I’m not an avid reader of the magazine. In fact this is the first time I’ve even looked at an issue. I see people posting about it in various places. But, I’ve never seen anything that intrigued me to look at it. But, I recently saw some architectural images on Flickr that were amazing. I thought they were Blender renderings. But, as best I can tell they were made in SL and possibly Photoshop’d, but even Blender images get Photoshop’d.
So, when I noticed this issue has a section on Architectural Art in SL and on Huckleberry Hax, a writer. Those two items were enough to get me to click and check it out.
The magazine covers art in Second Life™. It is more about art and where to see it than it is about displaying art in the pages of the magazine.
The images of the architectural art are less than I hoped for. I’ve seen better images in Flickr. However, this is likely just because of the image quality used in the magazine, which may be why it is more about where to find art than trying to show it to you. So, the article points to this work of art in Second Life named: Angel Manor by Kaya Angel.
Visiting Angel Manor was an opportunity to push the viewers I’ve been using. The main viewer 3.8.4 was a mess. Way slow rendering and loading textures, plus it would go into texture thrashing quickly. I could recover and get a photo by restarting. But, the process was extremely tedious and time consuming.
The Quick Graphics 3.8.4 (305380) was faster rendering but it also went into texture thrashing and had to be restarted. I did get better frames rates with this viewer. Later the viewer updated to 3.8.5-305528. That version renders things faster. But, as it is not a Project viewer installing it using the default location overwrites whatever version of the main SL viewer you have installed and takes over the links to the viewer.
With 3.8.5-305528 I got better frame rates. But, I had more lag issues. I couldn’t tell if it was the viewer, network or Sl that was the problem. Very annoying. Also memory use with this version steadily climbs. While clearing process memory seems to help, virtual machine memory still climbs. Teleporting drops memory use back, sort of resetting things. While my home still renders as grey when I return this version does recover faster. So, I see an improvement in performance with the 3.8.5 versions.
I tried the Firestorm Viewer too (4.7.3). It renders quickly and textures load quickly. I got better FPS with it than I did the main SL Viewer 3.8.4.
I also had to set the RenderVolumeLODFactor to 4. Otherwise too much stuff would not render at the camera distances I needed for photos.
The use of materials in the manor is impressive. The building itself is a maze.
The interview with Hax is interesting. He has a ‘sort of’ hobby figuring out how people might be up to no good in SL and what counter measures one might use to protect their self. its a writer thing… i guess. Worth a read.
On page 35 is an ad for Sky Mark (L$499), a tool for your viewer that allows you to sort of bookmark your Windlight settings. I hadn’t thought about that, but it seems like a good idea since no viewer I have seen has a way to organize them.
They point out that Firestorm now comes with 742 Windlight presets. Man y with such descriptive names as Giddy… right, does Giddy come in blue or red? My collection of presets currently counts to 970 and that means I just have another 230+/- names that give me no clue what they’ll make the world look like… somewhere in this blog I have an article on how to collect presets and move them into a clean or existing install.
See the link to Sky Mark in the magazine. The promotional copy for this tool is funny enough to be worth the effort to chase it down. …yes I am omitting the link to push you to check out the magazine… it helps them. But, be warned… the tool ONLY WORKS in RLV capable viewers and RLVa viewers at that. But, the fixes are coming to RLV so both RLV’s will work.