Maison de L’amitie in Second Life

Maison de L’amitie – click any image for full size

Update, September 2019: Update: Maison de L’amitie has relocated.

I first visited Maison de L’amitie a year ago in April 2016. For reasons that escape me, I never actually blogged about it. So a suggestion from Shakespeare that Caitlyn and I should head on over came as a timely reminder.

As I recall (with the aid of photos taken at the time), a year ago Maison de L’amitie presented a rural scene with windmills, vines and lots of green. A year on and the region – designed by Corina Wonder with help from  Lan Erin – now presents a seafront environment which, although surrounded on all four sides by water, suggests that the land should actually continue to the south-east, where it otherwise falls sharply into the sea.

Maison de L’amitie

It is a place evocative of sea-side vacation destinations; much of the region is given over to water to form a natural bay which reflects a golden-hued sky. Sand bars to the south and west protect the bay on two sides. These form two broad, low beaches, the one to the south adjoining a sharp upthrust of land against which a little village sits. Running before this, and separating it from a sandy waterfront, is a wide road overlooking a line of rowing boats moored just off-shore, watched over by cormorants, gulls and a pelican.

The little hamlet – has a decidedly Mediterranean look to it: whitewashed walls fading from the effects of the sun and air doubtless heavy with sea-salt, sitting under red-tiled roofs. The houses and villa occupy a set of terraces stepping up the hill, a broad stone stairway dissecting them. On the lowest tier, at the roadside, sits a cosy-looking villa hotel. above and behind it are more houses – perhaps chalet-style accommodation for the guest of the hotel. The uppermost terrace is the home of a small chapel and the remnants of other buildings, their broken walls adding a certain charm to the island while suggesting a history lies here awaiting discovery.

Maison de L’amitie

Down on the waterfront, the road crosses the water via the triple arches of a sturdy stone bridge to arrive at a grand château. Sitting amidst tidy lawns with trim yew bushes on parade either side of the wide footpath lading up to it, the château appears to have been converted into a ballet school, and offers a commanding view out over the bay from this windows and from its well-tended lawns.

And out on the bay, boats lie at anchor, two single-masted sailing boats, a motor-cruiser, a fishing boats and – a commanding presence among all of them – a three-masted corvette. This sits with sails furled, far enough out to suggest it is standing guard over the bay and the little hamlet. Another protector can be found at the end of the western sand bar, looking out towards the corvette, warding boats away from the risk of running aground.

Maison de L’amitie

Maison de L’amitie is a place for meandering, unhurried exploration. The beaches offer  space to walk on golden sand, coupled with little snuggle points on  or under old rowing boats or on blankets just above the edge of the tide. A little book store between beach and village presents a place for browsing, while a short walk beyond it and around the headland, the broken finger of an old lighthouse lies forlornly at the foot of the hill against which the village has been built. Elsewhere lies a chance to see inside the workshop of a craftsman who makes surf boards, and everywhere are opportunities for photographs.

For those who wish to rez props for use with photos, a land group is available to join – either accept via the greeter at the landing point or step into the reception at the hotel, where you can touch the visitor counter up on the gallery overlooking the reception desk, and join the group. Should you enjoy your visit, please consider a donation towards the continued upkeep of the region for others to enjoy.

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Artful Expressions in Second Life: Pan and Sven

Artful Expressions: Pan

The April exhibition at Artful Expressions, the boutique gallery curated by Sorcha Tyles, opened on Saturday, April 1st, 2017. This month, it’s an all boys affair, featuring Panteleimon Aeon and Sven.

Up until now, exhibitions at the gallery have tended towards offering pairings of artists whose work tend to be complementary to one another. This has always added depth to a visit, encouraging one to compare and appreciate both styles on display and consider them as both individual portfolios and a join exhibition, flowing one to another.  With Pan and Sven, Sorcha has shifted things a notch:  Pan focus on avatar studies, while Sven leans more to landscape images; thus presenting two contrasting portfolios of images, each of which are fascinating in their own right.

Artful Expressions: Pan

Pan’s work is visually striking, combining a sense of posed set piece with natural flavour. The result is that while each may well have been composed, so to could each have been easily caught as a moment from the subject’s life; a frozen instant of an unfolding story, the subject unaware they have been so captured.

As regular readers know, I’m strongly attracted to images with contain a narrative, and Pan’s work easy contains entire novel in each image. They draw us into the story, opening the floodgates of the imagination so that we become enwrapped, filling out the back story to these people, their surrounding, and what brought them to this moment in time. These are images to be admired from an artistic standpoint as well; the use of light and shadow, the muted toning, the use of perspective, depth of field, rule of thirds, framing – all play a role in attracting us to these moments in time.

Artful Expressions: Sven

Across the central aisle of the gallery space, Sven also presents nine images, but these are focused on the places in Second Life he has visited and appreciated. “I am definitely no professional by any means. [This is] merely a hobby that I enjoy,” he states disarmingly of his work.

He may not by a professional – after all, how many of us are? – but that doesn’t negate his eye or his style. All of the pieces are again evocative in presenting the scenes they have captured. They also draw us to them, stirring thoughts and imagination, tempting us to wonder at what we might find were we to enter the worlds they offer us and encouraging us to check the pictures for the location names in a desire to visit them (and yes, the names are given).

Artful Expressions: Sven

And did I say these were two contrasting styles? Well, perhaps they are; but they are also drawn together into a cohesive whole by Pan. He has included a single, striking landscape in his set of images. It serves as a natural, subtle link between his display and Sven’s.

Both Pan and Sven will be on display at Artful Expressions until the end of the month. Don’t forget you can also enjoy an ever-changing display of Sorcha’s work on the ground floor of the gallery.

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SL project updates 2017 14/1: server, viewer

Orcadi Islandblog post

Server Deployments

As always, please refer to the server deployment thread for the latest information.

  • On Tuesday, April 4th, the Main (SLS) channel received the server maintenance package previously deployed to the three RC channels in week #13, comprising a small update to asset metrics stats logging.
  • On Wednesday, April 5th, the three RC channels should all receive a new server maintenance package which includes a new option in the estate settings which allows parcel owners to override the public access settings for all parcels in the estate. However, this change is pending a viewer update in order to make it visible to users.

SL Viewer

The Maintenance RC viewer updated to version on Monday, April 3rd. This viewer as a number of updates and improvements, which I reviewed in a recent post (albeit for the earlier version of the viewer).

Outside of this, the release of the LL viewer pipeline remains unchanged:

  • Current Release version, dated March 13th – snapshots to e-mail hotfix
  • Release channel cohorts:

    • Voice RC viewer version released on March 20th – several improvements to voice
  • Project viewers:
    • Project AssetHttp project viewer, version dated  March 30th – This viewer moves fetching of several types of assets to HTTP / CDN – overview
    • Project Alex Ivy (LXIV), 64-bit project viewer, version dated March 17th
    • 360-degree snapshot viewer, version dated November 23rd, 2016 – ability to take 360-degree panoramic images – hands-on review
  • Obsolete platform viewer version dated May 8th, 2015 – provided for users on Windows XP and OS X versions below 10.7.

Region Capacity and Access

On Tuesday, April 4th the Lab announced increases of between 10% and 25% on the number of avatars can enter a region, the exact percentage depending on the region type. These percentages apply to the default maximum number of avatars each type of region (Full, Homestead and Open Space), and to the limit imposed by the region owner. They also include other changes – refer to the official blog post (or my own) for further information.

Commenting on the change at the Simulator User Group meeting, Oz linden pointed out the change was made as an attempt to respond to multiple requests made at the SUG meetings for accessing full regions to be “improved”. Hints were given that the approach might be further refined  / updated in the future.