Simple Use of Git for OpenSim Development

Git is a source code version control supporting contributions from a number of developers. Git tutorial and reference material is available via including a complete online “Pro Git” book.

Contributions are made by “non-core” developers who can submit a “patch” attached to the OpenSim Mantis issue tracking system at These are reviewed by one or more OpenSim core developers who can, if appropriate, then approve and insert the patch to appear in the OpenSim Git development “master” at

The notes here are the process I used, after a few experiments, to establish a simple Git environment and workflow on a Windows 10 desktop to allow me to create patches in the required form to potentially contribute to OpenSim.

Setting up the Git Tools, a link to the OpenSim Master Repository and Making a Branch for your Changes


  1. Create an account on if you don’t already have one. That will allow you to create a simple profile including the name, e-mail address and thumbnail image you want to use when making contributions to projects.
  2. Obtain and install GitHub Desktop (Windows or Mac) via This creates two desktop icons, one for the GitHub GUI and one for a Git Shell (using Windows Power Shell) which work in harmony.
  3. Configure Git on launch to add in your GitHub username and e-mail which will be used to label contributions or patches you make. This creates [user] section “name” and “email” lines in your .gitconfig file. It can also be done using the Git Shell and using the commands…
    git config "Your Name"
    git config
  4. If you have not already done so, launch the Git Shell and you can set the editor you wish to use to add messages into patches to one that can handle Unix line endings (which Windows Notepad does not). Note the editor executable must be on the Windows PATH. E.g.
    git config --global core.editor emacs
  5. OpenSim wants patches that do not add Windows style line endings. Automatic translation between the Unix line ending reporitory files and local Windows files is possible, but to be certain, I explicitly set this via…
    git config --global core.autocrlf false
  6. After these steps your C:\Users\username\.gitconfig file should have something like these entries… amongst others…
    	name = Your Name
    	email =
    	autocrlf = false
    	editor = emacs
  7. Now, as a potential non-core OpenSim contributor you can establish a (read-only) “clone” of the main OpenSim Master Repository. I found the easiest way to do that was using the Git Shell” and typing in…

    This also sets all the files as “tracked”. Changes to any of these files are monitored so they can be added to any commit. Newly added files though need to be explicitly handled (see later).

  8. Note that git:// at is a mirror of the main repository at git:// but you should use the main repository as it will be up to date.
  9. With the default location for GitHub files of C:\Users\username\Documents\GitHub this will create a directory in C:\Users\username\Documents\GitHub which contains the OpenSim files and a special .git directory which supports all the Git operations, your commits and patch creation operations.
  10. The Git Shell by default starts in C:\Users\username\Documents\GitHub. You can change to work in a Github managed project simply by moving into its directory. E.g. into the “opensim” directory using…
    cd opensim

    Note that this will also show the current branch you are set to (initially “[master]“).

  11. While in Git Shell and set to the “master” you can also do a “pull” of the current OpenSim Master Repository content to your local filestore with…
    git pull

    You can use also this Git command at any time when set to the “master” branch to “sync” the OpenSim Master Repository files with your local copy.

  12. Also while in Git Shell create a branch off the opensim “master” called, for example, “mods” with…
    git branch mods
  13. You can change between the “master” and “mods” branches to work in using the Git Shell command…
    git checkout mods
  14. You can check the current status of your branch and whether there are outstanding modifications which are not yet committed using…
    git status


Now you are all set to make changes, and to create patches from the changes you make. I found that the “GitHub” GUI tool was most useful from this point right up to the preparation of a patch, for which I swapped back to the Git Shell. Git settings and branch changes made in the Git Shell and GitHub Tool for any GitHub project are synchronised (the magic happens in the projects .git directory).

Make your Changes

At any time, independent of whether you are using GitShell or the GitHub Tool, you can make any changes you wish to the files in C:\Users\username\Documents\GitHub\opensim by directly editing them. It is suggested you use an editor (e.g. emacs) that does not change the Unix style OpenSim file line endings

Using the GitHub Tool

  1. Select “opensim” Repository – When you run the GitHub tool you can choose one of the repository is you have set up… the opensim repository will show in the left column, if you have performed a “clone” operation. More can be added via the “+” icon in the top left corner. But for some reason “remote” does not allow for connections to repositories that are not hosted on itself.
  2. Select “master” branch and “Sync” – You can select the “master” branch in the branches drop down menu near the top left. A “Sync” button in the top right corner allows you to synchronise the OpenSim Master repository files with the local copy. The “Sync” on the “master” branch in the GitHub Tool is the same as using “git pull” on the masdter branch in Git Shell.
  3. Select “mods” branch and “Update from master” – Select the “mods” branch you made for your own changes and perform an “Update from master” to bring in any changes made recently to the “master” repository so they are available in the version you will change.
  4. Check if there are uncommitted changes – On the “mods” branch you can see a button in the top right saying if there are “No uncommitted changes” unless you have made changes you have made to the “tracked” files that are not yet notified to Git via a commit.
  5. Commit N uncommitted changes(s) – When you do have changes and want to create a single commit for all the changes.. hit the button and a panel opens to allow you to insert a short “Summary” and a longer “Description” of the changes you have made.

Making a Commit

  1. Ensure you are on the “mods” branch by selecting the “mods” branch in the GitHub Tool or in Git Shell use…
    git checkout mods
  2. Bring the branch up to date with “master” using the “Update from master” button in the top left of the GitHub Tool or in Git Shell use…
    git merge master
  3. Commit changes to all “tracked” files that are modified (so excluding any newly added files) using the “N uncommitted changes” button in the top right of the GitHub Tool and then using the form provided in the GitHub Tool or in Git Shell use…
    git commit -a
  4. Note that by default Git does not add all modified files during a commit. To add new files use:
    git add file1 file2 ...
    git commit

Creating a Patch

OpenSim development asks for patches to be prepared and attached to an OpenSimulator Mantis issue. The following commands create a patch for the last commit (-1) or changes between the current “master” – known as “origin/master” – and the commit labelled #hashtag is the one for the commit, usually 8 or so characters are sufficient to identify it) … and places the patch in a directory one up from the opensim repository files…

git format-patch -1 -o ..\tmp
git format-patch -o ..\tmp -1
git format-patch -o ..\tmp origin/master #f0e70490

Note that using –stdout > patch.txt does not work for opensim use as the line endings are Windows form)..

The results will be in C:\Users\username\Documents\GitHub\tmp

Inspect the patch to check it looks okay… an example follows…


Submitting a Patch to the OpenSimulator Community

  1. Go to the OpenSimulator “Mantis” issue tracking web site at and create an account there if you have not already done so, or login if you have.
  2. If your modifications relate to an existing Mantis issue add a comment and attach your patch file. If its a new issue create that and attach the patch file. In both cases amend the status to “patch attached” to draw the attention of the OpenSim core developers to your contribution. For a new issue, by convention, add the text [PATCH] to the front of the Mantis issue summary.
  3. After the issue has been created or modified, so a final check that the patch looks okay expand the patch to “Show Contents” and especially watching out for extra blank lines, indicating that Windows CR/LF extra symbols have wrongly been added.

OpenSim Core Developer Sign Off of a Contributed Patch

An OpenSim Core developer with appropriate permissions to commit directly to the remote master copy of OpenSim at may use a command such as the following to “sign off” a contribution…

git.exe am --signoff --ignore-space-change --keep-cr patch-filename

Reverting the Changes Made to Sync with Master – Better to Delete the Branch

As explained above, as a non-core developer you cannot directly commit changes to the remote master version of OpenSimulator. You are contributing potentially useful patches which might or might not be adopted. This can mean you have to constantly keep changing your “mods” branch to keep it in line with other changes in master. I tried to maintain a simple setup by using “revert” on each commit on the “mods” branch after creating the patch. A revert of the last commit (or any commit in fact) on the “mods” branch can be made very simply by selecting the commit and using the “Revert” button. But it turns out that this process does not allow “clean” patches to be successfully generated. The patches when applied try to refer to the commits/reverts that were in the branch history but not passed to the remote repository and give this message…

sha1 information is lacking or useless

Instead, I found its best to DELETE the “mods” branch entirely, using… (the capitalised -D flag forces the delete, so ensure you want to do that)…

git branch -D mods

Then go back and cerate a new branch “£mods” and work afresh in that for the next patch you wish to contribute.

Alternative workflow using Git Shell for actions performed in the GitHub GUI Tool

  • Resetting local master copy to remote contents. Ensure you are set to the opensim “master” branch.
    cd opensim
    git checkout master
    git pull
  • You can edit the message associated with the last commit using the GitHub Tool by clicking on the commit or using the Git Shell command:
    git commit --amend
  • You can see the master and any branches that exists using the GitHub Tool or using the Git Shell command:
    git branch
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Open Metaverse – the OpenSimulator Contribution

Snowcrash Cover from wikimedia.orgOpenSimulator and its “grid of grids” (Hypergrid) approach is perhaps the nearest virtual worlds environment we current have that approximates the “Metaverse” as envisaged in science fiction (e.g. Snowcrash) and popular culture. It is an approximation of what others seem to hint at when discussing the sorts of social networked virtual spaces that companies like High Fidelity and virtual reality headset companies like Oculus aspire to create.


Ai Austin with RiftOpenSimulator allows for a combination of a 3D virtual world environment, communication and synchronous collaboration cabailities including voice, media sharing, text chat and instant messaging. This becomes a powerful facility when combined with a web-based social platform and asynchronous modes of communication and information of knowledge sharing (e.g., Open Virtual Collaboration Environment, see Tate et al., 2014).



OpenSimulator is an open source multi-platform, multi-user 3D application server. It can be used to create a virtual environment (or world) which can be accessed through a variety of clients, on multiple protocols. It also has an optional facility (the Hypergrid) to allow users to visit other OpenSimulator installations across the web from their ‘home’ OpenSimulator installation. In this way, it is the basis of a nascent distributed Metaverse.

Out of the box, OpenSimulator can be used to simulate virtual environments similar to Second Life™, given that it supports the core of SL’s messaging protocol. As such, these virtual worlds can be accessed with the regular SL viewers. However, OpenSimulator does not aim to become a clone of the Second Life server platform. Rather, the project aims to enable innovative feature development for virtual environments and the Metaverse at large.

Contributions to the Metaverse

  • Libomv – LibOpenMetaverse – is a collection of .NET libraries written in c# for interacting with 3d virtual world simulators. The core library implements the protocol, networking and client functionality.
  • OpenSimulator – OpenSimulator is an open source multi-platform, multi-user 3D application server.

Metaverse circa 2008-2009 – Almost There

Some experiments to allow for avatar movement (as Ruth) between OpenSim grids and a Second Life experimental Open Grid using a proposed Open Grid Protocol (OGP) took place in 2008 to 2009, but was not continued.

See this blog post from Gwyneth Llewelyn on 2nd March 2009 for some of the story…

Wish List for Next Generation Virtual Worlds – Social Web + Virtual Worlds + Content + People

clipart-suitcaseI have written about this before… in a nutshell… I would like to see a grid of grids approach, a single instance world where travel is possible with a common identity and a suitable “suitcase” (intelligently filtered and adapted) and where radically different newer technologies and user interactivity modalities can be introduced alongside legacy facilities and which can gradually build a community and content.


OpenSimulator as a Beacon

Work needs to be started on protocols for interchange of avatars and suitable portable and sharable content between different grids and technologies. That was not continued unfortunately. New commercial efforts seems to be more concerned with walled gardens than open standards and facilities to inter work with many other grids and technologies. OpenSimulator could be a beacon to show the way and an experimental environment to test ideas.


  • Tate, A., Hansberger, J.T., Potter, S. and Wickler, G. (2014) Virtual Collaboration Spaces: Bringing Presence to Distributed Collaboration, Journal of Virtual Worlds Research, Assembled Issue 2014, Volume 7, Number 2, May 2014. [PDF Format]
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Second Life – Ai Austin 9th Birthday

9th birthday… don’t look a year older… and the flight suit stays remarkable clean…


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White Rose – Representing West Yorkshire

From BBC Gardening – Plant Finder – White Rose

Sea Holly Thistle – Representing Scotland

From BBC Gardening – Plant Finder – Sea Holly Thistle

Crescent Moon and Stars – Representing our Solar System and Galaxy

From Wikimedia – Exeter Cathedral Star Ceiling image by MEBeton, 2013, CC-BY-SA

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OSGrid 8th Birthday Party – OS

OSGrid has reached its 8th birthday and held a birthday party (OSGB8) on the Event Plaza with disco, live music and dancing…

2015-07-26-OSGB8-2 2015-07-26-OSGB8-3
2015-07-26-OSGB8-4 2015-07-26-OSGB8-5

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Using FlyInside FSX for Oculus Rift

Daniel Church has produced an early version of an improved way to use FSX with the Oculus Rift called “FlyInside FSX” and a Kickstarter campaign is raising funds to improve and test that… see

The good news is that FlyInside FSX alpha version 0.7 works right away on my Windows 8.1/Nvidia GTX680 setup using Direct to Rift mode displaying a portrait orientated mirror display simultaneously on my 2D screen.

This blog post is a holder to assist in reporting issues with testing of the FlyInside FSX alpha test versions to Daniel Church while its under development…

3D Visual Artifacts

22-Jul-2015 – FlyInside FSX version alpha 0.7 for Windows 8.1 Pro and Oculus – FlyInsideFSX_AlphaPreview_7_OVR_0600.exe

If I switch to an external aircraft view (F11) and then back to the virtual cockpit (F9) I see artifacts on the model with stretched textures or shapes between wing tips and cockpit for example. This persists when you exit to the mission/aircraft selection screen. It is only cleared by restarting FlyInside with FSX completely. Supercar looks a bit distant in the first shot, but its the black bits that should not be there.

The visual artifacts after switching from external view to internal view or back are carried over afterwards to the aircraft selection screen (which had looked fine on several tests where I had NOT switch to external view and back) show as black in the first image..


Looking more closely on several tests I can also see elements (e.g. yellow nose cone, blue headlamp fairings, rear black bulkhead, interior bench seats and cockpit base black seal) of the craft offset from their correct positions.
2015-07-22-FlyInside-FSX-Supercar-Visual-Artifacts-1a 2015-07-22-FlyInside-FSX-Supercar-Visual-Artifacts-1b

The aircraft selection screen image also has those has bits missing (like the yellow nose cone, yellow side cooling fins and blue headlamp fairings) and the stretched textures between fin tips and the cockpit…


This is what it should look like… and does when FlyInside FSX is run and you never switch between outside and internal view…


Supercar for FSX

In case anyone wants to fly Gerry Anderson’s Supercar themselves in 3D… Supercar flight sim model for various versions of Microsoft Flight Simulator right up to FSX and the Steam Edition are available at


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Icelandair Airplanes with Interior Aurora LED Lighting

Icelandair has introduced a customized paint job on one of their Boeing 757s showing the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights and introduced cabin night time LED lighting effects which shimmers like an aurora. The plane is named “Hekla Aurora”.

Icelandair-Cabin-Aurora-Lights-1 Icelandair-Cabin-Aurora-Lights-2

Images from

On a recent trip via Reykjavik we saw Hekla Aurora on the ground at Keflavik (my image)…


We then flew on Icelandair flight FI607 from Keflavik to Halifax Nova Scotia (on 25th June-2015). I believe the plane was a Boeing 757-200 named Krafla or Katla. When the cabin lights were dimmed it also had the nice shimmering aurora LED lighting effect. I checked with Icelandair via Twitter and they kindly responded with the names of the aircraft that, as of 23rd July 2015, are equipped with the aurora effect LED lighting. Watch out for this on your next trip with Icelandair.

Icelandair Airplanes with Aurora LED Lighting as at 23rd July 2015Icelandair-Planes-with-Cabins-with-Aurora-Lights

  • TFFII – Eyjafjallajökul
  • TFFIJ – Surtsey
  • TFFIN – Eldborg
  • TFFIO – Krafla
  • TFFIP – Snæfell
  • TFFIR – Askja
  • TFFIS – Grímsvötn
  • TFFIT – Helgafell
  • TFFIV – Katla
  • TFISL – Öræfajökull
  • TFISY – Torfajökull
  • TFLLX – Skjaldbreiður
  • and of course…
  • TFFIU – Hekla Aurora


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Vue – Maps in Second Life

Vue LogoVue – the Virtual University of Edinburgh – is a virtual educational and research institute bringing together all those interested in the use of virtual worlds for teaching, research and outreach related to the University of Edinburgh.

2008-07-31 SL Vue from Old College
2015-06-24 SL Vue from Vet School

Following separate developments during 2006 by various individuals and groups using plots on the Second Life “Mainland”, the group met for the first time in March 2007 and decided to acquire and develop a shared mini-continent to be called “Vue”, with the core long term planned stable region also to be called “Vue”. Various regions for schools and projects would cluster around this and come and go as needed.

2007-12-10-Vue-Group-Real-Life 2007-11-14-Vue-Group

Since then, the Vue facilities in Second Life have been used for EDUBlog award winning virtual graduation ceremonies for several departments, at the shared meeting space called “The Venue@Vue”, for collaboration in the US Federal Consortium for Virtual Worlds award winning I-Room – a Virtual Space for Intelligent Interaction, for the Open Virtual Collaboration Environment used for emergency response community support, for a range seminars, research projects, conferences and events.

I-Room-Meeting-with-Avatars-Train-for-Success 2011-iroom-for-woscr

History and Maps of Vue Regions in Second Life

There are archives of the Second Life Vue regions designs and map at various dates are available at:

The original sketch designs from March 2007 to November 2007 by avatar Ai Austin (RL: Prof. Austin Tate, Coordinator for the Virtual University of Edinburgh) include:

vue-2007-09-09-region-plan vue-high-street-sketch-a-2007-09-16

The nice crinkly coastline was produced by Dr. Ian Graham in the University if Edinburgh zbusiness School. The first almost ready design and layout just ahead of the first academic year of use is at:

Then maps at various years or dates are in this directory…

The current map is at


OpenSim Openvue

The original complete 9 region Vue mini-continent setup, along with the OpenVCE collaboration region that was in Second Life around 2008 along with additional welcome, sandbox and hypergrid teleport regions is replicated and continues to be available on the OpenSimulator-based Openvue grid…

Openvue Map

Vue Logo

Logo and banners at various resolutions and in various forms are available at

Vue Banner

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Maps of Second Life

The Maps of Second Life Pavilion shows maps and information about the development of Second Life since its early test days…

2015-06-24-SL12B-Maps_003 2015-06-24-SL12B-Maps_002

The Maps of Second Life Pavilion is accessible while the SL12B celebrations are on via or at its permanent home at New Kadath Lighthouse Art Gallery, New Kadath (34, 51, 22) – The Maps pavilion is curated by Juliana Lethdetter, a member of the Second Life Historical Society.

2015-06-24-New-Kadath-Lighthouse-Art-Gallery 2015-06-24-SL12B_007

You might also wish to visit the Second Life Historical Museum on Phobos via

Nautilus and the Blakes Sea

Exploring the Maps, one area was devoted to the creation of the Blakes Sea area, set up to allow for sailing and flying pursuits in Second Life. There was mention of a historical map inside the cockpit of a giant abandoned boring machine… now located in the Nautilus – Mysehi region.

Nautilus-Boring-Machine-Location Nautilus-Boring-Machine-Cockpit

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SL12B – Second Life 12th Birthday

Second Life was officially launched on 23rd June 2003 and has now has reached its 12th Birthday. A range of exhibits are available to act as a showcase for what has been built by the Second Life community. A pod ride will take you on a tour and describe the exhibits you will pass.

2015-06-24-SL12B_002 2015-06-24-SL12B_004

More information on the SL Birthday celebrations over the years on Daniel Voyager’s Blog. A map of the SL12B regions created by Juliana Lethdetter who curates the “Maps of Second Life” Pavilion (see below) is shown here…


Maps of Second Life

The Maps of Second Life Pavilion shows maps and information about the development of Second Life since its early test days… more information is available at this blog post.


The Maps of Second Life Pavilion is accessible while the SL12B celebrations are on via or at its permanent home at New Kadath Lighthouse Art Gallery, New Kadath (34, 51, 22) – The Maps pavilion is curated by Juliana Lethdetter, a member of the Second Life Historical Society.

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3D Stereo Photography

Harlyn Baker, a long term colleague and friend, visited Edinburgh on 19th June 2015. Harlyn did his M.Phil at Edinburgh, supervised by Prof. Donald Michie and Dr. Harry Barrow, my own supervisors. He completed his PhD at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, advised by Prof. David Waltz. His research on the construction of 3D models from stereo and multi-camera systems has continued at SRI International and Stanford University.

While in Edinburgh we took the opportunity to capture a couple of stereo (.MPO format) images on the balconies of the Informatics Forum, overlooking the George Square gardens and Arthurs Seat.


MPO Format Stereo Files

The .MPO format images can be viewed on 3D screens via, for example the Nvideo 3D Vision screen/active shutter glasses setup (or even the demonstration red/cyan glasses). The .MPO format files are available at LiveViewRift is an example media viewer that can view .MPO files on the Oculus Rift.


Stereo Camera

Harlyn was using the Fujifilm FinePix 3D W3 Digital Camera…


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Supercar Club 2000

The Supercar Club 2000 was launched on 1st October 2000. It’s web site was at is no longer active, but was created by Kez Wilson of Misc Mayhem with assistance from Austin Tate. The material is available now at or


A nice thank you note from a Supercar Club 2000 member included these images…


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2015-06-28-Aibo-Kilobyte-1 2015-06-28-Aibo-Kilobyte-2

Edinburgh AIBO Robots

aibo-logo-114x72AIAI purchased 6 Sony AIBO robots in 2004 partially via its FEEDAI Fund to use for student and experimental projects and helped supervise a number of projects with University of Edinburgh and Heriot Watt University students at undergraduate and masters levels. Two AIBOs went to the Institute for Perception Action and Behaviour (Edinburgh’s Robotics Institute) for their research, one to the Principal’s Office (Prof. Sir Tim O’Shea) to entertain visitors, and one to the Informatics School’s Outreach Project. Two were retained for projects and demonstrations in AIAI… Pixel (White M2) and Kilobyte (Black M2). Both these were upgraded to the final Sony AIBO software and charging station target release M3 SP2 later. When Sony completed their development of the Sony AIBO and stopped producing the robots, I obtained all the released materials and behaviours, the on-board media files and demonstrations. The AIAI robots have been fully updated with all this content, which can be selectively enabled through the AIBO-Browser tool.



Even after more than 10 years of life the Sony AIBO robots still exhibit new behaviours and are a remarkable example of robotic companions and entertainers. A new behaviour from Kilobtye was just exhibited today and that prompted this blog post.

2015-06-28-Aibo-Kilobyte-New-Behaviour-1 2015-06-28-Aibo-Kilobyte-New-Behaviour-2

Sony-AIBO-Pink-Memory-Stick-16MB_Our work on the Sony AIBO robots also included using the Gostai URBI (Universal Robot Body Interface) package and API to custom program experiments on the AIBOs. Gostai in France was subsequently bought by Aldebaran Robotics who produce the Nao Robot which replaced the Sony AIBOs for the annual RoboCup competitions to measure progress on robotics team work. Programming of the Sony AIBO required use of the special “AIBO Pink Memory Stick” which replaced the normal AIBO software (purple for the M3) memory stick.

aibo-b1-160x120 aibo-w2-160x120Pixel and Kilobyte for a period created entries in their blogs to log their daily activities… a trace and examples are at

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Drawingboard in Second Life and OpenSim

Using the Media on a Prim (MOAP) capability to display web pages, including JavaScript (.js) on faces of objects in Second Life and OpenSim, a simple drawing facility can be provided.

Drawingboard – Single User Whiteboard


Drawingboard is a canvas based drawing app that you can be integrated into web pages. Each user sees only their own drawing, its not shared between different users viewing the same whiteboard on a Media on a Prim screen. The source code and examples of using the Drawingboard on web pages can be found at either:


2015-06-18-OpenSim-wPaint-1 2015-06-18-OpenSim-wPaint-2

wPaint.js is another JavaScript based whiteboard web embeddable package. Again it is single user, each users seeing their own drawing… it is available via

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Supercar 3D Print

At the suggestion of Chris (corlando52) we tried an experimental 3D print of the Supercar 3D Model.

The Studio 3D max model version was used and I split it into the core model with wings extended and a separate part for the canopy glass. These two parts were separately exported to .STL (Stereo Lithography) format which is an export format supported by Studio 3D Max. No resizing was done, but Chris reported that the Supercar STL model measured at about 21 inches. They were able to scale it down proportionately to fit in their 3D printer. The final size is 9″ x 5″ x 3″ and the 3D print cost is approximately US$20 to print in red and clear plastic.

Chris provided images of the main part printed in red plastic…


Some smaller scale elements had 3D print glitches, and there were some holes in parts of the model.. perhaps due to the high level of detail in the original model…

Chris reports that the canopy did not 3D print well at all. Each piece printed as a solid object, that is, the printer filled them in so they are not thin pieces but almost like odd-shaped balls. This may be because the original 3D model of the canopy perspex had a single sided face and no thickness.

Mike Mercury Figure

A test was also done of the Robert Harrup Mike Mercury figure using a 3D model created in Autodesk 123D Catch via a set of photos (see this blog post) and then converted to .STL format in 3D Studio 3D Max prior to the test 3D print.


Note: the Supercar CGI 3D models are fan produced and are not for any sort of commercial use. The 3D printed model was an experiment for personal use only of course.

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Shields Sailboat in Second Life

In Second Life, for those interested in virtual sailing, there is a free sailboat available at Three Pines Sailing Resource Center (in June 2015).. accessible via the SLURL… I was pointed at this sailboat via a blog post by Inara Pey.

2015-06-16-Three-Pines-Sailboat-2 2015-06-16-Three-Pines-Sailboat-3

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High Fidelity – One Year In


Its now over a year since I joined in the High Fidelity (HiFi) on 15th May 2014. Here are some images of the current status at 16th June 2015…

Interface (Windows Build 2650)


Stack Manager (Windows Build 86) and Openvue Domain


Our current HiFi “Stack Manager” runs our test domain Openvue which is the HiFi registered “Place” name for the host and which is accessible via

  • hifi://,1,12/0,-0.9,0,0.45
  • hifi://Openvue/12,1,12/0,-0.9,0,0.45
    (this place name was only accessible in 2015 unless renewed at US$20 per annum)

The domain has on it a number of our test meshes imported as FBX files, along with some demonstration objects and items from the HiFi Marketplace.

2015-06-16-HiFi-Openvue-1 2015-06-16-HiFi-Openvue-Supercar-with-Stats

HiFi Marketplace Avatars – Zack and Sintel

2015-06-16-HiFi-Avatar-Zack 2015-06-16-HiFi-Avatar-Sintel


Sintel_v4: Not currently available (was

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Getting Started in OpenSim


This blog post is to assist new users to get started quickly with the creation of a new “avatar” in OpenSimulator (also known as “OpenSim”), an open source virtual world server similar to the commercial Second Life service and accessed with the same sort of virtual world “viewer” as is used for Second Life. It also gives a quick guide to your initial login on an OpenSim “grid” and your first visit a virtual world “region” on that grid. Finally it describes how to visit other connected grids that make up the virtual world “Metaverse” via the “Hypergrid”.

1. Register for an Avatar on OSGrid

OSGrid is a grid provided by OpenSim community members and enthusiasts and often used for development testing and community meetings. It runs entirely on donations from users. It allows anyone to create a free avatar and even to attach “regions” hosted on their own servers or home computers. Create an avatar and select an avatar name at

2. Initial Grid Login and Avatar Setup

Download and install a suitable virtual world viewer on a system that has a good graphics capability. The viewer should be OpenSim capable. The standard open source Linden Lab provided viewer incorporates a commercially licenced physics engine (Havok) which means it cannot be directly used for OpenSim access, but many third party viewers based on the same core open-source code are suitable. I recommend Firestorm… under the download tab select the variant that indicates its “For SL & Opensim”. Windows (32 bit and 64 bit), Mac and Linux versions are available.

Run the viewer, select the grid to log into as “OSGrid” and log in with the avatar name and password you created earlier. When you are logged in you normally initially arrive at an introductory or welcome region where help boards can assist you in understanding how to use the avatar and camera movement keys and do other simple operations. You can also usually select some free avatar appearances there. Don’t worry if you initially appear as a “cloud”… it just means you don’t have an initial preselected appearance. Some grids set up such a default appearance (the “Ruth” default basic avatar is common), others don’t. “Wear” one outfit and if you want you can change your appearance in the viewer.

3. Visit a Virtual World Region

When you feel ready you can go to locations on the grid you are on. Look at the map (accessible by one of the viewer buttons, hover over them to get tool tips) and type in a name of a region if you know where you wish to visit from information on the web. Or you can also type the destination region name in the top address bar in the viewer. Try visiting the “Oil Rig” region perhaps.. a rich oil rig training demonstration region…


4. Hypergrid – Roam the Metaverse

OpenSim grids can be opened up to visits by avatar from different grids using a protocol for movement and data exchange called the “Hypergid”. You can visit by typing appropriate addresses in the map tool or address bar. Find the addresses via web pages describing such destinations. Try cut and paste of this “hop” address into the address bar to visit the “AiLand” grid “Castle” region…


Hypergrid-Safari-Sign-Trans-CroppedIf you want to take a short tour or safari through some of our own demonstration regions… and pick up various avatar outfits and tools as you travel. Take a look at his blog post for some locations… convenient signs on the regions can be clicked to automatically “teleport” you to the next locations…

Hypergrid Safari visit to Openvue and AiLand

5. Going Further

There are many facilities in OpenSim, but find your feet and make sure you can do basic movememt, use the camera separate to movement of the avatar, sit down, text chat to others and even try to connect a headset for voice before you go further. Media playback on screens in OpenSim may require Quicktime or other media plugins for Flash if suitable versions are not already on your computer. Others in world, or a search on the web can give more guidance, e.g. here.

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I4IS – Kickstarter – Project Dragonfly


The first international contest, run by the Initiative for Interstellar Studies (I4IS), to let students shape the future of interstellar travel. More details at Kickstarter – Project Dragonfly – Sail to the Stars


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Oil Rig on OSGrid

The Robert Gordon University Oil and Gas Centre Oil Rig mesh-rich demonstration OpenSim Archive (OAR) by Colin Hetherington has been mounted on a region on OSGrid provided on Vue (the Virtual University of Edinburgh) servers … and an image is one of the splash screens that show on the OSGrid web site and on the viewer log in page.


It can be accessed via hop://

You can also see the Oil Rig in Virtual Reality on the Oculus Rift using the CtrlAltStudio Viewer… see this blog post for more information and images.


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Game of Thrones

Okay, I have to get into this… bought the books by George R.R. Martin to make a start… more to report later…

Game of Thrones Books

Guides and Maps

Official World Map for George RR Martin - A Song of Ice and Fire

Official World Map for George RR Martin’s series A Song of Ice and Fire,
from Westeros to Asshai, from the Summer Isles to the blasted waste of Old Valyria

Hadrian’s Wall and the Ice Wall

George R.R. Martin has said that a visit in 1981 to Hadrian’s Wall on the Scotland-England Border inspired his creation of the “The Wall” in the Northern regions of Westeros. See this blog post – Game of Thrones writer reveals Hadrian’s Wall inspired hit TV series .

Interesting Links

Game of Thrones Style Edinburgh Animation
Game of Thrones style animation of Edinburgh and environs by Stephen Jefferies
Game of Thrones Style Animation - Edinburgh Castle

Second Life Avatar Clothing

FATEplay-Nick FATEplay-Cloak-Kollo
Ceresi Baratheon Daenerys Targaryen
FATE Play Store – Game of Thrones Style – Second Life Clothing

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HG Safari First Anniversary

Hypergrid-Safari-Sign-Trans-CroppedOn 20th May 2015, the OpenSim-based HG Safari group celebrated its first anniversary with a party on Event Plaza on OSGrid organised by Thirza Ember, Fuschia Nightfire and others. Live music with very apropriate lyrics was provided by the talented Truelie Telling and Whirli Placebo (who both often perform on the OSGrid Belfast sim).

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Robert the Robot Arrives at the Party


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40+ Up


Fully Crazy

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Comparison to Empty Stage – OSGrid Event Plaza

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HG Safari Visit to AiLand and OpenVCE

As one of its first year safaris, the HG Safari group visited the OpenSim-based Openvue and AiLand grids on 26th November 2014. More details at

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Marineville at Sunset

Stingray and Control Tower mesh models on Marineville region on OSGrid. Visit via

2015-05-18-Marineville-Sub-Offshore 2015-05-18-Marineville-Underwater-Base

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Castle on OSGrid


The Castle region from AiLand has been mounted as a region on OSGrid.
[Visit via hop://]

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2015-05-18-OSGrid-Castle-Sunset 2015-05-18-OSGrid-Castle-Midnight

“Epic Castle” is a nice demonstration of a complex mesh model that can be imported into OpenSim, and saved as an OpenSim Archive (OAR) file that others can load and use. In this instance the castle was created and freely released by Epic Games to demonstrate the Unreal Engine. It was imported to OpenSim and provided as an OAR for others to enjoy by Cuteulala Artis. Leora Jacobus scaled the castle up 1.5 times to allow avatars to use doors and rooms realistically and downsized the mesh terrain to 0.7 times to fit on a single 256x256m region. Leora also added more building interiors and other contents. See the following URL for more details and links… Blog Post: OpenSim OAR – Epic Castle

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Seasons at the Castle

The Castle region has Spring/Summer, Autumn and Winter variants…


OSGrid Teleporter

The “one-click” teleporter on some Vue and experimental regions on OSGrid allows one click teleport directly to Castle, some of our other regions and the Openvue and Ailand grid welcome regions…


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Vue Regions on OSGrid


OSGrid is the primary grid used by members of the OpenSim community for development, testing, sharing content and social events. It allows those with servers to add on regions very easily and without cost. OSGrid runs entirely with volunteer effort and relies on donations from the community to meet the fees for its servers and other costs. Avatars can be created on OSGrid at no cost via OSGrid supports the HyperGrid meaning that avatars can visit and travel to and from OSGrid from other OpenSim grids such as our main Openvue grid.

The Virtual University of Edinburgh (Vue) has several test and experimental regions mounted on servers in Edinburgh that are connected to OSGrid.



OSGrid Links


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View over Vue

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Here is a nice view from Ai Austin’s AIAI2 office on the second floor of the I-Room on the Virtual University of Edinburgh (Vue) region in Second Life. Must update the calendar 🙂


Here is an image of an I-Room in use for an OpenVCE experiment

And for a “Train for Success” group seminar…

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Sansara – Second Life Continent

Sansara is the name given to the original “mainland” (“continent”) land mass in Second Life. Some background is on the Second Life Wiki which includes a map naming various regions and showing their geography.

Sansara in 2015

This is how Sansara looks today. The white region in the South-West is the original Snowlands zone in Second Life.


Sansara and the Full Second Life Map


Each small block on this map of the Second Life available at is a 256m X 256m region. The Sansara continent is the large land mass with the white snow zone.

Sansara Regions and Geography

The Second Life Wiki which includes a Sansara map naming various regions and showing their geography.


Maps of Second Life

A collection of historical Maps of Second Life is available at the New Kadath Lighthouse Art Gallery, New Kadath (34, 51, 22) –


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High Fidelity – At the Cafe

hifi://cafe is a place where High Fidelity users are gathering to discuss developments and socialize.


Avatar Marketplace

The avatar can now be selected via the Interface -> Preferences and using the Marketplace…

HiFi-Zach HiFi-Kate

Avatar Animation

Avatar animator can be added to the default scripts by selecting File -> Running Scripts and then enabling walk.js.

Microphone Volume Control

Adjustment of microphone level can be made by adding in the Marketplace -> Scripts -> Mic Volume Adjuster.

Multiple Instance of Interface on One System and Using Profiles

In Windows, you can use the “runas” command to launch the Interface. Substitute a Windows username for ……

runas /profile /savecred /user:...... "C:\Program Files (x86)\High Fidelity\Interface\interface.exe"

If you do this with several different Windows usernames you can launch several instances of the Interface on the same system.

Meanwhile… Back at the Ranch…

Back on our own hosted domain hifi:// (or hifi://Openvue to 31st December 2015 unless renewed) I am trying out a HiFi Marketplace “Floating Island” and showing our usual test meshes for Supercar, the International Space Station, etc.


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The Illusionist

A reminder about the lovely hand drawn animated film “The Illusionist” following a down-at-heels French performer and with Scotland and Edinburgh scenes.


It was produced in 2010 and directed by Sylvain Chomet. More details on A trailer is at

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AltspaceVR – Meet in Virtual Space

AltspaceVR ( is developing a virtual world in which people can meet, chat, share media and have fun. Interested users could register for the beta-testing events and they were invited into a beta-test weekend on 25th and 26th April 2015.

Avatar choice is quite simple, a male, female and neutral robot style avatar which can have a custom coloured badge.

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A series of events were available for the beta-test weekend…


After entering AltSpace3D, if you have an Oculus Rift attached you will see its view… if not a standard 2D view is presented. You are initially in a welcome area where a tutorial plays out on screen…

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Help on using AltspaceVR is available at AltspaceVR is mainly set to use the Oculus Rift and a Kinect motion controller or an Xbox for Windows controller at present, but can be used in 2D mode too and with mouse control. Some important keys are:

  • For 2D use, toggle between using the mouse to look round and mouse to select things using Alt+left click. You need this to select menu items, and focus the mouse to make selections or click things.
  • Alt+Enter lets you switch between Windows applications, e.g. to toggle between AltspaceVR and another Windows tool to capture images.
  • Esc brings up a dialogue to let you exit the app.

Some of the initial areas during the beta testing weekend include the Welcome Room with a tutorial, and a space to talk via voice to other users, and to click on them to link up as followers…

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A very helpful beta-tester and developer based in the Eastern USA called “Falkrons” gave me some tips and showed me some demos on a “Place” called “Desert Island”.


The 3D in world chess game is an interactive playable board with pieces that can be selected and controlled using Javascript rendering into the 3D VR space using the AltspaceVR SDK.

Spaces and Socializing

The main menu is brought up with a right click of the mouse and lets you access the web media browse, events list, and spaces list including showing how many users are in each space and the space capacity (N/M). A socialize button lets you see who is in each space and go to them, or “follow” them which adds those you meet, friends or colleagues to your followers list and allow you to see if they are online.

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Main Issues in Beta Test Weekend

  1. As this was over a weekend, I could not conveniently use my Oculus Rift and Leap Motion equipped system which is in a work location. So my testing was limited to 2D view and mouse interaction.
  2. I plugged in an Xbox for Windows controller, but only the left stick seemed to work to change my viewpoint. The right stick did not move the avatar. That might be a configuration issue, as the controller is used in things like the Second Life viewers.
  3. Voice worked very well indeed, and was 3D spatially situated.
  4. I could not see text chat anywhere, and AltspaceVR confirmed it is not (yet) included. That would be useful for when voice is inconvenient, and for sharing information via copy and paste and for web links.
  5. Mouse focus and use was very awkward… and moving between using the mouse to move the camera and having it available for interaction with screen icons via alt+left click was awkward. Moving the mouse outside the AltspaceVR window did not give me control back, I had to use the windows alt+tab to switch apps to get back to the Windows desktop.
  6. Feedback that your own voice was active by flashing the “X” icon for the AltspaceVR interaction menu was odd. I only knew that was what was flashing as a more experience user told me. An icon that looked more like a loudspeaker flashing would be more intuitive.

Testing with the Oculus Rift, Leap Motion and Xbox Controller


Following on from the beta test weekend, I tried access via the Oculus Rift DK2 working in direct mode. The 3D imagery is very crisp and menu buttons and popup panels, avatar name tags, etc are all displayed at a comfortable eye distance. I could not work out how to take a screen snapshot of the Rift “double barrel” view… but here is a shot of how the Rift equipped avatar, Ai Austin, appears when seen by another avatar. The head moves up, down and right or left depending on where your gaze is in the Rift.

The Leap Motion device is also supported… but it is assumed the device is mounted looking forwards and downwards on the Rift HMD.. Mine is flat on the table looking up and back to the user, so left and right hands are flipped/mirrored. The Leap Motion is automatically discovered by AltspaceVR and a hand or hands in its field of view show in world for the avatar. Arms are not shown for the Leap Motion, though images from other users indicate that arms are shown if a Microsoft Kinect is used for hand input.


AltspaceVR-Controller-GuideWhen using the Xbox 360 for Windows controller, the left stick controls avatar forward, back, strafe left and strafe right with turns done via the direction you are looking in the Rift. The right stick moves the cursor focal point so you can operate menus – which can be done with the “A” select button on the controller. left and right bumpers rotate the avatar.

More details are on the AltspaceVR help pages (see notes).

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