Firestorm VR Mod 6.6.8

Up to Firestorm 6.6.8 if you see errors like “missing vcruntime.dll”, “missing msvcp.dll” or the application is not starting at all, then please download and install Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio (link for 64-bit operating systems). This issue will be fixed for Firestorm 6.6.9 onwards.

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 6.6.8 + P373R VR Mod: This build includes P373R’s VR Mod 6.3.3 changes merged into the Firestorm 6.6.8.68380 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 - OpenSim - OSGrid - Oil Rig - Blow Out Preventer
VR View of Crystal Coast in Second Life using Firestorm VR Mod 6.6.8

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.

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Second Life – Fantasy Cove

Fantasy Cove is a Second Life region moody build by digitalbleh.



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Second Life – Crystal Coast – Scuba Diving


I was prompted by a tweet by @nanami_Fray to explore a scuba diving location in Second Life at https://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Crystal%20Coast/189/68/37″>Crystal Coast.

Video and Image from @nanami_Fray
Video and Image from @nanami_Fray



Click to view 360° image on Flickr

sl360_Crystal_Coast_4096x2048_917_20230131_162910

VR View using Firestorm VR Mod 6.6.8

VR View of Crystal Coast using Firestorm VR Mod 6.6.8
VR View of Crystal Coast using Firestorm VR Mod 6.6.8

Other Scuba Dive Locations

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Second Life – The Magical Kingdom

The Magical Kingdom is a region in Second Life built by The Muggles group involving Dain Voxel and Suzie Anderton.






Video by InWorld Films

Click to view 360° image on Flickr

sl360_THE_MAGICAL_KINGDOM_4096x2048_2048_20230131_100616

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Master Models – Resources

Master Models LogoI was prompted to make this blog post by Simon Atkinson’s own blog post detailing the history of Master Models and Space Models (see this 2023 blog post). Here are some of the links related to Master Models and Space Models association with Gerry Anderson productions such as Supercar, Fireball XL5, Stingray and Thunderbirds and Joe 90. In 1960 Master Models produced the puppet-scale model of Supercar used in filming the series.

Supercar Image - from Master Models
1960 – Supercar – Puppet-scale Model – Just out of the Master Models Workshop.
Note the girder style front canopy support, which was replaced before filming the series.
Original Image – Master Models.

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World Economic Forum 2023 – Building the Metaverse

WEF23 Panel on A New Reality: Building the Metaverse

Panel on “A New Reality: Building the Metaverse” at the World Economic Forum in Davos, 18th January 2023.
Speakers: Nicholas Thompson (Chair, The Atlantic), Chris Cox (Meta Platforms), Enrique Lores (HP), Paula Ingabire (Minister ICT, Rwanda) , Neal Stephenson (Author of Snow Crash, Lamina1) and Cathy Li (WEF, Introducer).

https://www.weforum.org/events/world-economic-forum-annual-meeting-2023/sessions/a-new-reality-building-the-metaverse

Other Metaverse Related Content at the World Economic Forum

WEF Global Cooperation Village
(Currently in Limited Access to Partners)

WEF23 Press Conference on the Global Collaboration Village

Press Conference on the “Global Collaboration Village” at the World Economic Forum in Davos, 17th January 2023.
Speakers: Adrian Monck (Chair, WEF), Klaus Schwab (WEF), Julie Sweet (Accenture) and Brad Smith (Microsoft)

https://www.weforum.org/events/world-economic-forum-annual-meeting-2023/sessions/press-conference-global-collaboration-village

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Wireshark – Resources

Wireshark LogoWireshark is a network protocol analyzer. I have found it useful for debugging UDP packet exchange issues between OpenSimulator and the Firestorm Virtual World Viewer.
This blog posts provides links and resources in case its useful in future or for others.

Wireshark Usage

  1. You can start and stop (or reset to empty) the logs via the “Capture” menu.
  2. You can save a log via the “File” menu.
  3. The logs can be opened in Wireshark for analysis.
  4. Wireshark - Capture - OptionsYou can select the network adaptor or connection you specifically wish to monitor via Capture -> Options.
  5. Remote Desktop protocol (RDP) traffic can be filtered out if you are analyzing a network while logged on to the host via RDP by adding “not port 3389” to the Capture Filters for any connection.
  6. More detailed analysis can be performed by installing specialised “Dissector” plugins, e.g. for the Linden Lab UDP virtual world protocols.

Wireshark Capture LLUDP Stream Example

Installing and Using the LLUDP Dissector

Wireshark Help -> About Wireshark – Folders tab indicates the location where Personal Lua Plugins are placed – usually C:\Users\…\AppData\Roaming\Wireshark\Plugins. Create the directory of it does not already exist. Into that copy the lludp directory with the five .lua files. Do not use the Init.lua file as that is not required now.

Edit -> Preferences -> Protocols -> LLUDP allows for the configuration of the LLUDP Plugin.

  • message_template.msg file for Firestorm (for 64 bit OpenSim version) is usually at C:\\Program Files\\FirestormOS-Releasex64\\app_settings\\message_template.msg (double backslash is needed the documentation says for Lua.
  • The UDP port range monitored is set in Settings, but the defaults of 13000-13050 are odd. Regions normally run on 9000-upwards. So change the range in Preferences.

Tools -> LLUDP Stats Tap is useful to see a summary of the types of LLUDP traffic being exchanged.

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World of Warcraft – Aithun the Dwarf – A Decade On

World of Warcraft - Banner
Its been quite some time (2014) since I checked on how Aithun the Dwarf and his companion bear, Morro, were getting on in World of Warcraft. Nearly 9 years! But Aithun and his companion are still staying at their Hearthstone Inn – the Lion’s Pride Inn in Goldshire – and I hope having a relaxing time in that protected environment.

World of Warcraft - Thunderhorn - Aithun
World of Warcraft - Thunderhorn - Aithun World of Warcraft - Thunderhorn - Aithun

A little trip, a few gryphon flights, quests and I died yet again!



Further Adventures and Levels

Due to a regrading of experience levels in World of Warcraft, all characters had their existing experience level halved. So Aithun the Dwarf fell from level 20 to Level 10. Up to level 20 play is still free. So I set off for a few adventures and quests to add a level or two…

Menethil Harbour Twilight Shore

Assistance to Lady Jaina Proudmore on her return to Kul Tiras

Lady Jaina Proudmoore accompanied by Aithun the Dwarf

Back at the Hearth

So, once again for now, I will leave Aithun the Dwarf and Morro the Bear in the Lion’s Pride Inn. and the other characters scattered across Azeroth. Say hi to them if you pass by. Mind y’er back!

World of Warcraft - Azuremyst - Bruin World of Warcraft - Azuremyst - Beaura

Other characters reside in the Thunderhorn and Azuremyst realms in World of Warcraft and are also taking a rest from their adventures.

Posted in Games, World of Warcraft | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Virgin Orbit – Start Me Up

Virgin Orbit’s “Start Me Up” Mission was an attempt at the first launch of an orbital vehicle from a UK spaceport. Unfortunately the Launcher One rocket’s second stage failed to reach the proper orbit.





LiveStream and Replay

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Cloud Edge in Second Life


Cloud Edge on the Echo Mountain region in Second Life is a wonderful atmospheric walk in the mountains above the cloud. It is created by Funky Banana.




Click to view 360° image on Flickr

sl360_Echo_Mountain_4096x2048_2048_20230106_165830

View in VR with Firestorm VR Mod

Firestorm VR Mod 6.6.3 - VR View
Firestorm VR Mod 6.6.3 - 2D View

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HG Safari – 3rd Rock Grid – HAL 9000

The Hypergrid Safari Group met on 4th January 2023 to visit the 3rd Rock Grid’s “HAL 9000” 2001: A Space Odyssey themed region and audio-visual experience by Alia Soulstar who created all of the visual aspects of this build and Lorin Tone who created the sound effects and music used in the movie along with some music that was NOT used in the movie with Han BoShi executing some of the more challenging scripting aspects of the build.

Alia has created all of the visual aspects of this build, my job has been to implement the sound effects and music used in the movie along with some music that was NOT used in the movie.

hop://grid.3rdrockgrid.com:8002/HAL%209000/658/642/22

HG Safari report – https://hgsafari.blogspot.com/2023/01/setting-tone.html










Behind the Scenes Build Video

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Knowledge-Based Planning – Where does the Knowledge Come From?

Blog post under development. Ideas and thoughts.

There has been a frequent criticism of knowledge-based approaches to planning, including Hierarchical Task Network (HTN) style planning, as to where the encoded processes, descriptions of tasks and agent capabilities, domain constraints, etc come from. I.e. where does the knowledge come from? Its sometimes called the “Knowledge Bottleneck”.

While much of the knowledge encoded in the operators or activity descriptions in early hierarchical task network planners was hand encoded, there has been a lot of work on knowledge capture and domain description methods and tools over the years. Some involved taking authenticated manuals for a domain (such as search and rescue) and extracting the often carefully documented processes involved.

There has been a recent rise in popularity, scope and power of Large Language Models – essentially data extracted from a large corpus (often from internet and web sources) and used to train systems which can generate a range of outputs based on that data. Moe attention is rightly being paid now to the veracity of the results they produce, their biases, their provenance, and their maintenance. There is far to go. But an intriguing possibility emerges… one that needs thought and care ahead of time to ensure its truly useful. And it could be part of the solution to the knowledge bottleneck for knowledge-based planning.

Extract and represent in a shared, reusable form the process knowledge from published manuals, guides, recipes, repair instructions accessible o the internet or world Wide Web.

We have previously used manuals prepared for a community (such as Search and Rescue) as the basis for hand coding the task networks needed for our HTN planners (O-Plan and I-X/I-Plan).

Metadata and Annotations

It is essential that the knowledge represented can be used with permission, reliably and expandability.

Data Sources

There are very many sources of the data that could be obtained. Some initial rules might help guide reliable and maintainable knowledge bases.

  1. Only use sources that are permitted by their licence. The source must have a creditable citation as well as what might be a temporary physical or digital location (library sources, web URL, etc). The original material, the citation, the licence and any current location must be maintained alongside the data itself for any future checking, repeatability , etc.
  2. The date of use, version and any update checks must be maintained in the meta data.
  3. Consider the frequency of update, checks, ways to have community feedback, corrections, etc.
  4. A lot more to come…

Possible Target Representations

While any good representation of the knowledge gained should be easily transformed into future emerging representations and use standards as they emerge, there are some potential initial targets using what is already available on known. Here are some thoughts from our own decades of research on plan representation, shared planning representations which computer systems, people and robots can share, rationale capture in plans, underlying core ontologies for describing activity and agent capability, semantic web representations of processes, etc.

  • OWL/OWL-S – W3C Ontology Web language – Services.
  • SPAR – (DARPA) Shared Planning and Activity Representation.
  • ISO 18629/NIST PSL – Process Specification Language.
  • <I-N-C-A> – Issues, Noes, Constraints and Annotations Ontology.

Domain and Plan Knowledge Capture Work

TBA. Needs reference to our paper on extracting processes from Search and Rescue Manuals.

References

NIST PSL – https://www.aiai.ed.ac.uk/project/nist/

ISO 18629 – https://www.iso.org/standard/35431.html

SPAR – https://www.aiai.ed.ac.uk/project/spar/

O-Plan and I-X/I-Plan. https://www.aiai.ed.ac.uk/project/plan/

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

Tate, A., Dalton. J. and Levine, J. Multi-Perspective Planning – Using Domain Constraints to Support the Coordinated Development of Plans, O-Plan Final Technical Report AFRL-IF-RS-TR-1999-60 April 1999.
https://www.aiai.ed.ac.uk/project/oplan/documents/1999/1999-afrl-oplan-tr-99-60.pdf

Polyak, S. and Tate, A. (1998) Rationale in Planning: Causality, Dependencies and Decisions, The Knowledge Engineering Review, Vol 13(3), September, pp. 247-262, 1998.
https://www.aiai.ed.ac.uk/project/oplan/documents/1998/98-ker-rationale.pdf

Tate, A., Wickler, G., McCluskey, T.L. and Chrpa, L. (2012) Machine Learning and Adaptation of Domain Models to Support Real Time Planning in Autonomous Systems – Month 6 Report, HedLAMP Project Report, University of Edinburgh and University of Huddersfield, 31st August 2012.
https://www.aiai.ed.ac.uk/project/ix/documents/2012/2012-hedlamp-report-tate-month-6-report.pdf

Tate, A. (2002) Personal Help Device (PHD) and the Safety Net – a personal agent and its associated local, regional, national and international infrastructure for Aid and Rescue, Papers for the UK Computing Research Committee Workshop on Grand Challenges for Computer Science, National e-Science Centre (NeSC), Edinburgh, Scotland, 25/26 November 2002.
https://www.aiai.ed.ac.uk/project/ix/documents/2002/2002-grand-challenge-help-grid.pdf

Siebra, Clauirton de Albuquerque and Lino, Natasha Correia Queiroz. Aspects of planning support for human-agent coalitions. J. Braz. Comp. Soc. 2009, vol.15, n.4, pp. 41-55. December 2009.
https://journal-bcs.springeropen.com/counter/pdf/10.1007/BF03194512.pdf

Tate, A., Buckingham Shum, S.J., Dalton, J, Mancini, C. and Selvin, A.M. (2006) Co-OPR: Design and Evaluation of Collaborative Sensemaking and Planning Tools for Personnel Recovery, Open University Knowledge Media Institute, Technical Report KMI-06-07, March 2006.
https://kmi.open.ac.uk/publications/pdf/KMI-TR-06-07.pdf

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Second Life Skiing 2022


Try the timed ski runs on Coeur Lac d’Annecy Ski Resort… https://secondlife.com/destination/coeur-lac-dannecy-ski-resort

https://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Coeur%20Lac%20Annecy/51/21/2179/


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Fallingwater by Miltone Marquette


I was inspired by one of Inara Pey’s excellent Second Life destinations reviews to visit another nice replica of Fallingwater in Second Life. Fallingwater is the home designed by Frank Llody Wright for Edgar J. Kaufmann and his family in the mid-1930s.

The Fallingwater build is by Miltone Marquette at http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Fivepenny/112/40/45. The plot is private but can be visited by contacting Miltone directly in-world to arrange a time when you might visit his reproduction of Fallingwater. Or you could take a look around from the public pathway nearby, or send up a camera drone. An excellent video tour by InWorld Films as an alternative is included below…




“Shoji Falling Water – 1/4 Sim” by Namuri

“Shoji Falling Water – 1/4 Sim” is a nice Second Life marketplace item by Namuri. It requires a large plot of Second Life land to rez and should be placed along with its included landscaping to work correctly.
https://marketplace.secondlife.com/p/Shoji-Falling-Water-14-Sim/7944058

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Second Life Winter 2022

Esprit Christmas Village and Skating Lake by Camila Runo

There is a well developed winter themed region on Esprit by Camila Runo. Walk or horse ride on the winter woodland trails and skate the surrounding lake. Then visit the Christmas village for a glass of Gluhwein and some friendly chat. Don’t forget to get your Christmas tree before you leave.
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Esprit/204/57/2026

Esprit at Christmas
Esprit at Christmas Esprit at Christmas
Esprit at Christmas Esprit at Christmas
Esprit at Christmas Esprit at Christmas
Esprit at Christmas

Horse riding on Esprit

Esprit at Christmas
Esprit at Christmas Esprit at Christmas
Esprit at Christmas Esprit at Christmas

Winter Wonderland 5 by Linden Lab

Also, there is the Winter Wonderland 5 created by Linden Lab themselves, where the annual snow ball flights take place between Second Life residents and the Lindens and Moles.
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Winter%20Wonderland%205/113/7/31

Winter Wonderland
Winter Wonderland Winter Wonderland

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Second Life Ice Skating 2022

Flyte Ice Skating Lake by Jenna Dirval and her Team
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/FlyGearZ/7/215/26

Flyte on the FlyGearZ region has a wonderful skating lake set in a moody landscape of snow and ice under a sky with aurora and rainbows. The lake edge has lapping water, ice slabs and boulders. Choose relaxed or trick skating for singles or couples and enjoy the scenery.
Flyte Lake Flyte Lake

I was happy to be joined by the region creator Jenna Dirval for a dance around the lake…

Jenna Dirval and Ai Austin on Flyte Jenna Dirval and Ai Austin on Flyte
Jenna Dirval and Ai Austin on Flyte Jenna Dirval and Ai Austin on Flyte

The Flyte experience uses the “MetaHarper Immersive Theater System”. See this blog post.

Couples Relaxed Skating on Flyte..

Couples Ice Dancing on Flyte..



Lake Edge and Streams on Flyte

Lake Edge on Flyte Stream on Flyte

360° Snapshots on Flyte

sl360_FlyGearZ_4096x2048_2048_20221227_120038
sl360_FlyGearZ_4096x2048_2048_20221227_120352


Stanlee Ice Skating Lake by Logan Marcus (quvie)
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Stanlee/33/138/2601

Stanlee by by Logan Marcus (quvie) is another lovely region for relaxed ice skating in snowy and Christmas themed surroundings…

Stanlee
Ice Skating on Stanlee Ice Skating on Stanlee
Ice Skating on Stanlee Ice Skating on Stanlee



Winter Love Valley
https://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Winter%20Love%20Valley/113/117/22


Under the Northern Lights on Tesoro
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Tesoro/151/117/26


Calas Ice Skating on Midwinter 1
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/MIDWINTER%201/85/111/22




Winter Wonderland 4 Ice Rink by Linden Lab
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Winter%20Wonderland%204/32/243/27


Other Winter Ice Skating Regions

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Four%20Bridges/148/207/21

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Happy%20Place/41/206/46

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OpenSimulator Community Conference 2022 – OSCC22


The OpenSimulator Community Conference (OSCC) is one of the longest running virtual conference series, having started in 2013 and run annually since. This is OSCC’s 10th year and the event celebrates 15 years of OpenSimulator as the first commit was January 31, 2007. The OpenSimulator community and Avacon Inc. come together to run the event on the OpenSimulator Community Conference (OpenSimCC) grid – http://cc.opensimulator.org:8005

The main keynote presentations area uses the adjacent corners of 4 sims to provide capacity for up to around 400 attendees.

There are many other regions for avatars, shopping, exhibition booths for presenters, OpenSim community hub, music and dance venues, etc.

Links to my blog posts on earlier OpenSimulator Community Conferences.. https://blog.inf.ed.ac.uk/atate/?s=oscc

Sponsors and Crowdfunders

Day One

The event opened with a visualisation of the commits to OpenSim over a period of 17 years…

Then continued with a panel of the OpenSim Core Developers…

Maria Korolov of Hypergrid Business then gave an overview of the status of PpenSim and OpenSim grids…

Graham Mills then described his Liverpool’s George’s Dock, a late Victorian transport hub in the 1890s. Graham used 3D model rezzing in front of the audience to illustrate his presentation.

Reiner Schneeberger/Art Blue and Juliette SurrealDreaming then presented ideas on AI art and its creation and use.

The Blue Man in Waking Dreams by WIZARDOZ CHROME taken at BURN2 in October 2022. BURN2 is the virtual representation of Burning Man in the Metaverse. Visitors are also invited to the experience in Craft-World on region “Upload”.
Enter in map craft-world.org:8002/Upload

DreamGrid – Outworldz – Statistics and New Facilities

Fred Beckhusen/Ferd Frederix gave a presentation on the DreamGrid distribution of OpenSim that is now widely used.



Day Two

Kay McLennan is Professor of Practice at the Tulane University School of Professional Advancement. She spoke on relaunching a University grid.

Then a panel from the Infinite Metaverse Alliance (IMA) discussed “Cultivate, Collaborate, Celebrate & Innovate” in virtual worlds. A discussion of the work on the SceneGate viewer was included.


Ada Radius (who is also a member of the Ruth2 and Roth2 mesh avatars team) and Kayaker Magic spoke about modifications to the standard avatar “character” folder to allow for a much better standard avatar that has more adaptability.

OSCC22 - Ada Radius and Kayaker Magic OSCC22 - Ada Radius and Kayaker Magic
OSCC22 - Ada Radius - Pencil Necks Experiment OSCC22 - Ada Radius - Adding Toes

Expo Zone 6 – Outworldz

MnemoScapes – ForgetMeNot – An ArtWalk On interstellART

hop://hg.osgrid.org:80/interstellART_exhibitions/448/281/26

OSCC22 InterstellART Exhibition OSCC22 InterstellART Exhibition
OSCC22 InterstellART Exhibition OSCC22 InterstellART Exhibition
OSCC22 InterstellART Exhibition OSCC22 InterstellART Exhibition
OSCC22 InterstellART Exhibition OSCC22 InterstellART Exhibition

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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.

Artemis I - Orbital Plan - ESA Image


Look Back at Earth – 57,000 Miles Out

Close Flyby of the Moon on 21-Nov-2022


Artemis I - 3,000 Miles to the Moon
Artemis I - 1,300 Miles to the Moon - with Earth Artemis I - Earth Set

Artemis I – Moon – Earth Alignment on 28th November 2022

Artemis I - Moon - Earth Alignment Artemis I - Moon - Earth Alignment
Image from spaceflight.com - Just Before LOS

Artemis I – Max. Distance from Earth – 268,563 miles

Artemis I - Max. Distance from Earth
Artemis I - Beyond the Moon - NASA Image

Artemis I – Orion Interior

Artemis I - Orion Interior

Testing the Callisto Panel on 2nd December 2022

Callisto is a technology demonstration by Lockheed Martin with Amazon and Cisco to bring the Alexa digital assistant and Webex video collaboration to Orion’s future crews.

Testing the Callisto Panel 2-Dec-2022
Testing the Callisto Panel 2-Dec-2022 Testing the Callisto Panel 2-Dec-2022
title=”Testing the Callisto Panel 2-Dec-2022″ alt=”Testing the Callisto Panel 2-Dec-2022″

Close Flyby of the Moon on 5th December 2022

Approaching the Moon on 5th December 2022 Approaching the Moon on 5th December 2022
1,400 miles to the Moon on 5th December 2022
1,342 miles to the Moon on 5th December 2022 137 miles to the Moon on 5th December 2022
Artemis-I - Return from the Moon - AOS

Day 25 – Return to Earth

Artemis-I - Day 25 - Return to Earth - 26,000 Miles Out Artemis-I - Day 25 - Return to Earth - 8,500 Miles Out

Artemis-I - Return to Earth - 4,000 Miles To Go Artemis-I - Prior to Separation
Artemis-I - After Separation Artemis I - Coming in at 24,500mph
Artemis I - Re-entry Visualisation Artemis I - Main Parachutes Through Forward Port
Artemis I - On Parachutes Artemis I - Splashdown

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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 with the (paid) Bento Buddy addin into Second Life and OpenSim to travel across the Hypergrid. Note that a current Bento Buddy “Expression” service subscription is needed to be able to export to Collada (.dae).

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 all the textures using one of two methods:
    1. Via the Texture Paint tab, select each texture via the drop down menu and then Image -> Save As.
    2. Save the project as a blend file first, then go to File -> External Data -> Unpack Resources and select “Use files in current directory (create when necessary)”.

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.

Location of the Apply Pose ButtonYou can then skip the steps above to set the fingers in splayed position by selecting Bento Buddy’s Animation -> Enabling the Pose Library and then 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).

Its safest to restrict the change of bone positions to just the thumbs and fingers which you changed by selecting only them first and using the Posing Library option to “Apply to selected bones only”. But you also 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 readyplayerme.bbm map (Any version from 3.0.10.2 30-Sep-2022 onwards) 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. Name the mesh something sensible. Set the Lowest Level of Detail to 0. Select Physics as “Lowest”. In Rigging tick both “Include Skin Weights” and “Include Joint Positions”. If you leave out Include joint positions, the avatar may look spindly.

Note: Ready Player Me avatars have a Mixamo compatible skeleton/armature. After 30-Sep-2022 versions of Bento Buddy have readyplayerme.bbm similar to mixamo_no_prefix.bbm, 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 some faces as they can be a bit too glossy. 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.

Update February 2023 – Tests with Blender 3.4.1 and bento Buddy 2013.15

Ready Player Me Avatar - Male - in OpenSim Ready Player Me Avatar - Female - in OpenSim

Licence Details

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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 resources 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:

Update: February 2023 – New World News Blog Post, 2-Feb-2023

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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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