SL project updates week 36/1: server, viewer

Savor Serenity; Inara Pey, August 2017, on FlickrSavor Serenityblog post

Server Deployments Week 36

Please refer to the deployment notice for the week for latest updates and news.

SL Viewer

  • On Tuesday, September 5th, the Alex Ivy 64-bit RC viewer updated to version
  • On Friday, September 1st, the Voice RC viewer updated to version
  • On Thursday, August 31st, a new version of the Maintenance RC viewer was released, version, replacing the earlier version, pulled shortly after release due to BUG-134213, [Maint: Moonshine] breaks clickable functionality for certain HUDs.

The rest of the viewer release pipelines remain unchanged from the end of week #35:

  • Current Release version, dated August 9, promoted August 23 – formerly the Maintenance RC
  • Project viewers:
  • Obsolete platform viewer version, dated May 8, 2015 – provided for users on Windows XP and OS X versions below 10.7.

Feature Request

The Lab  welcomes well thought-out and present feature request via the Second Life JIRA. Not every feature request is accepted – which is not the same as saying they aren’t looked at / considered. Commenting on how and when requests are taken up, coming out os a conversation about script functions, Simon Linden had this to say:

We have a long list of “it would be nice to do” script features. We don’t make final decisions on anything until we get to the point where we’d actually work on them. There’s always a tough choice which one is the best thing to spend limited time on.

When we look at features, we have to juggle how hard it might be to implement, if it’s going to affect a narrow or broad set of customers, if it’s really a new thing or something you might already be able to do (most often with scripting features), potential for lag, griefing or privacy problems, how much would break, etc.



A Reverse Perspective on art in Sansar

Sansar: Reverse Perspective Gallery

Art is a popular aspect of Second Life, and as anyone who reads this blog regularly knows, I enjoy following elements of the SL art world. So I’ve been curious to see just what might pop-up in terms of art within Sansar, and wasn’t at all surprised to see many SL 3D artists applying for the Creator Preview – among them Livio Korobase, Cica Ghost, Moya, and Bryn Oh. However, I was recently drawn to one 3D art exhibition in particular, which has  – literally – a most unusual perspective.

The Reverse Perspective Art gallery popped into my consciousness on Friday, September 1st, when I noticed it sitting high up in the Atlas listings. My interest was further piqued when, chatting at one of the Product meet-ups that same day,  Sansar user Gindipple stated how much he had enjoyed a visit, and offered it as a possible venue for a future Sansar social meet-up. So, off I went to have a look.

Sansar / Patrick Hughes: Reverse perspective: the doorway at the “end” of the tunnel is actually nearest to the observer

Designed by JackTheRipper, the gallery features reproductions of eye-crossing 3D art by Patrick Hughes of the UK. Hughes is famous for his “reverspective” art – 3D pieces in which the parts of which seem farthest away are actually physically the nearest to the observer.

He achieves this by using one or more 4-sided pyramids, ranged side-by-side and with their tops cut flat. These protrude outward from their picture frame, and have the points “closest” to the observer painted or placed on the sloping sides of the pyramid(s) and the points the furthest from the observer painted or placed on the flat tops.

This results in the described optical illusion: the parts of the art on the tops of pyramid appear to be furthest away from the observer, while the elements of the pictures on the sloping sides of the pyramids appear to be much closer to the observer – as if the complete image is inset into the frame holding it, rather than protruding outward from it. A further optical effect can be achieved by moving from side-to-side in front of one of Hughes’ works (or by turning one’s head gently from side to side), which results in the picture appearing to “move” and change perspective from the observer’s viewpoint.

All of this is perfectly recaptured within the Reverse Perspective Art gallery, where  some sixteen pieces are arranged in a minimalist, but effective, setting of four corridors arranged into a square, the images displayed on either wall of each hall. Ideally viewed using a VR headset (where only slight head movements are required to witness the optical effects of the images), the gallery can also be enjoyed in Desktop mode in one of two ways.

Sansar: Reverse Perspective Gallery– the stores appear to be close to the camera, the high-rise buildings further away

The first is to follow the instructions provided next to the experience spawn point: switch to first-person mode (F3) and walk to the red triangle before an image, face it, and then walk to the left and right. The camera will move smoothly left/right across the picture as you do so, revealing its optical illusion.

The second, if you are reasonably proficient in free-flying the camera, is to tap F4 and do so, advancing down the corridor, turning to face each picture and then sliding left/right – remember you can fine tune (slow down) your camera motion speed using the numeric pad minus (-) key. When viewing the pictures, it’s best to move left/right in front of them in one fluid movement, rather than via repeatedly tapping either arrow key or A/D. This will reveal the optical effects of each image more perfectly.

Sansar: Reverse Perspective Gallery – showing how the image is produced, the “foreground” shops are painted on the sides of the pyramids. The “far away” high-rise buildings on the pyramid tops

Simple in presentation, this is nevertheless an effective demonstration of Hughes’ art, and demonstrates yet another way in which an artist’s work can potentially reach a much wider audience and be enjoyed as intended, than might otherwise be the case.

Experience URL

Fantasy art and Fragmented Visions

Commune Utopia: Dilligraf (M8TY)

Open at the Art Meadow at Commune Utopia is an exhibition of images by Dilligraf (M8TY). It features sixteen studies of female avatars, each presented in something of a fantasy form, and they are all quite stunning.  Nudity is present in some of the pictures, but not, I would venture to suggest, enough to make any of the NSFW.

These really are superb pieces, a rich mix of full length, partial and head-and-shoulder studies. Each is beautifully produced and presented, and each has a story to tell – some quite evocatively so. I confess to having been quite captivated by all of them, but one in particular caught my attention and held it again on a repeat visit. Essence of Time (below, right), is an extraordinary piece – which is not to diminish any of the others in any way.

Commune Utopia: Dilligraf (M8TY)

Also open now, but at the Surreal Dreaming gallery is Fragmented Visions, a series of eight images by Norton Lykin.

“Reflecting on nature. love, perception and cognition I see clearly that what we perceive as reality is a flux depending on our ideas, history and conditioning,” Norton states in the notes accompanying the images. “That the present moment feeds us with all kind of possible realities. Throughout this there is one stable factor, love, which can take us trough everything, love of this being which in its imperfection is perfect, wholesome. We are in this journey called life given the opportunity to be open and question our ideas and the histories we tell and this is my project.”

Surreal Dreaming: Norton Lykin

All of the images are best viewed with the viewer’s Advanced Lighting Model (ALM) enabled. Seven of the images offer almost abstract interpretations of scenes,each of them using either bold colours or vertical and square overlays. The result is a striking – if hard to interpret – series of images presented in a large format.

The eighth, entitled Towards the Light, is  a marvellous use of a fresco-like form, layered textures to create a fabulous sense of depth and reflection. It’s absolutely essential to view this with ALM active – and to camera from side to side before the image to full appreciate with artistry and depth within it.

Surreal Dreaming: Norton Lykin

Both of these exhibition make for an interesting visit, and both are small enough to be enjoyed as a pair of back-to back visits.

SLurl Details