Daily Archives: June 7, 2016

Landscapes and anatomies in Second Life

Landscape Anatomy – Dathúil Gallery

Landscape Anatomy – Dathúil Gallery

Now open at Dathúil Gallery, operated by Max Butoh and Lυcy (LucyDiam0nd), is Landscape Anatomy, an exhibition by Cicciuzzo Gausman. It is perhaps the most extensive exhibit Dathúil has mounted for a single artist – fully 40 images are in display, offering visitors a visual feast in terms of content, style, format and subject.

Taking a quote from Mark Twain as his lead, “You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus”, Cicciuzzo presents a mix of landscape and avatar studies which he describes as, “A journey … exploring landscape photography, ranging from its natural scenery form to the shape of a body.”

Landscape Anatomy – Dathúil Gallery

Landscape Anatomy – Dathúil Gallery

The landscapes occupy the lower level of the gallery space and encompass both monochrome and colour. On offer are images of locations across Second Life, many of which will be familiar to the seasoned virtual traveller, and all of which present evocative views of their subjects, drawing the eye into them.

The mezzanine level is home to 20 avatar studies, again presented in both colour and black and white, many of which include nudity, so should be considered NSFW. Here again, the depth of presentation is mesmerizing, each image finely composed and balanced. There is a nuanced look to each of them which really does present them both as studies of the human for and studies of the human landscape; the latter encompassed in the gentle slope of a breast, the valley between thighs,  the meandering sweeps and curls of tattoo ink over bare flesh.

Landscape Anatomy – Dathúil Gallery

Landscape Anatomy – Dathúil Gallery

Both sets of images are at once singular to themselves, but they are entirely separated one from the other. Within the untitled landscape images one, and one alone, features an individual. Tall and slender, she stands within a sea of wheat, looking away from us towards s distant horizon. As we follow her gaze into that distance, so our eyes are inevitably drawn upwards to the images on the mezzanine. Thus a bridge is formed between the two sets of images, allowing us to naturally cross from one to the other.

I would have perhaps preferred it if there were slightly fewer images. Forty is a large amount to fit within Dathúil’s walls, such that they can be a little overwhelming. But make no mistake, Landscape Anatomy is another superb display of art from another of Second life’s outstanding talents, and should not be missed. It will remain open through until the end of June, and you can see more of Cicciuzzo’s images via his Flickr stream.

Landscape Anatomy – Dathúil Gallery

Landscape Anatomy – Dathúil Gallery

SLurl Details

 

 

Advertisements

Win a slice of L$5000 in Windlight’s Summer Time contest

Sumer timeIn the summertime when the weather is hot
You can stretch right up and touch the sky
When the weather’s fine
You got Windlight, you got Windlight on your mind
Take a pic, have a try
Go out and see what you can find!*

OK. so that’s not entirely how Mungo Jerry sung their debut single about the carefree days of summer in 1970. But over the decades it has come synonymous with the idea of hot summer days, time on the beach soaking up the rays, rides and walks in the countryside, picnics in parks and gardens, sailing boats against azure skies or swimming in crystal clear waters, and so much more.

From now through until 23:59 on Thursday, June 30th, Windlight Magazine is offering you the chance to capture in a picture what summer time means to you, and perhaps win a cash prize for doing so, with their In the Summer Time Photo contest.

On offer is a prize pool of L$5,000, comprising:

  • A first place prize of L$2,000, 1 double page ad in Windlight Magazine, with your picture printed in Windilght Magazine and on the Windlight website
  • A second place prize of L$1,5000,  with your picture printed in Windilght Magazine and on the Windlight website
  • A third place prize of L$1,000, with your picture printed in Windilght Magazine and on the Windlight website
  • A fourth place prize of L$500.

For the full set of rules, please refer to the competition entry guidelines on the Windlight website, but in brief:

  • The goal is to take photos of summer scenes, think beach, bbq’s, sailing, fishing, you name it – but the image must include a summer time theme
  • Only one entry per user, which must be made to the official Windlight Flickr contest group, no later than 23:59 on Thursday, June 30th. Flickr timestamps will be used to determine times of submission
  • All submissions must be labelled “Summer Time Photo Contest” followed by your SL name (do not use Display Names) and must include SLurl of the location in the description
  • All submissions should be new and original, but can be submitted to other groups
  • Nudity, if tasteful and suited to the scene, is allowed; adult behaviour and acts are not
  • Editing within external software is permitted prior to submission.

All entries will be judged using the following criteria: creativity, originality, technique, interpretation of the theme, adherence to the submission and guideline rules (again, please refer to the link above to confirm the guidelines).

So, should you choose to enter – good luck! And as I’ve quoted Mr. Dorset and Mungo Jerry at the top of this piece, it’s only fair they play this article out.

*With apologies to Ray Dorset!

Visual Outfits Browser and VLC Media project viewers

secondlifeThe Lab has recently released two new project viewers, the VLC Media Plugin viewer,and the Visual Outfits Browser viewer.

As they are both project viewers, they are not in the viewer release channel, and must be manually downloaded and installed via the Lab’s Alternate Viewers wiki page. Also, as they are project viewers, they are subject to change (including change based on feedback), and may be buggy.

The following notes are intended to provide a brief overview of both. Should you decide to download and test either, please do file JIRAs against any reproduceable issues / bugs with them, please do file a JIRA, giving as much information, including the info from Help > About Second Life and any log files which you feel may be relevant.

Visual Outfits Browser

The Visual Outfits Browser (VOB) viewer,  version 4.0.6.316123, appeared on Monday, June 6th. Simply put, it allows you to use the Appearance floater to capture / upload / select images of your outfits and save them against the outfits in a new Outfit Gallery tab within the floater.

Creating outfit thumbnails

The new Outfit Gallery tab in the Visual Outfit Browser allows you to create photos of any outfits saved to My Outfits as thumbnails. You can then use the Appearance floater to scan your outfits to decide what to wear, and use the context menu to wear the one you want

The new Outfits Gallery tab (right-click your avatar > select My Appearance > Outfits Gallery) should display all of your created outfits as a series of folder icons, each one displaying the name of the outfit beneath it. You can replace these icons with an image of the outfit in one of three ways:

  • You can wear the outfit, then right-click on its associated folder icon and select Take a Snapshot (shown above left). This will open the snapshot floater with save to inventory selected by default, allowing you to photograph yourself wearing the outfit and upload the image to SL, where it automatically replaces the folder icon for the outfit
  • You can use Upload Photo to upload an image of the outfit your previously saved to your hard drive, and have it replace the folder icon
  • You can use Select Photo to select an image previously saved to your inventory, and use that to replace the folder icon for the outfit.

When using the capability there are a number of points to keep in mind:

  • Both the Take a Snapshot and the Upload Photo options will incur the L$10 upload fee, with the images themselves saved in your Textures folder
  • In all three cases, link to the original images are placed in the outfit folder
  • This approach only works for outfits you’ve created using the Appearance floater / the Outfits tab. It doesn’t work for any other folders where you might have outfits – such is the Clothing folder.

VVOB-2Feedback

How useful people find this is open to debate; I actually don’t use the Outfits capability in the viewer as I find it clumsy and inefficient for my needs. However, it would seem that pointing people towards the appearance floater in order to preview outfits, when most of us tend to work from within our inventories, would seem to be somewhat counter-intuitive.

As such, it’s hard to fathom why the Lab didn’t elect to include something akin to Catznip’s texture preview capability within the VOB functionality. This allows a user to open their Inventory and simply hover their mouse over a texture / image to generate a preview of it (as seen on the right).

Offering a similar capability within the VOB viewer would, I’d suggest, offer a far more elegant and flexible means of using the new capability than is currently the case*. Users would have the choice of previewing outfits either via the Outfits Gallery tab in the Appearance floater or from within Inventory.

There are also a number of wardrobe systems available through the Marketplace. While these may require RLV functionality and come at a price, they may still be seen as offering a more flexible approach to managing and previewing outfits. As such, it will be interesting  to see how the VOB capabilities are received by those with very large outfit wardrobes.

VLC Media Plugin Viewer

As Apple recently announced they are no longer supporting QuickTime for Windows and will not be offering security updates for it, going forwards, the Lab is looking to remove all reliance on the QuickTime media plugin, which is used to play back media type likes MP3, MPEG-4 and MOV, from its viewer, and replace it with LibVLC (https://wiki.videolan.org/LibVLC/).

This project viewer – version 4.0.6.316087 at the time of writing – replaces QuickTime with LibVLC support for the Windows version of the viewer only. The OS X viewer is currently unchanged, as Apple are continuing to support QuickTime on that OS. However, the Lab note that they will eventually also move the OS X version of the viewer to use LibVLC as their 64-bit versions of the viewer start to appear, as the QuickTime APIs are Carbon and not available as 64bit.

*I’ve been informed, and hadn’t appreciated, that this approach can be graphics memory intensive – see FIRE-933.