Second Life: Do you see SL in comfort?

Updated: Nov 8, 2016

Kate Amdahl has posted an article titled: A Better Way to See in Second Life. It is inspired by Penny Patton’s articles on Scale and camera positions: The Improved SL Camera.

Default Camera Position Controls

Default Camera Position Controls

These tips came out in 2011. They inspired me to write my version: Second Life Camera Position Tips. I never run a viewer using the default camera position these days. I change them first thing. 

Debug Setting CameraOffsetRearView

Debug Setting CameraOffsetRearView

To get to the settings: in the top menu click Develop->Avatar->Character Tests->Test Male/Female. If there is no DEVELOP in the top menu, press Ctrl-Alt-Q.

There is a downside to changing the default position. When you sit, your new camera position pushes the camera into odd places. For me that is a minor annoyance. I think the improved view of SL is worth the minor annoyance.

In the Linden viewer one uses the Debug Settings to change the default camera position. See Penny’s or my article to learn how that is done.

In the Firestorm viewer changing the defaults is done from the keyboard and mouse. See their instructions here: Movement and Camera. To the right of the page is a link to the VIEW section. Firestorm has shortcut keys not in the Linden viewer. You can restore the viewer’s default position for the camera inadvertently (Shift-ESC) and wipe out your changes. So, once you set your default camera position, remember to save the viewer’s settings. Pressing just ESC once or twice resets the camera to your default camera position in FS and Linden viewers.

Debug Setting FocusOffsetRearView

Debug Setting FocusOffsetRearView

We don’t have precise information on the user turnover in Second Life. Older studies when the Lab was more open about stats had revealed the average users spent 2 years in SL. So, four years later, a significant number of users have departed and arrived. For many, this old information is new. They are hearing it for the first time.

Also, it is curious that some of these basic things, like the default camera position, have never been addressed. Users have gripped a lot. But, the Lindens don’t user SL as we do and see it differently. Changing a default is generally simple programming-wise. So, these changes would seem to be the low hanging fruit the Lab likes. But, it hasn’t happened.

You however can change the defaults and they stick. So, you seldom have to think about it once changed.

6 thoughts on “Second Life: Do you see SL in comfort?

  1. I use a slightly lower camera. But it cannot be set to low (sad fgace) because verhicle makers not keep that in mind, so you get problems in that corner.

    If Linden Lab made this change 5 years ago default. SL would look much better.

    I notice another problem, instead creators scale the buildings. the people scale there avatar up to crazy sizes. Possible next step is that the buildings need to get bigger to fix the oversized avatars. Lucky not seen many of them.

    • My avatar is 5′-10″ or 1.8m. I see lots of women avatars that make me look tiny.

      I agree. A change 5 years ago would have made SL a better place today.

  2. Pingback: A Better Way to See in Second Life | The Winged Girl Blog

  3. Curious why you use the camera other than the Navigator since you have one. I basically find somewhere to sit and then cam around a SIM rarely moving from the original spot unless I have to re-position myself. I rarely have the point of view of my avatar.

    • I find that when cam’ing around too much stuff never rez’s. Firestorm is worse about that than the Linden viewer. But, I expect the next release to fix that, hope. I think I miss things because of that. I do occasionally see a shot I want that wasn’t there before something rez’d.

      A mechanical reason is speed. I cam without the SN using Alt-Left-Mouse. I can click and zoom to something WAY faster than I can SN flycam in. So, I pretty much constantly toggle between mouse and SN camera control. I also mouse drive the avatar, W-S to move and mouse left-right to steer. Once I jump somewhere with the mouse-camera I’ll double click to tp the avatar into the scene. A few alt-left-clicks give me a sense of what is there. If I want a shot I often tweak the composition using the SN.

      It makes sense to me… 🙂 But, I do often explore using SN and parking the avatar. I just seldom take a picture in that case.

  4. “I find that when cam’ing around too much stuff never rez’s.”

    This is an interesting comment since I have that issue in very crowded SIMS but never thought it might be the navigator. I will have to bare that in mind. Unfortunately I use the Navigator for dollying the camera around while recording video. Only crowed SIMS give me that problem generally. An avatar I can rez at a rehearsal with maybe 20 avatars I can’t rez when there are 70+ avatars even if I have derendered most of them. It’s seems a specific avatar is an issue rather than most. If they relog I can then see them so mesh is going missing somewhere. Next time I have that issue I am going to derender them and then return them and see if that will force a new render. Not likely though since really the derendered avatar just gets removed from your field of view on the same SIM (under water or ground for example). If you derender 50 avatars they all go to the exact same spot. No idea where derendered objects go. I am toying with the idea of derendering avatars to the blacklist during rehearsal then at the Live Event removing them from the Blacklist to see if they render completely and fast since maybe they are stored in my viewer’s cache?

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