Blender,Opensim to The Lost Castle workflow (building the boat shed)

This is how my design flow works in conjunction with Blender Opensim and finally into The Lost Castle simulator.
I like to use Opensim as my sketch pad this where the original idea takes shape. It is easy to do a quick sketch with a few prims and easy to move around and get a feeling for the design.

I  Start in Opensim, The Lost Castle merchant area outside the castle moat.
The intention is to Build a Boat shed and living quarters for local boat builder.

Boat shed

After the concept is roughly laid out and a few measurements taken in world I open Blender.  The design will be an all mesh design,  like most of our work in The Lost Castle.
I make the first simple mesh in Blender and then import it to TLC to make sure I have the right  proportions.
The import  is an ongoing process between Blender and TLC checking up to see that the conversion between Blender and Opensim is right.
I like doing this often to make sure I am on right track I also find it hard to get the right feel for things in Blender I like  to walk around with my Avatar  to make sure the design works in  the simulator  and looks in proportion.
(We can talk about scale all day long and not really going  nowhere this is a bit of difficult part with this type of simulation  the camera is behind the Avatar and higher so  to walk around  in comfort we have to have that in mind  but that is for another day).
Often when I import the mesh I see  how I  can make improvements and I add prims and build in world as I would normally do.  Ahh if I had a tool to  export what I just done so I could bring the edited mesh back into Blender that would save me lots of time. However  now I go back into Blender and build that into my mesh what I just edited in TLC.

You can see how this design evolved from the original concept to  product in this album
pictures tells it better than words.


The Lost Castle more progress update

As you can see from resent videos the work in The Lost Castle is progressing, we keep on finding more and more interesting information about Mori Tadamasa’s original Castle at Tsuyama City Japan. This means additional fun, work and gives us more insight in to how the lifestyle might have been not only in the inner Castle area but also in the township forming around the Castle it self (today’s Tsuyama City).
Miyoko is creating that traditional Japanese feel to the project by adding animations, textures clothing and designs. We still have many rough edges to smooth we hope to be part of the Hypergrid soon We like you to visit us then and explore The Lost Castle. Vivox voice is enabled in The Lost Castle so you can chat by voice if you so like. Until then have fun.


The Display Village Miyoko’s Island and Mountain

A few weeks back we started building in The Display Village, We started a new server in Europe and we been testing the server and the opensim release. We have had good fun  both server and opensim has worked well. The builds are a bit different to what we have done before more on the fantasy side anyhow Miyoko made a  video clip from parts of our building spree, it is work in progress fish, trees, seaweed and rocks are added all the time.

Mesh In Troppo Secondlife our first thoughts.

Almost a week in to testing mesh @Troppo SL.

Mesh is by far the most complex change I have seen during my stay in SL, it is an exciting change. Is is good or bad?  I think it is for you to experience and for you to make up your own mind how, what and if you want to use mesh. If mesh can live together with prims and sculpted items in harmony all is well and I guess this exactly what Linden Lab is trying to do.

I don’t think that is an easy task, especially if at the same time you are trying to make it in a business like manner.

What is this going to cost?  There is added cost to include mesh.  I am not including the cost for software that you might need to create the mesh. You pay for uploading the mesh in the same way you pay for uploading textures and photos. The price for uploading varies on the complexity of the mesh.  As an example the Lion and Tiger (in the clip below) cost between $L150 to $SL200 to upload, the prim count for each is around 180 prims.

The texture for mesh can be as complex as the mesh itself or it can be simple what is right for one not necessarily so for the next and  the ordinary cost for uploading texture  applies.

How will this affect the performance of SL and Opensim?  Well I don’t know but I suspect that as long as we stay within the old prim count rules we should not see much difference. Adding a bit of mesh to Troppo Island has made no impact but we have not added lot of mesh so time will tell.  When you have a mix of prims .sculpties and mesh and try to determine what effects what performance wise, I am glad I don’t have to work it out. I have no doubt that the quality of mesh can be really good and  can be superior to what we had before. However prims and  sculpties are easier to build with. Lets not get too involved or technical,  lets us test more and get more knowledge, meanwhile here is a short clip to show mesh sculpties and prims living together in harmony:-). Thank you to Linden Lab for giving us the opportunity to participate.

Diva Distro D2 OpenSim 0.7.1 first impression

More good news from OpenSim late last week, Diva precented an upgrade of her popular Diva Distro a D2. I upgraded Troppo Club on Saturday and was tweaking settings most of the weekend. Impressed? You bet!!  Then a small D2 update Monday clearing some misconfiguration and all of a sudden it all fell in to place. This is really a huge step forward for OpenSim I only mention a few what I feel are major improvements named in no particular order of importance.

Coalesced items: Yes works fine.

I must admit I haven’t tried with lots of prims. I found out tho that in Megaregions it might be best to stick to the root region with other words what happens to me in subregions is all prims end up in one spot. I can understand why and as long as you keep that in mind no big deal. Btw this is of cause also what happens when you use the “Builders Buddy” in  megaregions.

A Builders Buddy work around:  Use “Holo Emitter”  prims are added in relation to a base prim and not toaa posittion in the region

good luck.

Media on a Prim:  Works fine for me this is great news.

Mesh: Is it possible to upload mesh Yes!

Remember there are lots of different meshes. You need a  Collada .dae file,  having said that not all Collada files work either not for me at least but I am no expert in mesh or Collada. I went to SL wiki and downloaded my favourite car, I know this works and beside that it is a brilliant design and a pure pleasure to look at. When I can upload this car and all works fine I know I am on the right track. Google warehouse is an interesting place you can find almost anything and lots of Collada files,  you will see some fantastic designs.


The Car

What is this?  Well it is not yellow so not a submarine but maybe it could be…. what ever, it is charming,  a good test, a large file.

The AirSub?

Mesh is not as easy as it first looks, it is however a gigantic step forward. Will it be disruptive? Yes I am sure it will be……..

Hypergrid:  Is Hypergrid working? Yes it is!

This is most probably the crux of the matter this is how we can communicate and exchange ideas and items between grids, stand-alone or what ever we like to call them. Without Hypergrid we will be building more and more walled gardens of Virtual Worlds I don’t think that is a good idea.

This version is not compatible with earlier models, as a matter of fact if you have old hg addresses in your database that can be a problem. Diva as a tip says delete the old addresses, delete direct from the database. I used wifi logged in as admin and went to link regions and deleted them one by one, might not be the way to go but it is working for me so far. I only had about ten or so links, so was easy to do. If you have 1004 might be a bit different 🙂  A milestone week for OpenSim an amazing Group of people producing a first class product with a minimum of fuzz.  Thank you an outstanding and wonderful effort.


Opensim Kinect mocap.

The last few days I have been playing with the Kinect. I downloaded Jasper Brekelmans Brekel Kinect and bvhacker and started up my Kinect. Rock Vacirca has good info on  how to set up your Kinect

How is this all working? I think surprisingly well. It is not perfect and it will take some work to get it all better but a good start and heaps of fun. As you can see in the little clip I am a bit jittery well this could be because I only had 2 cups of coffee before I did this but more likely some settings that I did not tweak right. This is a 30 sec animation 475kb .bvh. I just found out  I can’t upload this file to SL they have a cap 60kb file size.  No editing was done to the capture. I  saved the file in Brekel Kinect opened it in bvhacker saved it again and uploaded it to Troppo Club opensim as a looped ani and that is what you can see. It is early days and I am sure in a short time  things will be better and even easier to set up. Thank you Jasper, Dave and Rock for all your work.


My setup is as follows

win 7 home 64 bit 8gig ram quad core Intel

Kinect sits on a tripod about 110cm from floor level.

I stand about 2 to 3 meters away from the Kinect, plenty of lighting in the room.


A use for SSD hard drive in Opensim and SL

This Post  is a follow up to a conversation that started on Buzz a little while back
Corsair 120gig SSDIn the quest for better performance and to prolong the useful life of my HP dv9000 laptop  (Intel Duo T7500 @2.2Hz and 3 gig of ram now running Win7 64bit) I bought a Corsair Force series ssd. I replaced the old hard drive with the ssd and did a clean install of Win 7 home premium. OK I had some problems here, the copy of  Win 7  I have is an upgrade from Vista so when activating the OS?-+ well I am sure you all see the problem… A phone call to Microsoft and a helpful tech person and I was on my way again (must say I was very impressed with the MS service) So the new drive is up and is blistering fast from the time I push the power button and swipe the finger-printer I am logged in and Skype is started all of 30 second wow I am impressed. I had to time that again and if anything it was 28 seconds. I compare this to my main PC also running Win 7 64 bit home premium it is a quad core intel 2.6Hz 4 gig ram and it takes 3.5 minutes to start. Not a fantastic comparison since the main has heaps more programs but still only about 70 gig on the C drive.

I think you understand where this is going I now have another ssd ordered for my main computer this time I am going to try a OCZ Vertex 120 gig more about that one in a later post.

TRIM is supported by both drives and TRIM is enabled in Win 7. What is TRIM and why do you need it this article describes that in full. The reading/writing of data to a ssd is a bit different to using a conventional hard drive mainly in the re writing of data in a non virgin cell TRIM helps cleaning the cell of old data making it ready for use as a clean cell. How do you know that TRIM is enabled in Win 7?  by sending  this command from command line  fsutil behavior query DisableDeleteNotify.  If the result is “0” TRIM is enabled. If not “0” how do you enable TRIM ?  The best answer to that I found here. What about other OS? Zilla has some answers to that  in our original conversation and a link to TRIM in OSX . What about ssd in Linux? I must admit I don’t know maybe if you have some info you can let us know?

Why this need for speed? I like to get my frame rate up as much as possible for developing machinima  in Opensim and Sl. I take full advantage of Opensim having it running on my local computer  and not having to drag the data over the net. Then to read/write to a fast hard drive together with a fast and efficient GPU and plenty of Ram I hope will make for a relatively good set up. Time will tell and I will keep you updated with a few clips as time goes on.

Virtual Justice how and when in online worlds?

I spent the last few days reading Virtual Justice by Greg Lastowka. Greg is outlining legal issues that can happen in Virtual environments.

Who owns what? What rights if any do you have when buying or creating digital content?

It is important reading for anyone involved in Virtual digital environments. In large environments like World of  Warcraft and Secondlife merely participating or building your own business can be a hazardous task.

Reading the Secondlife TOS in it self is a bit of a chore to understand it not easy and for a legal interpretation you need to have a good knowledge of the law. A law that in many cases was not designed with consideration to Virtual environments.

I have spent the last 5 years or so involved in virtual worlds When I first entered Secondlife the platform appealed to me from a business point of view, many a time have I been told it is only a game it is not real….. SoI thank Greg for this

My point here is fairly simple: the person who buys a castle in Ultima Online or a plot of land in Second Life is, in all likelihood, not in need of professional psychological help. We should accept that people who are healthy and sane can be passionate participants in virtual worlds.

Good I feel better now 🙂

After years in Secondlife tossed around by Linden Lab trying to find a way to build a business that I could safely recommend to my customers, I welcomed the birth of Open simulator it could not have been better timed.

I now have the ability to run my 3D environment, that takes away a lot of potential difficult questions about ownership. The content is now on my own or hosted servers and I can offer my customers the same deal. With easy backup systems Ready configured Environments like the Diva Distro running your own Virtual World is all of a sudden easy.

I agree with Greg the of the owner of the virtual world looks to have almost god like powers with TOS that if you read them would scare most people.

Admit-tingly that same problems still exist if you are not the owner but renting space in an online World as is the case in WoW or Secondlife  – or does it?

As I see it, that need not be the case if you as a provider of the space at least include backups as part of the service to your customers. The Backups then enables the owner to start somewhere else if that need to happen (backups however can also create problems in the case of non copy items) and would naturally only work on the same platform.

With the advent of Hypergrid ( the ability to freely move between Virtual worlds) it is likely we will see lots of smaller 3D environments with avatars browsing virtual worlds similar to the way we now browse the www. This will put up more challenges for Justice in Virtual Worlds and will most certainly ensure that some of the Wild West mentality that exist will live on

Questions forming around copyrights are difficult. For example a large, complex 3D building is made up of from many components and will no doubt include items that are not all created by the designer of the final build, this is not much different from what happens in day-to-day life.

A digital item is however a lot easier to copy than for example a car, fridge, Tv or leather couch in “the real world”.

A well-developed marketplace for digital items anything from textures to final builds, an easy to understand permission system and sensible pricing could help.

Licensing under Creative Commons might also help to achieve Virtual Justice and pave the road for new laws for online Worlds.

I recommend:  To buy the book  or download please go here

Listen to an interview with Greg Lastowka   here

Online interview with  Greg Lastowka metanomics

Culture Lab  interview with Greg Lastowka by Samantha Murphy

Newsarama interview

Projected texture and light

Mesh Cave

Ok I had to come back to this is like the kid in the candy store you have to come back and suck on that one you missed last time 🙂

I did not miss the “mesh cave” but I did not spend enough time in the cave so here I am again.

What do I think is special about this place created by Timmi Allen and owned by Leni Galli

well from my point it all has to do with light and how light is projected and managed.

“Mesh cave” does this really well, the new viewer of cause has a lot to do with this. Projection of Texture and light has been with us for some time but not published as much as mesh and other goodies like media on a prim. (Link and more resent video)

I took a few photos and you can see for yourself. It is hard to explain the details better if you look and make up your own mind. Remember we used to see light through walls and roofs a prim did not stop light. Here we are in a cave at midday and it is still dark in the cave added light make us see what is there added light also cast shadows and it is not projecting behind the distant it is told to reach …… me thinks pretty amazing. This is happening in the viewer so it works the same in opensim the only difference I noticed in opensim is the settings are not persistent so I need to add them after I I restart the viewer.

Projected texture, light and shadows to me is what has made an enormous difference to both to SL and Opensim mesh will be a big bonus on top of that. Fun times ahead.

Photos here

1 bn registered accounts in Virtual Worlds

Some pretty amazing figures of growth in virtual worlds. Opensim is well positioned as a platform for future 3D environments. 3D will more and more become mainstream. Self contained smaller stand alone grids a la Diva distro

are likely to flourish, exciting times the world is getting larger by the second.

Amplify’d from

Virtual world registered accounts breakthrough 1bn

Our Q3 2010 Universe Chart has just been completed and the major headline to report is that total registered accounts have reached 1bn (1.009bn to be exact).

That’s a 51m increase in accounts from Q2 2010 and a 350m increase over the last 12 months. The chart below shows quarterly growth from Q1 2009.

From an age perspective, the 10 to 15 year old age range still dominates, with 468m total registered accounts, a 24m increase from Q2. The second largest group is 15 to 25 with 288m accounts – a 15m increase. The table below shows total registered accounts by age band from Q1 2009.

The following series of posts will present the updated Universe segments and the entire report can be ordered here. Here’s a link to the Universe chart segment for virtual worlds with an average user age of 10 to 15.