OpenSimulator Varregion Tests

Normally Second Life and OpenSim have regions which are 256m X 256m in size. Regions can be placed alongside one another to make up larger land masses, as is done with the Virtual University of Edinburgh (Vue) regions which can involve 12 adjacent regions (see live served map).

In the past, OpenSim has provided “Megaregions” which can be larger than the standard sized region to alleviate issues which have arisen in smooth crossing of borders, especially for physical vehicles. More recently a tidier mechanism entitled “Varregions” which is supported by modern OpenSim-capable browsers (such as Firestorm, Singularity, Kokua, Alchemy, etc) has replaced the older Megaregion facility.

2015-12-16-Vue-Splash-Page

For testing the simple Vue grid hosted at http://vatersay.aiai.ed.ac.uk:9000 which had a single “pin-head” style island of size 256m X 256m was restarted with the Region.ini entry for the region changed from having a size of 256m X 256M to 1024m X 1024m, and then the server was restarted. All behaved very well, with the new extended space being filled in with flat terrain which is a good default, so you can see the added terrain.

2015-12-16-Vue-Varregion

The “load oar” console command can be used with appropriate parameters to populate a Varregion with content saved from regular 256m X 256m regions, E.g. …

change region bigregion
load oar oar00.oar
load oar oar01.oar –displacement “<0,256,0>” –merge –force-terrain –force-parcels
load oar oar10.oar –displacement “<250,0,0>” –merge –force-terrain –force-parcels
load oar oar11.oar –displacement “<256,256,0>” –merge –force-terrain –force-parcels

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Virtual Reality Experience in 10 Minutes

Scroll down to the “Try it Yourself” section for the web demonstration link and the download link for the Windows standalone version which will work in flat screen mode or in VR if you have an Oculus Rift attached.

2015-12-14-Tim-Peake-Press-Conference 2015-12-15-ISS-Mission-46-Team
While preparing to watch astronaut Tim Peake’s launch to the International Space Station on 15th December 2015, I thought I would try to create a quick VR experience in Unity3D for the Oculus Rift using NASA 3D models…. a VR experience created in 10 minutes… and you can try this yourself via the online version and downloads listed later… but first here are images from the real thing… the launch of Soyuz TMA-19M

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2015-12-15-Soyuz-Launch 2015-12-15-Soyuz-Launch-from-ISS
2015-12-15-Soyuz-Mission-Control 2015-12-15-Mission-Control-Houston

… and a wonderful shot of Tim Peake on his way up with a big grin on his face and thumbs up inside Soyuz during the launch to the International Space Station (ISS) on 15th December 2015… with the curvature of the Earth visible through the right hand porthole…

2015-12-15-Tim-Peake-in-Soyuz

A Virtual Reality Experience in 10 Minutes – EVA at the ISS

Meanwhile.. in virtual reality… I had been meaning to update to Unity 5.3 and test the (soon to be required) WebGL Player delivery method, and I thought a VR demo to do a spacewalk around the International Space Station (ISS) would be a fine test. So here are my notes and resource links for the creation of a quick VR Space Experience in Unity3D for the Oculus Rift and in the WebGL player using NASA 3D models… all created while watching the NASA TV coverage of the launch… a Space VR experience in 10 minutes…

2015-12-15-ISS-in-VR-Tim-Peake-Launch

  1. Create a new Unity Project (or use a suitable base project ***)… which usually adds a main camera and directional light. I add in a solid plane at 0,0,0 to act as a physics base so avatars do not drop through to infinity, and make that not show by unticking the “Mesh Renderer”. Add Standard Assets for Characters and add in a Third Person Controller such as the standard Ethan model.
  2. NASA 3D Models – http://nasa3d.arc.nasa.gov/
  3. International Space Station FBX – http://nasa3d.arc.nasa.gov/detail/iss placed, say, 50m above the solid plane.
  4. 2015-12-15-Unity-Editor-Soyuz-and-ProgressExtravehicular Mobility Unit 3DS – http://nasa3d.arc.nasa.gov/detail/emu – Add EMU as visual model for 3rd Person Avatar Controller (e.g. Ethan) and position it appropriately. Turn off the normal avatar visual model. You need to turn off the “Mesh Collison” component for all the 3D parts within the EMU model to avoid rigged mesh issues in Unity 5.
  5. Add-on spacecraft: Soyuz by Byr2008 and Progress by Nickvet419. E.g. using Collada downloads via the 3D Warehouse and scaled to 0.025. [local version as unitypackage]
  6. Add a suitable Skybox to the Main Camera… via Free Earth Skybox – Hugo Peters – [local version as unitypackage] Download of the full package is available at:
    http://www.pilottycoon.com/assets/SkyboxSpaceDemo/skyboxspacedemopackage.unitypackage
  7. To use the Oculus Rift, remember to go into Build Settings -> Player Settings and tick “Virtual Reality Supported”. That’s all that is needed to enable the use of the Rift for a VR Experience.

Footnote ***: e.g., see “Project Base for OAR Converter Projects” section in http://blog.inf.ed.ac.uk/atate/2015/08/30/opensim-oar-convert-to-unity-scene/

2015-12-15-Unity3D-ISS-VR-1
2015-12-15-ISS-in-VR-2 2015-12-15-ISS-in-VR-3

Try it Yourself

Please note that the ISS Experience uses complex 3D models and will need a computer with reasonable performance and a good graphics card.

Try a Unity Web Player version of the experience in most web browsers at
http://www.aiai.ed.ac.uk/~ai/unity/iss/ISS.html
2015-12-15-Unity3D-ISS-WebPlayer
Apple-Mac-PageUp-PageDownMac users will need to use Fn+UpArrow and Fn+DownArrow for the keys needed to allow the astronaut avatar to move up and down.

Or, if you have an Oculus Rift, try a Windows (64 bit) standalone executable (.exe) version which should work with or without the Oculus Rift by obtaining this ZIP file, unzip it, and run the .exe file. You can use the arrow keys, page up and page down to move about. If you have a game controller attached, the left stick should move the astronaut, and the right and left bumpers will move you up and down. You can quit the experience using either the “q” or “esc” keys.

2015-12-19-Unity-Editor-ISS-WebGL
Using a suitable browser, such as Firefox, try a WebGL version of the experience at
http://www.aiai.ed.ac.uk/~ai/unity/iss/web-gl/ISS.html. This has been built with the WebGL Player “Publishing Settings” Memory set at 1024MB, rather than the default 256MB… 512MB was also insufficient…. and it may still run out of memory when you try it. Exception reporting is also turned to “None” versus the default “Explicitly Thrown” default. I am still experimenting with WebGL.

16-Dec-2015 – Soyuz and Progress Added

2015-12-16-Soyuz-and-Progress-added-to-ISS-1 2015-12-16-Soyuz-and-Progress-added-to-ISS-2
2015-12-16-Soyuz-and-Progress-added-to-ISS-in-WebGL

ISS Configuration with Soyuz TMA-19M Docked

ISS-Configuration

And here is the ISS model with Soyuz TMA-18M, Soyuz TMA-19M, Progress 60 and Progress 61 docked. Missing Cygnus (looking for a suitable open source 3D model)…

2015-12-17-Unity3D-ISS-Soyuz-Progress-Render
2015-12-17-Unity3D-ISS-Soyuz-Progress-Game-View
2015-12-18-Unity-Editor-ISS-Experience2015-12-18-Unity-Game-ISS-Experience

ISS Spacewalk in Real Life and VR on 21st December 2015

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2015-12-21-ISS-Spacewalk-Real-and-VR-2

Jack Kelly’s 6DOF Spacewalk at the ISS

Jack Kelly at the University of Manchester did a nice variant of the ISS experience by introducing a 6 Degrees of Freedom (6DOF) avatar controller so that the spacewalker in an EMU jetpack could also rotate. See this YouTube video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EBPJFz_Nr0E
2015-12-22-ISS-Jack-Kelly

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High Fidelity – Chat and IM

High Fidelity themselves have decided (at the moment) to not include a text chat/IM tool directly into the Hifi Interface. Third party solutions can be added. This note is to keep a record of the URLs used and other information. The tools can be run using “File” -> “Open and Run Script from URL”.

Craxim Chat

Craxim chat provides a “Global” chat connection, as well as an option to limit chat to the specific domain you are on.

http://craxim.com/scripts/craxim.js

This system uses web sockets and may need the firewall to allow such websockets or secure websockets. A web socket tester is available…

https://www.websocket.org/echo.html

David Row’s CtrlAltStudio Chat

This provides chat local to the domain you are on.

http://ctrlaltstudio.com/downloads/hifi/scripts/chat.js

But my issue is who else knows what you have BEFORE you can establish communication. And having a notepad alongside the Interface and using that as a reminder of the URLs needed… when working on many separate machines is really awkward.

Maybe at least chat.js could be added into the list of example scripts that are offered so we can all find these things without reading many blog posts to act as a reminder when we are on a new setup?

Interface Chat over Freenode IRC

The Interface -> Tools -> Chat tool displays a pop up notice with a link to a Freenode IRC channel for #highfidelity

http://webchat.freenode.net/?channels=highfidelity&uio=d4

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OpenSimulator Community – Animation of Code Commits

Nebadon Izumi (Michael Emory Cerquoni) has created an animation of code commits to the OpenSimulator project for the OpenSimulator Community Conference 2015. It is produced from the OpenSim Git commit repository using Gource.

The YouTube video of the commits in the period ahead of the 2015 conference can be seen at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RmgdBaCcvt8. The equivalent visualisation for the commits ahead of the 2014 conference is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpnWHbs4EWg. The first six years of OpenSim development prior to that is visualised at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mx0BiTh8NEs.

OpenSim-Commits-Snapshot-2015-09-04

Ai Austin’s commits flash by, and in the 2015 visualisation briefly appears around 02:00 and are related to correcting and tidying up the configurations for Standalone OpenSim deployments.

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2015 Virtual University of Edinburgh Graduation – School of Education

2015-11-27-SL-Virtual-Grad-1
For seven years since 2009 the University of Edinburgh has offered its distance education and remote new graduates the option to graduate in Second Life, alongside the real world ceremony in the graduation hall, which his year is in Edinburgh’s Usher Hall since McEwan Hall on Edinburgh’s campus is being renovated. Such Virtual Graduations have taken places in several schools including Education and the Vet School. The facilities have won an EDUblog Award and appeared in the media and press, including on the BBC’s web site. Some new graduates have even graduated in real life and as avatars in Second Life simultaneously to join in the celebrations in both communities [see Blog Post]. The Principal of the University of Edinburgh, Prof. Sir Tim O’Shea, himself an educational technology innovator, properly introduces the virtual graduates to the graduation ceremony audience, who can see the virtual world Venue@Vue facility on a large screen in the hall, and the new virtual graduates involved in the ceremony appear in the official programme.

The School of Education graduation ceremony in the afternoon of 27th November 2015 was streamed into Second Life… more details are in this blog post.

2015-11-27-SL-Virtual-GraduandsCongratulations to the new graduates…

  • MSc
    • John Macdonald
    • Charmaine McKenzie
  • PGDIp
    • Nicola Symmers
    • Keith Taynton
  • PG Cert
    • Asha Ginda
    • Liz Hudson
    • Nick Jenkins

2015-11-27-SL-Virtual-Grad-Firesworks

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Flight Simulator in Virtual Reality with Flyinside FSX

Flyinside-FSX-Logo
Virtual Reality comes to Microsoft Flight Simulator today as Flyinside FSX (https://flyinside-fsx.com/) reached its first full version 1.0 release. It has been created by Daniel Church with Kickstarter backing and is now available for Microsoft Flight Simulator boxed versions and the Steam Edition. A free Preview version is available which has a useful starter set of features and lets you try things out in the Oculus Rift. The Pro version is fully featured.

2015-11-19-Flyinside-FSX-Video-1-Play

The latest version can be found via flyinside-fsx.com and documentation is available on the Flyinside FSX Wiki.

Supercar in Flyinside FSX

Gerry Anderson’s Supercar 3D flyable model has been available since 1996 in various versions of Flight Simulator right up to FSX… and is now operational in virtual reality in Flyinside FSX. Just download and install the free Supercar version for FSX at the Supercar Flight Simulator Download Page and install the “aircraft”, gauges and other content as described in the read me file in the distribution. Then select the Experimental Supercar craft in FSX.

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2015-11-19-Flyinside-FSX-Rift-1
2015-11-19-Flyinside-FSX-on-Oculus-Rift-1 2015-11-19-Flyinside-FSX-on-Oculus-Rift-2

X-15 in Flyinside FSX

The North American X-15 FSX craft from Xtreme Prototypes is one of my favourite addons (see this blog post)… and works well in Flyinside FSX. The default missions often include external view windows which need to be removed to achieve an immersive experience.

2015-11-20-Flyinside-FSX-X15-Select
2015-11-20-Flyinside-FSX-X15-Outside 2015-11-20-Flyinside-FSX-X15-Cockpit

Configuring Flyinside FSX

Flyinside FSX has a control panel which shows in the 3D virtual view and is on by default. There are some configurable settings, but none are set up “out of the box”. So, the first thing you need to do is use the “Settings” button to configure a suitable key to hide and show the Flyinside FSX control panel. I use “\” (backslash) for that. I also set up a key to hide or show the mouse cursor. I use “`” (backquote) for that. Other useful keys can be set up, ideally to ones that you do not normally use in FSX. E.g. “V” for disabling/enabling the Virtual Desktop” feature and “L” to disable/enable the Leap Motion (which is otherwise enabled by default when you plug one in).

Show/Hide Flyinside FSX Control Panel \ (backslash)
Show/Hide Mouse Cursor ` (backquote)
Enable/Disable Virtual Desktop V

By default the “tap to recenter rift field of view” feature is on. If you lightly tap the side of the Rift the field of view will be recentered and repositioned towards the direction you are facing. This is useful if you shift position forward or backward especially… as you can end up with a view point “inside” the 3D model of a pilot and seeing the back of his eyeballs, as shown here…

2015-11-20-Flyinside-FSX-Rift-View-Inside-Pilot

Using a Joystick or Game Controller

FSX-Xbox-Controller-1FSX-Xbox-Controller-2Joysticks and the Xbox 360 game controller work fine in Flyinside FSX. More details of how to set up or customise the settings for an Xbox 360 controller are here. But the defaults in place in FSX work well and are illustrated here… click on the thumbnail for a larger version.

The usual keyboard bindings for FSX can be found in this PDF pamphlet.

Using the Oculus Rift and Leap Motion

Flyinside FSX Pro also supports the Leap Motion controller to allow hand motion to control things in the cockpit… this is a feature I need to experiment with to see how useful it is…

2015-11-19-Flyinside-FSX-on-Oculus-Rift-2a-Leap

Virtual Desktop

Flyinside FSX Pro includes a Virtual Desktop feature whereby windows can be displayed inside the 3D VR view, resized or moved and placed around your cockpit much like kneeboards. This can be useful to consult maps and information about destinations as you fly over, etc. Again, this is a feature I need to experiment with to see how useful it is.

Posted in Games, Gerry Anderson, Oculus, Supercar | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Man – One of the Earliest Objects in Second Life

SL-Destinaton-The-Man

“The Man” on Natoma/63/206/50 in Second Life is a destination I discovered through an interesting InfoGraphic about the scale of the land area in Second Life. The Man sculpture was created by “oldjohn Linden” on 19th July 2002.

“The Man” statue is one of the only surviving objects from the original “Linden Town” area that was developed in Second Life during the earliest Alpha stage of its development. At times, The Man has served as a shrine where miscellaneous offerings were left, and a celebration of the creativity SL was founded upon.

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2015-11-08-SL-The-Man-on-Natoma-Details

More information on the early history of Second Life is on display at the “Maps of Second Life” pavilion which includes the map of Second Life as it was in 2002 showing the location of the Statue of The Man.

2015-11-08-The-Man-Offering_001

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Second Life Avatars

img-avatars-newSecond Life has a new set of “mesh attachment” avatars called “Classic” available through the initial account creation page at http://join.secondlife.com and through the “Me -> Choose an Avatar” in the viewer.

It is interesting that Linden Lab chose to use the basic avatar with attachments rather than the fully mesh driven body approach. This does allow standard clothing and “layered” textures clothing items to be used on the new avatars.

2015-11-08-SL-Avatars-Classic

The new avatars are described in this Linden Lab blog post which says…

These new avatars are built combining mesh attachments with the original “system” process. Not only are compatibility issues being addressed, but the avatars are more performant and they look great! They can also be tweaked with the system sliders and easily dressed.

Last year, you may remember, we launched a number of new mesh avatars. They included both vampires and everyday people avatars that were built completely using mesh. While they looked good, they made outfit changes difficult and some of our internal tools were incompatible with the assets.

The new great-looking and efficient avatars will be available through the carousel during registration. Existing Residents can also access them through the “Me -> Choose an Avatar” menu in the Viewer.

The original “People” and “Vampires” (it IS near Halloween still) avatars are still available…

2015-11-08-SL-Avatars-People 2015-11-08-SL-Avatars-Vampires

@Inara Pey has a very helpful blog post about the new avatars and her tests of them.

James, Gabriel and Lucas Outfits

Here is the new “Classic” James avatar (left) and the same clothing and attachments but using the usual “Ai Austin” basic body parts (shape, skin, eyes and hair). The next images show the Ai avatar with the Gabriel and Lucas avatar attachments.

2015-11-08-SL-Classic-Avatar-James 2015-11-08-SL-Classic-Avatar-Ai-with-James-Suit
2015-11-08-SL-Classic-Avatar-Ai-with-Gabriel-Outfit 2015-11-08-SL-Classic-Avatar-Ai-with-Lucas-Outfit

Second Life Web Site Entry Page

The Second Life web site (http://secondlife.com) has also had a refresh…

SL-Web-Page-Image-2015-11-11

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Eve Valkyrie in VR – Pre-alpha Testing

Eve Valkyrie from Iceland-based CCP Games is a multi-user space shooter style game based on the Eve Universe but designed for next generation virtual reality headsets and input controllers such as the Oculus Rift.

CCPGames-Splash-Screen-1 CCPGames-Splash-Screen-2
Eve-Valkyrie-Screen-Play

“Pre-alpha” testing for those with appropriate hardware (at least Nvidia 970 or 980 GPUs are asked for) and Oculus development kits has been under way under non-disclosure agreements ahead of the more open releases that will follow leading to a full release sometime in 2016. I joined in the pre-alpha testing sessions on 7th and 8th November 2015 and will report on that when blogging is okay with CCP Games. This blog post uses publicly available information, images, videos and links.

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Second Life – Move from Edinburgh University to Vue

In early November 2015 the “Edinburgh University” region in Second Life was abandoned… with active facilities being moved to the Vue, Vue South and Edinburgh East regions. Edinburgh University was originally obtained as part of the Vue estate in June 2007. The original funding for this shared use region came from the University’s Development and Alumni group, then later from the School of Informatics, and in the last two years from Information Services. Some details of the original design at the full extent of the Vue regions in Second Life are maintained in an exhibit in the “Maps of Second Life” (see this blog post) and are also preserved on the OpenSimulator-based Openvue grid.

Here is a last look along the “High Street” looking between “Old College” and the “Alumni Deck” to (a reduced size) Castle and Castle Rock as the area was being cleared…

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The Vue balloon tour that was based in the Old College quadrangle in the Edinburgh University region in Second Life had recorded 96,939 visitors taking the tour since it was setup in 2008. Another balloon tour near the Venue@Vue had over a quarter of a million visitors. The balloon tour has now been re-established on Vue South… “you will get wet on this rid”.

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The Castle and “The Bridges” have been placed on “Castle Rock” in the SW corner of Edinburgh East and the Calton Hill Monuments have been place on “Vue Point” on Vue South at present… to continue to act as iconic skyline features across the Vue regions in Second Life… until these areas are required for events.

2015-11-04-Castle-Rock-on-Edinburgh-East-Sunrise 2015-11-04-Calton-Hill-Monuments-on-Vue-South
2015-11-04-Castle-Rock-on-Edinburgh-East-Sunset 2015-11-05-SL-Vue-South-Vista-1
2015-11-05-SL-Edinburgh-East-Vista-2 2015-11-05-SL-Edinburgh-East-Vista-3

Vue Estate at 5th November 2015

“Vue” in the NW is a full region, “Vue South” to the SW is a homestead for the School of Education and “Edinburgh East” to the NE is a homestead for the Vet School.

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2015-11-05-SL-Vue 2015-11-05-SL-Edinburgh-East
2015-11-05-SL-Vue-South Void-Sea

Vistas across the Vue Estate at 5th November 2015

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2015-11-05-SL-Balloon-over-Vue-Estate 2015-11-05-SL-Vue-South-Vista-to-Calton-Hill


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Innovators Showcase – Open Educational Resources

The University of Edinburgh has published a showcase of innovative teaching and educational methods (edited by Ellen Spaeth). An entry for my work on the AI Planning MOOC and the use of openly accessible educational resources and tools to build a community of learners interested in the subject is a feature at…

http://www.ed.ac.uk/information-services/learning-technology/learning-technology-fairs/open-educational-resources

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2015-11-03-UoE-IS-Innovators-Showcase-1

The School of Informatics news page also covered the story…
http://www.ed.ac.uk/informatics/news-events/recentnews/showcasing-our-moocs

Exploring Spaces – Virtual University of Edinburgh

Under the “Exploring Spaces” theme there was also an entry on the Virtual University of Edinburgh (Vue)…

http://www.ed.ac.uk/information-services/learning-technology/learning-technology-fairs/exploring-spaces

2015-11-05-UoE-IS-Innovators-Showcase-Vue

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Fish4Knowledge Virtual World Pavilion – Move to Vue

The Fish4Knowledge Exhibition Pavilion and Underwater Gallery is moving across the bay from the “Edinburgh University” home it has had since it was created to the “Vue” region in October 2010, which continues to be maintained as a virtual world home for the Virtual University of Edinburgh. Its new SLUurl for access is

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Vue/225/225/22

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2015-11-03-F4K-Move-2
2015-11-03-F4K-Before-Move-Visitor-Counter-Was-352_001 2015-11-03-F4K-Move-4

The F4K facility visitor counter before the move stood at 352 (as at 3rd November 2015) and seems to have retained its count when moved to the new region.

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2015-11-03-F4K-Move-Final-Furniture-Screen

Ai Austin and Skye Gears take a well earned break after the move…

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2015-11-03-F4K-Scuba

And the finished result…

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2015-11-05-SL-F4K-View-to-Castle

The F4K facilities are also available on the OpenSimulator-based OSGrid and Openvue grid.

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Vue Display in Maps of Second Life

2015-11-03-SL-Maps-Vue-1

The Maps of Second Life Pavilion is accessible at New Kadath Lighthouse Art Gallery, New Kadath (34, 51, 22) – http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/New%20Kadath/34/52/23. It is curated by Juliana Lethdetter, a member of the Second Life Historical Society, and shows maps and information about the development of Second Life since its early test days in 2002…

SL-Maps-Pavilion SL-Maps-Early-Grid-2002

Maps of Second Life – Creation of the Vue Display

Between June and November 2015 Juliana Lethdetter and Ai Austin exchanged information on the history of the Virtual university of Edinburgh (Vue) group and its use of regions in Second Life from 2007 onwards. Some of the original sketches for the Vue regions in Second Life and a bit of the history of the Virtual University of Edinburgh and its Second Life regions are provided in this blog post. Image below by Julian Lethdetter.

Tate-Lethdetter_Vue_exhibit_001

Maps of Second Life – Vue Notecard

Tate-Lethdetter_Vue_exhibit_002The notecard given out by the Info Gear Icon on the Vue display reads as follows:

VIRTUAL UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH
http://vue.ed.ac.uk

In March 2007, following the efforts of various distinct groups to explore the use of virtual worlds for teaching and research projects, a period of increased publicity highlighting the use of such worlds across Edinburgh University brought together the individuals involved with them to share their experiences with one another. This meeting led to the subsequent foundation of the “Virtual University of Edinburgh” (Vue) group, and their decision to acquire an University of Edinburgh island in Second Life.

The Virtual University of Edinburgh started with one region named “Vue” in May 2007. Further school-specific regions, both Homestead and Full, were added around this initial region over the following few months. Later, other shared-use regions (1 full region and 3 homesteads, including a sandbox) were also added, with support from the central University’s Information Services group and the University Development and Alumni group. These central groups wanted one of the core regions to be called “Edinburgh University”, and to have buildings suggestive of the Edinburgh skyline, as seen from real-life University locations.

A “Vue Regional Planning Authority” (VRPA) group was formed to coordinate, guide developments and take responsibility for fund-raising for the shared regions. Under the direction of this group, the coastline and topography, including “Arthur’s Seat” hill and “Castle Loch”, were used to create a visually interesting skeleton for the developments, while plots were designed to allow a number of groups and individual projects to be established, and to be changed when necessary. Sketches were made to diagram the proposed inclusion of iconic Edinburgh buildings and features, such as a diagonal “High Street”, with “Old College” at one end and “Castle Rock” at the other, and the presence of “The Vaults” underneath Castle Rock as a large exhibition space. Other iconic Edinburgh skyline features such as “The Bridges”, “Calton Hill Monuments” and the “Scott Monument” were also included.

As requirements and usage subsequently changed, some shared regions became school-specific ones, and some of the shared-use regions were removed to reduce costs, with the long-term goal of retaining at least one full shared-use core region (the eponymous “Vue” region.)

A replica of the Vue environment at its peak land mass of 10 regions currently exists on the Openvue grid (a grid using the open-source “OpenSimulator” platform, which exists separately from the Second Life Main Grid.) This alternate location cannot be accessed from Second Life, but is accessible using an avatar from any “hypergrid” enabled OpenSimulator grid, such as OSGrid. See http://vue.ed.ac.uk/openvue/ for more details.

Vue Regions in Second Life and OpenSimulator

Below is an image taken in 2008 in Second Life looking down “High Street” towards “Castle Rock” showing the full extent of the regions in use then. This version still exists on the OpenSimulator-based Openvue grid.

2008-07-31 SL Vue from Old College

Posted in Edinburgh, OpenSim, Second Life, Virtual World | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Vue Display in Maps of Second Life

Halloween on OSGrid 2015

The 2015 Halloween Party on OSGrid’s All Hallows Plaza… 31 Oct 2015 12:00 SLT

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2015-10-31-OSGrid-Halloween-2

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Halloween in Second Life 2015

SL-Halloween-Ghost-M SL-Halloween-Ghost-F

Ghost avatars in Second Life at Halloween 2015

2015 Second Life Creepy Crawl 2015

Run by Xiola Linden on 30th October 2015, this event visited a number of spooky locations with “appropriate” music for the occasion… see https://community.secondlife.com/t5/Featured-News/Get-Your-Costumes-Ready-for-Friday-s-Inworld-Creepy-Crawl/ba-p/2975298

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Halloween-1

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SculptGL

A web-based mesh creation tool at http://stephaneginier.com/sculptgl/

2015-10-31-SculptGL-ToolEspecially for Halloween

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Sine.space Exploration

Sine.space (http://sine.space) by Sine Wave Entertainment is a multi-user virtual world based on Unity3D created by a company that already provides a range of “white label” virtual worlds to other companies, including GoJiyo and Wet.fm.

Rohan Freeman and Adam Frisby (also involved early on in OpenSim) showed me round Sine.space and an upcoming event and meeting space called Convvirt. Unity3D builds can be imported alongside a range of Sine Wave assets that allow for multi-user interaction in the virtual space, interaction with objects, NPC activity management, etc.

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Convvirt

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Valkyrie Avatar

The Edinburgh Centre for Robotics is to get a NASA Valkyrie Robot in March 2016 as part of its Robotarium.

The Valkyrie robotic platform was originally designed and built in 2013 to carry out search and rescue missions inline with the DARPA Robotics Challenge. After a series of electro-mechanical upgrades and a software partnership with IHMC, the Valkyrie platform is now a core robotic platform in the NASA Space Robotics Challenge. The Valkyrie platform measures about 6 feet in height and weighs 290 pounds. Valkyrie is a 32 degree of freedom (DOF) walking robot featuring two 6 DOF end effectors; 44 DOF robot in total. Valkyrie utilizes the MultiSense SL in its head, anterior hazard cameras, multiple strain sensors, and a range of force/torque sensors.
[Extract from NASA Valkyrie Wiki]

Photo Date: 12-Dec-2013 Location: NASA JSC Bldg. 32B - Valkyrie Lab Subject: Production photos of Valkyrie Robot for PAO Photographers: Bill Stafford, James Blair, Regan Geesman

Photo Date: 12-Dec-2013; Location: NASA JSC Bldg. 32B – Valkyrie Lab
Subject: High quality, production photos of Valkyrie Robot for PAO
Photographers: Bill Stafford, James Blair, Regan Geesman

YouTube video of the model planned for use at Edinburgh provided by Marco Caravagna, a PhD student in the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics… showing the Valkyrie parts all in their zero configuration, i.e. all joints are set to zero… https://youtu.be/79HKzKExM0Q

YouTube Video: Valkyrie - Zero-Joints

2015-10-26-Valkyrie-Model-GitHubNASA provides GitHub 3D models and robot data in URDF format which includes 3D mesh elements of the physical model in Collada .dae or .obj formats and suitable for use in robot simulators such as ROS.
https://github.com/NASA-JSC-Robotics/val_description

Importing the Collada DAE meshes into Second Life

The Collada .dae firmat meshes can be imported using the Second Life Viewer (Firestorm 4.7.3 actually used) model uploader and appear to be at the correct scale by default and import with their textures intact. For most models I used the default scale of 1.0, ticked texture import, selected the type of object as an “Avatar Attachment” and set physics to “Medium”.

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Some of the meshes give a model importer warning that the model triangles are degenerate or too small and that the physics model is invalid. This happens even when the “Lowest” physics level is selected…e.g. on the Leg-Foot model.

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To fix this, under the Second Life model importer tool “Physics” tab I selected “Lowest” setting and then did an “Analyse” with “Close Holes” ticked, followed by a “Simplify”, e.g. “Retaining” 75% and trying 1 pass was sufficient on several parts. But I also tried 50% and 3 passes which also worked and gave reasonable visual models.

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Assembling an Avatar

As used for a previous “Robert the Robot” avatar, a “SimpleBot” rigged mesh avatar, also in Collada format and which is provided as a tutorial example was used as a basis for the avatar, along with a compete “alpha” mask to make the underlying avatar invisible. The various imported Valkyrie model parts are then attached onto the appropriate avatar attachment points and then rotated and moved into position.

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2015-10-27-OpenSim-Valkyrie-Avatar-3

Textures, PNG and TGA

The textures on the NASA Valkyrie model are in PNG format with transparency to allow for holes and cutouts in the meshes. PNG textures which have transparency can be problematic when displayed in Second Life and OpenSim viewers leading to back faces showing through front faces, etc. TGAs are more reliable. But a conversion of PNG with transparency to a TGA with transparency can be tricky. Paint Shop Pro X does not do the conversion correctly if you simply load a PNG and save as a TGA. A free tool called “Paint.net” does this very simply. Get it from http://www.getpaint.net/download.html.

Valkyrie-Torso-Texture-PNG Valkyrie-Torso-Texture-TGA

Valkyrie Avatar on OpenSim

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Images of Completed Avatar at Informatics Forum and InSpace in OpenSim

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Availability of NASA Valkyrie Avatar for OpenSimulator

The NASA Valkyrie robot avatar for OpenSimulator is available for download in the form of an OpenSim Inventory Archive (IAR) file. This IAR may be loaded into the inventory of an OpenSim avatar or used as the appearance of an NPC. Obtain the latest Valkyrie IAR at:

Please respect the NASA Open Source Agreement 1.3 described in the included “Valkyrie Robot Avatar Readme”.

NASA Space Challenge

NASA Valkyrie robots are being placed at top robotics centres at MIT and Northeastern (announcement) and at the University of the University of Edinburgh. These will kick start developments intended to be showcases in the NASA Space Robotic Challenge, initially in simulated environments and then progressing to a physical challenge environment, with a view to eventually ending Valkyries to Mars as a precursor for manned missions (IEEE Spectrum Article – including NASA Images Below).

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NASA-Valkyrie-on-EVA
NASA-Valkyrie-on-Mars

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OpenSim OAR Convert to Unity Scene with Windows Interface

News 11-May-2016: OARConvWin was updated to version 1.0.6 to correct an issue of the handling of the orientation of foliage on Cypress trees. It, or a later version, is available via the TUIS OARConWin Wiki Page.

News 30-Apr-2016: OARConvWin was updated to version 1.0.5 and it, or a later version, is available via the TUIS OARConWin Wiki Page. This version corrects an issue with handling greyscale images and blank textures (which are interpreted as a sphere) to describe the shape of Sculpt objects.

2016-04-20-OARConvWin-1.0.5

News 26-Oct-2015: OARConvWin was publicly released as version 1.0.4. This first version addresses all the issues discovered during testing that are reported on below.

As described in an earlier post Fumikazu Iseki at the Network Systems Laboratory of Tokyo University of Information Sciences (TUIS) (@Fumi.Hax – @fumi_hax) in Japan has created an “OAR Converter” to convert an OpenSim Archive (OAR) file into textures, meshes and terrain suitable to import into a Unity scene. The original ran on Linux/Unix. Fumi has now also made a Windows version. A pre-release beta version (1.0.0b 24th October 2015) was tested to provide feedback.

Edinburgh/F4K in OpenSimEdinburgh/F4K in Unity

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I converted the OpenSim Edinburgh/Fish4Knowledge project region via an OAR to Collada DAE and imported it into a “Sintel” avatar base Unity project…

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When run in the Unity Web Player after conversion, this is what the region looks like…

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Feedback on using the Windows UI version of the OAR Converter

I noted that there were a few errors on import of the DAE textures/materials from the conversion related to “Material doesn’t have a color property ‘_Emission’“.

Fumi notes:

This is a problem of selection of shader. I think that this is a bug in Unity 5.2.2. This error occurs when “Legacy Shaders/Self-Illumin/VertexLit” shader is selected in SelectOARShader.cs (in the Editor Folder). Example, if you use “Legacy Shaders/Self-Illumin/Specular” instead of “Legacy Shaders/Self-Illumin/VertexLit” the error does not occur.

So, this can be fixed by changing a line in the Unity Assets/Editor/SelectOARShader.cs file provided with the OAR Converter and that must be in place before you bring the OAR converted DAE folder alng with the associated materials and textures into the Unity project.

// Use “Legacy Shaders/Self-Illumin/Specular” instead
// of “Legacy Shaders/Self-Illumin/VertexLit” to avoid
// Material doesn’t have a color property ‘_Emission’
private const string BrightShader =
“Legacy Shaders/Self-Illumin/Specular”;

In addition, it was noted that the built in “plant” object of type “Plumeria” was not imported at all. Various other plants and trees are correctly converted though. Fumi later confirmed there were some missing assets in build 1.0.0b which were fixed in a revised version 1.0.1b which on test converted the Plumeria plants properly, as shows in this image…

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Multiple Similar Textures and Materials

In the DAE conversion Textures and Materials folders you may see a number of similar looking entities, starting with the same UUIDs. This is because these materials differ in some features such as colour, glossiness, etc.

2015-10-24-OARConv-Multiple-Materials-Textures

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Fish4Knowledge Pavilion and Underwater Gallery in OpenSim

The Fish4Knowledge Virtual World Gallery and Underwater pavilion was originally created in Second Life but has now been replicated on the OpenSimulator-based Openvue grid and OSGrid. OSGrid provides free avatar to anyone so is a good way to visit the facility and see the displays about the project.

F4K on Openvue
F4K on Openvue

A single user “Fish4Knowledge Virtual Reality Experience” is also available in Unity3D. More details below.

Fish for Knowledge Access in Second Life and OpenSim

The F4K facilities can be accessed in several virtual worlds locations:

F4K on OSGrid F4K on OSGrid

VR using the Oculus Rift in Second Life and OpenSim

Oculus Rift Virtual Reality views can be obtained using the CtrlAltStudio Viewer
2015-10-20-OpenSim-F4K-Rift-1 2015-10-20-OpenSim-F4K-Rift-2

Fish4Knowledge Virtual Reality Experience – VR using the Oculus Rift in Unity3D

The OpenSim F4K and Edinburgh region build in OpenSim has been exported via an OpenSim Archive (OAR) file and converted by Fumi Hax’s OAR-Converter tool to Collada (DAE) meshes suitable for importing into Unity3D. More details of the process and some images from the Unity3D experience can be found at…

http://blog.inf.ed.ac.uk/atate/2015/10/24/opensim-oar-convert-to-unity-scene-with-windows-interface/.

The Fish4 Knowledge experience in Unity3D web player, or the download of a standalone version for Windows and that works with 2D screens or in VR in the Oculus Rift is available at…

http://www.aiai.ed.ac.uk/~ai/unity/oarconv/Edinburgh-F4K/

Reference

Chen-Burger, Y-H. and Tate, A. (2015) The Fish4Knowledge Virtual World Gallery, in Fish4Knowledge: Collecting and Analyzing Massive Coral Reef Fish Video Data (Fisher R.B., Hardman, L., Lin, F.P., Giordano, D. and Chen-Burger, Y-H. eds.), Chapter 17, pp. 245-252, October 2015, Intelligent Systems Reference Library, Springer.

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InSpace Gallery – January 2007 Artists Walkway

OpenSimulator-based Openvue grid Informatics virtual InSpace gallery with images and art from the external walkway that was in place in January 2007 during construction of the Informatics Forum.

Visit with any OpenSim hypergrid enabled grid avatar, e.g. one from OSGrid.

hop://virtual.aiai.ed.ac.uk:8002/Informatics/173/91/26

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Visit using CtrlAltStudio Viewer in Virtual Reality

You can also visit using the Oculus Rift Head Mounted Display or a 3D screen using the CtrlAltStudio Viewer.

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Virtual Reality for Gerry Anderson Locations

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Gerry Anderson locations for the TV series Supercar, Fireball XL5 and Stingray have been recreated using fan produced 3D models of the buildings, scenery and vehicles used in the TV shows. These have been used in OpenSimulator to create 3D virtual world locations with some features from Black Rock Laboratory, Space City and Marineville.

Visit using an OpenSim-based avatar that can travel via the “hypergrid”. E.g. get a free avatar at OSGrid, pick up the FireStorm Viewer (for 2D) or the CtrlAltStudio Viewer (for 3D and VR) and visit via these links:

  • Black Rock at hop://login.osgrid.org:80/Black%20Rock/128/128/22/
  • Space City at hop://login.osgrid.org:80/Space%20City/128/128/22/
  • Marineville at hop://login.osgrid.org:80/Marineville/46/10/22/

CtrlAltStudio Viewer for Oculus Rift

David Rowe’s CtrlAltStudio Viewer allows 3D stereoscopic and Oculus Rift Head Mounted Display (HMD) viewers of Second Life and OpenSim-based Virtual Worlds. It supports gamepad controllers too, such as the Xbox gamepad. Version 1.2.5.43397 (3rd October 2015) had been updated to the Oculus SDK 0.6 to allow it to run with the latest SDK 0.7-based drivers. It also has a simplified and improved operation for 3D view (enter with the “3D” button or “ctrl+alt+3”) to allow direct to rift operations rather than the previous extended desktop mode. “Esc” returns to 3D mode (e.g. to interact with the viewer menus if necessary). The Oculus Rift “dual barrel” view can be mirrored to the main 2D screen (an option under Preferences -> Graphics -> Display Output), which is good for screen shot saving, such as for those shown below. The VR/3D view can be reset or recentered to te avatar position and direction using “ctrl+spacebar” if necessary… but it seems to be aligned very well without using that in my testing. Alignment with the avatar when you look down at your own body, legs and feet, or see your arms and hands in front of you when flying is also very good in this release. A 3D space visible cursor for the mouse seems to work very well and makes interaction with objects, screens and so on while in the VR/3D view much easier than before.

Black Rock

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Space City

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Marineville

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Unity Versions

Using the OpenSim OAR converter, the Black Rock, Space City and Marineville regions have also been recreated in Unity 3D. See this blog post for more information and links to try 2D versions of the Unity conversions. Such Unity applications can very easily be used in 3D/VR mode using the Oculus features supported directly by Unity with an Oculus VR (OVR) library oackage to provide the camera and gamepad controller.

Posted in Gerry Anderson, Oculus, OpenSim, Supercar, VR | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Virtual Reality in Second Life and OpenSim using the CtrlAltStudio Viewer

David Rowe’s CtrlAltStudio Viewer allows 3D stereoscopic and Oculus Rift Head Mounted Display (HMD) viewers of Second Life and OpenSim-based Virtual Worlds. It supports gamepad controllers too, such as the Xbox gamepad. Version 1.2.5.43397 (3rd October 2015) had been updated to the Oculus SDK 0.6 to allow it to run with the latest SDK 0.7-based drivers. It also has a simplified and improved operation for 3D view (enter with the “3D” button or “ctrl+alt=3”) to allow direct to rift operations rather than the previous extended desktop mode. “Esc” returns to 3D mode (e.g. to interact with the viewer menus if necessary). The Oculus Rift “dual barrel” view can be mirrored to the main 2D screen (an option under Preferences -> Graphics -> Display Output), which is good for screen shot saving, such as for those shown below. The VR/3D view can be reset or recentered to te avatar position and direction using “ctrl+spacebar” if necessary… but it seems to be aligned very well without using that in my testing. A 3D space visible cursor for the mouse seems to work very well and makes interaction with objects, screens and so on while in the VR/3D view much easier than before.

Second Life – Virtual University of Edinburgh (Vue) Regions

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OpenSim – Virtual University of Edinburgh (Vue) Regions

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OpenSim – Open Virtual Collaboration Environment Region

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OpenVCE in Unity and VR

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As described in this blog post, the OpenVCE region as it appears in OpenSim including its I-Zone/I-Rooms has been converted to Unity compatible assets via the OpenSim OAR Converter and combined with an earlier I-Room Unity application using the Smart Fox Server Pro MMO server to support multiple concurrent users sharing the virtual space and being able to communicate via text chat. Oculus Rift VR access as well as Unity Web player access has been tested for concurrent users and a VR “gaze” position controlled NPC has been added in also as a test.

Try out the OpenVCE region in the Unity Web Player or on the Oculus Rift…

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Update on 16th October 2015

A few adjustments to the collision scripts to make sure the viewpoint and avatar movement and collisons with the example (white) seat in the I-Room and the I-Room multi-floor teleporters work when in both web player/2D modes and in the Oculus HMD/VR mode.

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Snapshot – I-Room on OpenVCE on Oculus Rift

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OpenVCE on MOSES Grid

The MOSES Grid has moved to new servers and avatars or regions that existed on the original grid are being restored or recreated using OpenSim Inventory Archives (IARs) for avatars or OpenSim Archives (OARs) for regions.

The OpenVCE region has now been restored to the latest version as it appears on the Openvue and OSGrid regions of the same name, and with corrected scripts and objects as described in this blog post. MOSES now uses the FreeSwitch voice server.

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MOSES is a US government supported grid run between the US Army Research Lab’s Simulation and Training Technology (STTC) Center and the University of Central Florida in Orlando. The US Army Research Lab’s Human Research and Engineering Directorate (HRED) sponsored the development of OpenVCE and assisted with specification and development of the virtual world assets. The virtual world assets in Second Life and OpenSimulator are all available under a flexible open source licence.

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The build includes a full sized I-Zone/I-Room and a simplified collaboration space as designed for the US Army DICE project.

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Project Sansar

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Project Sansar – https://projectsansar.com/ – from Linden Lab is now available to an invited initial testing community. The welcome/login screens show a lush mountainous terrain overlaid with wireframe buildings, vehicles and other objects.

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Internet Explorer seems not to be supported, whereas Chrome, Firefox and Edge are.
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The Linden Lab Corporate web page was changed on 4th November 2015 to reflect the product line up of Project Sansar, Second Life and BlocksWorld…

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OpenSim – JustinCC Bon Voyage Party

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A Hypergrid Safari party on OSGrid on 23rd September 2015 was to honour core OpenSim developer and Overte Foundation chairman Justin Clark-Casey, stepping down from his lead position in the team to focus on other activities. But hopefully keeping a friendly and continuing eye on OpenSim too…

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I just had to get a selfie with JustinCC too…

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The event was also streamed live via YouTube’s streaming channel…

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Is that Justin himself dancing away there… (animated GIF by Thirza Ember)…

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Thirza Ember was one of the Hypergrid Safari organisers and reported:

2015-09-23-justin-thankyou-cardYou may have seen the greetings card in the corner. It picked up all the names of the party goers. 97 total logged on to the region, with 22 different grids represented. Thanks again to Ellen Olhsson, aka Truelie Telling Wolem Wobbit, and LadyJo Martin for their wonderful music all evening.

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Unity3D Characters

This post provides links and resources related to a number of free to use avatars that can be inserted into Unity 3D projects to provide third person views of a character able to move through a scene. The avatars, scripts, animations and other resources are provided either as open source for flexible use and/or with non-commercial use licences use.

Unity Ethan

Unity 5 includes a character “Ethan” in the standard Assets at Assets/Standard Assets/Characters/ThirdPersonCharacter/Prefabs folder which can be included in a Unity scene. The “Main Camera” can be dragged inside the “ThirdPersonController” hierarchy and it is then attached to the motion of the character. See also these notes to replace the 3D model with other FBX avatar rigged meshes that are in a suitable format.

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Replacing Ethan with other Avatar Models and Avatar Cameras

See the notes in Unity’s Assets -> Standard Assets -> Characters -> ThirdPersonCharacter folder on how to replace the Ethan character’s 3D model with other FBX avatar rigged meshes that are in a suitable format. The following blog post also covers this process.

The attached avatar camera can also be made more sophisticated than the default Unity project “Main Camera”. An example of this is the flexible “UnityChan” character camera scripts included in Fumikazu Iseki’s OpenSim OAR Converter to Unity converter, in the “Unity3D” folder. For more details see…

Blender Sintel Avatar Model

The Open Source Blender Project “Sintel” avatar has been used in a number of open source projects and a version is available to use as an avatar or character in Unity. E.g. from http://u3d.at.ua/ where you need to register before being able to obtain the free download.

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

2015-09-08-Unity-Sintel-1

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

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

Morph3D Male and Female Lite

Morph3D provide Unity assets for Male and Female characters that are very adjustable. There are free (Lite) and more capable paid versions. See https://www.morph3d.com/. There is a Unity3D Forum thread on Morph3D. A PDF guide is available from there at Documentation. Information on a Morph3D addon content creation system is here. Umotzkan (o3n Games) has provided a helpful tutorial on using the Morph3D figures here.

mcs-male mcs-female

Unity Chan

unity-chan-license-logoUnityChan-DemoUnity-Chan – The Unity-Chan anime style character provided for non-commercial use that can be inserted into the converted Unity scene to give you an avatar to move through the scene. It is included in the Unity3D folder that is in the OpenSim OAR Converter (OARConv) distribution described in this post.

Query-Chan

2015-11-25-Unity3D-Query-Chan-300x520A similar Japanese anime style character called “Query-Chan” is available from Pocket Queries under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License(CC-BY). The package includes Scifi, Christmas and Halloween outfits and test scenes.

Game Asset Studio – Taichi

Game-Asset-Studio-Taichi-in-ViewerGame Asset Studio provides a free male anime-style character with a range of outfits and a very wide range of animations (including 7 .fbx sit poses). This character is available free for use in Unity projects. Some paid addons and other characters are also available from Game Asset Studio via the Unity Asset Store.

Other Open Source Avatar Assets

Look for other suitable character models. E.g., …

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Supercar Airborne in Unity

Some time ago I used one of the Unity tutorial examples involving a race track and race car game to try out Unity, and replaced the visual model of the included car with our Gerry Anderson Supercar 3D Model (using the .3ds format). The resulting Supercar Race game can be tried out in the Unity Web Player via http://www.aiai.ed.ac.uk/~ai/unity/supercar/

unity3d-supercar-race-1-720x480

More recently, as part of updating a number of projects to Unity 5, I revised the Supercar Race Car game to use the Unity 5 Standards Assets Vehicles Car. While doing that I also tried the Unity 5 Standards Assets Vehicles AircraftJet, again replacing the visual model to be Supercar and adjusting the physics collider boundaries and vapour trail particles effects positions appropriately.

2015-09-15-Unity-5-Supercar-Over-Race-Track
2015-09-15-Unity-5-Supercar-Airborne
2015-09-15-Unity-5-Supercar-Over-Race-Track-Editor 2015-09-15-Unity-5-Supercar-Airborne-Editor

This may be merged with experiments on the OpenSim OAR to Unity conversion of the OpenSimulator-based Ailand grid Black Rock region including Black Rock Laboratory exterior and interior and the Supercar vehicle 3D models.

OARConv-Black-Rock-2 OARConv-Black-Rock-1

http://blog.inf.ed.ac.uk/atate/2013/10/03/black-rock-laboratory-in-opensim/
http://blog.inf.ed.ac.uk/atate/2015/08/30/opensim-oar-convert-to-unity-scene/

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OpenVCE and I-Room in Unity with VR

The Open Virtual Collaboration Environment (OpenVCE) initially created in Second Life and OpenSim along with its I-Room (virtual space for intelligent interaction) have been available for some time as OpenSim Archive (OAR) files and assets available in Second Life and OpenSim for anyone to copy and use under the Lesser GPL flexible use licence.

Tipodean OpenSim OAR to Unity Conversion – OpenVCE

2015-09-09-Tipodean-OpenVCEA Unity conversion of the 3D visual elements of the whole OpenVCE region including a sample I-Room and larger I-Zone building was created by Tipodean using their OAR to Collada DAE converter. See two blog posts on this [1] [2] and the Tipodean OAR converter examples, including OpenVCE.

Previous work on an I-Room in Unity using the SmartFox Pro Multi-user Server

Unity-4-5-5-I-RoomMMO-PlayA Unity I-Room demonstration was originally built as a self-paced tutorial for me following the book “Unity Game Development Essentials” by Will Goldstone (ed. 2009) and making use of the SmartFox Server multi-user support libraries and a good on online tutorial. More details are in these blog posts [1] [2].

OpenVCE – OpenSim to Unity Project via the TUIS OAR Converter

2015-09-05-OpenSim-OAR-in-Unity-VR-2-modAn OpenSim OAR converter to create textures, meshes and terrain in Collada (DAE) file format suitable to import into a Unity scene has been created by Fumikazu Iseki at the Network Systems Laboratory of TUIS (@Fumi.Hax – @fumi_hax) in Japan. It has been used to convert the OpenVCE region saved as an OpenSim Arcive (OAR) as it currently exists on the Openvue grid.
More details are in this blog post.

ThirdPersonController, Avatars and Oculus Experiments

Some experimentation with Unity standard avatars (Ethan), some free to use or open source rigged mesh avatars (Unity Chan Kei and Blender Sintel) cameras and third person viewpoint controllers, as well as initial trials of virtual reality enabled unity apps are described in this blog post.


Project Steps

So with the background experimentation and assets described above, September 2015 looked like it was the right time to put some of this together and create a multi-user I-Room in Unity with suitable collaborative systems support and communications technologies, with multiple avatar choice and output to VR head mounted displays. This blog post documents some of the steps nand experiments, as well as the tools or techniques used.

Using Windows 10, Unity 5.2.0f3, SmartFoxServer Pro 1.6.18, Oculus 0.7, OpenSim 0.8.2.0 and OAR Converter 1.3.4.

Base new project main camera (removed later) and directional light

Add water, ground plane (removed later) and skybox

Avatar and thirdpersoncontroller
  ethan and simple controller standard assets
  unity chan controller and camera
  sintel and mix
  change player model
  http://answers.unity3d.com/questions/299425/how-do-you-change-a-players-3d-model-via-a-script.html

Content from OpenSim via OARConv

Active scripting, avatar seating, teleport movement, media screens, shared, presentation screens, links to external intelligent systems.

MMO, chat tool, voice options

2D interface elements in 3D space

Handle SFS Login scene ion Unity UI Canvas.

MMO Support – Experiment with Smart Fox Server SFS2X 2.10

We previously used SmartFox Server Pro (version 1.6.9) for I-Room MMO demonstrations using Unity. Smart Fox Server SFS2X (version 2.10) was installed to set up for the MMO elements of the OpenVCE and I-Room Unity build.

SFS2X-Server-Admin

Smart Fox Pro and 2X Firewall Requirements

9339  SFS MMO (TCP/UDP)
9933  SFS2X MMO (TCP/UDP)
8842  WebSockets Port
8843  Secure WebSockets Port
8080  HTTP Port
8443  HTTPS Port

If there are messages from a Unity/SFS2X application about security policy failing, see http://www.smartfoxserver.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=14065

2015-09-13-SFSX2-MMORoomDemo-1

Basic Unity 5 examples provided by gotoAndPlay(), the company behind Smart Fox Pro Server, were used to guide how to build a simple MMO and chat application, similar to that already running with an I-Room and MMO with Smart Fox Server Pro 1.6.9. These applications with several users logged in and a number of NPCs generated by a server side Python extension did occasionally work. But extension calling with the Python examples was difficult to debug and unexplained errors difficult to track down. The system worked at some times and then stopping working with script loading errors that could not be tracked down. gotoAndPlay() staff were helpful on the forums, but did note that some people had difficultly with the Python extensions and examples and they favoured a Java extension approach.

MMO Support – Smart Fox Server Pro 1.6.18

I had originally wanted to switch to Smart Fox Server 2X and its Unity5 examples to get a head start with an MMO basis that already used the new in world GUI elements for Unity 5. Instead, I have returned to using the working Smart Fox Server pro setup, now update to version 1.6.18, and have begun to modify the GUI elements and login screens to the new Unity 5 Canvas in world screen approach needed for effective Unity VR applications.

MMO Support – Photon Cloud

Photon Cloud is another popular MMO server that works with Unity. A blog post describing the steps to use Unity, the Oculus Rift and Photon Cloud to make an MMO game or environment is available at http://www.convrge.co/multiplayer-oculus-rift-games-in-unity-tutorial and via a YouTube Video.

Initial I-Room MMO with VR Application

Progress with temporarily cutting out the initial old style flat screen Login scene has been rapid, and the next image is a view of the modified I-Room MMO demonstration using the Oculus Rift DK2 running with Smart Fox Server Pro 1.6.18 with scripts modified to avoid the old style flat screen login GUI. This will need to be replaced with a “Canvas” in world 3D view to work well with the new Unity GUI approach and VR. The Oculus Utilities for Unity package is added to the application, and the two cameras (Main Camera for the first person controller and the I-Room screen camera) have “OVR Camera Rig” and “OVR Manager” script components added.

2015-09-17-Unity-I-Room-VR-0

Update as at 30th September 2015

2015-09-30-Unity-I-Room-MMO-in-VR-with-New-UI

The new “in world” UI is mostly in place for both the login scene (based on Smart Fox login scene) and using an in-world viewable canvas within the I-Room itself for the main I-Room scene. Some redirection of in world MMO chat to the screens has also been achieved. Joystick in world control of the movement of the avatar works using an XBox controller and the standard OVR Camera Rig joystick support. But more needs to be done to allow use of the mouse and keys when using the Oculus Rift. A NPC has been placed in the I-Room (based on the Sintel character) with a navigation mesh that allows it to move within the floor plan of the I-room. Its walk target point can be set using an object which can be moved using the Oculus Rift gaze point, using a tutorial from a book “Unity Virtual Reality Projects” by Jonathan Linowes (Packt Publishing, September 2015).

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