iliveisl

 

Space Base Workstage – v2

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when i want a distraction, i often go piddle in one of a zillion copies of Sim-on-a-Stick i have. today i dinked around with the Space Base workshop and added a few things to it

two “best practice” things are an invisible safety rail so you don’t fall off the work stage edge on both the landed ship and flying ship and also lights to each one

there are 4 lights on each to give a soft glow to your work, in case you forget about the time and find yourself working after virtual world sunset =)

i also added some sculptie rocks and three groups of plants to break up the landing area, oh, i also added a moon! apart from the default moon, there’s a small moon using a real NASA moon texture that revolves around the flying ship! =)

if you’d like the OAR, it’s here on the Ener Hax site. the license is only intended to keep people from claiming this work as their own. you don’t need to give an attribution if you use it, just don’t be a schmuck and say you built this part of it (modify it all you want and duplicate it, share it, use it!)

you can also visit this in Kitely – Space Base Workstage

lighting_001

using 20 metre spheres lets me see where the actual light will reach – that way i can try to place them in optimal positions (6 lights is the max old viewers can “see” 0 so these 4 plus the sun and moon)

spacebase2_003

once i like the physical placement, i reduce the lights to small spheres and set their light properties then make them phantom and invisible

spacebase2_001

oversized kelp and ferns hopefully keep an other world feel (the ferns are a nod to the many movies filmed in British Columbia!) =p

moon_003

that’s not the default moon, it’s a smaller one that both revolves and rotates

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written by Ener Hax

August 10th, 2013 at 11:11 am

posted in freebies,OpenSim

tagged with

From ADL Team Member… Jeff Mills: Advanced Techniques in Avatar and 3D asset creation for Open Simulator and Second Life

4 comments

Jeff Mills has graciously allowed a reprint of an awesome April 11th, 2013 tutorial – thank you Jeff and thank you ADL =)

Now that the age of mesh importation is a reality in the Second Life and Open Simulator virtual environments, the quest to find helpful techniques to utilize this ability can create a difficult and frustrating situation. Over the past two years, we have seen artisans and developers create everything from amazing vehicles, architecturally correct buildings and amazingly realistic mesh avatars that impress as well as confuse the viewer as to how they are made. It is difficult to locate good documentation that dispels the mystery. It is time to demystify the closely guarded secrets and show the basics of avatar mesh creation with a systematic approach. This tutorial will show the basics of using open source 3D software as well as other free resources to make your own mesh avatars and attachments.

The prerequisite for this tutorial is a basic-to-intermediate understanding of 3D mesh creation and the principles of animation with industry tools such as Autodesk’s 3D Max, Maya, Softimage and the free open source Blender 3D creation tool. This tutorial will focus on a pipeline that uses Softimage import into Blender. However, the principles for importing models into Blender are the same for other 3D software.

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Figure 1

Sources of 3D Models and Tools

If you are not an artist, fear not. There are many free resources available. Sites such as www.TurboSquid.com (Figure 1) have many items free for use and quite a few models that make great attachments and / or models that serve as complete avatars. Sites such as the ADL 3D Repository 3dr.adlnet.gov, 3D Exchange www.3dexchange.com, and Flat Pyramid www.flatpyramid.com are several other resources that provide free models and models for purchase.

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Figure 2

Autodesk’s Softimage (Figure 2) is a free full animation suite offered to game developers for use in creating collaborative design activity (COLLADA) models. This tool is excellent for building, adjusting and texturing meshes and exports to Blender with ease. You can download the software at http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/pc/item?siteID=123112&id=13571320.

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Figure 3

The Second Life and Open Simulator communities have long embraced Blender.org (Figure 3) and the free 3D creation tool. Benefits of using Blender include several direct plugins that export to Second Life and Open Simulator. You can download and install Blender 2.65 at http://www.blender.org/download/get-blender.

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Figure 4

The main file needed for mesh manipulation is conveniently available on the Machinimatrix website (Figure 4). The file is the avatar-workbench-265.blend file found at http://blog.machinimatrix.org/avatar-workbench.

Setting up the Blender Rig

The first step in the process is to start Blender 2.65 and open the avatar-workbench-265 file (Figure 5).

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Figure 5

This armature will be used for all avatar mesh manipulations. The avatar is a scaled version of the avatar mesh found inside of the Second Life or Open Simulator client. If you are not familiar with Blender, the manual has documentation concerning moving and selecting objects in the main viewport. This tutorial assumes a base knowledge of Blender use.

Exporting the Rig for use in Softimage XSI Mod Tool

Three parts of the avatar mesh are to be exported into Softimage XSI Mod Tool. XSI Mod Tool will allow proper adjustment of the clothing mesh that was downloaded from Turbosquid.com. If you have more experience with other 3D programs, this export will work equally well for this process.

Right click each of the three parts while holding down the “Shift” key (Figure 6). Select “File-Export-Wavefront (.obj)” and save the .obj on your computer. This process is specifically for those individuals who have experience working with a particular 3D package of their choosing. If you have experience with Blender, the same steps shown for XSI Mod Tool can be done with Blender.

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Figure 6

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Figure 7

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Figure 8

Import the Mesh into Softimage XSI Mod Tool

Open the XSI Mod Tool and import the mesh dress (Figure 7). Turbosquid offers this mesh as a Wavefront .obj file. Other file formats such as COLLADA .dae files are acceptable as well. Align the mesh dress to the avatar body by translating, scaling and moving vertices on the mesh surface.

The goal is to form the dress over the body as close as possible while keeping the avatar surface from protruding through the mesh of the dress. The example above (Figure 8) shows a lattice deformation that moves vertices into the proper places. Depending on the 3D program used, various techniques can accomplish the process.

Once the positioning is completed, freeze the dress model’s state as shown in (Figure 9). This makes all the modifications permanent and collapses the operator stack. We are now ready for export back to Blender for avatar mesh weighting. This critical process makes the mesh stick precisely to the avatar when applied in Second Life or Open Simulator.

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Figure 9

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Figure 10

Export the dress mesh from “File-Crosswalk-Export” in the top menu (Figure 10). Choose COLLADA from the “Crosswalk File Type” block and under the “Settings” tab, match the checked blocks shown at the right hand side of the dialogue block. In the “File Name” block, select the save location in the same file folder as the location of the dress mesh texture and name the mesh. The final step is to click the “Export” button.

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Figure 11

Importing the Mesh Dress into Blender

Return to Blender and reopen the avatar-workbench-265.blend file. From the main menu select “File-Import-Collada (Default) (.dae)” and select the adjusted COLLADA dress model exported from the XSI Mod Tool. Use the “S” key to scale the dress to the avatar body. Keep the avatar mesh from showing through the dress (Figure 11).

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Figure 12

The parenting or enveloping to the armature is accomplished by selecting the dress and armature. Hold down “Ctrl+P” and choose from the dropdown “With Automatic Weights” (Figure 12). This associates the vertices of the mesh dress to the bones by proximity. Blender averages the influence of each of the vertices and how much movement each bone controls. This procedure is not precise. If you select the bones influencing the mesh dress at this point and rotate in any direction you will see how many of the vertices pull and deform poorly. The program does not understand the visual aesthetics of the weighting process. This is why the artist needs to tweak and adjust by a process called Weight Painting.

Weight Painting the Vertices of the Mesh

The dress mesh is ready to be weight painted for proper deformation. Select the dress by right clicking and from the “Mode” panel (Figure 13) select “Weight Paint”. The dress mesh will display a blue surface color indicating the Weight Paint mode. The “T” key will open the tool panel on the left-hand side of the 3D viewport. The weight paint controls will display.

image13

Figure 13

The armature must be set to the “Pose Mode” from the Mode panel in order to move the avatar around and see how the dress deforms. Right click on the armature.

The armature is represented as the skeleton framework shown inside the avatar mesh (Figure 14). Once highlighted in orange, select the “Pose Mode” and the armature will now change to an active blue color.

Each bone that makes up the armature is selectable and movable. Rotation will be the only movement used to check mesh deformation. The dress is now ready to have vertices adjusted or re-weighted to the appropriate bone of the armature.

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Figure 14

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Figure 15

Select the dress mesh and ensure that the “Mode” panel shows “Weight Paint”. Right click any of the bones and you will see the weight influence of the bone. In this mode, the cursor will represent a paintbrush. The weight panel control displays weight, radius of the brush and strength of the brush. The “Blend” box switches the brush to different paint states. The predominant “Blend” states used will be “Add”, “Subtract” and “Blur” (Figure 15).

Begin painting the weight influence per bone. Using the “Z” key will toggle the mesh back and forth between a solid surface and a wireframe view. It is easier to see the progress of painting in the wireframe view. The wireframe view eliminates lighting and shadows making the surface color more visible on sides facing away from the light source.

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Figure 16

As the brush adds and subtracts from the bone influence, use the “R” key or “Rotation” to move the bones. This will show how the dress is stretching per the bone’s influence (Figure 16). The weighting process requires testing of each bone to see how the mesh is responding to the bone movement. Subtract bones that have no influence on the mesh dress entirely. Every bone in the armature may have some weight assigned. Individual rotation of each bone will show if there is influence.

The process of painting weights can be a tedious process. Patience will assure a proper blend between the individual bone influences.

Preparing Mesh for Export to Second Life or Open Simulator

When all weight painting is complete, the mesh is ready for export to use in Second Life or Open Simulator. Select the dress and return the mode back to “Object Mode” (Figure 17). Next, select the armature and change the mode to “Object Mode” as well. The head, upper torso and lower torso meshes of the avatar are not needed for export. The dress is the only mesh we are concerned with in this example.

Select both dress mesh and armature by right clicking while holding “Shift” down.

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Figure 17

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Figure 18

Under “File” on the top menu bar, select “Export-Collada (Default) (.dae). On the left-hand “Export COLLADA” panel, check the “Selection Only” block (Figure 18). This ensures that the dress mesh is the only thing exported and not other elements in the scene. Under “Texture Options”, make sure that “Only Active UV layer”, “Include UV Textures” and “Include Material Textures” are selected as well. This keeps proper UV information.

Uncheck the block “Copy”. The final block selection is “Export for Second Life”. This selection is how Blender formats proper avatar weighting for Second Life and Open Simulator. Save the COLLADA file to the same folder as the dress texture. Second Life and Open Simulator will not find the texture unless it is in the same folder as the COLLADA mesh.

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Figure 19

Importing the Dress Mesh into Second Life or Open Simulator

In this example, the mesh dress will be imported into the public Second Life grid. The process is identical for the versions of Open Simulator that support mesh. Find a location that allows build rights. From the inventory window, select “Upload-Model” from the upload widget in the bottom left-hand corner (Figure 19). Navigate to the folder with the Dress.dae file. Select the dress and it will open in the Upload Model panel.

image20

Figure 20

First, name the mesh in the “Model name” block. The dropdown “This model represents” will tell Second Life or Open Simulator that the mesh being uploaded will function as an avatar shape (Figure 20).

Select “Use LoD above” in the Medium block under the “Level of Detail” tab. This step will ensure the model will retain the higher level of detail and not collapse when the client’s camera travels away from the avatar.

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Figure 21

Under the “Upload options” tab, check the “Include textures”. This applies the texture based on the UV coordinates of the mesh as well as places a copy of the texture in your inventory with the same name as your mesh. Under the “For avatar models only”, check the “Include skin weight” and “Include joint positions”. This includes the weight deformation that was created in Blender.

Lastly, check “Calculate weights & fee”. This will calculate the land impact on the simulator and assess cost on the public Second Life grid. No cost is associated with upload in Open Simulator. Once calculations are complete, the “Upload” button will appear. Click “Upload” to import into the inventory (Figure 21).

image22

Figure 22

The mesh dress is ready to be worn. Locate the dress in the inventory window. Right click the dress object and select “Wear” (Figure 22). The dress will automatically deform over the avatar. Additional adjustments may be required to tuck correctly into the dress. If the avatar’s shape varies greatly from the default shape, adjust the body sliders to fit the avatar skin within the contours of the dress.

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Figure 23

There are some techniques used to better conceal the avatar shape beneath the dress. In this example (Figure 23), the avatar skin textures have alpha channels applied where the dress falls. This makes areas of the body invisible even if the body protrudes through the mesh dress.

In conclusion, this is just one of many things that you can do with these techniques. The same methods apply for an entire avatar mesh. With some practice and patience, you can create virtual environments with a great level of additional detail and creativity (Figure 24).

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Figure 24

 

Jeff_Mills_300pxAbout the Author
Jeff Mills: As a contractor with Katmai, Jeff provides support to the Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) Initiative. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views or policies of ADL.

follow the ADL Initiative @ADL_Initiative

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written by Ener Hax

August 8th, 2013 at 3:45 pm

are you firing on all cores?

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from time to time, i get asked about how to get OpenSim or a viewer to use all available CPU cores

if you look at your Task Manager when you’re running your local OpenSim or your viewer, you might wonder what the dealio is when you see that some CPU cores are just lazing around. in the first screenshot below, you can see that 4 cores are showing no usage at all (this is my fancy work machine with an i7 processor)

cpu

BUT WAIT! each of those little graph boxes is actually for a thread and not a core! o_O

ahh, so actually, this box has 4 cores that can each run two threads (hyperthreading – not a sewing term) =)

so . . . for someone like me (not as techy as i may appear), i look at that performance thing and think that some of my cores (actually threads) are just sitting around

there’s a lot of misinformation on the web (no! really?) and how apps use CPU is a topic subject to all kinds of misinformation *just call me Miss Info*

i hope that what i’m saying here is mostly correct and not wrong =)

  • so is some of your CPU actually not doing anything?
  • could your viewer or local OpenSim be running twice as well and twice as fast?
  • if so, is there any magic setting you can change to make it run better?

it turns out that your computer isn’t being lazy and you’re not missing out on better performance

i hate learning about something that could have been running better had i only known about x, y, or zed. that makes me feel dumb (i’m glad once i learn it, but i hate that i could’ve been having a better experience if i had only known better)

it turns out that you can manually set programs to have access to all of your threads BUT typically, they already have that set by default (i think this may be different for XP, but that is so 2001) =p

so if that’s the default, why aren’t they being used?

good question and it’s an easy answer – the number of threads that a program uses is evidently part of how that program is coded! so you don’t have any control over that (well, some of you do because you are the ones writing the OpenSim and viewer code!)  =)

a lot of programs simply are not written to use all available threads

for regular people like me, there’s no need to go set “processor affinity” and i don’t think those hold after rebooting anyway

as you can see in the bottom screenshot, MoWeS and OpenSim are both set, by default, to have access to all threads – but that doesn’t mean they can use them all – that’s determined by the app and not your machine in most cases

so why can the number of threads be selected?

another good question and i think one reason is that it lets you see how an app runs on a less powerful machine. if that’s the case, then only developers would have an interest in that

so it turns out that your PC is designed to run things like OpenSim and a viewer pretty much as well as possible. that makes sense since the better a machine can run stuff, the more popular that machine will be!  =)

affinity

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written by Ener Hax

August 5th, 2013 at 8:08 am

posted in OpenSim,virtual worlds

tagged with , ,

private sim loss slowing in Second Life

9 comments

last year’s loss rate of private sims was an average of 8.4 sims per day o_O

this year shows a marked slowing down of that rate. it’s not just the average rate that is lower, but the actual rate is slowing down month-to-month (the slope is leveling out, maybe)

last year’s rate was fairly steady month in and month out with very little variation of that 8+ daily loss rate but here’s how the rate has been this year:

  • the first 41 days of the year saw the same 8.4 daily loss rate as 2012
  • at 66 days into the year, that rate was 7.37
  • at 143 days in to 2013, it was 5.58
  • as of july 23, 204 days into the year, this rate is 4.9 sims per day

it’s still a loss of revenue any way you look at it BUT

is Second Life reaching a balancing point?

will there be some point, maybe next year, that Second Life sees a private sim growth rate of zero?

that would be the point where private sim loss is offset by new sims and a homeostasis is reached

time will tell and there’s no doubt that losing 4.9 sims per day is bad, but it isn’t as bad as it has been!

july2013loss

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written by Ener Hax

July 24th, 2013 at 10:44 am

posted in second life

tagged with

Space visualisation done economically

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reposted from subQuark’s blog | a modded version of this club is part of Enclave Harbour! =)

I’ve written in the past about my use of OpenSim, specifically Sim-on-a-Stick, as part of my day job. One post discussed the use of OpenSim as a way for eLearning developers to create easy-to-use sets for doing video.

A few years ago I spoke at a handful of conferences about using Second Life as this type of studio and it was well received by the eLearning community. However, the cost of Second Life is prohibitive for most corporate eLearning departments and that’s enough of a stumbling block to prevent its adoption. With Sim-on-a-Stick, or even Kitely‘s incredibly affordable OpenSim hosting, cost is no longer an issue.

However, many eLearning professionals maintain that learning to build in OpenSim comes with a steep learning curve. I don’t agree with that and have taught many how to build in an hour. When comparing OpenSim to “real” 3D programs, such as Blender, then the learning curve is incredible short! Blender is much more difficult to master but your results can be more photo-realistic but come at a cost of long building and rendering times.

An hour doesn’t make a new user an expert builder like Ener Hax, but they certainly can start building useful objects and hone their skills. Compare that to what a new user would be able to do after an hour learning Blender . . .

I continue to maintain that photo-realism is not necessary in certain applications. After all, everyone sees this :) as a happy face even though it’s a colon and closing parenthesis.

The other way that I have used OpenSim, again Sim-on-a-Stick specifically, is to create floor spaces that are used to respond to proposals. These are built to the dimensions of existing floor plans and used by a marketing sales team to layout a potential customer’s exhibit booth and materials. The goal in this past post was to layout standard-sized booths, table, banners from a custom inventory and import and apply a customers artwork in a matter of minutes. The client was able to consistently create these layouts in under 20 minutes and then take snapshots and video to use in their RFP responses.

Along a similar line to this second example, here is a video of a pre-construction space where the client wanted to book business before the property was open. Being able to visualise the space with this video, and other videos and static images, allowed their sales team to have meeting space revenue booked a year in advance of their grand opening. It’s not unusual to book function space five and ten years in advance.

A common thread for these uses is one of budget. Everyone thinks they want cinema quality video until they see the expensive of it!

In these cases, OpenSim provides a solution that is affordable, relatively easy to use, and effective!

direct YouTube link

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written by subQuark

July 22nd, 2013 at 11:04 am

wanna test a cross-platform vehicle script?

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the talented Mick Scarbridge seems like the kind of person i would like to be! someone who is not scared to explore scripting and also someone who comes up with fresh ideas

“scared” might sound weird, but i definitely have an aversion to learning how to script in OpenSim. i used to think it’s because i do ActionScript and JavaScript in my day job and simply don’t want to do it in my “recreational” activities, but that’s just rationale for myself so that i don’t feel dumb or lazy

i fear failing with OpenSim scripting and i also fear creating crappy scripts that make my labour of love turn into a horrendous user experience! because of that (and actual laziness), all i tend to use are sit scripts (not even animated ones!) and omega rotations!

how lame is that!?! o_O

it would be too easy for me to say “well, i did a little scripting inSL, but then went to Opensim 0.6.7 and nothing worked, then some later version made my sits rotate by 90 degrees, and blah, blah, blah . . .”, but let’s call it what it is – fear!

now that i have gotten that off my chest (and copped out), is anyone interested in trying out Mick’s new cross-platform script for vehicles?

he’s been posting about here on the blog and made a nice pastebin version available (nicely commented too), so i think it’s okay that i mention it =)

ideally Mick’s script works in OpenSim, InWorldz, and Second Life

i haven’t tried it in Kitely or Sim-on-a-Stick yet and didn’t want to keep this to myself. if you try it and like it, comment on what grid you did and your experience with it. if you have constructive criticism, share that too!

i might secretly fire up SoaS here at work to see for myself, i’d love an easy vehicle script!

thanks Mick! =)

Pastebin location – http://pastebin.com/PtumTgzU

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written by Ener Hax

July 19th, 2013 at 1:24 pm

posted in OpenSim,second life,virtual worlds

tagged with

Second Life private sims will drop below 20k next week

15 comments

private estates in Second Life are a primary revenue stream for Linden Lab. currently that’s over $4 million per month (mainland is an additional $900 K)

the other day on Wagner Au’s blog, there was a post framing Maria’s Hypergrid Business OpenSim monthly stats as being out of whack in comparing OpenSim to Second Life. the biggest argument being made was the number of active users and that more is better

Second Life has a concurrency of over 50,000 people per day and OpenSim doesn’t get half of that in a month!

but how do you count people like Kate Booth and all of her students who use Sim-on-a-Stick? and Erik in New York that has his students network into SoaS as a multi-tenancy installation? how about the universities that use OpenSim? i know the Air Force Academy still uses Sim-on-a-Stick, but how many instances?

personally, i think 500 daily users of OpenSim might not be a bad guess, that’s only one percent the number of Second Life users! but that doesn’t matter when you’re arguing which is better

saying OpenSim is better than Second Life is like saying an ggplant is better than a potato (i hate eggplants) *yuck*

i can unequivocally say that OpenSim is better than Second Life . . .

in certain cases, like having level 3 maths being done by seven year olds – you can’t do that with Second Life. but that does not mean OpenSim is better – just in this particular case

arguing concurrency is a valid topic but as far as which is better, that depends on your needs

BUT, Second Life’s success is directly tied to private estates and that number has been steadily declining for over two years (this is no longer stagnant, plateau, or flat as some insist)

maybe LL’s acquisition of Desura can right this ship or maybe that’ll be another Avatars United (me cynical?) =p

july13

data from Tyche Shepherd’s amazing Grid Survey where you can view this data since LL’s start

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written by Ener Hax

July 12th, 2013 at 7:46 am

be an OpenSim evangelist

11 comments

Flickr used to be $24.95 USD per year, if you wanted to post more than 200 pictures. it’s easy to have more than 200 pics if you are doing in-world snapshots

i started using flickr right after starting in Second Life – it was a great way to help the SEO of the blog and well worth the $24.95 since i was originally trying to raise awareness for my SL land business (what a sucker i was! but i learned a lot and met neat people) =)

but . . . spending $25 a year to host pics just for the heck of it seems wasteful (to a sometimes frugal person like me anyway) and not everyone does it

i’ve often touted how sharing your pics, and even videos, of your uses of Second Life or OpenSim helps others see value in virtual worlds and possibly give them a try

in OpenSim, we have a small user base (compared to things like WoW and facebook) and no formal marketing. even Second Life doesn’t have any real marketing efforts . . .

for OpenSim, the blogosphere, twitter, YouTube, and Flickr are the main ways in which new users are reached

how many of you decided to try out the virtual world based off of something you saw online?

the power of just the right image has made the difference between some people trying it out or not. i’m a prime example! i decided to try Second Life because of the virtual aloft blog and their YouTube videos. the rest is living history! =D

well Flickr is no longer $24.95! now you can upload for free! =)

and free isn’t 200 pics anymore, it’s a terabyte! how big is that for pics?

well if you are on a 1920 x 1080 monitor that would be over one and a half million photos! (1,500,000 pics!) i have 14,885 pics online and Torley has 30,886!!! o_O

you can be that person that turns on a new user regardless of what you use OpenSim for. if you like doing such and such in the virtual world, chances are that others do too. they simply might not know it yet

if i had never seen the virtual aloft, i probably would never have found this joy i now have. i love doing what i do in OpenSim and can’t imagine my real world without it

if you don’t have one – get a Flickr account and start uploading snapshots of what you like about OpenSim. you can be the one that helps others discover something rewarding =)

flickr

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written by Ener Hax

June 27th, 2013 at 7:42 am

posted in OpenSim

tagged with , ,

another multi-texture per prim example

16 comments

here is an old trick that many people use and it helps reduce load for visitors

depending on how nice a quality you need your textures, placing several on one image can be a handy trick. it helps you keep your inventory under control (i am really bad at keeping textures organised both in-world and in the real world!) and can reduce the load for your users

texturework_001in Second Life, placing multiple textures on one image is also a way to save a little money with uploads. here’s some trivia about how much those $10 Linden uploads actually affects Linden Lab’s bottom line. back when i was big into SL (well, my avatar is like 5′ 2″ with boots on), Linden Lab published all kings of user data – from user hours to revenues they earned. in early 2008, Linden Lab was bringing in $90,000 USD per month on all the $10 L upload fees! what was chump change to you and me was several people’s salaries at the Lab! o_O

anyway . . . this example is a 512 pixel square image saved as a PNG-8 with transparency and the filesize is 89 kb – that’s not too bad considering i am using it for 6 different graffiti tags in Hax Nuit

i made these tags as gray scale so that i could colour them differently for some variety and thus use each several times. it is hard to see but “is this real” and “i am rezzed therefore i am” have a linear gradient applied. the OpenSim people/hippo logo also has radial gradients. the ideal was to give them a bit more texture. i should have been more extreme in the gray scale gradients but what do expect from an Ener?

after importing the texture, i set it up on a phantom prim, set all the other sides to 100 transparent and then adjust the repeats and offset to show one of the textures. then i shift duplicate it and only need to adjust the offsets for similar sized parts of the texture (the top four were all the same repeats, the bottom two were different)

once i am happy with the repeats, i then duplicated them and coloured the front faces. then i name each and take a copy into inventory for archiving. i then shift duplicate the ones in-world and spend a few minutes randomly placing them and that’s all there is to it =)

texturework_002

texturework_003

texturework_004

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written by Ener Hax

June 14th, 2013 at 5:41 am

posted in OpenSim

tagged with

OpenSim on an Android tablet vs. a desktop

5 comments

sometimes people ask me what i think about OpenSim and tablets. most in the OpenSim community know about Lumiya but those that ask me are typically outsiders (them!) and include people in the corporate eLearning that have seen how we have used it as a free 3D video studio (old post by subQuark)

Lumiya works very well (there was an update last night – after i had taken these pics!) but it is not the desktop experience. i still use Imprudence 1.3.2 which is what is shown below. newer browsers render more nicely than version 1 viewers but the screen shots below are simply to show the difference

i don’t know why my avatar doesn’t render out, i have seen other people’s screen shots where theirs do – must be an enersyncrasy or maybe i’m so bright you have to wear shades =p

would i use Lumiya for more than simply checking it out?

no, there isn’t a case where i would suggest Lumiya over a desktop to interact with anything i make. that said, if it was the only access someone had to something like our Enclave Harbour project, then i would be okay with it. i think our “3D illustrations” for science field trips will work in Lumiya

the second image shows the tower crane and nuclear power plant components and would be usable in conjunction with the workbook. the experience would still be immersive in that a student could walk around the builds but it wouldn’t be as rich as a desktop

i believe that as tablets become more powerful (or are inevitably morphed in favour of tablet-sized ultra PCs with detachable keyboards) then we will have rich OpenSim experiences – it’s just a matter of time =)

 

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Haxor Lunar Lounge in Kitely – one of two kid-friendly clubs in Enclave Harbour

 

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old school nuclear power plant in Enclave Harbour

 

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written by Ener Hax

June 12th, 2013 at 7:28 am

posted in OpenSim,virtual worlds

tagged with

twitter access for Kitely

4 comments

here’s how to setup a Twitter list and how to access a Kitely world via that list (i hope i have all the steps here!)

lol, this seems like a lot of steps but it took me only a two minutes to set up the Twitter access =)

 

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log in to both your Kitely and your Twitter accounts. then select the Kitely world you want this for and click Manage and then the Access tab. select Create Twitter List and follow the Kitely directions

 

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select List in the left sidebar on Twitter and create a list. it must be Public. that only means others can view it, but they can’t add themselves to it – only you can add people to that list (or remove them)

 

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your list will then show up and you can start adding people to it

 

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find whoever you want to add and use the drop-down next to their name to add them to your list

 

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all of your lists will show up and simply select the access one you just set up

 

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you can edit this list anytime in Twitter, as your needs dictate

 

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once done in Twitter, return to your Kitely page and you should see the access list you just created. you can set your billing for that list – Normal charges the visitor, Free charges you, and you can Select Price (you can charge people and make some KC or you can actually pay visitors – Kitely will take 1 KC or 10%, whichever is greater )

 

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now you can give your Kitely world URL to list members and they will come to that world’s page and click the Login button

 

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they will be prompted to login and you would tell them to do so with Twitter, in this example

 

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if the visitor is not logged in to twitter, they will be prompted to do so. their account name and password are NOT sent to Kitely – this is highly protected by Twitter and there is absolutely no way for Kitely to obtain those credentials (unless you email them to Ilan or Oren! no need to do that!)

 

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once your visitor is logged in (my green arrow), the Login button becomes the Enter World button. they click this and away they go! if they don’t have a viewer, the Kitely site is wicked smart and will prompt them to download it and it will start automatically (very smooth and sophisticated)

 

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the page indicates the viewer is starting and will place your visitor in a transfer station if your world isn’t currently active (probably nice to tell them in case they are like me and don’t bother reading the transfer station signs and simply freak out and run in circles) =p

 

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the Kitely website indicates that the visitor is connected

 

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the viewer starts up like normal except that the visitor does not need to enter credentials – so far the user has only needed to be logged in to their Twitter and then click buttons on the Kitely site – that’s easy to take for granted but it is some serious design and development by Kitely (yah, i’m a fangrrrl) =p

 

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ooh, pretty! =D

 

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voila! success and the visit is recorded in your Kitely history

 

setting up Twitter access is faster than reading all of this and then all you do is tell your visitors:

check out my world at http://www.kitely.com/virtual-world/blah blah/blah and login with your Twitter account and prepare to be amazed!

well, maybe do it in your own way, i might be too subtle, modest, and humble! =p

but do have fun! =)

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written by Ener Hax

June 7th, 2013 at 10:22 am

posted in OpenSim,virtual worlds

tagged with ,

my SoaS perspective for the classroom

5 comments

David (subQuark) Cc’d me on an email to a LinkedIn inquiry and i thought it was a great response (and maybe not as long winded as mine would be) for an educator thinking of using Sim-on-a-Stick -

On 06/04/13 2:11 PM, GH wrote:
——————–
And yes, cannot have students using SL/Opensim browsers, I’m wondering if the “stick” is the way around this.

David’s response:

Sim-on-a-Stick has been popular with K-12 teachers and some University professors. Even the US Air Force Academy has used it!

Apart from the 20,000 downloads it has had over the last two years, a truly exemplary use of it in the classroom continues to be Kate Booth.

http://iliveisl.com/superstar-teacher-and-students-present-soas-at-university/

I have used it for corporate eLearning, mainly filming branched scenarios, and have spoken about this in the past at the eLearning Guild’s DevLearn. [Ener note: this was the Guild's first ever video podcast, how cool that David did it inSL!]

The key is to have a set package to deploy to your students which typically means that you would develop a master teaching version that you then copy. Many teachers add children’s avatars to the inventory and lay out some objects in-world that are starting points for activities.

katesWorldsYou can go so far as to then have boy and girl versions of your sticks, including account names different from Simona Stick. Ms Booth has a basket for all of her students’ sticks as can be seen in this photo: [original link replaced with image inserted by Ener]

At some point, probably before customizing SoaS, a check needs to be done on the target machines to ensure that all is in order. I had one teacher that needed to have IT install all of the Windows Updates including .NET frameworks as these are vital to SoaS.

Good luck!

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written by Ener Hax

June 5th, 2013 at 3:46 pm

adding “decals” to your builds

10 comments

a nice thing about OpenSim is the freedom from the 15,000 prim limit set in Second Life. that doesn’t mean that you can go nuts with prims, they still have overhead, but the 10 year old SL 15k limit is outdated with the advances in both hardware and the application itself. OpenSim has become very efficient in the resources required to run it. even Sim-on-a-Stick can easily run over 15,000 prims – it all depends on your hardware (and the server if not SoaS)

last year i did 576k prims on SoaS on a machine with 8 gig of RAM and Nebudon did over a million on his tricked out box

you no longer are as tied to that 15k limit and that means you can “splurge” a little. i guess i still am tied down a bit by my time inSL and for those reading this that never were inSL, then it’s not a big deal =)

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don’t place it too close to the wall

i went back into Hax Nuit after being out of OpenSim for the last two or three months and decided to add some transparent cracks and splats to it. i still keep my number of textures down but thought that the addition of five different masked images would be nice. i grabbed some from CG Textures and selected masked images of plaster cracks and two drip marks. these have the backgrounds removed so that they are transparent. you can size them down to 512 and save them as alpha transparent PNG-8s and most are under 50 KB

then i loaded them onto one face of a prim where the other faces were set to 100% transparent and the prim set to phantom. the five textures can be flipped to make them look a little different. when placing them you don’t want them too close to the wall or you will have that flickering z-index fighting when viewing them from a distance

this “decal” approach isn’t right for everybody but for the prim-simplicity of Hax Nuit, this was an easy way to add ambiance without adding much overhead to the entire build

it also worth noting that Kitely, home of Hax Nuit, has done their own optimisation of OpenSim to allow even more prims than a “standard” deployment. Hax Nuit has over 35,000 prims on one 256 metre region and never skips a beat! =)

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before

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after

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before

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after

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written by Ener Hax

May 26th, 2013 at 12:22 pm

posted in OpenSim

tagged with

2000 private sims lost in 2013?

8 comments

on Valentine’s this year i projected that Second Life could end 2013 with fewer than 18,000 private sims and that projection still holds true (based on Tyche Shepherd’s numbers)

that’s still a lot of sims by most measures except when measured against Second Life itself - at its peak, there were 26,605 private sims in 2008

that’s about a 30% loss since the media frenzied days of SL . . .

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written by Ener Hax

May 24th, 2013 at 8:21 am

posted in second life,virtual worlds

tagged with

add your voice – take this survey

leave a comment

Maria has a very short survey of two questions that can be useful for the OpenSim community if you participate

Survey: How do you use OpenSim?

survey

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written by Ener Hax

May 21st, 2013 at 7:18 am

posted in OpenSim

tagged with