Thursday, March 27, 2008

Twinity - Using URL's in a Picture

Link to higher quality mp4 file

A 3 minute video of how to place a Picture to display a webpage. This video shows a link to - which demonstrates how to bring Video streaming into Twinity by embedding the media within a webpage. Quicktime does not seem to be supported, but flash based material like and youtube works fine. For now this show's you can present a video exhibition inside Twinity.

Using Chatterous Persistant Chatroom in Twinity.

With the aid of Chance Abattoir and Jurin Juran, we had a play with the URL on a Picture object. This was set to display a Chatterous room. We could input text to the chat room with no problems thru interaction with the picture in Twinity, including Pasting text ... ( though copying text from the Twinity webpage didn't seem to work ).
It seemed for us inworld we saw our own web pages, especially at Login, rather than the watching one operator surfing the web. This could be a problem if a tutor, wants to take a group on a guided tour thru flat based - webmaterial, ie. Slideshare.

For a webpage that required login (ie. Moodle), when I swapped from one avatar to another - I didn't need to login again. It seemed that the Twinity Client was keeping the computer logged into a website, rather than against a avatar account, which could be a real problem with multiple people using the same computer to access learning materials thru Twinity.
( I will investigate this further.... )

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Twinity Beta - Art Installation - 'Mirror World'

After a few hours of playing with Twinity, I got round to making a simple Art installation using the given shop items. Useful items were the radio which I set to stream in the ambient music from Somafm's 'DroneZone'
The mirror's are fun, but freak out when you have toooo many of them.
Twinity seems potentially ok for machinima - though I'd have to use another avatar as a camera, as the view-controls are limited to orbiting the user.

I kinda like the way light works in Twinity - Night and Day is set to the timezone your apartment is in.. Years ago in Second Life you couldn't control the sun position, so it reminded my of those nostalgic days.. but in the context here, as a Mirrorworld it is behaving correctly.

Anywho - if you can log into Twinity - check out the apartment by searching for - Annabeth's Art Gallery.

First 30mins in Twinity

I'm always looking at what other Virtual Worlds are available for use in Education or Art Exhibition. Recently my beta account for Twinity came thru, so I booted up a PC to give it a whirl.

There is little client documentation to get you into making your 'apartment' your own look. So with a bit of experimentation I threw myself into making some attempt at customising the space I was given.

a very uncluttered interface...

As I was more focused on seeing how I could get work displayed. I concentrated on the picture objects that could be added to the environment.
It was a pleasent suprise to find I could do HTML on a Prim :) - by setting the picture frame to a URL rather than an uploaded image. This webpicture (though clunky to operate) - I could navigate the website on the wall or switch to fullscreen browsing mode as well. ( I'll have to get a group of people in to try to see if they see the same webpage whilst its being browsed by someone else ).

Manipulating objects at first is a bit fiddly and limited.... but not dissimilar to IMVU. Give it a few more hours, and I'll be throwing stuff about - ah feeling like a newb again.

Within 10 minutes of creating my location, a Twinity support avatar popped in to say 'hi', - how nice I feel like I had neighbours ;)

the obligatory virtual world shrug snapshot

First impressions, I'll give it more time to explore. It immediately proved that I could use an 'apartment' as an 'Flat based / Weblinked' Art Portfolio.
But the furniture ( apart from lights ) I can't interact with ( eg. sitdown ) - perhaps in the next patch..

Building and scripting 3D content though doesn't seem immediately obvious, ( I think a trawl thru the forum is required. ) - Though Manon (the Twinity support avatar) said end-users couldn't script yet.
So we'll have to see what the future brings...

Anyway if you get into Twinity - search for Leeds College of Art and Design

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Easter Break - New Gadget Play

I finally got round to getting an Asus EeePC 4Gb/512Mb Linux mini-laptop, ( which I've fallen in love with it's bagsized nature ).
Though the inbuilt 'Easy Desktop' software, is more than enough for most cases, especially web-surfing, word processing and blogging, I wanted to push out the boat to see what else I could get running.. So after a day of tweaking, I got GIMP, Inkscape, Processing, Audacity and NVu installed, which gives a little more productivity when I'm on the move.

Finally I got round to installing SecondLife, particularly the Linux 1.19.1 ReleaseCandidate client.

Following some of the instructions from this really helpful post at -> link I got it up and running.

For the moment, I've not tweaked the client so it runs within the window of the Asus, but got desktop mirroring at 1024x768 instead.

Frame rate wise, SL's between 2-5 fps, that was on both an empty island and a sim with about 18 people in.
I'm running the graphic details down to lowest and draw distance at 64m.
It helps that I'm plugged into the college network, and being the holidays - its running really fast.

If you're not expecting to build in SL, and do lots of walking about.. it seems fine for IMing people, listening to a lecture, inventory sorting or a bit of scripting.

Though this is first impressions, I'll see how I feel after a few days...

Anyhow, I got the Asus for a bit of persona gadgetry, but it has got me thinking about cheap and cheerful computers that are affordable for students. At the moment, I can't fault this little machine, as a useful tool for blogging, which is something we are encouraging our Art and Design students to do.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

HTML on a PRIM (Sort of)

With the new Second Life Release Client 1.19.1, we get a chance to see a feature that will be implemented soon, HTML Pages displayed thru the media streaming texture.

As its kinda useful to some projects I'm doing , I rattled up some basic code last night to slideshow webpages with clickthru to their URL. Feel free to amend and add functionality if useful.

list URLs = ["","",""]; //List of URLS
list Desc = ["Leeds College Website","Angrybeth's Page","BBC homepage"]; //List of URL descriptions - keep in order of List of URLs...

integer slides;
integer slidecount = 0;
string SETURL;
string URLDESC;
llSetTimerEvent(20.0); //Change this for timing of sequence, obviously....
slides = llGetListLength(URLs);

if (slidecount == slides)
slidecount = 0;

SETURL = llList2String(URLs, slidecount);
URLDESC = llList2String(Desc,slidecount);
slidecount ++;

touch_start(integer touched)
key who = llDetectedKey(0);

Obviously, stick this script inside the prim that is displaying the media texture...

One thing I do like is that llLoadURL - opens the inclient web-browser like the OnRez client. But at the moment it doesn't support Flash

But, when you load a webpage with Quicktime media embedded, it shows up on the Avatars HUD rather than on the webpage.