CtrlAltStudio now with DK2 positional head-tracking

CAS-logoOn August 25th, and continuing his work in providing preliminary support for the Oculus DK2 in his CrtlAltStudio viewer, Dave Rowe announced the release of version 1.2.2.41190 Alpha 2 for Windows.

This is essentially the same release as the 1.2.2.41183 release for the DK2 made on August 19th, but sees positional head tracking support added to the viewer.

Commenting on the release, Dave stated:

This alpha release of the CtrlAltStudio Viewer adds positional head tracking support to take advantage of the DK2’s camera. You can look around, over, and under objects by moving your head. This adds significantly to the sense of immersion.

Usage is the same as the previous alpha. With the DK2 configured in extended mode: use the Windows key + RIGHT CURSOR to move your viewer window onto the Rift’s display, then CTRL+ALT+3 makes the window full screen and switches into Rift view.

CtrlAltStudio 1.2.2.41190 supports Rift DK2 positional head tracking (image: Le Journal du Gamer, July 5th, 2014)

The release also sees two other additions to the viewer:

  • A CTRL+Spacebar command that zeroes Rift sensor orientation and tracking position.
  • A user warnings if Rift HMD or camera not found at start-up.

There is still no support for basic shaders or the UI in Riftlook in the viewer, nor is there any Rift direct mode support. However, these are on Dave’s “to do” list for the future.

As with the previously alpha release with DK2 support, this version will install into its own directory, allowing it to be used alongside the release version.

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Viewer release summaries: week 35

Updates for the week ending: Sunday August 31st, 2014

This summary is published every Monday and is a list of SL viewer / client releases (official and TPV) made during the previous week. When reading it, please note:

  • It is based on my Current Viewer Releases Page, a list of all Second Life viewers and clients that are in popular use (and of which I am aware), and which are recognised as adhering to the TPV Policy. This page includes comprehensive links to download pages, blog notes, release notes, etc., as well as links to any / all reviews of specific viewers / clients made within this blog
  • By its nature, this summary presented here will always be in arrears, please refer to the Current Viewer Release Page for more up-to-date information

Official LL Viewers

LL Viewer Resources

Third-party Viewers

V3-style

  • Alchemy viewer released version 3.7.14.33534 Beta on August 27th – core updates: UI refresh; legacy profiles; region tracker; snapshot floater updates (release notes)
  • CtrlAltStudio released version 1.2.2.41190 Alpha 2 on August 25th – adds Oculus DK2 positional head tracking (release notes and download)
  • Kokua release version 3.7.8.35024 for OpenSim on August 27th – core updates: refocus on SL 3.7.7 and 3.7.8 code base for better OpenSim stability (3.7.12 still available for SL) (release notes)

V1-style

  • Cool VL viewer updated on August 31st – Stable release to version 1.26.12.15 and Legacy version 1.26.8.73 – core updates: please refer to the release notes

Mobile / Other Clients

Additional TPV Resources

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M*A*S*H remembered

 

4077th MASH - LEA2

4077th MASH – LEA2 – click any image for full size

Open now at LEA2, is an homage to what remains both one of the most highest rates shows in US television history, and one of the most internationally popular and instantly recognisable: M*A*S*H.

Created by Tahiti Rae, the build lovingly recreates the 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital from the era of seasons 6 through 8. Within it are all the familiar sets and locations. The Swamp, the Nurses’ Quarters, the tents of Colonel Sherman Potter, Father Mulcahy and Major Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan, the OR and offices – right out to the motor pool (remember Staff Sergeant Luther Rizzo?) and Rosie’s, the off-camp bar; all have their places here.

“I chose to build my representation based on this television series because so many people all over the world personally relate to how the human spirit, humour, diversity, skill and love can bring people together, regardless of War,” Tahiti said of the piece, “Does War send us apart?  Or actually bring us together?”

She continues, “To me, war has never changed. It’s always been either self-defence or defending the freedom of a friend. Otherwise, it is intolerant aggression.  Regardless, the human spirit always prevails.  And this particular portrait of those who went through the Korean War, based on real surgeons on the front lines, brought into our living rooms what they suffered, laughed about and loved in such a profound way, that it touched us all.”

You might wonder how I can pin-down the period of the show represented by the build. Well, such is the care with which Tahiti has put this all together, the clues are all there to be seen, both indoors and outside. One only has to explore to find them. And exploration is very much the key to this installation.

You start at an arrival point high overhead – a triage or pre-op station, if you will – where you can find information on the build and on M*A*S*H itself. From here you can teleport down to the region, arriving at the 4077th, as so many personnel did, at the helipad located on a mound to one side of the camp.

Walk down the worn track from the pad, and you’re free to explore the camp as you will. Do make sure you have local sounds enabled to full appreciate things, and keep an eye out for the clipboards located in places like quarters, the OR and so on – they contain information and video links related to both popular moments in the show and the experiences of actual Korean War veterans.

Within these clips is one from one of the most poignant moments from the show, which in its own way, underlines the complete futility and indiscriminate nature of war: Radar’s announcement that Colonel Henry Blake’s plane, transporting him home after having completed his tour of duty, had been shot down over the Sea of Japan with no survivors.

The level of detail in the build really is wonderful – as noted above, there are enough clues to pin down the approximate point in the series the camp represents. There may even be individual clues which allow the time to be pinned down even closer than I’ve managed; but the key thing is, it’s all here – from Colonel Potter’s beloved Sophie, to the small memorial to Colonel Blake, through to Hawkeye’s trademark red bathrobe and signature Groucho Marx nose / glasses and on to … well, visit and see for yourself!

Around the periphery of the build are what appear to be some incongruities, such as a “tiny” military encampment and a sniper’s position, uniformed soldiers, all from eras much later than that of Korea – perhaps a reminder of conflicts which exist to this day.

As well as leading you to those, exploration of the region is important as it will bring you eventually to the story’s end – a music video and then a final teleport (reached via a bus; your only clue!

Those who know and love the series will understand the symbolism presented at the “The End”, as they follow Tahiti’s directions and explore each of the rooms. The reference to the show’s final episode and the experiences within it of the lynchpin of the series: Dr. Benjamin “Hawkeye” Pierce, as portrayed by the brilliant Alan Alda.  Work your way up through the rooms to Hawkeye’s and then step out onto the fire escape. This will take you to a final goodbye – M*A*S*H style (although there ar teleports back to the start point and back down to the 4077th).

I’ll leave the final word on the build to Tahiti, “In a time of great conflict on this planet, I wanted to recreate MASH because I think it’s important that we remember how war separates us, and yet also how it brings us together.  I am humbled and honored to bring back the full gamut of emotion that the writers and actors burned into our memories with this television series.  We use the past as part of our foundation for the future.”

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Odyssey within a Lost Town

 Il Folle Volo, La Città Perduta

Il Folle Volo, La Città Perduta (click any image for full size)

La Città Perduta (The Lost Town), the arts venue curated by Akilae Gant and Sivi Kelberry, and which is modelled after a run-down Italian town, is currently home to a marvellous installation by Giovanna Cerise entitled Il Folle Volo, or The Mad Flight, which opened on Thursday, October 28th.

The exhibit takes as its central theme Odysseus‘ journey home to Ithaca, as told in Homer’s Odyssey, although it also touches upon his role in the Trojan War, as told through the pages of the Iliad, and takes its name not from Homer’s work, but draws it from Canto XXVI of Dante’s Inferno, although even within this, there remains an echo of Odyssey.

Three of the pieces on display are hard to miss, as they tower over the The Lost Town. In the main piazza, close to the landing point, a great, multifaceted horse rears into the air – a reference to the Trojan War, and Odysseus’ role within it, the stone of the piazza beneath it symbolically stained blood-red.

Close to the town’s church stands the imposing figure of the cyclops Polyphemus, whom Odysseus and his crew encounter after being blown far off course in a storm while attempting to return home following the war. The imposing figure, as tall as the church itself, is made of multiple, shard-like pieces both light and dark, which give it a magnificent dynamic feel.

On the edge of the region sits the titular piece, Il Folle Vollo, drawn from  Dante’s Canto XXVI, and seen in part at the top of this article. The Canto tells of Dante’s journey through the eighth circle of hell, Fraud, where he and Virgil, his guide, encounter Odysseus alongside Diomedes, both caught within flames in the eighth Bolgia, their punishment for perpetrating the deceit of the Trojan Horse. Here Odysseus tells Dante of his final adventures (Dante’s own creation), in which he met his end in a great vortex.

Here, the vortex itself is represented by a swirling mass of prim-like cubes, each rotating on its own, giving rise to a shifting pattern of light and dark as the mass spins about a central axis, and through which faces rise and fall. This piece also has echoes of Odysseus’ encounter with another vortex, that of Charybdis, the great whirlpool, which Odysseus faced along with the six-headed monster, Scylla, while attempting to reach Ithaca.

The final two elements in the piece, which represent Odysseus’ encounters with Circe and with the Sirens, are more subtle in nature. C  in particular make take a little finding – although the teleport disks located close to each piece should help those who want to visit each element of the installation directly rather then exploring the town.

Part of the beauty of this installation is the manner in which each of the pieces is perfectly suited to the environment in which it sits; the blending between them and the default windlight over The Lost Town and the architecture of the town itself, is superb. The multifaceted nature of the pieces not only aid in creating this blending of art and setting, but it also reflects the fact the Odysseus’ legend is also one of many literary facets, both in terms of the telling of the encounters within it, and in the manner in which they are portrayed by Virgil, Homer, Dante, and others down through time.

This multifaceted symbolism is reflected – and extended – in Giovanna’s own description of the exhibit, in which she says, “The work presented in Lost Town is freely inspired to some events in which the man with the multifaceted appearance will prove its capabilities. Odysseus and his journey becomes the symbol of the journey of all men who refuse to be trapped by dogma ropes, conformism and fear and prefer to go further, risking. Everyone can be a Ulysses, when we are ready to take ‘il folle volo’. Is always right do it?”

For lovers of art and mythology, this is an exhibit that is not to be missed.

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