2020 SUG meeting week #50

Hidden Lake, October 2020 – blog post

The following notes were taken from the Tuesday, December 8th Simulator User Group (SUG) meeting.

Server Updates

Refer to the server deployment thread for the latest news and updates.

The week sees a series of deployments between Monday and Wednesday:

  • On Monday, December 7th, the simulators on the SLS Main channel were updated to simulator release 553168 contacting “some internal tweaks”.
  • On Tuesday, December 8th, the RC channels were updated to simulator release 553176, which again contains “some internal tweaks”.
  • If all goes will with the RC deployment, 553176 will be deployed to the SLS Main channel on Wednesday, December 9th.

Commenting on the week’s deployment, Rider Linden said:

So. We’re just about done with the tight sequence of rolls. Tomorrow [Wednesday  8th] we should be doing the main channel again, and then all will be right with the world. We are hoping that that is the final roll of the year. In January we should be back onto our regular Tuesday/Wednesday schedule. We know that the packed schedule has been disruptive over the last week, so thank you for being patient with us.

While there are no planned deployments between the end of this week and year-end, it is likely all regions will be restarted before the holiday break at the Lab to “keep things fresh”.

SL Viewer

The Start of the week has seen no change to the current crop of official viewers, leaving them as follows:

  • Current release viewer version, formerly Cachaça Maintenance RC viewer promoted on November 12 – No Change.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Dawa Maintenance RC Viewer, version, released December 3.
    • Custom Key Mappings project viewer, version, November 12.
  • Project viewers:
    • Project Jelly project viewer (Jellydoll updates), version, December 4.
    • Simple Cache project viewer, version, issued on November 12.
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version, October 26.
    • Copy / Paste viewer, version, December 9, 2019.
    • Project Muscadine (Animesh follow-on) project viewer, version, November 22, 2019.
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version, July 16, 2019.

In Brief

  • Map tiles are still not being regularity updated, however the Lab both identified the cause of the issue and a possible fix, however, it now seems probable this will not be deployed until after the holiday break.
  • LL have suggested that the Map system might be looked at in the future, with a request being made as to what people would like to see, were such a project to go ahead. Some of the suggested made at the meeting included:
    • The ability to add a logo over regions, rather than having to make one from prims (allowing for constraints that would be required to prevent abuse (such as having an expanded set of iconography?).
    • Allow the map to ignore region surrounds so the terrain can be seen on the map, rather than the map tile being a blank coloured square.
    • Heat maps showing traffic over varying time periods, a-la the old Metabolt client.
    • Better zoom capabilities.
    • Indicators / textures for showing whether the region is currently in daylight or night-time.
  • Work is continuing to try to improve the teleport issues some are experiencing.

A Silent Night in Second Life

Silent Night, December 2020 – click any image for full size

Early in December, Caitlyn and I visited Silent Night, a Homestead region design by Nessa  Nova of Lost Unicorn fame. As you might expect given the region’s name, it is a winter / Christmas setting – one that is eye-catching in the simplicity of its setting, carrying a natural beauty together with little touches of detail and humour than encourage visitors to explore.

Ringed by mountains, the region sits under a starlit sky across which the ribbon of the Milky Way has been thrown, a bridge of light and colour that spans the gap between two peaks, a gibbous Moon peeping at it from over the shoulder of another high mountain.

Silent Night, December 2020

Heavy in snow, the mountains shield the land from the rest of the world, a spur line of a railway cutting through the roots of the high peaks to bring a steam train hissing into the local station, the tunnel through which it has travelled seeming the one link between this place and the world at large. However, the train coming into the station is no ordinary service; it appears to be powered by the magic of the season: its coal tender empty of everything other than toys, presents and a Christmas tree glowing with lights.

The station is the region’s landing point, and from here, across the end of the line, a path winds past Babba’s Café where a hot drink can be enjoyed should the snow prove a little too much – and snow there is aplenty across the region. It  lies deep on the ground, has frosted the trees, and sits upon roofs and on benches as it falls softly from the sky.

Silent Night, December 2020

Beyond the end of the path, rutted tracks cut through the snow, marking routes that might be explored, whilst the heart of the region is given over to frozen lake where skating might be enjoyed around a tall, decorated tree at its centre, holding aloft a shining star.

The frozen lake is not the only place for skating, however. A Short walk across the snow from the café is a more formal rink, festooned with lights of its own, a snowman waiting to greet visitors and offer them skates.

Silent Night, December 2020

Elsewhere, a winding track runs back from one of the two piers that stretch out into the frozen waters of the Lake. It curls  through woodlands, passing under the high arch of rock curving out from the arms of a mountain, to lead the way to a cosy cottage to the north-east of the land.

To the south of the lake, a tongue of snow-covered land extends out into the frozen water. It shelters a heart-shaped tree guarded by a peacock and rabbits, where a fairy is waiting to offer couples the opportunity to dance. The path to it passes around the west side of the lake, offering the chance to visit a carousel and a little camp fire (one of three waiting to be found), whilst another little café offers food and drink.

Silent Night, December 2020

Simple in presentation, rich in contents – not everything is described here – and ideal for photography and winter romance, Silent Night is an engaging and attractive visit.

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Sensation & Perception in Second Life

Nitroglobus Roof Gallery – Sensation and Perception, Monique Beebe, December 2020

Monique Beebe returns to Nitroglobus Roof Gallery, curated by Dido Haas for the gallery’s final exhibition of 2020, entitled Sensation & Perception.

Monique – Moni to her friends – is one of my favourite artists when it comes to narrative avatar studies;  her work is richly evocative, sometimes provocative, and always fascinating to read and admire. Such is the richness of her work, Moni has been a semi-regular at Nitroglobus over the last few years, and it is always a pleasure to see her work there. However, for this exhibition, she presents something a little bit different; a series of images that challenge her and those of us who view them, as she explains:

The aesthetic experience is more a matter of emotion and feeling (sensation) than of the subjective image which we create in our heads of what we see (perception). In other words you can be ‘touched’ by an image, a feeling you have, before you interpret the story shown on the image …
In that same way this exhibition Sensation & Perception is made. It’s not like my usual artwork where I try to capture emotions in a face. This time I moved outside of my comfort zone to create art that I leave to the observer to respond to through their own sensations and perceptions.

– Monique Beebe on Sensation and Perception

Nitroglobus Roof Gallery – Sensation and Perception, Monique Beebe, December 2020

The result is a series of avatar studies, some of which might be considered not suitable for work (NSFW), others of which are richly layer via post-processing to offer a finish that is very different to many of Moni’s previous works, and which by doing so, particularly evoke sensations on a physical level as well as visuals by suggesting we might actually run fingers over their uneven surfaces in order to appreciate them through our sense of touch.

As per the title of the exhibition, all of the pieces presented generate an initial response that is guided by our senses – that initial wash of emotional response that may see us drawn to one image whilst perhaps stepping back from another. But so too, they challenge us to look again, to view them more deeply, and allow our perception to see past our initial reactions and let each piece tell its story as we study it more deeply. Again, as Moni notes:

Everybody has a different sense or perception: for instance when we see an image of a face with wrinkles we can get touched by the emotion of that face and we automatically assume it is an old person we see. But maybe we also see something different in it, like a person who went trough a lot, who suffered and/or lived in pitiful circumstances.

– Monique Beebe on Sensation and Perception

Nitroglobus Roof Gallery – Sensation and Perception, Monique Beebe, December 2020

This makes Sensation & Perception one of the most engaging exhibitions by an artist who has a deserved reputation for producing art that engages the eye and mind.

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