Easy Sansar Content Creation Using Microsoft Windows Paint 3D and Blender

Several months ago I wrote about using Microsoft Windows 10’s Paint 3D program to create content for Sansar. Using Paint 3D is so easy that a child could use it to create great-looking three-dimensional content! But unfortunately, there were some problems with importing linked objects from Paint 3D into Sansar, as well as with the huge size of the imported objects.

Draxtor Despres and Vassay have worked together to create this YouTube tutorial video which explains how to use the free Blender software to fix the problems in mesh content created using Paint 3D. Drax and Vassay used this workflow to create the fun and funky content you can see in Drax’s experience, called Meet the Draxies. It’s got a wonderful cartoon-like feeling to it, which is actually very easy to recreate!

Basically, there are six steps to using Blender to fix your Paint 3D-created mesh object:

  1. Import the FBX-format file you got from Paint 3D;
  2. Rescale the object (to fix any potential size problems in the object);
  3. Decimate each part of the object (to cut down on the number of polygons in your object);
  4. Set the normals of each part of the object using the Set From Faces feature;
  5. Create UVs for each part of the object using the automatic Smart UV Project feature;
  6. Select all the parts of your object and export as an FBX-format file.

This is an excellent tutorial video, which takes you through the workflow step-by-step. My only quibble with it is that Drax doesn’t give enough information about the all-important roughness and metalness maps, which you need to include so your Paint 3D-created mesh objects look the way you want them to in your experience. (Linden Lab recently released an update to the Sansar client software, so a lot of mesh objects created before the change now have an unnatural shininess to them.)

So here is a bit more information on the metalness and roughness maps. These are just PNG-format image files, which can be as small as 2×2 pixels in size. You can create them in PhotoShop or GIMP or any graphics program. They are essentially one of the 256 shades of grey between pure black and pure white. Here’s a diagram from OldVamp that shows what an object looks like when you change the metalness and the roughness maps:

Sansar Metalness and Roughness Maps Better

Most of the time, you are going to want to use a white roughness map, and a black metalness map (the ball in the bottom right corner of this diagram). If you want something really shiny, you are going to use a black roughness map and a white metalness map (the ball in the upper left corner of the diagram). You should only use a white metalness when you want a metal object. Here’s another example of roughness and metalness maps, using a brass object:

Sansar roughness metalness brass.png

And there you go!

Medhue’s Animated Animals in Sansar

Medhue, who is well-known in Second Life as a talented creator of animals for Zooby, has brought his animated elephant from SL to Sansar! He’s also brought over an animesh horse he is currently working on in SL. You can visit them at his testing experience in Sansar:

Medhue has told us that he is not going to put products up for sale in the Sansar Store, as his personal protest against what he considers to be the too-high commision fees charged by Linden Lab. However, he has said that he is willing to create tutorial videos for Sansar. He’s already posted ten videos for Sansar creators on his YouTube channel. You can also access Sansar kits, resources, and tutorials on his website.

Sansar Pick of the Day: HoverDerby

HoverDerby 1 19 Feb 2018.png
Daisy Gator Standing in Front of the HoverDerby Welcome Sign

A common complaint I hear about Sansar is that it’s pretty, but there isn’t a lot to do yet. Experiences like HoverDerby (put together by Galen, Jasmine, and Drax) are going a long way to counteract the suggestion that there isn’t anything to do in Sansar! It’s the first competitive team sport in Sansar (well, if you don’t count the 5-A-Side Soccer Stadium) and it’s great fun to play, or even to watch!

HoverDerby 4 19 Feb 2018
Watching a Two-on-Two HoverDerby Match

HoverDerby is still in beta; Galen and Jasmine are still working on it, but it is already playable. The game is pretty simple. Step on one of the red or blue teleporter pads to join a team (red or blue) and get onto the playing field.

You hover around the field, using the triggers on your hand controllers to fire at the other team members (if you’re in desktop mode, press the Spacebar or the F key to fire). If you hit your opponents, they can no longer fire at you or anybody else, and they have to get back to their circle of safety before they can fire again. The navigation takes a little getting used to, but you quickly get the hang of it.

HoverDerby 2 19 Feb 2018.png

Matches last five minutes. The team that has captured the most opponents wins (in case of a tie, the next capture decides who is the winner).

Note that you do not need to have a VR headset to play HoverDerby; can also play in desktop mode as well as in VR. Full instructions are on the board next to the blue and red teleporters.

Every weekday morning at 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time/Sansar Time, a group gathers at HoverDerby to practice their game. Drax sometimes livestreams the games too. Hope to see you there soon! As I said, it’s great fun!

UPDATE 1:41 p.m.: Turns out there is already a website for HoverDerby!

Drax Interviews Dr. Jeremy Bailenson on the Impact of Virtual Reality on Society

Jeremy Bailenson 16 Feb 2018
Jeremy Bailenson’s Avatar Being Interviewed in Drax’s Basement

Today, Draxtor Despres interviewed Dr. Jeremy Bailenson, who is a professor of communication at Stanford University and founding director of the Virtual Human Interaction Lab. He has written a newly-published book titled Experience on Demand: What Virtual Reality Is, How It Works, and What It Can Do, which is an in-depth look at virtual reality and how it can be harnessed to improve our everyday lives. Jeremy said that this interview was the longest time he had ever spent so far in a social VR app!

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Drax Interviews Jeremy

Among many other things, Drax and Jeremy discussed:

  • Treatment of victims of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (e.g. 9/11 survivors) using virtual reality.
  • How immersive social VR makes people behave towards each other in a more social manner (use of gestures, etc.). Research seems to indicate that VR tends to change behaviours in a positive way.
  • When training a procedural skill, VR tends to outperform simply watching a video. But researchers to date are not seeing gains in STEM education in a VR headset versus non-VR-based learning.

All in all, it was a great interview! Ebbe Altberg, the CEO of Linden Lab (the company behind Second Life and Sansar), joined the interview at the very end.

Here’s the YouTube video of the interview:

Atlas Hopping with Drax and Strawberry, Episode 25!

Well, I haven’t done this kind of post for a long while! Today I joined Draxtor Despres, Strawberry Singh and a merry band of adventurers as we set off for S.L.A.R.P. (which stands for Sansar Live Action Role Play, I believe), Nya Alchemi’s medieval-themed experience. Linden Lab CEO Ebbe Altberg once again joined us, which is becoming a regular thing.

I didn’t take any pictures this time (too busy having fun), but here are links to the YouTube livestreams of today’s event, the first by Strawberry Singh:

And the second by Drax himself:

The Sansar Newsblog Has Changed Its Name to RyanSchultz.com

The SansarNewsblogis now

I have decided that I’m not going to wait for Linden Lab to issue brand guidelines for Sansar. I am rebranding the Sansar Newsblog under my own name. (I’ve held the domain name for well over a decade, and this is the perfect place to finally use it!)

All of the old blogposts are still searchable and accessible, and almost all the Sansar-related blogposts have been tagged with the tag “Sansar” to make them easier to find. All the old URLs should still work as before.

Along with the new name comes a new focus. I will no longer be focusing near-exclusively on Sansar in this blog. Instead, I will be expanding my coverage to provide “News and Views on Social VR, Virtual Worlds, and the Metaverse”, as my new blog tagline now states. Platforms covered will include, but not be limited to:

Note that I do not plan to write much about Second Life and its many Opensim-based spin-offs; there are already over a thousand avid bloggers who do an excellent job of that! I plan to focus on the newer platforms, especially those that support virtual reality.

I will be closing the Facebook and Google+ groups I created for the Sansar Newsblog, and creating new groups for this rebranded blog.

Inara Pey Blogs the Sansar Product Meetup of Friday Feb. 9th

Inara Pey blogged the following notes, which were taken from the Sansar Product Meetup held at 9:30 a.m. Pacific Time/Sansar Time on Friday, February 9th, 2018.

Inara Pey: Living in a Modem World

The following notes are taken from the Sansar Product Meeting held at 9:30am PST on Friday, February 9th, 2018 – unfortunately, I was unable to attend the afternoon meeting, so have not notes from that.

These Product Meetings are open to anyone to attend, are a mix of voice (primarily) and text chat, and there is currently no set agenda. The official meeting notes are published in the week following each pair of meetings, while venues change each week, and are listed in the Meet-up Announcements and the Sansar Atlas events sections.

Product Meeting Changes

The “new format” for the Product Meetings, featuring specific subject matter experts from the Lab making themselves available to answer questions from users will now likely start in the week commencing Monday, February 12th.

  • The meetings are liable to be held on different days of the week relative to one another, rather than both on…

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