Avatar studies at Club LA and Gallery

Club LA and Gallery: Lyra Romanas

Now open at Club LA and Gallery, curated by Fuyuko ‘冬子’ Amano (Wintergeist), are two small exhibitions by Lyra Romanas and Io Bechir. Both offer avatar self-studies, and whilst very individual in styles and approach; they complement one another in a side-by-side exhibition.

“As an artist, I am first and foremost driven by an inner creative force, something captures my interest, a process takes form and a journey starts towards a finish product,” Lyra says of her work. “I like to explore my creativity through different platforms, such as painting, drawing, sculpturing, graphics, photography, digital art etc. I developed an interest for digital art mainly through SL, a wonderful playground when it comes to creating fantasies and make them come to life in a picture.”

Club LA and Gallery: Lyra Romanas

Contained within a small studies or workspace, the images are presented in a space suggestive of an artist’s workspace, albeit without all the clutter. Thus, in entering this space, it is as though we’re entering Lyra’s own space to appreciate her art even as she is creating.

Of the images, they stand both as individual pieces and also as three stories, each of four frames apiece, and which we are invited to imagine and extend. In this, they are very much reflective of Lyra’s approach to her art: offering pictures that are very much alive, and very much in the moment, as Lyra notes. “I have a formal art education. But when I create I follow no rules or guidelines regarding my art, I just go with what’s right in the moment.”

Club LA and Gallery: Io Bechir

Across the hallway can be found Io’s selection of art, which might be considered NSFW, involving nudity as it does. I’ve been a fervent admirer of Io’s work since first encountering it, and am always pleased to have the opportunity of seeing more of it. Her self-portraits are always richly evocative and rich a narrative, and the seven images she presents here more than demonstrate this.

Each of the seven has its own story to tell, but I confess that of all of them, Three Hours Early (seen above, right) utterly captivated me; the composition of the image is simply sublime, and the depth of emotion caught within it utterly stunning.

Club LA and Gallery: Io Bechir

Both Io and Lyra will be on display at Club LA through until October, and can currently be seen alongside the photography of Carolyn Phoenix / Sirenis, which I reviewed in August 2018.

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Sansar: September R25 release

The new look Look Book, a small part of the Sansar September R25 release

On Monday, September 10th, Linden Lab issued Sansar release 25 (R25), entitled the Shop, Gift, & Spend Release. As the name suggests, the focus is on shopping and gifting Sansar dollars – although there is more to this release than commerce activities.

I provided an overview of some the new features on August 30th, 2018, based on information provided at a Sansar Product Meeting. This article looks at some of these features in more detail, as well as the other elements in the release. Note that as I do not own a VR headset, these reviews primarily focus on using Sansar in Desktop Mode.

The full release notes for R25 are available here.

Look Book / Avatar Updates

The first noticeable change with the release is with Look Book – which users will be delivered to the first time they log-in to Sansar following the update. A new background image has been added to the Look Book, replacing the blue screen (as shown in this article’s banner image). The background places your avatar into a living room style space, offering a cosier setting when adjusting your look.

In addition, VR users will no longer have to revert to Desktop mode in order to adjust their avatar in Look Book, bu can now do so whilst in VR, including making adjustments to clothing made using Marvelous Designer, as shown in the video below, courtesy of the Sansar team at Linden Lab.

Adjusting Marvelous Designer clothing in Look Book using VR. Footage courtesy of Linden Lab.

Additional Avatar Updates

  • Comfort Zone Changes:
    • The comfort zone now applies in first person desktop mode as well as to VR.
    • The Comfort Zone is now disabled by default to all incoming new users starting from this release. However, all pre-existing comfort zone settings will still persist.
    • Comfort zone options for Friends and non-Friends can be found by scrolling to the bottom of the Settings panel (More Options …  > Settings).
  • Teleport sound: A sound can be heard by everyone when someone teleports nearby.
  • New dance animations: type /dance3 or /dance4 for new dances.

Store Updates

The R25 updates sees two enhancements to the Sansar Store:

  • The ability to browse the Store from within the client.
  • A new shopping cart.

Browsing the Store in the Client

Accessed via the new shopping bag icon in the top right icon set of the client (show below, right), the store functions almost as it does within a web browser.

In desktop mode, once open, it is possible to scroll through item thumbnails, select categories via the drop-down, sort listings via drop-down (both of which are shown open in the image below), while clicking on an item will open the full listing in a pop-up panel (again shown below).

However, as it is not currently possible to make purchases via the client version of the store, clicking on the Buy button will take you to the Sansar Store web listing for the item, where a purchase can be made. The ability to make purchases through the client version of the store will hopefully be part of a future update.

Accessing the store through the client and viewing items (click on the thumbnail, as per the web version, to display a pop-up item listing). Purchases must be made through the web Store for now via an automatic transfer when clicking the Buy button

Shopping Cart

The Sansar Store shopping cart appears in the web version of the Store only at present, and is located in the top right corner of the browser tab. When empty, it is displayed as a plain white cart icon. However a small running total of items is displayed as items are added, as seen below, top right.

Items are added by viewing them and then clicking the Add To Cart button, which will change to Added To Cart when the item has been added (along with the item count icon in the shopping cart incrementing).

When items are in the cart, click it will display a drop-down list (again shown in the image below), allowing individual items to be removed or the entire cart emptied or for all items to be purchased and delivered to your inventory (assuming there are sufficient account funds on hand).

The shopping cart (icon top right). Items are added by clicking the Add to Cart button in a listing, which then changes to Added to Cart. Individual items can be removed using the X option alongside them. The Buy button will complete the purchase / delivery of all items, providing you have sufficient S$ on account

When using the shopping cart, note that at present item quantities in the cart cannot be adjusted.

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