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 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

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.


Smart Fox Pro and 2X Firewall Requirements

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


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 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.


Update as at 30th September 2015


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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Unity and VR

This blog post documents some simple steps to get an initial Virtual Reality (VR) application built in Unity 5 to display and be controlled via the Oculus Rift DK2 Head Mounted Display (HMD) using Windows 10, Unity 5.2 and Oculus Runtime 0.7.

Initial Unity Project and Scene


  1. Create a new empty project. Note it already includes a “Main Camera” and a “Directional Light” to light the scene.
  2. Insert a simple solid ground plane to prevent your character dropping down. Use GameObject -> 3D Object -> Plane, for example, and make the object be located just below Y (something like -0.1) and have a decent extent in the X and Z directions. This will be able to be removed later when you have real content and terrain in your scene.
  3. Import the Environment Water via Assets -> Import Package -> Environment. Deselect the preticked assets using “None” and only select the “Water” assets and then “Import”.
  4. Under Assets -> Standard Assets -> Environment -> Water -> Water -> Prefabs, drop the WaterProDaytime prefab into the Unity hierarchy panel to include it in the scene. Set its Y position at 0 and scale it up in the X and Z directions.
  5. Under Assets -> Standard Assets -> Environment -> Water -> Water -> Prefabs, drop the WaterProNighttime prefab into the Unity hierarchy panel to include it in the scene. Also set its Y position at 0 and scale it up in the X and Z directions. Rotate this 180 degrees in the X direction. This has the effect of giving a water surface seen from underneath.
  6. Import the Characters Package via Assets -> Import Package -> Characters and select “All” and then “Import”.
  7. Then you will have available a Unity character “Ethan” in the standard Assets at Assets -> Standard Assets -> Characters -> ThirdPersonCharacter -> Prefabs folder which can be included in a Unity scene.
  8. The “Main Camera” already in the scene can now be dragged inside the “ThirdPersonController” hierarchy and it is then attached to the motion of the character.
  9. Now save the scene and save the project and you are ready to create the Unity builds for a range of platforms.
  10. For the Oculus Rift and VR, use File -> Build Settings… choose the PC/Mac/Linux Standalone and use “Player Settings” button to set the “Virtual Reality Supported” tickbox on. “Stereoscopic Rendering” should NOT be ticked. Then build the executable.
  11. You can also preview the scene in your VR HMD, if it is turned on, using the game mode preview within the Unity editor.


Unity Ethan and Other Avatar Models and Cameras

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

OpenVCE OAR Converted to Unity and in VR

Using Fumikazu Iseki’s OpenSim OAR to Collada DAE and Unity Assets “OAR Converter” – see this blog post – the OpenVCE region in OpenSim was imported to Unity along with the Ethan character and Water layers as described above. When using the Unity editor game preview with the Oculus Rift DK2 turned on, the VR HMD display and head movement for camera direction all work fine.

2015-09-05-OpenSim-OAR-in-Unity-VR-2 2015-09-05-OpenSim-OAR-in-Unity-VR-3

Connecting the Unity Main Camera to the Oculus VR

“Oculus Utilities for Unity 5” (version 0.1.0 beta as at 10-Sep-2015) are available to add to your project…

If you are using the OAR Converter test avatar, UnityChan, in order to connect the VR HMD to the UnityChan camera, the advice from Fumikazu Iseki is…

Prior to build for VR applications, add OVR/Scripts/OVRCameraRig.cs
and OVR/Scripts/OVRManager.cs scripts to the UnityChan_Camera via
the “Add Components” button and using the “Script” type.


With the OpenSim OpenVCE OAR content converted and imported to Unity this is how the scene looks and works on the Oculus VR HMD both in editor preview mode and after a PC targeted build with “Virtual Reality Supported” ticked in the Build Settings -> Player Settings …


Experiments with Unity UI Elements

2015-09-10-Unity-UI-ElementsThe inbuilt UI elements were used to add drop down selections, buttons and floating text to which scripted event triggers can be added.

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Another Sine Wave Entertainment virtual world, ths time a music and dance style shared space. Join for free and get your avatar at

wet-fm-be-1 wet-fm-be-2

Avatars do not seem to enter in the same instance of the arrival zone. More to check out later.

Posted in Virtual World | Tagged , | Comments Off on


2015-08-02-GoJiyo-Splash-PageGoJiyo ( is a multi-user virtual world and claims to be the largest virtual world in use in India. It is based on a 3D virtual world MMO platform by Sine Wave Entertainment, who are themselves creating a virtual world called These are Unity 3D virtual worlds with customizable avatars and clothing, and multiple regions which can be moved between via teleporting. Communications between avatars and in world chat are supported. Voice is noted as available (but I have not yet found the button to enable it, even with a USB headset attached). Help and instructions are available at or click the “?” icon to the lower right when in world.

2015-08-02-GoJiyo-2 2015-08-02-GoJiyo-3
2015-08-02-GoJiyo-Neon-1 2015-08-02-GoJiyo-Outfit-and-Inventory

Posted in Virtual World | Tagged , | 3 Comments

OpenSim OAR Convert to Unity Scene

This page gives notes and links related to the OAR converter to create textures, meshes and terrain suitable to import into a Unity scene. The converter has been created by Fumikazu Iseki at the Network Systems Laboratory of TUIS (@Fumi.Hax – @fumi_hax) in Japan.







Sample OAR Conversions are available at

OpenSim OAR Conversion to Unity Project

If you have root access on a Unix/Linux system, obtain OARConv in source form to compile. The setup requires the zlib compression utility and OpenJPEG (1.2 and 2.1) libraries to be installed into system directories. Full instructions to follow carefully and download links to all required components and libraries are at:

If you are a normal user without sys admin/root access, a binary precompiled version of OAR Conv is available (use latest version). Extract this zip file in your HOME directory (as the script provided assumes this location unless you modify it).

Extract OARConv binary
$ cd
$ wget
$ unzip

You can then perform the conversion as follows (for the binary version)…

1. Extract OAR File
$ mkdir OAR
$ cd OAR
$ tar zxfv oar-filename
$ cd ..

2. Execute oarconv
$ ./oarconv/ -i OAR

The resulting translated assets for the OpenSim OAR are placed in ./DAE

The rest of the process to convert the translated assets into a Unity project are very well described in this YouTube video…

Take care to include the customised Editor/SelectOARShader.cs in the project assets. Including this in a Unity3D project compiles it and makes it available without any further action. An introductory tutorial on Unity Shaders is available here.

You will see a warning from Unity about a mesh having more then 64K vertices or triangles indicated on loading the assets in Unity. The converted OpenSim terrain mesh has 256x256x2 triangles, but Unity itself splits larger meshes into smaller components to address this.

oarconv Shell Command Parameters and Flags

oarconv [-i OAR directory] [-o output directory] [-a adding assets directories that separated by ':'] [-f object xml file]
        [-t terrain texture scale] [-c external convert command of jp2]
        [-s start no.] [-e end no.]
        [-x shift of x direction] [-y shift of y direction] [-z shift of z direction]
        [-b] [-p] [-d] [-v] [-h]

  -i : specify OAR directory. default is ./
  -o : specify output directory. default is ./DAE/
  -f : specify object xml file. only specified file is converted.
  -a : specify adding assets directories that separated by ':'. default is /usr/local/share/oarconv/assets/:./assets/
  -t : specify terrain texture scale. default is 7.000000
  -c : specify external convert command from jp2 to other image. default is "/usr/local/bin/opj_decompress -i %s -o %s >/dev/null 2>&1"
  -s : specify start number of xml file. default is 0.
  -e : specify end number of xml file. default is -1 (minus number means infinity).
  -x : specify shift of x direction of all objects. default is 0.0
  -y : specify shift of y direction of all objects. default is 0.0
  -z : specify shift of z direction of all objects. default is 0.0
  -b : output STL file(s) using BREP.
  -p : when linked objects include phantom even one, saved to Phantom directory.
  -d : debug mode. display debug information. 
  -v : display version information. 
  -h : display this help messages. 

   ex.) oarconv -i OAR -a /usr/local/opensim/bin/assets/TexturesAssetSet:./assets -d

X, Y, Z offset function to oarconv (v1.3.4 onwards)

You can convert multiple adjacent OpenSim regions using the x (East/West on map) and y (North/South on map) offsets, usually with +/-256 for normal 256mx256m regions.

E.g. if region positions are [A][B] ...
    oarconv -i OAR_A  -o DAE_A 
    oarconv -i OAR_B  -o DAE_B  -x 256 
Drag & Drop DAE_A and DAE_B to project view of Unity3D

Project Base for OAR Converter Projects

Once you have successfully tried a conversion and understand the elements, you may wish to create a base for any future OAR conversions… which can include all the steps except for the drag and drop in of the actual DAE converted content. Do this yourself to incorporate the very latest OAR Converter content, scripts and Unity assets.

But, for convenience, a Unity 5 base “unitypackage” has been created which includes the required Editor/SelectOARShader.cs, the water layers and the Unity 5 Standard Assets “Ethan” character with simple movement and attached camera. An alternative with the Blender open source Sintel movie character and attached camera setup as indicated in the OARConv YouTube video is also provided at…

Make a copy of the base project you created or a new unity project, import the chosen unitypackage as a base, and then drag the OAR Converter produced “DAE” directory into the Unity Project Assets area, add the DAE folder assets and those in the DAE/Phantoms folder to the hierarchical view panel. Adjust the position of the chosen character and attached camera to suit the region, save the project, save the scene, and you should be good to go.

OpenVCE OAR Conversion


Black Rock OAR Conversion

OARConv-Black-Rock-2 OARConv-Black-Rock-3-Water-Added
OARConv-Black-Rock-4-Unity-Chan-Added OARConv-Black-Rock-5-Finished-Scene
OARConv-Black-Rock-6-Web-Player-1 OARConv-Black-Rock-6-Web-Player-2

During conversion the OAR Converter reported three missing texture assets… which was exactly the same as the original OpenSim “save oar” command reported.

Space City OAR Conversion



Using the oarconv -x offset capability, I added the adjacent “Outer Space” extension OAR (to the West/Left) by doing the OAR conversion with the -x -256 parameter.


Marineville OAR Conversion

Marineville is an OpenSim region where parts of the build go below the usual Z = 0m.. in fact down to -20m. Conversion for negative vertical objects seems to work fine in OAR Conv.


Since this is a region with a lot of ocean, a larger sea/water surface disk was used and an underlying sandy bottom added under the region’s own 256×256 terrain, using the sandy bottom terrain in the Oil Rig conversion exported from that as a unitypackage and imported to the Marineville Unity build – see below.


Oil Rig OAR Conversion


During conversion the OAR Converter reported a number of errors related to texture conversion. The OAR Converter tries a number of JPEG2K libraries to do its best for conversion, but some still cannot be converted.

OARTool::ConvertTexture: ERROR: texture 2c73e9a4-ef4d-4181-8984-d7604ed6fa81 convert error (-9, 1)

There were so many mesh parts in the RGU Oil Rig model that it was not possible in Unity ( version 5.1.3f1) to select them all and drop them into the hierarchy view. They had to be selected in sub-sets and with care all were added successfully. Take care you do not miss any assets if you have to do this for your own conversion.

The ocean sandy bottom terrain in the Oil Rig model was exported as “unitypackage” (right click on the asset and select “Export Package”) so it could be imported to other OAR conversion to act as an underlying terrain, scaled 5 X 5 X 1 and with the vertical position set just under the OARs own terrain.

OpenVCE OAR Conversion


TUIS – Unity Demos of Converted Scenes​ardenOasis/GardenOasis.html


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 OARConv distribution. Check the Unity-Chan licence terms and further downloads.

Other Open Source Avatar Assets are available for Unity and are described in this post.

Particle Systems and Effects

The OAR Conversion process does not bring across any active scripting, particle systems (for smoke, fire, etc) or special light sources. You need to add these again into a Unity project.

Tipodean OpenSim OAR Conversion to Unity Assets

I have previously written notes on using the Tipodean OAR Converter. As at September 2015 no longer seems to be available, but the converter web site and previous examples, including multi-user OpenVCE region demonstrations, with and without VOIP, continue to run at


OpenSim-related Tools from the Network Systems Laboratory of TUIS, Japan

Fumizaku Iseki and others at the Network Systems Laboratory of TUIS in Japan have experimented with a number of other very interesting OpenSim and Virtual Worlds related tools. See

OpenSim Diaroma System – Using 3D Terrain in OpenSim

This System uses SRTM (Shuttle Radar Topography Mission) 1/3 data and Google map data. Open Source.

Motion Capture to Second Life and OpenSim Avatar Movemement by Jessica Pixel

Using the “Rinions” package from the Network Systems Laboratory of TUIS, it is possible to use a Microsoft Kinekt for Windows to do motion capture and relay it live onto a SecondLife/OpenSim avatar.

Output of STL Files for 3D Printing

OARConv version 1.4.0 (22nd September 2015) introduced an additional capability using a “-b” flag to output STL format files which are suitable to use on 3D printers. An example of usage to convert one item (.xml) in the unzipped untared OAR is:

% oarconv -i ABYSS -o STL -f ABYSS/objects/Venus_428-154-3720__e633f42c-abb2-498b-aadb-ea6781506f98.xml -b

See the following instructional video. A simple STL viewer for Windows is also available.


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Setting up a Standalone OpenSim Server from Scratch

These notes will describe how to set up a “Standalone” OpenSimulator (OpenSim) server on Windows from scratch… using the latest stable version or even the very latest “Dev master” experimental version. They are intended to quickly get you going with the latest version of OpenSim and set up key features to link it to the Hypergrid and provide a basis for further customization. Welcome to the Metaverse.

Use SQLite or MySQL

OpenSim can run with a number of different SQL compatible data base systems (SQLite, MySQL, MSSQL, PostgresSQL/PGSQL). A very simple SQLite version can be used for simple Standalone setups, and MySQL is popular and allows more features.

Advance Planning – Deciding on Key Names

Before you start, decide on a few things that you will be asked to type in on the first run of OpenSim…

  1. gridname which may contain spaces
  2. gridnick is a short nickname, try to keep it all lower case and no spaces
  3. welcome will be a web page URL that will show as a splash screen in viewers. If you don’t give this a rather ugly pink page and error message will show in viewers. If you cannot think of a suitable URL, just try using as a stop gap
  4. Region Name for your initial (or only) region
  5. Estate Name for an initial “Estate” to which a group of regions can be attached to manage some properties all together. You can use the same name as your Grid name if you wish.
  6. Avatar First and Last Names for an avatar to act as the primary initial Estate, Region owner and administrator for the OpenSim setup.
  7. Password for the first avatar.
  8. E-mail address for the first avatar.

Obtain the Latest Stable OpenSim Pre-compiled Distribution

The latest version of OpenSim that is considered stable is always available in a pre-compiled form via Download this, and unzip it’s contents into a directory such as D:\VW. It may be convenient to allow for future version changes to amend the directory name that is created from “opensim-a.b.c.d” to just “opensim”.

You may wish to create a short cut to D:\VW\opensim\bin\OpenSim.exe on your desktop to launch OpenSim when its ready. Set the (advanced) properties of this shortcut to always run as administrator.

Create Necessary .ini files

You then need to set up a number of “.ini” initialisation files before OpenSim can be run. OpenSim will indicate you have not created them if they are missing when it runs.

  1. Copy a template for bin\OpenSim.ini from bin\OpenSim.ini.example. This must then be changed for your environment before OpenSim can be successfully run. The minimal changes are:
    • In the [Const] section change the BaseURL to your hots domain name or IP address. For a Standalone setup, change the PublicPort to 9000 (by convention). The PrivatePort is not used on a Standalone.
    • In the [Architecture] section you must select one of the options. For our aim here, uncomment the one for Standalone including Hypergrid, i.e., config-include\StandaloneHypergrid.ini
    • Any more absolutely required before first run?
  2. Copy bin\config-include\StandaloneCommon.ini from
    bin\config-include\StandaloneCommon.ini.example. The minimal changes are:
    • In the [GridInfoService] section change the gridname, gridnick and provide a suitable “welcome” URL.
    • Any more absolutely required before first run?
  3. Copy bin\config-include\FlotsamCache.ini from
    [This step is not essential, but will save one warning on the OpenSim.exe console.]

Keep the amended files in a handy location for future updates.


The chosen “PublicPort” (by convention port 9000 for a standalone) must be open for access from outside your firewall.

First Run

Run bin\OpenSim.exe as administrator… perhaps using the shortcut it was suggested you create earlier… and answer the questions as the prompts appear…

  1. Create First Region (makes a file named bin\Regions\Region.ini which can subsequently be edited or added to).
  2. Create First Estate.
  3. Specify initial Avatar first and last names to own the initial Estate and Region created.
  4. backup
  5. quit

Now restart your standalone by running OpenSim.exe again. Use an OpenSim-compatible viewer such as Firestorm, Singularity or Alchemy and ensure you do choose the variant that supports OpenSim (as well as Second Life). Add your grid/standalone URL (http://host:9000/) to the Grid List for the viewer via the “Preferences” -> “OpenSim/Grids” tab or via the viewer “Grid Manager”. Log in with the chosen main avatar and set a home position for that avatar. Click on the address bar and select “About Land” to change the name of the default “Your Parcel” to a suitable name for the arrival region.

You are now all set and avatars from other grids should be able to visit you via Hypergrid to your http://host:9000/ “Grid URL”/login URL.

Save Your Work and test

Copy all d:\VW\bin\*.db files and keep them as a backup in a convenient location. You can use these to restore the setup if you have subsequent errors or problems with changes you make.

You can backup your region contents and terrain and your avatar inventory contents using..

change region 
save oar -.oar
save iar   /  -firstname-lastname>.iar
    [The oar and iar files will be placed in the OpenSim bin folder by default]

Adding Useful and Commonly Required Features

After you have a basic working setup, you can add other facilities that are commonly available on OpenSim sites. The are not enabled by default, but are available with facilities built into the core OpenSim distribution by amending the .ini files. Some require that you are using a data base other than the simple inbuilt SQLite one.

  1. In bin\config-include\StandaloneCommon.ini alter the line for defining the properties of an arrival region by amending “Region_Welcome_Area” to “<Region_your_region_name> = “DefaultRegion, FallbackRegion”
  2. Further [GridInfoService] settings can be specified.. e.g. to point to a single simple web page URL with information on your OpenSim setup.
        welcome = 
        about = 
        register = 
        help = 
        password = 

    Note that the “economy” “helper uri” (different to “help” above) needs more active database link support often using a OHP script and cannot be a simple link to a web page.

The Following OpenSim features do not work if the simple inbuilt SQLite data base is used. Use MySQL or an alternative to be able to add these.

  1. User Profiles cannot be enabled with the default SQLite database, but if you switch to using MySQL, User Profiles can be enabled by setting config-include\StandaloneCommon.ini [UserProfilesService] enabled=true and uncommenting the OpenSim.ini [UserProfiles] ProfileServiceURL line.
  2. Groups cannot be enabled with the default SQLite database, but if you switch to using MySQL, Groups can be enabled by setting the OpenSim.ini [Groups] section as follows:
        Enabled = true
        LevelGroupCreate = 0
        Module = "Groups Module V2"
        ServicesConnectorModule = "Groups HG Service Connector"
        LocalService = local
        MessagingEnabled = true
        MessagingModule = "Groups Messaging Module V2"
        NoticesEnabled = true
        MessageOnlineUsersOnly = true
  3. Offline Instant Messaging (IM) cannot be enabled with the default SQLite database, but if you switch to using MySQL, Offline IM can be enabled by setting the OpenSim.ini [Messaging] section as follows:
        OfflineMessageModule = "Offline Message Module V2"
        MessageTransferModule = HGMessageTransferModule
        MuteListModule = MuteListModule
        LureModule = HGLureModule
        ForwardOfflineGroupMessages = true
  4. [Note – does not seem to work at 26-Aug-2015 for Standalones] Provide a suitable destination guide link. provides a suitably formatted sample that can also act as a default. Specify this by adding a line in the config-include\StandaloneCommon.ini [GridInfoService] section…
        DestinationGuide = ""

Creating Your Own Binaries for the Latest Dev Master version

An alternative to using the latest stable version of OpenSim, for the adventurous, is to use the very latest bleeding-edge development version.

Obtain Latest OpenSim Version

  2. Unzip it to a directory such as, for example, D:\Temp
  3. Run a Windows Shell such as Command Prompt
  4. Select the disk your unzip directory is on, for example with D:\
  5. cd Temp\opensim…
  6. runprebuild.bat
  7. compile.bat
  8. Move the bin directory in the content that is created in created in D:\cd Temp\opensim… to D:\VW
  9. The rest of D:\Temp\opensim… can be discarded

Prior Requirements .NET Framework

The OpenSim compile and build tools require the Microsoft .NET 4 framework. One way to get that is to install the free Microsoft Visual Studio Community Edition.

While covering .NET requirements… when first run OpenSim may also require .NET 3.5 if its not already on your system. This may be needed from some precompiled libraries which OpenSim uses. If its needed, Windows usually pops up an offer to load that for you. Allow that to download and install. Then run OpenSim again.


Getting Help with OpenSim

  • You can get a feel for OpenSim and join in the community by creating an free avatar on OSGrid.
  • Issues with OpenSim can be checked and reported via the OpenSim Mantis.
  • An OpenSim users mailing list can be useful to ask questions or see if others are having similar issues.
Posted in OpenSim | Tagged , | 5 Comments

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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