Avatar Hover Height reaches release viewer

secondlifeOn Tuesday, March 24th, the Lab promoted the Avatar Hover Height release candidate viewer to the de facto release viewer, meaning it is now available to everyone receiving official viewer updates / downloading the official viewer directly.

As I reported back towards the start of the year, prior to the arrival of server-side appearance (SSA), many TPVs included a capability commonly referred to as “z-axis height adjustment”. Simply put, this allowed the height of an avatar to be adjusted up or down, relative to the ground or to an object they were sitting on, which allowed for a wide range of adjustments to be made (such as when sitting or kneeling on the ground, to prevent the appearance of hovering over it or to more finely tune the avatar’s pose on the ground, or to re-adjust an avatar’s height relative to the ground when using things like dancing posballs, etc, and so on).

However, with the introduction of SSA, the viewer / server messaging that made this kind of adjustment possible was removed. While the Lab attempted to offer an alternative capability – the Hover slider, available when editing your avatar’s appearance, its effectiveness has always been limited. You can’t for example, use it to adjust your avatar’s height when seated, for example, to prevent any appearance of sitting “inside” a chair or hovering above it; nor can you adjust your position above the ground when using poseballs, etc.

Avatar Hover Height, developed as a direct request of a proposal put to the Lab by members of the Firestorm team, addresses these shortfalls.

It allows “on-the-fly” adjustments to be made to your avatar’s height with the minimum of fuss and without having to use the Edit Appearance Hover slider.

A simple example: by default, my avatar (sized to a height of 5ft 10in, slightly taller than the in-the-flesh me!), appears to be hovering above the ground. With AHH, accessible through the right-click avatar context menu...
A simple example: by default, my avatar (sized to a height of 5ft 10in, slightly taller than the in-the-flesh me!), appears to be hovering above the ground. With AHH, accessible through the right-click avatar context menu…

It does this by providing a new right-click avatar context menu option  called, oddly enough, Avatar Hover Height. Right clicking on this displays a slider. Moving the slider to the right increases your graphical height above the ground, and to the left decreases it (you can also input values via the slider for additional control).

Overall, the slider allows for adjustments of +/- 2 metres relative to the default graphical position of your avatar. Note that this is a graphical (/visual) change – the option does not make any associated change the avatar’s height in terms of platform physics.

I can use the slider or spinner to quickly adjust my height so I am standing
I can use the slider or spinner to quickly adjust my height so I am standing “on” the ground . This can also be used for adjusting your apparent height when ground sitting, kneeling, sitting on unscripted furniture, using poseballs, etc.

Avatar Hover Height has been extensively tested while the viewer was both in a project status and was available as a release candidate viewer, and no significant issues or breakages were noted in that time.

Note that this capability does not replace the Edit appearance Hover option – than can still be accessed and used in circumstances where it might be more appropriate to use; rather it present a further, more convenient, means of adjusting your avatar’s height.

Related Links

Fantasy Faire 2015: blogger applications and Words of Power

The largest fantasy-related event to take place in Second Life, Fantasy Faire, opens its portals on Thursday, April 23rd 2015 and will run through until Sunday, May 3rd, 2015 inclusive. It will bring together everyone with a love of fantasy  – enthusiasts, creators, performers and designers  – for ten days of commerce, special events, live music concerts and more, all to help raise funds for Relay for Life of Second Life.

On Monday, March 23rd, the Faire organisers announced that applications for blogging about the Faire are now being taken, with the announcement reading in part:

Faire blogging should stem from the same source the Fairelands do: inspiration and imagination. There are no obligatory assignments. Instead there are challenges. We do not want to force anyone to do anything, we want to inspire, dare, encourage: challenge.

The challenges are three in number, although bloggers are not obliged to follow any of them, nor are they restricted to only official bloggers – anyone wishing to can participate in them. They are:

  • Faire Folk – “create a character from the Fairelands. Pick one of the Faire sims as their home, make a look mostly from Faire items, make the character come alive. Take at least one picture of that character in the chosen home sim and blog away! The more roleplay-style bloggers are invited to write about the character as well, but even those to whom pictures speak more than words can let those pictures speak loud and clear! Sim exploration stories encouraged!”
  • My New Shiny – “find a shop in the Fairelands you have never heard of before and blog something of theirs that you love. This is all about finding and showcasing the hidden talents, the newcomers, the surprises you can find when you explore the Fairelands thoroughly instead of just going through your already familiar favourites. If you know every single shop in the Faire, pick one that you think should be in the spotlight more.”
  • Why I Relay – “this challenge is for those who do have a personal reason to support Relay for Life events and who would like to share it. Obviously if you don’t have any personal tie to the charity or if you’d like to keep your reasons private, there is no need to do this. But those who would like to speak out for the charity, for RFL and for their reasons, they are invited to do so.”

Make sure you read the blogger information in full, and complete your application form for consideration.

The Faery Court, Fantasy Faire, 2014
The Faery Court, Fantasy Faire, 2014

Words of Power

This year, the event organisers are putting out a special call to bards, tellers of tales, weavers of words, purveyors or poetry and prose and storytelling large and small, to volunteer their time and talent to help create special narrative and story events.

Deep within the 2015 Fairelands will lie an enchanted glade, the home to a series of literary activities. Stage readings, workshops, story-telling sessions, discussions groups and more, all focused on the theme of fantasy will be found here. But, in order for it to be found, it needs those aforementioned bards and poets, speaker of words and weavers of verbal magic.

There is an open invitation to all who enjoy spinning a yarn, telling a tale, reading a story, reciting poetry and more, to join in this literary event, a new feature for Fantasy Faire. If you would be interested in doing so, please complete this simple form, and the Storytellers of the Faire will be in contact with you.

Deep in the Fairelands there lies a glade, wherein stories magical and wondrous will be woven by master wordsmiths of power and skill - will you be one of them?
Deep in the Fairelands there lies a glade, wherein stories magical and wondrous will be woven by master wordsmiths of power and skill – will you be one of them?

Further Information and Related Links


Caladan: tranquility in an Indian garden

Caladan, Forever Dreams; Inara Pey, March 2015, on Flickr Caladan (Flickr) – click any image for full size

Morgana Carter alerted me to Caladan, a stunning garden build by Antinéa (Antinea Torok), after she spotted Goizane Latzo’s photos of the garden over on the Bitacora blog. Although intended to showcase Antinéa’s parcel and sim design skills, the garden is open to visitors as a place to visit, presenting a beautiful and tranquil setting to be explored and enjoyed at leisure.

The arrival point, to one side the the parcel and sitting atop a small plateau area, offers seating and refreshments for visitors, with a small ice cream kiosk and accompanying trolley, making it a delightful little meeting place it is own right. However, a paved footpath leads the way down from it, inviting visitor to descend and explore, offering a view across open water to a off-sim extension as they do so, its position giving the impression that one is looking out over a broad, slow-flowing river, bordered on the far bank by high cliffs and foothills, tall waterfalls dropping down their flanks.

Caladan, Forever Dreams; Inara Pey, March 2015, on Flickr Caladan (Flickr)

Continue onwards along the path and it gives way to a grassy steps, leading down to a waterside walk which gracefully arcs between the river and a wooded copse filled with the colour of summer flowers, a tall grey stone wall just beyond it, hinting at something yet to be discovered.

Follow the path as it curls around the copse, and it will bring you to the wall – or more correctly, to a heavy wooden door set into the wall. Beyond this lies a beautifully designed garden, a place which could have been lifted from India or perhaps Sri Lanka, such is its design. As you enter, to one sits a tall blue-walled house, and to the other, facing the house, a cool summer pavilion. Long pools of water with tall fountains lie between the two. Footpaths, gently lit by tiny lights set into their bounding kerbs, offer the way around and between the pools and link house to pavilion.

Caladan, Forever Dreams; Inara Pey, March 2015, on Flickr Caladan (Flickr)

The detail here makes Caladan a delight to the eye; flowers bloom, peacocks strut, butterflies circle over flowers and sunlight slants its way through the shade of trees to one side of the garden, opposite the wall, where the ground rises sharply beyond, providing a natural barrier to the rest of the world.

This is a place not only to be seen, but savoured. Birds sing, the splash and hiss of fountains their accompaniment, while the summertime look and feel becomes a balm which encourages relaxation, be it within the pavilion or inside the coolness of the house (which is open to the public).

Caladan, Forever Dreams; Inara Pey, March 2015, on Flickr Caladan (Flickr)

Featuring content and designs from a number of designers and merchants, and with plenty of opportunities for simply sitting and relaxing (or cuddling) as well as for photography, Caladan offers a tranquil respite from the hustle and bustle of Second Life; you can even partake of a little yoga to help cleanse mind and spirit while visiting!

Related Links

Caladan (Rated: Moderate)

Fantasy Faire 2015: of regions and music

Fantasy Faire 2015, in support of Relay for Life of Second Life, will open the portals on its seventh successive year on Thursday, April 23rd, 2015, and they will remain open through until Sunday, May 3rd, 2015 inclusive.

The largest fantasy-related event to take place in Second Life, the Faire brings together fantasy enthusiasts, creators, performers and designers for ten days of commerce, special events, live music concerts across the Fairelands, all for a common cause and to celebrate the worlds of fantasy and adventure.

Regions and Designers

The ten themed regions were recently been announced, together with their designers, sponsors and key stores:

An official poster for Fantasy Faire 2015

Aurora: designed by by Beq Janus, sponsored by NeoVictoria. “On a world plunged into ice age, men of science seek answers in the ethereal shimmering of the planets energy field. Meanwhile the Mystics tell tales of the unweaver at whose feet they lay the blame for their ice-age, their hopes for salvation lie in legends of heroes, ancient tales of lands across the dimensions, their faith hangs on finding the lost knowledge that can bring forth the confluence. The two factions, poles apart in their beliefs are about come together as myth and machine meet beneath the Northern Lights.

Ichi-go Ichi-e: designed by Sharni Azalee and Marcus Inkpen, sponsored by The Looking Glass. “Let your imagination fly you to a land where anything is possible. Walk on water among pink clouds in this surreal landscape where large sakura flowers and other exotic flora tower over you in a beautiful dream forest of pinks and grays and fawn.

Odyssey: designed by Alia Baroque, sponsored by Fallen Gods Inc. “As you set out on your journey to Ithaca, pray that your journey be a long one, filled with adventure, filled with discovery” – Barry B. Powell, Classical Myth.

Poppetsborough: designed by Luna Barak, Alrunia Ahn and Kyra Reiter, sponsored by Dandelion Daydreams Factory. “Enter a storybook world with the emphasis on the book. Have your favorite stories pop to life as you walk into the book and become the characters of your favourite fairytales.

Spires of Andolys: designed by Jaimy Hancroft  and Eowyn Swords, sponsored by Dwarfins. “Crooked little fantasy styled houses inspired by the fairytales of your childhood. Centered around a magnificent castle that would be the envy of Sleeping Beauty. Careful though, the castle guards a secret dungeon hidden deep within its bowels where the darkest villains are forever forgotten.”

Sylvan of Spells: designed by Sweetgwendoline Bailey and Eldowyn Inshan, sponsored by Merchants of Dreams 2015. “Enchanted grove where our stories are collected and nurtured by mystic librarians. Books, scrolls and parchment litter the ground, the debris of the Forest of Enlightenment.

Tangleshimmer Grove: designed by Searlait Nitschke, sponsored by Roawenwood.”Deep in the heart of the wood is the secret place of Fairies. Golden light bathes the lush green as flowers dance and the early morning dew lays a glistening shimmer over the world.

Valacia: designed by Mayah Parx, sponsored by Epic Toys. “A floating market town, a bustling trade hub where denizens of the Fairelands come to trade for even the most obscure of items. Dark & weather-beaten, all matter of constructions criss-cross the waters to keep this hodgepodge of shacks,stalls and barges afloat. Magical mysteries abound in this haven for traders and thieves alike.

Valley of Ish'Nar, Fantasy Faire 2013
Valley of Ish’Nar, Fantasy Faire 2013

Wildehaven Marsh: designed by Rynn Verwood, sponsored by Solarium. “Settled at the edge of a lake, the village was created centuries ago, as a safe haven for those who practised magic. An air of abandonment floats over the town now, however don’t be fooled, its magic is still much alive as one can see in the soft glows shining through the ivy covered windows.

YoZakura: designed by Nya Alchemi, sponsored by Fuubutsu Dou. “In the late hours of the night, visit the Japanese Hanami Festival and dream… Traveller behold As Midnight courts the Moon and Cherry blossoms dance.

Event sponsors for 2015 so far include:  -AZUL-, Boudoir, Curious Kitties, Dark Unicorns of Lovelace, Death Row Designs, Junbug, L’Uomo, The Muses, ORIONITE, OtherSkin, Plastik, Safe Waters Foundation, Sanctuary RP Community, Spyralle, Stitched., The Forge, and The White Armory.

As noted in my last update for Fantasy Faire 2015, store registrations are currently open for those designers wishing to participate in the event – but spaces on the regions are filling-up fast!

DJ Registrations

Music has always been a special part of Fantasy Faire, and 2015 is no exception. Fantasy Faire Radio is now taking applications from DJs who are willing to be a part of the on-air team through the event.

If you are a DJ who can commit time to one of more 2-hour sets on air at the Faire, please fill-out the application form ASAP, as slots are limited!

Jungle Bungle, Fantasy Faire 2012
Jungle Bungle, Fantasy Faire 2012

Further Information and Related Links