Enjoying Cica’s Summertime in Second Life

Cica Ghost: Summertime, July 2020

For July, Cica Ghost has offered her latest installation for people to enjoy. Summertime is a reminder that summer days can be, for all of us, “the best of what might be”, as her quote from Charles Bowden, the late American journalist, essayist and author, reminds us. It’s also a reminder that despite all the shadows cast by the current SARS-CoV-2 situation, happier, brighter, days will come along.

This is another quirky, light and fun installation with more to see than might initially meet the eye. At its core, it offers what might be a giant’s overgrown yard garden. Much of the ground forms a tiled surface that undulates slight, giving the impression of an aged, uneven terrace. Set upon this, and the grass beyond it, lay a series of planters of assorted shapes and sizes, from which sprout a variety of plants.

Cica Ghost: Summertime, July 2020

Tall willow-like trees watch over this landscape, whilst scattered flowers and grass grow free of the pots and planters – perhaps grazing for the cows that are also present here.

Standing or sitting alone or in pairs or small groups, the cattle are curious souls, their large eyes constantly roving over the land around them, seeing all that goes on. The set to the brows of some suggest they might not entirely welcome avatars traipsing over their grass and flowers, while others look more interested in one another than in any visitors passing by. All of them offer opportunities for photos to be taken in their company, that can be hard to ignore.  Nor are the only occupants of this land; representative of Cica’s cats and crows are also waiting to be found, while a unique coop provides a stacked home for snow-white chickens.

Cica Ghost: Summertime, July 2020

There’s more to see throughout the setting, as well. Some of the planters have the distinct look of houses or buildings about them – with one even the home of a little cinema – while others have the feel of being little hideaways. As with all of Cica’s installations, there are multiple places to sit, although one or two might require a little careful seeking – so be sure to carefully mouse-over planters and plants as well as simply looking for the chairs and garden benches. And if you’re not in the mood to walk, hop on to one of the seed carriers that are fluttering around the landscape and be scooted around.

A heart-lifting setting caught in the light of a late afternoon Sun, Summertime is another delightful visit, while those so taken by them, can obtain Cica’s cows from  the little store in the north-west corner of the region.

Cica Ghost: Summertime, July 2020

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2020 SL project updates week #28: TPVD summary

A Favela, May 2020 – blog post

The following notes are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, July 10th, 2020. These meetings are generally held every other week, unless otherwise noted in any given summary. The embedded video is provided to Pantera – my thanks to her for recording and providing it. Time stamps are included with the notes will open the video at the point(s) where a specific topic is discussed.

SL Viewer News

[0:00-3:10]

  • On Monday, July 6th, the Arrack Maintenance RC viewer, updated to version 6.4.5.544465.
  • On Tuesday, July 7th, the Tools Update RC viewer updated to version 6.4.5.544474.

The rest of the current official viewer pipelines are as follows:

  • Current Release viewer version 6.4.3.543157, dated June 11, promoted June 23, formerly the CEF RC viewer – No Change.
  • Release channel cohorts:
  • Project viewers:
    • Custom Key Mappings project viewer, version 6.4.5.544079, June 30.
    • Mesh uploader project viewer, version 6.4.4.543141, June 11.
    • Copy / Paste viewer, version 6.3.5.533365, December 9, 2019.
    • Project Muscadine (Animesh follow-on) project viewer, version 6.4.0.532999, November 22, 2019.
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version 6.3.2.530836, September 17, 2019. Covers the re-integration of Viewer Profiles.
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version 6.2.4.529111, July 16, 2019.

General Viewer Notes

  • Love Me Render (LMR) viewer: work is continuing to try to address rendering fixes – notably those for issues with EEP. As this work is taking longer than anticipated to complete, this viewer has been pushed down the list iin terms of promotion.
  • The Tools Update viewer is apparently undergoing regression testing with Bakes on Mesh.
  • This means that week #29 (commencing Monday, July 13th) will likely see the Arrack Maintenance RC viewer promoted to de facto release status.
  • Both the Legacy Profiles Project Viewer and the Mesh Uploader Project Viewer are “close” to being promoted to release candidate (RC) status, although the latter may await the incorporation of an additional patch from Firestorm developer Beq Janus.

In Brief

  • Media issues:
    • [3:50-4:48] BUG-229036 “Parcel media cannot be played if Media auto-play is set to No” – this is said to be specific to the CEF release viewer, and a fix has cleared QA testing, and may make it into the Arrack Maintenance RC, or if not will be in the Maintenance RC viewer to follow it.
    • [8:11-8:26] BUG-22838 “Media on a prim – loops when it should not” – is still awaiting attention, but will be added to the Maintenance queue for testing repos.
  • [5:39-7:20] SL Mobile app:
    • It’s believed the current limited testing of the iOS version of app is drawing to a close, and work is moving forward on getting an updated version ready for a broader round of testing.
    • The Android version is still “some way behind” iOS development, and there is currently nothing available for initial testing.
  • [11:09-12:01] Apple OpenGL / ARM CPU announcement: LL are still investigating options for moving away from OpenGL, and awaiting further news from Apple on their plan to move to ARM CPUs for systems. However, LL is still planning on providing continued support for Mac users.

Grauland’s rugged summer looks in Second Life

Grauland, July 2020 – click any image for full size

JimGarand has re-opened his Homestead region of Grauland with a further iteration of its looks; one that brings a new face to the region whilst also offering echoes of past designs.

For this iteration, the region has been split into two islands, each with its own particular look, although both make excellent use of Alex Bader’s modular cliff sets to give them form. The smaller of the two sits roughly rectangular in shape, and is home to the Stonehenge seen in the last iteration of the region (see: Art and a fort in Second Life), with the region’s signature “Giant’s Causeway” (via Cube Republic’s Basalt columns set) on its west side.

Grauland, July 2020

Broad and flat and the home of wild flowers, this island is connected to its larger, L-shaped cousin via a truss bridge of an exceptionally sturdy build. This spans the intervening channel to arrive at the region’s landing point with its customary teleport to Jim’s sky-borne store.

Topped by woods and trees, this larger island descends in tiers from the north plateau to the south-west beach. Three  furnished houses occupy these major elevations, two of them – to the north end of the island an in the mid-elevation comprising somewhat blocky designs that help them feel a part of the block-like nature of the plateaus on which they sit. However, in terms of position, the mid-level and beach-level houses are perhaps the most striking, as they bracket the island’s most interesting aspect: what might be called a “concrete garden”.

Grauland, July 2020

Built partially over water, this is a curious and engaging feature, comprising a rich mix of elements: a maze of cube-shaped rooms, a glass-domed pavilion with sculpture within it, seating areas marked by oak and ash trees in planters, water features and stepping stones and the regimented lines of cement blocks that formed a part of the Grauland landscape when we first visited it in March 2019 (see: Art as a landscape in Second Life). There’s more here waiting to be seen, but that will suffice for a brief introduction.

This garden area both forms an artistic statement in its design and contains art. The maze of cube rooms, for example stands more as an artistic statement than a puzzle as the ways through are easy enough, but in winding one’s way through the rooms will reveal paintings and graffiti on the walls and carefully placed items of furniture. There’s also the sculpture within the pavilion, more sculpture in the open; even the position of a large angular rock (courtesy of Alex’s Bader’s Zen garden kit) is offered as a part of the art in the setting.

Grauland, July 2020

Further statues and sculptures lie at various points around the landscape – overlooking the waters, sitting with the trees, etc., that further add depth to the region. Even the rounded stones and rocks on the west beach, mixed with curved cement walls and a line of marching turtles, make a unique, artistic statement.

As well as extending out to the west, the beach also forms a separator between the higher elevations of the large island, splitting them in two with a narrow ribbon of sand spanned above by an arched bridge. This path leads to a further ribbon of beach running south-to-north along the region’s eastern side and around the island’s south side.

Grauland, July 2020

Each of the Grauland designs has always had a certain attraction about it – not just photogenically, but in the overall approach and layout. This is certainly the case here as well, whilst a sense of romance is added through the inclusion of dance systems around the landscape.

I’ve always enjoyed Grauland’s various looks, but there is is something about this design that I find particularly engaging. It has a pot-pourri of elements – Stonehenge, rugged islands concrete constructs, water features – that stand individually as focal points to be appreciated by those visiting, whilst also flowing together as a very natural whole. There is also the considered mix of the “new” and the “old” (in terms of previous designs) that is sure to appeal to those who are familiar with the region’s past iterations.

Grauland, July 2020

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