High Fidelity Alpha Tests – Introductory Videos

High Fidelity is currently in its alpha test stage. Although a number of public demonstrations have been shown and press articles have appeared, the main discussions between alpha testers and developers are taking place on a closed alpha test discussion forum. Blog posts and image sharing about the current state of development takes place there rather than openly.

Since I joined into the High Fidelity alpha testing phase in May 2014 I have been creating a series of blog posts about the development of the High Fidelity user interface (called the “Interface”), the server side of setting up your own 3D virtual space (called the “Stack Manager”) and the core shared services to connect users and spaces. However, to respect the development status of HiFi and to allow High Fidelity to them,selves make public what they feel is appropriate at a suitable time in their developments, all my posts to date are marked private and are therefore not openly accessible. When High Fidelity are okay with this, my plan is to open them up as a historical trail of the HiFi developments from a tester and user perspective.

But on 10th December 2014, Chris Collins at High Fidelity made public a set of introductory videos intended to help newcomers into the HiFi Interface and services. They are accessible via this link: Introduction to High Fidelity – The Basics (YouTube PlayList)

2014-12-10-HiFi-YouTube-Videos-White

The series starts by showing what the Interface looks like to a first time user, including showing the default robot head avatar. It shows how to change the avatar head and body models, name labels, etc. It also shows basic information about setting up and testing audio. It also shows the user interface elements and how they are all generated or customised by Javascript.

2014-12-10-HiFi-YouTube-Interface-First-Login-Default-Avatar
2014-12-10-HiFi-YouTube-Interface-First-Login-Preferences 2014-12-10-HiFi-YouTube-Interface-Javascripts-Running

The second video shows information about adding 3D content to a virtual world, e.g. in the HiFi Sandbox or your own hosted “domain”. FBX format 3D models can currently be uploaded and edited. various properties can be changed for models and actions programmed in via Javascript.. Domains can be reached via location names like hifi://Sandbox

2014-12-10-HiFi-YouTube-Interface-Edit-Models

The next video shows how you can create your own server hosted on your own system using the “Stack Manager”, along with an example of seeing the services it runs via a web interface, and loading (Javascript) content to populate it.

2014-12-10-HiFi-YouTube-Videos-Stack-Manager

Other videos show the ease of use of the Oculus Rift virtual reality head mounted display, and the Sixense Hydra and Leap Motion motion control devices.

2014-12-10-HiFi-YouTube-Videos-Oculus-Rift

More videos which have been made public can be found on the High Fidelity YouTube channel

https://www.youtube.com/user/HighFidelityio

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Edinburgh Centre for Robotics

Robotics-CDT-PosterThe Edinburgh Robotics Centre is a joint activity between the University of Edinburgh Schools of Informatics and Engineering and Heriot-Watt University’s Engineering and Physical Sciences, Mathematical and Computer Sciences Department.

My research interest is in Human and Robotic Agent Collaboration in a Helpful Environment for Medical Care, Assistive Living and Flexible Product Assembly. This brings together a number of threads in our own work on task achieving agents, artificial intelligence planning, collaborative systems, the “Helpful Environment” and intelligent interaction spaces (“I-Rooms”).

A number of application scenarios require a combination of human and robot agents and environmental sensors to properly provide support in a number of important economic and social areas, such as medical care, assistive living and flexible product assembly.

Background Strengths in AI Planning

The Planning and Activity Management Group within the Artificial Intelligence Applications Institute (AIAI) in the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh is exploring representations and reasoning mechanisms for inter-agent activity support. The agents may be people or computer systems working in a coordinated fashion. The group explores and develops generic approaches by engaging in specific applied studies. Applications include crisis action planning, command and control, space systems, manufacturing, logistics, construction, procedural assistance, help desks, emergency response, etc.

Our long term aim is the creation and use of task-centric virtual organisations involving people, government and non-governmental organisations, automated systems, grid and web services working alongside intelligent robotic, vehicle, building and environmental systems to respond to very dynamic events on scales from local to global.

More details of the research that is contributing to this aim is at: http://www.aiai.ed.ac.uk/project/plan/

While our work on O-Plan and I-Plan and the release of these planners for open access has led to them being very widely applied in a broad range of areas, they are complex systems that are difficult to reuse where the planner is intended only as a component of a much more extensive multi-agent framework. However, their core concepts and the underlying plan representation provide a robust basis for reasoning about and generating plans.

Of specific relevance to the proposed project is our work on a powerful and flexible representation of plans called <I-N-C-A> (Issues, Nodes, Constraints and Annotations) which represents plans as a set of constraints on a space of options for activity. <I-N-C-A> is a target for knowledge representation, reasoning and analysis of plans, objectives, activities, descriptions of past activity, agent capabilities, etc. It is a representation that has also been utilised in standards work such as in the NIST/ISO Process Specification Language.

Tate, A. (2000) Intelligible AI Planning, in Research and Development in Intelligent Systems XVII, Proceedings of ES2000, The Twentieth British Computer Society Special Group on Expert Systems International Conference on Knowledge Based Systems and Applied Artificial Intelligence, pp. 3-16, Cambridge, UK, December 2000, Springer. [PDF Paper]

Tate, A. (2003) : a Shared Model for Mixed-initiative Synthesis Tasks, Proceedings of the Workshop on Mixed-Initiative Intelligent Systems (MIIS) at the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI-03), pp. 125-130, Acapulco, Mexico, August 2003. [PDF Paper]

Tate, A. and Dalton, J. (2003) O-Plan: a Common Lisp Planning Web Service, invited paper, in Proceedings of the International Lisp Conference 2003, October 12-25, 2003, New York, NY, USA, October 12-15, 2003. [PDF Paper]

I-Room – A Virtual Space for Intelligent Interaction

An I-Room is a meeting space for collaboration and can be provided in virtual worlds such as Second Life and OpenSim. It is designed for brain storming style meetings and as an operations centre. I-Rooms are used in the I-X/I-Room research on intelligent collaborative and task support environments. Applications explored or implemented include:

  • Virtual collaboration Centre
  • Business teleconferencing
  • Team Meetings for projects, products or reviews
  • Product Help Desks
  • Design to Product – product lifecycle workflow support
  • Environmental, building and plant monitoring centre
  • Health and safety at work, disability awareness
  • Intelligent tutors, guides and greeters
  • Active demonstration pavilions

Tate, A., Chen-Burger, Y-H., Dalton, J., Potter, S., Richardson, D., Stader, J., Wickler, G., Bankier, I., Walton, C. and Williams, P.G. (2010) I-Room: A Virtual Space for Intelligent Interaction, IEEE Intelligent Systems, Vol. 25, No. 4, pp 62-71, July-August 2010, IEEE Computer Society [PDF Format]

The I-Room won a prize as an entry in the US Federal Virtual Worlds Challenge 2009-2010. See http://openvce.net/fvwc-2009-iroom

Helpful Environment

The Helpful Environment” vision is of a future in which ubiquitous computing, sensor grids and networked systems combine to help the individuals, families, businesses, organizations, the public at large, regions and countries to be self supportive and mutually helpful with specialised resources for their daily lives, for help and assistance in emergencies. The vision, some international programmes which contribute to it, some of the organisations that are pursuing this vision and some of the Edinburgh projects and research that will we hope will help make it a reality are described in this paper:

Tate, A. (2006) The Helpful Environment: Geographically Dispersed Intelligent Agents That Collaborate, Special Issue on “The Future of AI”, IEEE Intelligent Systems, May-June 2006, Vol. 27, No. 3, pp 57-61. IEEE Computer Society. [PDF Paper]

comms-arch-400x400Project AIBO – Previous Work on Human Robot Teamwork

Project AIBO explored Artificial Intelligence technology to support team work between human and robotic systems working in a cooperative and safety conscious way in the home or the workplace. The project aimed to be an source of interesting and relevant student projects in Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Informatics at the University of Edinburgh. It also was used to give interesting exhibits for open days, school visits and to entertain visitors.

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Online Learning in Informatics

Online-learning-152pxThe School of Informatics offers two types of online learning programme: postgraduate qualifications and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).

We plan to offer a number of high-quality, credit-bearing postgraduate programmes that are delivered entirely online.

We also offer a range of MOOCs, which are free, short courses that can be taken by anyone from anywhere online.

Both are part of our contribution to extending access to world class higher education.

Online Data Science MSc

Online learning is a way of studying for an internationally recognised University of Edinburgh postgraduate qualification without needing to visit the campus.

Online learning enables you to obtain a high quality degree, identical to our on-campus qualifications, delivered flexibly and fully online. This means wherever you are in the world, you can achieve a University of Edinburgh degree without ever needing to come on campus. Online learning is predominately aimed at those who wish to study for a postgraduate qualification alongside ongoing work or other commitments.

The School of Informatics plans to offer a MSc, Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate qualification in Data Science with entry starting in Autumn 2015. Further details will be available in Spring 2015.

MOOCs

Coursera MOOC - AI Planning Coursera MOOC - Code Yourself! Coursera MOOC - Philosopy and the Sciences
Enrol in one of our free Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), which are short, online programmes that are open to everyone.

A MOOC is an online course aimed at unlimited participation and open access via the web. In addition to traditional course materials such as videos, readings, and problem sets, MOOCs provide interactive user forums that help build a community for students, professors, and teaching assistants.

Online Learning Resources

virtual-grad-smallOnline learning is supported via the Moodle virtual learning environment and virtual world meeting spaces.

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Informatics Social Media Hub

Update in April 2015: The Informatics Social Media Hub is now available prominently on the School of Informatics Home Page:
http://www.ed.ac.uk/schools-departments/informatics/about/social-media-hub

Informatics-ForumThe School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh uses a number of facilities to provide ways in which projects and individuals can communicate about their work and professional interests…

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Leap Motion

Leap-Motion-Logo-200x100Testing the Leap Motion… https://www.leapmotion.com/
… a device which can sense the motion of the wrists, hands and fingers to give input to programs. It uses beams of infrared light to sense the position of the hands and can even generate an infrared image of the user to pass to an application.

Leap-Motion-Blockhead-on-Critters
Leap-Motion-Pluck-a-Flower
Leap-Motion-Visualizer

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Digital Education Visit to Informatics Virtual Wonderland

The Digital Education team in the School of Education and the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh have worked together over the last decade on a range of virtual worlds and immersive experience activities relevant to research, learning and outreach, including the creation of the Virtual University of Edinburgh (Vue). During this time they have experimented with and put into practical use a wide range of virtual worlds, games and interactive learning experiences potentially relevant to education.

Austin Tate and his alter ego avatar Ai Austin are well known for trying out the latest technologies, some call them “toys”. And he is a prolific blogger about the trials, experiments and the services he has tried.

Discussions over the 2014 virtual graduation ceremonies held in Second Life… which have been a feature of Edinburgh Graduations for distance education students since 2009, led to a suggestion that the team get together to try out the Oculus Rift DK2 as it looks for a Second Life and OpenSim user.

The meeting took place in the Vue server area and Austin’s VR demo lab in the Informatics Forum.

Marshall Dozier and Austin Tate Hamish Macloeod and Austin Tate
Jen Ross and Oculus Rift Jen Ross and Oculus Rift

Trying out the Oculus Rift DK2 especially in Second Life and OpenSim

Austin with Rift Ai Austin with Rift

Austin has blogged on this before and the posts are accessible at http://blog.inf.ed.ac.uk/atate/tag/dk2/

Oculus Rift Technicalities

The Oculus Rift is a development kit not yet intended for consumer use. It is supported by runtime and software development tools which are suitable for experimentation but can be awkward to set up and use. The preferred “Direct to Rift” view video driver for example does not yet work properly with many OpenGL applications.. such as those needed for Second Life, OpenSim and much more. These application instead use a video mode whereby the Oculus Rift is treated as a second “extended” display (960×1080 X 2) which needs fancy setup, multiple step key stroke based initiation, etc.

User interaction via a keyboard, as assumed by many programs such as the Second life Viewer, is difficult when wearing the Oculus Rift. Some “games” or experiences designed specifically for the Oculus Rift employ “gaze to select” whereby buttons light up for selection when you point your look direction at them. Also, in some programs, camera positioning and avatar movement can be done via an attached Xbox 360 controller or PS3 gamepad or 3DConnection device but experimentation is still needed to adopt good ways to interact with programs when wearing the Rift.

Oculus Tuscany Villa Demonstration

Oculus use the “Tuscany Villa” model as a demonstration and test for the Oculus Rift. This can be navigated to walk round the villa, approach the outer walls and allow the positional tracking to let you look up and over them, go inside and up the stairs, etc.

Oculus-Rift-DK2-Tuscany-Villa-1 Oculus-Rift-DK2-Tuscany-Villa-2

Virtual Reality in Second Life and OpenSim

The team were specifically interested in how the Rift looks in Second Life and OpenSim, so we set up a visit to the Castle and Meeting Space areas on the “Edinburgh University” region in Second Life, and its Calton Hill Monuments area which has good 3D definition, a tower, columns and so on.

SL-Rift-Vue-Meeting-Space
SL-Rift-Vue-Dick-Vet

And Finally – Roller Coasters in VR

For those with the stomach, there are some very well modelled roller coaster simulators which include Oculus Rift support. The NoLimits 2 Roller Coaster Simulator is a great example. And there are one off VR experiences such as the Helix Rollercoaster produced by the Virtual Dutchmen.

Helix-in-DK2
Marshall in Rift on Coaster Hamish in Rift on Coaster

Posted in Distance Education, Games, Oculus, OpenSim, Second Life, Virtual World, VR | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

VRChat Experiment

Testing VRChat for Oculus Rift and 2D monitors… in virtual worlds style chat/voice rooms or interaction spaces…

VR-Chat-Avatar-Selection
VR-Chat-Active-Users-and-Rooms
VR-Chat-Islands-1 VR-Chat-VR-Nerds-Meeting-Room

  • Usage instructions can be found currently at http://vrchat.net/instructions.php
  • Select a username and avatar type from a predefined list, or select a “custom” avatar via a URL. Format to be determined and to be explored.
  • See other users/avatars that are online, and jump directly to the room they are in from the Users/Room list.
  • Go to active or empty rooms, or create your own room/interaction space.
  • Move with “WASD” keys and spacebar to jump (if allowed in room).
  • Voice is active and can be heard from other avatars. “V” key turns on your microphone.
  • Text chat is possible using the Enter key and then typing, but it was not clear if other avatars in the room could see it or were alerted to text chat coming from other avatars.
  • “E” key lets you interact with the closest object, such as sitting on a chair you are close to. Another “E” lets you stand.
  • ESC brings up the menus and allows you to leave a room or return to the main menu, etc.

An example of the use of VRChat to allow a lecturer at the University of British Columbia to deliver a course to students watching on Oculus Rifts is described at
http://www.roadtovr.com/vr-chat-helps-deliver-first-virtual-university-lecture/

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Spacecraft Simulators

A number of educators have provided some superb space simulation environments released on a free to use basis. Community support to these has provided many add-ons with richer textures, further destinations, improved spacecraft and educational tour support.

Orbiter – Space Flight Simulator

Orbiter was created in 2000 by Martin Schweiger in the Department of Computer Science at University College London and has been enhanced and extended since then. It is a comprehensive freeware spaceflight simulator for Windows PCs that offers accurate physics, excellent 3D graphics, astronomy features, and a first-person astronaut’s perspective.

Orbiter Gallery ISS Supercar in Orbiter

I did a little experimentation back in 2005 to add onto Orbiter a “spacecraft” based on our Gerry Anderson Supercar 3D mesh. Details and add-on at http://www.aiai.ed.ac.uk/~bat/GA/supercar-orbiter.html

CelestiaCelestia

Celestia is a free space simulation that allows for the exploration of the universe in 3D. Celestia runs on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS. It was developed by Chris Laurel, Frank Gregorio and a team of enthusiasts from 2001 onwards and is complemented by a wide range of add-ons, 3D models, high resolution planetary and moon textures and educational tour guides.

Fictional spacecraft (Star Trek, 2001 a Space Odyssey’s Space Station and Orion Shuttle, and others) and imaginary Solar Systems are also modelled, e.g. the James Cameron Avatar System along with Polyphemus and its moon Pandora…

Celestia-2001-Orion-2-800x800 Celestia-2001-Orion-3-1200x800
Celestia-Avatar-System-Polyphemus-Pandora

Space Engine

Space Engine is a space simulator developed by Vladimir Romanyuk in the Russian Federation along with other contributors. It is in its early freely accessible releases and seeking crowd funding support for further development.

Space-Engine-Saturn
Space-Engine-Mars Space-Engine-Starship

W A N D E R E R S

I first came across Celestia via a tweet from a space enthusiast friend who pointed me at the excellent short future vision video entitled “W A N D E R E R S” by Erik Wernquis

Wanderers by Erik Wernquist

So, Look Up – Look Out – Reach Out as we work towards seeing that starship depart.

Virtual Reality and Oculus Rift

A number of near Earth, Solar System, and beyond experiences have also been created for the Oculus Rift… see this blog post.

Discovering Space in DK2

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IS Visit to Virtual Reality Facilities in Informatics

A visit to Informatics of those interested in virtual reality and virtual worlds for education in the University of Edinburgh Information Services (IS) took place on 1st December 2014. One of the visitors was Fiona Hale (nee Littleton) who helped establish the the Virtual University of Edinburgh (Vue) facilities in Second Life and who continues to maintain and support them along with Austin Tate, the Vue Coordinator. Also involved was Stuart Nicol, e-Learning advisor in IS. The purpose of the visit was to look at the latest developments in OpenSim services set up within Informatics and accessible to Vue users, but was mainly intended to try out the Oculus Rift Virtual Reality Head Mounted Display (HMD). The meeting took place in the Vue server area and Austin’s VR demo lab in the Informatics Forum.

Stuart Nicol and Austin Tate Fiona Hale and Austin Tate

Openvue and AiLand Grids Server Setup

2014-10-28-Openvue-Splash 2014-10-28-AiLand-Splash

We took a quick look at the current OpenSim and AiLand server setup using 5 hosts set up on KVM switches for local administration and managed via Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) along with associated web, media and voice servers. The Openvue setup is described in this blog post from May 2013, and the experimental AiLand grid setup is described in this blog post from early October 2014. Then the team moved on to the real reason for their visit…

Trying out the Oculus Rift DK2 especially in Second Life and OpenSim

2014-09-09-Ai-Austin-with-Rift-DK2

Austin has blogged on this before and the posts are accessible at http://blog.inf.ed.ac.uk/atate/tag/dk2/

Oculus Rift Technicalities

The Oculus Rift is a development kit not yet intended for consumer use. It is supported by runtime and software development tools which are suitable for experimentation but can be awkward to set up and use. The preferred “Direct to Rift” view video driver for example does not yet work properly with many OpenGL applications.. such as those needed for Second Life, OpenSim and much more. These application instead use a video mode whereby the Oculus Rift is treated as a second “extended” display (960×1080 X 2) which needs fancy setup, multiple step key stroke based initiation, etc.

User interaction via a keyboard, as assumed by many programs such as the Second life Viewer, is difficult when wearing the Oculus Rift. Some “games” or experiences designed specifically for the Oculus Rift employ “gaze to select” whereby buttons light up for selection when you point your look direction at them. Also, in some programs, camera positioning and avatar movement can be done via an attached Xbox 360 controller or PS3 gamepad or 3DConnection device but experimentation is still needed to adopt good ways to interact with programs when wearing the Rift.

Virtual Reality – Space Exploration

Some of the best stand alone demonstration of the Oculus Rift at present involve journeys to Earth orbit and the International Space Station (ISS), tours of the solar system and beyond to other star systems. These have, I believe, some of the most intuitive navigation and user interface systems, not relying on keyboard usage (which is difficult when wearing the Rift). An “Xbox 360 for Windows” controller can be used for movement and camera control.

Examples are Titans of Space, VR Spacewalk and Discovering > Space (previously called “Solar System Explorer”). A free demo version of the latter, limited to Earth, Moon and ISS area exploration, is avalable.

2014-10-27-Discovering-Space-ISS
2014-11-07-VR-Spacewalk-in-Rift-DK2

Virtual Reality in Second Life and OpenSim

The team were specifically interested in how the Rift looks in Second Life and OpenSim, so we set up a visit to the Calton Hill Monuments area on the “Edinburgh University” region in Second Life, which has good 3D definition, a tower, columns and so on. Its also the area that Gerry Anderson’s Supercar test mesh is placed to act as a demonstration of high resolution 3D objects in Second Life and OpenSim.

2014-07-31-Oculus-Rift-SL-Project-Viewer-2
2014-10-27-Supercar-on-Rift-DK2-in-SL

And Finally – Roller Coasters in VR

For those with the stomach, there are some very well modelled roller coaster simulators which include Oculus Rift support. The NoLimits 2 Roller Coaster Simulator is a great example. And there are one off VR experiences such as the Helix Rollercoaster produced by the Virtual Dutchmen.

No-Limits-2-Oculus-Rift-1

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2014 Virtual University of Edinburgh Graduation – School of Education

2014-11-28-EDGRADSL-Winter-2014-2

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

The School of Education graduation ceremony in the afternoon of 28th November 2014 was streamed into Second Life… more details are in this blog post.

[note this is 2013 YouTube video as a placeholder at present]


YouTube Video (6 Minutes)
YouTube Video (6 Minutes)
[MPEG-4 Download 720p 62MB]

Congratulations to the new graduates…
2014-11-28-EDGRADSL-Winter-2014-Virtual-Graduates

  • Azra Ahmed
  • Jessica Black
  • Keith Brunton
  • Howard Campbell
  • Silvana di Gregorio
  • Francisco Eiroa-Orosa
  • Daisy Giles
  • Gabriella Lovasz
  • Kevin Macleod
  • Xiangjun Sheng
  • Kelly Terrell

Graduation in Virtual Reality

RiftDK2This year also allowed a 3D and more immersive view of the events via the Oculus Rift Virtual Reality Head Mounted Display due to the availability of a Second Life virtual world viewer which provides access to the world using the 3D VR headset.

2014-11-28-EDSLGRAD-Winter-2014-VR-3
2014-11-28-EDSLGRAD-Winter-2014-VR-6

After Graduation Party and Fireworks

2014-EDSLGRAD-Fireworks-1 2014-EDSLGRAD-Fireworks-2

Fireworks over The Venue@Vue – Images by @yvetteinmb & @KellyATerrell

And in Real Life…

2014-11-29-UoE-Virtual-Graduation-from-McEwan-Hall
MSc Digital Education Virtual Graduation streamed live into McEwan Hall,
November 2014. Photograph by Douglas Robertson

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Oil Rig in Virtual Reality

2014-11-28-OpenSim-Oil-Rig 2014-11-28-OpenSim-Oil-Rig-BOP

The Oil Rig used by Robert Gordon University (RGU) Oil & Gas Centre in Aberdeen for training purposes and as an educational resource was shown on the Oculus Rift DK2 virtual reality headset to the HEdLAMP project members at their meeting in Edinburgh on 28th November 2014. HEdLAMP is a collaboration between the University of Edinburgh, University of Huddersfield and Schlumberger Research in Cambridge under the UK government’s EPSRC supported Autonomous and Intelligent Systems (AIS) programme. HEdLAMP is an AI planning and domain modelling project being applied to modelling emergency procedures for oil rig operations a collaboration. The RGU Oil Rig model created by Colin Hetherington is hosted on Edinburgh’s Openvue OpenSimulator grid.

2014-11-28-OpenSim-Oil-Rig-VR
2014-11-28-OpenSim-Oil-Rig-BOP-VR

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Hypergrid Safari visit to Openvue and AiLand

Hypergrid-Safari-Sign-Trans-CroppedThe Hypergrid Safari visited the OpenSim-based Openvue and AiLand grids on 26th November 2014. This web page gives some information to help safari members get the most from their visit which was planned by Thirza Ember.

Openvue is the Virtual University of Edinburgh’s OpenSim grid, running continuously since July 2007. It complements the Vue regions in Second Life. AiLand is a grid for experimental builds and demonstration facilities in which some regions may be temporarily mounted. It also is used to replicate the Vue regions on OSGrid when that grid is unavailable.

The servers coped reasonably well, even on the mesh rich regions as avatars arrived together. AiLand runs on older servers with less capacity than our more recent Openvue grid setup.

Hypergrid Safari Visit Snapshots

2014-11-26-HG-Safari-to-AiLand-on-OpenVCE-Screen
2014-11-26-HG-Safari-to-AiLand_002 2014-11-26-HG-Safari-to-AiLand-on-OpenVCE
2014-11-26-HG-Safari-to-AiLand-Seabed-BOP 2014-11-26-HG-Safari-to-AiLand-Voyager-Plaza-1
2014-11-26-HG-Safari-to-AiLand-Outer-Space

Suggested Viewer Setup

  1. The suggested viewer is Firestorm or SingularityUse CtrlAltStudio if you wish to use an Oculus Rift.
  2. The AiLand regions have many mesh objects on them. They show best with “LOD factor” (RenderVolumeLODFactor) set to 4.0 rather than the lower default. Change this in any viewer via the Advanced menu (enable with ctrl+alt+D), Show Debug Settings, type in RenderVolumeLODFactor and set that to 4.0. In Firestorm, you can also use Preferences – Graphics – Advanced Settings – Objects & Sculpts LOD – Set to 4.0. In Singularity the “Object Detail” does the same thing and should be set likewise to 4.0.
  3. The tour takes us below the 0m level.. into negative Z territory underwater, which is allowed in OpenSim… so you can test if your viewer setup allows that. There may be rendering issues deep underwater in some systems in Singularity, and the deep water view may look better in Firestorm.
  4. If your setup and network bandwidth allows it, set the view distance to at least 256m (and up to 512m) as there are nice vistas across adjacent regions.
  5. Allow the region defaults to be used for lighting, the oil rig area is at night time for a more realistic experience.
  6. Sound is used in the builds on some Openvue and AiLand regions so ensure you have that audible.
  7. Vivox voice is enabled on most regions on Openvue and AiLand, but may have limited capacity.
  8. You will experience extremes of environment and will need specialised clothing and equipment (diving gear, ear defenders and hard hat, and a spacesuit! (all provided open source by attribution to the originators and you are welcome to take home as a reminder of your visit).
  9. Because you should change outfits as you visit the different areas on AiLand, to be able to change back to your normal appearance and clothing it would be sensible to pack a copy of your travelling outfit in your Hypergrid “My Suitcase” for use while away from your home grid. Make an outfit from that copy for convenience and to allow quick changes.

Hypergrid Safari Visit LocationsHypergrid-Safari-Visit-to-Ailand-Image-Strip-4-with-HG-Sign

  1. OpenVCE on AiLand. OpenVCE.net open source assets collaboration region, as used for a starter region setup on Kitely and New World Grids. Location of an I-Room (Virtual Space for Intelligent Interaction). There is a 6 minute introductory YouTube video about I-Room Technology. Visit OpenVCE at
    hop://ai.vue.ed.ac.uk:8002/OpenVCE/128/128/23
  2. RGU-Oil-Rig-Inventory-ItemsOil Rig on AiLand. Go downstairs to the machinery with explanatory posters. Ear defenders and hard hat are required (and provided) in this noisy industrial area. Don you diving suit and swim to the seabed to see the Blow Out Preventer (BOP) and Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV). Visit the RGU oil rig on AiLand at
    hop://ai.vue.ed.ac.uk:8002/Oil%20Rig/122/114/42
  3. Space City on AiLand. Home of Gerry Anderson’s Fireball XL5 and Space City HQ. Visit Voyager Plaza at
    hop://ai.vue.ed.ac.uk:8002/Space%20City/67/217/22. Don your space suit and helmet (provided) and go up to 200m to see Voyager (Neptune flyby planned by an AI planner based on our research), Deep Space One (first spacecraft to be autonomously controller by an AI planner) and others. See the spacecraft at
    hop://ai.vue.ed.ac.uk:8002/Outer%20Space/250/175/201

Suggested Visit Locations (extended tour suggestion when you have time)Hypergrid-Safari-Visit-to-Ailand-Image-Strip-4-with-HG-Sign

  1. OpenVCE on Openvue or AiLand. OpenVCE.net open source assets collaboration region. Location of an I-Room (Virtual Space for Intelligent Interaction). There is a 6 minute introductory YouTube video about I-Room Technology. Visit OpenVCE on Openvue at
    hop://virtual.aiai.ed.ac.uk:8002/OpenVCE/128/128/23 or on AiLand at
    hop://ai.vue.ed.ac.uk:8002/OpenVCE/128/128/23
  2. Marineville on AiLand… Home of Gerry Anderson’s Stingray and Marineville HQ. Grab the RGU Diving Suit. See Jeff Reeve’s Undersea Observatory and see if you can dive below 0m. Visit Marineville on AiLand at
    hop://ai.vue.ed.ac.uk:8002/Marineville/45/9/21/
  3. RGU-Oil-Rig-Inventory-ItemsOil Rig on AiLand. Go downstairs to the machinery with explanatory posters. Ear defenders and hard hat are required (and provided) in this noisy industrial area. Don you diving suit and swim to the seabed to see the Blow Out Preventer (BOP) and Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV). Visit the RGU oil rig on AiLand at
    hop://ai.vue.ed.ac.uk:8002/Oil%20Rig/122/114/42
  4. Space City on AiLand. Home of Gerry Anderson’s Fireball XL5 and Space City HQ. Say hi to Robert the Robot (NPC) and Venus at her Beach House at
    hop://ai.vue.ed.ac.uk:8002/Space%20City/224/242/22. Visit Voyager Plaza at
    hop://ai.vue.ed.ac.uk:8002/Space%20City/67/217/22. Don your space suit and helmet (provided) and go up to 200m to see Voyager (Neptune flyby planned by an AI planner based on our research), Deep Space One (first spacecraft to be autonomously controller by an AI planner) and others. See the spacecraft at
    hop://ai.vue.ed.ac.uk:8002/Outer%20Space/250/175/201
  5. Optional Excursion: Black Rock on AiLand. Home of Gerry Anderson’s Supercar and the Supercar Team’s Black Rock Laboratory. Complex mesh objects. Visit Black Rock on AiLand at
    hop://ai.vue.ed.ac.uk:8002/Black%20Rock/128/128/22

2014-11-26-HG-Safari-to-AiLand-Voyager-Plaza-2
Image by Thirza Ember

Posted in OpenSim, OpenVCE, Virtual World | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

OpenSim OAR – Epic Castle

[Visit via hop://ai.vue.ed.ac.uk:8002/Castle/215/145/103]

“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 fitted it to single 256x256m region. She also added building interiors and other contents.

Cuteulala’s original Epic Castle OAR file loaded onto a region in Sim-on-a-Stick is shown in the images below…

2014-11-14-OpenSim-Epic-Castle_001
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Leora Jacobus’s enhancements as on Metropolis grid are shown in the images below…

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2014-11-17-Medieval-castle-Leora-Jacobus-Medieval-Clothing
2014-11-17-Medieval-castle-Leora-Jacobus-Hall-Interior

The Castle on AiLand

Leora Jacobus’s modified Epic Castle OAR, rescaled up 1.5 times and with building interior enhancements, convenient teleport “Magic Stones” and her medieval avatars has been mounted with her support and involvement on AiLand at
[hop://ai.vue.ed.ac.uk:8002/Castle/215/145/103]

2014-11-24-AiLand-Castle-Ai-and-Leora-Snapshot
2014-11-24-AiLand-Castle-Ai-and-Leora-4 Leora-Jacobus-on-AiLand-2
Winter-Castle

The Castle on AiLand – The Seasons

AiLand-Epic-Castle-Leora-Jacobus-Spring
AiLand-Epic-Castle-Leora-Jacobus-Autumn_001
AiLand-Epic-Castle-Leora-Jacobus-Winter AiLand-Epic-Castle-Leora-Jacobus-Winter-Snow
AiLand-Castle-Midday_001
AiLand-Epic-Castle-Leora-Jacobus-Autumn-Tents

The Castle on AiLand – Times of Day

Epic Castle in OpenSim – Credits

Epic Castle along with the reflected interior of the cathedral 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 rescaled the castle and cathedral by 1.5 time to be more realistic and so that avatars can get through the doors, downsized the mesh terrain to 0.7 times to fit on a single 256m X 256m region, and added various building interiors and other content (see this post). The cathedral organ was made by Arcadia Asylum.

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NoLimits Roller Coasters from the Community

I thought I would start exploring the Nolimits 2 roller coaster simulator and creator with using some coasters which I have actually ridden and which have been modelled with care by members of the community willing to share their creations with others. Some links to community sharing sites with downloadable coasters and member ratings are given in the previous post mentioned above along with some useful tools.

Six Flags Magic Mountain – Viper

The original 1990 Viper has been modelled by “southpuddle”. The drip away and to the left at the top of the lift hill was just as I recall the real coaster. Noce smooth loops, boomerang and corkscrew… seven inversions in total. This was imported from a NoLimits 1 .nlpack using the Nolimits Track Packager to extract the .nltrack for use in NoLimits 2, and the adding the TeraTextures from NoLimits 1 as explained in a previous post. There were a few issues with trees overlapping the track were easily fixed in the NoLimits 2 editor.
https://nolimits-exchange.com/coaster/viper-1990/426

NoLimits2-Viper-1 NoLimits2-Viper-2

A second, and I think nicer, Viper re creation by “Virtualspeed” includes nice distant mountain scenery, the Magic Mountain observation tower and a swing boat ride to add atmosphere. On loading ViperMagicMountainCalifornia_20313_1.nl2pkg in NoLimits 2.0.7.4 (64 bit) I had a script error popup, but the coaster ran anyway. The ride was excellent with really nice pace and felt realistic. The foliage was at a good distance to the track and needed no adjustment.
http://www.coastercrazy.com/20313/Viper-Magic-Mountain-California

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It turns out that a simple Viper recreation is also included in the standard coaster library released with NoLimits 2. It can be found in the “Two Arrows Park” and then by selecting the Viper coaster from the “Ride List Panel” (via F5 key).

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Island of Adventure – Dueling Dragons/Dragons Challenge

Originally called Dueling Dragons. This was a dual track racing coaster, with the trains originally named as the “ice” (blue) dragon and the “fire” (orange/red) dragon. The ciaster was changed to “Dragons Challenge” without sychronous launch when the Harry Potter/Hogwarts themed area opened alongside the coaster in Universal Studio’s Island of Adventure in Orlando, Florida.

This version of Dueling Dragons has been modelled by “duduchianca”. He made the twin coasters by modelling one continuous loop which switches station sides half way through. A few issues with trains being allocated to track sections or “blocks” and hitting one another needs to be fixed. The simple fix is to change the number of trains from 6 on track to 2 in the editor… then you can ride “ice” and “fire” alternately without any stops.
https://nolimits-exchange.com/coaster/dueling-dragons-dragons-challenge/3750.

screenshot-2014-11-14-14-51-26b screenshot-2014-11-14-14-52-26b
Dueling-Dragons-1
Dueling-Dragons-Plan-1

Disneyworld MGM Studios – Rock ‘n Roller

A dark ride roller coaster with an Aerosmith theme… by Steffenden1.dk… this is an excellent recreation with good lighting and sound effects.
http://www.nolimits2hub.com/coastercloud/ROCK-N-ROLLER-COASTER

screenshot-2014-11-14-15-35-09 screenshot-2014-11-14-15-32-34
screenshot-2014-11-14-15-33-04

Disneyworld Animal Kingdom – Expedition Everest

This one is epic… so much detail… on my first ride, going up the first lift hill, I glanced over into the station plaza half expecting that my wife would be down there waving…
http://www.nolimits2hub.com/coastercloud/Expedition-Everest-Recreation—No-Limits-2-Hub/

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Blackpool Big One

The Pepsi Max Big One as modelled by ATJakee provides a nice track which closely models the actual ride in Blackpool in Lancashire England. I was missing the nearby sea and some scenery items, so I modified the terrain to have some water off to the left of the first drop. Adding in a couple of standard library assets including an “Enterprise” ride which is actually at the Pleasure Beach gave some interest… but it definitely needed Blackpool Tower in the distance. Importing a Google Sketchup version of Blackpool Tower by Damo and converting it to .3DS format did the trick… as well as adding a little sea fret to give atmosphere.
http://nolimits-exchange.com/coaster/pepsi-max-big-one/1785

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screenshot-2014-11-18-16-38-59 screenshot-2014-11-18-16-39-27

More to Try

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ESA Rosetta flies in OpenSim

After a journey lasting 10 years, the European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft will send its attached “Philae” lander to land on the surface of Comet 67P on 12th November 2014.

To celebrate this occasion, I have placed a 3D model of Rosetta to realistic scale on the Space City area in our OpenSim grid. This uses one of the freely available 3D models available from NASA.

Rosetta-over-Space-City-in-OpenSim-1

Visit Rosetta, along with Voyager, Deep Space 1 and other spacecraft in OpenSim on the Space City region on AiLand.

hop://ai.vue.ed.ac.uk:8002/Space City/88/210/226

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OpenSimulator Community Conference 2014

The OpenSimulator Community Conference 2014 (OSCC14) took place over the weekend of November 8th and 9th on the OpenSim-based OpenSim Community Conference grid (http://cc.opensimulator.org:8002/wifi). Over 500 people were registered to attend.

My report on the experience of attending OSCC13 is described in this blog post.

The 2014 event was much larger in scope and doubled the number of attendees who could join in the keynote session simultaneously on the “4 corners” keynote area. Recent OpenSim developments means that the conference grid can support 400 avatars in one area simultaneously, as well as others at the same time in various expo and social regions. This was augmented by other registered participants joining in via the Ustream video streams for all the elements of the conference. These also serve as the basis for archiving the presentations and materials for future use, as in 2013. There were multiple parallel streams for specialised sessions and panels as in 2014. An “OpenMetaQuest” also helped engage participants by encouraging them to visit the extensive expo and social areas.

The conference included keynote talks by Philip Rosedale of High Fidelity (previously creator of Second Life), Steve Lavalle of OculusVR and a Developer Panel with some of the main people who have been involved in creating and maintaining OpenSim.

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Logging into Conference Grid & Welcome from OSCC14 Conference Team

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Developer Panel

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Philip Rosedale Q&A Session

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2014-11-08-OSCC14-Phil-Rosedale-Keynote_001 2014-11-08-OSCC14-Phil-Rosedale-Keynote_002
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Keynote – Philip Rosedale of High Fidelity

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Philip reported that as at November 2014, High Fidelity has raised money from investors and have 15 people in the company. They currently have 40-50 people involved in their alpha test phase or contributing code and resources from the open source community.

2014-11-08-OSCC14-HiFi-Phil-Rosedale-in-OpenSim-and-on-Ustream

Keynote – Steve LaValle of OculusVR

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2014-11-09-OSCC14-Steve-Lavalle-Keynote-2
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Sunday VIP Q&A Session with Keynote Speakers

2014-11-09-OSCC14-VIP-Session-3

Community Area and Shopping Resources

The Conference grid has a range of shopping areas to get avatars and clothing to equip your avatar, as well as a range of community and social areas.

Crowdfunders for the event are listed on a “Community Path”…

2014-11-09-OSCC14-Community-Path-1

Issues this Year

  1. We ought to turn on video/audio streams 10 minutes early showing a simple moving screen countdown with voice over for testing and setup next year. Fleep Tuque did a verbal count down while preparing to chair the keynote on Sunday which really helped in set up, testing and assisting audience members.
  2. In some, but not all, sessions there were a few problems with showing the Ustream video./audio stream in world on the media-on-a prim (MOAP) screens. having to use an external web browser to view the screen contents directly on Ustream, while seeing a white display screen in world broke the sense of immersion and shared experience somewhat.

OSCC14 Organizers and Volunteers – Thanks Everyone

OSCC14-Organizers-and-Volunteers

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PS3 Controller with Windows

sony-dualshock-3-wireless-controllerThe Xbox 360 wired and wireless controllers for Windows can be used as joysticks or game controllers with a range of Windows games and applications. In particular the controller can be used with Second Life and OpenSim virtual world viewers. When using a virtual reality head mounted display (HMD) and not being able to see the keyboard, the gamepad style interaction for movement of an avatar and camera, and simple sorts of interaction with the virtual environment can be very useful indeed.

However, I have always found the Xbox controller awkward to use, and the Sony PlayStation controllers such as on the PS3 much easier. So it was useful to find that drivers and an Xbox 360 controller emulation is available to connect PlayStation controllers to Windows. A sample online tutorial can be found via this PC Magazine Page and this YouTube video by Wiltshire Tutorials..

Setup

Basically the procedure is to install MotioninJoy for its drivers only, not its “DS3 Tool” setup facility, and then replace the set up facility with “Better DS3″.

  1. Download and install the “MotioninJoy” drivers and configuration utility from http://www.motioninjoy.com/download. I used version 0.7.1001.
  2. BUT… DONT RUN THE MOTONINJOY DS3 TOOL CONFIGURATION UTILITY… as it opens and uses an external internet connection and opens potential Trojan routes to download and run software with administrator privileges on your computer (as noted by the creator of the “better DS3″ tool below via the “about” link in that tool if you are interested in the full details).
  3. Plug in the Sony PlayStation Controller via a USB cable and let Windows install the drivers it finds – which will be MotioninJoy drivers.
  4. Run the MotioninJoy “DS3 Tool” and select the “Driver Manager” tab. There should be one or more “Hardware Locations” listed something like “Port_#….Hub_#…. select ALL of them using the tick boxes and hit the “Load driver” button. Running this once ensure appropriate drivers are installed on your system, whichever USB port you later use.
  5. Download and install the “Better DS3″ tool from http://betterds3.ciebiera.net/ to replace the MotioninJoy tool, as its more intuitive to use and the author indicates it does not use the potentially risky methods of connecting “back to base” in the original MotioninJoy control panel.
  6. You can uninstall MotioninJoy at that stage (I think) if you wish as its no longer needed, and can delete any user files folder it used such as C:\Users\…\AppData\Roaming\MotioninJoy
  7. Better-DS3-1Start up Better DS3.exe and set up a new controller profile using “Xinput” mode and setting it to emulate the “Xbox 360 Wireless Receiver for Windows” (even if its wired that’s the emulation it provides to Windows). Set the configuration to the pre-provided auto-fill for “Xbox 360″ emulation settings. That should mean that any game or application that allows for Xbox 360 controller use should work.
  8. PS3-in-Windows-Control-Panel-TestGet it working in direct wired USB mode first. Test via, for example, the Windows Control Panel – Devices and Printers – and right click on your game controller and selet “Game controller settings”. Or there is a “Control Panel” button in “Better DS3″ itself once the profile for the controller you created is selected (it takes you to the same Windows control panel and test facility). You can test all the sticks and buttons work there. You can leave it for USB direct wired plug in use, or set up for Bluetooth wireless operation.

Better-DS3-2

Normal Operations

  1. You must have Better DS.exe running when you want to use the PlayStation Controller. So if its not already running, or started automatically when you boot up your system, run it, select the profile you created and click “Apply” to start it up ahead of running your application or game.
  2. Run your application and all should work fine.
  3. If you have another controller, such as a Space Navigator, don’t leave that plugged in at the same time as the Virtual Worlds and Second Life viewers may see that instead as at present they only use the first controller they find (hopefully that will change at some stage as its reported as a Second Life Viewer JIRA issue).

Bluetooth Wireless Use versus Direct USB cable Connection

I am using the PS3 controller directly connected via a USB cable. Bluetooth wireless connection is possible using the drivers and control panels. However, there are a number of limitations and issues if you go that route.

  1. The PS3 controller can only be paired with one device. hence if you use it between your PC and a Sony PlayStation you will need to repeat the pairing each time you switch.
  2. If you pair the Bluetooth adapter on your PC with the PS3 controller setup it can only operate with that single device in a dedicated way. So other Bluetooth devices that you may use with your PC may not work.
  3. You must ensure that the Bluetooth adapter supports a minimum of Bluetooth 2.0+EDR. Most recent ones should do this.

One possibility is to use a separate dedicated Bluetooth adapter and a spare PS3 controller you will not switch back to the PlayStation.

Use with Second Life Viewers

The CtrlAltStudio viewer works immediately with the PS3 cotroller as it specifically provides support and appropriate sensitivity and axis selection and ditection setting for the “Xbox 360 Wireless Receiver for Windows” gamepad.

The standard Linden Labs Second Life viewer does not have specific settings at present for any joystick or gamepad other than the “Space Navigator”, but the PS3 acting as the “Xbox 360 Wireless Receiver for Windows” is recognised by the viewer and can be used if appropriate settings are made via Me – Preferences – Move & View – Other Devices. Use the CtrlAltStudio provided settings which work fairly well, or use my own adjusted settings which give a bit less sensitivity to small movements of the sticks before avatar movement takes place or the avatar breaks into a run.

SecondLifeViewer-PS3-Xbox-360-Controller-Settings-Changes-v2

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NoLimits Roller Coaster Simulator

NoLimits Web SiteNoLimits is a roller coaster simulation that lets you experience in virtual reality real existing coasters, or build rollercoasters to your own specifications using a comprehensive built in editor. 3D mesh models for parts of the build can be imported using the 3DS format. More details and download of the demonstration and purchase of the full version is via http://www.nolimitscoaster.com/.

NoLimits 2 Demo

The free to download demonstration include three roller coasters of various kinds…

No-Limits-2-Hybris-1
No-Limits-2-Timberliner-1
No-Limits-2-Wilderness-1 No-Limits-2-Wilderness-2

And with weather effects… brrrrr…

No-Limits-2-Wilderness-3

Unicoaster Demo is a separately packaged demonstration by Ole Lange, the creator of NoLimits, for the ride company using the NoLimits coaster base.

NoLimits 2 Editor

NoLimits includes a coaster creator and editor, and the free demonstration version includes a trial limited period, limited complexity version of the editor to try that yourself…

No-Limits-2-Wilderness-Editor-1
No-Limits-2-Wilderness-Editor-2

There are a variety of build in coaster types and train models, 37 were shown the image below shown in a Tweet from @NoLimitsSimulation on 15-Nov-2014…NoLimits2-37-Coaster-Train-Types

First Roller Coaster

I followed the tutorials included with NoLimits 2 to create a new roller coaster via the editor… a very simple one…

No-Limits-2-Editor-Example-1
No-Limits-2-Editor-Example-3 No-Limits-2-Editor-Example-4-Frozen
No-Limits-2-Editor-Example-6-Ride

NoLimits 2 Keyboard Commands (Defaults)

Provided here for convenience… can be accessed and changed via the “SETUP” button.

NoLimits2-Keys

NoLimits Community

Many NoLimits users have created and shared a variety of roller coasters…

Unpacking .nlpack NoLimits 1 Packaged Roller Coasters to Use in NoLimits 2

This information was gleaned from helpful posts by others on several NoLimits forums. The NoLimits Track Packager/Unpacker Tool was really intended for NoLimits 1. But you can use it in a standalone way to unpack roller coasters to get their .nltrack parts out for use in NoLimits 2. When the track packager runs, it is looking for NoLimitsSimulator.exe so it can unpack into several sub-directories below that used by NoLimits1. If that is not found it will report that it cannot locate the “NoLimits Root Folder”. Here is a work around to let it run if you only have NoLimits 2.

  1. Find the “NoLimits Track Packager” install directory… something like “C:\Program Files (x86)\NoLimits Track Packager”.
  2. In that create a new text file. Its contents do not matter, but as a reminder of its purpose, put in something like “Just a dummy file for NoLimits Track Packager”.
  3. Rename this file to “NoLimitsSimulator.exe”. Note there is no “.txt” on the end (make sure you can see file postfix types.
  4. Run the “NoLimits Track Packager” as administrator (important as it will be writing files into the Windows protected program files directory).
  5. Use File – “Open Package” to open an .nlpack file and let it “Install” all the contents found.
  6. Three directories will be created in the “NoLimits Track Packager” tool directory (CarTextures, Environments and Tracks).
  7. I suggest you MOVE these directories and their contents to a separate directory with the name of the Roller Coaster you are extracting… so that on the next extraction the files are separate to those just unpacked.
  8. Now in NoLimits 2 when you create a park you can import the .nltrack from the extracted Tracks directory to add to your NoLimits 2 park.

Handling Missing Textures when using NoLimits 1 .nltrack and .nlpack Coasters

Some roller coasters made by enthusiasts for NoLimits 1 and distributed as .nltrack or .nlpack files refer to environment textures included with NoLimits 1 but they are not in NoLimits 2, or not in the same location. The freely available demo version of NoLimits 1 is available at the NoLimits Coaster development download site via http://www.nolimitscoaster.de/index.php?page=download#demo [Local Copy of Teratextures]

Install that NoLimits 1 demo, and in the installation folder copy the teratextures folder to the top level of the NoLimits2 installation folder.

NoLimits 2 in Oculus Rift

An Oculus Rift add on is being prepared… see this Blog Post

No-Limits-2-Oculus-Rift-2
No-Limits-2-Oculus-Rift-1

A YouTube video preview of NoLimits 2 in the Oculus Rift is here.

The Helix roller coaster at the Liseberg’s amusement park in Gothenburg, Sweden has also been modelled in a standalone Oculus Rift experience… see this blog post.

Xbox 360 and PS3 Game and Controllers

The PS3 controller set up for Windows use (and Xbox 360 for Windows controller) can be used to move the cameras and viewpoints in NoLimits. The rumble function works with the controllers when you are in the normal ride view.

Initial Feedback on Using NoLimits 2

I would say that it would be nice if there was an option to add people into the coaster and the station as in the Oculus Rift Helix demonstration… but I appreciate that needs more 3D models and real time rendering.

Including the “teratextures” (environment and terrain textures) from NoLimits 1, or providing them as a separate download, would help people use roller coasters made by the community for NoLimits 1.

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OpenSimulator Community Conference 2014 Final Load Test

The final load test and refinement of the OpenSimulator Community Conference 2014 grid took place on 4th November 2014… with over 400 avatars present.

2014-11-04-OSCC14-Load-Test-3
2014-11-04-OSCC14-Load-Test-1 2014-11-04-OSCC14-Load-Test-2

Going up over 200 avatars logged in, media playing, voice active…

2014-11-04-OSCC14-Load-Test-Screen-1

Some red “gas cloud” avatars show as the test bots come in and rezz. Max number of avatars I observed during the load test was 406…

2014-11-04-OSCC14-Load-Test-Screen-406

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OpenSimulator Community Conference 2014 Rehearsal

2014-11-01-OSCC14-Rehearsal-Screen-1

One week to go, and a full, but speeded up 4 X, rehearsal of the OpenSimulator Community Conference 2014 took place on 1st November 2014. This let speakers, moderators for sessions, greeters and volunteers, and video/audio streaming teams practice their roles, try out the technical in world facilities for presentations, and test the load on the facilities.

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Landing Zone & Keynote Area

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Main Stage & Research and Education Breakout Area

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OSCC14 Rehearsal on Keynote 1

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OSCC14 Rehearsal on Keynote 1

OSCC14-Regions

OSCC14 Regions Map

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Happy Halloween 2014

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2014-10-31-SL-Spooky-2

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OpenSim Arriba

2014-10-30-Arriba-Splash-Screen

Arriba is a code fork off the main OpenSimulator master code. I discovered it via a visit to the Shin Ingen’s iTEC Ingen-Lab grid.

See this article for more information on Arriba and advice on setting up and using it for the first time…

http://www.hypergridbusiness.com/2014/07/arribasim-offers-a-quick-full-grid/

The download links in that post may be out of date… the most recent link can be found via a Gridtalk.de forum, e.g., http://gridtalk.de/forumdisplay.php?fid=59

Arriba Setup

Arriba comes as source code to compile and configure as you wish, as for the normal OpenSim development code, and via GridTalk.de forum there are prepared versions for “Arriba on a Stick” (standalone on port 9000) and single host “Arriba Mini-Grid” (using Robust services on port 8002).

I adjusted the language in the “MOWES” control panel “Options” from the default German to English, used the MWI web interface provided to edit the welcome and flash news pages to English, and did a small edit to the Robust.ini and Regions/*.ini files to customise the grid and region names to “Vueport” and all looks good on first run.

Web Interface

The web interface for Arriba is provided by MWI (MyOpengrid Web Interface MWI). It is based on PHP code and provided many options to manage the grid, its users and content and the web interface itself…

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2014-10-30-Arriba-Admin-Splash-Screen
2014-10-30-Arriba-Region-List

First Run

2014-10-30-Arriba-Firestorm-Login
2014-10-30-Arriba-Firestorm-Vueport-1

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OpenSim – Visit to Ingen Labs – Vehicles, Phsyics and Varregions

Title corrected… go to
OpenSim – Visit to Ingen Labs – Vehicles, Physics and Varregions

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OpenSim – Visit to Ingen Labs – Vehicles, Physics and Varregions

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Unity Project – OpenVCE and I-Room

In preparation for some testing of the free version of Unity 4.5.5 and the Oculus Rift integration, I have updated some of my earlier tests of Unity3D from 2010-2011. Several of these builds are demonstrated at http://www.aiai.ed.ac.uk/~ai/unity/

2014-10-29-Ai-Austin-Unity-Demos

OpenVCE

The OpenSim-based “OpenVCE” region converted via the Tipodean OpenSim -> Collada -> Unity3D path works fine with a simple single user build. This is ready for further work and linking to the multi-user facilities and enriched UI-Room capabilities in due course.

Unity-4-5-5-OpenVCE-Editor Unity-4-5-5-OpenVCE-Player
Unity-4-5-5-OpenVCE-Editor-Render
Unity-4-5-5-OpenVCE-Play

I-Room and Multi-User Collaboration

The 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.

Unity-4-5-5-I-RoomMMO-Editor Unity-4-5-5-I-RoomMMO-Player
Unity-4-5-5-I-RoomMMO-Play

Unity Island Demo

Unity-Tropical-Island-Strip

There has been a very useful and rich demonstration of a tropical island in Unity for some years, but it often gets lost, changes its download location or has newly introduced errors after upgrades. The current link for a live demo and the download is currently at http://unity3d.com/showcase/live-demos#tropical-paradise (as at October 2014). This version though needs a few script errors correcting before it will run. Download zip of source and models from http://unity3d.com/files/live-demos/tropical-paradise/IslandDemo.zip [Local Copy]

Suggested error corrections were found via other developers blogs…

http://unitycoder.com/blog/2013/01/13/island-demo-to-4-0/

  • Assets/Scripts/UnderwaterEffects.js(23,46): BCE0022: Cannot convert ‘UnityEngine.GameObject’ to ‘float’. Lets try to modify it from:
    • if(water) waterLevel = water.gameObject;
    • to: (just a guess)
    • if(water) waterLevel = water.gameObject.position.y;
  • New error comes up:
    Assets/Editor/UpdateTreeColors.js(13,17): BCE0031: Language feature not implemented: UnityEditor.
  • That is some editor script, lets disable it for now, by renaming the file to “UpdateTreeColors.js_” (in Windows Explorer, cannot do inside Unity)

And some corrections for the issues with the shaders and missing semantics…

After making some of these changes at 31-Oct-2014 I am down to two shader-related errors and one warning… but interestingly I can run the demo in the previewer and even build the application even with these specific errors… with vivid pink water (and similar vivid pink glass on buildings in other demos)…

2014-10-31-Unity-4-5-5-IslandDemo-2-Errors

The remaining two errors and one warning are:

  • Shader error in ‘FX/Island Water Simple': ‘vert': function return value missing semantics at line 81
  • Shader error in ‘FX/Island Water Simple': ‘frag': input parameter ‘i’ missing semantics at line 123
  • Shader warning in ‘FX/Island Water Simple': Upgrade NOTE: SubShader commented out because of manual shader assembly at line 168

Oculus Rift

Next step is to follow the tutorials to integrate the I-Room and SmartFox Server Multi-User demonstration environment with the Oculus Rift Unity integration package.

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OpenSim Pirate Lands

Several OpenSim artists have created pirate themed regions and made them available in the form of OpenSim Archives (OARs)…

Vue-Port on OSGrid uses the OpenSim Creation “Stonehaven – Port Aurora” OAR previously described in this blog post from July 2014. It contains a range of mesh buildings and their contents, and a variety of pirate ships. A set of pirate themed and related clothing avatars are also available.

And Colin Hetherington from Robert Gordon University (RGU) in Abderdeen, Scotland has done a pirate themed hobby region with some excellent textured objects.

Here the two regions have been loaded onto the Sim-on-a-Stick OpenSim distribution.

2014-10-28-Pirate-Lands-Screen

2014-10-28-Pirate-Lands

Stonehaven – Port Aurora – by “jamiewright” on OpenSim Creations

2014-07-14-Stormhaven_003 2014-07-14-Stormhaven_004
2014-07-14-Stormhaven_007 2014-07-14-Stormhaven_006

Pirate Isle – by Colin Hetherington

2014-10-28-Pirate-Isle-1_001 2014-10-28-Pirate-Isle-1_002
2014-10-28-Pirate-Isle-1_003 2014-10-28-Pirate-Isle-1_004

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RGU Diver Avatar on AiLand

Colin Hetherington, who produced the Robert Gordon’s University (RGU) oil rig training facility, has also created mesh attachments and a diver wet suit for OpenSim and Second Life. 3D mesh parts are imported to the virtual world platform via the Collada DAE mesh file format. As mentioned in other posts, the oil rig build allows for a range of platform and subsea training events hosted in the virtual world.

diver
2014-10-28-RGU-Diver

Colin gave me permission to use his diver avatar meshes and textures on our virtual world regions… some images are shown below.

At the RGU Oil Rig and Seabed Blow Out Preventer

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2014-10-28-RGU-Diver-on-Oil-Rig-Deck 2014-10-28-RGU-Diver-at-Oil-Rig-BOP-3

At Marineville and the Undersea Observatory

2014-10-28-RGU-Diver-with-Undersea-Observatory-1
2014-10-28-RGU-Diver-with-Undersea-Observatory-2 2014-10-28-RGU-Diver-with-Whale

And on the Oculus Rift DK2

2014-10-28-RGU-Diver-at-BOP-in-DK2

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High Fidelity Alpha Tests – Importing the Tuscany Villa Demo

An alpha test of importing the Oculus Rift Unity3D-based Tuscany Villa Demonstration to the hifi://alpha/TuscanyAlpha location proved very successful.

As Tuscany Villa Appears in Oculus Unity Demo

Oculus-Tuscany-Villa-1 Oculus-Tuscany-Villa-2
Oculus-Tuscany-Demo

As Tuscany Villa Appears in High Fidelity (27-Oct-2014)

hifi-snap-by-Ai_Austin-on-2014-10-27_20-55-06@1257-27_669-877_1356-76
hifi-snap-by-Ai_Austin-on-2014-10-27_20-56-52@1257-09_669-877_1351-06

HiFi Snapshot including Window Surround and User Interface Elements

2014-10-27-HiFi-Alpha-TuscanyAlpha

HiFi Snapshot as it appears in Oculus Rift DK2

HiFi-Tuscany-Villa-Demo-in-DK2

Oculus Rift DK2 Image by HiFi alpha tester Derric_​​Foggarty

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Oculus Rift DK2 – Helix Rollercoaster

Helix-1

Helix in VR image above by The Virtual Dutchmen

RiftDK2For those with the stomach, there is a well modelled VR experience of riding the Helix Rollercoaster situated at Liseberg’s amusement park in Gothenburg, Sweden, produced by the Virtual Dutchmen (part of ArchiVision Imaging in the Netherlands).

http://virtualdutchmen.com/experiences.php has more details and download links for Oculus Rift DK1 and DK2 versions for both Microsoft Windows and Apple Mac.

Helix-Begin-in-DK2
Helix-in-DK2
Helix-in-DK2-3

The Helix track is almost 1.4 km (4500 feet) long and the ride lasts for two minutes. Along the track are two launches where the coaster accelerates using Linear Synchronous Motors. The ride includes seven inversions, three airtime hills and plenty of drops, twists and turns. Look round and see how fellow riders are doing!

Helix-Station-in-DK2
Helix-Riders-in-DK2

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Oculus Rift DK2 – Oil Rig on OpenSim in CtrlAltStudio Viewer

2014-10-27-CtrlAltStudio-Logging-In

Using David Rowe’s CtrlAltStudio Viewer (1.2.2.41206 Alpha 3), a variant of Firestorm 4.6.5 with added Oculus Rift DK1 and DK2 and Stereoscopic 3D display modes, on the AiLand grid based on OpenSimulator.

hop://ai.vue.ed.ac.uk:8002/Oil%20Rig/128/128/20 

Visiting the Robert Gordon’s University (RGU) oil rig training facility. This is a build mostly using 3D meshes imported to OpenSim via the Collada DAE mesh file format. The build allows for a range of oil rig and subsea training events hosted in the virtual world.

2014-10-27-CtrlAltStudio-Oil-Rig
2014-10-27-CtrlAltStudio-Oil-Rig-in-DK2
2014-10-27-CtrlAltStudio-Oil-Rig-Helipad
2014-10-27-CtrlAltStudio-Oil-Rig-Helipad-in-DK2

Oil Rig Deck

The deck of the oil rig has a number of cranes, storage for pipes, containers for equipment and a control room. These have a range of educational aids and video displays. Non-Player Characters (NPCs) occupy the cranes. Boiler suits and ear defenders are required wear for trainees, instructors and visitors.

2014-10-27-CtrlAltStudio-Oil-Rig-Cranes
2014-10-27-CtrlAltStudio-Oil-Rig-in-DK2-Cranes

Oil Rig Interior

The interior of the oil rig is realistically modelled, along with loud machinery noise. Educational aids help students identify elements of the interior equipment on the rig.

2014-10-27-CtrlAltStudio-Oil-Rig-Inside
2014-10-27-CtrlAltStudio-Oil-Rig-in-DK2-Inside

Seabed, BOP and ROV

On the seabed is a Blow Out Preventer (BOP), a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV), piping and a range of test and repair equipment. They are surrounded by educational aids.

2014-10-27-CtrlAltStudio-Oil-Rig-BOP-1 2014-10-27-CtrlAltStudio-Oil-Rig-BOP-2
2014-10-27-CtrlAltStudio-Oil-Rig-BOP-in-DK2
2014-10-27-CtrlAltStudio-Oil-Rig-Seabed
2014-10-27-CtrlAltStudio-Oil-Rig-Seabed-in-DK2

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