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.

 

WebGL amazing things happening in the browser.

The holy grail as it seems is to have everything happening in the browser. I agree with this because it is where we spend a lot of our time and most of us know how to use it and we are comfortable with our browser. Plugin to browsers give the browsers more horsepower but WebGl super-charges it. I was playing with WebGl water by Evan Wallace mesmerised by gravity, light, reflections and waves when something caught my eye, I had Fraps video capture program running in the background and it was telling me it was ready for action in Chrome browser? So I started to record my play and you can see the result below. I have noticed that Fraps will work on some websites and in some web apps. Yes I am a fan of Fraps so it really made my day. Now WebGL is not working in all browsers It works in Chrome , Firefox and Safari I think you have to enable WebGL in Safari before it works. Have a look at what Evan Wallace is doing the WebGL water is just fantastic.

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 0.7.1.1 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 http://www.troymcconaghy.com/blog/2007/9/13/open-source-holo-emitter-for-sl.html

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 http://rock-vacirca.blogspot.com/2011/02/creating-sl-animations-using-kinect.html

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.

 

Journey tribute concert and Japan relief

The Stage is set!

A tribute concert to Journey Friday 18 March at 1pm SL time. http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Troppo/99/130/2001

Journey released their eponymous first album in 1975, and rhythm guitarist Tickner left the band before they cut their second album, Look into the Future (1976). Neither album achieved significant sales,[11] so Schon, Valory, and Dunbar took singing lessons in an attempt to add vocal harmoniesto Rolie’s lead. The following year’s Next contained shorter tracks with more vocals, and featured Schon as lead singer on two of the songs. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Journey_(band)

 

“The looking Glass” has put The Journey tribute concert together.

Lets grab this opportunity to dig deep in our pocket and help our Japanese friends that at the moment are facing an ever increasingly Grim situation, Earthquake, Tsumami and Nuclear disaster all at the same time. Please come along to the concert buy a Linden Relief Bear enjoy the music and lets send some good thoughts to the people who need our support  now.

IM me Per Pegler during the concert and I will include your avatar name in the credits of the Journey video clip ( will be on on this blog and youtube  the day  after the concert) I hope we can make it a long credit list. Please understand I wont be able to talk to you during the concert I be busy recording.  If you need any help please  talk to Simone Nurmi  see you after the show.