Wednesday, July 17, 2013

« Oculus Rift Intends to Become Free (Or Close Enough) | Main | The Best of Hair Fair 2013 (As Worn By The Best of SL's Blogging Community) »

If Oculus Rift Gets Big in Second Life, Second Life Builders Will Need to Fix Their Scale -- Here's an Expert's Advice

Second Life Avatar size

Speaking of the Oculus Rift in Second Life, here's a major problem for existing SL content creators: If Oculus Rift becomes a major way people access SL, you will probably need to change the proportions of your builds. As Ms. Penny Patton pointed out, most Second Life avatars are in the 7 to 8 foot range, and so SL buildings and other architectural structures have literally been created for giants. So seen in through the Rift, it's likely a lot of the world will seem totally out of proportion. I put this to Jon Brouchoud, the architect who's doing innovative work with Oculus Rift (and did innovative work with SL before), and here's his advice:

"Honestly, an iterative, testing approach works best. I don't think anyone can quite imagine the real scale until they experience it firsthand. After spending some time experiencing builds through a Rift, you'll get a better eye for scale and proportion and through a build/test iterative process, the scale can become much more accurate."

So there is that. So if you are an SL content creator, maybe you should get a Rift now, and get ready for the changes that are coming soon. (Or if the Rift fails in Second Life, maybe not at all.)

Please share this post with people you like:

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341bf74053ef01901e4f406e970b

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference If Oculus Rift Gets Big in Second Life, Second Life Builders Will Need to Fix Their Scale -- Here's an Expert's Advice:

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Adeon Writer

At the moment, the oculus rift in SL will make you as tall as your avatar.

So you will feel like you are on stilts walking around a huge house, if it is not to scale.

jo yardley

Yep absolutely, luckily I've always build to RL scale.

Mona Eberhardt

Ah, Hamlet, Hamlet, Hamlet... You're forgetting that builders build big to compensate for LL's camera and focus offsets, which are the worst in the industry. So, if Oculus Rift gets big in Second Life, it's LL that'll have to get off its arse and change its default camera offsets. Penny, whom you quote here, has written about it and she even filed a JIRA about it a very long time ago. I'm sure you know how to find them.

Aeonix Aeon

I'm going to have to agree with Hamlet on this one. But the camera offsets do need to be fixed regardless. Second Life is the land of the giants, and that causes a cascade repercussion of warped scale.

In the end, whether or not Oculus is a success in SL (probably won't be), people need to get a sense of scale in order. If I see Oculus doing anything, I can see some of the higher end content creators using it to reality check their designs before selling them.

Mona Eberhardt

I remember seeing stair steps with a height of 30 (~12"), 40 (~16"), even 50 (~20") cm. Chairs whose seating cushions is a good 1.20 meters above the floor (that's about 48").

And yes, it's all because of LL's insistence on not doing anything about these idiotic camera and focus offsets for years now, simply because of its "someone else's problem" mentality.

In my eyes, scale is never going to be fixed unless LL adopts realistic camera offsets, like the ones Penny Patton has been recommending (personally, I find even them to be a tad conservative).

Wolf Baginski

Camera offsets could be shifted by the third-party viewers, no problem, but the Lindens would get all worked up about "shared user experience".

Pussycat Catnap

No, camera view is not a shared user experience and nothing holds back any third party viewer from correcting it other than bias and a lack of understanding of 3D space.

SL is largely built by idiots, and not by people who work in game design or the arts...


Mr. Rage

lol 'if the Rift fails'

If 3d monitors didn't even remotely catch on why in gods name would you think this could? Stop drinking the cool aid.

Nerolus

I haven't been in Second Life in nearly 3 years and I know Penny Patton's avatar when I see it :)

zzpearlbottom

Rage i have to agree with you but being viretual worlds a niche already, there is space to use 3d in them! (Some are already doing it!), still i do think less then 0,001pct will use it when it gets, if it gets, out!
About the camera angle, it is some i can blame as well on several tpv's, as the only viewer i didn't had to go to debug settings and fix it using Penny's ones is (lol you know:)) Niran's old viewer!
All the rest of Tpv's still use the same settings as LL ones, so don't blame LL when only less then 5 pct of users use their viewers!

Pienaar

@ zzpearlbottom: You are so right! I never understood why TPV don't at least offer several options.

One big problem has not been mentioned so far, Hamlet! The size measurement in the SL viewer (edit shape) and in most TPV viewers is broken too! The difference is more than one foot! Just rez a prim and make it as tall as your viewer says that your avatar is. You'll realize that your avatar is a full foot larger. This is a well known bug since at least 5 years. Some TPV developpers (again Nirans Viewer) managed to get rid of the bug, so it shouldn't be too hard. But LL seems not to bother.

Ajax Manatiso

So, zzpearl, you want to invest in 3d webviewers -- oops, they all went bankrupt. Anyone want to invest in Oculus better hurry before they file bankruptcy too. (Saving and filing away a graphic that says "I told you so" for later.)

Pussycat Catnap

Oculus is too geeky. Just because it is a perfect technology that will improve lives of many, many, many people doesn't mean it has a ghost of a chance.

Marketing, branding - these things count. And despite the picture from an earlier blog of the woman using it, granny ain't going in for tech geek that easy.

You're going to have to make it look a lot more mundane before people, even people who need it, will use it.

Just look at how resistant folks in SL have been to viewer 2 and 3, and mesh. Massive user experience improvements, that 'change shock' people who then refuse to move forward. And that's a trivial change compared to asking everyone to walk around with a black box strapped to their head.

So we can discount that from the equation from the get go. The money put into it is wasted funds - unless they ramp up the product design department and get that big giant box off my head.

The iPod succeeded because it looked cool, where the mp3 players before it looked like they were made by geeks for geeks.

The iPod was an inferior device... but the quality of the tech matter a lot less than the shiny wrapper you put it in.


On avatar scale and the height settings in SL's viewer. The setting is 'Agent Height', which measures from base of foot - your ground touch point - to the eyes.

Most of us have some mass above our eyes, though I have met a few blingtards of whom I question this...

To fix agent height, all they really need to do is add in some portion of the value of your forehead and head size settings. They know where these are located in relation to the eyes, so they can do this. Height meters cannot because there is no scripting ability to find out someone's shape dials for head size, forehead, etc...

This is why many height meters have gone over to just being simple sticks witch visual notches on them. Stand your butt next to it, and read the stick... :)
- A very advanced form of technology called, "the ruler".

(Yeah I still give out a free scripted meter. Its good for a quick guess, and because I use a calculation based on an average setting for head size, I'd rather someone using a script use one like mine rather than one that just adds in a meter).

Proportion is a lot more important than scale for improving user experience. People can get used to giants and small people and so on... But T-rex arms, shrunken heads, or thighs twice as long as calves - that's freaky territory.

Fortunately you can get 80% of your avatar proportion done by taking a simple cube and standing inside it while in a T-pose. Scale the cube so its the same height as you, but still a perfect cube (x, y, and Z all equal). Since you're in a T-pose, the tips of your hands on each side should touch the edge of the sides of the cube, if the base of your feet and the top of your hear are touching the edge of the bottom and top.
Now make sure the exact center of the cube is right smack in the middle of your crotch, touching your 'special place' like a priest.
- Resize various parts of your avatar until you are still the height you were, but fit to the edges of the cube, and still have it touching you in your special place. :)

And there you go, that right there will solve about 80% of all proportion issues in SL.

The remaining 20% is in the details that matter to folks like me more than they do to "normal people". :P

(things like hand size, foot size, and how many heads tall you are).

Post a comment

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In.