Lumiya 3.3.1: audio controls and Bluetooth headsets

lumiya-logoOn Friday, January 13th, Alina Lyvette released version 3.3.1 of the Lumiya Android client for Second Life and OpenSim.

The release builds on the 3.3 update, which added Voice capabilities to Lumiya, by providing additional audio controls for Voice together with Bluetooth headset support, which are combined in a single easy-to-use UI addition. As well as this, the release includes a number of bugfixes.

The audio controls can be displayed any time that Voice is enabled and about to be used – see my Lumiya 3.3 review for details on how to enable Voice in Lumiya.

With voice enabled, tap on the telephone handset icon as you would to launch a Voice conversation. When the microphone bar is display on your screen either in local chat or as a result of someone accepting your Voice IM request, tap anywhere on the bar except the microphone icon or the X, and the audio controls will be displayed.

Lumiya Voice audio controls
Lumiya Voice audio controls

These comprise three elements:

  • And overall volume slider
  • A toggle button to activate your device’s external speaker
  • A toggle button to direct audio through your Bluetooth headset.

Bluetooth Headsets

Note that for Bluetooth connectivity to work, you will also need to update to the latest Lumiya Voice plug-in app and, obviously,have a Bluetooth headset pair with the device being used to run Lumiya. Once paired and the headset is active, Lumiya will automatically route incoming audio to the headset when you establish a voice call. Should you wish to place the incoming audio on your device’s speaker (and back), use the buttons on the Lumiya audio controls, described above.

Bug Fixes and Minor Improvements

The bug fixes and smaller improvements with this release comprise:

  • A fix for some texture uploads to fail.
  • A fix to prevent camera position being reset when exiting 3D view.
  • Region restart messages and other alerts will now display correctly.
  • Objects will be automatically rezzed under land group when possible.

Feedback

Adding Bluetooth support is an obvious step now Lumiya supports Voice, and while I was unable to test it myself (the only Bluetooth earpiece I have is a good decade old and has lain in a drawer for most of that time, and so unsurprisingly didn’t work when allowed to see light of day), the process appears simple enough.

A number of people have asked me about Lumiya and Bento. As I noted in my last Lumiya review, Alina is working on it, and probably the fairest time frame to put on it is that it will be released when it is ready 🙂 .

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Mistero and William: dimensions in art in Second Life

DiXmiX Gallery: Mistero Hifeng
DiXmiX Gallery: Mistero Hifeng

One display at DiXmiX Gallery for approximately a month, are two new exhibitions of art, one by Mistero Hifeng, and the second by William “Paperwork” Weaver.

Perhaps best known for his evocative 3D sculptures, which have become very much a feature of many regions across Second Life over the last few years, Mistero is no stranger to the gallery. Since it opened in September 2016, pieces from Megan Prumier’s personal collection of his work have been integrated into the overall design of the gallery as conceived by Megan, and Mistero has used her approach as the launchpad for his exhibition.

DiXmiX Gallery: Mistero Hifeng
DiXmiX Gallery: Mistero Hifeng

Located on the ground and mezzanine floors of the Grey Gallery at DiXmiX is a selection of some of Mistero’s more recent pieces mixed with some with which those familiar with his work may be familiar. But in addition to these is a display of his photography (which was his original reason for creating his first sculptures), offered in a large format, presenting visitors with a unique opportunity to see and appreciate Mistero’s artistry in both 2D and 3D.

Building on Megan’s idea of integrating his sculptures with the gallery structure, Mistero has a couple of pieces appearing to extrude themselves from pillar and ceiling, whilst throughout the hall, many of the other pieces make their presence felt almost peripherally. Rather than occupying the central floor spaces, they stand close to pillars, against guard rails. Thus, the visitor is made aware of their presence in the most subtle of ways as they allow Mistero’s 2D are to dominate the display spaces, naturally drawing attention to them before it naturally turns to the sculptures. Thus we are encouraged to appreciate both in turn, rather having 3D and 2D art vie for attention.

DiXmiX Gallery: William Weaver's The Paperwork Shows
DiXmiX Gallery: William Weaver’s The Paperwork Shows

Ensconced in the White Gallery at DiXmiX, which has been given something of a make-over for the event, is The Paperwork Shows, William Weaver’s exhibition, which officially opened on Saturday, January 14th, 2017.

An accomplished Second Life and physical world photographer, William is also responsible for the original Phototools for the Firestorm viewer, which expose the many and various photography and machinima related capabilities within the viewer, bringing them together within a neatly tabulated floater. Originally provided by William as a set of optional XML additions to Firestorm, were originally offered as a bolt-on option, Phototools were later fully integrated into Firestorm.

DiXmiX Gallery: William Weaver's The Paperwork Shows
DiXmiX Gallery: William Weaver’s The Paperwork Shows

With The Paperwork Shows, William offers a section of his 2D Second Life Art (some of which should be considered NSFW), and some of his 3D pieces. All of these are exhibited alongside two interactive elements; William’s own Photo Ring, and another featuring  a sculpture by Dolores Olivieri, both of which visitors to the exhibition can use to pose themselves and take their own photos.

The majority of the 2D art is offered at slideshows in the central display area of the White Gallery, although there are some individual pieces also on display, while one of the 3D elements is a model William built expressly for the purpose of photographing. He also provides a number of models to photographers  – some of which are in turn based on paintings or photographs – free of charge via the SL Marketplace.

DiXmiX Gallery: Mistero Hifeng
DiXmiX Gallery: Mistero Hifeng

Taken individually or together, there are two fascinating exhibitions, and both should be open for around a month. When visiting the gallery, do please consider a donation towards its continued upkeep, and be sure to catch Miles Cantelou’s exhibit which you can read about here) and Megan’s delightful aviation-themed gallery lounge.

SLurl Details

SL project updates 2017-2/2: Content Creation User Group with audio

The Content Creation User Group has re-formed out of the Bento User Group, and is held at the Hippotropolis Camp Fire Circle. Imp costumes entirely optional :D .
The Content Creation User Group has re-formed out of the Bento User Group, and is held at the Hippotropolis Campfire Circle. Imp costumes entirely optional 😀 .

The following notes are taken from the Content Creation User Group meeting, held on  Thursday January 12th, 2017 at 1:00pm SLT at the the Hippotropolis Campfire Circle. The meeting is chaired by Vir Linden, and agenda notes, etc, are available on the Content Creation User Group wiki page.

Core Topics

  • Bento request from Troy Linden.
  • Supplemental animations that run alongside the main animation (e.g., flapping wings while walking).
  • Possible future project – applying baked textures to mesh avatars.

Bento Request From Troy Linden

Troy Linden is preparing a presentation on Project Bento for an upcoming Second Life meeting within Linden Lab in which he plans to review the project, the interactions with content creators, the benefits this brought to the project, etc. In particular, he would like to demonstrate Bento content people are making and impress on LL’s executives how the project has been received, and how things might be followed-up.

To help with this, he is requesting that anyone with glamour shots of Bento avatars, etc., videos of avatars and Bento items  to contact him via IM to discuss and / or send him what they have (troy-at-lindenlab.com).

Supplemental Animations

Introduced in 2013, llSetAnimationOverride() is one of a series of animation commands keyed directly into the server’s animation states, allowing for faster, smoother animation state changes than with AO systems using the older llPlayAnimation() command. However, llSetAnimation() only allows one animation to be played  at a time for any given state, and this can lead to conflicts when trying to run custom animations as well (see BUG-41048 . An example of this is trying to use llSetAnimationOverride() to walk whilst using an animation to flap wings (below), which causes while the walk, set by llSetAnimationOverride(), to freeze in favour of running the wings flapping, as they are also seen as a locomotion animation.

Vir has identified two possible courses of action to deal with this. The first would be to extend llSetAnimationOverride() to allow “supplemental” animations to run alongside the animation states keyed by llSetAnimationOverride(), effectively allowing them to play together. The other would be to provide a means for people to define their own custom animation states (with associated animations) which the simulator would be able to recognise and handle alongside the existing animations states, rather than having the associated animation conflict with the default animation states.

No decision has been made on which route to take, and Vir is putting together a proposal on approaches, which he’ll put forward at a future meeting.

Applying Baked Textures to Mesh Avatars

This would allow the skin and clothing layers (skin, tattoo, under shirt, shirt, etc., “wearables”) to be directly applied to mesh avatars. In theory, this could be done, and could make it easier to do things like match skins between, say a mesh body and a non-mesh head without having to use applier systems. It could in theory even reduce the complexity of mesh avatars, which currently have to be made up of multiple layers (the so-called “onion meshes”).

 

A further benefit would be for non-human avatars a well. Providing the same UV is used across all elements of an avatar, it could allow creators to offer different pelts  / skins for their animal / creature avatars and, if they make their UV maps available to other creators, allow them to produce things like additional skins.

However, there are problems in proceeding this way.The baking service is capped at a limit of 512×512 texture resolution, which would mean a loss of detail trying to “stretch” such textures over a mesh avatar, which would result in the ability potentially being ignored in favour of using the current “onion mesh” and appliers approach.  It might also mean that wearable layers would be used in non-standard ways (e.g. using a “skirt” layer to apply a skin), which could lead to user confusion (“why am I using a skirt to wear a skin?”) – although this could be overcome by adding further wearable types specific for use with avatar meshes to the system.

An alternative would be to increase the texture resolution for the baking service to 1024×1024. While not entirely ruled out, it does carry with it a set of unknowns as well – what would be the back-end resource hit, could it lead to an uptick in texture trashing issues in the viewer, etc.).

Baking Textures on In-World Mesh and prim Surfaces

Part of the above discussion overlapped with the idea of allowing textures to be baked on arbitrary meshes (thus allowing for compositing, etc).

Vir noted that this would be a far more complex project due to the nature of the baking service, and thus would likely not be considered as a part of making changes to how system wearables might be applied to mesh avatars. However, he is interested in seeing feature requests on how this might be done and the benefits it would bring to SL, and a related JIRA – BUG-7486 – is in the process of being re-opened for comments along these lines.

Other Items

The latest version of Avastar is support of Bento is still undergoing testing. Those using it report it is behaving well, so hopefully a realise won’t be too far off.