A Dripping Wet swim in Second Life

Out for a swim

Water. There’s a lot of it to be found in Second Life, particularly of the Linden variety. Not all of it may be accessible, but the areas that are have encouraged animation override makers to include basic surface / underwater swimming animations in their products, whilst a number dedicated swimming systems have appeared over the years.

One of the most recent of the latter to pop-up is the Dripping Wet Swimming Suite, created by Sakasi Hasudo (HerdMother) and marketed under her Lactopia brand. It is designed to provide a complete Second Life swimming experience for four-limbed human avatars (it will not by default work correctly for merfolk), I found the description and outlined functionality intriguing enough to give it a go.

At L$699, Dripping Wet sits within the typical price range for animation overrides, and offers a genuine swimming experience with surface and underwater swimming animations, idling / floating animations, water effects and splashing sounds, and water droplets that will fall from the body on exiting  Linden Water.

As such, the package comes with no fewer than 14 items: the HUD, 12 water dripping / splashing attachments and a script. The attachments provide particle effects when swimming, entering / leaving the water, and also particle drips that “fall” from the body, and which can be turned on / off manually, if required).

Twelve attachments may sound a lot, but whey you consider that for swimming, many other attachments (multiple mesh clothing items, for example) can be removed, this is actually not too bad. Further, not all of the attachments need to be worn;  as I’m not overly enamoured with the dripping effect, I only use the arm / leg attachments to the swimming particle effects can be generated.

Still swimming!

The included script can be used by those using ZHAO-style animation override HUDS to ensure a smooth transition between walking / swimming animations when moving to / from Linden water and land without having to toggle either HUD on / off. I confess to not having tried this, as I use the TPV client-side AO system, which can be easily clicked on / off via the toolbar.

The HUD and attachments should be ADDed to your avatar, rather than worn – again, possibly the easiest way is to create an outfit and include the HUD and the dripping attachments you wish to use together with your swimming costume.

Sitting at the bottom of the viewer window by default when attached, the HUD is very unobtrusive, comprising three buttons: swim, dive and “drip”. The first two are reasonably self-explanatory, accessing as they do the swimming and diving options respectively, whilst the drip button will turn on the body dripping / splashing (thus allowing the “wet look” to be used n land for photography, etc).

Overall the following animations are included:

  • 12 surface / underwater animations swimming animations (the breaststroke can be used both on the surface and underwater).
  • 6 floating / idling animations (4 available for surface & underwater swimming, two for use when on the surface).
  • 8 diving animations.
The HUD (1) will request permissions to animate your avatar (2) whenever attached; this is to allow the swim / dive animations and teleporting you back to a saved dive point. Clicking the swim / dive buttons will take you to the dialogue system (3 – main menu options shown).

The easiest way to use the system is to select your preferred surface swim and idle animation, and then do the same for underwater (obviously, you can change these at any time you wish). Using the movement keys in Linden Water will automatically engage your swim animation and your avatar will return to the “idle” animation (e.g. treading water) when movement stops.

Using PAGE DOWN will move you under the waves and engage the underwater swim / idle animations. While it may well be an issue with my Bluetooth keyboard, I found I had to tab PAGE UP to cancel the “downward” swimming, otherwise my avatar would simply remain face down stuck in that animation. PAGE UP will return you to the surface, with an automatic transition to surface swim / idle. When swimming / idling on the surface, you can adjust your position in the water via the HUD’s z-offset controls.

The dives will operate at any height, providing Linden Water is properly detected beneath you. If it is not, because you’re attempting to dive onto land, for example, or if the water is simply too shallow, your dive attempt will be stopped and you’ll be warned in chat:

You will break your neck – there’s no water to land in!

All of the dives are exceptionally graceful – if a little rocket-powered, given the height you can reach! In addition, you can save a dive spot to the HUD and use it to return to that spot – handy if you are diving from, say, a boat (assuming there is someone else on  the boat to stop it being auto-returned if in public waters!).


Dives are graceful, but tend to reach a fair height!

Admittedly, this is the first HUD-based swimming system I’ve tried, and I’ve found it does exactly what it says on the tin – and does it very well. As noted, the swims are smooth, the dives effective and the entire package easy-to-use whilst the unobtrusive nature of the HUD means it does not get in the way of things.

In terms of the z-offset adjustments, this can be done via the HUD’s dialogue, as noted, and also by editing a configuration note card in the HUD.

The latter could do with more explanation in the user manual for those who may note be comfortable in editing objects and playing with config files. Those who aren’t, and who find fiddling with the HUD’s dialogues irritating, may find tweaking their hover height slider an acceptable compromise.

I understand from Sakasi that an update is in progress,  and that their are plans for the system to work in non-Linden water – all of which will further increase the value of the system.

For my part, the system has already become part of a swimming outfit (with cossie and a suitable hair).


A corner of Cornwall in Second Life

Mousehole, June 2021 – click any image for full size

Tolla Crisp contacted me recently to extend an invitation to visit her new region holding, Mousehole, located to the south of her famous Frogmore, a place I’ve covered numerous times in these pages due to it’s sheer beauty. The two are connected to it via footbridge, with Mousehole expanding on the Cornish theme folded into the current iteration of Frogmore (which you can read about here), making both regions ideal for a joint visit, as well as each one standing on its own.

A Full region using the standard 20K land impact, Mousehole takes its name from the Cornish fishing hamlet of Mousehole (pronounced mzəl, or Porthenys in Cornish), located in the far south-west of the English county, on the shore of Mount’s Bay. Like Frogmore, the overall design is the work of Dandy Warhlol (terry Fotherington), whose hand and eye helps to give that flow of continuity between the two regions.

Mousehole, June 2021

With a population of around 700, Mousehole has a long history as a fishing village that dates back to the 1200s. However, in modern times it is noted more as a visitor / tourist destination and for its many festivals and community events that are held throughout the year.

Whilst taking its name and a lot of its inspiration from the hamlet and Cornwall’s rugged coastline, the design also offers and inland setting that offers a mix of hints of Mousehole village and the wilder aspects of the county. Combined, these give the region a unique look and feel whilst also giving a hint why almost a third of Cornwall’s coast and some of its inland areas are designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (ANOB) – giving them the same status as a national park.

Mousehole, June 2021

The main part of the region is open to the public, encircled by a broad beach broken by rocky outcrops to form smaller coves typical of the kind that might be found along the Cornish coast. Along these sands are places to sit, bars to by found, opportunities for swimming or simply floating on the water.

Sitting within this are two upland areas which might be seen along the upper reaches of Cornwall’s rugged coast around Mount’s Bay, but which equally bring to mind the wilds of Bodmin Moor. Separated by a sandy divide that offers a shortcut between the north and south sides of the island, these two uplands are rich in greenery and home to individual scenes.

Mousehole, June 2021

The larger of the two offers a setting that might have been lifted from the village itself – most notably the famous Mousehole Pub, which shares the hilltop with a stone-built house and a country church. No roads are visible here, however; instead, the buildings stand surrounded by moorland grass grazed upon by donkeys (Cornwall and neighbouring Devon are also noted for their donkeys), with visitors free to wander across the hilltop and perhaps cross the bridge spanning the shallow gorge to touch the second upland.

This smaller hill is home to an abandoned house (I admittedly found the motel sign outside to look and feel out-of-place), its garden overgrown and nature starting to reclaim its interior. Forlorn and decaying, it has the feel of a place that one might come across deep in the Cornish moorlands, once home to a farm or the retreat of a wealthy tin mine owner and his family, now long abandoned and forgotten.

Mousehole, June 2021

Further touches of Mousehole and its surrounds can be found within the region. Just off the southern coast, for example, is an islet that is mindful of the small island of St. Clements sitting just off the entrance to the village’s harbour. Be mindful that the in-world island is actually a private residence, however, so do be wary of trespass.

Also, just off on of the beaches lies the entrance to a cavern. Find your way inside and you’ll discover a little homage to the tale of a hermit who was said to once lived along the coast at Mousehole.

Mousehole, June 2021

Rich in detail and touches – off to the west is a smaller island, home to another little bar and also what might be an abandoned military facility of a kind that can be stumbled across around the English coast – Tolla’s Mousehole is another delight to explore and photograph – and a delight to explore.

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