Interesting Things in Second Life

During the run up to Second Life’s birthdays we see some blogging about the past, present, and future. This 10th birthday (SL10B) is no different. There are funny, interesting, sad, New, and a whole range of other things turning up.


Iris Ophelia on Hamlet’s New World Notes has an article about the Avastar plug-in for Blender. Iris is suggesting that Avastar be used by designers to create a better SL avatar.

Well, it is possible. But, that still leaves lots of problems unanswered. However, I do think Avastar is currently the best answer available for many of the challenges we have in making clothes, avatars, and animations. 

SL History

Ciaran Laval has the article Second Life™ – The Early Days published. It is an interesting look at some of Second Life’s history. He has quotes from Lindens made back in the day. He was digging these from the old SL Forum’s archive.

Browser Based

Over on the SLUniverse forum there is discussion about an HTML5 site that has tear-able cloth on a web site. (PostSite) If you have an HTML5 capable browser (Chrome, Firefox…) check out the site. It is an interesting example of what is possible using just a browser. It only takes about 260 lines of JavaScript to create the cloth. Some think this means browser based virtual worlds are more likely.

Well, not yet. The OpenSim add-on allows the simulators to generate HTML5 for browsers. But, the cloth thing requires code on the client side. If we have a bunch of features that need client side code, we are going to have some huge downloads. Also, a bunch of security problems as we pull more code into our computers. We have a ways to go.


The Skin Fair is still running. I’m interested in a new skin, so I find it interesting. Traffic in the fair is light… well… lots of people are going, but not all at the same time. So, the regions perform well. Make sure you have a low script weight and check it out.


There is a lot of good information for SL users new to mesh in the forum. Check out: Ways to fix a problematic Avatar Rig. Codewarrior Congrejo made this awesome post. If you are thinking about making avatars or clothes this is one to check out.

Mesh Clothes

There is no new news on the Mesh Deformer or avatar weighting. Sad.

I am still very unhappy with mesh skirts. I think they suck for anything other than a pose. I am finding it way more complex than I expected to make a skirt that works for walking and sitting than I expected. But, I think I’ve figured out how to do it. We’ll see.

There are some gorgeous mesh clothes out there… as long as one doesn’t sit down.

Bake Fail Woes

It is not just me. Others have been seeing more bake fail problems recently. Trying on skins I’ve been having a heck of time getting things to render. I see lots of bake fail. I think more so than in the past weeks. (Post)

The arrival of Sever Side Appearance (SSA) can’t come too soon.

Direct Delivery

The cut-off date is getting near, April 1, 2013. Seems another round of reminder emails has gone out. If you still have items in Magic Boxes, it is time to get them moved.

I have my high volume items all moved. Now I’m working on the slow sellers. It’s a drag. I find the MP site to be slow. I try to avoid peak use hours (2 PM PT/SLT).

Phoebe Desmons has posted a tutorial for Dummies in the SL Forum: Direct Delivery Migration For Dummys.

There are problems now and then. If you run into them, give it a couple of hours and try again, seems to work for me.

HTTP Testing in ADITI

This is coming to an end. If you don’t have feed back by Friday (3/29) it may be too late.

If you are interested see: HTTP Concerns.

RL Utopias

Many of my friends in the game world are liberals. It seems even many of the game developers are liberal. I have my ideas on why they are completely crazy. So, I was very surprised to hear Ken Levine, lead developer of the acclaimed video game BioShock, as well as its just-released sequel BioShock Infinite, answering a question with something I might say. See: BioShock Infinite Creator Ken Levine Says…

Notice the mention of Atlas Shrugged.

Hair Fair 2013

The 2013 Hair Fair is starting preparations. Applications are open. See: Hair Fair 2013. This is a fund raiser for RL Wigs for Kids.

3 thoughts on “Interesting Things in Second Life

  1. Avastar comes up alot. I have to say the inworld mesh dev channel features mention of it ( also alot ) and there tends to be help there for those who use it. I debate wether they should get their own channel, because now? Avastar mesh workflow has departed from ‘raw mesh workflow’ quite significantly.

    I started working with mesh way back before it actually got inworld. I followed Asha’s tutorials when I got stuck, and I used Blender without any addons. I learnt lots. Actually I learnt so much that I learnt I shouldn’t even try to sell things. I don’t have a desire, mind – I like to fiddle and make my own stuff, and simply wouldn’t cope with [stupid!] people asking me how to fix things that can’t be fixed.

    So, Avastar is a boon for those who can’t or don’t want to learn. What got on my nerves thought was this impression bandied around that the *only* way to make meshy things was ‘Use Avastar’ – Which is a cop-out. Anything Avastar can do (as of about 6 months ago, anyway) you could do by hand. They just made clicky buttons out of stuff that would take you perhaps 30 minutes to learn, and 30 seconds to save as a default, or a workbench. Often advice would be given on ‘how do I rig my t-shirt?’ to ‘Use avastar’. I dislike this dumbing of the populace – especially when it’s for a $’s product.

    Looking at what gaia’s done with it lately though, I’m actually impressed. And since (s)he took over the collabra exporter and made it actually work, my ire is abated.

    And I either don’t understand Iris’s ‘but mesh clothing that fits your own avatar without relying too heavily on alpha layers ‘ or she doesn’t understand that if you model your clothing to your own imported mesh (which doesn’t require avastar) you don’t need alpha layers on account of – they fit properly!

    Nothing I do.. requires avastar – it simply put buttons / circly things on your UI that makes it easier. And it’s not new… Nothing I make requires alpha’s either. I make it to fit *me*.

    The one thing that I *do* like about Avastar is the morphing controls that importing your solid shape from SL doesn’t give you. I actually cannot do that with plain blender. That actually might be worth $22 😛

    PS: I’m a liberal. I’m practically communist by USA standards 🙂

    • I have gotten by without Avastar. I too have been learning to do things with just Blender. The one place where things get messy is animations. The BVH format that many export to as a way into SL is very limiting. While SL will import .anim files I have not found a way to export .anim from Blender. One can take the blender file into Unity and then export to .anim, but I have yet to try that. So, for many animators Avastar is the only simple solution.

      Otherwise I agree that Avastar is not required. However, Avastar saves learning many of the tedious parts of Blender. And… learning Avastar is no small task in it self. I’ve chosen to stay with learning Blender. But, I am often tempted to try Avastar.

      I am very much a small government and free market person. You’ll see that in the analysis of the Metareality poscast that I am planning to write. I prefer personal freedom over what some greedy party politician thinks I should have or do while they live a life of luxury. I have friends with parents that left Russia at the end of the cold war. A couple of others that came out of Poland. Their experiences are something I want to avoid.

  2. Pingback: Dies und Das aus dem Web (KW 13 / 2013) - [O.L.D.] Old London Docks

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