Villa Eirini at Calas Galadhon in Second Life

Villa Eirini, Calas Galadhon, February 2020 – click any image for full size

Calas Galadhon is one of the gems of Second Life – and somewhere we always enjoy visiting. Designed and operated by Tymus Tenk and Truck Meredith, together with their team of volunteers, this 13-region park offers something for everyone: wide open spaces to enjoy on foot or via horseback – those with wearable horses can use their own, while there are horse rezzers to be found around the park; there are opportunities for boating, balloon rides, dancing (including at events at the park’s various locations), and much more.

February 2020 saw the addition of a new attraction to the park: Villa Eirini, and as with everything else at Calas, it is a delight to visit, and offers a lot to be enjoyed and appreciated.

Villa Eirini, Calas Galadhon, February 2020

The villa is located on the Bay of Bel, part of the park’s extensive waterways, which extend from Eriador and Erebor in the west (and which are home to the Calas holiday settings at the end of each year, as well as being home to the stunning recreation of Santorini that made a return to Calas in 2019 – see The return of Calas’ Santorini in Second Life), to progress east and north to Long Lake (although they may not be fully navigable by boats due to the low bridges bordering the bay). This affords the villa extensive over-the-water views that – providing you can pump up the viewer draw distance sufficiently – offer stunning vistas from the villa and its immediate surroundings, with the view back to Santorini perfectly framing the architecture of the villa.

Sitting within low walled grounds, the villa is fully and delightfully furnished to offer a place where people can relax, chat and dance, either indoors or out on the terrace that looks eastwards to Santorini and the open-air events venue that sits on the far side of the bay with its flooded gardens and ancient ruins.

Villa Eirini, Calas Galadhon, February 2020

A flat table of rock rises immediately to the south side of the villa, coming close enough to almost touch it. With its top reached via spiral stair from the terrace and connecting walkway from the villa’s upper floor, it is home to a secluded and welcoming Zen garden constructed using Alex Bader’s excellent building set (which I’ve coincidentally used at Isla Pey – see Bringing a little (Studio Skye) Zen to your SL garden).

The eastern end of the villa’s island offers a small circle of sand and a causeway linking it to the fens of Belgaer, from which rises the equally welcoming Two Loons waterside café, another addition to the park Ty and Truck added in 2019 (see: The Two Loons in Second Life). The causeway actually forms part of the Calas riding trail, which skirts around the villa to continue north-east over a second causeway to reach the shores of Santorini, before doubling back north and west over natural rock arches across the waters of the bay to reach the headlands of Grey Havens and, beyond them, Armenelos and Long Lake.

Villa Eirini, Calas Galadhon February 2020

We first rode this trail back in 2017, just after it opened (see: A little (Bento) horse riding at Calas Galadhon in Second Life), and places like Santorini and now the Villa Eirnini make it an even more attractive and worthwhile ride today. While the trail does pass the villa, there doesn’t appear to be a horse rezzer close by, so those using the Calas horses to explore and who opt to dismount to spend time at the villa may have to continue their travels on foot.

If walking isn’t to your liking, a pier on the north side of the island offers a couple of boat rezzers. The first will, when touched, present you with a pontoon boat capable of carrying up to 6; the second (and by way of a colour picker dialogue) will present a 2-seat paddle boat. Note that the “driver” *must* select the seat farthest from the pier and sit first / stand last to avoid the boat being unexpectedly derezzed.

Villa Eirini, Calas Galadhon, February 2020

Boat niggles aside, Villa Eirini forms another superb addition to Calas Galadhon and makes for a perfect place in which to spend time and relax.

SLurl Details

All Calas Galadhon regions are rated Moderate.

2020 Content Creation User Group week #6 summary

The Rusty Nail, December 2019 – blog post

The following notes were taken from my audio recording of the Content Creation User Group (CCUG) meeting held on Thursday, February 6th 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.

Note: this meeting was called at short order after the the usual start-of-month Linden Lab internal All Hands meeting was delayed a week. This means that a) the meeting was slightly shorter than usual; b) there will not be a CCUG meeting on Thursday, February 13th.

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.

Resources

Current Status

  • EEP is now in burn-down mode – which means more bugs are being fixed than are being reported.
  • Again, as this project is drawing ever closer to a possible full deployment, now is the time for those who use windlights for photography or within their regions to test the EEP RC viewer and see if they can identify any potential issues / bugs.

ARCTan

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. This work can essentially be broken down as:
    • Collect data.
    • Update ARC function.
    • Design and provide tool within the viewer UI (i.e. not a pop-up) that presents ARC information in a usable manner and lets users make decisions about rendering / performance.
  • 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, after the avatar work.
  • The belief is that “good” avatar ARC values can likely be used as a computational base for these rendering calculations.

Current Status

  • Vir has been working on the apparent Bake service issue noted in my last CCUG summary. Unfortunately, while he has ascertained it is something that can occur, it seems to do so entirely randomly and with no real consistency, making reproducing the issue in order to track down probable causes very difficult.

In Brief

  • BUG-228153, “FAO Vir: Possible cause of greyness in bakes” reports a Bake Service issue, which is due to be looked at by the Lab. This is probably not related to the issue Vir has been seeing with complex attachments.
  • A side on on the Bake Service: it is not only responsible for handling appearance bakes (textures), but also include calculations on shape, vertical positioning, etc., some of which must be calculated regardless of whether or not wearables are being used, and which can be affected by attachments containing position offsets.
  • There have been a number of feature requests for follow-up Bakes on Mesh work. Some of these have been accepted. However, there are no plans to re-open BoM for further work in the immediate future.