Strawberry has another meme I’m going to do.
The question is why?

The answer is, “I’m not sure, however, it feels as though I’ve devoted so much time to SL at this point that there is potency in knowing more about the secrets.”

Huh, weird. Well, make of that what you will.

Meme instructions: Copy and paste the following statements and answers to your post, delete my answers and input your own. Don’t forget to leave a link to your post in the comments so others can come by and read your answers as well!

  1. Never have I ever had sex, in Second Life. – I have. The most glorious and naughty sex you can imagine.
  2. Never have I ever visited a sex sim, in Second Life. – I have. I don’t try it regularly, and I don’t expect entertainments or such when I go. Mostly I go to browse and talk to people, because, yes, they like to talk in sex sims.
  3. Never have I ever been an escort or stripper, in Second Life. – Nope, never. Oh, well, that one time that I was in a charity event burlesque lineup. Guess what, I got sick the day I was supposed to be on stage and missed the whole darn thing. Go figure.
  4. Never have I ever been in porn videos in Second Life. – Never. Neither can I imagine that anyone would be terribly interested. Headspace is where it is at, friends.
  5. Never have I ever done things that may be illegal in the real world, in Second Life. – Uh? Hmmm. RPing is not illegal as long as you don’t break things or harass people. So I think I’m good. Never done crime.
  6. Never have I ever created an ALT for secret activities, in Second Life. – I have not. On the other hand, I recently saw another person with a twin at a dance, both in the same outfit and it was awesome. I’m tempted.
  7. Never have I ever had a one night stand, in Second Life. – Nope. Anyone I’ve ever been with has always come back for more.
  8. Never have I ever been part of a roleplay community, in Second Life. – I have done RP, but I’m not sure it would count as consistent or as part of a community. Then again, I do remind people that I’m in character all the time. I guess that counts.
  9. Never have I ever discovered a new fetish, because of Second Life. – I have. Wow, are you kidding? There’s tons of invention in SL. So educational.
  10. Never have I ever done things in Second Life that I wouldn’t admit to my friends or family. – I have. Pretty much my whole Second Life is something I do not feel the need to share with Family and Friends. They visit. They nod their heads. And off they go. Maybe that will change. Actually, on second thought, there are some very good friends who do know how to connect the dots on me. Hmmmm.
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Picture yourself

Picture yourself in a boat on a river…
 With tangerine trees and marmalade skies
  Somebody calls you, you answer quite slowly
   A girl with kaleidoscope eyes

Ever wonder how parts of a SL image reach out and grab you? How intentional can you be about snapshots grabbed in a virtual world? Isn’t a snapshot more like shooting images in an urban backdrop—you just hope for the best?

Composition of image, whether you have time or inclination to consider it, is part of the mystery involved in getting a snapshot that really rocks.

Some good reading over here by an experienced SL photo artist. Drawing from other artists, Deoridhe is blogging in depth, with examples of how to make a snapshot have more mystery or energy or action. She refers you to a link, drawing from Mike Vargas86 Aspects of Composition.


So here’s an exercise for you. Page through your Flickr favorites and see how often composition !science! is making the image more interesting to you.

For me, I don’t usually slow down long enough to compose properly. At SL dances, the motion of each avatar, and general position of many is completely up for grabs. OTOH, I do sometime wait… wait… for a shot to fall into a better sequence at dances, using some rough idea of how the various animations are interacting.

we didn't start the fire

Very fun topic.

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Strawberry Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!

So I take a lot of pictures in SL. About 5 for every one that I post on Flickr. The page tells me today I have posted 6198, so I guess my storage is over 30k snapshots.

I think I always have wanted to share the visuals, but when I started, Flickr was not on my radar, so I don’t have great images going back to 2008. And then there are technical issues, such as windlight had just barely been invented. My computer would often choke on SL, my screen was about 1024×512 to begin with. Not knowing much about 3D worlds, I took the snapshots as I saw them pretty much on the fly.


Miss D Ember 2010

Typically I routinely force my shots up to 3600w pixels now. Even then sometimes flaws (tiling) will show up in the glow or windlight cloud structures, an indication, I assume of the hard working graphics card. Mmm. Well, does anyone else get those lines through clouds? They make me crazy. I read on the JIRA that it has been fixed, but then it slips into my shots 1 in 5 times.

I love creating my own windlights or modifying standards in the set that come with Firestorm.

Anyways, recently for my 8th rez, a long time friend surprised the pixels out of me by sending over a ‘gift card’ for the photographer/artist Strawberry Singh. Wow!

This started a flurry of research (read the studio notes on Strawberry’s page, educational!)

And I took some play time to wander the grid looking for backdrops in case I wanted a photo with a fabulous backdrop, like Galadriel’s Mirror!

gold portraits, Galadriel's Mirror pink field 3

Ultimately, I decided to go with ‘studio time’ and see what Strawberry might do with me given full creative reign. Here for the record, I get to share the results with you. OMG. Very exciting!

Here’s to 2016 in Second Life.




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When a reader hates what you love, you’re on to something…

Cecilia Tan puts her finger on something about stories and roleplay group storytelling…

She begins with:

There are some lessons as a writer that one learns over and over. One that keeps coming around again and again for me is this: What some people love most about a book or story will be the SAME THING that other people hate the most.

If you talk about RP in Second Life, or have not quite found a partner for such experiments, Don’t Give Up! There may be another chance just around the corner.

Especially if you feel there are stories inside you that are begging to get out… you’re probably right!

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2015, things that make SL easier

Referencing my ‘Wrench Button additions’ for end of 2014 and the near-future of  viewers.

We’re going to have graphics settings modes soon. Cannot wait. That means changing graphic performance settings with one click. Some viewers like Black Dragon already have implemented.

In the meantime, ‘FS quick preferences’ menu button is still very handy to tweak. So a year and a half ago, my ‘quick pref’ settings looked like this:


Some of the above are obsolete (FSMeshRequestTime is a dead setting) and some just needed new love. Some of the additions are ways to get more out of the same machine with the new tools provided by changes in SL.

December 2015 ‘quick pref’ looks like this:



I moved things around to put more similar feature near each other. The Wrench Button (lower right bottom) allows you to move items up and down the list, or change values, or even range of values. Want check boxes instead of slider numbers, you can do that too.

For events, or general moving about SL, I have learned to lower the Max Avatars slider to 8 or 10. The important thing to remember is, you still see all Avatars, but the render cycle for updating an Avatar to your viewer is dialed down once you go above the number you set.

But if I am dancing (ie, sitting on an animation) I can dial up Max Avatars to see faster/more renders of everyone present at the dance. Perhaps as many as all of them, about 25 usually. Dialing up to the 40 avatars in the sim with you….NOT recommended. Crashes will come faster.

Avatar Physics LOD, this is like the Level Of Detail for prims, sculpts, mesh etc, but for the bounce of Avatar meshes. If I am using Physics, I like it to perform better than not, I set between 1 and 2. Default 1 looks bad on my machine.

Note my bandwidth settings are now twice what they used to be. My system seems to no longer choke on higher settings, so I am much closer to the Firestorm recommended 1500 for cable ISP. Yay! It does make things easier (and sometimes still clogs up.)

Note the new mesh2max slider, this is how many data pulls happen with mesh at the same time. If this were zero or too high or low, your mesh would not appear at all, or perhaps jam in the data pipeline. 3 or 4 seem to work for me. The default (Mesh2MaxConcurrentRequests) is much higher and seems to jam up mesh loads.

((there are a lot of articles from 2012 through 2015 that talk about setting M2MCR to 64 or 100 or 300. DO NOT do this.))

Note the addition of RenderWaterReflections slider (RenderWaterRefResolution). This setting has always been buried in the DEBUG, but I just realized how important it is to nice reflection pictures this past month. Most shots, 1024 is fine, sometimes you will want 2048 or more, the default is set to 512… (yuck, very jagged pixels). Anytime you change this slider you will want to toggle the ADV Lighting off then back on for shadows and full reflections, etc.

Note the addition of enable Avatar Select. Most folks will never need this, however, it is handy for taking fashion/portrait pics to have your AV actually touching the ground or slightly moved by Edit controls, refer to Strawberry on how useful this is.

Sometimes I want shadows and reflections and all the render, but NOT the Depth of Field focus attribute. Instead of hunting up that dialog, I can shut off DepthField here.

And remember folks, sometimes a portrait or close up shot does not want as much background as you may see in SL. You can reset your Draw Distance with the Wrench Button so Draw Distance goes down to 2 (or Zero) instead of the default 32. Advantage? You empty the background of things you may not want in the shot.

Find the full list of FireStorm DEBUG tags and their uses here.

Merry Season!

PS: please remember all DEBUG advice becomes obsolete as viewers get new updates and they add/alter settings. We are in a period of updates. I’ll try to cross check this advice but no promises. Save your settings to BACKUP.


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victorian steampunk rp in the second life of Caledon

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Date Night Destinations in the virtual world of Second Life


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