2020 Sansar Product Meetings week #5: R39 and more

The Bridge of the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701, The Original Series)

The following notes were taken from the January 30th (week #5) Sansar Product Meeting, the video of which is embedded at the end of this report.

Upcoming R39: Event Instances and New Avatar Looks

The opening of the meeting included a short video demonstrating the upcoming instance picker. When a world or event is running more than one instance, this allows users to pick the instance they want to access and / or offer to friends to access as well (individual avatar numbers per instance allowing). With it:

  • An instance of a world / even can be selected.
  • The URL for that instance can be shared (e.g. via chat, when in-world with others).
  • A portal can be dropped based on a select instance.

When released, this will be the first iteration of the instance picker, and further refinement will follow (e.g. a count of avatars in each instance. potentially see which instance(s) of a an event friends are already in (and then join that instance). Such enhancement will depend on feedback from users once the initial release has been made.

The same video also revealed one of the new looks that the Sansar Studios team is providing for default avatars.  These should be available in the upcoming R39 both within the avatar carousel for new users joining the platform and within the Look Book for other users.

As noted in the my week #3 notes, the R39 release will likely also include:

  • A new emote system that will include the ability to assign emotes to the number row keys on -the-fly – no need to access the Look Book, including purchasing an emote from the Store and applying on the fly.
  • New Twitch integration specifically aimed at events and streaming events by users.
  • A further round of bugs fixes.
    • One of these (as an R39 point release) will be the ability to copy / paste entire vectors (X, Y, Z , rotation, colour) between objects in Edit Mode

R39 is being targeted for a Tuesday, February 4th release.

Events News

New Music Genres for Events

Sansar partner events have thus far focused on the electronic dance music (EDM) market. However, this should be broadening in 2020 to include other opportunities / genres. In particular, Galileo, the Sansar Community Manager mentioned that company is working with a heavy metal band. This includes both designing a world for them to play in and coding the avatars to “play” instruments, etc.

This heavy metal event is seen as an opportunity for creators to provide items that might be included in collections related to it. In this respect, it is noted that the band in question (no name given) has a strong fantasy lean, with orcs, etc., a feature in their work / look.

Web Events Update

A web update was released on Wednesday, January 29th, specifically for event creators / hosts. This should resolve the issue of the modal popping up claiming an event couldn’t be updated without an image when trying to update the access list. Also, when looking at your own My World list on the web, it should now be possible to more easily differentiate between event worlds and actually worlds where there are multiple versions of an experience.


The COMmunity Even Team (COMET) have earned sufficient points for the entire community to gain a reward, and this should be appearing in people’s Backpacks soon.

Q&A Session Summary

Th Q&A session commences at the 15 minute mark in the video. Note that not all questions are reflected below, just those that could be responded to with details.

  • Will music genres other than EDM and heavy meal be supported? Classical, jazz, blues? Yes. And suggestions for possible acts should be passed on the the Sansar team.
  • Can blocking another user include local chat? Being worked on.
  • Will the UI overhaul include Edit Modes and offer things like inventory folders? No. The first cut of the UI overhaul completely ignores Edit Mode. A future (“not soon”) follow-up will look at Edit Mode at some point.
  • Fees for cashing out have do not appear to have remained fixed for long-term creators as promised (through until the end of 2020). Is this being fixed? Yes – the fix should be available very soon.
  • Backpack related:
    • Can the Backpack be adjusted so that items rezzed from it are persistent – such as furniture in your own space? The idea is to expand the Backpack so that each scene can define the contents of the the backpack (so the contents change as a user moves from world-to-world, depending on on the local rules), and to allow scripted control of the backpack, thus given world creators complete control over what can be used from the backpack, when it can be used and how long it might remain within a world (if relevant).
    • Will there be limits on how many items the Backpack can contain? Will it support folders for organising things? There isn’t currently a limit on the number of items the Backpack can contain, but one may be added, depending on how creators make use of it. There are no plans to add folders to the backpack, as the idea is to keep it as simple and easy to use as possible.
    • Will the ability for world creators limit the number of items a user can rez from their Backpack at any one time? Possibly.
  • Marvelous Designer™ is about to issue a fix for zippers and buttons not working at anticipated. When released, will this be integrated in to Sansar’s MD support? Yes, either within a release or a point release.
  • Is it possible to have a means to test and amend scripts without having to build an entire scene? Sort answer: not at present, although this is a pain point for the Sansar Studio team as well. Suggestions are to:
    • a) build a simple scene where scripts can be more easily tested.
    • b) If the above isn’t feasible, disable things like GI and audio reverb to speed the scene building process, test and adjust scripts as required and then re-enable options that have been turned off when done.
  • Can support for custom avatar heads using the deformation system be provided:  requires rigging to around 200 bones, and while some creators could handle it, it is seen as not something the Lab wants to make user-facing at this point. It would also require an extensive overhaul of import system to support it. As such, not currently a priority,
  • What is the status of full body deformation? No-one working on it, and not on the immediate schedule for work.

Rose’s Feelings at Nitroglobus

Nitroglobus Roof Gallery: Feelings

Currently open at Dido Haas’ Nitroglobus Roof Gallery is Feelings, a selection of self-portraits presented by RoseHanry. It’s a evocative series of 12 images, each one of which has a deceptively simple presentation that nevertheless encompasses a wealth of care, and eye for detail and narrative to offer a startlingly life-like finish that richly imbues each image with Rose’s own life and vitality.

This is something Rose notes herself in discussing her art, stating:

Second Life is more than a game and the avatar is more than a pretty doll. There’s a human behind the keyboard, who experiences feelings and hopes, has a Real Life with the normal issues that life offers, Some are good and some are not so good. Real Life is not detached from Second Life as most people think, or want to make us believe.

In this exhibition I try to show that an avatar is very natural and can show feelings as in Real Life.

Nitroglobus Roof Gallery: Feelings

And so it is that each of the twelve images within this exhibition offer an emotional depth that is stunning; expression, pose and lighting allow us to see far beyond the avatar. Many not as posed shots, but as candid captures that record a passing and quite natural moment in time (vis: … a beating heart of stone …, … when I wake up, I see you with me …, … when I wake up, I see you with me …, and … maybe if I’d skim the stone …), when the subject is caught by the camera without being aware it was watching.

In others, while as candid, there is a sense that the subject was aware of the camera’s eye, so took a moment to respond to its stare with a deliberate look intended to tease or flirt (… another one bites the dust …) or with a natural response to being caught (as with …2am…, with the defensive drawn-up knees).

Thus, throughout the collection we are presented with images that each has a tale to tell; a tale furthered by Rose’s inclusion of a link to be found in the lower right-hand corner of each image. Clicking on most of these will present you with a note card containing song lyrics reflective of the image and mood, and with a link to the song on You Tube (one simply offers a link to the song itself).

Nitroglobus Roof Gallery: Feelings

For me, the defining element of each picture lies in the eyes. We’re probably all familiar with the old saying, the eyes are the windows of the soul. Here, it is the case that the avatar’s eyes are the windows to the the avatar’s owner herself. Through them, we can perhaps capture the riches of each pictures’ story, even without reference to the accompanying note cards – and I would recommend viewing and considering each picture first before turning to the the note card giver.

A truly fascinating exhibition. One – as with all of those at Nitroglobus – that should not be missed.

SLurl Details

2020 Content Creation User Group week #5 summary

The Isle of Cezanne, December 2019 – blog post

The following notes are taken from my audio recording of the Content Creation User Group (CCUG) meeting held on Thursday, January 20th 2020 at 13:00 SLT. These meetings are chaired by Vir Linden, and agenda notes, meeting SLurl, etc, are available on the Content Creation User Group wiki page.

Environment Enhancement Project

Project Summary

A set of environmental enhancements (e.g. the sky, sun, moon, clouds, and water settings) to be set region or parcel level, with support for up to 7 days per cycle and sky environments set by altitude. It uses a new set of inventory assets (Sky, Water, Day), and includes the ability to use custom Sun, Moon and cloud textures. The assets can be stored in inventory and traded through the Marketplace / exchanged with others, and can additionally be used in experiences.


Current Status

  • EEP is now viewed as a priority for release by the Lab, with work progressing on the final bug fixes on the graphics side.
  • The biggest change recently made is to remove the option to disable Basic Shaders in the viewer, on account of this option causing problems when trying to address other issues.
    • It is not believed this will impact users, unless they are running really old graphics cards that do not support (the now 15-year-old) OpenGL 2.0.
    • Note this is not removing the ability to toggle ALM off / on.
  • Release is still being couched in terms of being in “about a month” – so possibly early March.
  • Those who use windlights for photography or within their regions are strongly urged to test the EEP RC viewer (last updated on January 9th, 2020, at the time of writing this summary).

Rendering System Improvements

Outside of EEP and in the future, the rendering team plan to spend time simplifying SL’s multiple rendering paths and options to make them easier to maintain going forward.


Project Summary

An attempt to 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).

As of January 2020 ARCTan has effectively been split:

  • Immediate viewer-side changes, primarily focused on revising the Avatar Rendering Cost (ARC) calculations and providing additional viewer UI so that people can better visibility and control to seeing complexity.
  • Work on providing in-world object rendering costs (LOD models, etc.) which might affect Land Impact will be handled as a later tranche of project work.
  • The belief is that “good” avatar ARC values can likely be used as a computational base for these rendering calculations.

Current Status

  • Testing has suggested that when an avatar attachment has a very high number of prims, there is a chance the avatar appearance does not get baked correctly – the number of prims effectively “chokes” the Bake Service.
    • The number of prims is reported as “north of 32”.
    • It appears to be the number of prims – not submeshes – in an attachment that cause the issue, but this is by no means certain.
    • It is not something that appears to have been reported via Jira, so LL is curious whether or not it is an artefact people may have witnessed.
    • A version of the internal Jira will be filed publicly by Vir for creators to look at.

Next Meeting

The next CCUG meeting will be on Thursday, February 13th, 2020.

Brief Notes from the January 29th open-Source Developer Meeting

These notes are recorded here as they may have longer-term relevance to content creation / viewer use.

  • Linden Lab has identified improving the viewer UI / UX to be a high priority.
    • Initially, the focus will be on improving usability for users who are not yet familiar with the viewer (and/or SL in general).
    • A further aspect of the work will be making the number of choices available in many places smaller and making the terminology more uniform.
  • The UI team is said to have “quite a list” of possible changes / improvements, some of which have come directly from TPV developers and through feature requests.
    • Additional feature requests are well – including illustrative mock-ups of idea, providing these are properly documented.
    • Please see my tutorial notes on filing SL feature requests, if required.

The enchantment of LeLoo’s World in Second Life

Enchantment! @ LeLoo’s World, January 2020 – click any image for full size

A timeless land filled with Enchantment and Magic. Step into spring and feel the warmth. A Magical place for exploring, relaxing and taking photos with family and friends.

So reads the description for Enchantment! @ LeLoo’s World, occupying just under a quarter Mainland Full region and located on a sky platform. Designed by LeLooUlf, this is is a delight of a garden setting offering a lot to see without feeling crowded, a place full of character – and characters -, with plenty of opportunities to pass the time on your own or with a friend or friends and for photography.

Enchantment! @ LeLoo’s World, January 2020

It’s a welcoming place – a point brought home on arrival, as evidenced by the two of the local characters holding up a welcome banner at the landing point.

Backed by high falls tumbling down from the curtains of cliffs that enclose much of the garden – but which do not make it feel overly claustrophobic -the landing point looks out across the first part of the garden, revealing some of its delights: the raised sitting points clinging to the cliffs and reached by a mix of steep wooden steps and bridges suspended by clouds; the colourful banks of flowers to act as backdrops for photography, and a cast of local wildlife and other creatures that cannot fail to raise a smile.

Enchantment! @ LeLoo’s World, January 2020

This is a place rich in places to sit, some obvious, some tucked away and requiring a careful eye to find as you explore. Also awaiting discovery throughout the garden are a number of teleport points. These allow visitors to hop through the major sights of the garden – but with a couple of exceptions, the places they lead to can also be reached by gentle exploration, so I’d really suggest you let your feet take the strain and wander along the grassy paths to discover all that is available within the gardens before turning to the teleport options to reach those you can’t directly, or to ensure you’ve not not missed anything.

Doing so will take you past a cosy caravan – don’t worry about the wolves, they are as friendly as the rest of the animals to be found here – to an avenue of trees that leads to a most unique dance partner who is ready to share a range of dances with you. Beyond this, the path passes between cliffs and wall to where the garden opens out to offer on one side a large rotunda sitting within a fenced garden of its own. A small moat around the rotunda offers a place for swans to swim, whilst the grass and flowerbeds also ringing the rotunda have a musical feel to them, being occupied by a piano and harp watched over by more of the local deer.

Enchantment! @ LeLoo’s World, January 2020

Next to this sits a little plateau of rock that presents a setting of its own, isolated from the rest of the gardens by both the height of the plateau and the blossoms of a nearby tree, a place for picnics watched over by a rune-covered arch with a seat of its own.

Once the “ground” area of the gardens have been explored, there are the steps, ladders and bridges to be climbed and crossed to reach most of the raised parts of the setting. Like the little picnic plateau, each of these offers an individual vignette, most rich with the local characters  –  including a little group of four-footed (and winged) bookworms and a trio of fairies enjoying a picnic of their own.

Enchantment! @ LeLoo’s World, January 2020

As noted above, the  opportunities for photography within this setting are many; not only do the gardens naturally lend themselves to having photos taken, as I hope my images here demonstrate, but they also present multiple places for avatar-centric photos as well. These can not only be found in the many places to sit, but also through the many poses and pose stands scattered throughout the gardens. Mostly suitable for couples or pairs, these are richly varied and placed so as to take full advantage of their immediate surroundings and the the garden as a whole. Those who do take photos are invited to upload them and drop them into the in-world slide show near to the landing point, where they can be seen by other visitors.

All of this makes Enchantment @ LeLoo’s World exceptionally attractive – and even having got this far, I’ve managed to skip over other attractions that make exploration here a pleasure, such as the little cavern, or the manner in which the storybook area takes you into a famous tale of adventure taken by a certain young English girl.

Enchantment! @ LeLoo’s World, January 2020

Rounded-out by a matching sound-scape and open to almost any windlight setting, this really is a place of charm and enchantment; a wonderful escape from the “world below”.

SLurl Details

Kultivate’s January / February exhibition and a touch of Kody

Kultivate Magazine Gallery: Ragingbellls (l) and Lena Kiopak (r)

Now open at the Kultivate Windlight Gallery is their first exhibition for 2020, featuring an ensemble gathering of artists.

Located on the ground floor of the gallery space the ensemble exhibition opened on Sunday, January 26th, and it features the artists Ragingbellls, John Brianna, Skye Joubert, Lena Kiopak, Sonatta Morales, Solana Python, Nils Urqhart and Myra Wildmist. Between them, they offer a mix of Second Life photography and physical world art that is richly varied in content and style.

Kultivate Windlight Gallery: Nils Urqhart (l) and John Brianna (r)

From stunning photographs of the French Alps by Nils (and which forms a nice companion series to his In the Clouds series I was able to review in November 2019), through unique painted portraits by Skye, to avatar studies by Sonatta, this is a selection of art to please all eyes.

However, when visiting I would emphasise the need to ensure you have Advanced Lighting Model (Preferences > Graphics) during a visit. This is because Myra’s single piece is another experiment in using lighting projectors. Entitled Snow Field, it’s a piece you should pan your camera across it to appreciate the the use of the projector in concert with the image of sunset.

Kultivate Windlight Gallery: Sonatta Morales

Take the stairs to the mezzanine, and – for a while longer at least at the time of writing, due to the fact I’m getting to it on the late side – is an exhibition of Kody Meyer’s photography. Covering multiple genres, and with a delight in experimenting, Kody always present pieces that are stunningly beautiful in execution.

There is something uniquely peaceful within Kody’s landscape images, and his love of exploring Second Life and capturing the locations he visits is clearly evident in his work. Similarly, his avatar studies offer a depth of narrative within each that draws one into them.

Kultivate Windlight Gallery: Kody Meyers

Kody notes of his approach:

Each picture depicts a story or is a reminder of an experience one can reflect upon when admiring it. As a perfectionist, I take the time necessary to capture the picture, experimenting with different angles, framings and windlights, until the perfect shot is created — the one that comes alive. Using different programs and techniques to create my pictures, the result is always a surprise. My goal is to portray the magic behind the raw image. To be able to contribute to peace and happiness in this world is an honour and an endless pleasure.

Kultivate Windlight Gallery: Kody Meyers

I’m not sure how much longer Kody’s work will be on offer at Kultivate – as noted, I got to the exhibition late myself – so do be sure to drop into the ground floor exhibition sooner rather than later to appreciate the work there, and then hop up the stairs to the mezzanine.

SLurl Details

2020 Simulator User Group week #5 summary

Honah Lee Waveblog post

Not a lot to report; much of the conversation was around general ideas for improving aspects of SL scripting (e.g. script-to-script communications) and speculations about the migration of SL to AWS.

Simulator Deployments

As always, please refer to the week’s deployment thread for updates.

  • There were no deployments to the main SLS channel on Tuesday, January 28th, although there are reports some regions were restarted.
  • An RC deployment is planned for all simulators on the RC channels for Wednesday, January 29th. Server update 2020-01-23T00:43:42.535128 is specifically aimed at making “rolling the grid more gentle on our non-simulator servers”. According to Simon Linden, speaking at the meeting:
    • These updates shouldn’t be user-visible, but should help improve the issue of starting scripts following a simulator re-start.
    • They *might* result in improvements on region crossing between regions on the RC channels, but this is by no means certain.

SL Viewer

The Xanté Maintenance RC viewer, version6.3.6.535003 and dated January 22nd, was promoted to de facto release status on January 27th.

At the time of writing, all remaining viewer pipelines remain as follows:

  • Release channel cohorts:
  • Project viewers:
    • Copy / Paste viewer, version, December 9, 2019.
    • Project Muscadine (Animesh follow-on) project viewer, version, November 22, 2019.
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version, September 17, 2019. Covers the re-integration of Viewer Profiles.
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version, July 16, 2019.