Pondering Skin Fair 2014

The fair is a big deal. For over a year I have looked for a new skin. I didn’t want to change my look, I just wanted a skin that photographed better. Also, I wanted a skin without makeup. This year it was easier to find skins that have natural, nude, or bare versions of the skin. I think vendors like Slink and others that use appliers creates an environment that encourages the use of skins without makeup.

Evolution of Nalates

Evolution of Nalates

Also, skins now come with some standard appliers, feet, hands, breasts, and now heads. I am also seeing more skins that include freckles.

I think each year skins get better. My Nomine skin was made for Windlight and was designed for the newest rendering features of the time. But, that was also an era of face lights. Times have changed. 

I spent a couple of days going through the Skin Fair. There are lots of gorgeous skins. Appliers are everywhere. Still it’s challenge finding dark skins.

Ciaran Laval wrote about the Skin Fair as being a ‘teaching opportunity’. See: Fairs Offer A Great Opportunity To Encourage Good Building Practices.

If you came into the fair wearing a heavy script load, you were promptly ejected. Apparently the ejection was so fast it confused people. They did not know why they were being ejected. Ciaran points out the arrival script loading, script detection, ejection, and script departure unloading place a larger load on the servers than just allowing the people in would have.

Ciaran points us to the Lab’s: Good Building Practices Wiki Guide. Also, to Penny Patton’s article: Penny Patton’s Building A Better Second Life.

The biggest lag producer we seem to be dealing with right now is textures. Textures on the avatar for system pants, shirts, and etc. are reduced by the bake ovens to 512×512 images. But the ovens do not bake the attachments. So, mesh clothes and shoes and sculpties can use 1024×1024 images. In the Materials System can add three more textures.

I remember when going to events the recommendation was to go nude. Hair was a problem. Scripts were a problem. System clothes were a problem. Now with the new Server Side Appearance baking system clothes are not really an issue. The ovens bakes skin and all system clothes into three 512×512 images.

I have a scripts weight scale next to my pose stand. Scripting skills have improved in Second Life. The things I wear now seldom total more than 300 K in script memory, provided I don’t put on my Xcite!™ gear.

Old hair and shoes can be script heavy. Now the heavy scripting is placed in the HUD. Once setup the hair, shoes, feet, hands, whatever no longer need the HUD and it is taken off. So, with well made attachments script load is not a big issue.

Now, it is mesh and sculpty clothes with large textures and materials maps that are the biggest problem. Also, animated meshes with high poly counts.

To be event friendly we still need to reduce our script count, texture load, and polygon count. That is easily done by not wearing our mesh clothes. If we are going to wear hair, we can check it by pressing Ctrl-Shift-R (wireframe view). If the hair has lots of small polygons, don’t wear it to a fair. But, if that’s the only mesh you are wearing and it is not a ridiculously dense mesh, it probably doesn’t matter.

Ciaran is pointing out the problem event managers have. How does one get people that do not understand lag into an event and avoid having them lag the event? Ciaran’s answer is to educate people. That is a large ongoing task.

I will point out there are more ignorant people on the planet than there are educated people. If you have been watching any of the coverage of the Malaysian Flight 370, like you could escape it, you may have realized how ignorant a significant part of the media is, e.g., God took it, swallowed by a blackhole, space aliens got it…

As surprising as I find it: new people coming on the Internet each year make up about 10 to 20% of the total Internet users (since 2003). These are people that have never used the Internet before. That is certainly the case with Second Life too. (Reference) So, for event managers this educating thing is a perpetual task.

Ciaran is pointing out there is no good way to educate them, get them to slim down on lag causing items, and still get them into the event.

Skin Fair 2014 ends March 30. SL Map URL

3 thoughts on “Pondering Skin Fair 2014

  1. “Ciaran is pointing out there is no good way to educate them”

    No, but there are one million bad ways.

    If people want to educate others, they should not be arrogant, condescending or impatient. If you approach someone in a friendly way and explain rather than just tell, you are likely to be more successfull in teaching them. Of course, that also takes more time.

  2. If the event managers understood lag, they wouldn’t have set such a low bar for script count. SL’s scripting system means that some concessions must be made. I’ve spent four years optimizing myself for the purpose of being sim-friendly, yet had to gut my main avatar because some Resident thought I had too many scripts on.

    Only after I removed everything that made me unique was I allowed in.

    I did not purchase anything as a direct result.

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