FrancoGrid : Metavers 3D Francophone Libre

Last update : April 10,2013

Logo Francogrid

Logo Francogrid

FrancoGrid est un espace virtuel en trois dimensions, un metavers libre et francophone. Le logiciel Open Source OpenSimulator est le « moteur » de Francogrid, il est compatible avec le client de Second Life ™. L’équipe de Francogrid maintient une grille où chacun est libre de connecter son propre simulateur et ainsi, d’agrandir l’espace avec de nouvelles régions virtuelles !

L’objectif est d’exploiter au mieux ce nouveau support de communication et d’organiser la collaboration entre les membres. L’équipe de Francogrid veut soutenir activement le projet OpenSimulator par le rapport de bugs, le développement de “patch”, des expérimentations, et la réalisation de tutoriels.

Le site web de Francogrid comprend plusieurs blogs avec une liste d’évenements, des partenaires, des statistiques et des nouvelles.

OpenSimulator : create a virtual environment similar to Second Life™

Last update : January 22, 2013

logo by Adam Frisby

OpenSimulator logo by Adam Frisby

OpenSimulator (OpenSim) is a 3D Application Server that can be used to create a virtual environment (or world) similar to Second Life™. OpenSimulator is released under a BSD License, making it both open source, and commercially friendly to embed in products. Environments, protocols and features are supported via add on modules. The available modules (alternative gridservers, plugins and region modules, etc) are hosted on OpenSim Forge. OpenSimulator is powered by the community members that devote time and energy to the effort.

OpenSim is still at an alpha code maturity stage, the current latest releases is 0.7.6  released on October 4, 2013 (git source repository). OpenSimulator requires either the .Net Framework version 3.5, or Mono 2.4.3 or newer.

The OpenSimulator website provides documentation, FAQ’s, grid lists, bug reports, wish lists, forums, configuration files, news, blogs, rss feeds, technical reference, IRC channels, links, support and other informations concerning the development of the OpenSim project.

The following 3D Viewers are known to work with OpenSim : Official Second Life ™ Viewer, Hippo Viewer, Imprudence Viewer, realXtend Viewer and Meerkat Viewer.

An up-to-date coverage of the OpenSim technology is offered in-depth by the Hypergrid Business magazine.

Some commercial providers of OpenSim virtual worlds are listed hereafter :

3D data sculptures

Today 3D sculptures can be created with 3D plotters and standard 3D modelling software. These tools allow digital artists to transform large data sets into a physical form.

~IDENTITÄT – The »Gestalt« of dig­ital identity

A recent project in this area has been done by Jonas Loh and Steffen Fiedler as a bachelor thesis at the Studiengang Interfacedesign of the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam, Germany, with the help of the 3D Lab of the TU-Berlin. The project called ~IDENTITÄT – The »Gestalt« of dig­ital identity eval­uates how dig­ital identity is generated to determine pa­ram­e­ters on which a compa­ra­ble anal­yses of the dig­ital identity is pos­sible. The concept, the process and the results are published at the website Photos of the whole project are available at the flickr collection. The project was tutored by Prof. Boris Müller.

Other 3D sculpture projects are :

Vivaty Scenes : a personal virtual 3D web community


Vivaty, a company in the San Francisco area, has developed during the last two years a platform designed for rich web content and 3D experiences called “Vivaty Scenes“. The application was launched as a public beta on tuesday 8th July 2008 in AIM (AOL Instant Messenger) and in Facebook. Vivaty Scenes are realistic rooms that act as a virtual personal environment, a 3D version of your personal page. You can set the theme, decorate with furniture and other virtual goods, and chat with the avatars of friends who enter your room. You can bring in photos from Flickr and Facebook or videos from YouTube and display them on screens in your room. You can also play MP3 songs.

Vivaty Scenes is a platform which plugs straight and seamlessly into your already setup, defined and working social network. The program (a 4 MB player browser plug-in) currently only runs on Windows machines and in Internet Explorer, although Firefox and Mac versions of Vivaty Scenes are planned for release at a later date. 2 GB computer memory and 256 MB VRAM graphic card memory are recommended for using Vivaty Scenes.


The avatar associated with one user can be changed at any time, a richer avatar customization will be available in the future. Avatars can be moved with the mouse or with the directional keys. The viewpoint (camera position) can be changed with a mouse right click and drag & drop, with the mouse wheel you can pan in and out. Avatars can be animated with gestures and express their moods in idle animations (sad, angry, happy, …).

3D objects

Scenes can be modified and customized at anytime, items can be changed and added. By double clicking on a media object (photo, photo gallery, video) the camera zooms in close but your avatar stays put. Some features of Vivaty Scenes are similar to Adobe Atmosphere discontinued on 19th december 2004.

Active Worlds


Activeworlds Inc., headquartered in Newburyport, Massachusetts, provides software products and online services that permit users to enter, move about and interact with others in a computer generated, 3D virtual environment using the Internet. A 3D virtual environment enables users to move in three dimensions and  to create objects and structures which other users can see and move in real time.

The “Active Worlds Browser” runs on Windows and Linux. Active Worlds has two ways of entering its universe: as a free tourist or as a paid citizen. Tourist mode is Active Worlds’ version of a free account with several limitations. You can pay for a citizen for the price of $6.95/month or $69.95/year.

On June 28, 1995 AlphaWorld was renamed Active Worlds and officially launched as version 1.0. On June 16, 2008, Activeworlds, Inc. released the first major update to the browser in two years, version 4.2. The update was considered smooth and painless, being completed in a matter of only fifteen minutes, compared to the several days of version 4.1’s initial upgrade in 2006. Version 4.2 includes an enhanced graphics engine, captured web pages on objects, and, most notably, customizable avatars on a scale more complex than that of Second Life.

In 2008, Alphaworld is 429,025 km2 large, has more than 360.000 paid citizens, more than 200 million objects, more than 100 shops selling a wide variety of products and more than 1000 unique worlds to explore

Blink 3D : a multi-user Web based 3D virtual worlds platform

Blink 3D

Blink 3D®, a platform for creating multi-user Web based virtual worlds and 3D environments has been developped by Pelican Crossing. Blink 3D can be used for: Virtual Worlds, Games, Education, Virtual Heritage, Business, Online Stores, Machinima, Product Marketing and 3D chat.

Blink 3D is available in different editions including a free Ultra Lite edition. Blink 3D’s drag and drop, point and click interface makes it is easy to learn and you don’t have to program if you don’t want to. You can use 3D primitives to quickly build your world or you can import your models from a wide range of modeling products. If you are a programmer Blink 3D has the most extensive API available on the market today.

Version 2.0 of Blink 3D was released on June 27th, 2008.

Pelican Crossing was founded in 2001 by Clive Jackson. The companies initial focus was add-on products for Adobe Atmosphere. However with the demise of Atmosphere in Dec 2004, Pelican Crossing stepped into the resulting void with Blink 3D.

IMVU : the leading global 3D community


Founded in 2004 and based in Palo Alto, California, USA, IMVU Inc., is an online destination where young adults meet new people in 3D. In public beta, the company has already reached major milestones including 20 million registered users, 100.000 registered developers, and $1 million in revenue each month. Members of IMVU have fun meeting new people with similar interests and expressing themselves through personalized 3D avatars, themed rooms, one-to-one chats, and the creation of new and unique virtual products. With over 1.5 million user-generated virtual items, IMVU offers the world’s largest catalog of virtual goods. Revenue is derived from the direct sale of virtual credits, which are used to purchase virtual products such as room decorations, clothing items and hairstyles.

Virtual World of Kaneva


The Virtual World of Kaneva is an Internet-based virtual world first released in beta form in mid 2006. It competes with Second Life, IMVU, There, Active Worlds, and the erotic-oriented Red Light Center. It is developed by Atlanta-based startup Kaneva, using the Kaneva Game Platform. Unlike the more generalized Second Life or the more communication-based IMVU, the Virtual World of Kaneva focuses primarily on virtual shopping and entertainment. In 2008, Kaneva added the ability to view videos both on web profiles and inside 3D televisions in-world. According to its own statistics, the Virtual World of Kaneva possesses over 800.000 members and over 10.000 communities. : 3D online virtual world is an online getaway where you can hang out with your friends and meet new ones, all in a lush 3D environment that’s yours to explore and help build. The 3D online virtual world “There” was created by Will Harvey and Jeffrey Ventrella. There Inc. was founded in the spring of 1998. Closed beta began in July of 2001, with various stages of beta following, and ending with an October 2003 launch date. “” went live in 2003 as the first virtual world. It was such a new concept in 1997 that it took a lot of time to build the new 3D technology. In 2004. There changed its name to Forterra to reflect its expanding focus on virtual world technologies for consumer, business and government services.

In April 2005, Makena Technologies, founded by Entrepreneur Michael Wilson, acquired the exclusive license of “There” and the management of the There community from Forterra Systems. Makena Technologies, Inc., a privately held corporation, is headquartered in Silicon Valley, CA. Today, the business model is based on membership fees, on virtual currency for e-commerce and on advertising.

On April 3, 2008, Paramount Pictures announced that  their film vault is opening up in the virtual world “”.

Viewpoint : the in-visible cow

The in-visible cow was created by Stephane Beugnet, 3D & Web-designer at the solution provider in-visible in Luxembourg in the context of the summer exhibition “Art on Cows” in Luxembourg (april 10 to september 1, 2001).


To view this content, you need the viewpoint media player. Please visit the Viewpoint website here to download the viewpoint player plugin if the automatic installation fails. You can rotate the cow by leftclicking and moving the mouse. Press the Shift-key and leftclick the mouse to translate the cow, press the Ctrl-key and leftclick the mouse to zoom the cow in or out.