Second Life project updates 41/1: server, viewer

The Trace too; Inara Pey, September 2015, on Flickr The Trace Tooblog post

Server Deployments, Week 41

A light week this week. As per the server deployment thread, there will be no scheduled deployments / restarts for the three RC channels during the week. The Main (SLS) channel will, however, receive the same server maintenance package deployed to the RCs in week #40.

SL Viewer Updates – Quick Graphics Viewer

The Quick Graphics viewer reached release candidate status on Friday, October 2nd with the release of version 3.8.5.305528. This is the view which provides the new Avatar Complexity options and the new graphics preset capabilities for setting, saving and restoring graphic settings for use in difference environments / circumstances.

The revised Advanced Graphics floater for the RC, first seen in later iterations of the project viewer
The revised Advanced Graphics floater for the RC, first seen in later iterations of the project viewer

One of the more visible changes within this RC for those who may have used the initial project releases of this viewer, but not the more recent iterations, is that the Advanced Graphics floater has undergone further changes, and is now presented as a two column floater, rather than the single huge floater seen in the first releases of the viewer.

In terms of the graphic presets as well, it should be noted that this RC update does not appear to resolve BUG-10398 “Graphics preset changes to None each time the Advanced Graphics floater is opened, even when no changes are made”.

The colours used for "Jelly Baby" avatars exceeding a user's complexity limit have been further toned down in the Quick Graphics RC update
The colours used for “Jelly Baby” avatars exceeding a user’s complexity limit have been further toned down in the Quick Graphics RC update

For Avatar complexity, the RC update sees further tweaks to the default Complexity value you will see displayed in the Advanced Graphics floater, which is based on your system’s capabilities. The colours used for avatars which are “Jelly Babied” for exceeding your Complexity setting have also been further toned down so that they are not quite so glaring.

However, a number of Avatar complexity issues still appear to be unresolved with this release, and which appear to be related to avatars with very high attachment byte sizes (the 4th value displayed over avatar heads by the viewer when showing Avatar Complexity information):

  • BUG-9962 – Avatars often permanently stuck as jelly babies even when Max complexity = No Limit
  • BUG-10401 – Blocked avatars are always fully rendered when imposters are disabled & other odd new behaviour with blocked avatars
  • BUG-10330 – Some avatars remain invisible until imposters are disabled.

Note: I’ve seen a couple of comments in some group IMs and elsewhere suggesting some people are under the impression this viewer should produce faster in-world rendering (presumably because of the”quick graphics” project title). This isn’t actually the case; however, and depending on variables outside of the Lab’s control, much improved rendering should be seen when using the project Azumarill viewer.

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Be a part of the Lab’s Creepy Crawl for SL’s Halloween

The March 25th meet-up at Meauxle Bureaux
The March 25th meet-up at Meauxle Bureaux

The latest in the Lab’s renewed social meet-ups in-world with residents is currently in the planning stages. Given the time of year, the Lab have decided to mix the Halloween season into things and hold a “travelling meet-up”, as a blog post from Xiola about the “Creepy Crawl” explains:

A-haunting we will go! This year we’re going to take inworld meetups and Halloween shenanigans and mix them together for a frightful mashup of mind-blowingly fun times. But – we need your help to make it happen.

Are you interested in hosting a stop along our Second Life Creepy Crawl? We’re looking for spots that will have music, are appropriate for general and moderate audiences, and don’t mind having a few Lindens and Residents dropping in all at once to dance and hang out for a bit.

The return of the SS Galaxy to Second Life was marked by an impromptu get-together with Lab staff - now you can play host with your venue / location, as the next get-together takes to the road
The return of the SS Galaxy to Second Life was marked by an impromptu get-together with Lab staff – now you can play host with your venue / location, as the next get-together takes to the road

The date for the event will be – naturally enough – October 30th, 2015. The full details for those just wishing to hop along and join the fun will be announced in due course. However, for those who wish to offer their venue / place as a possible stop along the way, there are some simple instructions to follow, as Xiola goes on to explain:

  1. Make sure your place is listed in the Destination Guidehere’s how to submit.
  2. Hop over to this form and fill it out before October 20th – we’ll start selecting the venues after that!
  3. Keep an eye out for an email and/or notecard after the 20th to let you know if your venue was selected.

So, if you fancy hosting a little Linden Halloween fun, make sure you get your venue in the DG (if it isn’t already) and fill-out the application form.

Sabbian Paine at The Living Room in Second Life

Sabbian Paine - The Living Room
Sabbian Paine – The Living Room

Now open at The Living Room, the music and arts venue operated by Owl Dragonash and Daallee, is an exhibition of images by Sabbian Paine, entitled Quiet the Mind.

The exhibition is the first to take place in a newly refurbished Living Room, which has been redesigned by Daallee to present a very light, airy environment on the top three floors of the tower the venue occupies at Lagrange Point Spaceport. For his exhibit, Sabbian also recommended the local windlight, AM Radio’s Nostalgia, which gives the venue a very atmospheric yellow-gold tint.

Sabbian Paine - The Living Room
Sabbian Paine – The Living Room

Quiet of the Mind offers an intriguing mix of images which those familiar with Sabbian’s work will doubtless recognise and appreciate. Many are set within well-known locations across Second Life  and feature Sabbian or one of this alter-egos or models, centrally featured within the picture. Somme appear to be quite natural in setting, sitting at a canal side, standing on the sands of Sommergewitter, etc., while others are perhaps more surreal or present a unique interpretation of a familiar piece of art – as with Damaged People, which utilises pieces by Mistero Hifeng.

However, if there is one thing all of the pieces have in common, it is the power of the imagery created within them and the emotions they exude – hence the title of the exhibit. Nor are these emotions limited to those featured in the pictures; viewing some of them, it is hard not to feel a tumult of thought and emotions in response.

Sabbian Paine - The Living Room
Sabbian Paine – The Living Room

The emotive context is heightened on the upper floor of the gallery, where sits a sculpture by Groll Greggan, overlaid by a series of emotive terms and feelings we can encounter in our daily lives, some of which are again reflected in the pieces offered for our viewing pleasure.

Quiet the Mind will be open through until Tuesday, October 27th, when it will close with a further party at 18:00 SLT, with music by Anidi Huet.

Visitors to The Living Room can also enjoy the following events during October:

  • Wednesday 21st, 12:00 noon SLT: Plowwie’s Fall Line ~ Fashion show, featuring the music of Dango
  • Thursday, October 22nd – 17:00 Kevin Thomas; 18:00 The Vinnie Show.

SLurl Details

Hestium: where stories await in Second Life

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

I’m fortunate to be able to count Boudicca Amat and her SL partner Anthony Wesburn as friends. Both are extremely talented, Anthony as a music lover and DJ with a focus on blues, jazz and rock, and Boudicca as both a storyteller and a gifted artist, as demonstrated by her Flickr stream.

As a storyteller, Boudicca presents readings in voice at Hestium, the home she shares with Anthony, and it was to Hestium that I found myself once again drawn after seeing it featured in the Lab’s Destination Guide Highlights.

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

A visit to Hestium begins on the steps leading up to a small terrace café overlooking a beach of golden sand and the wide open sea. A chalk board offers a warm greeting to new arrivals and provides a note card with further information about the land – and it is well worth a read. The terrace offers the opportunity to sit and enjoy the view as well as providing access to both Hestium and to the neighbouring parcel, Willow’s Oasis, which is held by Patti Peregrine, aka Willow Amat, one of Boudicca’s oldest and closest friends. Like Hestium, it is open for visitors to explore.

Follow the sign welcoming you to Hestium, and you’ll find yourself on a board walk along which a slightly harried-looking server is hurrying towards the café terrace, laden with cake and refreshments. At the end of the board walk and a short walk along a grassy path, sits a little cottage surrounded by trees. This is the kitchen for the café, and within it an even more harried-looking baker is hard at work.

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

The path continues onwards through the woods on the far side of the cottage, and will bring you by turn and bridge to Hestium itself, where there is much to discover.

This little township, sitting between high cliffs and split by a channel of water, suggests a place snuggled into the Mediterranean coastline somewhere. However, the mischievous raccoons running riot in places suggest an altogether different climatic location; thus we are free to imagine where – and when – Hestium might lie.

All the buildings here are open to visitors to explore, with the exception of the little cottage up on the hill just outside the township proper. This is Boudicca and Anthony’s home, and visitors are requested to respect their privacy. Also, note that in order to explore the library within the town, you’ll need to use the teleport system, otherwise the buildings are accessible on foot.

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

A place of invisible inhabitants, Hestium offers clues as to who they might be, but it is up to visitors to discover these clues, some of which might be hidden away somewhere in the houses while some might be in plain sight. There are also clues to be found in the Hestium stories Flickr group.

However, why (and how) they have come to Hestium is something for visitors to decide: there is an open invitation for people to write their own stories about the various characters, and to add a photo of themselves as that character, together with a link to their story in the description, to the Flickr group.

For those who enjoy landscape photography, there is a second Flickr group where photos can be submitted, and these may include avatars as well as being landscape studies.

Willow's Oasis; Inara Pey, October 2015, on Flickr Willow’s Oasis (Flickr) – click any image for full size

With cuddle spots and places to sit scattered around, and Willow’s Oasis garden next door also awaiting exploration, a visit to Hestium is well worth the time. There are numerous places to sit and relax while exploring, be they on the beach, on the water, or amidst the trees. And there’s also that opportunity to add to the history of Hestium through the stories Flickr group; or you can join Boudicca for a storytelling session in voice every Monday and Wednesday at 15:30 SLT.

SLurl Details and Links