Santalarity: calling builders and performers in Second Life

santa-1Like a fable borne upon a mist of time, a magical, mysterious transformation is wrought upon the ancient dry lake bed we know as the playa. When the mist clears you see an alpine wonderland of mountains, hills and valleys.

Oh, but that is not all! As you draw in for a closer look, you notice something incredible: everything is small in size. You are surrounded by miniature villages and diminutive trains, with Lilliputian creatures and beings populating the scene. But don’t let their small sizes fool you – things are rarely as they appear.

So reads the opening of the Press Release for the BURN2 seasonal event, Santalarity, which this year has the theme of Great Thing come In Small Packages. The event will open its doors on Saturday, December 12th and run through until Sunday, December 13th.

Right now, there is an open invitation to builders and performers to be a part of the festive event, with a very special invitation for tinies, petites and other small avatars to be a part of proceedings and perform or build or DJ.

Those wishing to obtain one of the limited number of FREE builders plots which are available for the event should sign-up now. DJs and performers who wish to join in with the fun of the event can book their preferred spots through the DJ/Performer Sign-up. If you fancy helping out as a greeter, drop a line in-world to Freia Guillaume, and she’ll get your sorted and signed-up.

Further information on Santalarity 2015 will be available through the BURN 2 website, and I’ll hopefully also include updates in these pages, as they are announced.

SL project updates: week #48/1: server, viewer

Voile; Inara Pey, November 2015, on Flickr Voile (Flickr)blog post

Server Deployments Week #48

As always, please refer to the server deployment thread for the latest updates.

  • On Tuesday, November 24th, the Main (SLS) channel was updated with the server maintenance package previously deployed to the three RC channels. This comprises the updates code for server-side attachment and upload validations (see below). The release also includes new code for a new upcoming SL feature.
  • There is no RC channel deployment planned for the week, due the the US Thanksgiving weekend no change window.

Server-side Validation Enforcement

A new server maintenance package had been due for deployment on Wednesday, November 11th. This packed includes simulator-side enforcement checks against attachment point IDs (attachments using invalid attachment point ID will be moved to the chest attach point), and validation checks against animation and mesh to prevent the upload of animations and meshes weighted to invalid attachment points.

Baking Service Update

Speaking at the Simulator User Group meeting on Tuesday, November 24th, Oz Linden indicated an update to the avatar baking service (server-side appearance) has been made. This is aimed at dealing with a number of issues with the service (unfortunately Oz didn’t have a list of issues to hand).

SL Viewer Updates

After mysteriously vanishing from the viewer release channel, the HTTP project viewer (Project Azumarill) reappeared on Tuesday, November 17th, still with the same version number (, dated November 2nd) as previously. This may have been a error, and the viewer has once again been removed from the viewer release channel.

Friday, November 20th saw the current Maintenance viewer updated to version This viewer brings with it some 38 fixes and improvements, including updates for some regressions introduced into the viewer with the current release viewer (version

Note: this week is a relatively light week for technical updates from the Lab due to it being Thanksgiving week in the US, which is always marked by a no change window, as noted in the report, to allow Lab staff to enjoy a long weekend at the end of the week.

Glass and Light in Second Life

I’m a long-standing admirer of Frankx Lefarve’s art in Second Life; he’s a master of immersive art, using light, colour and particles with intricate designs with the appearance of glass to create extraordinary environments which captivate the eye and gently play with the mind. His latest work, Glass and Light Breakwave, which is open through until at least the end of November 2015, stands as a further demonstration of his art and skill.

I first became aware of Frankx’s work almost two years ago, at the start of 2014, when I entered his realm of glass and light for the first time. since then, we’ve become friends and I’ve been fortunate enough to witness his work at several installations, such as Insidious and Quilia. However, it is with that first  installation I visited back in January 2014 that Glass and Light Breakwave shares the closest relationship; so much so, that is it possible to see echoes of the former in the current piece, as see just how much further Frankx’s expression and creativity have evolved.

To try to describe a piece like this is impossible; as an immersive environment it really has to be experienced first. Those who do remember his earlier glass and light works and Frankx’s alien landscapes will likely recognise certain motifs within this installation, which seems to bring together a number of ideas and melds them into a unified whole, mesh, prims, particles, colour and light blending to create a fully three-dimensional installation best experienced by flying in Mouselook mode or, if you have a Space Navigator or suitable controller, via flycam.

What I will say about Glass and Light Breakwave is that it is an installation that should not be missed, as I hope the short video below demonstrates.

Voile: sheer delight in Second Life

Voile; Inara Pey, November 2015, on Flickr Voile (Flickr) – click any image for full size

Voile is a relatively new residential region to Second Life, and a place I was recently invited to explore by Maddie (MadisonRaelynn), who is both a resident there and a reader of this blog. I’m glad I took her up on her offer – although she has my apologies for taking a while to actually get a post properly written-up.

Designed by Heloise (Heloise Evanier), Voile presents an exquisite landscape focused on a central craggy plateau of mixed elevations, with low-lying coastal areas below, not quite encircling it. Houses are scattered across both the plateau and the low-lying areas, seemingly at random; however, each has been placed with a careful eye to ensure it enjoys a comfortable degree of privacy from neighbours and a view out over the sea. All of the houses are beautifully blended with public areas awaiting exploration by visitors and open to the enjoyment of residents. As the welcoming notes in About Land state, everyone is invited to spend time in Voile – just so long as the privacy of residents here is respected.

Voile; Inara Pey, November 2015, on Flickr Voile (Flickr) – click any image for full size

The houses on the region are an eclectic mix, ranging from rustic cottages through farmhouse and Tuscan villa to large manor style homes, with a converted church and even a tree house mixed in for good measure. Yet all work together to offer a seamless whole to the region.

The properties on the high central plateau are arranged around a central orangery / pavilion. Paths of old stone paving meander through tall grass to link each residence with its neighbours and also offering paths to the ramps and cuttings which lead to the low parts of the plateau or down to the areas just above sea level.

Voile; Inara Pey, November 2015, on Flickr Voile (Flickr) – click any image for full size

The public areas within the region are as diverse as the houses; on the main plateau one can find places to sit and paths leading down into sheltered coves,  while wooden board walks run around the feet of the high cliffs to more places to sit. A single knuckle of rock stands aside from the main plateau, the ruins of a castle perched atop, reached by a single bridge. This, and it’s ruined twin, stand sentinel over the grassy lands below, a switch back path etched into the side of the plateau offering a way down to it.

Voile is genuinely a place of beauty, somewhere to be called home by those who reside there, and explored at gentle leisure by those who visit; a place not to be missed. My thanks again to Maddie for dropping me the invitation.

Voile; Inara Pey, November 2015, on Flickr Voile (Flickr) – click any image for full size

SLurl Details

  • Voile (Rated: Moderate)