Sansar: getting started – the basics

Sansar from Linden Lab

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.

Notes:

  • 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 As Sansar is evolving, they may at some point become inaccurate or superseded.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”

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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

V5-style

V1-style

Mobile / Other Clients

  • No updates.

Additional TPV Resources

Related Links