Viewers for Mesh Import in OpenSim

May 11, 2011

UPDATE 8-Sep-2011: Sadly Kirstens Viewer is no longer being developed (further information on their website).

Viewer Tests with OpenSim 0.7.1 and Diva r15402-b

The latest release of OpenSim 0.7.1 and Diva Distro r15402-b is currently keeping us busy.

The documentation for both is rather good – but since it’s a LOT of information to digest, we’re jotting down notes of our own experience as we work through it. Initial configuration was rather smooth. We chose to do a new install rather than over-write our existing set-up – for now.

Naturally, for us, media and 3D building improvements are our priorities, so Mesh and Media On A Prim were the first things tested. This put us bang up against the classic hurdles of which Viewers are going to behave reliably.

Hippo 0.6.3 (LL 1.23.5) Apr 30 2010 22:08:16, Imprudence 1.4.0 (2011.04.02) and Phoenix 1.5.2 (2011.04.18), of course, won’t show mesh or media; media is merely a blank prim and mesh just shows prim shapes. Mesh/Media Prim on Hippo, Imprudence or Phoenix
The SL Viewer 2 version 2.6.3 (2011.04.22) does support media on a prim, but there is no mesh support yet and we saw the same laggy mush with textures. Mesh/Media Prim on SL Viewer 2
Mesh can be introduced into OpenSim 0.7.1 using the Second Life Mesh Project Viewer 2.4.0 (2010.11.23). This has no problems with mesh upload and viewing. However in OpenSim, unlike in SL, it imports 2 items – a mesh texture and an object – and I was only getting the mesh. This actually isn’t a problem as it’s just applied to a prim the same way a sculpt is. As a side note, Media has always been laggy when loading textures. This picture clearly shows the mushiness. Mesh/Media Prim on SL Mesh Project Viewer
Using the Kokua Viewer 0.1.0 ( 2011.05.03), we were able to apply Media On A Prim [MOAP] just as we do in SL, but there was no mesh upload option and no mesh viewable. Mesh/Media Prim on Kokua Viewer
The Phoenix Firestorm Viewer 2.4.2 (2011.03.21) gave a runtime error when trying to get into OpenSim on a PC. With the Mac version of Firestorm we got into OpenSim, and there was media but alas, no mesh. Firestorm is still a preview release version; we’ll be looking forward to seeing a full release in the near future. Mesh/Media Prim on Firestorm Viewer
In Kirsten’s Viewer S21(7)-RC4a (7) May 6 2011, both media and mesh work! Note: Importing mesh is a bit different in that it loads straight onto the ground rather than into inventory like LL’s Mesh Viewer. Mesh/Media Prim on Kirsten's Viewer

So – we went through a heck of a lot of faff just to get to where we could begin to explore the new features in OpenSim 0.7.1. Perhaps in posting this we can save others the headaches. Perhaps we’ve missed something… What Viewer are you using to test mesh in OpenSim?

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Out With Outerlands – Pt. 4 of 4: Ode to Other Options

April 20, 2011

OK – this post series started as a full-on rant. The apparent incompetence and instability of Outerland – and, indeed, SL – have gone too far. It’s time for change.

Wrecked

Clinging to what once worked (kinda) and whining about who did or didn’t do what is not a solution. We’ve documented the failures through appropriate channels. There comes a point where you move past the Loss & Damage Reports and identify Recoverable Assets. This has given us the chance to (once again) re-calibrate. What brought us to the metaverse/3D web? Why do we continue to defend and define our outpost?

To me, it’s about a pioneering spirit. Personally, melodrama, games and even idle chat bore me to tears – but I’m re-learning that those are the things that got my ancestors across The Pond on the “Sea Venture” and the “Mayflower” – got ‘em setting up shop in the Gold Rush of ‘49 and building the Transcontinental Railroad.

ANYWAY – my point being: we are looking forward even if there may be Tempests. If you are reading this far – you know of SL and maybe even OS. You know of the strong, professional, global communities that have been built. You are one of the ones looking forward.

The once glorious ship that got us here may be damaged – but we are pioneers.

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Out With Outerlands – Pt. 3 of 4: Distant Early Warnings

April 15, 2011

Once Upon a Time there was a castle. In fact, there were two castles – the Kasteel Verloren was a Second Life Destination in Otherland to top all Destinations. Natalia Zelmanov wrote about touring it in its heyday, in her Mermaid Diaries.

Kasteel Verloren, Once Upon a Time
from b-places

I was able to get land in a neighboring region and was inspired to build my own castle with terraced gardens leading down to a river and a waterfall. The land was up against a mountain side so we built the castle to nestle into the landscape by building partially into the mountain. Otherland management was very helpful and actually terraformed to dig down deeper than what is ordinarily allowed for me to incorporate a cellar.

The Otherland sims were all cohesive and landscaped one into the other so it was possible to travel from one to another by rolling land, intricate waterways or glorious, scenic air. There were regular communications from land management and seasonal events and appropriate land changes such as snow at Christmas. Management was always prompt to respond to questions and all clearly had the information and skills to work with people and virtual land.

IcaruS House in Winter

In August of 2009, Otherland became Outerland and within days sims were moved – sometimes with others put in their places, sometimes not – Verloren was gone. There was no regard for landscaping sim edges to tie them together and water levels from region to region simply made no sense. The lovely waterfalls that had so carefully smoothed transitions started to disappear, leaving unsightly piles of rocks.

At the time, there was a great deal of concern voiced in the land group by residents, but we were assured by the new Outerland management that the sim edges would be smoothed out and cohesive again within a couple of weeks. We had to make do with the disjointed ‘chinese puzzle’ of regions around us and just make the best of what we had. There was a revolt then, with quite a few leaving Outerland. We chose to stay, feeling tied to the properties we had occupied for so long.

Months later, nothing had been done to improve the mismatched sims but there were certainly still regular withdrawals for land payment from my PayPal account. Then I got an IM saying I would have to move to another sim within the week, as not enough people were renting on the sim where I had two parcels. I was given no help or discount or even suggestion for what areas were available that might suit. This was far more than moving of sims, it was the destruction of a community and its history and showed a true lack of appreciation for maintaining a loyal, cohesive customer base.

I begrudgingly moved to Van Bleeck simply because it was familiar, and had to landscape myself in order to try fit the castle back into a similar topography. The hope was that with Nyx’s long history there and both of us on the same sim there might be some stability. See Part One for her experience.

I had already lost faith in this new land management company by then – before all the random landscaping and buried buildings (see Part Two for iSkye’s view) – but I thought at least things had settled down.

That was over a year ago. Since then we have had regular guests for fencing, hunts and university tours among other things. We’re on the Bus Stop Tour as well as (most recently) the B-Places directory. In short, we have represented this region actively and positively.

Yes, of course, we have our OpenSim regions, too – but the sense of place and community has been established for us in SL. I am now realising i should have heeded the warning signs and I welcome all suggestions for a stable, active Second Life land management company.

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