Category Archives: Old Post

Cloud Avatars in OpenSim, Possible Problem and How it Can be Fixed.

Before someone anyway will begin to read this post, I want to make clear that this will be one of my longest, I found so much information about Cloud Avatar in Opensim, so  I decided to add all this information in here but also i don’t give any kind of tech support or any support on different grids, I just added this information because it worked on my problem and I wanted to share with the opensim grids users.

Usually, I spent some of  my free time doing some test on different Sl Viewers with different metaverses (specially testing them on Second Life grid but also other opensim grids related). One of the most common  problems that I have found, it is about the well known “cloud avatar”, which make you look like a  little white smog or a white cloud.

This is very uncomfortable just because you don’t see yourself and sometimes, also other  residents can’t see you. As it is a common problem in SL and it is easy to fix (well depends on the case but usually it can be fixed) but in Opensim it is harder task and even if you are in a standalone sim (running opensim in your own computer with your own server) this can be very annoying, because what ever you do,  like cleaning cache, do a character test or even force params to default most of the time this will not work.

If you try to repair The Cloud Avatar in OpenSim with cleaning cache, character test and force params to default, most of the times  it will not work, repairing the cloud avatar in opensim seems to be harder to do than SL but I found a useful method that can be helpful.

But the main problem of The Cloud Avatar in OpenSim it isn’t on the platform, the problem just happens with the viewer we are using to log in opensim. If you change or use so different viewers like Phoenix, FireStorm or even Imprudence there could be a problem later with the avatar, specially when you are  two diferents versions of a viewers like V1 or V2, it is recommended just to use one viewer to log in opensim (specially V1) so The Cloud Avatar problem no appear  again.

When I had the problem with The Cloud Avatar in Opensim Stand Alone (a few days ago), I began to look again on google what could be causing the cloud avatar and how to fix it, because when you look like a simple small white cloud is not nice. After some deep search in diferent webpages I found something in opensim forums but this is a post of a user that get on my attention:

I really don’t think that Phoneix  corrupt the MySql database but there is more information  about The Cloud Avatar in Opensim from another osgrid user, but if you look at here may be this is what may be  happened:

“I’m fairly sure it’s a viewer-side affect. I first logged in to the OS Grid shortly b4 the 1.20 SL viewer came out. Upon upgrading to 1.20 to access OSGrid I never could get out of being a cloud so I went back to the 1.19.1(4) viewer.Have barely the graphics capability on any of my machines to truly appreciate the high end rendering of the newest viewers anyway. I think you can probably put a skin and shape on if one alters appearance using the option under Edit… Appearance….
seems I remember not being able to click on my cloud shape to put on any skins/shapes
Unfortunately there are no “stock” avatars in teh Library”

The first thing that everybody needs to make clear is that Phoenix and other viewers don’t corrupt the MySQL database. Both viewers store the inventory information in a diferent way  in the database server. Every SL or third parties viewers have new changes and new options to make them better (or worse XP). So if you use the same viewer to connect on SL and Opensim there shouldn’t be any problem but for example if you use two different viewers like Phoenix Viewer, Imprudence or Firestorm on Opensim then information in that is on the database will be stored different. Let’s see this with an example, an avatar that I use on opensim standalone and I change the clothes or outfit just using another viewers  (I will log the same account using  Firestorm, Dolphin Viewer 2.0 and CoolViewer):

This is the Hippo Avatar I am wearing in  FireStorm V3, as you can see it looks as a normal but if  log out and I log to another viewer like CoolViewer V1 and I change complete the outfit and I logout again but

When I came back to a V2  looks what happens:

The avatar don’t load like that outfit I am  wearing n Cool Viewer V1.5, its a incomplete avatar and this is the first one I created in Firestorm V3,  As you can see the outfit information in different viewers are store in a different way on the database server.

With this example I hope that everybody, can understand what I am trying to say because when you log to opensim grids using different viewers so many times then one of this days you could be an “Cloud Avatar”, which is very annoying being cloud in the metaverse but also not a easy to repair (if you don’t know what to do) than in Second Life.

Right now I want to show some information that I found again in osgrid forums where they explain how the cloud avatar can be fixed (which it really works for me), I think this is the easiest way and it should repair everybody’s cloud avatar problem (This tips are for experienced users, if you are a new one then ask for help, I don’t take any responsability misuse of this):

“-Create a new folder in your inventory
-Create new shape, skin, eyes and hair (important that you make all 4 wearables) in that folder
-Right click the folder and select ‘Replace Outfit’

That should restore your avatar, then you can change back into your regular wearable.”

Here I show in one screenshow only the last step:

With this easy steps your avatar should be normal again,  anyway I don’t know if this works 100% in all cases, if this didn’t work on your avatar then you should contact your opensim grid provider and ask them for some help about it. Visit their forums, their chat or even may be sent a email to them and I am sure they will be glad to help you!.

Finally Kirsten’s Viewer is Leaving but Another Viewer is comming!

I should posted this before on the blog but I was a little busy with somethings in RL, sorry for being late!, anwyway here are my thinkings about what happened to Kirstein’s Viewer:

This is something a little bit sad but anyway, RL is calling and Kirstein will not have free time to focus on the viewer and also crowfounded didn’t reach the foundation targeret, you can read in here:

“AND FINALLY …..

Alas the crowdfunder did not reach it’s target, it is perhaps unfortunate that the funding pitch came at a time where I have limited internet and could not make more of a song and dance about it… But should I need too? I had a review of previous downloads and stats over the last year from the site it had 280 thousand unique visitors, 30 million page views and consumed 3256 gigabytes of data.
The downloads of the clients varied of course but on average between 6000 to 8000 downloads were made per version.

Last week sourceforge registered 217 downloads of an older client! Looking at actual unique login statistics provided by the Lab itself we find a good 3 to 4 thousand people used the viewer on a very regular basis.”

I don’t doubt about this, but at as I said before, I have my own opinion about OpenSource software and what I said  about it philosophy (read my post about Opensource Software in this blog), if Kirstein could reach the fund then the development of Kirstein’s Viewer could be continuous until the next year but as it was not possible then the project have to be finished. But there’s more on kirstien webpage:

“Looking at the positive side we did have a small but VERY generous bunch of funders and all things considered 28% of the target was none too shoddy, to those people I thank you Crowdfunder should be in contact with you with refunding info as I write this.
I do wonder if the 217 people who downloaded the old client last week from sourceforge ever decided to fund.. we will never know.”

I would like to congratulate all of those people who could support kirstein (sorry I couldn’t :(), because better than the money it was the good intention to get alive the project. Even kirstein viewer was not so popular like Phoenix or any other viewer it has some original things that make it quite diferent for the other sl viewers and even I think that kirstein viewer was  the first one viewers outside Lindens Lab viewer that supported Mesh (I hope, I am not wrong).  Here a part of the post that I would like to give an opinion:

“Anyway perhaps the biggest shame is what I consider the missed opportunity, many times groups or organisations have contacted me with requests for customised clients to suit specific needs this funding pitch would have been perfect for such an endeavour.
Or groups with a common interest or goal could have got together and collectively funded the project with the goal of adding specific features.”

For those who were asking for “customised clients for  to suit specific needs”, why they didn’t fund to the project ?, even some organizations or groups did contact Kirstein asking for “customised clients”, I mean if they wanted something then if they funded to the project then they could get what they want. But not as some people may think “It is opensource and it is free, then I don’t have to pay”, as I said this is totally wrong. Does an Opensource developer don’t have the same rights than a pay developer ?, yes it have the same rights as I said, they work is so valuable than a pay developer.  An here is the end of the article:

“Enough rambling, lets tie up the loose ends and finish this.

Many many Thanks to Everyone who has supported this viewer you know who you are. The website forums will be closed, and the site will close at the end of December.”

Bye bye for Kirstein’s Viewer! but I wish the best for Kirstein new job and  Good Luck in your new task!

This was the lastest message that Kirstein left on his webpage which will be closed soon. To you and to your partner, I will wish you the best but also to have a good luck in your new task!.

Now, that Kirstein’s Viewer is going out of SL soon, but there’s someone who is forking the source code of this viewer into a new one that is still on development. This new viewer is developed by another resident called Niran’s and  I am going to speak about it near the future.

More Test with Phoenix, Singularity and Firestorm!

Here is another test  but at this time I will add another V1 that has support with mesh so I will be testing mesh in 3 viewers which are: Phoenix 1.60, Singularity and Firestorm. Why another Sl Viewer ? and not only Phoenix and Firestorm?, currently Singularity have diferent codebase that phoenix and the support from Mesh comes from another developer not the same as who developed Cool Viewer (Where Phoenix 1.60 takes the support for mesh).

Before I run this tests, I want to say something, I don’t recommend anyone to do this, unless you know what you are doing, each sl viewer has a different way of render objects in Second Life or Opensim, they can load the same sculptures but each sl viewer have a very different way of rezz and sometimes if you change so frequently of sl viewer then it can make some sculptures look different or even deforme them.

Anyone is responsible of their acts. I speak in my own experience and I have lost some sculpts (freebies) just chaning so many times different viewers when I made some test (that’s why I only run Phoenix when I want to have fun or build things on metaverse).   I just suggest you to run your favorite sl viewer always and not to change of different sl viewers so many times!, look what happened (read below this post) to my sculpt head when I change so many time of sl viewers. 

I got many demos and some freebie mesh objects (avatars, clothes, etc….) as possible but most of them came with the word “Demo”, so I just choosed very complete detailed mesh, which is a freebie, it is a “Superhero” Custom to make all my test. Anyway here are the other mesh objects, so you can judge by yourself, if this looks good or not:

– One pair of boots:

– A “Superhero” and a “Stealht” customs:

and The last mesh object, A Shirt :

Here is how  “The SuperHero” custom looks like on Phoenix 1.60:

Now is how he looks like with Singularity:

But as an observation,  look what happened to my head sculpt when I logging in Singularity viewer:

It seems that Singularity have some bug that don’t rezz some sculpts objects very well and make them to look it like a small ball, I had the same problem before with Firestorm, if I log on to Phoneix 1.60 the head look just fine:

Finally Firestorm:

Logging into Firestorm took  more time than Singularity and also I had the same problem as before it rezz my head like a ball but there is something different, the mesh object looks a little bit better, the shadows and the light looks pretty well!.

As I final comment, each viewer has its strength and its weakness, all of them show a impressive mesh objects but some just fail loading my sculpt prim. I don’t know what could happened, may be it is a bug that it is still present on Singularity or Firestom, it is possible that I would report this to each viewer developer and they can take a look what happened. I would like next time to make the same test but in a different grid and I am speaking about OpenSim.

Is Phoenix 1.60 with mesh a mess ?

I don’t know if I am really prepared for the next step in SL and this means about Mesh. I have installed Phoenix lastest version that have support with mesh and even there are some improvements in the interface.

The addition of Mesh in SL and in the metaverse would mean many improvements in user’s looks, objects and other stuff (like terrain). But how different could be from Scuplts Prims and Mesh?, even would the mesh look better in FireStorm (This is V3 with mesh support) than Phoneix 1.60 ?.

What about running a test of the performance on both viewers?, this is one of the things that I want to do and it means to run the two programs and to see the difference of each one. But before to do that, I have better to “buy” or to get some Mesh freebies (even demos)  and to see how they look like on both SL Viewers.  To test the performance of the mesh in both viewers (as I added some screenshots how the mesh objects looks like on a non-mesh viewer), three mesh objects which are: a turkey, a chainsaw and a furniture. Here is the screenshot how the objects looks like on a non-mesh viewer (the only object who rezzed fine was the furniter, may be this is an sculpt mesh and not a mesh object):

This is how The Turkey, The Chainsaw and the Furniture looks like on a non-mesh viewer as you can see the only object that load very well was The Furniture but I presume this is a sculpt mesh.

Ok, now let’s see what happened when I log on SL with Phoenix Viewer with Mesh support to see how the mesh objects would look like:

Now The Turkey and The Chainsaw have a better look than using a non-mesh viewer but also The Furniture looks equal in Phoenix Viewer 1.60.

I would say that the mesh objects looks so much better than a sculpt mesh and even the turkey looks like a real one, even it looks like  it was taking out of the oven!, here is the screesnshot with the firestorm viewer:

There is not difference between how the mesh objects looks like in Phoenix or Firestorm, they look like the same!.

Comparing Phoenix Viewer 1.60 and Firestorm 3.2 I don’t see a big different when they load mesh objects but also the look also the same, but as an observation whn I logging to SL with Phoenix was faster than Firestorm and also some of my sculpt prims didn’t load or rezz very well on this V3 viewer (even my mask was looking so bad). I will stay on Phoenix until there is not support anymore then I move to a V3 viewer but I will need to check which one fits my needs. I could say that Phoenix with Mesh isn’t a mess, it was great job and I congratulate all the developers who put their efforts to bring mesh on this viewer (even they are working so hard on FireStorm).

Opensource isn’t mean “free” it means “freedom” !

I will began this post with something I want to make clear, but it seems people still not understand. Even this blog is about metaverse and virtual worlds sometimes speaking about other subjects would be this interesting. Specilly speaking about “OpenSource” and with a some confused meaning that some peoples say or thing about like “It is OpenSource then it is free as a beer” or “It is Opensource, it is free or gratis”. What I really think about is that this is totally WRONG , OpenSource means “Freedom” not “Free” and just let’s take a look again in wikipedia what is says about “OpenSource”:

“The term open source describes practices in production and development that promote access to the end product’s source materials. Some consider open source a philosophy, others consider it a pragmatic methodology. Before the term open source became widely adopted, developers and producers used a variety of phrases to describe the concept; open source gained hold with the rise of the Internet, and the attendant need for massive retooling of the computing source code. Opening the source code enabled a self-enhancing diversity of production models, communication paths, and interactive communities. Subsequently, the new phrase “open-source software” was born to describe the environment that the new copyright, licensing, domain, and consumer issues created.

The open-source model includes the concept of concurrent yet different agendas and differing approaches in production, in contrast with more centralized models of development such as those typically used in commercial software companies.  A main principle and practice of open-source software development is peer production by bartering and collaboration, with the end-product, source-material, “blueprints,” and documentation available at no cost to the public. This is increasingly being applied in other fields of endeavor, such as biotechnology.”

here is another concept from wikipedia:

“Free and open-source software (F/OSS, FOSS) or free/libre/open-source software (FLOSS) is software that is liberally licensed to grant users the right to use, study, change, and improve its design through the availability of its source code. This approach has gained both momentum and acceptance as the potential benefits have been increasingly recognized by both individuals and corporations.

In the context of free and open-source software, free refers to the freedom to copy and re-use the software, rather than to the price of the software. The Free Software Foundation, an organization that advocates the free software model, suggests that, to understand the concept, one should “think of free as in free speech, not as in free beer”

OpenSource software are programs that can be used “without restrictive licenses”. I doesn’t means that the program cannot be copied or share, yes it can be just because the license allow to do that, but also when the developer ask for some donation or some fund to keep alive their program or their project that’s totally legal. Some of the opensource software developer would ask for some fundraising and donation (even some powerfull companies or corporation support them in their development), and there are some successful histories about how this work  but well,  other developers prefer to choose another method after if this doesn’t work and even I always respect with is right for them.

Finally, don’t be surprised or strange when  some opensource developers ask for some fund or for some donation, it is fine and they have the right to do it. Why ? because like any other developer they just spent time and work creating  great programs and sometimes they work are so valuable than any software developer.

Phoenix viewer with mesh support is here!

Finally the developers of Phoenix Viewer had made one version of this popular viewer with mesh support, thanks to Henri Beauchamp . Here are some screenshots from their webpage:

I am so happy, I can use phoneix for a meanwhile because there is not other viewer that fits to my needs (but I am still looking for a good viewer with mesh support). Anyway, make sure that your hardware would be supported because as I said in other post that this version of Phoenix was made for an special pc hadware that should require SSE2 (just remember if you have an very old pc this version of phoenix will not work). It can be possible that this will be the lastest version of Phoenix Viewer as the developer make clear and you can read about:

I would like to congratulate all of you and  my most infinite thanks for this version of phoenix and I know that all of you  have worked very hard to bring this. To all of you thanks a lot!

Sometimes “small objects” or “small gifts” can have big bad surprises!

Here comes again  and this happens over and over, another resident just got a banned, because one idiot gave to him a “gift” or a small “present”. And I don’t doubt he was innocent, usually those who gave this “gift”, “box” or what ever you wanted to call, it can have a big bad surprises. Most of the time those users that do this very unpleasant jokes are called “Griefers” and in some way are just Residents who wants to ruin other’s residen’s enjoyment on the metaverse.

As I said in the last post, don’t trust in stranger at first time, you really don’t know who is behind the avatar, friendship just takes time. And speaking about “boxes” or “small gift” let me tell you something, that this small objects can be tramps that when you opened, they  can do a spam attack or a script attack to a sim and even can make some SL viewers to get crash or out of the metaverse. If you really care about your avatar or your account, then be carefull what you open or what you get from another resident next time if you crash a sim you could get this letter from lindens lab:

This email is notification that Linden Lab has terminated
your access to the Second Life virtual world due to severe
or repeated violations of the Second Life Terms of Service
or Community Standards. Your (account name ‘xxxxxxxx
xxxx’) and alternate Second Life accounts have been made
permanently inaccessible.

Violation: Terms of Service: Global Attacks
Actions that broadly interfere with or disrupt the Second
Life community, the Second Life servers or other systems
related to Second Life cannot be tolerated in any form.

Appeal Process: The decision to terminate your Second Life
access was reached after investigation of your use of the
Second Life software and service. If you would like to
appeal your termination, you may contact Second Life
Support, by opening a new support ticket with a subject of
“abuse appeal,” or in writing, at the address below:

Attn: Account Reviews: Appeals
Linden Lab

Please provide relevant information that you believe would
explain the above violation.  Linden Lab reserves sole
discretion in considering whether to take any action on a
written appeal.

Sincerely,

Customer Support
Linden Lab

So next time you get a “small box” or a “small gift”, before to opened just think two or three times what could be inside of it. Be careful and be aware of this objects!.