Vallys and Moki at DiXmiX in Second Life

DiXmiX Gallery: Moki Yuitza

Recently opened at DiXmiX Gallery, curated by Dixmix Source, are two new exhibitions by Vallys Baxter and Moki Yuitza, which are contrasting in both style and content.

With La Rumeur de Paris (Rumour of Paris), Vallys presents around 15 images in series – although what the underlying theme might be is hard to judge. All avatar studies, most are presented as avatar studies on a white background, although some are conversely set against a dark backdrop, and one – in difference to the rest  – is a landscape image.

DiXmiX Gallery: Vallys Baxter

Are these simply memories of past events? Are they designed to imbue a feeling? are they representative of a memory or idea? Or are they images that simply exist in and of themselves, sans wider thematic narrative wither within themselves or as a collection? You, as the observer are left to decide this.

When viewing some of the more intimate images, I did find my thoughts drifting towards Bernardo Bertolucci’s 1972 erotic drama Last Tango In Paris. Why this should be, baffles me, if I’m honest. Perhaps it simply the fact I’m not operating at 100% at this point in time and my brain is tending to wander hither and thither. There is certainly little in the individual images to suggest a link between them and the film, so perhaps its just a subconscious linking of naked male and female bodies with the use of Paris in the exhibition’s title, spurred by the (intentional?) anonymity of the figures in those images that sent my thoughts in that direction.

DiXmiX Gallery: Vallys Baxter

None of which should be taken as any kind of critique of Vallys’ work; her artistry is clear from the outset, and she is a gifted purveyor of emotions through her avatar studies; so much so that one might say that it is the emotional reaction to these images that is more important than any wider context of theme or ideas.

Meanwhile, down in The Womb, the basement exhibition space of the gallery, Moki Yuitza presents The Net, which is perhaps best described as a living piece of art: a gridwork of lines and shapes, some of which are zooming to and fro, a single 3D sculpture at its heart.

DiXmiX Gallery: Moki Yuitza

Complicated, carrying (perhaps) echoes of The Matrix or maybe Tron, Moki’s piece really should be seen rather than described, so I’ll leave it to you to drop in and see it for yourself.

SLurl Details

Sansar: R32 Movement update

Desktop mode throw indicator (shown in 1st person view here). One of the R32 additions to Sansar. Credit: Linden Lab

On Tuesday, April 30th, Linden Lab updated the Sansar Movement release. An official summary of the update is available, and please refer to that document for details of bug fixes. Highlights of the release key features reviewed here are:

  • Avatar customisation, movement and gameplay updates.
  • Client Store updates.
  • Scripting updates.
  • Edit mode improvements.

Initial Notes

As with the majority of Sansar deployments, this update requires the automatic download and installation of a client update, particularly as it involves changes affecting the Sansar avatar system.

Avatar Updates

Uniform Scaling

Until this release, all avatars in Sansar have been of the same male / female height. With R32, users can now individually scale their avatars from 0.5 to 1.25 the scale of the default avatar size.

The scaling option will scale both avatar and current outfit and accessories. As it is part of the overall avatar customisation process, scaling can be applied to both existing looks  – or now looks can be created and scaled for specific purposes, if preferred (so you could have a small and tall avatar in the same outfit for visiting different experiences, just by changing your look, rather than adjusting the scale of the one avatar).

To change an avatar’s scale:

  • Click the Create button and then Style My Avatar to go to Look Book.
  • From the Look Book panel, select the avatar you’d like to re-scale (if you have more than one).
  • Click customise (lower right corner of our Home Space  / Look Book display,
  • Click the avatar icon (arrowed below) in the Avatar style panel to display the avatar customisation options.
  • Click the slider button at the top of the panel (arrowed below, right).
  • Use the Scale slider to uniformly re-scale your current avatar.
  • Save the look.
Sansar avatar uniform scaling, accessed through the Look Book and Avatar customisation panel (right), and the two extremes of height compared with the default female avatar height (note the sofa behind the avatars for reference).

Points of note with avatar scaling:

  • Scaling will work on custom avatars.
  • Scaling does not affect the avatar locomotion graph, so small avatars will appear to move faster than their taller cousins. Similarly, very tall avatars will seem to move more lugubriously than their smaller cousins.
  • In VR mode, the world view is scaled accordingly to avatar height.
  • Scaling can cause some clothing glitches to become more apparent.

Avatar Crouching

Avatars can now crouch and move. In Desktop mode, make sure the mouse isn’t in the Chat panel and tap C to crouch  /  stand up, and move as usual. In VR move, users must physical adopt a crouched pose.

Avatar crouching. Credit: Linden Lab

Points of note with crouching:

  • The avatar’s motion will be correspondingly slower when crouched – just as we tend to move slower when crouched in the physical world.
  • The collider / bounding box for the avatar will also automatically adjust to match the avatar’s height as well, making it possible for tunnels, etc., to be made through which avatars must move when crouched.
  • The collider / bounding box in VR will collapse in accordance to how low the user crouched.

Desktop Movement Updates

Two new options have been adding to the Settings panel (More Options > Settings, then scroll down).

  • Keyboard Turn: if set to On, your avatar turns left and right when pressing A or D ( / Left or Right arrow) respectively. If set to Off, your avatar sidesteps to the left or right (without turning) instead.
  • Face Forward: if set to On, your avatar attempts to face the direction your camera is looking while you are moving. If set to Off, your avatar faces the direction your are moving.

Remember to click the Save button to preserve your preferred settings.

The new Desktop avatar movement Settings options (left – see notes above) and the new Desktop mode throw indicators (right – see below)

Avatar Gameplay Updates

With R32, Desktop mode now also has a new desktop throw indicator. To use it:

  • Pick up an object (left-click on the object).
  • Click and hold the left mouse button. A dotted line arc will appear showing the flight of the object when the mouse button is released.
  • A blue circle at the end of the dotted line arc will show the likely destination of the object when thrown – use the mouse wheel to adjust this back and forth.
  • When ready, release the left mouse button as usual to throw.

Note that depending on your Desktop movement settings, you might be able to adjust the left/right aspect of your throw by moving to the left or right (this can be easier in 1st person (F3) mode).

Additional Avatar Options

  • New simple skeleton: a simplified avatar skeleton reference file (70 bones, and refered to as a “low resolution” skeleton in the reference documents) to make it easier to hook up animations. See Avatar reference files in the Sansar knowledge base.
  • Mixamo animation support: use the simplified skeleton on Mixamo and take advantage of their library of animations. See Using the animation skeleton to create custom animations in the Sansar knowledge base.

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