and is part of the “Hobbiton Collection“/Shirelands of Hobbit/Lord of the Rings themed regions built by David Denny (avatar: Darkness Papp), licenced for exclusive use on the DreamGrid distribution of OpenSim. It can be loaded onto a 256mx256m region in DreamGrid via the “Content” menu in the DreamGrid control panel.



Licence and Credits (from OAR Readme)

Part of the Hobbiton Collection by Darkness Papp
For exclusive use only in DreamGrids CC-BY-NC 4.0
Character Created By: J. R. R. Tolkien

Beorn lived in a wooden house on his pasture-lands between the Misty Mountains and Mirkwood, to the east of the Anduin. His household included an animal retinue (horses, dogs, sheep, and cows, among others); according to Gandalf, Beorn did not eat his cattle, nor hunt wild animals. He also grew large areas of clover for his bees.

When you rez this build, make sure your music is off, you will want to hear the sounds here… a billy goat, a wolf, and birds. A serene countryside estate with lush landscaping.

This lovely country cottage has beehives, horses grazing, bales of hay to feed them. Entering the cottage, from the garden area, you will see Great Danes to guard you, and a cow eating hay in the prep area of the cottage where you will bring in your produce from the fields to prepare them for your evening meals. Attached is a Dining area where you can enjoy your freshly picked harvest.

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Crystal Frost – Unity Viewer for Second Life and OpenSim

GitHub JennaScvl (Berry Bunny in Second Life, Kallisti#2038 on Discord) recently announced work on a Unity-based viewer for Second Life and OpenSim using LibreMetaverse. This blog post provides resources related to the development of Crystal Frost which is still at an early stage of development.

The Unity project code and ersources can be obtained at https://github.com/JennaScvl/CrystalFrost

Starter scene is in Scenes/SampleScene (may be renamed in later versions).

Early version comparison of Firestorm vs Crystal Frost by Kallisti on 1-Sep-2022:

Early development tests by Ai Austin on 21-Sep-2022:

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WWF – saveyour.world

saveyour.world is a virtual world created for the World Wildlife Fund Deutschland and accessible using a Ready Player Me avatar.





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Firestorm VR Mod 6.6.3

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 https://github.com/humbletim/firestorm-gha/releases (Assets)

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

Table of Contents
Usage Settings Troubleshooting Black in HMD
SteamVR Popup Fn Keys Default View FPS Advice
Xbox Controller 3D SpaceNav Source Code VRLand Test

Firestorm 6.6.3 + P373R VR Mod: This build includes P373R’s VR Mod 6.3.3 changes merged into the Firestorm 6.6.3.67470 release branch. The VR Mod approach takes a minimalistic approach to inserting VR capabilities into the viewer in order that the maintenance overhead is decreased and the potential longevity of the approach is increased. VR Controller support is not included.

Download the release installer (for Windows only) from the “Assets” list at the bottom of the entry for the latest version available at https://github.com/humbletim/firestorm-gha/releases/

Firestorm VR Mod is created using “GitHub Actions” (GHA) thanks to @humbletim and @thoys. Minor manual changes are made for the VR Mod 6.3.3 code for the merge, which otherwise continues to be suitable. Some of the code for performance metrics wants to be just ahead of rendering, which is where the VR Mod inject points also wanted to be. Since they are independent it’s just a matter of explaining to git they are unrelated and can exist in any order. The cmake scripts are also amended to auto-include openvr.dll.

The App name has been changed to “FirestormVR” and the Program Files and AppData directories changed so the installation can exist side-by-side with stock Firestorm if desired. Settings are stored in the different default user folder C:/Users/<name>/AppData/Roaming/FirestormVR_x64. Cache is also stored in a different default user folder C:/Users/<name>/AppData/Local/FirestormVROS_x64.

U S A G E

VR Mode instructions are available via prompts in the viewer or via information on https://gsgrid.de/firestorm-vr-mod/. 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
    C:\Users\your_user_name\AppData\Roaming\FirestormVR_x64\vrconfig.ini
    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 may be 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 VR hardware cannot maintain constant 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.

S E T T I N G S

VR Mode 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

Hovertips

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.

Chat Bubbles

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.


T R O U B L E S H O O T I N G

Misaligned VR Cursor

Note from Gaffe on Discord: Firestorm VR Mod’s VR cursor will have a small-to-extreme offset on Windows in particular if you are using Windows UI Scaling with any settings OTHER than 100%. To fix the VR cursor offset, set the Windows UI Scaling for your primary display to 100%

Jumbled VR Initialisation Text:

I have noted that Ctrl+Tab to start the SteamVR/HMD device software sometimes shows jumbled letters for the VR driver initialisation message, and once that occurs using Tab to launch VR mode does not give a VR display in the HMD.

After some experimentation, I found that after starting Firestorm VR Mod, rather than going straight to Cltrl+Tab to set up for VR devices, I first dismiss the onscreen message with Tab, and THEN do a Ctrl+Tab after which the full message without missing letters immediately appears, and SteamVR/Oculus is launched and when the Tab is then used the VR mode works properly. This may be a temporary situation and could be related to driver updates or SteamVR changes, but if you see the same thing, try the Tab and then Ctrl+Tab sequence once or twice to see if that also works for you.

Missing Menus and Buttons in Centred VR View

If you notice that the top menu bar and bottom and side button areas do not show in your headset when you are in VR Mode and your view is centred (i.e. mouse is positioned centrally in the 2D view) it may be that the VR settings you chose for Texture Shift and Texture Zoom need to be adjusted, or set to zero.

All Black HMD Display or Black Edges or Strips in HMD Display

An all black display in the VR HMD 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.

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.

SteamVR Reset/Quit Screen Shows in HMD

When you switch to VR mode (after activating VR with Ctrl+TAB and using TAB), you may see a “Next Up… Firestorm” message or a SteamVR popup screen to “Reset the View” and “Quit SteamVR”. This has been observed to occur on the first run of a newly installed viewer. It can usually be dismissed with your controller if that is active, but if not the screen may continue to show the popup in VR mode in the HMD. Try another round of ctrl+TAB and TAB or if that does not work try stopping and restarting the viewer to clear this. These glitches may be more to do with legacy OpenVR + the latest SteamVR updates rather than Firestorm or VR Mod code changes.

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).

Reset Default View in Firestorm Viewer

If your camera viewpoint appears to be wrong… type ESC or Shift + ESC a few times. That should reset your camera view. You could also try CTRL + 9, which does the same thing.

A D V I C E    O N    F R A M E    R A T E

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 50% or less of the frame rate that shows on the 2D normal screen. At low frame rates bad flickering or texture tearing 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.

You may need to disable “vsync” in Settings -> Graphics -> Hardware as if this is on (the default) the FPS is capped to the frame rate of your 2D monitor (often 60fps, meaning in VR you would get less than 30fps).

Firestorm includes an “Improve Graphics Speed” performance tool and facilities to autotune the FPS which may be helpful. See advice on FPS improvement and the new “Performance Floater” and “FPS Autotune” capabilities in <a href="http://“>Beq Janus’s Blog Post (21-Mar-2022).

To improve frame rate (FPS) you might opt to set shadows to “None”, Water reflections to “None: Opaque” and use a reasonably low draw distance appropriate to the scene. Also close viewer UI windows and tools and detach any HUDs you are not actively using. The rendering of Linden Water, the water surface and its effects, can significantly reduce frame rates. Setting water reflections to “None; opaque” which gives a big FPS boost whilst still leaving the water looking okay. In an extreme situation, and in an environment that makes sense such as a meeting room, disabling Linden Water entirely can boost frame rates. Do that via Advanced -> Rendering Types -> Water. If the Advanced menu is not shown use Settings -> Advanced -> Show Advanced Menu or World -> Show More -> Advanced menu.

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

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.

C O N T R O L L E R S

Currently, specialised VR Controllers are not supported, but a range of game controllers and 3D navigation devices do work where supported by the normal viewer code.

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.

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.

S O U R C E

This version of Firestorm VR Mod 6.4.12.62831 is based on the Firestorm source code at Commit r63477:5b44308aee43 (Wed, 02 Dec 2020 21:32:05). Firestorm source is available at https://vcs.firestormviewer.org/phoenix-firestorm. 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 https://gsgrid.de/firestorm-vr-mod/ [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 https://wiki.firestormviewer.org/fs_compiling_firestorm.

Note that the VR Mod source remains stable since version 6.3.3 and that no changes are needed for insertion into later versions of Firestorm to date.

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 https://github.com/humbletim/firestorm-gha.

V R L A N D – T E S T   A R E A

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

hop://hg.osgrid.org:80/RuthAndRoth/16/16/1000

More detail at: https://blog.inf.ed.ac.uk/atate/2016/07/20/vrland-a-community-and-test-region-for-virtual-reality-in-virtual-worlds/

Ai-Austin-with-Oculus-DK2-800x640You can also pick up a VR Headset attachment for your avatar in OpenSim on the OSGrid on both the RuthAndRoth and (if available) the VRLand regions. Or in Second Life pick up the VR HMD on the Second Life Marketplace. 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) and Second Life by Ai Austin.

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

SwiftXR – Resources


SwiftXR lets a user create a project, drag and drop 3D objects into it, personalize it, and deploy cross-platform 3D, WebAR, and WebVR experiences. A basic project can be tried with an initial 5 credits given when you first register (as at September 2022). 1 credit is used when you make a project and download it as HTNML (in a zip file ready to deploy). But the platform is pay as you go after the initial credits are used.

https://home.swiftxr.io/
https://swiftxr.io/hub
https://home.swiftxr.io/pricing

Projects can include Ready Player Me avatars…

Direct Access to SwiftXR Ready Player Me Avatar Creator: https://swiftxr.readyplayer.me

Documentation: https://docs.swiftxr.io/
Tutorials: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChI10A1F-771X04TVEvigvw

Sample project: http://atate.org/aiaustin/SwiftXR-Ai/
1 Credit is used to generate app and download project HTML as a .Zip file

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Ready Player Me Fashion

Ready Player Me (https://readyplayer.me) allows the creation of cross platform avatars that can be exported in .gltf format for use or conversion to a range of virtual worlds and metaverse platforms and many other purposes. A range of clothing, outfits and fasion that may be openly accessible to anyone, or available in limited editions only for a limited subscription time (free or otherwise) is appearing. Examples include

Parallel Tommy Hilfiger

Male and female Outfits available via a free token for a limited time in August 2022. See this blog post.


Vogue Singapore

The September 2022 and October 2022 issues of Vogue Singapore (https:/vogue.sg) linked the virtual world fashion of fashion designer Yimeng Yu (https://vogue.sg/fashion-designer-yimeng-yu/) with Ready Player Me avatars. See this blog post.

New Balance

BMW

DUNE

Kahani

Pull&Bear


Metawear/Bondeglaur


Metawear Web Site and Digital Fashion
Metawear Avatar Creator and Bondeglaur Outfits
Metawear Adam & Eve Digital Fashion Models [YouTube]
Metaware Fashion Dome (fashiondome.io) [YouTube]
Cosmofashion.com Blog Post 8-Oct-2022

Universal Studios – Monsters

Outfits with Hoodies themed after Universal Studios Movie Monsters.
Object Claim Code (limited time around Halloween 2022)
Universal Monsters Avatar Creator
Universal Monsters Store – Real life Outfits

StarryNift, WoW x The Fabricant and DressX

Spatial – Halloween 2022

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aiaustin.readyplayer.me

This blog post describes experiments with embedding the Ready Player Me Avatar Creator into an application. Initially I wanted to create a reliable and repeatable workflow to take Ready Player Me avatars into Second Life or OpenSim. This process used Ready Player Me, .glb avatar download, conversion to FBX and texture extraction using Blender, reposing the avatar into T-Pose using Mixamo, reimporting the resulting avatar back into Blender, and then Mixamo skeleton conversion to a suitable armature for Second Life and OpenSim using Bento Buddy (a paid addon to Blender) and export of the Collada (.dae) also using Blender/Bento Buddy. The Collada export from Blender even using the tick box for SL/OpenSim use just does not work since the skeleton is not mapped in a way that works with Second Life and OpenSim. All tools are free expect for the Bento Buddy addon.

Luckily while exploring this and discussing the process with Ready Player Me developers on Discord, the capabilities of the Ready Player Me Avatar Creator were being refined and an “Avatar API” was being developed and tested. It was formally given a first release on 28-Sep-2022. This Avatar API allows the download URL for Ready Player Me avatars to be given parameters which allow a number of useful things, including obtaining the avatar directly in T-Pose hence avoiding needing to go via Mixamo for this step. This simplified the workflow I was seeking and meant that a separate application was not necessary.

The experimentation and current simplified process are described in this blog post:
https://blog.inf.ed.ac.uk/atate/2022/09/08/using-ready-player-me-avatars-in-second-life-and-opensim/

  • Tested in Blender 3.2.0 and 3.3.0
    Check the glTF Import/Export and FBX Import/Export Addins are enabled (they usually are by default or tick them in Edit -> Preferences -> Add-ons).
  • Tested in Bento Buddy – bentobuddy_v3_0_5_blender_2_8x_to_3x_fix1.zip (Paid Add-on)
  • Tested in Second Life Viewer 6.6.3 and Firestorm Viewer OS 6.6.3

Simplified Workflow for Avatar using Multiple Faces and in T-Pose

  1. Obtain Ready Player Me avatar .glb URL
  2. Download avatar URL with ?textureAtlas=none&pose=T on the end
  3. Start Blender and delete the default camera and light
  4. Import .glb to Blender and check avatar is in T-Pose
  5. Extract textures via Texture Paint tab
  6. To fix the issue of the fingers being deformed in a relaxed pose, the steps in the bullets below should be undertaken BEFORE doing the character conversion. Missing out these steps will still give a reasonable avatar but leave the fingers deformed.
    • Add (temporarily) the Bento Buddy Rig Creation Safe Rig which have splayed fingers as expected in Second Life and OpenSim) to act as a comparison to the Ready Player me T-Pose which has the fingers straight.
    • Enter Blender Pose Mode. It is also useful to set skeleton to be in front in Viewport Display.
    • Rotate the avatar finger and thumb bones to closely match the reference rig. Its best not to scale or move them to avoid bad hand positions.
    • Note that you can save this “T-Pose with Fingers Splayed” pose for use in future via Bento Buddy Animation -> Enable Posing Library
    • Select the avatar “Armature” and under Bento Buddy Rig Tools click the “Rebind associated mesh” button.
    • Check that the Pose and Rest Pose for the mesh are now identical (with splayed fingers).
    • Remove the temporary Bento Buddy reference safe rig.
  7. Under Bento Buddy Character Converter, load the mixamo_no_prefix map (Ready Player Me avatars have a Mixamo compatible skeleton) and click Convert
  8. Use Bento Buddy to export for Second Life/OpenSim (select all three options including Project Full Rig)
  9. Import to Second Life/OpenSim ticking both “Include Skin Weights” and “Include Joint Positions”
  10. Attach the uploaded mesh avatar (e.g. to Avatar Center)
  11. Texture the mesh faces using the Diffuse textures and Normal Maps (for bumpiness). The shininess/metallic textures don’t work well and may be omitted
  12. Optionally make some parts transparent (such as hair and glasses, hats, etc) to allow use of in world attachments for those parts
  13. Try the Avatar Shape sliders as many will work
  14. You could add a hand relax low priority pose into the mesh

Ready Player Me Subdomain Experiment

Ready Player Me Documentation

Ready Player Me Avatar API – 3D (.glb), 2D (.png) and JSON (.json)

https://api.readyplayer.me/v1/avatars/63288f8314e8ef684bac27c4.glb?textureAtlas=none&pose=T (Multiple faces and separate materials, T-Pose)

https://api.readyplayer.me/v1/avatars/63288f8314e8ef684bac27c4.glb?textureAtlas=1024&pose=T (Single face and one material (1024 max.), T-Pose)

https://api.readyplayer.me/v1/avatars/63288f8314e8ef684bac27c4.png?scene=fullbody-posture-v1-transparent

https://api.readyplayer.me/v1/avatars/63288f8314e8ef684bac27c4.png?scene=fullbody-posture-v1-transparent&blendShapes[Wolf3D_Head][mouthSmile]=0.8

JSON Metadata Example

Venturebeat blog post describing the Avatar API, Dean Takahashi, 11-Oct-2022.

Ready Player Me Avatar in OpenSim

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Using Ready Player Me Avatars in Second Life and OpenSim

This blog post is replaced by a later one here since developments have taken place in Ready Player me and the Bento Buddy plugin for Blender. This blog post provides resources and information for a route to take Ready Player Me avatars through Blender into Second Life and OpenSim to travel across the Hypergrid.

  • Tested in Blender 3.2.0 and 3.3.0
    Check the glTF Import/Export and FBX Import/Export Addins are enabled (they usually are by default or tick them in Edit -> Preferences -> Add-ons).
  • Tested in Bento Buddy – bentobuddy_v3_0_5_blender_2_8x_to_3x_fix1.zip (Paid Add-on)
  • Tested in Second Life Viewer 6.6.3 and Firestorm Viewer OS 6.6.3

Convert the Ready Player Me avatar from the native .glb format initially to .fbx for further processing in Mixamo using the instructions at
https://support.readyplayer.me/hc/en-us/articles/360020740897-How-do-I-use-a-GLB-model-in-Unity-. I.e.

  1. Create and download your avatar from https://readyplayer.me/
  2. Import your file into Blender – File/Import/gITF 2.0 (.glb/gltf)
  3. Go to Blender’s “Texture Paint” tab and select “View” in the top left of the Image Editor panel
  4. Select each texture from the drop-down at the top
  5. At the top left, click Image/Save As… (or Shift + Alt + S) and select your destination
  6. Export your model as an FBX – File/Export/FBX (.fbx)

The settings for “Add Leaf Bones” box and the “Bake Animation” box for FBX Export appear not to matter, so defaults are fine.

Unity – This FBX avatar and its textures can be inserted into a Unity project’s assets directly (for example). For Unity I suggest uploading the textures to a folder first, accepting any recommendation to “Fix” the normal map images. Then add the FBX model to ensure that the materials all are correctly setup with bumpiness normals.

But for Second Life and OpenSim the avatar should be set to the “T-Pose” before being exported to Collada (.dae). This can be done using Mixamo…

Upload the exported .fbx avatar into Mixamo and download again from Mixamo as .fbx with the T-Pose option set. Then Load the T-Pose .fbx back into Blender. Ensure that the “Animation” box is ticked to ensure the T-Pose is maintained (should be on by default).
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gTRb-SwmBZw
https://www.mixamo.com/

In Blender, use the Bento Buddy “Character Converter” tab to load the mixamo_no_prefix.bbm (28K) map (the readyplayerme.bbm map (2K) available up to 30-Sep-2022 did not include hand bones so the hands would not be animated. the readyplayerme.bbm (28K) available after 1-Oct-2022 is a copy of the mixamo_no_prefix.bbm (28K) map and should work). Then click “Convert”. Diagnostics during the conversion process are available in the Blender System Console. You can show this via Windows -> Toggle System Window.

Export Avatar to Collada and Import to Second Life or Openim

[May not be necessary: Set “Project full Rig” on in the Converted Mesh Export options.] Leave “Process Volume Bones” and “Rotate for SL” on. Use “Export Mesh for SL/OpenSim” to create the Collada .dae version.

Load the mesh into Second Life or OpenSim via Build -> Upload -> Mesh Model.
Set the Lowest Level of Detail to 0. Select Physics as “Lowest”.
Include skin weights and Include joint positions must both ticked. If you leave out Include joint positions, the avatar may look spindly.

You can attach the mesh to the avatar, e.g. attach to “Avatar Center”.

Change the Description field of the avatar mesh to include the licence information:
CC BY-NC 4.0 https://readyplayer.me

As with any mesh avatar in Second Life or OpenSim, you will need to add an “Alpha Mask” to make sure the underlying standard avatar does not show through the mesh. This should make all parts transparent (Lower, Upper, Head, Eye and Hair).

Texture the Avatar in Second Life or OpenSim

Texture and add bumpiness “normal” textures to the mesh inworld. You might want to experiment with whether to include the Metallic/Roughness/Shininess (PBR) where that is provided for a face.

To texture the teeth you may need to Disable the Camera Constraints (Preferences -> Advanced) to be able to swing the camera inside the mesh head to select that mesh part.

The hair colour is a simple coloured image. You can alternatively change the hair colour using the “Blank” texture and setting a colour.

Image Mapping to Avatar Mesh Faces

Ready Player Me Avatars will have a certain number of associated textures depending on the parts they have. A typical setup is shown below, though if parts such as hats, glasses and weapons are attached there could be more. They usually occur in the alphabetic order of the named part.

Blender version 3.3.* and later maintains useful names for the textures. Earlier versions such as 3.2.0 simply name the images as “Image_N”.

Avatars with 3 textures

Avatar .glb that are downloaded may have a single face with three textures that represent the texture (diffuse), normal map and metallic/shininess, or maybe have multiple faces for hair, face, skin, top and bottom. The single face format does not allow hiding of the hair, glasses, etc for in world customisation as described below.

BASE_COLOR_TEXTURE_OPAQUE.png
NORMAL_TEXTURE_OPAQUE.png
METALLIC_ROUGHNESS_TEXTURE_OPAQUE.png

Avatar Outfits with Top and Bottom (16 textures)

Image_0 is the eye texture
Image_1 is the body normal map
Image_2 (small coloured square) is the body texture

Glasses texture, normal map and metallic/roughness/shininess (PBR Materials) image could be included here if 19 textures

Image_3 is the hair normal map
Image_4 (medium coloured square) is the hair texture
Image_5 is the face texture
Image_6 is the outfit bottom normal map
Image_7 is the outfit bottom texture
Image_8 (yellow, pink, etc.) (bottom PBR Materials)
Image_9 is the outfit footwear normal map
Image_10 is the outfit footwear texture
Image_11 (red and orange?) (footwear PBR Materials)
Image_12 is the outfit top normal map
Image_13 is the outfit top texture
Image_14 (yellow and pink?) (top PBR Materials)
Image_15 is the teeth texture.

Avatar Outfits with Top Only (e.g. a Dress) (13 textures)

Image_0 is the eye texture
Image_1 is the body normal map
Image_2 (small coloured square) is the body texture
Image_3 is the hair normal map
Image_4 (medium coloured square) is the hair texture
Image_5 is the face texture
Image_6 is the outfit footwear normal map
Image_7 is the outfit footwear texture
Image_8 (red and orange?) (footwear hPBR Materials)
Image_9 is the outfit top normal map
Image_10 is the outfit top texture
Image_11 (yellow and pink?) (PBR Materials)
Image_12 is the teeth texture.

In-world Customisation

A number (but not all) the “Edit Shape” sliders work on Ready Player Me avatars to adjust the general shape.

Some parts such as the hair, accessories such as glasses, etc can be set to 100% transparent and the underlying avatar shows through (such as setting a bald head). This can allow some measure of in-world customisation. It also allows standard avatar attachments such as mesh and flexi hair to be added on without initially uploading a bald headed Ready Player Me avatar.

The head and body parts and textures cannot be altered. Facial hair, eyebrow details, make-up, etc are all baked onto the skin textures which have a unique mapping for Ready Player Me avatars. Hence tattoos and other elements that can be applied to skins in Second Life or OpenSim will not work.

The eye texture can be changed, even to a Bakes on Mesh (BoM) Eye (ensure you use an underlying avatar mask that allows the eye to show in that case). The normal eye texture iris image is slightly larger than the standard Ready Player Me one, so you may wish to adjust the image horizontal and vertical scale to (say) 1.1.

Hand Relax Background Pose

To “relax” the hands when not in a pose you could use the RuthAndRoth “bentohandrelax” script and “bentohandrelaxP1” animation. These are available in the Ruth2 v4 and Roth2 v2 distributions in Second Life and OpenSim or via the RuthAndRoth “Ruth2” GitHub repository. See, for example, https://blog.inf.ed.ac.uk/atate/2020/08/30/ruth2-v4/

Other Resources

Licence Details


Original Workflow via Mixamo

  1. Download Ready Player Me avatar .glb
  2. Start Blender and delete the default camera and light
  3. Import .glb to Blender
  4. Extract textures via Texture Paint tab
  5. Save the selected avatar as .fbx
  6. Upload the .fbx to Mixamo and download again as .fbx in T-Pose
  7. Import the T-Pose .fbx to Blender
  8. Under Bento Buddy Character Converter, load the mixamo_no_prefix map and click Convert
  9. Use Bento Buddy to export for Second Life/OpenSim (select all three options including Project Full Rig)
  10. Import to Second Life/OpenSim ticking “Include Skin Weights” and “Include Joint Positions”
  11. Attach the uploaded mesh avatar (e.g. to Avatar Center)
  12. Texture the mesh faces using the Diffuse texture and Normal Map (for bumpiness). The shininess/metallic textures don’t work well and could be omitted

Simplified Workflow via Ready Player Me Avatar using Multiple Faces and in T-Pose

  1. Obtain Ready Player Me avatar .glb URL
  2. Download avatar URL with ?textureAtlas=none&pose=T on the end
  3. Start Blender and delete the default camera and light
  4. Import .glb to Blender and check avatar is in T-Pose
  5. Extract textures via Texture Paint tab
  6. To fix the issue of the fingers being deformed in a relaxed pose, the steps in the bullets below should be undertaken BEFORE doing the character conversion. Missing out these steps will still give a reasonable avatar but leave the fingers deformed.
    • Add (temporarily) the Bento Buddy Rig Creation Safe Rig which have splayed fingers as expected in Second Life and OpenSim) to act as a comparison to the Ready Player me T-Pose which has the fingers straight.
    • Enter Blender Pose Mode. It is also useful to set skeleton to be in front in Viewport Display.
    • Rotate the avatar finger and thumb bones to closely match the reference rig. Its best not to scale or move them to avoid bad hand positions.
    • Select the avatar “Armature” and under Bento Buddy Rig Tools click the “Rebind associated mesh” button.
    • Check that the Pose and Rest Pose for the mesh are now identical (with splayed fingers).
    • Remove the temporary Bento Buddy reference safe rig.
  7. Under Bento Buddy Character Converter, load the mixamo_no_prefix map (Ready Player Me avatars have a Mixamo compatible skeleton) and click Convert
  8. Use Bento Buddy to export for Second Life/OpenSim (select all three options including Project Full Rig)
  9. Import to Second Life/OpenSim ticking both “Include Skin Weights” and “Include Joint Positions”
  10. Attach the uploaded mesh avatar (e.g. to Avatar Center)
  11. Texture the mesh faces using the Diffuse textures and Normal Maps (for bumpiness). The shininess/metallic textures don’t work well and may be omitted
  12. Optionally make some parts transparent (such as hair and glasses, hats, etc) to allow use of in world attachments for those parts
  13. Try the Avatar Shape sliders as many will work
  14. You could add a hand relax low priority pose into the mesh

Issues – Animations and Poses

Hand animations appear to work with these conversions, but facial animations do not. That needs more investigation as Ready Player Me avatars do have facial animation capability, but it is provided via “Blend Shapes” rather than avatar skeleton bones.

  1. The fingers on the avatar may appear a bit wonky unless you properly set the avatar into the T-Pose with fingers and thumbs splayed. See this comment.
  2. Facial animations do not work on the avatar in Second Life or OpenSim.

Ready Player Me Avatar API

Initial Release 28-Sep-2022.
https://docs.readyplayer.me/ready-player-me/avatar-api/

Posted in OpenSim, Second Life, Virtual World | Tagged , , , , | 12 Comments

Vogue Singapore – Virtual World Fashion in Spatial.io

The September 2022 and October 2022 issue of Vogue Singapore (https:/vogue.sg) linked the virtual world fashion of fashion designer Yimeng Yu (https://vogue.sg/fashion-designer-yimeng-yu/) with Ready Player Me avatars.

Step into Vogue’s New World and try on Yimeng Yu’s exclusive designs: Rebirth and Nirvana…

  1. Visit Vogue’s New World on Spatial.io
  2. Create an account or log in to your existing account
  3. Build and dress your avatar in Vogue’s exclusive designs by Yimeng Yu
  4. Enter and navigate the space using your mouse and keyboard to interact with the four clickable points





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Second Life Puppetry – Resources

This blog post provides some links and resources relevant to the (currently experimental) development of “Puppetry” for Second Life and OpenSim.

Puppetry opens up the viewer to accept animation data from other sources such as scripts (e.g. Python), a webcam or hardware controllers. Input events are provided by the LLSD Event API Plug-in (LEAP) system which is already available in Second Life viewers. Puppetry potentially allows many new ways to make your avatar move.

See blog post on 31-Aug-2022 on “Introducing Second Life Puppetry” – https://community.secondlife.com/blogs/entry/11527-introducing-second-life-puppetry/

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Aurelia’s Rainy Day Cafe

A quick visit to Aurelia’s Rainy Day Cafe in Second Life. Initially to pick up a (free) box of EEP Rainbow environment settings by Juicy Bomb (see this blog post)… but then I stayed to enjoy the cafe on the ocean front…


Visit via http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Aurelias/234/246/23

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Monaverse

Mona or Monaverse is a browser based virtual world platform that provides a number of separate experiences connected via portals – https://monaverse.com/

Mona accepts registration and logins by connecting a cryptocurrency wallet such as Metamask and WalletConnect. Or you can have a casual visit to experiences without a login. A default avatar is presented or you can connect a Ready Player Me avatar (.glb).


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Parallel by Tommy Hilfiger

Matching Virtual and In Real Life Outfits by Tommy Hilfiger –
https://www.paralleltommyhilfiger.com/


Outfits Redeemed in Wardrobe

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glTF Resources

glTF (GL Transmission Format)

glTF 2.0 is now an ISO standard (4-Aug-2022):

glTF Converters

See https://blog.inf.ed.ac.uk/atate/2018/09/28/gltf-converters/

glTF Avatars

Ready Player Me is a tool that can be used to create avatars in glTF format for use in other platforms. See my earlier blog post on this.

Linden Lab is also experimenting with improved materials handling for Second Life and they have adopted glTF for that work. This could mean support for glTF mesh items and avatars in the Second Life viewer someday. Its under discussion in a content creators channel on Linden Lab’s Discord channel and very early prototype viewers have been shared with registered content creators via that channel.

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Openvue grid goes behind Firewall

The Virtual University of Edinburgh “Openvue” grid on http://virtual.aiai.ed.ac.uk:8002 has been operating since 2007 on the OpenSimulator platform as an open Hypergrid accessible resource looked after by Prof. Austin Tate (avatar: Ai Austin) in the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh.

Openvue will now be moved behind the University firewall and thus will not be accessible externally via the Hypergrid. It will continue to be available within the firewall or via the University’s secure VPN. This is part of a networking security effort by the University to close open ports for services run by individual departments or schools or by normal staff members.

Discussions are underway to potentially transfer the Openvue grid to run as a central service so Openvue may reappear on the Hypergrid at some time, though its griduri will change to a central one if that is done.

Coverage in Hypergrid Business…

https://www.hypergridbusiness.com/2022/08/opensim-reverses-last-months-hefty-decline-in-land-area-and-user-numbers/

Update October 2022:
Openvue is also available as an OAR (4×4) that can be loaded into a 4×4 sized region on DreamGrid, one of the largest OpenSim distributions [OAR File, Readme, Thumbnail Image]. CC BY-NC.

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Firestorm VR Mod 6.5.6

Firestorm 6.5.6 + P373R VR Mod: This build includes P373R’s VR Mod 6.3.3 changes merged into the Firestorm 6.5.6.66221 release branch. The VR Mod approach takes a minimalistic approach to inserting VR capabilities into the viewer in order that the maintenance overhead is decreased and the potential longevity of the approach is increased. VR Controller support is not included.

Download the release installer (for Windows only) from the “Assets” list at the bottom of the entry for the latest version available at https://github.com/humbletim/firestorm-gha/releases/

The user instructions are similar to Firestorm VR Mod 6.4.12 which is described at https://blog.inf.ed.ac.uk/atate/firestorm-vr-mod-6-4-12/

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

Firestorm VR Mod 6.5.6 is created using “GitHub Actions” (GHA) thanks to @humbletim and @thoys. Minor manual changes are made for the VR Mod 6.3.3 code for the merge, which otherwise continues to be suitable. Some of the code for performance metrics wants to be just ahead of rendering, which is where the VR Mod inject points also wanted to be. Since they are independent it’s just a matter of explaining to git they are unrelated and can exist in any order. The cmake scripts are also amended to auto-include openvr.dll.

The App name has been changed to “FirestormVR” so the installation can exist side-by-side with stock Firestorm if desired. Settings are also stored in the different user folder C:/Users/<name>/AppData/Roaming/FirestormVR_x64. The asset cache is shared.

This release is for Windows, and a Linux build compiles but entering into VR mode via SteamVR on Linux remains to be tested.

Improving Frame Rate

To improve frame rate (FPS) you might opt to set shadows to “None”, Water reflections to “None: Opaque” and use a reasonably low draw distance appropriate to the scene. Also close viewer UI windows and tools and detach any HUDs you are not actively using. See advice on FPS improvement and the new “Performance Floater” and “FPS Autotune” capabilities in Beq Janus’s Blog Post (21-Mar-2022).

WARNING: Modern VR HMD systems have async reprojection (which helps prevent low frame rate nausea), but as it stands right now, accessing Second Life/OpenSim in VR mode is only for the very brave.

T R O U B L E S H O O T I N G

Misaligned VR Cursor

Note from Gaffe on Discord: Firestorm VR Mod’s VR cursor will have a small-to-extreme offset on Windows in particular if you are using Windows UI Scaling with any settings OTHER than 100%. To fix the VR cursor offset, set the Windows UI Scaling for your primary display to 100%

Jumbled VR Initialisation Text:

I have noted that Ctrl+Tab to start the SteamVR/HMD device software sometimes shows jumbled letters for the VR driver initialisation message, and once that occurs using Tab to launch VR mode does not give a VR display in the HMD.

After some experimentation, I found that after starting Firestorm VR Mod, rather than going straight to Cltrl+Tab to set up for VR devices, I first dismiss the onscreen message with Tab, and THEN do a Ctrl+Tab after which the full message without missing letters immediately appears, and SteamVR/Oculus is launched and when the Tab is then used the VR mode works properly. This may be a temporary situation and could be related to driver updates or SteamVR changes, but if you see the same thing, try the Tab and then Ctrl+Tab sequence once or twice to see if that also works for you.

Missing Menus and Buttons in Centred VR View

If you notice that the top menu bar and bottom and side button areas do not show in your headset when you are in VR Mode and your view is centred (i.e. mouse is positioned centrally in the 2D view) it may be that the VR settings you chose for Texture Shift and Texture Zoom need to be adjusted, or set to zero.

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Second Life – The Man – 2002-2022

It is the 20th anniversary of the creation of “The Man” statue which appeared on one of the Second Life Beta regions on 19th July 2002. Twenty years of the Second Life virtual world and going strong.

https://secondlife.com/destination/the-man
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Natoma/96/182/26



360° Snapshots – Click on Image to See Panorama in Flickr

sl360_Natoma_4096x2048_2048_20220719_201106

“The Man” Statue Notecard Information

It all started back in the Alpha stage of Second Life (then Linden World) when Linden Lab wanted to test a new rendering engine, how feasible a city scape would be, and other general content testing. This city was built in Natoma before any non-employee users had logged into SL and was not named but often referred to as “Linden Town” or “Linden City”. The town/city contained many buildings (mostly unfurnished and low texture usage), a small park-like town square with a fountain, and roads all through it. The city also had a statue in its town square behind a “City Hall”. The statue turned out of course to be “The Man” built by a content developer (oldjohn Linden) hired at the time by LL (in 2002).

The city was later deleted before Beta to make way for the new Welcome Area which got the nickname of the ‘Newbie Corral’ and also the various other new-resident oriented things (Avatar Central among them). However one thing survived the deletion of the city to become the only proof of its existence (besides pictures), and that thing was “The Man” statue. At this point The Man was moved slightly to the corner of Natoma and placed on a small grassy hill. The Man stood and greeted new residents from its perch off in the distance as they entered.

Natoma remained this way until the Welcome Area, along with other content, was deleted and moved. Being the crafty build it was, The Man once again escaped deletion and still stood tall above the land.

Natoma has since gone through many changes, some Linden builds disappeared and only two old builds were left from its past. These surviving builds are the Arch’D Linden Grande (from the Newbie Corral era) and The Man statue. Thus The Man stands today as the oldest original still-standing build within Second Life.

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Another Year of Adventures

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Roblox – Resources

Roblox is an online game platform and game creation system that allows users to create and play in environments or games. Roblox is free to play, with in-game purchases available through its virtual currency called “Robux”. According to Wikipedia, as of August 2020, Roblox had over 164 million monthly active users. Typical avatars look like “Lego” characters, but other styles are available, and avatars can have added clothing layers.


To easily install Roblox on Windows without using the Microsoft Store and a Microsoft Account, you can open a link to an experience, choose a free one such as “Brookhaven RP”, and click the play arrow. This will try to launch Roblox, which if not installed, will offer a link to download and install, before you can then retry play on the experiemnce web page… https://www.roblox.com/games/4924922222/Brookhaven-RP

Control Keys

  • WASD and Arrow Keys – Move Forward, Left, Backward and Right
  • Spacebar – Jump or get up off seat
  • 1, 2, 3,… – Equip and Unequip Tools
  • Mouse Left Button – Use Tool
  • Mouse Wheel Zoom – In/Out
  • Other keys are usually assigned by the specific experience or game


Roblox Studio

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Second Life – Resources

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