Getting everywhere, even New York with fast cars

I could not help moving eightbar into yet another virtual environment. In this case Forza2 on the xbox 360.
Forza has a great custom paint application built in. You cant just upload images, you have to craft from clip art. I am by no means an expert, but I was quite happy with me representing eightbar and epredator in this styilized way. See what you think. The original 8bar logo is by Judge of course.
Below is the Lancia Stratos with custom spikey green hair, racing stripes and 8bar logo in times square New York.
This can of course be raced online. Also the 8bar decals are able to be applied from car to car and cars are even able to be put in an auction for other players to buy for game credits.
This shows the rise of user created content and creative freedom in a specific game type. The original Forza had this, but with next gen and HD some of the designs I have seen have been breath-takingly good.
Its not all posing either, this is about racing too, but with some style.
So we have a fantastic car physics model, focused on the racing experience but I am able to be in there as epredator and take eightbar with me. Which I think shows the benefit of specific virtual environments for specific things, as well as striving for a generic metaverse.
See you on the track, my gamer card is over on in the side bar.
And here is an F430 customed up too. The same car I got to drive last weekend in real life along with the murcielago

Quick 2d to 3d with Archipelis

I came across Archipelis out there on the web. A tool designed to take 2d free hand drawing and turn it into 3d objects. I was instantly struck with the simplicity of just being able to draw. It is certainly not aiming at the high end 3d engineer market, but it is so simple and easy to use that I think many people may find the approach of use. If nothing else for just prototyping things in 3d.
You are able to import a photo and draw around it, the resulting object takes the texture as that photo. Objects can then be exported in standard formats like OBJ. I am not going to explain all the features, as their site is the best place for that.
I did do a very quick exploration with some of the masked off images I had of Roo from some other real to virtual experiments. None of this approach aims to replace the proper way to scan and capture real objects, but as a quick way to see what works, with a simple “at home” approach is it good to explore the potential.
I imported the image into Archipelis, drew around roo and then exported him to a standard format. I then used another tool to convert him into one of the internal metaverses we have going.
The result is not perfect, but it was quick. The Roovatar from real life to virtual in just a few minutes.

It has also been very theraputic to just draw and model in 3d in a freeform way, very similar to the prim modelling we see in SL. Lots of curves, the ability to cut away and add etc. Its very impressive.


Augmented Mixed Reality – Virtual, Physical and Augmented mashup

Ok, this may be tricky so you may want to sit down for this one.
After my previous post using the ARTag augmented reality, allowing my avatar to interact with an augmented reality 3d object superimposed on the view I coudl not resist taking it a stage further.
As you know I have a fabjectory model of my more human Second Life avatar. It is a physical statue made real from the virtual.So, I dug up my very old copy of the canon 3d SOM. This appears to be here now
The 3d SOM packaged makes a 3d model from a collection of photos of a real object.
Yes, I took my Second Life avatar, had it printed in real life, photographed it, turned it back into a 3d model, applied that model to the ARTag augmented reality kit and then used put the ARTag texture in Second Life, pointed the camera at the Second Life screen.
Voila, my avatar was in augmented virtual reality with my other avatar.
The possibilities, and the loops withing loops ermeging from this are very intriguing indeed.
I think this is Augmented Mixed Reality?




Many hands make AR work, Rob (dressed for a visitor) helped with the camera for this one.

Avatar meets AR with ARTag

Mr Web Roo got a ping from his brother who is a 3d designer amongst other things to say check out this augmented reality demo from
Well we did, as it is very impressive in that it just works and can use very low tech cameras to achieve the effect.
It struck me that it might be interesting to not just augment reality, but augment the virtual, but equally real metaverse experience. In this case Second Life.
So I did. I did not bother with lighting, tripods or very much else, and this did prove a little awkward.
However, Avatar met AR and has sparked a lot of thought now.
In particular around what a HUD actually is and the potential to Augment and mash virtual worlds together. Its a long thread of discussion, more later.

Avatar meets AR

Real products from virtual shop – I want one of those

Yesterday Andy Piper pinged me and also sent me the landmark for IWOOT. I Want One of Those provides a whole host of mad gadgets and things you never knew you needed. Such as racing grannies (I got some for christmas).
Well now they have a Second Life presence. That shop allows you to tie your avatar to a shipping address, pick up a shopping cart and buy the products with Linden dollars then shipped to you in RL.
Its been a while coming, they may be more out there. The thing is this is the one I got to see first, for whatever reason. So this is the one I shopped at, and bought a couple of items.
The support emails appear to come from and I have shopped with them before so I feel quite happy.
Much of the build appears to be by Ceeq Laborde for his so props to him for making this happen.

iwoot 1
cart 1
cart 2
cart 3
All pictures from snapzilla

I notice also in coming back that the pictures sent via postcards are now full size. So poor snapzilla is going to get get swamped with data. The old sizes were not production quality, but handy for blog posts. I am not complaining, as I can choose what I send but its an example of a knock on effect of a simple change in one system.
Nicer postcards -> more network traffic -> more storage required by service providers -> longer load times on blog posts if no editing done -> etc. Showing there is no such thing as a small change (maybe thats a post for terra nova 🙂 )

Terra Nova here we come

Roo and I have been invited to guest author over on Terra Nova for the month of August. So we have started already, we twittered about and then tossed a virtual coin (my real one is in the post) and I went first.
It is an odd experience to consider writing on someone else’s blog. As you know we all felt the need to split and write our own blogs a bit more (even though it appeared that this was my personal blog sometimes!). Now two of us are off writing similar but different things on the famous TN. When you combine this with the internal blogs we have inside IBM there are a lot of places to say things and reach people.
As I have found though the themes may be the same, and some cut and paste may occur you do have to put on a very different persona for each blog.
My personal blog outside on I will say and do what ever, be as off topic as I want (within normal parameters as an employee of course!)
Eightbar used to be rougish fun, out blogging one another combining on posts, but now we have a responsibility to our eightbar brand and to each other.
Internal blogs…. well we are all freinds here so its about a bit more depth of thought aswell as quirky awareness.
Terra Nova? Well this could be about extending the credibility to a different audience. Eightbar gets a lot of Second Life traffic, though we try and show the broadness of its meta guild nature across other platforms, Sl is still where the extreme ideas are demonstrated at the moment. TN takes us to a whole load of gamers and thinkers, som of whom will not want corporate involvement in any of this. Some will be purists.
We will, just as with slashdot these days, get into raging academic arguments.
However, it is all good. Discussion is good. Contributing to discussions is not wrong.
Like most of the things I kick off doing I do not know the precise outcome, I just know the direction is right. Back in the early eightbar in SL days we sat and planned that we should try and get a trackback or reference from TN. That did not happen as such. Instead something much better, guest authors, came along. in measurement terms we have far far exceeded the plan and now hope to make use of the opportunity.

More system modelling in Second Life

Do you remember seeing this image and post back in october 2006
Well now there is more as this has advanced a great deal and Turner and a team have been working to get more data, more understanding and to dynamically build metaverse versions of system architecture representations.
This time its video, and its a talky too with Turner’s northern tones. See what you think. It all started on Hursley sim 🙂

Real money from a virtual world

Yesterday on my return from holiday I ended up chatting to a fellow resident and eightbar Davidovic Dean. He is very active in Second Life and in virtual worlds. He has decided to invest in an island, like many of us have, in Second Life. As well as pushing forward with the benefits of education and training he is also exploring some interesting ideas with this.
There is more detail here on his blog, but he has minted coins, real ones to celebrate his island coming online.
Take a look. Its brilliant.