2019 SL User Groups 36/2: TPVD meeting

Lost Lagoon, July 2019 – blog post

The following notes are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on September 6th, 2019. A video of the meeting is embedded below, my thanks as always to Pantera for recording and providing it.

This was a meeting with a lot of text chat that didn’t generate a meaningful discussion. Therefore, only key points are recorded below.

SL Viewer News

[0:19-3:10]

The Umeshu maintenance RC updated to version 6.3.1.530559 on September 5th. All other viewers remain as follows:

  • Current Release version 6.3.0.530115, formerly the Bakes on Mesh RC viewer, promoted August 26th – NEW.
  • Release channel cohorts:
  • Project viewers:
    • Project Muscatene (Animesh follow-on) project viewer, version 6.4.0.530100, August 19.
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version 6.2.4.529111, July 16.
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version 6.2.3.527749, June 5. Covers the re-integration of Viewer Profiles.
  • Linux Spur viewer, version 5.0.9.329906, dated November 17, 2017 and promoted to release status 29 November 2017 – offered pending a Linux version of the Alex Ivy viewer code.
  • Obsolete platform viewer, version 3.7.28.300847, May 8, 2015 – provided for users on Windows XP and OS X versions below 10.7.

Brief Notes on Viewers

  • The Umeshu RC maintenance viewer will likely be promoted to release status in week #37 (commencing Monday, September 9th).
  • The voice viewer is still in progress, but has yet to surface as a publicly-available viewer.
  • Snapshot project viewer:
    • There are allegedly titling issues when taken very high resolution images with ALM and SSAO enabled.
    • There are also HUD appearance issues with hi-res snapshot and the option to include HUDs in images enabled, as per BUG-227587.
  • [3:33-4:30] EEP has further fixes on the rendering front, which are with the Lab’s QA team, so an updated to the RC viewer can be anticipated in the next week or so. This is unlikely to be the last RC update. However, if anyone testing the viewer has issues they are not aware of having been reported, they are asked to ensure they raise a bug report.

ARCTan

[3:10-3:33]

Project Summary

An attempt re-evaluate object and avatar rendering costs to make them more reflective of the actual impact of rendering both. The overall aim is to try to correct some inherent negative incentives for creating optimised content (e.g. with regards to generating LOD models with mesh), and to update the calculations to reflect current resource constraints, rather than basing them on outdated constraints (e.g. graphics systems, network capabilities, etc).

Current Status

  • More focus is being put into this project, but there is still a fair amount of “catch-up” to do.
  • Current focus remains on data gathering.
  • It will still be some time before users start to see anything visible surfacing for this work.

In Brief

Group Related

  • [5:35-7:10] Recent tweaks to improve group chat lag has resulted in some issues for group chat moderation. LL is aware of the problems and a fix is in the works.
    • In the meantime, LL continue to carry out careful experiments and adjustments to the group chat system to try to make it more responsive.
  • [12:00-22:00] – largely text chat
    • BUG-10804 – Group Role count inaccuracies: this is a long-running issue with groups with more than 5,000 members, one outcome of which means it’s not always possible to see who is assigned to specialist roles within a group, as they are not listed – and it is impossible to remove roles from users (where they no longer require them) if the user isn’t listed.
    • BUG-11269 – group profile shows an incorrect membership number.
    • Part of the comments were around removing inactive accounts – however, the Lab is loathe to do this, due to the number of users who leave SL and return with a request the LL reactivate their account.

Inventory

  • [7:20-7:55] BUG-227179 – off-line inventory offers from scripted objects are lost. This is awaiting resources to be worked on.

Advertisements

The Overwhelm: Animesh and expressive art in Second Life

Ribong Gallery: The Overwhelm

Santoshima recently extended a personal invitation to me to view the latest exhibition at her Ribong Gallery. Entitled The Overwhelm, the installation is by Meiló Minotaur, and it presents a layered, animated piece that marks – for me, anyway – the first art installation to use Animesh within its presentation.

This is actually a difficult piece to quantify. In part this is due to the minimalism involved – a series of blocked-out spaces intended to represent a house; it’s also because viewing it, one perhaps gravitates away from the provided description towards an alternative possible interpretation.

The Overwhelm is both a house and a stage, where private life presents itself in its slow, disturbing anguish. This animated installation is about family, and about the overbearing weight of being responsible for a new life, about disconnection, excruciating loneliness, and the shared commonness of this experience.

– CapCat Ragu, explaining the Overwhelm on behalf of Mieló Minotaur

Ribong Gallery: The Overwhelm

The term “new life” suggests this is a piece about the anxiety surrounding a forthcoming birth; the setting suggests something else: the anxiety felt when a child has failed to return home as expected. This interpretation fits the later comment in the description, which defines the colours and tone of the setting as,”distressing mood, with an implication of imminent violence”.

But for me, there is a third interpretation: a couple who have in fact lost their child and are both surrounded by memories of  that child in the form of the haunting wall images, and trapped within the simmering tension of loss, blame and recrimination. All of which, wrapped within that sense of grief, is waiting to explode outwards in anger and violence toward whichever of them gives cause through a wrong action or word.

Ribong Gallery: The Overwhelm

The Animesh models give a physical dimension to the atmosphere of anxiety, looming anger, anguish and hurt through their pacing, head movements, and through their shape. The exaggerated points of the male figure’s shoulders convey a sense of hunch-shouldered annoyance as he strides in his place, for example.

Curious, involved, oddly attractive, The Overwhelm is open through to November 2019.

SLurl Details and Related Links

The Island That Is Not There in Second Life

The Island That Is Not There, September 2019 – click and image for full size

We were drawn to The Island That Is Not There simply because of the region’s name. A Homestead designed by Franz Markstein, it presents a rugged island setting with a mix of influences that give the region a strangely eclectic, but flowing look and feel.

Second star to the right and straight on till morning, this is the way to the island that is not there.

– Franz Markstein, describing The Island That Is Not There

The Island That Is Not There, September 2019

It is a place without obvious paths and no roads, but with a definite east-west orientation, the eastern side a high table of rock, backed in part by a natural curtain wall. The ruins of a once great chapel sit here, and before them, a mix of shop, houses and cabins sitting on the first rocky steps that descend down to the western beaches.

More houses are scattered around, most with a Mediterranean slant, although the setting doesn’t have the usual trappings of a Mediterranean location, but projects something of a feel for a rugged Scottish isle. A bubbling brook splashes down from the eastern uplands to the western coast. It rises without warning at the head of a gully – presumably there is a underground wellspring – and bounces and splashes its way between rocks and over rapids, gurgling as it goes, until it passes under a hump-backed bridge to drop to the sea alongside a small beach.

The Island That Is Not There, September 2019

Boats sit offshore, mainly of the sailing or rowing varieties. Some of the latter offer places to sit and pose, while the former – surprisingly – are also open for people to sit and stand aboard, offering unusual (for a public setting) opportunities for photographs – as does the biplane passing overhead.

One of the rowing boats is not merely for posing in, however. It forms a rezzer and a way to reach the outlying islands. One of these offering a little summerhouse / getaway, with seating, art and a distressed piano that can also be found within the walls of the ruined chapel (amidst other bric-a-brac). The second island is set aside of events, with a DJ station and grassy dance area which, during my return visit for photos, was hosting a set. Sadly, there are no rezzrs for a return row to the main island, so flying is the order of the day.

The Island That Is Not There, September 2019

Building on so rugged a setting can cause one or two issues. While mesh can easily be moulded into uneven rocky forms, it’s not so easy to shape when it comes to grasses and flowers. This can result in expanses of grass appearing to float in the air when the rock in which it was placed drops away. It also means that buildings without deep footings can end up with gaps between them and the ground beneath them. Some of this is evident here; one or two of the buildings and walls could perhaps do with settling a little more, or have “foundations” set beneath them.

There are also one or two elements of the landscape – notably along the western beach and the waterfalls of the brook – that perhaps need tidying up and gaps eliminated, but really none of these issues spoil exploration or photography. For the latter, adjusting the sun position or changing your local windlight can overcome the odd awkward gap or strangely-placed shadow. This is fortunate, because there really is much to appreciate about the overall design.

The Island That Is Not There, September 2019

Finished with a rich sound scape, and with plenty to see, The Island That Is Not There makes for a pleasing visit. Should people wish to tarry, there are enough places to sit without feeling crowded. Ideal under a range of windlight settings, it also offers plenty of opportunities for landscape and avatar photography.

SLurl and Links