Second Life Bits 2018 w/41

SL Universe is Gone – Sort of… but gone. Actually, the SLUniverse forum redirects you to the Virtualverse site as of October 10. You’ll have to open a new account to use the new site. This is the pages showing when an SLUniverse URL is entered.

SLUniverse Gone – 10/2018

Viewer Blocked – There is an Android viewer named IM to Second Life. As of last Friday, the Lindens have denied that viewer access to Second Life™. Seems there were privacy and security issues. Serious enough ones to cause the Lindens to act.

See: Android Viewer “IM to Secondlife” Blocked from Second Life.

Second Life Halloween – Premium members get a new gift this month. See New Premium Gift and the Return of the Haunted Halloween Tour. The announcement also points you to scary places in SL. Continue reading

Second Life Bits …and Sex – 2018 Week #38

SL Gossip

New World Notes has a big (lots of words) article, big for NWN, about the SL Secrets website, the owners getting banned, and the Second Life™ Governance Team… maybe writing the word ‘system’ rather than ‘team’ would be more accurate.

This ‘secrets’ site is one of those sites with things on it where we can never know the truth. It is all unverifiable they said versus the others said and one side is bound by privacy laws and can’t speak in their defense. Just the drama prone scenario politicians love. Sway the emotional…

Gossiping about Sam

Gossiping about Sam

If you don’t know, SL Secrets is a website where bullies, haters, and gossipers can go to create victims and dox them and troll readers. Snowflakes show up to whine and cry.

There is no way to vet the claims that show up there. So, it is all drama. Unfortunately, there is a market for it.

And SL banned the owners of the site… really!?!  Continue reading

Every Pixel – Artificial Intelligence is how smart?

I enjoy looking through the images appearing on Flickr. Also, in a few threads in the Second Life™ Forum. One of the more fun threads that just popped up is My photo has a 97.7% chance of being awesome. Of course it does…

We can blame or congratulate Bree Giffen for starting the thread. Patch Linden has gotten in the thread, proving Lindens do have a sense of humor.

So… am I cute? Well, I’m not overwhelming the A.I.

The point of EveryPixel.com is to evaluate images using A.I., Artificial Intelligence. As you scroll through the SL Forum thread you realize it is either a stupid A.I. or using a different criteria than we do for our appreciation of images in threads like How does your avatar look today ? and The VaNiTy ThReAd. The Every Pixel site does explain what they are evaluating on. Part of the rating and apparently a significant part is the technical aspects of the image; contrast, vibrance, composition… Continue reading

Second Life and the Future of Apple Users

For SL users there is the Apple question, will Second Life™ run on Apple? Or… continue to run on Apple?

In June of this year Apple announced its discontinuing support of OpenGL after macOS 10.14 Mojave (scheduled for release Sept 2018), the core aspect of SL’s render engine. It will take a couple of years for Apple to phase it out. But, updates and support officially stop now. For some time support has been really bad.

● 1325 Colorful Disaster

They explained their reasoning when some game developers declared they would stop making games for Apple.

The reasons;

  • OpenGL was designed 25 years ago.
  • Core architecture is from the beginning days of 3D graphics.
  • Designed is based on outdated thinking.
  • OpenGL is a legacy tool with updates ‘tacked’ on.
  • Hardware GPU work flow has changed.
  • Never designed for multi-threading.
  • Today’s rendering is asynchronous.

On the PC side of things OpenGL is still supported. We can’t know for how long. Khronos, OpenGL’s developer, has introduced Vulkan. (See: State of Graphics: DirectX 12 & Vulkan – 4/2016) Development is exciting and popular. The group is on the forefront of some interesting tech. But, I don’t know that it will be helpful for SL. Continue reading

Blender 2.8 Coming Soon

A Blender update is coming… soon. The Alpha version and nightly builds are available now, here: Blender Latest. But, I want to know if this is an update I need or want. So, I went looking through what people are saying. The big one for me is… the User Interface is changing. Ugh.

So, here is a video (8/13) that does a decent job of showing us the changes.

The video producer provided these time stamp entry points. I suggest you start at the 2:12 TM. Or if you are only interested in how it affects those of us using it for Second Life™, just read my comments below.

TIME STAMPS
1:22 – Alpha, Beta & Release Candidate
2:12 – UI Redesign
3:24 – EEVEE, the Physical Based Real Time Render Engine
4:43 – New Work Engine: OpenGL
5:19 – Grease Pencil (2D Animation Toolset)
6:38 – Matcaps (Material Capture)
7:48 – Zootopia Hair Shader
8:01 – Pixar Open Subdiv
8:34 – Dependency Graph, Asset Manager, Static Overrides and More
9:16 – Daily Blender Build Download
10:16 – Blender Resources

The new render engine looks to be awesome. But, the User Interface (UI) is going to kill me. They seem to be trying to make Blender easier for new users to learn.  …like 3D modeling and animation can be easy to learn? Still probably a good thing no matter how annoying I find it.
They moved most of the stuff at the bottom of windows to the top… give me a break… That will take a bit to get used to. Continue reading

NVIDIA 1180 Almost Here…

We had rumors for months as to what the next NVIDIA card would be, when it would release, and what it would cost. But, we are getting closer to a possible release. NVIDIA only goes so long before they release a new card. So…

Ray Tracing is a way of rendering a scene. Its big advantage is in rendering very realistic images. For instance, most of an Ikea catalog is made from rendered images that for a long time I thought were RL photos.

The reason it isn’t used so much in games is the cost of rendering the images. So, software like AutoDesk’s AutoCAD use it as real time rendering isn’t needed. The primary task is prototype product images, pictures of products not yet existing in RL. Only within the design process… a computer.  Making it more of a snapshot thing than a  movie camera.

NVIDIA adding in a Ray Trace feature will being higher quality graphics to more games. Less time will be spent calculating the effect of lights and shadows.

For use in Second Life it isn’t going to be a big plus or even a change. The SL render engine is required to support older systems. So, adding a ray trace feature to the engine is not going to be a high priority, if it is even a consideration.

However, the card will be faster and likely have faster video memory.

Photoshop: Masking Impossible Hair?

Even in SL I run into this problem. The tutorials I usually see are elementary typically masking only high contrast images. This one is an exception. The basics and easy stuff is shown. But, the painful, tedious stuff is too.

Along the way there are some neat shortcuts he uses. I had to back up a couple of time for ‘How did he do that?’ things.

If you like his video, give him a thumb up on YouTube.

NVIDIA 1180 Rumors

The release date is the big rumor. It ranges from July to September 2018.

It also looks like NVIDIA may be the only manufacturer releasing a major video card in 2018. The collection of information available as of June 2nd, 2018 is in this nerdy video.

The TL:DR take away is it will be the best card of 2018 (…is that because it is the ONLY card?), pricy, somewhat faster but no one is for sure, will use the newest GDDR6 VRAM which is in short supply… But, this is only speculation even when based on educated guesses.

From an earlier video we get more specific details and for the visually oriented (aren’t all SL peeps visually oriented?) it is in an easier to compare format. Continue reading