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#VR is as much about hardware as it is software.

I’ve heard a lot in the past few years how the future is all about the software, it’s the era of the app. But in the worlds of VR it’s still very much about the Hardware.

Within the virtual realms of Second Life i remember a few attempts to expand the experience via hardware. The most successful for me was the 3D space navigator mouse without which i find Second Lifes navigation cumbersome and i panic. Other hardware experiments were the Xbox Kinnect, 3d cameras and more recently leapmotion and even the oculus rift. But these experience never made it into the official viewer.

I do wonder how Project Sansar will tackle the topic of VR hardware though. For VR to immerse you there is a lot of different types of hardware on offer. The most obvious being the goggles, but there is also lots of work being made on gloves to experience touch, mocap suits to transport your real movements into VR. Cameras that transpose your facial expressions and spacial sensory devices to track you in a room. There is bound to be more as this technology space is explored with furious capitalist incentives.

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Manaus VR Gloves, just one of the many trying to add touch to your VR experience

I imagine its easier just to make a game for one of the three main VR platforms, OculusVR, SteamVR and PlayStationVR, rather than make your own VR Platform? and as a creator i’d expect these VR start ups making gloves to supply SDKs that can be used in Unity and Unreal game engines to take advantage of the new ideas. But i doubt you’d be allowed to do that with Project Sansar.

So what will Project Sansar be? is it to be another VR Platform? How will Linden Lab tackle the continuously growing VR peripherals industry with Sansar? Will they be the first to try support everything or wait years for the one VR glove to rule them all to emerge?

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Painting the Stranger Escapades Poster

Some might find this of interest, so thought i would share some steps in the process i used to create the Stranger Escapades Poster.

It was inspired by Kyle Lambert‘s Drew Struzan style poster to the tv show Stranger Things that i am quite obviously crazy about at the moment.

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While Kyle didn’t use iPad Pro exclusively to create his poster, i wanted to see if i could do my own poster for the Escapades Anniversary weekend just using Procreate with Apple Pencil. The Poster would feature my closest Second Life friends in front of recognisable landmarks from the virtual world Island of adventure in Second Life.

Composition planning stage

Composition planning stage

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Penciling in over blue sketched work

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More pencilling, you can see sometimes i don’t follow my original sketch

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After blocking in colours i then start blendshading. To a 3D artists this is like baking ambient occlusion.

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Adding the background which will define how the whole thing comes together.

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Finally, i cheat by adding water colour and paint splatter texture layers to emulate a Struzan painting style. Also start adding highlighting.

It was fun seeing what i could do with Procreate on iPad Pro, and while i tried to emulate Drew Struzan, my own style unfortunately still shines through. But in some ways thats fine 🙂 I still am amazed at how well the iPad Pro with Apple Pencil combines what’s swift and simple about drawing/painting on paper with the powerful tools of digital picture editing.

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Final Poster

 

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Escapades Island 6th Anniversary Video

The fun thing about the Escapades Anniversary weekend is that it’s the same events as previous years, but it’s never the same.

It’s always a mixture of old friend sand new friends, and the nature of Second Life means you never really know what’s going to happen. So even though we have the same events, the outcome is always memorably different.

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So here is the highlights video of this years Escapades Anniversary weekend, from flying Sea Unicorns, Cowboys and Delores to Battle Balloons and computer worlds within a computer world.

Hope everyone who visited and joined in the events had fun, and here is to yet another year of Escapades in Second Life!

 


Escapadse 6th Anniversay by lokieliot

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Escapades Island 6th Anniversary Begins Today

The 6th Anniversary weekend of Escapades Anniversary kicks off today with contests and events for the next two days.

I can’t believe Escapades Island has been a thing for six whole years now. It feels old. The place that celebrates nostalgia itself now has its own nostalgia. Ive set up a live stream of four hours of music from old movies, the soundtrack to what will unfold.

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Friday

12pm slt: The Goony Adventure: Join us as we gather to go on an adventure together to another planet.

2pm SLT: The Tea party: Open the invite sent to the Goonies and Escapades groups to find out the theme for this years Tea party and step through the Rickety Town Centre far Gate to arrive at the tea party.

 

Saturday

12pm slt: The Sea Unicorn Race: Jump on a giant Sea Unicorn and race against your friends to win one of the three covered Escapades Trophies.

2pm SLT: Pirate Party: Gemini Enfield sets the atmosphere with tunes found in his old crate. Dress up as a pirate , drink rum. You never know who might turn up to start a fight.

4pm slt: The Battle Balloon Contest: Grab a friend to join you and battle it out against the others for supremacy of the skies and the might Battle Balloon Trophy.

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Sunday

ALL DAY: Stranger Escapades: Starting around 2am slt a message will be sent on the groups, twitter feed and SL feed. A Mystery will need to be solved, clues followed, monsters battled?

12pm slt: Mini Ice Cream Van race: This could possibly go very wrong but everyone is invited to race around rickety town possibly for a trophy.

2pm SLT : THE MEGA BRAWL: Depending on how well the Stranger Escapades Mystery has been solved, there will be a massive battle.

Beach fire chill out session: At the end of the day, join Loki chilling out by the fire on Hawkings Bay.

 

I hope to see everyone this weekend. Start by arriving at Rickety Town where you can grab a free anniversary T-shirt, Cap and Poster. I drew the anniversary image especially for Escapades and inspired by the awesome series Stranger Things which capture a lot of the spirit the Goonies have.

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No Bento Loki Avatars until next year.

Over the weekend i took another brief look at Project Bento that was highlighted on the Drax world makers back in February.

If you don’t know what the Bento Project is, basically it’s an update to what people can upload for avatars in Second Life adding extra ability to rig facial expressions and fingers.

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First announced last December of 2015 and still in testing, i hope to at some point work out how to use it. the Avastar plugin for blender should make things easier eventually but at the moment that also is still in testing.

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I’ll keep an eye on how it continues to evolve, but i now don’t expect to update my free mesh avatars to include bento until next year. In the mean time there are plenty of other features i can add to Loki Avatars that people have asked for.

Areas i hope to improve are the ability to change and customise skins and try a new way of masking body parts. I’d also like to experiment more with re-rigging the body shapes now that Avastar has evolved more. This would lead to backwards compatibility issues with older clothing though so we’ll see.