Monday, April 29, 2013

How to create Avatar Sit locations on any object in a Jibe world in Unity3d

Here's a short tutorial video that will show you how to create avatar sit locations on any object in your Jibe world.  It's a very powerful and flexible system where you simply drag and drop sit locations onto anything in your multiuser Jibe world, allowing you to easily create collaborative meeting environments that encourage avatars to gather together in groups.
In this video, I also review how to avoid the accidental misuse of a script that could potentially cause your Avatar to fall through the floor.  Safety First!

Creating Sit Locations in Jibe and Unity3d from John Lester on Vimeo.

Take care,
-John "Pathfinder" Lester
Chief Learning Officer, ReactionGrid

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Breakdown of Oculus Rift Virtual Reality Headset and Integrating with Unity3d and Jibe

I'm eagerly awaiting my own developer version of the Oculus Rift, which should arrive in about a month.
My plans are to immediately start working on how to best integrate it with Jibe and Unity3d.  
In particular, our newly released Jibe 2.0 has a built-in 1st-person perspective mode that is ideal for things like virtual reality headsets.

Exploring a multiuser Jibe 2.0 world in 1st-person perspective.  

Keep an eye on this blog for future details.
Needless to say, I was very excited to see the folks at iFixit posting a great teardown of the developer version of the Oculus Rift headset.

If you have an Oculus Rift and would like to brainstorm with me on how it can be integrated with multiuser virtual world applications, please drop me an email ( or post in the comments.
Perhaps we can also schedule a Team Fortress 2 game while using our headsets!
-John "Pathfinder" Lester
Chief Learning Officer, ReactionGrid Inc.

P.S.  ReactionGrid's Lead Developer Matthew Bertrand is also getting an Oculus Rift dev kit.  He's pretty psyched about it, and we all expect amazing things from him!

Monday, April 8, 2013

How to embed and play a movie on an object in Unity3d and Jibe

Watching "Hedgehog in the Fog"
in my Jibe world.

Note: You'll need the Unity Pro editor if you want to work with Movie Textures in Unity3d.
Unity3d allows you to embed and play videos on any surface in a 3d environment.
This means you can easily create a web-based Jibe world where avatars explore a multiuser 3d virtual space while watching videos or movies playing on screens/signs/any surface you wish.
The most common way to add video to a Unity3d project is by adding a video file to your project's Asset Folder, which automatically creates a Movie Texture (details here).
However, adding a video file directly to your project means the size of the video file will be added to the final size of your completed Unity webplayer file.  In other words, if your video clip is 50 Megabytes large, then your Unity webplayer file will have an extra 50 Megabytes added on to it.
For folks creating Jibe worlds with Unity3d (or anyone creating Unity webplayer files for streaming on the Web) this is not good.  You always want your webplayer file to be as small as possible so your webplayer file will finish downloading and start running as quickly as possible.
Fortunately, there's a way you can download/stream a movie from the Web so it doesn't add to the size of your Unity webplayer file.  Unity will immediately start playing the movie as soon as it has buffered enough of it, similar to how YouTube works.
Here's a simple example:
Step 1: Get your video ready as an OGG file on the Web

Unity needs videos to be in OGG format (file extension .ogg).  If you need to convert an existing video file into OGG format, I suggest using VLC (it's free and cross platform).  Take your OGG video, put it on a webserver somewhere and remember the URL.

Important Note: If you're managing your own webserver, be sure it has the MIME type for Ogg Vorbis enabled.  For Extension use .ogg, and for MIME type use application/ogg.
Here's a sample 60 Megabyte OGG video I made and uploaded to Wordpress.  Feel free to use this URL in your own tests.  You can also click on it to see how it plays in your browser.
Step 2: Create a Cube

In this example, we're going to make a basic cube and have the video play on its surface.  Of course you could flatten the cube so it looks likes a screen and then place it on a model of a TV or something.  I'm just being lazy.

Step 3: Create a new Javascript

I like the name of a script to remind me what the script actually does, so I'm going to call this new script ClicktoPlayWebMovie.

Here's the code.  Copy and paste this into your new script and save it.

var url = "";
function OnMouseDown () {
 // Start download
 var www = new WWW(url);
// Make sure the movie is ready to start before we start playing
 var movieTexture =;
 while (!movieTexture.isReadyToPlay)
// Initialize texture to be 1:1 resolution
 renderer.material.mainTexture = movieTexture;
// Assign clip to audio source
 // Sync playback with audio
 audio.clip = movieTexture.audioClip;
// Play both movie & sound
// Make sure we have audio source
@script RequireComponent (AudioSource)
function Update () {
You can see at the top of the script that I've included my demo URL as the default movie URL.  You can always change it later.
Step 4: Add ClicktoPlayWebMovie script to your cube

Drag the ClicktoPlayWebMovie script from your Project folder onto the Cube in your Scene view.  This will add the script to the cube.

Now select your Cube in the Scene view and look at the Inspector settings.  You can change the movie URL by simply editing the URL field in the Inspector.
Also notice that there is an Audio Source added to the Cube.  This was added automatically when you added the script to the Cube, since the script needs an Audio Source component to work.  Don't delete or modify the Audio Source component.  Just leave it be.

Step 5: You're done.  Test it out!

You can run your Jibe world locally in the Unity editor and test it out that way.  Walk up to the cube and click on it.  The movie will start playing on all surfaces of  the cube.

-John "Pathfinder" Lester
Chief Learning Officer, ReactionGrid Inc.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

How to Fix the Unity Asset Server error "Cannot Start Service" on Windows

The Unity Asset Server is a fantastic tool for version control and collaborating with a group of people on a project in Unity3D.  Our customers primarily use Windows servers, and some of them are running their own Unity Asset Servers to facilitate working together on Jibe projects.

We just learned of a bug that might affect folks running their own Unity Asset Server on Windows.  Fortunately it's not serious at all (just annoying as heck), and the fix is incredibly easy and permanent.  

Are you running the Unity Asset Server on a Windows machine?

Has it suddenly stopped working, refusing to start no matter what you do?

Do you immediately see the following popup error when using the Unity Asset Server Control Panel?

Monday, April 1, 2013

Jibe 2.0 Now Available

Jibe 2.0 Now Available!

We are pleased to announce Jibe 2.0!
This is not an April Fools joke.  Jibe 2.0 is now available.  Please see our Press Release for all the details.

And if you are already a Jibe Mars customer, we have a sweet treat for you.  You can grab Jibe 2.0 for free with your subscription to Jibe Mars!

We also have some special deals for those clients on Jibe Moon, Atmosphere and Oceanic as well as our Behind the Firewall clients and Self Hosted Jibe kit users.

Please contact us for more information via our Support Portal.  Just submit a Support Ticket with any questions or to find out if you qualify for any of our special discounted upgrades.