Posts Tagged With: secondlife

Second Life made me learn stuffs… and I liked it!

This week’s Monday Meme is brought to you again by Mr. Draxtor Despres. He was having a conversation on twitter with a friend who stated that Second Life pushed him into learning 3D modelling. Draxtor then tagged me and suggested this as a meme, “things Second Life has made people do (or learn)” and since I myself have learned quite a few things because of SL, I figured this should definitely be my next Monday Meme!

Meme instructions: Share things that you have learned because of your involvement in Second Life, either personally or professionally. Don’t forget to leave a link to your post in the comments so others can come by and read your answers as well!

There’s a double handful of things I’ve learned in SL:

Port Caledon skies [HAM 073]

  1. Script use to make prims do clever things, even though I do not understand scripts and am not tech savvy
  2. airship design to sell steampunk flyers, how to run that business, and why it does not work, and be OK with that
  3. creation of seamless textures
  4. creation of skins for SL avatars (OMG, skins are so very hard to do well)
  5. creation of clothing and tattoos for SL avatars (slightly easier to do)
  6. how to be social at parties, and then also keep the friends you make
  7. how to be romantic
  8. how to shake off RL stress in a virtual place
  9. how to get Avatars from all over the world/grid to add their energy to a Relay For Life community build project, from a sketch and notes and chat text
  10. how to stay awake 24 hours for a virtual run around the Relay For Life event (notable efforts for several years)
  11. how to take better pictures, even approaching exciting images that make me happy
  12. how to give my time to others, when they ask with grace, and how to say ‘no’ (when needed) with grace
  13. how much fun manners can be
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things that may make SL easier…. they do for me

* note that viewer DEBUGs do change and comments this color no longer applies (2/24/2015)

things that may make SL easier.... they do for me

Firestorm… the feature I love best… quick prefs

So I’m going to talk about DEBUG settings, Firestorm (which I use faithfully), and the things I comment may make your own relationship with your chosen viewer better as well. While Firestorm allows you to get to these in a more friendly manner, on the main SL viewer or some Third Party Viewers, you still have to find the particular DEBUG names from the master list.

Firestorm does not recommend you go around changing your DEBUG settings. Firestorm provides a feature that allows you to put DEBUG controls in place that you think are important to adjust.  The DEBUG menu choices are under Advanced Menu Options. Let me link a bigger article about DEBUG options.

So seriously, once again. Be careful with all of this. Write things down, take notes, you want to be able to put it back the way you found it if you do not like the results.

Adding these controls to your Firestorm is explained in this excellent video. Again, please take notes and watch several times before trying this.


I’m specifically sharing a few things that made my SL experience stronger when 20+ avatars are around or when I’m out looking at the beauties found in SL. These are two very different situations.

First things: when a bunch of Avatars get together in a small space, turn your settings down/off in this order:

  • advanced lighting (most folks do not use this, shadows, sunlight, reflections, etc.)
  • particle count (all the work of particles is done by your viewer, the more kinds of particles, the worse it gets)
  • draw distance (the party is just as fun if you can only see 33meters away)

Second things: still getting lagged and your frames per second are molasses?, make the big moves:

  • turn off Basic Shaders (this also shuts down Atmospheric Shaders, so you will not see Windlight)
  • turn down Max Avatars (this begins to IMPOSTER render Avatars that are far away from you, like those times the sim is full of 55 avatars)

IMPOSTER Avatars are cartoon quickie renders (have you ever wondered why some more distant people start walking funny or look brighter? IMPOSTERS.) of the crowd not near you, closer folks get the full render. If you turn this to Zero you do not render either. That’s bad.

These two additional changes will make a huge difference in how hard your graphic card is working.

Now, for seeing everything that makes stuff look better.

Look at my Quick Preferences box again. You’ll see several things there that need explanation (and have even more weird DEBUG names.) The names shown are the ones I made for the control box so I can remember what they do.

LOD Factor. This is Level Of Detail and determines how well sculpts and mesh look in detail and how well you see them from far away. Many viewers default this setting to 1 or 2. But 4 is excellent for general use. You should not need 8, 12, or 16 here. Why make your machine work that hard? (DEBUG = RenderVolumeLODFactor)

Advanced Lighting. This is the same control that shows up on your Preference Graphics tabs. Except it is a devil to find in DEBUG. (DEBUG = RenderDeferred)

Basic Shaders. This is the same control that shows up on your Preference Graphics tabs. Except it is even harder to find in DEBUG. (DEBUG = VertexShaderEnable)

I can tell you that being able to jump into a crush of shoppers and shut off my Basic Shaders with a couple quick clicks is awesome. You will still be able to see vendors, textures, and people. Likewise, finding a beautiful setting on the grid and turning on shadows with a click while holding a view I want to photoclick is amazing.

If you are still with me, I have three more settings that really boosted my performance experience and I am still exploring how well they work. Please understand these are experimental. Also remember I’m creating some of the control names myself, the DEBUG names are long and not always helpful.

Meshmaxrequests. (DEBUG = MeshMaxConcurrentRequests) This is the call for mesh to load/render on your machine. You may find the default is set to 32. You may read on someone’s blog that you should set this to 96 so you get more mesh faster. DO NOT DO THIS. I set this between 10 to 20. Setting it higher JAMS up your machine with multiple requests for info it cannot process in time. If it jams up —-no mesh will render. You get lots of gray.

FSmeshrequesttimeout. (DEBUG = FSMeshRequestTimeout) This is a Firestorm only setting. (see the FS start to it?) The main viewer does not have this setting. This tells the mesh request how long to wait for a mesh load before deciding to quit bothering.  You should give the mesh more time to load, not less. I set between 160 to 200.

Texturefetch. (DEBUG = TextureFetchConcurrency) This is like the mesh request setting above. It tells the viewer how many HTTP pipelines to set up for loading image textures for you. If you have an old machine, or do not use HTTP textures, it will be defaulted to Zero. If you have a better graphics card, you can raise this to 2, 3, or higher. I started mine on 2 for a few months and saw big speed increase in renders. I have it at 4 these days. That’s telling my machine to go ahead and pull 4 lines of texture data at the same time.

It should be obvious that all these settings are pulling from the same source, the horsepower of your machine, and the bandwidth connection you have to SL. You should not demand more of mesh loads without expecting other texture loads might suffer. Your ISP connection can only handle so much. So all this is a balancing act.

I’m done. I hope some of this data is good for you. I’ve not seen it collected lately anywhere else. This kind of thing goes out of date, so if you find this and the year is not 2014, then nevermind.

By the way, the Project Interesting technology upgrades from the SL Main Viewer are complete and working and they seem to be terrific. The video explaining Project Interesting is here.




Categories: meta, | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Loki tours New Babbage again…

Loki tours New Babbage again…

Very fun and welcome machina.

Categories: RP,, victorian | Tags: | Leave a comment

Can you smolder in black and white? Why yes!

Can you smolder in black and white? Why yes!

Meme Instructions: Share a black & white portrait (headshot) of your Second Life avatar. You can post a raw shot or process the image as much as you like. Don’t forget to leave a link to your image in the comments and also share it in the Blog Memes flickr group.

This is revisiting one of the better color shots I’ve ever done, and giving it a tweak to get a black and white from Photoshop.


Here is the original shot on flickr!
Thanks for the inspiration, Strawberry!

Categories: caledon, RP, | Tags: , | Leave a comment

speaking as one voice…

I feel privileged to have discovered the Second LifeRelay For Life‘ people and the organization.  I admit that I’ve had an arm’s length relationship with cancer ever since my father died when I was a wee lass.  Being in Second Life, brought me back to thinking about cancer, what it means to people, what it means about life and community and caring.


I’ve been brought to tears by the inspired builds/stories/responses to ‘how cancer impacts us’.  There are a bunch of people who can take their pain and make it into Art. I admire that so much.  My dad would have loved Second Life and he would have cheered the symbols and the teamwork that is embodied by the site designs and the 24 hour track walk.

From wikipedia: Although the main objective of Relay is to raise money for cancer research and cancer patients, the event is held to spread cancer awareness, celebrate the lives of survivors, remember those who lost their lives to cancer, and unite a community. The Relay colloquially refers to this mentality, solidarity, activism, and consummate effort as “the fight against cancer”.

So if you ever want an introduction to Second Life Relay, please write me and I’ll point you to the right people (every one is kind and generous.)

Relay for Life of Second Life

Not every part of the Relay Event inspired me this year. Everything has flaws that is of human effort. I’m going to point out a flaw now, so close your browser if you don’t want my honest opinion.

“At Relay, teams of people camp out at a local high school, park, or fairground and take turns walking or running around a track or path. Each team is asked to have a representative on the track at all times during the event. Because cancer never sleeps, Relays are overnight events up to 24 hours in length.”

The Track is a symbol from the beginning of Relay. Track Laps are the thread through the history of this event. Whether you look at the first ever event, or look at the web page where the history of the virtual laps stands as a history of how much SL people care.  Teams are encouraged to have a person on the track 24 hours. That track walk is a struggle. Cancer never sleeps.

Sometimes families cannot sleep, even when their own ill family member falls into exhausted slumber.

Year after year, individuals together walk and run and go without sleep, joined to an inspiration of the struggle with cancer and making a difference step by step. Many people have written about the personal symbolism of that long long lonely walk/run and seeing the sun come up in the morning.

This powerful symbol has nothing to do with strapping a virtual rocket to your back and blasting through the Relay track as if it is Grand Prix racing.

What is the purpose of adding an AO or special script to your avatar to move through a sim ‘faster than your name tag can rez’?

What is the solidarity of this? What is the effort or caring?

In my opinion, this behaviour is a mockery of the track event. Avatars walking the track become Obstacles or Speed Bumps. The proud symbolic history of laps and 24 hour struggle becomes a carnival of “special people” who can fly while everyone else walks.

Maybe they think they are only having some fun. I don’t think it is fun to mock this Journey. The Grand Prix Racers make a negative statement about illness and human struggle and the Organizers are endorsing this behaviour by remaining silent. That track is a symbol. You don’t play practical jokes with a symbol like that.

If there were a ‘special lap’ with racing AOs allowed, it might make some sort of sense. But really, what it says to me is these people who have done 70 plus laps on a course where the same distances last year were 30 plus think they are very special. Maybe they are immune to struggle or gravity or solidarity or cancer. I guess that’s how special they believe they are.

I said nothing last year (2012) when there were obviously a few of these people crashing through the sims. There is always a joker in the crowd.

I’m not quiet now, because this year the rocket-propelled ‘special folk’ were numerous.  I won’t print their names here or their teams. But I am ashamed of them. I cannot believe that their teams would endorse this behaviour.

I’ve  heard the counters to my concerns: “It doesn’t matter, this is not a competition.” “The laps are not a measurement.” “The racing is not prohibited, thank you for your relay effort.”

If I believed these counters, then I’d accept that the history of laps recorded since 2005 and the grid-wide admiration of the 24 hour struggle was also meaningless. I don’t accept that.

To the Organizers I suggest: Take back your ownership of the track symbol. The 24 hour struggle is supposed to be hard. It is supposed to matter.  If someone wants to have a race, make it a separate event.

For me, next year, if there is no change, if there is no warning that this racing is not acceptable, I will not participate with the track event.

Thank you.

Categories: events, | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

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