The Edge – a new home in Second Life

THE EDGE Art Gallery, May 2020

THE EDGE Art Gallery, operated by Ladmilla and Eli Medier has a new home in Second Life. Now occupying a 2-storey villa-style house, the gallery serves as a centre for the couple to display their own art alongside of a new project they have initiated called Art on the Road.

The large interior walls of the house provide space for Ladmilla’s and Eli’s SL-centric images, with the rooms spacious enough so that the furniture within them doesn’t interfere with views of the art. These offer a mix of unique pieces by Ladmilla and Eli, and a set of joint pieces feature an image by Ladmilla and words by Eli.

THE EDGE Art Gallery, May 2020

This latter style of art by the couple has always had a fascination for me. The melding of Eli’s words with Ladmilla’s art offers a rich combination of imagery and narrative that cannot fail to capture the imagination. Eli also provides his own images and words, while Ladmilla presents a series of her own images taken from her journeys around Second Life, adding to the overall richness of the art on display within the gallery. Outside, the garden fence offers space for art by some of Ladmilla’s and Eli’s favourite artists.

Also to be found in the gallery is information on Lamilla and Eli’s Art on the Road series, mentioned above.

THE EDGE Art Gallery, May 2020

This is a project to bring art to the roads of Mainland, with small gallery spaces, offering people the chance to drop by and appreciate Eli’s and Ladmilla’s art.

We thought it would be nice that instead of calling people to the usual galleries, we’d use some spots like small pubs along the roadsides what may attract people’s attention. We don’t know how well it will work, although we hope to keep the spaces for some time, so we’re just a trying things. Besides, we love mainland!

– Ladmilla

At the time of writing, three such locations have been set up by the couple, landmarks below. As well as offering more opportunities to enjoy Lamilla’s and Eli’s art, each location includes a tandem bicycle rezzer so that visitors can enjoy along the roads of Mainland.

THE EDGE Art Gallery, May 2020

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Speedlight version 5.143.1224 – May 2020

via Speedlight

Speedlight, the browser based / Android Second Life client, received an update on May 22nd, focusing heavily on the world rendering capabilities, offering updates to the UI displays, and various performance fixes / improvements, together with a step forward in avatar rendering.

The performance improvements are mostly under-the-hood – notably the addition of a further back-end rendering server pool, that I understand specifically handles textures and which corrects issues of textures with alphas failing to render correctly (so, among other things, no more “boxy” trees). There have also been updates in handling network traffic, so 3D world view freezes should be less apparent.

For client-side assistance with rendering, the Scene Progress / 3D Settings information panels have been updated thus:

  • The old connection status has now been revised to show three colour relating to “lag”:
    • Green – you’re “fully” connected to the server.
    • Orange – your connection is suffering from network lag.
    • Red – severe lag (/ awaiting data?).
  • The 3D Settings display in the panel now includes the option to switch between downloading and rendering objects at “high” or “low” quality, with the latter intended to reduce the network traffic load between your browser / device and the Speedlight servers.
The 3D World View, May 2020, showing the “lag indicator” (top) which will switch from green to orange if the connecting is lagging (or red if really problematic), and the new option in the 3D settings to select your preferred object rendering quality. Also visible is the revised avatar mannequin

With regard to these object rendering quality settings, I understand that for users on the “low” quality object setting, objects stay cached in the Speedlight intermediary server, speeding load times when camming / moving around. Objects cached in “high” quality”, however, may be discarded if not in the immediate view, so as to allow the servers to handle other object data.

The improvements to avatar rendering mean that avatars now have a body shape. It’s still primitive, but again somewhat in keeping the Lumiya’s progress with avatar rendering.

The case remains that only Gold members can move their avatars in the world view while free account users can only orbit / zoom their camera / turn their avatar on he spot. However, both Gold and free account users can see others avatars moving in their field of view, and the walking is fairly fluid, and certainly a good start to things. The short video below highlights the avatar movement.

According to the release notes, seated avatars should be rendered in a basic sitting pose (and a seated avatar is shown in the video). However, whether this is limited to just Gold users or a glitch with my experience, I’m not entirely sure (my Gold membership has lapsed at present) – but I found that when my avatar (running on a viewer) was seated on a lounger, my alt (running on Speedlight) rendered her as standing on the back of the lounger, rather than offering a view of her Speedlight avatar in a basic sit pose.

Speedlight should render seated avatars in a basic sit pose in this release. Whether it was because I’m currently only using a free account or not I couldn’t say, but in testing I found this not to be the case. My other avatar appeared to be standing on her seat.


At the time of the release, there were apparently a number of issues with world view rendering, but these did appear to get fixed fairly rapidly. Certainly, by the time I got to play with the release for around 3 hours, I didn’t encounter any of the problems that had been reported; generally speaking, I found my experience was a lot smoother than previously: no sudden lock-ups  / freezes / log-outs within minutes of starting the world view rendering.

As noted, I did have an issue with rendering seated avatars, which might be down to the fact I’m currently not at Gold status. The lack of the latter also meant that I couldn’t check to see if a fix had been made to my issue of my avatar refusing to stop once walking had been initiated (unless she hit and insurmountable obstacle or I logged out / in).

The “high” quality object rendering appears to have fixed a little niggle I’ve had with earlier versions failing to render two of the more complex mesh boats we have have moored at home; one or other would invariably be left with holes in it / missing mesh faces when the download / rendering process apparently completed – but, no more! With this release, both boats render as I’d expect to see them. It was also good to see the trees around our house render correctly, thanks to the alpha issue being fixed.

Quite probably the best experience I’ve had with Speedlight to date, and I understand more improvements are coming down the pipe in the near future!

Related Links

2020 viewer release summaries week #21

Logos representative only and should not be seen as an endorsement / preference / recommendation

Updates for the week ending Sunday, May 24th

This summary is generally published every Monday, and is a list of SL viewer / client releases (official and TPV) made during the previous week. When reading it, please note:

  • It is based on my Current Viewer Releases Page, a list of all Second Life viewers and clients that are in popular use (and of which I am aware), and which are recognised as adhering to the TPV Policy. This page includes comprehensive links to download pages, blog notes, release notes, etc., as well as links to any / all reviews of specific viewers / clients made within this blog.
  • By its nature, this summary presented here will always be in arrears, please refer to the Current Viewer Release Page for more up-to-date information.
  • Note that for purposes of length, TPV test viewers, preview / beta viewers / nightly builds are generally not recorded in these summaries.

Official LL Viewers

  • Current Release viewer version, dated May 11th, promoted May 19th, formerly the Camera Presets RC viewer – NEW.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • FMOD Studio RC viewer update to version on issued May 21st.
    • Love Me Render RC viewer, updated to version on May 19th.
  • Project viewers:
    • No updates.

LL Viewer Resources

Third-party Viewers



  • No updates.

Mobile / Other Clients

Additional TPV Resources

Related Links

Visiting A Favela in Second Life

A Favela, May 2020 – click any image for full size

A favela is a unique, low and middle-income, unregulated settlement or neighbourhood in Brazil that has experienced historical governmental neglect. With a history dating back to the 1800s, most modern favelas appeared in the 1970s due to rural exodus, when many people left rural areas of Brazil and moved to cities, but could not find regulated places to live, and the 2010 Brazilian census reported that around 6% of the country’s population lived in favela or similar housing.

Around Rio de Janeiro, the favela cling to the sides of the hills, looking from a distance like colourful buildings – a colourful façade can oft disguise the crowded nature of a favela, with their tightly packed houses with little inthe way of open space, and where people strive to find a little corner of a rooftop in place of having any form of yard or garden.

A Favela, May 2020

The largest hillside favela in Rio de Janeiro (as well as in Brazil as a whole, and the second largest shanty town in Latin America) is Rocinha; and this mini city-in-a-city might well be the inspiration for the latest design by Lotus Mastroianni and Frecoi called, appropriately enough, A Favela

Unlike their past builds, such as RioSisco Studio Pictures, ChatuChak or Kun-Tei-Ner, all of which covered a complete region, A Favela occupies a 4096 sq metre parcel, and sits as a sky build. This makes a a very compact build, but the space is effectively used to recreate the look and feel of a portion of a favela: the houses are stacked vertically, some buildings looking like there might be multiple apartments, others looking like that are single homes with one room atop the last; some have traditional water tanks, others have the famous blue roof-top tanks provided by power and water company Cedea.

A Favela, May 2020

As with their physical world counterparts, these buildings are made of a variety of materials, their roofs concrete or sheets of corrugated sheets of metal. Between them, a single road winds up the side of a rocky hill, the houses forming deep canyons, the “cliffs” of which and dotted with verandahs and windows. Towards the top of the setting, the road levels before apparently vanishing into a tunnel, above which a backdrop rises, offering a sense of the favela continuing up the mountainside while Christ the Redeemer stands with arms outstretched on a more distant peak.

Like a real favela several of the buildings have steps leading up to rooftop areas that offer places to sit, whilst walls are given life through the application of graffiti paintings or thanks to clothes and towels hung to dry from rails placed outside of windows. Further life is added to the setting through the inclusion of dogs and cats in passages on and rooftop “yards”, while pigs and chickens wander the road’s twists below, ignoring the old cars and trucks parked at the roadside (one of them so out of condition, it needs the help of large stones to hold it in place). Birds circling overhead and a sound scape give a further depth to the setting, rounding it out nicely.

A Favela, May 2020

A small, detailed setting ripe for photography and offering a small glimpse of life in parts of Rio and Brazil.

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