The natural beauty of oYo’s art in Second Life

Club LA and Gallery: oYo

Opening on Saturday October 13th, 2018 on the mezzanine level at Club LA and Gallery, curated by Fuyuko ‘冬子’ Amano (Wintergeist) is an exhibition of photography by  oYo (Oyona). Offering a mix of landscape and avatar studies, it encompasses a sublime sense of “natural” photography that has enormous depth  and, in the case of many of the images, considerable narrative substance.

For the exhibition, the mezzanine area has been converted so as to give a feeling of being outdoor – almost somewhere very close to the sea or up on moorland. Open sky forms the walls and ceiling, while the floor is a mix of scrub grass and shrubs through which sharp tongues of rock poke forth.

Club LA and Gallery: oYo

Within this space 22 photographs are arranged, mixing monochrome with full colour with the majority presented in softer tones and finishes that adds an extra dimension to them. What is striking about many of the photos is oYo’s use of camera placement and angle; the construction of many of the avatar-centric images are such that while carefully composed and comported, they actually have the sense of being spur-of-the-moment shots, pictures captured through happenstance rather than design and pose.

This is immediately evident on arriving on the mezzanine. To the left of the entrance sit What Do You Expect?, Take Care and Emo (all seen in the top image). All three have been composed to present a specific focus and emotional response. But through the use of lighting, shadow, angle, soft focus, it is as if each was caught entirely by chance: a camera being used and raised in mid-conversation or when the subject was least expecting it.

Club LA and Gallery: oYo

Thus the story within each of them becomes broader, encompassing the “person behind the lens” as much as the subject and setting: what was going on immediately before the picture was taken? What words were being exchanged? were both parties in Take Care aware that this was perhaps the last photo one would take of the other, a natural falling of shadow as the image was taken now serving to add to the stirring of emotion and memory whenever the taker of the photograph looks at it?

The landscape photos offered in the exhibition demonstrate a similar seasoned and skilled eye for composition, colour, tone and framing, all of which generates a narrative well beyond the photo itself. This is again evident from the very first image seen on entering: Le Rivage (again seen in the top image, on the left). A marvellous close-up of cormorants offered in monochrome and soft focus, the framing perfectly captures the moment at which some of the birds start to demonstrate agitation, wings spreading perhaps aware of the not-too-distant photographer. But so does it bring to mind the story of how it came to be taken: the careful manoeuvring downwind of the birds, edging over sand and rock or through wet marsh, constantly aware that push things too far, and the birds will take flight; then the use of a telephoto lens, perhaps crouched uncomfortably…

Club LA and Gallery: oYo

Time and again this storytelling comes to the fore in so many ways: the happy-go-lucky, out-of-the-window “holiday” shot of Saint-Martin, to the lonely beauty and pathos  – again both in front of and behind the lens of Tout Refaire (second image from top in this article).

These are all images that are rich in life and emotion as well as offering an unforced guide to the art and artistry of photography. Most definitely an exhibition to be seen. The formal opening will take place at 13:00 SLT on the afternoon of Saturday, October 13th, and the exhibition itself should be open through the first half of November.

SLurl Details

2018 Sansar Product Meetings week #41

The following notes are taken from the Sansar Product Meeting held on Thursday, October 11th. These Product Meetings are open to anyone to attend, are a mix of voice (primarily) and text chat. Dates and times are currently floating, so check the Sansar Atlas events sections each week. The meeting was hosted by Eliot, and well attended by members of the Sansar product team, with Ebbe also dropping in.

Release Process Flow: Overview

The various teams working on Sansar are developing and refining multiple features and aspects of the platform, and periodically, a feature freeze is called.

  • This occurs roughly 2-weeks from the planned deployment date for the next release.
  • At this point the decision is made on which features are developed and stable enough to include in that release, and no additional features tend to be added to the release after the feature freeze.
  • Those features assigned to the release then go through extensive testing and bug squashing.
  • The amount of bug fixing, etc, required determines whether the release ships on the target date or slips.

While dates are not set in stone, this cycle means that for the next release, R27, the feature freeze date in October 17th, 2018, and the planned release date in October 31st, 2018.

Release 26: Thumbs Up

General Points

  • New VR hand gestures: the current Vive controller will support the hand clenching gesture; however, as noted in the release notes and my R26 overview, full Vive support for all of the new hand gestures will likely come with support for the new Vive hand controllers.
  • Galen has developed two scripted elements to support the new broadcast capability:
    • The first is a simple trigger volume that can be used for things like stage settings, etc. An avatar standing in the trigger volume will have their voice automatically broadcast throughout the experience.
    • The second is a broadcast script that can be configured to work as required within a scene.
    • Linden lab will be providing simple scripts to support broadcasting as well.
  • Panel readability in VR: there have been requests that the various client panels now visible in VR (e.g. chat, settings) be given a transparent background so they don’t block the world view so much.  However, these requests are countered by those who felt that having the chat panel fairly transparent (as it was during the initial release) made reading text difficult. For their part, the Lab believe what they have with the panels may be the best solution.
  • There appears to be a bug in the scene object drop-down that can lead to something other than the desired object being selected. This has been noted by the Lab, but at the time of the meeting the status of any fix was unknown.
  • A major under-the-hood change made in R26 is to the way the camera’s focus is handled. While this is now much improved, there are edge-cases that need to be tweaked. Examples of this:
    • If an avatar’s name tag is displayed by hovering over it, and an attempt is made to right-click and drag the camera around when the mouse pointer is over the name tag, the camera may not actually move.
    • When selecting objects in the scene-object drop-down, it can be possible to point to one object, but actually select another on clicking.
    • When renaming an object, clicking the anchor the cursor in the text entry field may result in the rename dialogue vanishing.
    • As there is no mechanism to push updates to customers, items updated in this way must be re-purchased at present.
  • Chat copy / paste has been lost in both VR and Desktop mode, this should be corrected in the next release.

Permissions Licensing

  • Materials editing: the decisions to disable in-scene materials editing on purchased legacy objects and the need to make new objects full perm in order to allow in-scene materials editing have both been criticised. Both decisions may yet be subject to revision.
  • Some creators have already started re-listed their items on the store to enable the save to inventory capability introduced with R26.
    • Only re-listing is required to enable this; items do not have to be completely re-uploaded and listing.
    • The process is put the item into a scene, take in to inventory, set the permissions against it, then upload it to the store.
  • It been requested that the Lab provide a means of flagging or tagging items on the Store (and in inventory – which might be harder) to indicate they are legacy (and therefore outside of the new permissions / licensing system). For example, a tag on Store listings to say “legacy Content” or similar, and / or legacy items in inventory appearing in a different colour – e.g. red.

R27 Release (October)

Not many details as yet, as the freeze features date hasn’t been reached. However, the release will hopefully include:

  • Sprint set via settings button.
  • Custom animations upload.

Other Items

  • A point release is being worked on. This may include a fix for an issue whereby assets added to a legacy scene can inherit legacy permissions (those enforced prior to the R26 release).  This release may also include fixes related to the use of folders in scene editing and  other fixes.
  • Twitch channels: when watching a Twitch channel from within Sansar, all avatars watching the stream count as individuals on the stream count.
  • IK issues in VR: when using VR it is still possible to end up with an avatar looking like it is a professional contortionist (or trying to impersonate a pretzel). The Lab is still working on the IK system to prevent this.
  • Setting avatar height / reach arm length: a recent change was to introduce an “arm stretch” movement that is tied to the scaling of an avatar. The result is intended to have the avatar’s height, reach, arm length more close match the user’s actual height, reach and arm length.
    • This help ensures a naturally sense of proportion between user and avatar, for comfort of movement, etc.
    • It has specifically been done to allow avatar scaling in the future – so movements will continue to feel natural in whatever size of avatar is being used, and arm reach will appear correctly proportioned to body size, etc.
    • It does mean there will be a difference in perspective: when inside an experience with a small avatar, the space will appear to be much larger than when using a big avatar.
    • A side issue with this is that the stretch movement has to be performed whenever a headset is worn.The Lab is looking to improve on this, so the movement only has to be performed once, or in specific situation (e.g. when seated or standing).
  • Private messaging. Currently, to find out who is sending a private message, all private messages must be opened. This has been reported and a fix is in the works.
  • Exporting own models: currently, it is not possible to export models from Sansar. With the introduction of the licensing system with R26, it may in the future be possible for creators to export their own models they’ve uploaded to Sansar to help deal with issues of local loss of creations, etc. This currently isn’t a priority for the Lab to develop.
  • Materials editing on uploaded clothing: this has been requested so as to avoid the need to repeatedly upload an item when making adjustments to it. The request will be looked into.
  • The desktop throw animation has been tweaked, and now makes it difficult to simply drop an object after picking it up, and is proving somewhat unpopular.
  • Combining multiple objects into a single unit for resale: how this will work is still under consideration at the Lab. The idea currently being considered is to utilise a folders based approach: saving multiple items (complete with all the local transforms and scripts and associations they have) and extract that back to inventory, then offer the folder on for sale through the Store. People buying the folder would then be able to place it in their scene and see the objects exactly as they were when “packaged”.