The Boho Refuge in Second Life

The Boho Refuge, October 2019 – click any image for full size

The Boho Refuge is a homestead region designed by Jaccaranda Jael which recently opened to visitors, offering a mix of public spaces and private rental properties. We were alerted to its presence by Sorcha Tyles, who recommended we hop over and pay a visit.

As I’ve noted before in these pages, writing a review about a region that offers rentals can be difficult; by its nature it is intended to offer people a private home, so providing a write-up that encourages people to drop in and wander around can interfere with the privacy those renting the properties might otherwise want. This can be particularly true if the balance between public spaces and private residences is biased towards the latter.

The Boho Refuge, October 2019

Fortunately, The Boho Refuge offers a good balance between public and private that makes a visit rewarding for casual visitors whilst keeping private residences reasonably well apart from the public areas. Most of the latter – 11 homes in all – sit around the coastline of the region or along the gorge that splits the region in two.

This gorge runs from west to east, leaving the bulk of the region as two rugged islands linked by a road bridge. The southern island offers the landing point, with the rental office sitting within a pink walled hacienda that looks like it might in another life offer a cosy bar / lounge, and that sits to one side of a dirt road that winds over the island from the bridge and down to a working quayside to the west. This, and the other little public buildings scattered  over the island offer plenty of opportunity for photography, while two of the rental properties lie on the southern coast and one on this side of the gorge splitting the region into its two main islands.

The Boho Refuge, October 2019

Follow the track toward the bridge and you’ll find it forks, one arm turning north to link with the crossing to the north island, the other continuing east. Follow the latter, and it will lead you down to the access points to the rentals, and also to a fourth private home at the eastern end of the region that sits on its own little isle; so do please respect the privacy of anyone renting the houses.

The slightly larger northern island is more rugged, and features seven rentals around its edges, either snuggled against the coast and facing to the north and east, or perched higher up on the cliffs and facing either north or west, a singleton tucked into the gorge rounding them out. A T-junction at the north end of the bridge allows visitors a choice of routes: west to the access point for rentals and a climb up to the island’s peak, or east and a curving route down to where the road becomes unsurfaced once more and splits to provide access to the homes at the eastern end of the island or to a small public beach (with a rental home just off to one side, so again, be careful when visiting).

The Boho Refuge, October 2019

The upper reaches of this island are open to the public, and accessed by stone steps or a board walk and wooden steps that curl around the highest peak from the western end of the island – although be aware that these were blocked at the time of our visit by a non-phantom tree throwing its physics across the steps. The tops of these hills offer an number of little points of interest: an outdoor spa, a little greenhouse that would make an ideal lovers’ meeting place, the old tower of an abandoned observatory and numerous lookout points.

Packed with plenty of detail, The Boho Refuge offers a fair amount to see, while each of the rental properties sits within its own parcel, making privacy possible for those renting them. They also include a security orb to help warn away straying feet. Finished with a rich sound scape and offering plenty of water fowl and otter to be spotted by keen-eyed visitors, the region could be a cosy home for those seeking somewhere to live – prices available from the rental office.

The Boho Refuge, October 2019

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Catznip R12.3 goes BoM!

Catznip version R12.3 surfaced on Tuesday, October 15th, and made it the default download / update version on Wednesday, October 16th.

This is a maintenance release, following on from version 12.2, which saw a “de-coupling” of updates that are more focused on bug fixes and improvements from larger releases that include significant updates and new capabilities. However, it does include one major new feature: support for Linden Lab’s Bakes on Mesh capability.

As always, details of updates are available through the official release notes, although given the size of the update, just about everything included is noted below.

Linden Lab Derived Updates

Viewer Parity

This release brings Catznip to parity with Linden Lab viewer release 6.3.1.530559, formerly the Umeshu release candidate viewer (Dated September 5th, promoted to de facto release status by Linden Lab on September 10th).

Bakes on Mesh

R12.3 provides support for Bakes on Mesh (BoM). This is a capability to allow system wearable layers as used with the “classic” Second Life system avatar – skins, tattoos, underwear, shirt and jacket layers – to be used with mesh bodies and heads, and without the need for additional applier systems.

The system requires mesh bodies and heads to be “BoM enabled” – and many creators have already updated their products, or are in the process of updating their products to support Bakes on Mesh. In addition, some applier makers are producing applier systems that leverage Bakes on Mesh to apply wearables to mesh bodies and heads – although these may be limited in some respects due to differences between how skin textures and mesh bodies are made).

Through Bakes on Mesh, Linden Lab hopes:

  • Users can avoid the need to use appliers, but can add wearables to their mesh avatar directly from inventory.
  • Creators will be able to simplify avatar mesh bodies and heads by removing the need for some of the “onion” layers. This should – if done – reduce the rendering complexity for bodies and heads, thus hopefully improving people’s SL experience (as avatars won’t be quite so resource intensive or require quite so much “assembly time” when encountering them on logging-on or after teleporting somewhere).

Bakes on Mesh support is required to both use the BoM capability and to correctly view mesh avatars using BoM.

For more detailed information on Bakes on Mesh, please refer to the following links:

Linden Lab:

Creator-related BoM documentation:

Informative Bakes on Mesh blog post:

Catznip Fixes

Release 12.3 also includes the following updates from the Catznip team:

  • Minor installer issues.
  • Revert SL-1579 and allow taking rezzed items if their originating folder was Received Items.
  • Crash in busy/crowded places while camming around (thank you Nicky from Firestorm).
  • CATZ-532: Avatar (sometimes) ends up deformed when detaching something while an Animesh attachment is worn.
  • CATZ-535: Remove Google+ links.
  • CATZ-539: Creator Name on the build floater is always disabled.
  • CATZ-542: Render Everyone As setting affects your own Animesh attachments.
  • RLVa – FIRE-24230: Login crash when RLV @showloc restricted with no teleport history file.
  • RLVa – BoM universal layer is missing from @getoufit.

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Kultivate The Edge: October 2019

Kultivate The Edge: M8ty

The October exhibition at Kultivate’s The Edge Gallery opened on Sunday, October 13th. Primarily a black and white / monochrome exhibition space, The Edge features for this exhibition images from both Second Life and the physical world by aht1981, Angyel, M8ty, MTH63, John Bianna, Lena Kiopak, Anouk Lefavre, Moora McMillan, Veruca Tammas and Tintin Tuxing.

As with such ensemble exhibitions, this is a very mixed collection of art, each display offering something unique and potentially appealing to visitors.

Kultivate The Edge Gallery: Anouk Lefavre

Perhaps the most striking in terms of catching the eye due to the colour text used, is aht1981’s The Future Is Yours, a set of three portraits of avatars presented with mini interviews with each of the subjects, together with an introductory set of notes. The latter reveal the images are part of a planned larger project intended to present images and interviews of some 20 people, the interviews intended to give greater depth to the portraits of the interview subjects.

Along the back wall of the lower level of the gallery are three displays that particularly attracted me: those of M8ty, Angyel and Lena Kiopak. For his work, M8ty, presents a series of avatar portraits that are striking in their presentation and depth. Alongside of his work is the display by Angyel, a wonderful mix of landscape-style images some encompassing famous locations within Second Life and the physical world. Similarly, but equally fascinating in presentation are the half-dozen pieces presented by Lena Kiopak offering unique visions of in-world locations.

Kultivate The Edge Gallery: Lena Kiopak

When dealing with an exhibition like this, I often say that singling out one or two artists or pieces in an review like this isn’t entirely fair to the exhibition as a whole, which is why I emphasise that while I might only mention four artists here, all of the displays within this exhibition have much to offer, as noted above. As such, I do encourage those lovers of art in Second Life to drop in to The Edge gallery over the next four weeks and see this exhibition for themselves.

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