2021 CCUG meeting week #18 summary

Florence at Low Tide, February 2021 – blog post

The following notes were taken from my audio recording and chat log of the Content Creation User Group (CCUG) meeting held on Thursday, May 6th, 2021.

These meetings are chaired by Vir Linden, with dates available via the SL Public Calendar and the venue for the CCUG is the Hippotropolis camp fire.

Content-wise, this was a short meeting, many of the usual attendees being absent, perhaps caught out by CCUG meetings over the last few months only taking place every other week, and this one following directly after Week #17’s meeting.

SL Viewer

There have been no further updates to the current crop of official SL viewers since the release of the Project UI viewer (see: Lab issues Project UI viewer aimed at new users), leaving the pipelines for the week as follows:

  • Release viewer: Eau de Vie Maintenance viewer, version, dated April 23rd, promoted April 29th.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Project UI viewer, version, issued May 3rd.
    • Love Me Render (LMR) 5 viewer, version, dated April 22nd.
    • Maintenance 2 RC viewer – Fernet, version, dated April 21st.
  • Project viewers:
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version, dated October 26th.
    • Copy / Paste viewer, version, dated December 9th, 2019.
    • Project Muscadine (Animesh follow-on) project viewer, version, dated November 22nd, 2019.
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version, dated July 16th, 2019.

General Viewer Notes

  • The current RC viewers – LMR 5 and Maintenance 2 – are currently awaiting new versions following their merges with the current release viewer code base. There has been a delay in testing due to members of the the lab’s viewer QA team being on vacation.
  • LMR 5 is now considered “complete”, so following the code merge, should be in a strong position to be promoted as the next de facto release viewer.
  • LMR 6, the next rendering focused viewer is still in development. So far a dozen bugs are being addressed to be a part of this viewer, and more are being added to the list. As such, it’s liable to be a while before this viewer appears as an RC.
  • It is hoped the Apple notifications fix viewer and the updated Voice viewer that helps with expected Voice drop-outs both available in the very near future.

Documentation and Resources

The core of this meeting focused on a a discussion about where “accurate” avatar skeletons can be obtained, as the current resources appear out-of-date (e.g. the Fitted Mesh resource page indicates the skeletons in the supplied link are pre-Bento), whilst the Bento page indicates one skeleton may be “broken”.

Whilst there are alternate reliable sources for skeleton information (e.g. via Machinimatrix), these are not always resources newer users may be comfortable using as they “are not Linden Lab” – even though the people responsible for them worked closely with other users and the Lab on projects such as Bento and helped define the Bento skeleton.

This highlights a particular issue in not having up-to-date “official” resources on matters such as content creation – which may in turn be a contributing factor in the development of poorly-made / poorly-optimised SL content. Two problems here are that:

  • LL  does not have the resources to manage and maintain the entire SL wiki (and in fact there had been murmurs in the past about consideration being given to deprecating the wiki in favour of other sources,   although this is currently not the case).
  • Due to issues of “bot griefing”, access to editing the SL wiki had to be restricted several years ago “pending” improved tools to prevent such events – but this has yet to happen. Therefore, it is much harder for users to help maintain the wiki, as tended to be the case in the past.

In Brief

  • Account / inventory syncing between Agni (the Main grid) and Aditi (the Beta grid) remains broken. No ETA on when this may be resolved, other than “watch the status page“.
  • Date of next meeting: Thursday, May 20th, 2021.

Monochrome tales in Second Life

Kondor White Gallery: The Art of Black and White – Rachel Magic

There is something about black and white images – particularly those taken within Second Life, for some reason – that I find particularly evocative.

Whilst colour images, carefully pre- or post-processed, hold a depth of attraction and speak clearly to the artistic talent of the photographer-artist responsible for their creation, monochrome images – even through they have likely been subjected to a similar level of pre- or post-processing – just seem to retain a degree of natural depth to them I am drawn to. So much so, that I’ve honestly played with the idea of using black-and-white illustrations in my travelogue blog posts.

Kondor White Gallery: The Art of Black and White – Rachel Magic

The richness of depth and narrative was brought home to me again while visiting the Kondor Art Centre, curated by Hermes Kondor, and specifically The Art of Black & White by Rachel Magic (LarisaLyn), which can be found throughout May at the Kondor White Gallery.

Rachel states of herself that she doesn’t like to lock herself into one visual style, and anyone who has witnessed her work will know this in the case. But there are two constants to her work: a richness of expression and a depth of story. All of this is true within the two floors of the gallery space hosting this exhibition.

Kondor White Gallery: The Art of Black and White – Rachel Magic

The lower floor focuses on landscapes captured from around Second Life. These offer unique views of their settings, be it through focus or techniques such as over-exposure / strength of contrast. These approaches present extracts of stories that our imaginations are invited to fill out – what lies at the end of the road; where are the owners of the bicycles – are they at work, relaxing on a beach beyond at the fence; who might be riding on the train caught through an archway…?

On the upper floor, Rachel presents a collection of monochrome avatar studies that, by their nature, paint a broader story, each one complete in it framing, angle and focus. These are all completely captivating, although I admit that Sweet Child of Mine, tucked into a corner – one of four smaller sized images in this collection.

Kondor White Gallery: The Art of Black and White – Rachel Magic

A further attraction of The Art of Black and White is a single artist presenting a split of landscape and avatar studies in a single exhibition when the “norm” among artists is to lean far more towards a focusing on one or the other rather than offering both in equal balance.

Enticing and engaging, The Art of Black and White will run through May and is well worth visiting.

Kondor White Gallery: The Art of Black and White – Rachel Magic

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