This Weekend in Second Life Dance

One Billion Rising - February 14 2018

Hi there. R. Crap Mariner, your Dance Correspondent.

I’ll be posting dance performance schedules, similar to Inara’s posts about Seanchai Library readings. We’ll start with the weekend events for now.

And, yeah, I’ll try to get this up On Friday morning, not Saturday morning. Sorry, Elysium Cabaret!

Let’s get started…

(All times SLT)

Friday February 16

10:00AM – Misfit Follies

Misfit Dance & Performance Art presents: Misfit Follies – A showcase of Theatre Dance Art.

6:00PM – Elysium Cabaret

Elysium Cabaret – Welcome to the Weekend!

If it’s Friday, it’s Elysium Cabaret! Fancy some imagination? In The Empire Room at Copperhead Road, every Friday at 6pm SLT the dynamic performers of Elysium Cabaret take the stage to bring you a solid hour of entertainment! Featuring elaborate sets and choreography sequenced to an eclectic genre of music, Elysium Cabaret offers something for everyone. Grab your friends and get their early because the sim fills. Come celebrate Friday! Welcome to the weekend!

Elysium Cabaret - February 9 2018

Saturday February 17

1:00PM – Dance Queens Showcase

(NOTE: If you’re looking for a good introduction to dance performance in Second Life, this is a good sampler of a lot of excellent performers and groups)

Join us for this special event as some of the best dancers and choreographers from around the grid come together to celebrate the love of dance. A beautiful variety of acts from class to sass and everything in between, gathering for the sole purpose of entertainment and awe.

Things are a bit different this time but same kind of fun! This time the directors will be Immy (imrhien.fargis) and Tray Porthos. The DJ will be Ame (amethyst.starostin).

1:00PM – Moonstone Theatre

(NOTE: If DQ is full, head over to here. Klark puts together a rock-solid group of performances. I’m hoping that someone’s filming it while I’m at the DQ show.)

Moonstone Theatre presents: Iconic Music and Dance Scenes
A collaboration from choreographers across the grid.

3:00PM – Centre Stage

From Broadway to Burlesque and everything in between, Centre Stage brings you a feast for the senses served by its all male cast of Choreographers, Dancers and Set Designers. A variety for your entertainment! We offer touring performances as well as having our home venue. Everyone welcome! No dress code.

Please Join Us for Our Premiere Performance.

Centre Stage

6:00PM – Whymsee Noir

For the Let’s Dance show, we trade in our sets for MORE dancing and LESS wait time between songs! There will be lots of wiggling, dancing, physics, and a little dazzle thrown in for good measure! Dance along with us or have a seat in our comfy chairs, we like it when you watch! No naked avatars, just dancing. Come to the show and see what all the fuss is about!

7:00PM – Moulin Rouge

LIVE – Great Legends

This Show showcases songs of Talented Stars that left us before their time. We have decided to honor those talented trail blazers that braved the trail for us: and left their mark on our hearts.

Semi-formal or formal is always acceptable or dress within theme of the show for the night. Thank you!

7:00PM – Desire Arts

(NOTE: I’ve had some interesting and eye-opening conversations with Pathmaker, which will appear here in an article. If you’re into the erotic or challenging side of performance art, you do not want to miss this one. And if you’re not, this might get you interested in that aspect of Second Life performance. // If you miss this show, most of the acts will return next week for the encore performance.)

Desire Arts Dancers do a monthly “after hours” show. Starting at 7pm slt. We bring you the performance quality at our Saturday shows, with more skin… little less costume. Some acts do contain adult content.

As an “Arts” theatre (and gallery) Desire Arts will be a venue perfectly suited for SL Performers wishing to express themselves through live performances, through Dance, Art Exhibits, Performance Art as well as Dramatic Presentations.

Also, Presentations of a controversial nature (including those involving sex, politics and/or religion) will be presented separately from the Dance Program.

Sunday February 18

6:00AM – Club IMAGE


We have beautiful dance shows on Sundays at 6 am SLT.  Join us at Club IMAGE ! It’s worth getting up early! Grab your friends and morning coffee!
Enjoy one of the finest dance shows on Second Life.

(NOTE: Get there early. Fills fast. Set your particles to eleventy billion.)

Club Image - February 4 2018

9:00AM – Muse Dance Company

(NOTE: Anu Papp of Muse Dance Company and I talked a while back, and the article is here. // I saw a preview of this one, and it’s excellent. There will be an encore performance next week, and I hope they sneak in an extra on-demand performance if the sims are full each time.)

Fiddler on the Roof, a musical

Fiddler on the Roof returns to the Muse Theater! This Tony-winning production, being presented by the | muse | dance company features stunning movements and dance by choreographer Anu Papp. Mark your calendars! You don’t want to this all time favorite show!

Photos for Muse Interview at

12:00PM – Oasis

Re-Opening Concert Hall – and after party with DJ Maik

1:00PM – Debauche

NOTE: I’ve got an interview in the works for Laura and Severina for this group, and I’m looking forward to getting it polished up and ready for y’all.

Debauche return once again to the beautiful theatre at Rookswood. So humbled, so honoured that this was built specially for us. We always have a great show at Rookswood with a wonderful, lively atmosphere and a great audience. Why not come and share in the Debauchery with us?

Dress smart casual please.

Debauche - February 11 2018

4:00PM – Kiki’s House of Burlesque

(NOTE: I caught the season opener of this lineup, and it’s their 5th anniversary show. Really good and racy, costumes well selected and sparse, excellent sets… get there early.)

Treat yourself and your partner to a day out at our lavish playhouse. Beautiful, dancers swaying to a variety of tunes. Professionally choreographed dances and sets with a wide range of costumes. Entertainment, Topless, Adult, Shows, Cabaret

5:00PM – Winds of the Sahara

(NOTE: Lina performs here a lot, and I’ve got an article on her new Gypsy Rose Burlesque Theater coming soon.)

Each Sunday we have a shiny, new show at Winds of the Sahara Theater. Our dances range from burlesque to performance art and you are sure to be amazed at all of the wonder that sets, costumes and music can create. We’ll put sparkles in your eyes and leave sequins on your shirt collars.

7:00PM – The Art Factory

The Art Factory presents Latin Nights

Music by Pitbull, Ricky Martin, Shakira, and More!

The Art Factory - Latin Nights - February 7 2018

Please check with the Dance Queens event calendar for updates and additions to the weekend’s schedule, as well as the many events that happen during the week.

2018 Sansar Product Meetings week #7: on-boarding and audience

Mario2 Helstein’s M2D City, location for the Thursday, February 15th, 2018

The following notes are taken from the Sansar Product Meeting held at 16:00 PST on Thursday, February 15th, 2018. are open to anyone to attend, are a mix of voice (primarily) and text chat, and there is currently no set agenda.Dates and times are currently floating, so check the Meet-up Announcements and the Sansar Atlas events sections each week. Official notes, when published can be found here.

Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the Tuesday, February 13th Product Meeting for week #7.

New User / On-Boarding Process

As noted in recent Sansar project updates (see 2018 week #3 for example), this is a priority for the Lab: making the new user sign-up and on-boarding smoother, possibly with fewer steps and hopefully (in the future) providing the means for experience owners to engage directly with their own audience through the events listing, their own web page with a URL to their experience and bring that audience of new users directly into their own experiences.  The Lab has been looking at a number of possible options for direct on-boarding, including something akin to Second Life’s Social and Learning islands.

Introducing Sansar to an Audience

Related to on-boarding is the idea of how to introduce Sansar to a new audience. Like Second Life, Sansar isn’t a game; there are no goals to work towards, no achievements to gain, no quests to be completed per se (although individual experiences can obviously include these). Therefore, providing videos, live streams, etc., which might help newcomers understand Sansar is a difficult topic to encompass.

  • One suggestion is to focus on the common elements within Sansar – such as the form-form ability to create environments, or the ability to participate in the economy either as a creator or a consumer (or indeed, a consumer-creator), and make “let’s play” style videos.
    • This could would well for the consumer-creator especially: showing how someone not versed in Maya, Blender, ZPaint, etc., can enter Sansar, come up with an experience idea, purchase items through the store and then create an experience and using the Edit Mode to lay things out and then set-up an Atlas presence and bring people into that space.
  • A problem with a “creation” perspective videos is that they might only appeal to a small percentage of a potential audience – simply because a) creation is complex in Sansar (even for the consumer-creator) in using the Edit Mode; and b) many people are looking for more-or-less for instant gratification. So having a focus on what people might find and do could be more effective.
  • Another suggestion is to have videos of the community meet-ups and the Top Five videos better promoted.

Audience Identification and Outreach

Part of the problem with encouraging an audience into Sansar is actually identifying that audience. Again, this is not a “one stop shop” like a conventional game. Those running a social environment for discussions and conversation in Sansar aren’t necessarily seeking the same audience as those making a learning or historical experience, who in turn aren’t necessarily going to be looking to the same audience as a sci-fi role-play experience. Thus, consideration must be given to experience creators finding their own channels to reach their preferred audience – be it YouTube or some other video outlet, forums, etc.

Is Sansar Ready for a Bigger Audience?

This is a chicken-and-egg question: users are need to drive adoption and grow content. Content is needed to attract users and engagement – content here not only being experiences and mesh models etc., but the platform’s capabilities: users being able to interact with one another and with the environment, etc. Right now, and in many respects, Sansar isn’t ready for a broader audience, simply because it isn’t capable of supporting these broader / deeper levels of activity. Focused communities cannot easily be managed, for example, because there is no mechanism (platform content / capability) to be able to do so.

This is already potentially leading to people visiting Sansar and walking away with the impression it is just a pretty place with nothing to do – so how to engage with these people and encourage them back needs to be considered and made a part of thinking, rather than – for the time being at least – simply looking to try to attract people in from elsewhere in greater numbers, by it from the world at large or SL or other platforms.

Social aspect of Sansar are picking up – look at the events listings during the week (not so much at weekends as yet). However, these can be very close-knit (for example, the preference is for voice chat, not text – which can be off-putting for those who do not wish to use – and equally importantly, if often overlooked – people who do not wish to hear chatter. Voice, frankly can be off-putting socially, simply because so many people don’t have the wherewithal to toggle their microphones off when not speaking, often leaving disconcerting background noise, conversations with other in the physical world with them, and so on.

On-Boarding / New Users Focus Group Discussion

On-boarding is liable to be the subject of a focus group meeting in the near future.

In Brief

  • Experience access control: currently, access to an experience can be limited to those on the creator’s Friends list. The next element – possibly to be rolled-out in the March update (ish) will be the ability to govern access via a white list of names. Anyone not listed for access won’t see the experience on their Atlas.
  • Sansar roadmap: this will likely be a focus for the Product Meet-ups in week #8 (commencing Monday, February 19th, 2018).
  • Improved object interactions: the ability to touch-interact with objects (e,g, touch a book and it opens, click a switch and a lights come on, etc)., are being worked on – but the Lab is sensitive to developing these capabilities so that such capabilities can be scaled and grow to meet a broad a range of needs as possible, rather than pushing the capabilities out quickly “to give people something to do”, and then having to revise them, possibly breaking content.
  • Windows Mix Reality Headsets: some people have been trying Windows Mixed Reality headsets with Sansar. While Sansar doesn’t officially support these headsets, people are finding the work, but the avatar arms don’t respond to the user’s hand / arm movements, even those the available VR interaction (picking up objects, etc), does work.

2018 SL UG updates #7/2: CCUG and Project Arctan

Queen of Dragons? Surrounded by Animesh dragons by Wanders Nowhere and used by Lucia Nightfire as Animesh test models

The following notes are primarily taken from the Content Creation User Group meeting, held on  Thursday, February 15th, 2018 at 13:00 SLT. For the purposes of Animesh testing, the meetings have relocated to the Animesh4 region on Aditi, the beta grid – look for the seating area towards the middle of the region. The meeting is chaired by Vir Linden, and agenda notes, etc, are usually available on the Content Creation User Group wiki page.

Medhue Simoni streamed the meeting, and his video is appended to the end of this update. Timestamps in the text will open the video in a separate browser tab at the relevant point in the meeting. As always, these notes cover the core points of discussion, and my thanks to Medhue for recording it.

Bakes on Mesh

Project Summary

Extending the current avatar baking service to allow wearable textures (skins, tattoos, clothing) to be applied directly to mesh bodies as well as system avatars. This involves server-side changes, including updating the baking service to support 1024×1024 textures, and may in time lead to a reduction in the complexity of mesh avatar bodies and heads. The project is in two phases:

  • The current work to update the baking service to support 1024×1024 textures on avatar meshes.
  • An intended follow-on project to actually support baking textures onto avatar mesh surfaces (and potentially other mesh objects as well). This has yet to fully defined in terms of implementation and when it might be slotted into SL development time frames.

This work does not include normal or specular map support, as these are not part of the existing baking service.

Current Status

    • A reminder that this will not initially include Animesh as the Baking Service requires an avatar shape, which Animesh currently does not support.
    • There is a lot of confusion about this project and what it will do, so an overview document has been suggested.
      • One example of some confusion: Anchor linden mentions being able to “upload 1024 textures” – this is actually a reference to the Baking Service supporting 1024×1024 textures, not to users uploading 1024 textures (because they are already supported).
    • [5:21] The target date for completing this first phase of this work is the end of March 2018.
    • [12:09-22:15] Alpha layer and Alpha masking discussion:
      • [12:09-13:55] A means to hide the system avatar has yet to be determined, but Anchor hopes to focus on this in the course of the next week.
      • [13:06-15:44] One suggestion for this is to have a new “avatar” alpha mask which would allow specific parts of the system avatar to be hidden in a similar manner to how it is currently handled (e.g. to allow the body to be hidden when using a mesh body, but the head exposed, for those not using a mesh head).
      • [13:55-15:44] These updates should allow elements of a mesh body to be hidden much as can be done with the system avatar, possibly eliminating the need to break the avatar into multiple faces which can be individually masked. However, this has yet to be tested.
      • [19:05-22:15] Repeat that alpha layering via the Baking Service (e.g. make-up / tattoo layers), and full alpha masking (e.g. hiding an entire body / body part) should work with mesh avatars exactly the same was as for system avatars at present (again, as per above, without the need for the mesh itself to have multiple faces which can be individually masked).
    • [22:56-24:46] Clothing layers when applied to a mesh body should hopefully work as per the system avatar (e.g. “jacket” layers are applied over “shirt” layer, which are applied over “underwear” layers, with the last worn item in each layer being uppermost and the most visible.
  • [25:56-27:37] Discussion on wearable layers for specific mesh models, branding and creator / user understanding.

Project ARCTan

[3:55-5:03] This is the code-name for the project to re-evaluate object and avatar rendering costs. It also now falls under Graham Linden’s leadership as a part of the overall rendering system work.

[32:02-34:06] Oz explains the function of the project, and the fact that originally, the weightings (land impact / avatar complexity) applied to avatars and in-world objects, were somewhat biased to allow for the simulator having to handle a lot of texture, etc., transfers to the viewer (so for example, avatar complexity include texture counts, LI doesn’t). As all of this data now goes via the CDNs, rather than the simulators, this bias can be removed, and the actual costs of rendering complex objects made (hopefully) a lot more accurate and thus promote better content creation.

[34:48-35:48] There are currently no details of how LI / avatar complexity values may change, as the Lab is still gathering data at this point in time in order to make informed decisions on how best to revised the calculations.

[35:51-37:04] For Animesh this means the project will be released with an initial land impact calculation assigned to it for objects. However, as with the rest of SL, these may be subject to change as a result of the work on Project Arctan. See this Animesh forum comment from Vir for more.

  • [39:59-43:30] In brief: the value for Animesh will primarily be based on tri count based on the high detail LOD version of the mesh, with Medium,, Low and Lowest having less of an impact in pushing up the overall LI. This will be added to a basic cost component for driving an avatar skeleton (uniform across all Animesh objects). Again, no precise values are available as yet, as LL are still performance testing.

[37:07-39:40] Land Impact: obviously, Land Impact changes are potentially disruptive. To ease this, the Lab plan to add code to the simulator and the viewer to calculate the new LI values but not enforce them. Instead the data on LI using the new calculations will be gathered with data on the existing values, and the Lab will then assess how many parcels they might push over their LI capacity (and thus force object returns) and by how much, were the new values to be enforced. Depending on the overall impact, they will look at increasing region land capacity to compensate to some degree.

So, for example, if the new calculations so parcels will on average go over their LI limit by 10% under the new calculations, region LI might be increased by 15% to compensate. Then, for those who still exceed their limit, there will be a period of grace when then can consolidate and bring their LI use within the limit of the revised calculations before the latter are enforced.

Overall, the Lab is extremely aware of the risks in altering LI values, and will be approaching this work carefully to try to avoid it having a major negative impact with object returns, etc.

Animesh Updates

  • Some of the Animesh test regions on Aditi (animesh1 through Animesh4, Animesh Adult and Animesh XL, have become more sandbox than testing areas (including being used for non-Animesh items). To prevent this, the regions are to start being cleaned-up, auto-return made a little more aggressive and warnings that they are only for Animesh are to be added to the About Land descriptions.
  • [50:52-51:50] Worn Animesh Limit:  there shouldn’t be an LI cap on worn Animesh, although the limit of only wearing one Animesh at a time remains in place pending performance testing results.

Other Items

Rendering Improvements and Fixes

[2:10-3:50] The Lab recently split work on the viewer’s rendering pipe into a separate viewer development branch (Project Render, with a project viewer – version, dated February 9th at the time of writing – currently available).  Graham Linden, a long-time Linden, will be working on rendering updates more-or-less full-time going forward. He’ll be looking at things like increasing rendering stability, fixing bugs, and potentially other aspects of the rendering system.