OpenSim is also a 3D application


reposted from subQuark‘s blog & written for non-users

After seeing a post on New World Notes that represented how I use OpenSim but left out the most compelling reasons as to why use OpenSim, I decided to reiterate what I’ve mentioned in the past.

One of the hats I wear is corporate eLearning developer for an international company (in 150 countries with 70,000 annual eLearning users). As such, I architect many aspects of our eLearning including just completing 14 courses (about 40 hours of seat time) as HTML5 content that is viewable by 99.2% of devices connected to the web.

In creating a large amount of eLearning, I am always looking for low cost solutions that are also fast for our team to use. Back in 2006, Second Life caught my attention, but not as a social place. I spoke at several conferences, such as the eLearning Guild’s DevLearn Conference and the Texas Distance Learners Association Annual Conference, on the use of Second Life as a 3D authoring tool – much like Blender.

The output is not photorealistic and has a distinct look (I’d say low-poly before using the term cartoonish) but the plus side of lower detailed graphics is that it doesn’t need rendering time. What you see on your monitor is fully rendered. This makes creating video footage for branched scenarios rapid, virtually free, and easy (and also fun!).

Your cast of characters never age or get new hairstyles, their warddrobes are alway constant, and the sets can cost little to nothing to build and store, and can be built without needing expert 3D modelling skills.

Rapid development and basically no cost. Hard to beat that combination!

In the last two years, I have not used Second Life and have an easier and completely free way to create this content – OpenSim. Specifically, OpenSim running from a USB drive.

One significant OpenSim/Second Life issue that many corporate eLearning developers run into are firewalls in the workplace. Using OpenSim in a portable manner, from Sim-on-a-Stick, eliminates those firewall issues.

Buiding a studio set, such as the hotel room and lobby below, is much easier than working with meshes in a traditional 3D application. OpenSim and Second Life use a small number of primitives (“prims”) used as building blocks. This is what gives the “simplistic” look but what also allows for real-time rendering at frame rates that exceed the 30 frames per second needed to create smooth video.

Details on creating video can be seen in my older posts and even from conference materials I have online.

OpenSim, specifically as “Sim-on-a-Stick”, is a great tool to add to your multimedia toolkit – plus it’s easy and I love the creative outlet it provides.





full image set hosted by iliveisl

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written by subQuark

October 19th, 2012 at 9:13 am

posted in OpenSim,sim-on-a-stick

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9 comments to 'OpenSim is also a 3D application'

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  1. yah, Hamlet has you being Australian and misscapped subQuark (amateurs!) =D

    i have also been using SoaS as an easy way to create 3D graphics for things like demonstrating business processes to department workflows – it’s an easy way to make an illustration “pop”

    an example is like that development/production infographic i made – it has a silhouetted image of my tower crane – that’s a perfect example of what you are talking about – it’s nothing social or immersive, just a way to make a graphic element

    Ener Hax

    19 Oct 12 at 9:37 am

  2. yes, i agree, that real-time is what is about. i have try a couple of time to do my version of a virtual studio. i keep trying.

    i look at a virtual studio by a famous person last week. it was web-based and not what i was expecting. i can done better with opensim. right now we can use green screen, sets, and some animations. what i have used to a degree is holodeck but i dont know how good the one is for opensim. but it would be nice — open up the box and you have a set.

    blender can be used for movie production but the film/video take a long time. real-time like sl or opensim make sense and within a few years we will have more processing power. the opensim+blender could be a real possibilty. and then one day, opensim entirely for everything.

    for example see


    19 Oct 12 at 2:33 pm

  3. I dont know if this is the right place to post this but here goes,,,
    I created a partition to house a virtual world grid. (B:\GRID NAME)
    using the 16 sim installer available on the SOAS web page
    I just created a 16 sim (4×4) soas grid on my pc B partition,,
    and each sim is connected, in a 16sim square, which is normal

    What i need to know how to effect the following:

    each sim is numbered 1 thru 16

    i renamed 1 sim ,, ( southwest corner for now ),,
    and that name carries to each sim i travel (fly) over,,


    any raw file or terrain texture i use effects the # 1 sim only,,
    even when i designate or use another sims region estate tab,

    all terrain textures are 512’s,, raw files are loading correctly ,, but only effect #1 sim

    it seems that the sims are not separated,,
    all are linked in 1 big slab.
    on the map,, it designates sim 1 thru 16,,

    What do i have to do to rename and retexture each of the 16 but leave out the sim crossing altercations usually associated with this configuration

    i would like to use varied raw files and textures for variety in this large a grid

    how do i correct this?

    Buster Pimple

    19 Oct 12 at 3:50 pm

  4. @bristle pose to pose animation looks like the workflow that some of the 2D animation packages do such as SmithMicro’s Anime Studio: draw keyframe1. draw keyframe2. run the time line to interpolate. set break points, inserting keyframes at each break point and rerun the time line again until finished. If you find an editor for interpolation to do the keyframes and interpolation in low resolution, one thing you might want to consider is the AniMate plugin for DazStudio. It stores animation in blocks and lets you assemble an animatation by inserting and spliting blocks and the result can be saved as another animation block which can be used in another animation in AniMate the same as the imported blocks.


    19 Oct 12 at 7:49 pm

  5. hi Buster – you are correct but you can change it so that each region is its own for terrain textures and raw files

    first you need to shut it down and change MyWorld.ini, see the images at the bottom of this post:

    then fire up your grid and use change region [region name] to make that region the one you want to load textures on (you can do that in-world just like normal on that region. see that part on this post

    BUT only change the CombineContiguousRegions=true/false in the MyWorld.ini, not the DivaPreferences.ini

    Ener Hax

    20 Oct 12 at 9:52 am

  6. @joe
    yes, am familiar with DAZ including animate. i like DAZ a lot but i dont think animate works with blender. the decimator –to reduce the poly count– would work too, if you have the money. for 3.0 they had a solution for second life, but it appears gone for 4.0/4.5.

    i am concentrating on google sketchup8 and doing the layout for the studio. sketchup8 is very good at making objects and then exporting.

    since i am alone, i have to pick what i do. right now its a virtual studio with hyperlinks. the part that annoys me is falling with my vehicle at the regions.


    20 Oct 12 at 5:37 pm

  7. i like the transparent wall. i have use them before and then i forgot about them. in video you need that some times. but you also want the structure to look intact from the outside.


    20 Oct 12 at 5:45 pm

  8. That’s a good point Ener, Opensim could be a very good 3d application specially for those people like architects or interior designers. Opensim can give so much freedom to those who wants to create new things without be disturbed. I enjoy so much building on a opensim standalone than in SL. I would invite architects and interior designers to test it and to see how they can create wonderful things in virtual worlds!.


    21 Oct 12 at 4:53 pm

  9. another thing that like is the branching video. i was with a former vp of sega or something like that and he was into branching video. i thought he was crazy. but if opensim allowed branching video, then you could present things that is more exploratory. i have to think about this some more.


    21 Oct 12 at 6:10 pm

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