Austin Tate's Blog

Subscribe to Austin Tate's Blog feed Austin Tate's Blog
Individual Blog Entries - CC-BY-NC
Updated: 25 min 13 sec ago

Firestorm – OpenSim Add Grid

2024, June 15 - 19:35

Firestorm 7.* provides an add grid a capability accessible under the drop down Grid List or directly visa this URL…
https://phoenixviewer.com/app/fsdata/fs_grid_builder.html

This grid list and the add grid links are based on https://www.hypergridbusiness.com/statistics/active-grids/

Adding a Grid to the Grid list which Firestorm Uses

Firestorm menu Viewer -> Preferences -> OpenSim allows grids to be added just by entering their loginURI. This then asks the grid itself (which must be online at the time) for other information as needed.

Firestorm also provides a way for any grid owner or user to provide a link which when clicked will automatically add the grid to the list to be used by Firestorm for grid selection:

hop:///app/gridmanager/addgrid/http%3A%2F%2Fyour-grid.com%3A8002

Note the use of three slashes. The hop:// protocol is normally registered to launch the Firestorm viewer at the time it is installed. secondlife:// may also be used but you may have registered that to a Second Life only viewer. The last part of the URL is the URL-encoded grid login URL with : (%3A) / (%2F) and spaces (%20) encoded. Note the port is required even if the loginuri for the grid leaves it optional :80.

OAR Converter

2024, June 10 - 16:45

OAR Converter can take an OpenSimulator Archive (OAR) and from it create textures, meshes and terrain suitable to import into a Unity or Unreal Engine scene. This blog post covers use converting an OpenSim OAR to Collada for use via Unity. It describes OAR Converter 1.7.* an update in June 2024 to replace the earlier version 1.0.6 from 2013-2017.

From Unity a range of virtual world or virtual reality experiences can be created. The converter has been created by Fumikazu Iseki (Avatar: @Fumi.Hax – @fumi_hax) and his colleagues at the Network Systems Laboratory of Tokyo University of Information Sciences (TUIS) in Japan with support from Austin Tate at the University of Edinburgh.

  • OAR Converter from OpenSimulator Archive (OAR) to Collada files for use in Unity3D.
  • Software developed by Fumi Iseki, Austin Tate, Daichi Mizumaki and Kohe Suzuki.

Download the OAR Converter for Windows latest version from https://blackjack.nsl.tuis.ac.jp/Download/Release/OARConverter/OARConvWin-1.7.9.zip
(file: OARConvWin-1.7.9.zip) [Local Copy]. Latest Version at the time of this blog post in June 2024 is v1.7.9 (at 15-Jun-2024).

This blog post is provided for convenience and using content from the original TUIS OAR Converter Japanese Web Site which should be considered definitive.

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 available as a ready to run package.

Note that an OAR file is actually a .tar.gz (.tgz) file, and hence is a Unix TAR format contents zipped to compress it to a smaller file. Sometimes downloading an OAR file can lead to the web server of underlying file save unzipping it automatically. Make sure you are using a normal OAR file or the OAR Converter will report the error message “File Extract Error”.

OAR Converter with Windows UI – Quick Start

Download the OAR Converter for Windows latest version from https://blackjack.nsl.tuis.ac.jp/Download/Release/OARConverter/OARConvWin-1.7.9.zip
[Local Copy]. Latest Version at the time of this blog post is v1.7.9 (at 15-Jun-2024).

For straightforward conversions, simply follow these steps:

  1. Place your OpenSim OAR file in a suitable directory. Using defaults, the conversions will be for Collada (DAE) and use in Unity, with the outputs placed in separate subdirectories of this same directory with names based on the OAR file name prefixed by OAR_ and DAE_
  2. You can use “Tools” -> “Output Format” and “Tools” -> “Settings” to change this.
  3. Run the OAR Converter and using “File” -> “Open OAR File” select the OAR file you wish to convert. This will create a directory called OAR_ with the unpacked contents of the OAR file ready for conversion.
  4. Now select “File” -> “Convert Data” from the OAR Converter File menu. This will create a directory called DAE_ with the converted content in it.
  5. The DAE_ directory created will contain the DAE/Collada objects for the conversion which have colliders (are solid) and one special DAE/Collada object for the terrain (named the same as the OpenSim region name). It will also have sub-directories for all Textures and for the Phantoms (objects with no collider).

Import to Unity3D

You could follow the video instructions in this YouTube video by Fumikazu Iseki. The first part of this video shows the use of the Linux version of the converter, but the part from [2:23] to [6:10] gives an example of importing the converted DAE/Collada folder contents and merging that with a Unity project/scene including adding a Unity Standard Asset water surface. Importing the included “UnityChan” character is shown in the last part of the video.

Import to Unity – Quick Start

  1. Ensure you add relevant parts of the contents of the “Unity” folder in the OAR Converter distribution into your Unity project, adding Editor/SelectOARShader.cs and Editor/SetLocationByParameter.cs at least.
  2. In your Unity project add an empty game object at 0,0,0 and name it the same as your OpenSim region name. Under this add three empty game objects named Solids, Phantoms and Terrain also at 0,0,0.
  3. Drag the DAE_ folder in its entirety onto the Unity “Project” (Assets) panel.
  4. Select all the objects in the top level of this directory except the Textures and Phantoms sub-directories and drag them onto the “Solids” game object in the Unity “Hierarchy” panel.
  5. Optional: As the (large) terrain object for the region is imported it is usually split automatically by Unity into three sub-meshes of less than 64k polygons. These are all under one object named the same as your OpenSim region and will have sub-mesh names starting “GEOMETRY_”. You may wish to move this terrain objects and its three parts to the “Terrain” object in the hierarchy for tidiness and ease of management.
  6. Select all the objects in the Phantom directory and drag them onto the “Phantoms” game object in the Unity “Hierarchy” panel.
  7. Look at the imported objects and if you see any that are not correctly textured (usually showing as magenta coloured items) perform a “Assets” -> “Reimport All” to fix that.
  8. Optional: Add a water layer at 0,0,0. [Instructions in YouTube Video][2:23] to [6:10].
  9. Optional: Add a ThirdPartyController/Avatar to be able to run the scene and view the contents. [Instructions in YouTube Video] after [6:10].

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.

For convenience my own base project is available at http://www.aiai.ed.ac.uk/~ai/unity/oarconv/ (file: Unity-OAR-Converter-Base.unitypackage). This can be loaded into a “New Project” made in Unity 6000.0 onwards. I use the 3D Template with the “Built-in Render Pipeline”. It provides Mixamo Xbot and Ybot avatars along with UnityChan movement animations and avatars linked cameras.

After that you can make a copy of the base project you created, or create a new unity project and import the 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 avatar and attached camera to suit the region, save the project, save the scene, and you should be good to go.

Advanced Uses – Settings

OAR Converter has Tools and Settings to allow for a range of more flexible uses. As well as Collada .DAE files it can create Wavefront OBJ, FBX (forthcoming) or .STL files (suitable to drive 3D printers).

Exported objects can be shifted in the X, Y and Z (up/down) directions, perhaps for multiple side by side regions on a 256mx256m grid. [Note: this is also easily done afterwards in the Unity editor also.]

Once objects are converted they can also be examined in a 3D viewer built into the tool.

Advanced Uses – Avatar Conversion

This version of OAR Converter can also help with importing OpenSim avatars into Unity. The avatar should be added into an OpenSim scene before making the OAR to make it available for the OAR Converter to use. the “Use Joints” checkbox must be ticked in Settings to allow this. The process is quite involved but instructions by Fumi are in this video: https://blackjack.nsl.tuis.ac.jp/video/PronamaChan_are_go.mp4

WebGL – Web Presentation of OAR Conversions via Unity

Once an OAR has been converted and imported to Unity, so long as you have installed the WebGL capability to Unity (it can be added if its not yet installed) you can make a WebGL build of your project. here are a couple of examples:OpenVCE – the Open Virtual Collaboration Environment as it appears on OSGrid; Marineville – an underwater build as it appears on OSGrid; and TUIS – Network Systems Laboratory of Tokyo University of Information Sciences. Click images below to open the WebGL experience.


Export from Unity to glTF

As glTF becomes a mesh content format accessible in Second Life and OpenSim it might be useful to be able to take OAR Conversions to Unity and export to glTF. A glTF importer and exporter is available for Unity. Details of how to add it to your Unity Project and create a glTF export are at https://blog.inf.ed.ac.uk/atate/2024/04/29/gltf-exports-from-unity/. Once converted the glTF mesh can be imported to various platforms such as Blender or Second Life (via the Develop -> Render Tests -> glTF Mesh Preview or Develop -> GLTF -> Open capabilities in recent Second Life Viewers).


Technical Papers on 2017 version

Iseki, F., Tate, A., Mizumaki, D. and Suzuki, K. (2017) OpenSimulator and Unity as a Shared Development Environment, Journal of Tokyo University of Information Sciences, Vol. 21, No. 1, pp.81-87 (2017). [PDF Format]

Iseki, F., Tate, A., Mizumaki, D. and Suzuki, K. (2017) OAR Converter: Using OpenSimulator and Unity as a Shared Development Environment for Social Virtual Reality Environments, OpenSimulator Community Conference 2017 (OSCC-2017), 9th-10th December 2017. [PDF Format] [Presentation: PDF Format]

Further Information and Resources

OAR Converter License

OAR Converter © 2014-2016 Fumi Iseki, Austin Tate, D.Mizumaki and K.Suzuki
License (2016 11/19) – http://www.nsl.tuis.ac.jp/, 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.

THIS SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED BY THE COPYRIGHT HOLDERS AND CONTRIBUTORS “AS IS” AND ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE DISCLAIMED. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE CONTRIBUTORS BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE GOODS OR SERVICES; LOSS OF USE, DATA, OR PROFITS; OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION) HOWEVER CAUSED AND ON ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, STRICT LIABILITY, OR TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE) ARISING IN ANY WAY OUT OF THE USE OF THIS SOFTWARE, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGE.

OpenSim – Japan Open Grid

2024, June 7 - 10:44

The Japan Open Grid (JOG) is a hypergrid enabled virtual world created by Fumikazu Iseki (Avatar: Fumi Hax – @fumi_hax) and his colleagues at the Network Systems Laboratory of Tokyo University of Information Sciences (TUIS) in Japan. Fumi is the creator of the OAR Converter and other useful OpenSim and virtual world tools.

Loginuri: http://jogrid.net:8002
Web Interface: https://www.jogrid.net/wi/
Arrival region and shopping mall: hop://jogrid.net:8002/Dejima/129/128/27


The arrival region has a range of shopping malls. Hypergrid visitors may find some free items or local currency offered to them via poster boards to purchase items.

Second Life – glTF Import Progress

2024, June 1 - 15:18

Linden Lab is in the process of adding glTF 3D model support to Second Life, starting initially with PBR materials and moving on to full glTF (and .glb) scene, mesh nodes (including hierarches), materials and animation import and export for round trip updates between the viewer and external 3D modelling tools like Blender. As part of this effort a Release Candidate “Materials featurette” viewer is already available that lets you locally load a glTF mesh or scene (multiple meshes). The contents are visible only to yourself and not saved at present though test viewers are already experimenting with upload of glTF meshes. @davep (Runtai Linden) has stated that the eventual aim is to be able to import anything as it shows in the Khronos glTF Sample Viewer or in Adobe Substance.

glTF Mesh Loading Method

Though the method by which glTF meshes are loaded will change, for test purposes the following procedure can be used as at 8-Jun-2024:

  1. Create a simple prim, such as a cube and scale it to 1.0m. The scale is used to set the scale of the mesh that will be imported. So 0.5m would be 50% scale. 1.0m would be 100% scale. You might want to also rotate it by 90 deg in the X direction as that corresponds with the usual orientation of models in Blender.
  2. Edit the cube to select it as the target to attach the glTF mesh.
  3. Use Develop -> Render Tests -> glTF Scene Preview to select a .gltf or .glb file containing your model. [This will be replaced by other methods alter: e.g. in some glTF Development test versions use: Develop -> GLTF -> Open, save As, Upload]
  4. Rotate or move the object as necessary. Also scale as you wish.
  5. Make the root prim be 100% transparency to hide it.
  6. You can select parts of the mesh using “Edit Linked” to move, rotate and scale them. Selecting the root of a part hierarchy moves the whole item (e.g. for a wing of a vehicle).
  7. In some glTF Development test versions after adding a mesh to a root prim, you can use: Develop -> GLTF -> Upload< to upload the content to Second Life servers. This can only work on regions with the GLTFUpload debug setting true. This uploads the textures and then the glTF bin (mesh) and gltf (wrapper) files. After the upload finishes (indicated by a final two L$1 uploads) you can Take or Take Copy the root prim into inventory to save it for reuse from inventory.
  8. You can link other prims or mesh objects to a glTF mesh if you wish (e.g. to add scripted seats to a vehicle). You can also attach the mesh to avatar locations and position it, e.g. for swords.

At present texture need to be a power of 2 on each side, though that constraint should be relaxed in due course since the Khronos glTF Sample Viewer can render non-power of 2 textures okay.

A short video by @davep (Runtai Linden) shows the process [Video (MPEG4) via Discord]

Potted Plants Meshes

Sketchfab – Optimized Potter Plants by by Nicholas-3D (@Nicholas01)
Suggested by @davep (Runtai Linden) as a free test mesh.

https://sketchfab.com/3d-models/optimized-potted-plants-967b4bf23fac4098993776fcfc2d3318

Ready Player Me glb Avatars

Ready Player Me (https://readyplayer.me) avatars are made available as .glb meshes, ready rigged (with Mixamo compatible skeletons) and PBR materials. They appear to load fine in the test viewer. Of course the rigging is not operational at this stage.

This avatar is available in .glb format via
https://models.readyplayer.me/6619152aaaa958d48f2143ee.glb


Supercar, Black Rock Lab Mesh and Mike Mercury Statue Meshes

I uses these meshes as tests in various platforms. Supercar has 510174 vertices and 273230 triangles. Black Rock Lab Exterior has 68412 vertices and 39037 triangles. Black Rock Lab Interior has 455142vertices and 181935 triangles. The Mike Mercury figure has 42606 vertices and 24415 triangles.

As at Second Life Release 7.1.7.8852879962 on 29-Apr-2024 Supercar, Mike Mercury figure and Black Rock Lab interior and exterior are all rendering quite well. The Black Rock Lab textures are not yet showing as many are not set to a power of two.

RGU Oil Rig

RGU Oil Rig glTF mesh loaded in Second Life Test 7.1.7.9121781241 (17-May-2024). The model has 955880 triangles and 1303822 vertices and 9342 mesh elements.

OpenSim-NGC – Resources

2024, May 31 - 15:39

A variant of OpenSim created by Mike Dickson and his collaborators is “OpenSim – Next Generation Core”. The aim stated there is:

The OpenSim-NGC project is designed to be different from OpenSimulator Core in a couple of important ways. We place an emphasis on quality and security testing of our code. This is built into our development process, so the team gets continuous feedback on how we’re doing in that regard. The security focus is especially important and feeds into another “project” we’re developing. The Trusted HyperGrid is a set of policies and practices that grid owners have adopted to ensure residents and content creators are as protected as we can possibly make them through both process and technology. You can read about the History of the project here.

Second Life – Duet Using Suno.ai

2024, May 26 - 15:27

https://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Yawgoo/84/96/2992

An installation by technorabbit in Second Life. Replicants Duet between Deckard and Rachel inspired by Bladerunner

Information from YouTube Video description: This demonstration makes use of https://suno.ai to generate the voices and backing track for a duet between Deckard and Rachel inspired by Bladerunner. Various sub-themes were combined into a poem. A chorus or two were used to rewrite the poem into a song, which was then fed into Suno.AI to generate the audio. The arm and lip movement was derived from automated closed caption tooling.

While suno.ai might have done the singing, the lyrics come from human sources; and then there is costuming, direction, post-production, scouting venues, and many more aspects than the singing. The video is shot in Second Life because 3D settings and production costs are so low — there are just so many creative and fully built out venues available.

Three Hills Grid – Pandora

2024, May 22 - 15:06


There are many wonderful Na’vi/Avatar themed virtual world regions in Second Life and OpenSim. See some examples in my log posts https://blog.inf.ed.ac.uk/atate/?s=na’vi

A new one for my exploration is the Iknimaya region on Three Hills Grid, an OpenSim DreamGrid-based installation. Explore the region, its flora, fauna and the clans of Iknimaya. Pick up some of the free items of Na’vi apparel.

https://opensimworld.com/hop/83767
hop://three.hills.grid.outworldz.net:8002/iknimaya/107/121/23


Blender – Fix Mirrored Parts Shading Issues

2024, May 21 - 11:41

I am getting shading/colour issues on glTF exports of parts in Blender models that were probably created in the far distant past as a mirror of an airplane wing or piece on one side transposed to the other. The “broken” parts sometimes look dark or black in Blender at other times they may be normally coloured. For some parts I was just able to duplicate and mirror the part again in Blender 4.1.1 to replace a broken object and that worked fine. But some parts cannot be mirrored.

I can’t see what the difference is between each side, but when I export to glTF (for example) in the Khronos viewer the parts shows as a grey colour versus the proper colour of the other side. I checked and there is no negative scale on the piece. I also flipped face normals (both ways!) but that made no difference.

I have checked a glTF export of the Blender model in the Khronos glTF Sample Viewer and in the tool’s Debug Settings the faulty part does have different “Shaded Normals”, “Geometry Normals”, “Geometry Tangents” and “Geometry Bitangents”.

I wonder if anyone has seen this and knows the trick to correct it?

Ideally I want to be able to fix the model in Blender, be able to export as glTF and have that work in the Khronos glTf Sample Viewer without shading issues. The have a process clear enough ton be able to repeat on other models with similar issues. As well as document that process here to help others in future.

X-15 Rocket Plane Test Model

This occurs on multiple Blender models, but one sample X-15 rocket plane model that exhibits this behaviour is the “X-15-1” by TaffGoch on 3D Warehouse
https://3dwarehouse.sketchup.com/model/a3a3a3d2ccc590eeaef99de91a3e555/X-15-1

Khronos glTF Sample Viewer and Debug Views


Discussions and Online Suggestions

https://forum.unity.com/threads/symmetric-models-with-mirrored-normal-maps-shader-fix.65859/

https://www.reddit.com/r/opengl/comments/sectzr/i_suspect_the_loaded_model_tangent_bitanget_and/

These posts clearly are exploring the right area, so it is likely its something to do with normals, tangents and bitangents! But all the suggest I tried in here (that I can understand) have not worked, eves the idea of exporting via FBX and reimporting.

glTF Abstract Art – Exploded Oil Rig Model Parts

2024, May 17 - 11:55

Exploded Oil Rig Model Parts in Second Life Project Gltf Development 7.1.7.9103672349 (16-May-2024)

When a glTF model is loaded into the Second Life glTF mesh capable viewers that are under development the parts can be stretched out, rotated or misaligned. This occurs right up to 17-May-2024 e.g. in in Second Life Project Gltf Development 7.1.7.9103672349. But the effect produced is almost like an abstract painting.

The issue is being corrected and the model loads without distortion in glTF Upload version – Second Life Test 7.1.7.9121781241 (17-May-2024)

Test at 4-Jun-2024

Second Life Release 7.1.8.9296076745 (Materials Featurette Release Candidate) still has the exploded parts issue. Second Life Project Gltf Development 7.1.8.9309468311 (Test Viewer) displays the Oil Rig correctly.

OpenSim – Server Quick Start

2024, May 15 - 17:00

OpenSimulator (often shortened to OpenSim) is an open source virtual world platform which implements most of the Linden Lab Second Life virtual world protocols and extends it in some ways convenient for educational and other extended uses. This blog post describes a quick start to get a locally hosted server up and running.

Simple Start (standalone on localhost using SQLite)

Use last formal release in precompiled binary from http://opensimulator.org/wiki/Download#Current_release

Unzip it and run bin/OpenSim.exe and answer the questions for the initial region and admin avatar setup. Except for specifying an initial region name most can just be set to their defaults. Don’t leave the initial user password blank as viewers usually insist in a password being entered to login.

Use localhost:9000 as the grid name to login. If necessary add this to the grids available in any OpenSim capable viewer (such as Firestorm via Viewer -> Preferences -> OpenSim).

Latest Dev Master Version (standalone on localhost using SQLite)

Download latest Dev Master source from http://opensimulator.org/viewgit/?a=shortlog&p=opensim

runprebuild and compile using Dotnet8 (Visual Studio 2022 Community Edition).
See https://blog.inf.ed.ac.uk/atate/2024/04/21/opensim-using-net-8-0/

Rename bin/OpenSim.ini.example to OpenSim.ini
Rename bin/config-include/FlotsamCache.ini.example to FlotsamCache.ini
Rename bin/config-include/osslEnable.ini.example to osslEnable.ini
Rename bin/config-include/StandaloneCommon.ini.example to StandaloneCommon.ini

Run bin/OpenSim.exe and answer the questions for the initial region and admin avatar setup. Except for specifying an initial region name most can just be set to their defaults. Don’t leave the initial user password blank as viewers usually insist in a password being entered to login. Note through that if yo forget this you can use the “reset user password” OpenSim console command to set any user password afterwards.

Use localhost:9000 as the grid name to login. If necessary add this to the grids available in any OpenSim capable viewer (such as Firestorm)

Getting fancier – mods to OpenSim.ini:
uncomment line [Messaging] StorageProvider = OpenSim.Data.MySQL.dll for messaging support.

Add Content – OARs and IARs

Content can be added via OpenSim Archives (OARs) and Inventory Archives (IARs). E.g. to load the OpenVCE OAR… use this command in the OpenSim.exe console:

load oar https://openvce.net/resources/downloads/opensim-openvce.oar

You can then pick up a box with sample avatars, etc.

Enabling Hypergrid

Can be added in so long as you have an externally accessible IP or domain name. Canyouseeme.org provides a web page that will display the current IP address your network is on. You usually have to set up the firewall and port forwarding on your internal network and router to the computer you are using to host OpenSim.

There are “Dynamic DNS” services that map a such as Outworldz.net that provide a facility to set up stable domain names where your own IP address might be frequently changing. See this link for more details. That facility is also built into Fred Beckhusen’s DreamGrid distribution of OpenSim.

Firestorm grids.xml at May 2024

2024, May 13 - 08:50

Firestorm has a file named grids.xml giving an initial list of grids which can be selected in the “Grid” drop down menu for login. As at May 2024 it has about 25 OpenSim grids and the Second Life main (Agni) and Second Life Beta (Aditi) grids. Firestorm provided a web page where grid owners could ask for entries to be added (no longer active). But over the years the grid.xml list has contained little used and even no-longer exiting grids. The Firestorm development team commented that it was difficult to know which entries to add or remove and felt it would be something that the OpenSim community itself might be able to manage or assist with. This blog post provides resources that may be useful.

Latest Firestorm GitHub source location of grids.xml:
https://github.com/FirestormViewer/phoenix-firestorm/blob/master/indra/newview/app_settings/grids.xml

Grid Manager Grid List Presentation Process

user_settings grids.user.xml is seeded from app_settings grids.xml (minus all DEPRECATED entries) on first actual login (or change in the Preferences -> OpenSim grid list). New grid entries you add are placed in that file. Grid Manager entries you delete are marked as “USER_DELETED” in grids.user.xml and are hidden from the grids list presented to the user.

user_settings grids.remote.xml is created each time you run Firestorm and set from a remote file named http://phoenixviewer.com/app/fsdata/grids.xml on the Firestorm servers. It allows the Firestorm team to be able to remotely add new grids to the viewer grid manager without having to issue viewer updates. See https://wiki.firestormviewer.org/fsdata_communications

Each entry has a timestamp and that is used to determine the correct version of a given grid to use. That allows the Firestorm team to update on the website (historically) which would override the locals, but the more usual case is the locals override the server.

Any change to the app_settings grids.xml needs to be made also at http://phoenixviewer.com/app/fsdata/grids.xml or the remote entries will continue to show in the Grid Manager unless the user has explicitly deleted them in the Preferences -> OpenSim Grid manager list.

Firestorm app_settings: %programfiles%\FirestormOS-Betax64\app_settings

Firestorm user_settings: %AppData%\Roaming\Firestorm_x64\user_settings

Adding a Grid to the Grid list which Firestorm Uses

Firestorm menu Viewer -> Preferences -> OpenSim allows grids to be added just by entering their loginURI. This then asks the grid itself (which must be online at the time) for other information as needed.

Firestorm also provides a way for any grid owner or user to provide a link which when clicked will automatically add the grid to the list to be used by Firestorm for grid selection:

hop:///app/gridmanager/addgrid/http%3A%2F%2Fyour-grid.com%3A8002

Note the use of three slashes. The hop:// protocol is normally registered to launch the Firestorm viewer at the time it is installed. secondlife:// may also be used but you may have registered that to a Second Life only viewer. The last part of the URL is the URL-encoded grid login URL with : (%3A) / (%2F) and spaces (%20) encoded. Note the port is required even if the loginuri for the grid leaves it optional :80.

grids.xml as at Firestorm 7.1.7.73900 Beta (13-May-2024)

OpenSim Grids:
alternatemetaverse.com:8002
astralia.eu:8002
cc.opensimulator.org:8002
craft-world.org:8002
discoverygrid.net:8002
fireandicegrid.net:8002
gaynations.org:7002 (DEPRECATED)
goto.theencoreescape.com:8002
grid.3rdrockgrid.com:8002
grid.avacon.org:8002
grid.kitely.com:8002
grid.virtualife.cloud:8002
grid01.from-ne.com:8002 (DEPRECATED)
hypergrid.org:8002 (closed in June 2022)
islandoasisgrid.biz:8002
lfgrid.com:8002
login.aviworlds.com:8002
login.digiworldz.com:8002
login.francogrid.org:80
login.greatcanadiangrid.ca:8002 (DEPRECATED)
login.osgrid.org
login.ufsgrid.com:8002 (DEPRECATED)
login.zetaworlds.com
login.zonenations.com:8002
login.main.mobiusgrid.us:8002 (DEPRECATED)
partydestinationgrid.com:8002
tanglegrid.net:8002
thekazgrid.com:8002
grid.alifevirtual.com:8002 (DEPRECATED)
www.alifevirtual.com:8002
grid.avatarconnection.com:8002 (DEPRECATED)
grid.roleplayworlds.net:8002 (DEPRECATED)
inworldz.com:8002 (DEPRECATED)
login.avination.com(DEPRECATED)
login.danger.osgrid.org (DEPRECATED)
reactiongrid.com:8008 (DEPRECATED)
login.aurorascape.com:8002 (DEPRECATED)
vidadupla.com.br:8002

Second Life Grids:
util.aditi.lindenlab.com (Beta)
util.agni.lindenlab.com (Main)

Tidy Up Stages and Process

The initial idea is to simply do a tidy up and not try to remove any active entries already there.

  1. Leave all entries “as is” if the grid is not closed and if their loginURI or root web site is accessible, even if some are showing certificate or other issues currently. See checks below.
  2. List closed or inaccessible grids as “DEPRECATED”.
  3. PR 15 Addition (top recently active grid on Hypergrid Business OpenSim Statistics) – grid.wolfterritories.org:8002
  4. Add localhost:9000 to defaults grid list for easy “out of the box” OpenSim initial setups.
  5. Make a change to the splash page for Second Life Beta Grid. See below. NOT ENACTED after discussion and improvement to Firestorm custom splash page.

Other checks will depend on OpenSim community feedback and usage statistics and should be left to a later stage.

Entries No Longer Accessible marked as DEPRECATED

The following Grids had issues on test, but most had their base domain name still active. Only those actually closed down or whose domain is now not related to the OpenSim Grid will be removed in this phase.

3rd Rock Grid at grid.3rdrockgrid.com:8002
(Certificate error, web site still exists)
(Grid has indicated it is closed from May 2024)
(Community move to regions on ZetaWorlds.com)

Francogrid at francogrid.org
(Servers down since March 2022, site hopes to reopen)

Island Oasis at islandoasisgrid.biz:8002
(URL issue? Chrome security check issue)

Metropolis Metaversum at hypergrid.org:8002
(Grid closed in June 2022)

Tangle Grid at tanglegrid.net:8002
(Grid closed. Domain name for sale)

The Encore Escape at goto.theencoreescape.com:8002
(theencoreescape.com domain name sold to a legal business)

Virtuallife World at grid.virtualife.cloud:8002
(URL issue for loginpage page but server responds)

Zone Nations at login.zonenations.com:8002
(URL issue for loginpage page but server responds)

Hence only 3rd Rock Grid, Metropolis Metaversum, Tangle Grid and The Encore Escape should be marked as DEPRECATED at this stage. ZetaWorlds.com is being used as a 3rd Rock Grid community hub and some members have moved to (see this HG Safari Blog Post. It is already in the grid.xml list.

In case any of the four removed grids are needed in future, these are the “addgrid” links which will add them back to the Firestorm Grid Manager list.

3rd Rock Grid: grid.3rdrockgrid.com:8002
Metropolis Metversum: hypergrid.org:8002
TanGLe Grid: tanglegrid.net:8002
The Encore Escape: goto.theencoreescape.com:8002

hop:///app/gridmanager/addgrid/http%3A%2F%2Fgrid.3rdrockgrid.com%3A8002
hop:///app/gridmanager/addgrid/http%3A%2F%2Fhypergrid.org%3A8002
hop:///app/gridmanager/addgrid/http%3A%2F%2Ftanglegrid.net%3A8002
hop:///app/gridmanager/addgrid/http%3A%2F%2Fgoto.theencoreescape.com%3A8002

See this Wik page: https://github.com/metaverse-crossroads/hypergrid-junction/wiki/Links-to-Add-Grids-for-Viewers

Inclusion by Default of localhost:9000

I think it is useful to include the default (essentially “as it come out of the box”) locally hosted standalone variant of OpenSim (loginURI: localhost:9000), as that is a mode that an initial OpenSim server user may first try.

Refinement of handling of Second Life Beta Grid Entry/Splash Page (Aditi)

Firestorm uses a custom “loginpage” entry/splash page for the main (Agni) grid at https://phoenixviewer.com/app/loginV3/ rather than the usual Linden Lab provided entry at http://viewer-login.agni.lindenlab.com/

But it also uses this same URL for the Second Life Beta grid (Aditi) which I think is not as helpful as the display of a Beta grid specific entry page that is used from http://viewer-login.agni.lindenlab.com when the Second Life Beta grid is selected gives more useful user information when the Second Life Beta grid is selected.

This is part of the advice from the Discord Second Life Server “#viewers” channel on 17-May-2024 by Journey BunnyTo implement this the agni web page has a whole host of elements of class or id “non-prod-grid-msg”

Update 18-May-2024: NOT ENACTED after discussion and improvement to Firestorm custom splash page as in the following image:

Second Life Beta Grid loginpage: https://phoenixviewer.com/app/loginV3/
Second Life Main Grid loginpage: https://phoenixviewer.com/app/loginV3/?grid=Aditi

Potential resources to get input from the OpenSim Community

Update 2-Jun-2024: Firestorm Grid Add Mechanism Changed

On 2-Jun-2024 the Firestorm 7.1.8 Beta changed to include a mechanism for adding grids based on the Hypergrid Business monthly updated grids list. The page presented to the user when adding a grid uses a Python script to take the information in the Hypergrid Business monthly updated active grids list. The contents shown can be filtered by typing any partial grid name. Information on how to add your grid to this list is provided here. The web page presented is directly accessible at: https://phoenixviewer.com/app/fsdata/fs_grid_builder.html

Batmobile 3D Model

2024, May 6 - 22:21

Based on Batmobile on Sketchup by Sam146 (https://sketchfab.com/sam146)
https://sketchfab.com/3d-models/1966-batmobile-744a9b83b392454897d296c2919f1f91

Blender import of Collada original model and textures, conversion to power of 2 textures, flipping many normals to regularise the appearance of the model and additions to more closely resemble the 1966 TV series Batmobile. glTF exportfor use in various platforms including Second Life.


Batmobile in Second Life glTF Mesh Viewer

Metaverse Crossroads

2024, May 5 - 12:00

Metaverse Crossroads is a GitHub Organization to collect together a range of resources to help promote Metaverse and linked virtual world activities and experiences. It was created by @Humbletim.

https://github.com/metaverse-crossroads

Early work includes a fix (Github link) to improve the handling of the hop:// protocol (see this blog post) for teleports between different grids and regions via the Hypergrid in response to a number of Firestorm JIRA issues (FIRE-31368,
FIRE-29276).

glTF Exports from Unity

2024, April 29 - 18:00

Testing glTF Export capability in Unity via glTFast. To install the Unity glTFast package, follow these steps:

  1. In your Unity project, go to Windows > Package Manager.
  2. On the status bar, select the Add (+) button.
  3. From the Add menu, select Add + package by name. Name and Version fields appear.
  4. In the Name field, enter com.unity.cloud.gltfast
  5. Select Add.
  6. The Editor installs the latest available version of the package and any dependent packages.

In the project select the item(s) you wish to export and right click on that or choose from menu Assets > Export glTF > choose .glb or .gltf.

ISS

ISS: glTF summary: 1626041 bytes JSON + 129848428 bytes buffer, 5660 nodes ,669 meshes ,862 materials ,332 images

RGU Oil Rig

RGU Oil Rig: glTF summary: 9567175 bytes JSON + 69171695 bytes buffer, 12157 nodes, 9400 meshes, 4408 materials, 90 images

Pisten Bully 100 and 300

Pisten Bully 100: glTF summary: 2273440 bytes JSON + 34579260 bytes buffer, 3874 nodes, 3158 meshes, 55 materials, 10 images
Pisten Bully 300: glTF summary: 1441536 bytes JSON + 10762811 bytes buffer, 2533 nodes, 1506 meshes, 35 materials, 10 images

Fallingwater

Fallingwater: glTF summary: 5183165 bytes JSON + 21756759 bytes buffer, 37292 nodes, 1589 meshes, 89 materials, 52 images

Power of 2 Images

It is sometimes the case that images have to have each side be a power of 2 to load correctly. There is a tool that can be used on images to do this. Use it prior to exporting the glTF from Unity to ensure that texture images will be portable.

PalmPilot

2024, April 25 - 16:15

I got my first PalmPilot in 1997. Purchased at CompuTown in Market Street, San Francisco. And via various models (IIIc, Tungsten C and others) I still use my Palm Tungsten T5 today (in 2024). This blog post provides some links and resources relating to Palm devices.

Palm Desktop 4.1.4E for Windows

This software enables Palm devices to HotSync with Windows Desktop right up to 2024. A Palm Desktop Version 6.2 is also available online.

Palm Emulators

https://www.theverge.com/2022/11/25/23478396/internet-archive-palm-pilot-emulation-games-apps-dope-wars

Fantasy Faire 2024 in Second Life

2024, April 24 - 15:18


Twenty regions for the Fantasy Faire April 18 to May 5, 2024 in Second Life to support American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life fundraising.

https://fantasyfairesl.wordpress.com/2024/04/18/welcome-home-to-the-fairelands/

OpenSim using .NET 8.0

2024, April 21 - 10:15

From 21st April 2024 OpenSim is using .NET8.0. The NET8.0 SDK, runtime and necessary compiler tools can be made available by installing or updating to Visual Studio 2022 Community Edition version 17.9.6 or later and installing the .NET SDK 8.0.

To opt out of Microsoft gathering of .NET 8.0 compile information use Right click on “This PC” icon -> Properties -> Advanced System Properties -> Environment Variables and add or change DOTNET_CLI_TELEMETRY_OPTOUT to 1 or true. This must be done BEFORE installing the .NET 8.0 SDK (or rerun the installer after setting the variable).

Install the .NET 8.0 SDK from https://dotnet.microsoft.com/en-us/download/dotnet/8.0

Then on the OpenSim source use runprebuild.bat and compile.bat

Thunnus Bay in Second Life

2024, April 19 - 14:45

Thunnus bay is a Fantasy Fair 2024 (Relay for Life) region in Second Life. It uses atmospheric visuals and environment, a superb soundscape and a range of charity shopping experiences.

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Thunnus%20Bay/99/156/63

ESA Lunar Horizons in Fortnite

2024, April 11 - 20:00

ESA Blog Post on Lunar Horizons in Fortnite, 11-Apr-2024

The European Space Agency (ESA) Lunar Horizons experience is available in Fortnite, where it launched using code 3207-0960-6428 or by searching for ‘Lunar Horizons’ in Discover. Released on 11-Apr-2024, the game was created by Epic Games, ESA and Hassell, in collaboration with Buendea and Team PWR.

The game play is the usual formula of quests to gather resources and tools and build things. The player’s clothing would not let them last long on the Moon, but maybe a space suit is available.

glTF Mesh Tests in Second Life

2024, April 11 - 12:00

Linden Lab is in the process of adding glTF 3D model support to Second Life, starting initially with PBR materials and moving on to full mesh and scene import. As part of this effort a test viewer is available that lets you locally load a glTF mesh or scene (multiple meshes). The contents are visible only to yourself and not saved. @davep (Runtai Linden) has stated that the eventual aim is to be able to import anything as it shows in the Khronos glTF Model Viewer or in Adobe Substance.

The tests following were carried out on Second Life Test 7.1.6.8639241871. Remember this is early days and it will be some time before this capability makes it way into normal use in Second Life (and possibly at some stage OpenSim).

glTF Mesh Loading Method

Though the method by which glTF meshes are loaded will change, for test purposes the following procedure should be used.

  1. Create a simple prim, such as a cube and scale it to 1.0m. The scale is used to set the scale of the mesh that will be imported. So 0.5m would be 50% scale. 1.0m would be 100% scale.
  2. Edit the cube to select it as the target to attach the glTF mesh.
  3. Use Develop -> Render Tests -> glTF Scene Preview to select a .gltf or .glb file containing your model.
  4. Rotate or move the object as necessary. Also scale as you wish.
  5. Make the root prim be 100% transparency to hide it.
  6. You can link other prims or mesh objects to the newly loaded mesh if you wish (e.g. to add scripted seats to a vehicle).

A short video by @davep (Runtai Linden) shows the process [Video (MPEG4) via Discord]

Potted Plants Meshes

Sketchfab – Optimized Potter Plants by by Nicholas-3D (@Nicholas01)
Suggested by @davep (Runtai Linden) as a free test mesh.

https://sketchfab.com/3d-models/optimized-potted-plants-967b4bf23fac4098993776fcfc2d3318

Ready Player Me glb Avatars

Ready Player Me (https://readyplayer.me) avatars are made available as .glb meshes, ready rigged (with Mixamo compatible skeletons) and PBR materials. They appear to load fine in the test viewer. Of course the rigging is not operational at this stage.

This avatar is available in .glb format via
https://models.readyplayer.me/6619152aaaa958d48f2143ee.glb


Supercar Mesh

I tested with my usual Gerry Anderson’s Supercar detailed mesh (around 250K triangles) which in its .glTF or .glb format works fine in the Khronos glTF Model Viewer. In the Khronos glTF Model Validator it gives a warning that the texture images are not set at a power of 2 for each side.



  1. The textures initially did not load, but when converted to a power of 2 for each side they did load fine.
  2. Textures are not a power of 2 and do not load. A set of replacement textures that are Power of 2 are provided. These can be replace the textures created on glTF export from Blender.
  3. Each side has 9 yellow cooling vanes, some did not show in early tests.
  4. There is a chrome fuel filler cap on the rear fuselage top. Only the left side showed in early tests.
  5. The nose spike and ball are showing near the centre of the model in early tests.
  6. Parts of the wing structure and its spike do no show in early tests.
  7. The rear fuselage aerial is out of position in early tests.
  8. The black seal at the front of the canopy is out of position in early tests.
  9. A large cylinder appears in the middle of the model in early tests.
  10. Many parts are grey. The canopy and lights transparency is not retained. Most of the simple colouring and alpha applied to parts that do not have textures is not showing in early tests.

The Supercar model as it appears in the Khronos glTF Model Viewer is as follows:

The large cylinders that appear in the imported model appear to come from parts added late to the model, and which were created at the top level of the model parts list. They were then reparented to a relevant parent part. It could be that some sort of modifier application was not done in a uniform way. For the core Supercar model they were the end stops for the lower fuselage piping and the seven Hidem bands on the front seat. For some of the addon parts lie the rocket gun and magnetic grabs some parts also appear as large cylinders or large boxes. Applying all modifiers to some part (like the lower fuselage piping end stops) fixed some of these issues, but not all. Setting the part origins to the their geometry centre does not seem to be a fix.

Update 18-Apr-2024 – Second Life Test 7.1.6.8728758920 on Aditi Beta Grid Rumpus Room 2024

The update to Second Life Test 7.1.6.8728758920 has improved the preview loading of glTF meshes with most objects correctly rendering in position and scaled properly (just a few items that seem to not have “All Transforms” applied or parenting issues remain). But the main advances is that now all textures and colours are correctly applied.


Update: 19-Apr-2024 – Second Life Test 7.1.6.8757430447 – glTF Mesh Element Editing

Version Second Life Test 7.1.6.8757430447 starts to provide an ability to edit separate parts of a glTF model.. Movement of parts is possible, but not yet separate rotation or scaling.

Black Rock Lab Mesh and Mike Mercury Statue Meshes

The Black Rock Lab (BRL) glTF meshes exported from the Blender models for exterior and interior and the Mike Mercury Statue also import and preview reasonably well after applying all transforms to the parts. Textures are largely missing as they will not (yet) be power of 2.


Update: 29-Apr-2024 – Second Life Release 7.1.7.8852879962

As at Second Life Release 7.1.7.8852879962 on 29-Apr-2024 Supercar, Mike Mercury figure and Black Rock Lab interior and exterior are all rendering quite well. The Black Rock Lab textures are not yet showing as many are not set to a power of two.

glTF Mesh Data

Supercar with Extended Wings

    Meshes (Nodes): 1501
    Vertices: 510174
    Triangles: 273230
    Opaque Materials: 54
    Transparent materials: 4

Supercar with Both Wings, All Accessories and Blast Wall

    Meshes (Nodes): 1549
    Vertices: 545014
    Triangles: 293157
    Opaque Materials: 2
    Transparent materials: 0

Mike Mercury Figure

    Meshes (Nodes): 4
    Vertices: 42606
    Triangles: 24415
    Opaque Materials: 63
    Transparent materials: 4

Black Rock Lab Exterior

    Meshes (Nodes): 891
    Vertices: 68412
    Triangles: 39037
    Opaque Materials: 31
    Transparent materials: 1

Black Rock Lab Interior

    Meshes (Nodes): 1415
    Vertices: 455142
    Triangles: 181935
    Opaque Materials: 88
    Transparent materials: 0

Pages