Austin Tate's Blog

Subscribe to Austin Tate's Blog feed Austin Tate's Blog
Individual Blog Entries
Updated: 1 hour 13 sec ago

Sinespace – Vue

Mon, 09/18/2017 - 10:55

The Virtual University of Edinburgh regions as they appeared in Second Life at their maximum extent and as they are replicated on the OpenSimuator-based Openvue grid has been converted via the OAR Converter into Unity3D and then provided into the Sinespace virtual world platform.

Vue – Original OpenSim Region Map

Vue – Unity Editor

OAR Converter

Sun, 09/17/2017 - 14:12

OAR Converter can take an OpenSimulator Archive (OAR) and from it create textures, meshes and terrain suitable to import into a Unity scene. The converter has been created by Fumikazu Iseki (Avatar: @Fumi.Hax – @fumi_hax) and his colleagues at the Network Systems Laboratory of TUIS in Japan with support from Austin Tate at the University of Edinburgh.

  • OAR Converer converts from OpenSimulator Archive (OAR) to Collada files for use in Unity3D.
  • This software was developed by Fumi Iseki, Austin Tate, Daichi Mizumaki and Kohe Suzuki

OAR Converter can run on Linux and Windows and source code is available. Full instructions for compiling and using the source code version on these platforms is available via the TUIS Wiki OAR Converter Page. For convenience a version with Windows UI is also available as a ready to run package.

Quick Start Instructions for OAR Converter with Windows UI

OARConvWin is OARConv with Windows UI. OARConvWin converts OAR file of OpenSim to Collada (dae) files for Unity3D.

Download the OAR Converter for Windows latest version from [<a href=""Local Copy]. Latest Version at the time of this blog post in September 2017 is v1.0.6 (at 2016/5/11) which is based on oarconv-1.4.4

For straightforward conversions, simply follow these steps:

Import to Unity3D

You could follow the video instructions in this YouTube video by Fumikazu Iseki.

Project Base for OAR Converter Projects

Once you have successfully tried a conversion and understand the elements, you may wish to create a base for any future OAR conversion… which can include all the steps except for the drag and drop in of the actual DAE converted content. Do this yourself to incorporate the very latest OAR Converter content, scripts and Unity assets. You can if you wish save this as a “unitypackage” to incorporate into future Unity projects.

But, for convenience, a Unity 5 base “unitypackage” has been created which includes the required Editor/SelectOARShader.cs, the water layers and the Unity 5 Standard Assets “Ethan” character with simple movement and attached camera. An alternative with the Blender open source Sintel movie character and attached camera setup as indicated in the OARConv YouTube video is also provided at…

Make a copy of the base project you created or a new unity project, import the chosen unitypackage as a base, and then drag the OAR Converter produced “DAE” directory into the Unity Project Assets area, add the DAE folder assets and those in the DAE/Phantoms folder to the hierarchical view panel. Adjust the position of the chosen character and attached camera to suit the region, save the project, save the scene, and you should be good to go.

Further Information and Resources

OAR Converter License

License (2016 11/19) – OAR Converter Copyright © 2014-2016 Fumi.Iseki, Austin Tate, D.Mizumaki and K.Suzuki, All rights reserved.

Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without modification, are permitted provided that the following
conditions are met:

  • Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer.
  • Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer in the documentation and/or other materials provided with the distribution.
  • Neither the name of the OAR Converter nor the names of its contributors may be used to endorse or promote products derived from this software without specific prior written permission.
  • Please respect the copyright of content providers when using OAR Converter.


Cassini – Grand Finale

Thu, 09/14/2017 - 21:51

Timeline 15th September 2017: Final Entry to Saturn Atmosphere… 6:32 am EDT (3:32 am PDT) Thrusters at 100% of capacity; high-gain antenna begins to point away from Earth, leading to loss of signal. Event received on Earth at 7:56 am EDT (4:54 am PDT). Times may vary after atmospheric drag.
Event for enthusiasts on Space City region in sinespace
NASA Public Television Live Stream [UStream], [YouTube]

To celebrate the 15th September 2017 end of the Cassini Mission to Saturn, I have placed a 3D model of Cassini to realistic scale on the Space City area in the “Space City region in Sinespace grid. This uses one of the freely available 3D models from NASA. The area is being used for a farewell party for Cassini and to watch the live feed from JPL as Cassini soars into the atmosphere of Saturn. You can koi in in a Windows or Apple Macintosh desktop viewer (preferred) or in WebGL in a suitable browser like Firefox or Chrome.


FrancoGrid Fest’Avi 2016

Mon, 09/11/2017 - 20:07

I recently took a tour of the OpenSimulator-based FrancoGrid on its Fest’Avi 2016 region – as it prepares its 2017 festival. This involves the creation of open source avatars in a show case area. A very nice visual feast.

secondlife:///app/teleport/ hop://

Sinespace – RGU Oil Rig at Night

Thu, 09/07/2017 - 11:01

The RGU Oil Rig 3D model and virtual world environment in OpenSimulator create by the team involving Jo-Anne Tait and Colin Hetherington at Robert Gordon University (RGU) Oil & Gas centre in Aberdeen Scotland has been ported to Unity3D via the OpenSimulator OAR Converter Tool and provided in the Sinespace virtual world platform. Recently the region has been augmented by wave effects, sea wash around the oil rig legs, sounds sources, lighting and the replacement of the active information “i” signs for training purposes.

Now a night time version has been provided. Scripts to provide a realistic day or night skybox provided by Adam Frisby at Sine Wave and a changing day/night cycle have been used for experimentation. But the initial “Oil Rig at Night” is a dark late at night fixed time scene.

Visit using the Sinespace desktop viewer or in a WebGL compatible viewer (Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox) via…

AI Rules – Oren Etzioni in NYTimes Opinion Pages

Wed, 09/06/2017 - 11:17

Oren Etzioni at the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence has requested feedback on the following NY Times OpEd:

I provided these notes to Oren on 8th September 2017:

I think its good to have a wide ranging discussion on these matters and to involve the general public. Scare stories could lead to the many potential benefits of AI being lost if there is a negative reaction to the threat that systems can pose… much like happened with GM crops in Europe.

I am not sure that talking of “human operator” is quite the right model. I see future AI systems and robots as “agents” and think the “agency” model is a useful one to include when talking of future AI and robotic/autonomous systems. I think the notion that responsibility lies with the “deployment” or “authorisation” of the agent could help some of the discussion. The idea that such agents are subject to the same laws and regulations and treaties as any other human agent is a good one, and one you cover. Of course that varies by region, and in some lawless or less constrained “off shore” (future “off world”) locations such constraints could be lessened to the detriment of others. So introducing a chain back to those organisations, companies, or individuals who “deploy” or “authorise” the agent may be useful.

Remember, as I am sure you are very aware, that Isaac Asimov’s stories were a warning that the defined three laws could not anticipate all contexts.

My own main concern is the concentration of technology and robotic systems in the hands of a few oligarchs and global companies as systems and devices replace workers. The lack of a social and cooperative approach to this worldwide, and competition for one country or one company to be the “winner takes all” could lead to social unrest and very serious issues. So I am glad to see folks like Bill Gates and others raising issues of taxation on systems and robots in just the same way that there are taxes on workers to pay for the social infrastructure of regions, countries and the world.

Dueling Dragons Roller Coaster

Sat, 09/02/2017 - 19:51

Dueling Dragons (US spelling) is a two track “duelling” (UK English) B&M suspended roller coaster at Islands of Adventure in Universal Studios Orlando. The ride is themed as two dragons… Chinese Fireball (Fire) and the other Hungarian Horntail (Ice).It was opened on 28th May 1999 and was converted to become Duelling Challenge in 2010. After some accidents related to injury cause by loose articles, the coaster ran without the synchronisation of the trains from 2011 until the coaster closed on 4th September 2017.

The roller coaster can still be experienced in virtual reality via the NoLimits2 Roller Coaster Simulator.

Dueling Dragons by Z617Jason

This is my favourite fan-produced version of Dueling Dragons from NoLimits Exchange.

Dueling Dragons by duduchianca

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.

sinespace – Load Test 1-Sep-2017

Fri, 09/01/2017 - 20:48

Some Observations from sinespace Interactions

  1. Chat tool has some issues… scroll bar seems not to work when you have more tabs than the current size window allows. Hide button largely covers the last entry unless you are VERY careful with mouse to avoid it.
  2. It would be good to show your OWN avatar labels (maybe on by default even if they can be hidden) so you know what shows to others.
  3. Yellow names show for sinewave folks(?). Suggest friends are coloured (say green or blue)… so you know who is a friend of not from before.

Sinespace – Delphi Talks

Fri, 09/01/2017 - 20:01

A new Sinespace event plaza is being created… at “The Delphi Talks” region. See

OpenSim – Metropolis Grid

Fri, 09/01/2017 - 11:51

Metropolis is an OpenSimulator-based grid open to anyone to create a (free) avatar, rent land or (at no cost) add on their own hosted regions (similar to OSGrid in that resepect).

Resources and Links

Useful Metropolis In-world Resources

  • Adachi Shopping Area – Avatars, AOs, Mesh Avatars and Clothing.
  • Pangea – Pandora Themes Role Play Area.

AiLand Regions on Metropolis

AiLand (the hub), Black Rock, Space City, Marineville and Outer Space.

Sine Space – Gerry Anderson Region

Fri, 08/18/2017 - 19:42

The Sine Space virtual world “Space City” region contains 3D models and scenes from a number of Gerry Anderson TV productions…

  • Supercar and Black Rock Laboratory
  • Fireball XL5 and Space City
  • Stingray and Marineville
  • Thunderbirds
  • Space:1999

Visit using a desktop viewer or in a WebGL compatible viewer (Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox) via…

sinespace GALand

Fri, 08/18/2017 - 10:03

Cassini – A Celebration of the Grand Finale

Mon, 08/14/2017 - 09:25

To celebrate the 15th September 2017 end of the Cassini Mission to Saturn, I have placed a 3D model of Cassini to realistic scale on the Space City area in our OpenSim grid. This uses one of the freely available 3D models from NASA.

Cassini Model on the Space City Region in OpenSim

Cassini at Saturn over the Space City Region in OpenSim

The Cassini display joins the Voyager model on Space City. The Space City region also has models of Deep Space 1, ESA Rosetta and other space related artifacts. More details here.

Voyager Planet Flyby over the Space City Region in OpenSim

Sansar Name Label

Fri, 08/11/2017 - 17:29

Avatar name labels are not yet included in Sansar. They are useful as a means to recognise others and initiate social communication with them. Soe users have taken to creating an avatar attachment with their avatar name as a label. A 3d text model can be created, exported as FBX and uploaded in Sansar’s “My Looks” as an avatar “Attachment”.

The 3D model needs to be scaled appropriately. I used a 1m X 1m x1m block as a guide. Positioned the 3D extruded text at a little over 2m high and set its original to the 0,0,0 point, so when attached to the avatar it would sit over its head.

Sansar Atlas Hop

Thu, 08/10/2017 - 20:12

Sansar is a new virtual world platform allowing for virtual experiences to be visited by multiple users represented as avatars. A group of metaverse explorers meet under the guidance of bloggers and live streamers @Draxtor and @StrawberrySingh (order strictly alphabetical!) for a Sansar “Atlas Hop”. Using VR and desktop modes and exchanging experience and advice along the way using voice and text chat…

  • We started at @Draxtor’s “Harvest 114” experience.
  • Then visited a home base style “The Roof” experience created by LenniFoxtrot using Store and prebuilt models.
  • Onto an atmospheric small barber shop space called “The Silence” created by @Omiluo.
  • Ad ended up at the “Dwarven Fortress” with custom built models created by @DavidHall.

The Atlas Hop was live streamed by @Draxtor and @StrawberrySingh and a replay is available at:

It was good to see again people involved in other metaverse/virtual world platform development and testing. My own simple experiences, used mostly for testing import of mesh models, are listed at

Sansar – Resources

Wed, 08/09/2017 - 09:52

Sansar is a new virtual world platform allowing for virtual experiences to be visited by multiple users represented as avatars. It has an edit or creator mode to build experiences and upload previously created 3D models in an appropriate format (FBX with specific texture mapping constraints).

This blog post gathers together some useful links and resources for using Sansar.

Creating 3D Objects

Sine Space – Resources

Tue, 08/08/2017 - 15:53

Sine Space is a virtual world platform using Unity3D as the creator/build environment and allowing (via an add-in Unity package) upload to become a space within the Sine Space multi-user virtual world. Spaces are created in Unity and then uploaded to the “Curator” ( where they can be tested prior to being sent for review to become “live” on the main service. One free space of up to 128MB download size can be create by any user and paid plans allow for more simultaneous spaces and larger builds. This blog post brings together some links and resources used in building Sine Space regions in Unity3D.


  • Teleport between one space and other using this script in a suitable object – TeleportWorld.
  • Teleport between locations within one space using this script in a suitable object and to an arrival object – TeleportLocal.


  • Clothing can be created and uploaded to the Sine Space Marketplace. E.g. This is a NASA EVA suit available in male and female variants in the Sine Space store. Once “bought (free) it is available in the user inventory and can be equipped onto the avatar and saved as an outfit.
  • A vendor for a single item can be added using these instructions from the Sine Space Wiki – InventoryVendor.


OpenSimulator OAR Converted Content in Unity to Sine Space – Reducing the Number of Textures Used

Adam Frisby, a Sine.Space developer, provided an unsupported C# script utility to seek to remove duplicated textures which make an OARConv import to Unity larger than necessary… due to the fac that texture/material properties of an object or face are encoded into multiple repeated texture file names by OARConv.

A copy of the utility is stored at

These are his notes…

This comes 100% unsupported, but I wrote a tool to clean the materials that the OAR Converter tool produces. It de-duplicates textures, which I’m hearing produces good results on cutting the filesizes of those regions. It just MD5Sums the files, if they match, it merges them.

Drop that into a folder named ‘Editor’ in your project (any folder as long as the name is ‘Editor’).
Then you should get a Space/Tools/OAR Material Cleanup menu item.

This is used AFTER the OAR converted contents have been loaded and the materials created. It just standardises the materials that use copies of the same texture so they all use one single texture, thus reducing the file size of a build.

When you run it (again, 100% unsupported, take backups! although I hear it works) – will remove all the duplicates in your region.

Unity Layers and Culling Mask for Light Sources

When combining several Unity projects into larger builds it is possible that a limit on the number of Unity “layers” that can be used to exclude objects from lighting culling calculations is exceeded (the limit may be 4). If a message saying you are including too many layers appears, check each light source (such as Directional Light, Sun source and items such as fire light and ensure that the Culling Mask is set to “Everything” rather than a set of specific layers. [Advice from Adam Frisby of SineWave]

High Fidelity – Resources

Fri, 08/04/2017 - 09:56

This page gathers together some resource descriptions and URL pointers for use of the High Fidelity virtual world platform, for both the Interface (viewer/client) and the Sandbox (domain server).

High Fidelity Documentation

Interface – Default Scripts & Useful Additions

The default scripts provided by High Fidelity give the initial UI for the Interface client.

  • Edit -> Stop all Scripts
  • Edit -> Running Scripts -> Load Defaults (currently loads controllerScripts.js and defaultScripts.js that are part of the Interface distribution)
  • Edit -> Running Scripts -> Use list at bottom to search for and load “chat” (system -> chat.js). This provides chat on the local domain (e.g. for nearby avatars). But note this is only useful if other users have the Chat script specifically enabled.

Many other scripts are available via the Edit -> Running Scripts dialogue.

Interface – Market Place UI Extras

  • Nametags: Marketplace -> search for Nametags. Click on this to “Get Item” for Nametags.js and run this when asked. This script from ctrlaltdavid in the Scripts & Tools category can be added to provide name tags for avatars in your viewer only. [Link: nametags.js
  • Sign Board: Marketplace -> search for sign (“Sign Post Chat V1” is the current item). Click on this to “Get Item” for Nametags.js and run this when asked. This script from Menithal in the Scripts & Tools- category can be added to provide a board your avatar holds that can have messages added. This can assist in initial communications if voice is not working or in use, or if some direct visual means of communication is useful. [Link: sign.js

Interface – Create Mode

The “Create” menu button in the Interface client provides edit mode for the domain you are on. The domain can be set to only allow the owner to change things, to allow anyone to edit, or to restrict editing to certain avatars. This is done in the Domain Server (Sandbox) Settings.

Scene – Useful Assets

  • Ocean Skybox – an animated ocean to surround your scene. Marketplace -> Shaders – > Ocean Skybox.
      • Chairs with Sitting Scripts (various available, e.g. from Caitlyn).

High Fidelity – Mesh Tests

Wed, 08/02/2017 - 19:36

High Fidelity ( has been developing as a virtual world platform over the last 3 years and I have been experimenting with the platform since May 15th, 2014. It accepts mesh models in FBX format. My blog posts document progress in the testing of various complex mesh uploads. As Sansar ( is now in open beta but still has some way to go to allow rich mesh and 3D model upload, I thought it would be a good time to try again several of my complex textured 3D mesh models, exported to FBX format in these platforms. Sansar still only will accept “single” objects, not multi-part models and is very particular about the UV mapping method and application of textures. So some testing of the models I use awaits multi-object upload capabilities in Sansar.

Most of these mesh models have been originated in .3ds, .max, .dae and other 3D modeller export formats and converted to FBX. A few arrived as FBX, e.g. from the NASA 3D models web site. Some are OpenSim regions exported as OpenSim Archives (OARs) and converted by the OARConv utility to Collada .dae to import into Unity3D. Many of the models are very complex, some with a quarter of a million triangles. All the meshes work fine in Unity3D and can be exported and used in the Sine Space virtual world too.

Here is a test today in High Fidelity (on our own hosted test domain) using Interface and sandbox server 6946 on Windows 10. Most meshes import fine now with all textures intact and the scale, size correct on first load. A few needed scale adjustments.