Nino Vichan’s latest installation opened on Wednesday June 18th. Located at Influence Art Gallery, which is curated by yvan Slade and MacKena Soothsayer Reflections is a wonderfully immersive piece combining colour and sound in a most hypnotic manner.
The installation is in two parts. The first is a conventional display of images by Nino, presented as vivid paintings, of elements of the second part of the exhibit. These are ranged around the gallery space and are available for sale should any in particular catch the eye.
The main part of the exhibit lies above, and is reached by right-clicking the golden sphere floating just above the floor of the gallery space, and selecting Teleport.
This takes you to a large sphere in which colour and sound literally flow. Multi-hued columns float gently around; colours ripple underfoot; particles rise, float, shimmer, rotate, fall; stars gleam and light flares and turns. Within and around all this, the air is filled with music with a slightly tonal nature, reflecting and enhancing the movement of light and colour.
The text accompanying the piece informs the visitor:
Light waves possess all colours Reflections off objects filter these light waves These reflections are the colours we see.
Sound waves possess frequency, wave shape and amplitude Sound waves reflect off objects Reflections of sound are the echoes we hear.
Within those words lies a veritable cosmos of meaning and interpretation, all suggested by the mix of colour, light and sound which draws the observer in; the soft shine to the changing shades and hues a counterpoint to the tonal elements of sound within the music, yet working with it to lull the mind, encouraging release, leaving one entranced without realising it, floating while seated.
Latif Khalifa is well-known if the viewer community. Not only does he maintain the very excellent Radegast lightweight client for SL and OpenSim, he has also been a regular contributor to Singularity, the popular viewer using the v1-style UI. Now Latif is working on a v1-style viewer of his own.
Replex is still very much in the alpha phase of work; as such, there is no formal release version of the viewer, but alpha builds are available for download with the caveat that there is no official support as yet. There is, however, an in-world group where questions can be asked of other users and information exchanged. There is also an IRC chatroom #replex on Freenode where the developers can be reached via an IRC client or Freenode webchat.
The viewer itself is based on Singularity, unsurprisingly, given Latif’s close ties with that team, and there is an acknowledgement on the Replex website of their role in providing the Singularity source code. The viewer is available in Windows and Linux flavours as both 32-bit and 64-bit builds, and also for Mac in a 32-bit build.
The following is a very brief overview of the viewer; I don’t pretend to have covered all the options and capabilities; rather I’m just pin-pointing some of the features it includes.
As might be expected given its heritage, Replex has a default skin with a decidedly dark tint to it – although not so far towards the black default of Singularity, more a charcoal colour. The Singularity dark skin is also available via Preferences > Skins, as is the classic LL v1.x blue skin and – something I’ve not seen in a while – the equally classic LL silver skin; this brought back some very old memories, as that was my preferred viewer 1.x skin when it came out.
The Replex change log lists recent features and additions to the viewer, and these are handily split between “Common” updates, indicating they are shared with Singularity (presumably in an upcoming release of that viewer), and those specific to Replex.
One of the more interesting updates from Singularity which appears in Replex is the ability to add / remove buttons from the viewer’s toolbar, a-la 3.x viewers. Obviously, buttons are restricted to the bottom of the viewer, but this is liable to be of interest to users as it allows some degree of customisation in the UI.
Adding / removing buttons is a simple matter of opening the button chooser (View > Change Toolbar Buttons) and then checking those buttons to be displayed and unchecked those which are not wanted. There are a fair number of button options available, including debug options, windlight / sky /water / post-process effects, camera & movement controls, search options, etc. This can mean the button bar can get a trifle packed and a little hard to read if you go button bananas, but the feature is certainly a useful addition to the v1-style UI. Kudos, Lirusaito for the development work!
Oddly enough, during the Simulator User Group meeting on Tuesday June 17th, a wibni (“Wouldn’t it be nice if”) comments was made about having a viewer-side capability to automatically teleport you somewhere if you happen to be AFK when a region restart occurs, rather than being logged-out.
I’ve no idea if the comment was passed as a result of someone peeking into the Singularity repository or taking Replex for a drive, because Replex has implemented this very capability using code also from Lirusaito.