Ebbe showed the Wall Street Journal a short demonstration of Sansar at the WSJDLive conference.
In an apartment he moved a few items around, quite easily and with the use of a little Hand-held (virtual) device.
He also moved himself around by clicking a spot on the floor, we see an icon on the floor with two feet on them.
Going around a virtual world by clicking where to teleport is of course far from ideal but until we can get good and affordable omnidirectional treadmills that actually work well, this is a solution you can see in most virtual games, worlds, etc.
One of the presenters asked if he had any food in his apartment, unfortunately I have not yet been let in so he couldn’t even offer them a glass of schnapps.
Ebbe also mentioned that a few hundred users are now in Sansar, no I’m not one of them, I know, it is a scandal isn’t it?
How on earth do all those poor avatars manage surviving there without my schnapps?!
Imagine being able to bring your 360 degrees camera into Virtual Reality, just set it up in the club, house, park or city that you’ve build yourself in Second Life, record it and then share it online with people from all over the world.
Let them get a taste of where you live in VR, let them look around and even give them the feeling they’re actually there by looking at it with their VR headset.
This is now possible!
Yesterday Electric Shepherd from Vimagine (who also worked on the ‘Virtualize it’ documentary for ‘Der Spiegel’) and Draxtor Despres came to 1920s Berlin to test out an amazing 360 degrees camera to film the, as far as I know, first 360 degrees video shot Live in Second Life in real time.
The camera rig was made by Arduenn Schwartzman (of Warbug fame), it has audio and video syncing capabilities and all recorded tracks are then aligned in post production.Even though this is still just an early test, it is already very impressive.
I can imagine short clips like these made in sims all over Second Life being used to show outsiders what life in our virtual world is like and the things that they can experience there.
Because these can also record busy events with lots of people and with many things happening at the same time!
Not only are these just fun videos on youtube, but they are very impressive when viewed through the Gear VR, the Cardboard VR or other headsets.
And not just that, it will also allow me to show off my sim in a whole new way to people who may not have tried Second Life, don’t know how SL works or who don’t have a computer that can handle SL.
And imagine making a full length machinima with this technology!
We could be making 360 films while people in RL have only just experimenting with it.
Once more the people in SL are groundbreaking.
You can see this pioneering footage here;
(not all browsers support 360 degrees video)
Some technical details send in by Draxtor;
We are simulating a goPro Rig of 6 cameras, filming each with 1080 by 1080 (which is already too low = SL can handle more but we need the screens for FRAPS to capture it that high, working on it!!)
I filmed this test myself so there is no syncing which means the Zeppelin dissapears into the cloud at one point: to do live action in SL we need to film at same time.
Syncing is no prob: we have an automated system made by Arduenn Schwartzmann which syncs the six cameras with sound and a visual cue. But again = we need to figure out higher resolution = who has the computers to make it happen, are the colors in sync as well, is the SL lag an issue when aligning the cameras later on (f.e. a dance or fast car race or airship battle etc).
I am working with spatial audio on a RL project so next step will also involve inserting some sounds and dialogue which is spatialized.
All in all the workflow we have is SUPER FAST = plop down the virtual camera rig in SL and shoot, export, stitch, correct = DONE = faster than RL 360 !!!!!!
Big benefits of SL for this = inserting virtual sequences into a RL 360 video = much faster and easier than constructing it via other CGI options because you can film it in REAL TIME and the assets are all there. Yes maybe render engine less able than Unity or Unreal but a LOT easier and ultimately not worse than RL 360 at this point in the game!
And this article wouldn’t be complete without this earlier 360 degrees video in VR experiment by Zuza Ritt;
Linden Lab has released a viewer that supports the Development kit 2 version of the Oculus Rift but also the consumer version.
This is something many people have been waiting for.
Unfortunately I can’t test it myself, I don’t own a VR headset nor a computer it would work with.
Any sponsors out there with some spare money?
Give me a call.
When you visit the Second Life website you still see an artist’s impression of what the Rift might look like, not a picture of the actual current headset and when you click for more information you’ll be taken to a blog post from 2014.
So Oculus users joining SL today, will not know they can use their headset till they try.
The viewer was much anticipated, but once tried the experience left several users less than impressed.
According to some users, it seems like performance has gotten worse compared to the dk2 viewer.
Of course we all know that Second Life is not perfectly suitable for VR headset experience, but you’d at least hope that it would still be working just as good or better than it did with the DK2 even though the commercial Oculus may be more demanding.
The viewer also lowers your graphics settings so even if you have a super computer that technically could handle SL at ultra settings in your Oculus, you wouldn’t be able to try it.
Check out the forum thread here (click) to see how people are experiencing it.
Jim Reichert, who does a lot of work with new VR technologies, uploaded the first (as far as I know) video showing the new viewer;
He was rather disappointed by his recent experience.
I took a leap of faith on my part to update my Oculus drivers to the latest drop.
After an hour or two of laboring through latest Oculus installation and sorting out its ideosyncrasies, I finally got everything working– and by “working” I mean limping along like something from 2003.
Comparatively speaking, it’s a far worse Oculus experience than I’d had on Linden Lab’s previous attempt from 2014. Not only is it far choppier from a frame-rate perspective, but it’s rendered on the lowest settings– a far cry from the smooth experience that I’d grown used to.
More frustratingly, it’s not even good for taking stereoscopic screenshots since the render settings seem to have been pulled down as far as they could go. Setting them to Ultra had no effect whatsoever.
The real kicker, however, is that there is currently no way to go back to the original attempt– the one from 2014. I can no longer shoot videos to showcase how amazing Second Life is to my neo-VR friends.
It’s very frustrating development because I’m finally drawing a crowd.
What do I show them now?”
On twitter people have also been sharing their experiences;
Mr Tate writes;
Testing with various settings it seems HMD view colours are washed out, transparency & plants missing, HMD UI settings seem to have no effect. HMD UI can be across middle of screen, light blue squares on sea.
My setup is Windows 10, Xeon processor, 32GB memory, SSD drives and Nvidia GTX980 GPU.
Comparison shot of normal 2D view and HMD view with many missing items, sea patch, etc.;
Making more progress by turning “Atmospheric Shaders” off. Transparency okay then
I tried, works with CV1, well it works as badly as it did with the SDK2. Massive latency, bad shading, no AA, … . And it’s overcomplicated AGAIN.
Wow that must have been the worst VR experience in a long time. All the old errors and a few new ones are still there. It is like pre Alpha.
Well yes, it works, and I’m so glad that it does, BUT it looks absolutely bloody terrible. Is there any point in me using something that makes my virtual environment look so appalling, just so I can move about it in a limited fashion anyway? I’m sad to say that it’s just not what I’d hoped it would be, and for that reason alone, I’ll stick with Firestorm. What I’ll take away from this whole experience is that it’s clear that it can be done, but as far as LL/official viewers go it’s with limitations.
I was running it today on my rig which is driven by dual titan X’s and yeah its certainly a stripped back viewer. I actually enjoyed first person view more on my monitor than on the oculus “CV1”. Seems like many objects weren’t rendering even if I cranked it to ultra.
I mean my expectations weren’t too high, but I figured it’d at least show me what I can see in desktop mode! Definitely can’t wait for project sansar lol.
I only briefly tried the first viewer long ago with DK2, the new one is better from what I recall of it. As for the experience with the current viewer and the release version of the rift? It’s… okay I guess. Not being able to change the graphics settings to look better really hurts the experience. If it’s there I couldn’t figure out where, so no shiny ALM, shadows or any of that .
A lot of objects vanish or become 100% transparent when they shouldn’t be, scene loading in general seems very blocky. It reminds me of new chunks loading in Minecraft.
The head tracking could probably use improvement, but it’s not bad. Disabling seeing your avatar in mouselook is probably a good idea since you’ll see your own head clipping into your viewpoint on occasion, I imagine this is worse with people who have idles that move all over the place.
Here’s some videos I took (although not very good ones), I cropped it to only show the main center area of my screen (it’s quite a bit larger otherwise), and keep in mind that while the video looks jittery, it seems more natural with the actual headset on your head, since it’s your own subtle head movements and you looking around making all the motion.
This first small area is made to 1:1 RL scale (along with my avatar), which is key for any kind of immersion. Most of SL fails this terribly, and it is one of the reasons why VR in most of SL is bleh. The start of the videos where it’s all weird and shaky is me putting on the headset and recentering the view, and I do a few back and forth comparisons with HMD vs normal mode to show the massive graphical differences at different points in both videos. https://streamable.com/wgys
All that said, it is still fun to play around with, and being able to see things in 3D is really nice, the videos don’t capture that sensation of depth. As it stands though, SL in VR sadly doesn’t compare well to a proper game made for VR.
Make sure you check out the videos Ms Cortes shared in the quote above.
So in short the main issue appears to be that the viewer forces you to lower your graphics settings, which makes SL look real ugly, real fast.
Also downloading the new viewer may cause your firewall and protection software to alert you because of an outdated security certificate, and the new viewer is Windows only.
A HTC Vive viewer is not being worked on at the moment, a shame as the Vive seems to have pushed the Oculus to the side as the leading VR headset.
But it is early days.
These problems may just be temporary bugs.
So although Lindens read my blog, make sure you file bug reports so the right Lindens get to hear about your issues asap.
Have you tried it?
What is your experience, let us know here in the comments section below.
On a side note; there is apparently a service called Vorpx that will allow you to enjoy Second Life with your firestorm viewer and at higher graphics settings in the CV1 AND HTCVIVE.