Legends in Art in Second Life

Art Korner Gallery II: Seduce – Legends

Currently on display at Art Korner,, owned and operated by Frank Atisso, is a truly stunning selection of art by an artist known as Seduce. And whilst I can use superlatives when writing about the art I appreciate, the use of “stunning” here is accurate: these are pieces that are truly exceptional in their composition, narrative and sheer beauty.

Hailing from France, and with a background in advertising, Seduce has been active in Second Life for over a decade, but has only – within the last twelve months or so – entered the world of Second Life photography. The latter is something that is hard to grasp given his work is easily among the most evocative of avatar-centric art to be created through the platform. Each piece, so beautiful composited and post-processed, carries a strong cinematic subtext that is glorious whilst being offered as a work that echoes some of the great masters of art in the physical world.

This is very much in evidence within the selection of pieces gathered for display at Art Korner under the title of Legends. Comprising 8 large-format pieces, the exhibition takes as its theme the tales of Ancient Greece and Rome – fact and fiction.

Art Korner Gallery II: Seduce – Legends

Around the walls of the gallery space – itself dressed to evoke a Greco-Roman flavour, and quite effectively so – several of the pieces allow us to witness Caesar’s fateful crossing of the Rubicon in 49 BC (the piece suitably entitled Alea Iacta Est – the words attributed to Caesar as he did so by the historian Suetonius), or to visit Pompeii at the moment Vesuvius erupts or become embroiled in one of Alexander the Great’s conquests. Others take us into the realms of mythology as effectively as a any blockbuster, so we might see Theseus confronted by the Minotaur and Poseidon rising up from the depths (possibly against Odysseus and his crew as they attempt to return home to Ithaca), whilst still others evoke Ridley Scott’s 2000 epic Gladiator.

But what makes these pieces so extraordinary is their depth, particularly those where multiple characters are featured – such as with Alea Iacta Est, Last Kiss in Pompeii and Alexander and Bucephalus.

A close examination of these three will reveal a certain likeness between several of the characters within them whose faces are visible. This is because Seduce has apparently use his avatar(s) numerous times to produce individual images (presumably against a white / green / blue backdrop) which he has then carefully composited into the main image layer by layer, so creating a marvellous story-within-a-frame that on first encounter is breathtakingly unique.

Art Korner Gallery II: Seduce – Legends

Painstaking the work might be, but the end results really are magnificent to look at – so much so that I feel somewhat guilty about only writing about Legends now, when the exhibit is perhaps nearer the end of its run that the start. Hence why I do thoroughly recommend that anyone with a love of SL photography and art as whole make sure they stop by Art Korner Gallery II sooner rather than later, so as not to miss the most extraordinary of exhibitions.

SLurl Details

Kokua: release 6.4.21 and Radegast 2.34

Kokua released version 6.4.21 of their viewer on Saturday, July 24th, bring it up to parity with the official viewer version 6.4.21 (formerly the Fernet RC viewer, version  6.4.21.561414), and which also sees a further porting of options from Firestorm, together with a series of updates and fixes implemented by the Kokua team.

As always, all of the information relating to updates and fixes can be found in the official release notes; the following notes highlight the more directly user-facing changes.

Lab-Derived Updates

Kokua 6.4.21 includes all Linden Lab viewer updates through to the Fernet release. Most notably these include a range of improvements to Voice handling, including changing to default Voice settings in the viewer intended to help prevent issues of drop-out when talking, and which have reportedly all but eliminated drop-outs for those using the new settings. Additionally, the VIVOX VAD options have been exposed via Debug Settings, and detailed notes on these can be found in the official viewer release notes.

Preferences → Graphics Redesign

Kokua 6.4.21 sees an overhaul of Preferences → Graphics that to eliminate the Advanced panel and instead incorporate its content on three new tabs within the Graphics panel: General/Avatar, Hardware, Level of Detail / Shaders.

In addition, one of the never tab ports the dynamic sizing of texture memory developed by Ansariel Hiller for Firestorm.. More on this below.

The updated Preferences → Graphics panel with the new tab-style layout

The additional tabs provide a logical and clear-cut breakdown of options:

  • The General/Avatar tab presents the options perhaps used most frequently by the majority of users: Draw Distance, avatar complexity / number of imposter avatars, post-process, detail and physics quality settings.
  • The Level of Detail/Shaders tab provides access to the controls for the viewer shaders, and general rendering quality sliders (terrain, trees, objects, etc.).

The remaining tab, Hardware, is the tab that incorporates the dynamic texture memory sizing option. The idea with this is that it allows the viewer to use more of the available graphics memory whilst still reserving space for other uses (subject to the overall dedicated graphics memory / system memory that is available – you obviously cannot use more memory than your system actually has!).

The Preferences Graphics tab, showing the new (to Kokua) dynamic texture memory options (from Firestorm)

KKA-878 Add Option to Always Pop-up Chat/IM toasts

This is a fix for a noticeable issue with how Kokua handles chat notifications.

Until now, the default pop-up / Toast behaviour is as toasts show unless the local chat panel is visible and not overlaid by another floater. This is counter-intuitive in that the purpose of pop-ups / Toasts are designed to inform because floaters / panels may be obscured.

The new option to Always Pop-up the message, which is common to all of the drop-down lists on the Chat → Notifications tab in Preferences

BugSplat Updates

This release also includes a number of fixes for Kokua crashing whilst attempting to send information to the BugSplat reporting tool, before sufficient information can obtained to help pin down what might have been happening leading up to the crash, rather than just reporting where a crash happened. Please refer to the release notes for more on this.

Radegast 2.34

Radegast, the lightweight client for Second Life and OpenSim updated to version 2.34 on July 26th.

The majority of the updates included in the release are “under the hood” changes, specifically designed to:

  • Paving the way for future UI changes.
  • Providing better non-Windows platform and mobile support.

However, there have been improvements  to image processing, with JPEG2000 decoding and encoding times now improved.

Radegast JPEG2000 decoding and encoding times should help with elements of in-world rendering

As noted in the release notes, these improvements also require the installed version of Radegast to be specific to your computer’s architecture (e.g. the x64 version on Windows 64-bit system).

Also note that the 3D world rendering can give variable results (as it always has), depending on aspects of the system on which Radegast is being run, etc. While it has been a while since I last used the client in anger, the 3D rendering appeared to be a lot smoother than I remember, although it still includes issues in rendering mesh clothing correctly rigged to the avatar, and also demonstrated a familiar issue of failing to render textures on all prim faces.

For the full list of updates and fixes, please refer to the official 2.34 release notes.

Given it has now been several years since I’ve reviewed Radegast in-depth (it’s actually been a decade since my first review, and just a month shy of that since me first review of the client’s rendering capabilities), I will endeavour to offer a complete refresh in the future.

Links

2021 SUG meeting week #30 summary

Valkyrie Light Transport Railroad, April 2021 – – blog post

The following notes were taken from the Tuesday, July 27th, 2021 Simulator User Group (SUG) meeting. The meeting was recorded by Pantera Północy, and the video is embedded at the end of this summary.

Server Deployments

Please refer to the server deployment thread for updates.

  • All simhosts not restarted in the last week were updated to version 561609, which which should not see any changes to the behaviour of simulators, nor to the configuration of the machines running those simulators.
  • The planned deployment for Wednesday, July 28th has been cancelled.

Mesh Physics Issue

The Lab is experimenting with optimising the configuration of the cloud simhosts to increase performance. However, a side effect of this has been that some meshes have a different physics impact calculation, which may be higher or lower than previously shown. This will affect both new and existing uploads. If you experience this issue, please file a Jira or contact support.

From Rider Linde on this matter:

It seems that for very very thin prims with physics there is a difference in the way Havok calculates their cost and that difference bubbles up into land impact.

From Simon Linden:

We had a problem reported where the costs changed. It wasn’t drastic, but this object was designed to be really close to a limit. The shift was small but enough to get noticed and we need to figure out why for those exact same reasons – it can cause some real headaches.

SL Viewer

There have been no updates to the current batch of official viewers to mark the start of the week, leaving the pipelines as follows:

  • Release viewer: Fernet Maintenance RC, version 6.4.21.561414, dated July 14, promoted July 19 – NEW.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • None.
  • Project viewers:
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version 6.4.11.550519, dated October 26.
    • Copy / Paste viewer, version 6.3.5.533365, dated December 9, 2019.
    • Project Muscadine (Animesh follow-on) project viewer, version 6.4.0.532999, dated November 22, 2019.
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version 6.2.4.529111, dated July 16, 2019.

In Brief

  • Gaming bugs:
    • BUG-10908 “Ghost Objects Left over when things are removed from play” is an issue that has been around for several years, but appears to be increasing in incidence, particularly within games in SL. Some work was put into developing a fix for the issue, but the current status of that work needed to be established before the issue could be commented on further.
    • There are also reports that BUG-7084 “Prim properties visually revert to an earlier state since Interesting” being encountered more frequently, again within some hunt games.
    • Both appear to be related to Interest List updates, and conflicts with full / terse updates to objects within a region. Essentially, if an object is updated (e.g. rendered transparent because it has been “collected” by a player), and that the object is not in the interest list for the viewer of another player at the time of the update, then the update isn’t registered until that player attempts to touch the object – at which point it vanishes.