Alpha 5: Configurable Walk Speed and Kinect Control

Configurable walk speed and Kinect for Windows enable

Configurable walk speed and Kinect for Windows enable

In the time-honoured tradition of making things do that which they weren’t quite designed for, I’ve added a variable walking speed to the CtrlAltStudio Viewer, Alpha 5 I’ve also added “spot standing” Kinect control of avatar movement for people to try out. These two items can be used with all display modes: normal, stereoscopic 3D, and Oculus Rift.

The variable walk speed came about through a confluence of factors. When using the Oculus Rift, the jolt when starting and stopping movement was quite severe, and it seemed to be exacerbated in my initial Kinect control trials. Also, the high speed of movement and lack of fine control in position was a problem both when walking and when flying with the Rift. I happened across a Firestorm JIRA, FIRE-11098, in which Adeon Writer notes SL server support for slow walking if you hold the spacebar down while walking. I expanded on this idea so that you can set your walk speed to 1 of 5 levels from really slow to the “normal” fast walk. The setting also controls your flying speed.

This variable speed is admittedly a bit of a kludge, and the avatar’s animations at some speeds and directions is not very good. Also, it unfortunately doesn’t work very well at all with OpenSim: walking is always done at normal speed and flying at slow speeds is stuttery. And it doesn’t work properly with the SpaceNavigator (yet). Still, I find variable speed much better than the default fast walk and if other people do too, perhaps Second Life and OpenSim might be updated with better support for it.

Kinect control gestures

Kinect control gestures

The variable walk speed improves the usability of Kinect “spot standing” control, usable in Windows builds on PCs with Kinect for Windows sensors installed. You set a “home” position of zero movement, then once you move out of a dead zone around that position your avatar starts moving in the direction you’ve moved in. Avatar movement starts off slow and increases speed as you move further out, with the maximum being that of the walk speed you’ve configured. Except that for forwards movement you start running after the maximum walk speed. Also, if you move too far away then movement stops.

To turn, rotate your shoulders. To fly up or down use the gestures shown above. You can also crouch down to fly down. The speed of turning and flying up or down depend on how far you turn or lower and raise your arms. To stop control, either use the “stop” gesture or walk out of Kinect range.

I like the experience of the Kinect control when standing using the Rift, however it does take a bit of getting used to and can be a bit laggy in operation. The new Kinect sensor due out in the not too distant future will have lower latency and increased resolution, both of which should help improve the experience.

Oculus Rift orientation prediction setting

Oculus Rift orientation prediction setting

One other particular item of note added this version is configurable Rift orientation sensor prediction. Sensor prediction helps reduce latency and you can configure how far into the future your orientation is predicted. With your Rift on, adjust the Prediction Delta value until moving your head feels most comfortable.

Further changes this version are listed in the release notes.


You can install this version over the top of a previous 1.1 alpha version.

Comments (16) Leave a comment

  1. Tom Willans

    There is a work around for OpenSim. You can change the walking speed in the .ini (I use the Diva distribution so have tested it in the MyWorld.ini rather than OpenSim.ini ). I set the walking speed to 2 which is quite slow. Of course this works for both when using the Rift and when not too.

    ; speed of movement with Always Run off
    av_movement_divisor_walk = 1.3

    ; speed of movement with Always Run on
    av_movement_divisor_run = 0.8

    1. David Rowe Post author

      Thanks very much for this info, Tom. Interesting that the link links to an OpenSim scripting function that enables walking speed to be set on an individual avatar basis. Perhaps this can be adapted in the OpenSim server to enable viewers to adjust one’s individual walking speed. Should be able to adjust in smaller increments than the 5 steps the CtrlAltStudio Viewer has with Second Life, which would be great!

  2. Shaun

    errr triple post >.> it seems to have been because my taskbar was on the top of my screen, moving it down to the bottom fixed the issue. still something to look at I guess~

    1. David Rowe Post author

      It’s a Windows issue. It also happens if you have your taskbar on the left of your screen. You can also turn on taskbar auto-hide to fix the problem.

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  4. Shaun

    Hey I’m absolutely in love with your viewer!
    Three things are on my mind at the moment, was hoping you could take a look at them

    1. I really want to be able to have prim huds visible in vr mode (did I miss a setting?)
    2. The right click to zoom in feature seems bugged. When I right click and let go, it doesn’t pop back to the original zoom level, leaving me pretty disoriented. I have to exit and re-enter vr mode to reset it
    3. I don’t seem to be able to run, unless I’m doing something wrong? I’ve got tap-tap-hold to run enabled but it still won’t let me run

    Is it possible to contact you in-world? Would love to poke you some time :D just got my rift and I’m having a blast with it

    1. David Rowe Post author

      Glad you’re loving the viewer, Shaun!

      1. HUDs: No, sorry, they currently don’t display; you didn’t miss a setting.
      2. Right-click to zoom: I wasn’t even aware of this feature but see that it’s not working in Riftlook. I’ll investigate. As an alternative, if you have a scroll wheel on your mouse you can use it to zoom out and back in again.
      3. Tap-tap-hold to run: You’re right, this isn’t working. I’ll look into it. In the meantime you can use Ctrl-R to toggle running.

      Thanks for the bug reports. Very helpful.

      1. Shaun

        Just found another thing that’s behaving weirdly, when you move left or right with your mouse in vr mode, it eventually stops like the camera hit a wall. the only way to keep looking is to move my mouse the other way which is kind of disorienting.

        Also, have you ever talked with the firestorm team? Would be neat if you could just get this vr stuff as built in firestorm features ;D

        1. David Rowe Post author

          Just like in mouselook, the mouse moves your head and you can only turn your head so far left or right. To look further left or right you need to turn your body, e.g., by using the arrow keys.

          Yes, the Firestorm team are aware of what I’m up to.

      2. Shaun

        sorry for doublepost haha found another bug. Whenever I alt-tab out of the viewer and then tab back into it, the whole window shifts down about 50 pixels. Not sure if that’s an issue with my computer but it’s driving me nuts~

  5. Pingback: CtrlAltStudio gains Kinect support and is adapted for use by a university | Living in the Modem World

  6. David Rowe Post author

    Another Kinect-enabled viewer was released at almost exactly the same time! The ACE Viewer. It features a different Kinect control scheme. I wonder, which (or what combination) people prefer?

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