Dave Rowe, who develops the CtrlAltStudio viewer has announced he has some preliminary support for the Oculus Rift DK2 available in an alpha version of his viewer.
The viewer version – 188.8.131.52183 Alpha, dated August 19th, should also support existing DK1 headsets, but it doesn’t yet support head tracking for DK2 hardware.
Announcing the availability of the viewer in a blog post, Dave said:
I know some people are very anxious to try their DK2s in Second Life / OpenSim so I’ve released this alpha with some very preliminary DK2 support.
It works with the DK2 configured in extended mode: use the Windows key + right-arrow to move your viewer window onto the Rift’s display, then Ctrl+Alt+3 makes the window full screen and switches into Rift view.
Have I mentioned that this release is very preliminary? It does not work with direct mode yet as the current Rift SDK 0.4.1 Beta does not work in direct mode with OpenGL. Also, in this alpha, head orientation is tracked but not yet head position. Plus there’s no display of any UI. And Advanced Lighting Model must be turned on. For more details on usage, see the Release Notes.
I haven’t tested this alpha with a DK1 yet but it should in theory work. Note though that the mirrored windows mode used in previous viewer releases for the DK1 is and will not be supported by the new Oculus software.
Austin Tate has provided an overview of his experience with the viewer and the DK2, for those who would like more first-hand information.
Two new installations have opened at the Linden Endowments for the Arts (LEA) of late; one as a part of the LEA’s Artist In Residence (AIR) series, and the other being the latest in the Full Sim Art series sponsored by the University of Western Australia.
Spirit Within, the Full Sim Art piece, is by Lagu Indigo and Stardove Spirit, and is based on a “life death” experience, which transports you to a walled garden surrounded by light and water. Within this garden sits a tall, translucent temple, the steps leading up to it bordered by amorphous forms, while before and within the temple, butterflies rise into the bright sky.
In describing the piece, Stardove and Lagu continue: “The walk up to the temple you will have spirits on each side of the steps , this represents the spirits that where the guides that showed the way to the light, they where of pure light and like ancestors from the past. as you reach the top within the temple is the light and an Angel he was the giver of light and shows the way to the light though the darkness and back to reality and earth. The butterflies represent the rebirth and the beauty that there is life and that you can be reborn.”
There is something of a personal expression here, the work having grown out of a situation experienced by one of the artists (which, out of Lagu and Starlove isn’t clear from the notes), the author continuing: “My experience of life and death it is only a small part of the journey and as the light was given so I am grateful to be alive and free like the butterfly. There where many parts to this experience and this is just the one part , maybe a dream of the mind or a reality, but I know that I got though a bad time and am thankful for the experience, It like a cleansing of the soul to a new beginning of a new life.”
Note that applications are being sought for the December 2014 and January 2015 Full Sim Art slots. Interested artists should contact Jayjay Zifanwee, indicated their preferred month.
David Searby Mason – known as Searby in-world, offers a very different experience in his AIR piece. Do make sure you have sound enabled when visiting (and wear headphone if you have them). The recommended time-of-day for the installation is either sunset or midnight.
Called simply Searby’s, the installation comprises three individual parts. At ground level is the Welcome Area, where visitors are invited to spend time relaxing in a watery environment from which rises a rises of low hills covered with geometric patterns. Multi-hued spheres and shapes roll, drift and slide over and above this landscape, and visitors are invited to interact with them.
Two teleport spheres at the arrival point will carry you up to the remaining parts of the installation. The first of these is Sound Spheres – and you definitely will need local sounds on for this. As the name suggests, it comprises a series of sphere of various sizes, all rotating on the spot, each displaying a quite psychedelic pattern of colour and light as it does so. Walking through a sphere triggers a unique sound: a tone, an electronic chord, voices, footsteps, excerpts from compositions, and so on. So wandering the space results in an interesting aural as well as visual experience.
The second teleport (you’ll have to return to ground level via the all white sphere in order to travel between levels) take you up to Seahorses, a huge kaleidoscopic display focused on seahorses, and which is most certainly bet viewed in the suggested windlights of sunset or midnight.
“The Seahorses are also designed to walk through like the spheres but here the visual aim is different. I wanted to create a ghostly feel to add another dimension to the sounds,” Dave says of this part of the installation. Viewing the piece at midnight and running, flying through the display certainly achieves that; the seahorses seem to transform into ghostly forms drifting by or perhaps elements of some strange, otherworldly spider’s web, while the sounds they trigger all blend and mix to create a constantly changing sound scape for as long as you are moving.
Searby’s will remain open until the end of December.
Spirit Within, an LEA Full Sim Art installation (Rated: Moderate)
Searby’s, an LEA AIR round 7 installation (Rated: Moderate)