Project Sansar: applications open for “creator preview”

Project Sansar image via Linden Lab
Project Sansar image via Linden Lab

On Tuesday, April 26th, Linden Lab announced the opening of applications for creators wishing to access their next generation virtual experiences platform, “Project Sansar”.

The press release on the announcement reads in part:

New Platform Enables User-Created Social VR Experiences

SAN FRANCISCO – April 26, 2016 – Linden Lab®, the creators of Second Life®, today announced that applications have opened for an upcoming “Creator Preview” for Project SansarTM, the new platform for user-created social VR experiences. Interested 3D content creators can now apply at ProjectSansar.com and accepted applicants will begin to receive invitations later this summer.

Slated for general availability at the end of 2016, Project Sansar will democratize virtual reality as a creative medium. It will empower people to easily create, share, and ultimately monetize their own interactive social experiences that can be enjoyed in VR with head-mounted displays like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, as well as via PCs and, later, mobile devices. The platform enables professional-level quality and performance with exceptional visual fidelity, 3D audio, and physics simulation, while also solving the complex engineering challenges that have previously limited creating and publishing social VR experiences to just sophisticated professionals.

While not entirely VR HMD centric, Project Sansar is being built to leverage the anticipated market for VR HMD-focused social and other experiences
While not entirely VR HMD centric, Project Sansar is being built to leverage the anticipated market for VR HMD-focused social and other experiences

It has been previously indicated by the Lab’s CEO, Ebbe Altberg that access to the new platform will initally be creator-focused, with priority given to those who have ideas / projects which can help Linden Lab further develop and enhance the platform in terms of its initial target audiences, and who are willing to give feedback and provide input to the Lab on exactly how the platform might be improved. This is very much reflected in the on-line application form, not only within its title, but also in the information being sought, focusing on potential market sector reach (e.g. education, commerce, design and architecture, fashion, games, media, health, etc.), and on tools used by applicants for content creation.

Those who are seeking a “sneak peek at Project Sansar will have to continue to wait; however the is an option within the creator sign-up for non-creators to subscribe to receive information updates on the platform by e-mail from the Lab.

Related Links

Additional hat-tip to Whirly Fizzle,

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Alchemy 4.0.0: client-side AO

Alchemy-logoAlchemy viewer updated to version 4.0.0.37561 (Beta) on April 16th. This is another progressive update, containing a lot of under-the-hood improvements and fixes – notably around rendering – and a new visible update in the form of a client-side animation override capability, modelled after the one most popularity seen in Firestorm.

The update also sees a Linux 64-bit release as well, although going by the comments following the release notes blog post, there appear to be log-in issues associated with the Linux version.

This, and the previous “beta” release are intended to get the team’s own updates in front of users ahead of some major updates which will be forthcoming as Alchemy (as with all other viewers) merge with some significant releases coming down the pipe from Linden Lab (including the Avatar Complexity capabilities and – eventually – the Project Bento updates).

As the AO update is the most visible change with this release, and given I am not a regular Alchemy user (although I find it possibly the best viewer for video capture), the rest of this article focuses on the AO aspect of the update.

The client-side animation override (AO), is intended to replace he need for HUD-based scripted animation overrides, instead driving animations – walks-sits-standing poses, etc – directly through the viewer, thus freeing-up simulator resources. Using one does require a little work in setting-up (but so can HUD-based systems), but you can run multiple animation sets directly from the viewer.

Essentially, the AO system comprises three parts:

  • The animations you wish to use, which you will need to copy / move from any associated HUD system to your inventory – placing them in a folder within your Animations system folder is often a good way to do this
  • A configuration note card defining the animation you wish to use. Like configuration note cards found in many ZHAO -based animation overrides (so simply using the note card found within your scripted AO system should work OK), this defines animations by type: stand, walk, sit, etc (you can also manually create an animation set if no configuration note card is available)
  • The viewer UI elements.
To use the client-side AO, you'll need to have the animations you wish to used stored within your inventory (not within another AO system) (l), and a suitable note card defining the animations you wish to use with the AO (r)
To use the client-side AO, you’ll need to have the animations you wish to used stored within your inventory (not within another AO system) (l), and a suitable note card defining the animations you wish to use with the AO (r)

Once you have done this, you’re ready to set-up the client-side AO system.  You can access the AO floater in one of two ways:

  • By adding the AO button to your viewer toolbar and then clicking on it to open the AO floater
  • By hovering the mouse over the AO icon at the top right of your screen to display a minimised AO floater.

The latter is actually the easiest, given the way Alchemy have implemented to AO system. Assuming you take this approach, click on the spanner icon in the minimised AO floater to expand it.

The client-side AO floater - minimised (l) and expanded (r)
The client-side AO floater – minimised (l) and expanded (r)

Now, simply drag and drop the configured animation note card from your inventory to the AO floater. This will cause Alchemy to configure the AO system ready for use, and result in a list of your animations appearing in the floater. At the same time, a set of links will be created in the Animation Override folder in your inventory – do not delete these!

Alternatively, if you don’t have a configuration note card for an animation set, click the + button on the AO system floater, type in a name for your animation set, then drag and drop all of the animations you want to use in the set from your inventory into the AO system floater.

The AO floater with the loaded animation set (l) and the associated links in the Animation Override folder in your inventory (r)
The AO floater with the loaded animation set (l) and the associated links in the Animation Overrides folder in your inventory (r)

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