CtrlAltStudio: turn your avatar with a turn of your head

CAS-logoDave Rowe (Strachan Ofarrel in SL) has released an update to his experimental version of the CtrlAltStudio viewer with support for Oculus Rift (Windows only).

CtrlAltStudio version 1.1.7.34400, released on Wednesday December 18th, allows the user to turn their avatar with a simple turn of the head when seated and using Riftlook.

The capability has been developed in conjunction with Tom Willans at the Serious Games Institute of Coventry University, here in the UK, and the release notes for the new version, together with the blog post announcing the release, describe the function thus:

There are two ways to use this option:

  1. Setting the slider to 0° makes the turning happen all the time. This enables you to look at something then if you continue looking at it, your view will gradually rotate so that the object lies straight ahead and you can thus walk towards it.
  2. Setting the slider to a value such as 45° makes turning start after you look left or right 45° or more. Turning then continues until you look straight ahead again. Depending on the value you set and how flexible your neck is, the effect can be like a gesture that initiates turning.

The new capability can be found in the Oculus Rift section of Preferences > Graphics > Display Output.

The new option to turn your avatar when seated and using the Oculus Rift headset
The new option to turn your avatar when seated and using the Oculus Rift headset

Strachan has invited those who have a headset to try the capability and to let him have their feedback. So if you do, please drop him a line on his blog.

This release also brings with it:

  • A change of the Rift prediction delta default value from 20ms to 35ms to improve typical perceived latency.
  • A fix mouselook not being able to turn more than +/-180°.

If you have been using previous versions of the 1.1 Alpha release of CtrlAltStudio, you should be able to install 1.1.7.34400 directly over it. However, if you have been using the 1.0 release (stereoscopic) version, a clean install is recommended.

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Calas in winter

Calas Galadhon Parklands, December 2013
Calas Galadhon parklands – click for full size image

It’s no secret that I love the parklands of Calas Galadhon; I think Ty and Truck do an amazing job with the park, providing it for all to enjoy, changing it to match the seasons, offering a wide range of activities, seasonal or otherwise, throughout the year and presenting a host of entertainments throughout.

Not only that, but they also manage a special theme region, SilverMyst, currently the setting for this year’s One Christmas Night,  which I was able to visit just before Truck and Ty were about to open it to the public, and which also hosts their Halloween delights.

When writing about One Christmas Night, I promised a visit to Calas itself to try to capture some of the winter magic there. However, plans change; Saffia Widdershins contacted me and asked if I could expand upon the One Christmas Night piece to provide an article on both it and Calas Galadhon in winter for the next issue of Prim Perfect magazine. Of course, I was happy to oblige.

So, rather than spoil that article by writing about Calas here, I’ll simply say Prim Perfect should be out at the end of this week, making it ideal reading for Christmas with or without my wibblings :). You can find it at any of the in-world Prim Perfect vendors, or grab it on-line from the Prim Perfect website.

In the meantime I’ll leave you with a poem by Robert Frost that came to mind as I explored the Calas winter regions on horseback, together with a few paintings I hope will whet your appetites for a visit there yourselves if you’ve not already done so!

Calas Galadhon Parklands, December 2013
Calas Galadhon parklands – click for full size image

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

Calas Galadhon Parklands, December 2013
Calas Galadhon parklands – click for full size image

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

– Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost

Calas Galadhon Parklands, December 2013
Calas Galadhon parklands – click for full size image

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