Sansar: getting started – the basics

Sansar from Linden Lab

Note, October 4th: interaction with objects when using Desktop Mode were introduced with the Sansar Discovery release. Read more about the release in this article.

Note: This article covers setting-up an account, downloading the client, selecting and customising your avatar and getting familiar with the user interface. For detailed information on working with Snsar in Desktop Mode, please refer to Sansar basics: Atlas, Desktop mode movement, chat and friends.

On Monday, July 31st, Linden Lab opened the Public Creator Beta for Sansar – which you can read about here. The following is designed to offer those from Second Life joining Sansar with some guidelines on getting started.

These notes are based on my coming to Sansar as a first time user during the Creator preview, and are written purely about the run-time environment. You can find further notes and information on the following official Sansar pages:

These can all be found as a part of Sansar’s comprehensive Help pages.

You can also keep up-to-date with announcements via the Sansar blog.


  • For ease of reference, and given I don’t have continuous access to a VR headset, these notes are biased to using Sansar via the keyboard and mouse, including working in-world with the UI.
  • These note were written at the time the Sansar Public Beta was launched. As Sansar is evolving, they may at some point become inaccurate or superseded.

Creating an Account and Logging-in the First Time

The first thing you need to do with Sansar is sign-up for an account. Accounts require an e-mail address, password, date of birth and, if you indicate you wish to create experiences, whether you use tools such as Maya or Blender.Make sure you click the Terms and Conditions  / Privacy Policy and Terms of Service Links and check them before checking the box confirming you have read them.

When you have submitted the account creation form, you’ll receive an e-mail asking you to verify the address. Clicking on the verification link will both verify you e-mail address and take you to the web log-in page. Log in to the latter using the e-mail and password you have created. The Sansar Atlas is displayed on your screen. This is the point at which you can join any available Sansar experience from the wb, once you have installed the Sansar Updater (client).

  • Experiences will eventually be accessible via their own web pages.
  • You do not have to use the web version of the Atlas with Sansar – you can access the Atlas from within the client.

Downloading and Installing the Client

The first step towards accessing Sansar is to download and install the (currently 64-bit Windows only) client, via the Download link at the top of the Sansar web site. Simply follow the on-screen instructions from the installer (which may also update itself as the first part of the install process), or follow the installation instructions.

Installation is fairly quick and simple (neither my i4 / GTX 970 main system nor the 2012 i3 / Intel graphics laptop I also use had any issues in installing the client). Once the client has installed, launch it. This may trigger an automatic update to the client itself, which can take some time. Once any update has completed, the Sansar log-in screen is displayed.

Log-in using the e-mail and password you used when creating your account.

Avatar Creation

Note: Sansar allows you to have multiple avatars, which are created via the Avatar App. This is launched automatically the first time you log-in to Sansar via the client, and can be launched at any time using the My Looks buttons.

Aavtar Name creation

The first step is to supply an avatar name and avatar ID (a unique and permanent ID which serves as a unique identifier for each user).  The latter can be the same as the avatar itself, or set to something else – letters, numbers and hyphens only. Note that the avatar ID cannot be changed once set, and at this time, the avatar name also cannot be changed, so make sure you’re satisfied with the latter before continuing – it’s how everyone in Sansar will know you with this avatar.

Clicking Next from the Name screen will take you to the avatar picker – and SL users should recognise the origins of this!  Use your mouse to scroll left or right, moving the Sansar logo under the avatars to indicate the currently selected one.

There are two buttons on this screen: Customise and Next.

  • Customise takes you to the current avatar customisation options which allow you to set gender and skin tone, hairstyle, change the facial features though sliders, select an outfit  and accessories.
    • Note that avatar customisation is not as advanced as Second Life at this point in time.
    • You can save multiple looks for the same avatar via the Customise panel in the top left of the customisation screen.
    • Clicking the sliders button will zoom the view into your avatar’s head and you rotate the avatar using a right-click drag with the mouse
    • You can use the buttons at the bottom of the screen to go back to the avatar picker, select an entirely random look for the avatar from the available set of avatars, or undo / redo changes.
Customising your avatar
  • Next from either the avatar picker or the customisation screen will update the avatar selection a your avatar and move you to the Sansar Atlas.

Reminder: You can return to the Avatar App at any time from the My Looks option (top right of the Sansar Atlas display) or from within an experience via the My Looks button (see below).

Continue reading “Sansar: getting started – the basics”

Linden Lab announces Sansar Public Creator Beta

The Sansar Apollo Museum, by LOOT Interactive

On Monday, July 31st, Linden Lab announced the opening of the Public Creator Beta for Sansar, their new platform for creating and publishing social VR experiences. In announcing the launch, Linden Lab issued a press release which states in part:

SAN FRANCISCO – July 31, 2017SansarTM, the world’s leading social VR platform, today opened its creator beta to the public. Sansar empowers individuals, communities, schools, studios, corporations, brands and others to easily create, share, and ultimately sell immersive 3D social experiences for consumers to enjoy on HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and Windows PCs. Developed by Linden Lab®, the company behind the groundbreaking virtual world Second Life®, Sansar is a brand new platform built from the ground up to enable everyone to become a creator.

At opening, Sansar’s Atlas directory already features hundreds of engaging virtual experiences, including multiplayer games, recreations of historic sites and landmarks, art installations, movie theaters, museums, narrative experiences, jungle temples, 360º video domes, sci-fi themed hangouts, and much more. Creators invited to the platform during a limited-access preview have published thousands of amazing public and private experiences, and with the opening of beta today, the world is now invited to join them.

Monkey Temple by Unit 9

The press release goes on to highlight some of the capabilities associated with Sansar, including:

  • Simplified Creation & Cross-Device Distribution: Intuitive drag-and-drop editing makes it easy to create a scene with assets imported from common 3D modelling tools or purchased from the Sansar Store.
  • Use of tools from the likes of Speech Graphics for accurate avatar lip-syncing and facial animations (via audio with or without a headset) and IKinema for accurate mirroring of user’s hand / arm movements when using HMD controllers
  • A relationship with TurboSquid to provide creators with access to hundreds of additional high-quality 3D models in the Store today, with thousands more being added in the coming months. This will be extended with integration with TurboSquid’s StemCell initiative to make it easy for TurboSquid’s community of 3D modellers to immediately upload and sell their creations in the Sansar Store, further augmenting the assets readily available to Sansar creators.
Sansar Dwarven City by David Hall

Sansar System Specification

Accompanying the press release were the recommended system specifications for running Sansar:

Sansar Pricing

Basic Sansar access is provided free to users, with subscription options available to those who need them.

Things to Note – Particularly from a Second Life Perspective

I’ll have more to say on using Sansar in separate upcoming articles. However, in the briefest of terms:

  • The Sansar Public Beta is not the “fully fledged” Sansar platform; rather it is another step in the platform’s development
  • This means that much of what is taken for granted in Second Life cannot at present be done in Sansar – do not expect to jump in and find loads of vehicles to drive / fly / sail or to start flying around yourself. These kinds of capabilities will come in time
  • The Sansar avatar is still being developed; therefore what you see on joining Sansar is not “all there is” to the avatar. Expect enhancements and greater customisation to come in time
  • Sansar does not offer “in-world” design / building capabilities in the same way as Second Life. It utilises a separate editing environment and a “published” run-time environment.
  • Do not expect to see tags over avatars heads – this can make the identification of other difficult, but has been done with a purpose (floating tags don’t work particularly well in VR without breaking immersion)
  • Sansar has both voice and text chat, the ability to IM people and to create Friends lists. Chat and IM work in a similar manner to chat and IMs in SL: open text chat and voice are restricted to the the current instance of the experience you are occupying; text IMs will go to friends wherever they are in Sansar relative to you.
  • Most moving between different experiences is achieved via the Atlas – Sansar’s equivalent of the Destination Guide. Teleporting is also possible, where provided
  • Adult content is currently not permitted in Sansar. This is because the platform currently lacks a maturity rating system of the kind we see in Second Life.





August at the Bailywick Gallery, Second Life

The Bailywick Gallery, August 2017: GlitterPrincess Destiny

Sunday, July 30th marked the opening of the Kultivate Bailywick Gallery’s August exhibition at Water Haven.

The gallery specialises in black-and-white images, and artists are invited to submit pictures in keeping with this theme for each exhibition. The venue is a village hall style of building with two storeys and presented in a yacht club style of environment; as such it is ideal for smaller, more intimate exhibitions, and the August event features the work for four artists: GlitterPrincess Destiny, KodyMeyers Resident, Lulyboop Resident and Solana Python.

The Bailywick Gallery, August 2017: Lulyboop Resident

I’m very familiar with the work of both GlitterPrincess and KodyMeyers, although this is the first time I’ve seen them both present purely black and white images in an exhibition. Both offer a mix of avatar and landscape studies which carry the major hallmarks of their colour work, something which immediately has my eye gravitating towards their pieces, as both have a style to their work I greatly admire.

The Bailywick Gallery, August 2017: Solana Python

Located on the upper floor of the gallery,  Lulyboop Resident and Solana Python are artists I’ve not previously encountered. I have to admit to being particularly drawn to Solana’s images from the physical world – her WhiteLake Trypich (above) in particular holding my attention in the way it present three very different images of a location which together form a natural whole. Lulyboop, meanwhile, presents a set of five avatar studies which beautifully catch a moment in time from the lives of avatars and which deserve careful studio in order to catch the nuances within each.

I believe the exhibition runs through until the end of August 2017.

The Bailywick Gallery, August 2017: KodyMeyers Resident

SLurl Details

2017 Viewer release summaries week 30

Logos representative only and should not be seen as an endorsement / preference / recommendation

Updates for the week ending Sunday, July 30th

This summary is published every Monday, and is a list of SL viewer / client releases (official and TPV) made during the previous week. When reading it, please note:

  • It is based on my Current Viewer Releases Page, a list of all Second Life viewers and clients that are in popular use (and of which I am aware), and which are recognised as adhering to the TPV Policy. This page includes comprehensive links to download pages, blog notes, release notes, etc., as well as links to any / all reviews of specific viewers / clients made within this blog
  • By its nature, this summary presented here will always be in arrears, please refer to the Current Viewer Release Page for more up-to-date information.

Official LL Viewers

LL Viewer Resources

Third-party Viewers



Mobile / Other Clients

  • No updates.

Additional TPV Resources

Related Links

Space Sunday: of life elsewhere and launches

Titan’s structure (via wikipedia)

Saturn’s giant moon, Titan, has been a source of speculation of decades. Shrouded in a dense, methane-nitrogen rich atmosphere, potentially harbouring a liquid water ocean beneath its crust, the moon has long be thought to have the conditions in which basic life might arise.

The joint NASA-ESA Cassini-Huygens mission has, over the span of thirteen years, added immeasurably to our understanding of Titan – and to the mysteries of its potential. In doing so, it has also provided us with evidence of processes taking place which are the precursors to the development of life. For example, we know that within Titan’s ionosphere, nitrogen, carbon and hydrogen are exposed to sunlight and energetic particles from Saturn’s magnetosphere. This exposure drives a process wherein these elements are transformed into more complex prebiotic compounds, which then drift down towards the lower atmosphere and form a thick haze of organic aerosols that are thought to eventually reach the surface.

However, while the drivers of the process are known, the nature of the process itself has been something of a mystery – one which an international team of scientists led by the University College London (UCL) think they now understand.  In Carbon Chain Anions and the Growth of Complex Organic Molecules in Titan’s Ionosphere the team identify Titan’s upper atmosphere contains a negatively charged species of linear molecule in Titan’s atmosphere called “carbon chain anions” – which, it has in the past been theorised, may have acted as the basis for the earliest forms of life on Earth.

The molecules were detected by CAPS, the Cassini Plasma Spectrometer, as the vehicle passed through the upper reaches of Titan’s atmosphere on a final flyby before commencing its “Grand Finale” of flights between Saturn and its rings. The discovery came as a surprise, as carbon chain anions are highly reactive, and should not survive long in Titan’s atmosphere. However, what particularly caught the attention of the science team was that the data show that the carbon chains become depleted closer to the moon, while precursors to larger aerosol molecules undergo rapid growth. This suggests a close relationship between the two, with the carbon chains ‘seeding’ the larger molecules – those prebiotics mentioned above – which then fall to the surface.

How complex molecules are thought to form in Titan’s atmosphere. Credit: UCL

“We have made the first unambiguous identification of carbon chain anions in a planet-like atmosphere, which we believe are a vital stepping-stone in the production line of growing bigger, and more complex organic molecules, such as the moon’s large haze particles,” said Ravi Desai, the lead author for the study in a press release from UCL.

He continued, “This is a known process in the interstellar medium – the large molecular clouds from which stars themselves form – but now we’ve seen it in a completely different environment, meaning it could represent a universal process for producing complex organic molecules. The question is, could it also be happening at other nitrogen-methane atmospheres like at Pluto or Triton, or at exoplanets with similar properties?”

With its rich mix of complex chemistry coupled with its basic composition, Titan is something of a planetary laboratory; one which probably mirrors the very early atmosphere surrounding Earth before the emergence of oxygen-producing micro-organisms which started the transformation of our atmosphere into something far more amenable for the advance of life. As such, the discovery of carbon chain anions in Titan’s atmosphere potentially confirms that long-held theory that they help kick-start the life creating processes here on Earth, and suggest conditions on Titan might allow the same to happen there. It also offers insight into how life might start elsewhere in the galaxy.

“These inspiring results from Cassini show the importance of tracing the journey from small to large chemical species in order to understand how complex organic molecules are produced in an early Earth-like atmosphere,” Dr Nicolas Altobelli, ESA’s Cassini project scientist, said in the same press release. “While we haven’t detected life itself, finding complex organics not just at Titan, but also in comets and throughout the interstellar medium, we are certainly coming close to finding its precursors.”

Dream Chaser ISS Flights target 2020 Commencement

Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) has confirmed than United Launch Alliance (ULA) will provide the veritable Atlas V booster as the launch vehicle for the Dream Chaser Cargo mini-shuttle, which will be joining fleet of uncrewed vehicles from America, Russia and Japan keeping the International Space Station (ISS) supplied with consumables, equipment and science experiments. The company also indicate that launches of the vehicle could start in 2020.

The Altas V – Cream Chaser Cargo launch configuration. Credit: United Launch Alliance

Dream Chaser was originally conceived to fly crews to and from the ISS as part of NASA’s commercial crew transportation joint venture with the private sector. Four companies vied for contracts to supply NASA with vehicles capable of shuttling up to six personnel to and from the space station. Despite being one of the most advanced of the designs in terms of feasibility and development, the Dream Chaser was not selected for that work, with NASA opting for the SpaceX Dragon 2 vehicle and Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner capsule.

However, support within the US space agency for the Dream Chaser continued, allowing SNC to propose the development of Dream Chaser Cargo, a revised version of the original concept, capable of supplying up to 5.5 tonnes of cargo to the ISS. In January 2016, in renewing its contract with SpaceX (Dragon) and Orbital ATK (Cygnus) for such resupply missions, NASA extended it to include SNC. This was followed a year ago by formal approval being given for Dream Chaser missions to the ISS, which allowed SNC to push ahead with testing of the revised vehicle.

Dream Chaser will launch atop the commercial Atlas V in its most powerful configuration, dubbed Atlas V 552, with five strap on solid rocket motors and a dual engine Centaur upper stage. The cargo vehicle will be held inside a five metre diameter payload fairing with its wings folded. Cargo will be carried both within the vehicle itself and in a support module mounted on the rear of the spacecraft, which will also house a docking adaptor for connecting with the space station. The latter will be supplied to SNC by the European Space Agency, which is also supplying NASA with the Service Module for the Orion multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle.

The Dream Chaser Cargo, built by SNC, and the International Berth and Docking Mechanism, to be supplied to SNC for Dream Chaser flights by the European Space Agency. Credit: SNC

In addition to flying up to 5.5 tonnes to the ISS, Dream Chaser Cargo will be able to return some 2 tonnes of equipment, experiments and other items from the space station to Earth, where it will make a conventional runway landing using the former space shuttle runway at Kennedy Space Centre – or any other suitable landing facility in the United States.

It is expected that Dream Chaser cargo will fly a total of six missions to the ISS between 2020 and 2024, when it is currently anticipated the space station will be decommissioned.

Continue reading “Space Sunday: of life elsewhere and launches”

Mysterious house buyers, African adventures, divine sisterhoods

Seanchai Library, Holly Kai Park

It’s time to kick-off another week of storytelling in Voice by the staff and volunteers at the Seanchai Library. As always, all times SLT, and events are held at the Library’s home at Holly Kai Park, unless otherwise indicated.

Sunday, July 30th 13:30: Tea-Time at Baker Street

Tea-time at Baker Street continues with readings from The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes, the final set of twelve Sherlock Holmes short stories first published in the Strand Magazine between October 1921 and April 1927.

This week: The Adventure of the Three Gables.

Steve Dixie, a ruffian (and coward) visits 221B Baker Street in an attempt to intimidate Sherlock Holmes. Only things don’t go as planned.

Having received his strange visitor, Holmes quickly deduces that Dixie’s boss, one Barney Stockdale, is involved in a case involving the very place Dixie was ordered to warn Holmes away from: Harrow Weald. Seeing an opportunity, Holmes secures Dixie’s cooperation in matters, before setting out for Harrow Weald.

One there, Holmes meets with a Mrs. Mary Maberley, who has lived at Green Gables for two years in relative peace and seclusion, has been subject to some strange goings-on since her son, an attaché in Rome, died. Despite several houses in the neighbourhood standing empty, Mrs. Maberley has been approached by a man wishing to buy Three Gables and all its furnishings, and is willing to pay well above the market price – and the contract he would have her sign in order to sell the house would prevent her removing anything from it.

Discovering further connections to Barney Stockdale, Holmes sets out to unravel the mystery …

Monday, July 31st 19:00: A Boy Ten Feet Tall

Originally published in 1961 under the title Sammy Going South, and then later Find the Boy, W.H. Canaway’s novel is often referred to a “The Huckleberry Finn of Africa.” It became the basis for a 1963 British film Sammy Going South, starring Edward G. Robinson, which was released in the United States as A Boy Ten Feet Tall – hence the revised title for the book.

Born in the Suez region of Egypt, where he is orphaned, Sammy learns he has an aunt living in Durban, South Africa, and is determined to travel south to be with her.

Already distrustful of adults – he was told immunisation shots he was given at a young age would not hurt, when of course they did – Sammy sets out on foot uncertain of how he will complete the journey, but determined that he will. Along the way his distrust of adults is reinforced thanks to encounters with those who seek to profit from him and due to his witnessing the cruelty humans can inflict upon one another.

But also along the way there are those who do seek nothing more than to help him. One of these is a poacher and diamond trader – the kind of person you’d believe only to willing to take advantage of a young boy alone in the world. But it is compassion that rules this man’s heart (played in the film by Edward G. Robinson), and he takes the boy under his wing, helping him to heal from his emotional wounds …

Join Gyro Muggins for more of the adventure.

Tuesday, August 1st 19:00: What’s Cookin’ in Miss Trolley’s Kitchen

Inspired by Jenni Ferrari-Adler’s Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant: Confessions of Cooking for One and Dining Alone, she invites you to bring your favorite guilty pleasure recipes to share.

Wednesday, August 2nd 19:00: Secrets of the Divine Ya-Ya Sisterhood

Caledonia Skytower reads Rebecca Wells’ 2014 tale.

When Siddalee Walker, oldest daughter of Vivi Abbott Walker, Ya-Ya extraordinaire, is interviewed in the New York Times about a hit play she’s directed, her mother gets described as a “tap-dancing child abuser.”

Enraged, Vivi disowns Sidda. Devastated, Sidda begs forgiveness, and postpones her upcoming wedding. All looks bleak until the Ya-Yas step in and convince Vivi to send Sidda a scrapbook of their girlhood mementos, called “Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.”

As Sidda struggles to analyze her mother, she comes face to face with the tangled beauty of imperfect love, and the fact that forgiveness, more than understanding, is often what the heart longs for.

Also presented in Kitely (hop://

Thursday, August 3rd 19:00: Brea’s Tale from The World of Feyland (Part 2)

With Shandon Loring. Also presented in Kitely (hop://


Please check with the Seanchai Library’s blog for updates and for additions or changes to the week’s schedule.

The featured charity for May through July is Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, raising awareness of childhood cancer causes and funds for research into new treatments and cures.