I’ve written in the past about my use of OpenSim, specifically Sim-on-a-Stick, as part of my day job. One post discussed the use of OpenSim as a way for eLearning developers to create easy-to-use sets for doing video.
A few years ago I spoke at a handful of conferences about using Second Life as this type of studio and it was well received by the eLearning community. However, the cost of Second Life is prohibitive for most corporate eLearning departments and that’s enough of a stumbling block to prevent its adoption. With Sim-on-a-Stick, or even Kitely‘s incredibly affordable OpenSim hosting, cost is no longer an issue.
However, many eLearning professionals maintain that learning to build in OpenSim comes with a steep learning curve. I don’t agree with that and have taught many how to build in an hour. When comparing OpenSim to “real” 3D programs, such as Blender, then the learning curve is incredible short! Blender is much more difficult to master but your results can be more photo-realistic but come at a cost of long building and rendering times.
An hour doesn’t make a new user an expert builder like Ener Hax, but they certainly can start building useful objects and hone their skills. Compare that to what a new user would be able to do after an hour learning Blender . . .
I continue to maintain that photo-realism is not necessary in certain applications. After all, everyone sees this :) as a happy face even though it’s a colon and closing parenthesis.
The other way that I have used OpenSim, again Sim-on-a-Stick specifically, is to create floor spaces that are used to respond to proposals. These are built to the dimensions of existing floor plans and used by a marketing sales team to layout a potential customer’s exhibit booth and materials. The goal in this past post was to layout standard-sized booths, table, banners from a custom inventory and import and apply a customers artwork in a matter of minutes. The client was able to consistently create these layouts in under 20 minutes and then take snapshots and video to use in their RFP responses.
Along a similar line to this second example, here is a video of a pre-construction space where the client wanted to book business before the property was open. Being able to visualise the space with this video, and other videos and static images, allowed their sales team to have meeting space revenue booked a year in advance of their grand opening. It’s not unusual to book function space five and ten years in advance.
A common thread for these uses is one of budget. Everyone thinks they want cinema quality video until they see the expensive of it!
In these cases, OpenSim provides a solution that is affordable, relatively easy to use, and effective!