Holly Kai Park: Art at the Park new season in Second Life

Saturday September 24th 14:00 SLT!

Saturday September 24th 14:00 SLT – Art at the Park resumes at Holly Kai Park

The Art at the Park series resumes at Holly Kai Park on Saturday, September 24th, with a new exhibition by four top artists and photographers … and me.

Running through until Sunday, October 23rd, Art at the Park features the work of:

  • Anibrm Jung – award-winning photographer
  • John Brianna – physical world and virtual world photographer and artist
  • Giovanna Cerise – renowned physical world and virtual world artist
  • Wildstar Beaumont – popular and well-regarded Second Life photographer.

I’ll be bringing-up the rear to make up the numbers🙂 .

You can find out more about the artists on the Holly Kai blog.

Gala Opening

Erin68 Frog and Satin will be singing at the opening

Erin68 Frog and Satin will be singing at the opening

To mark the new exhibition, we’re having a formal opening at 2:00pm SLT, featuring the music of our good friends and supporters of the Park, Erin68 Frog and Satin. They’ll be performing for our dancing pleasure at the new art events area, which is also located on the top of the art hill.

As is usual for our openings, we as that guests are formally dressed. Also, in keeping with our policy, the venue won’t be taking tips – but we hope that if you do come along – and we home you will – that you’ll consider donating to our adopted charity Stand Up To Cancer, which, this month is the focus of SL Concerts to Benefit Stand Up to Cancer.

Art at the Park event area - top of the steps from the landing point

Art at the Park event area – top of the steps from the landing point

Stories at the Park – Sunday, October 19th, 15:00 SLT

Coinciding with the exhibition, we will once again be hosting Stories at the Park in association with Seanchai Library.

Each month, story writers and poets from Seanchai Library and beyond are invited to visit Holly Kai Park and view the 2D and 3D art on display, and then to write a 100 word story (a “drabble”) on the art piece or pieces that inspires them – or, if they prefer, to write a poem of up to 100 words.

At Stories at the Park, the submitted stories and poems are read in a live voice session in the Storyteller’s Garden. Authors can either read their own works, or if they prefer, have one of the Seanchai Library staff read them. Submitted stories are also published on the Holly Kai Park blog.

If you would like to submit pieces for Stories at the Park, and either read them yourself, or have them read on your behalf, then visit the Art at the Park exhibition at Holly Kai Park, and write about the picture(s) or 3D art which inspire you. Stories must be exactly 100 words long, and poems, in any form – blank verse, iambic pentameter, haiku, sonnet, etc.), can be up to 100 words in length. Finished works should be submitted via note card to either Caledonia Skytower or myself no later than Wednesday, October 12th, 2016.

So – welcome to a new season at Holly Kai Park, and we look forward to you visiting!

SLurl Details

  • Holly Kai Park – Art at the Park (Holly Kai Estates, rated: Moderate)

Project Bento User Group update 27 with audio

Bento: extending the avatar skeleton

Bento: extending the avatar skeleton

The following notes and audio were taken from the weekly Bento User Group meeting, held on Thursday, September 22nd at 13:00 SLT at the the Hippotropolis Campfire Circle. and chaired by Vir Linden. For details on the meeting agenda, please refer to the Bento User Group wiki page.

Note that this update is not intended to offer a full transcript of the meeting, nor does it present the discussion points in chronological order. Rather, it represents the core points of discussion, grouped together by subject matter were relevant / possible, whilst maintaining the overall context of the meeting.

RC Viewer

The Project Bento RC viewer updated to version on Thursday, September 22nd, 2016. This update contained no functional changes to Bento, but merged it with the current release viewer code (e.g. the addition of the visual Outfit Browser code).

The Lab’s focus on the viewer at the moment is seeing how more widespread testing goes (in general use terms, rather than Bento-specific, although this is still of interest), whether issues or regressions arise in the viewer as a whole and watching the crash rate.  The latter has been high, but it is hoped the merge with the current release viewer will reduce these. If not, it may be that there are some Bento-specific issues still requiring deeper investigation.

A further preview demonstration of the Catwa mesh head rigged for Bento

Sliders and Bones / Joints

Avatar Sliders Wiki Page

Matrice Laville has put together documentation on which bones in the avatar skeleton are affected by the various appearance sliders when editing your shape. This can be found on the Avatar Sliders wiki page. The tables list the affected bones per slider, and how they are affected (translate / scale / both).  The eyebrow slider is also included, although this is actually a part of the hair wearable.

The was a general discussion on sliders and joint positions, which I’ve attempted to break down by topic point for ease of reference.

Locking Scale with Sliders – Proof of Concept Viewer

At the start of September, Vir produced a proof of concept viewer adding the ability to override the scale as well as position for joints in uploaded mesh models. A joint with both position and scale overrides would be effectively “slider-proof” – no sliders that affect the joint would have any effect on the model. This might be useful for those wishing to produce (non-human?) avatars where it might be preferable to have certain parts of the body locked from slider-driven changes to prevent distortions / conflicts arising, without necessarily locking in the entire mesh against slider changes (e.g. the face could be “frozen” to prevent distortion, but body height or tail length, etc).

There’s been little feedback on the option to date,so anyone who is interested in the option or has views on how it works / should work, to try this version of the viewer and provide their feedback through the forum ASAP, otherwise the option won’t be included in the Bento RC.

Sliders and Custom Joint Positions

At one time it had been possible to use sliders with custom joint positions. This is not longer the case, due to inconsistencies in how avatars would appear to themselves and one another (and changes would revert following a re-log). As the option wasn’t an intended feature for Bento, and given it can lead to inconsistencies (some of which can be fixed using Reset Skeleton, although this doesn’t work in all cases), the decision has been made not to allow sliders to operate on custom joints.

Locking Sliders / “Partial Shapes”

The above discussions flowed into questions on whether it might be possible to just lock individual sliders at upload, rather than disabling their impact on a joint basis. This is viewed as not being possible, as it would require a more extensive overhaul of the avatar system and permission system.

Paralleling this idea was a question on “partial shapes” for Bento heads, raised by Elizabeth Jarvinen (polysail). The idea here is that many shape creators sell their shape as No Modify, but if such a shape is used with a Bento head, it defeats the idea that the Bento head can be modified via slider.

Again, there is no real means to achieve this without an extensive overhaul of the avatar system. There are also the points that if people are buying No modify shapes as they are unsure of using the sliders, they are unlikely to want to fiddle with the sliders with a Bento head, and those wishing to modify their body will likely use their own shape anyway, removing the problem of No Modify shapes (although re-creating a No Mod shape by approximation or XML export / import – via Develop > Avatar > Character tests > Appearance to xml – might be a hassle, with the latter requiring a suitable TPV for re-import). A further side to this is that a number of shape creators are already supplying body shapes intended for use with the various mesh bodies already on sale, as which are supplied Modify, which could be used with Bento heads.

Gestures and Outfits

As I noted last week, gestures – such as for speech – can be stored as a part of an avatar’s outfit in the Outfits folder, allowing them to be automatically activated / de-activated. However, this has to be done by copying a link to the gesture into the required folder, as the Save Outfit function currently ignores gestures. Replacing outfits should then trigger gesture activation  of those being added, and de-activate those gestures associated with the outfit being removed.

This is not an optimal solution, but changes to have gestures made a part of the Save Outfit function are outside the scope of Bento, and Medhue Simoni has indicated he’ll raise a feature request on the idea for future consideration.

Other Items

Avastar Version Numbers

Those using the development versions of Avastar 2.0 may have noticed a recent change in version numbering. This is because people were getting confused between the technical release number and the public incremental “Alpha” version numbering.

Holly Kai Park makes a Second Life Editor’s Pick!

Holly Kai Park made it into the Destination Guide on Friday, September 23rd – and was selected as an Editor’s Pick (see above)!

The Park’s entry (shown at the foot of this article), can be found in the Nature and Parks section of the Destination guide, with the usual teleport links.

We’re pleased to have the park featured, as this weekend see the opening of our new Art at the Park Exhibition, which will run from Saturday 24th September through to Sunday 23rd October, 2016.  The artists featured in this exhibition are:

  • Anibrm Jung – award-winning photographer
  • John Brianna – physical world and virtual world photographer and artist
  • Giovanna Cerise – renowned physical world and virtual world artist
  • Wildstar Beaumont – popular and well-regarded Second Life photographer
  • Inara Pey – (who she?)

The exhibition opens at 2:00pm on Saturday, September 24th at our new hill-top art display area, with Erin68 Frog and Satin providing the music at our new art events area on by the art displays.

Holly Kai Park - now in the Destination Guide

Holly Kai Park – now in the Destination Guide

I’ll have more on the exhibition in a post here shortly – but you can get the low-down through the Holly Kai blog.

We hope you can join us for the opening – but if you can’t, do please drop into the park and have a wander around. It’s there for everyone to enjoy.


Project Espeon: Experience enabled sits in Second Life

Experience scripted force sits - a new project from the Lab (image courtesy of Linden Lab)

Experience scripted force sits – a new project from the Lab (image courtesy of Linden Lab)

Update: thanks to the efforts of one or more juveniles, the proposal – originally referred to as a Google document in this article – has been converted to PDF format, and this article has been updated to reflect that fact, and how those with a genuine interest in the proposed capabilities can forward ideas and suggestions to the Lab.

Since the introduction of Experience Keys into Second Life to allow more convenient granting of permissions for the system to act on an avatar’s behaviour when engaged on a specific activity – such as a game or a tour – a commonly requested item has been the ability to for scripted forced sits to be made a part of the Experience process.

On Thursday, September 22nd, during the Server Beta user group meeting, Rider Linden announced he is working on just this capability – and that test regions are available on Aditi for Experience creators to test the capability as it stands.

The new LSL functions for Experience-enabled scripted forced sits form Project Espeon (after the Pokémon character). Rider has produced a proposal document on the new functionality, which can be read  in PDF format, which he introduces as follows:

With the advent of Experiences Keys we would like to be able to allow scripts being run as part of an experience to force an avatar to sit in a particular location.  This feature will be useful in an adventure game scenario where an avatar is forced to sit in a trap so that it may sync its animations with the avatar, or in an amphitheatre or classroom situation where a presenter wishes for all the other participants to remain seated.

We will add at least one new LSL script function that will force an avatar to sit on a particular prim and make adjustments to the existing llUnSit() function to perform the counter action.  

Within the document, Rider outlines the current APIs and functions related to sitting (llLinkSitTarget()llSitTarget()llSetSitText()llAvatarOnLinkSitTarget()llAvatarOnSitTarget() and llUnSit() ) which by affected by the new capability, before proposing a new series of APIs and behaviour changes to make Experience scripted sitting possible. At the time of writing this article, these new capabilities comprise:

  • llSitOnLink( )  – Function: integer llSitOnLink( key agent_id, integer link ); – mimic the behaviour of the rightclick “Sit Here” menu item.  The avatar specified by agent_id is forced to sit on the sit target of the prim indicated by the link parameter. If the specified link is already occupied the simulator will search down the chain of prims in the linkset looking for an available sit target, as per the diagram at the top of this article.
  • PRIM_ALLOW_UNSIT – to be added to llSetPrimitiveParams( ) – When set on a prim that is running a script as part of an experience an avatar that is seated on the sit target and has agreed to participate in the experience will be unable to stand, select another prim to sit on or teleport to another location in the same region (inter-regional teleports will act as normal).
  • PRIM_SCRIPTED_SITS_ONLY – to be added to llSetPrimitiveParams( ) – Agents may only be seated on this prim using llSitOnLink().  Attempts to do a manual sit will fail.  This flag applies even outside of an experience enabled region.
  • PRIM_SIT_TARGET – to be added to llSetPrimitiveParams( ) – The sit target if any defined for this prim.  If the active value is 0 the sit target is deactivated, if it is nonzero the prims sit target is set to the indicated offset and rotation. As with llLinkSitTarget(), these values relative to the prim, however unlike llLinkSitTarget() an offset of <0.0, 0.0, 0.0> may be explicitly set.

Note that the above is in summary only, please refer to the Google document for the complete specifics.

Test regions have been set-up on ADITI, the beta grid, and those interested in testing the capabilities should join the Second Life Beta group on Aditi for access. The test regions are: Leafeon or Umbreon or Sylveon, with test content is available on Leafeon. If you wish to have your own Experience added to the regions for testing, contact Rider via IM. Similarly, if you have any suggestions or ideas for improving the proposal document or the functions, should raise a JIRA.

With thanks to Whirly Fizzle.