Second Life’s Corn Field Reopens

Yesterday about noon the Lindens posted that Experience Keys can be tried out in the Corn Field. You can now try out the new features, at least from the user side. If you are into the creative side and have asked to participate in the Beta then expect to get a Key for use in creating your experience.

The post is here: Check Out Experience Keys in… The Cornfield!

You can get a viewer that is updated to use the new Experience Tools (XP Tools). The Project Viewer is here: Project Viewer version 3.7.12.291846 aka: Project Experience Tools Channel. It is now on the RC and Project Viewers page too.

Once installed you need to head to the Corn Field (SLURL). This used to be a place where people were forcibly teleported by the Governor’s Enforcement team and locked in for some time. It has history. The Lindens, or more specifically the Moles, have remade it to test the XP Tools.

I’m still trying to get into Hair Fair.

Second Life & Beyond

Designing Worlds hosted a discussion on how to support Second Life™ now that we know SL2 is on its way. Some are giving up on SL1, which some of us think is silly. The discussion focuses on sustaining SL1.

I covered this discussion in an earlier post. The video just came out.

See the video here: Second Life & Beyond.

Second Life News 2014-29

Servers

Maestro Linden is going on vacation. But, he did post the Deploys post Friday. It is planned that the Experience Tools package will be promoted to the main channel Tuesday, thus making it grid wide by late Wednesday.

Music Concert 2014

Music Concert 2014

There are no noticeable feature changes using the current SL Viewer. One needs the Experience Tools Project Viewer to use the changes provided by the server update. There is no official link to that viewer on the Project Viewers page, yet. Once the beta testing proceeds to Experience User testing we’ll see that viewer appear. For now testing is with Experience Creators.  Continue reading

New Second Life Tool for Blender

Machinimatrix.org is releasing a new tool for use by Second Life™ creators. This one is called Sparkles Tool Box. The promotional video comes as a tutorial for merging UVMaps and shows people how to perform the task manually. Then goes on to show how much time can be saved by using the new tool.

If you already have AvaStar, you may not need the new tool, depending on your workflow. I have Blender 2.71 and avastar-1.1-beta-4_blender-2-70 installed. When I copy the AvaStar model’s lower, upper, and head and combine them I get the UVMap result that Sparkles provides as shown in the video.

But, if you are working with anything other than the AvaStar model, Sparkles is going to be a time saver.

Second Life’s Mesh Bodies and Clothes

When the new mesh avatars for new users were first released (5/15) many were concerned about what would happen when someone using one of those bought ‘system’ (e.g., shirt, pants…) clothes and tried to wear them. As was expected we are starting to hear from people about that problem in the SL Forum.

Second Life 2014

Second Life 2014

If new people find the forum they have a chance. But, the Knowledge Base is out of date (example: Controlling your avatar’s appearance), the SL Wiki is out of date (example:  Appearance), and almost any place you look the information fails to make any mention of the difference between ‘Classic’ avatars and ‘People’ or Vampire avatars. If you don’t know, those are the selections new users are going to see when signing up now. Continue reading

OMG! Second Life Changing Gaming Rules

Ciaran has an article up on the changes coming to gaming (gambling) in Second Life™. These changes will affect ‘SKILL’ games.

There will now be Skill Gaming Regions… oh, and tier for those is US$345, up from the standard $295. PLUS… a $100 fee for asking to have a ‘Skill Gaming License’ … non-refundable if your app is rejected. And your RL self has to be in a country where the Lab can exercise legal control… where you can be easily sued, I suppose.

Read the details on Ciaran’s post: Coming Soon To Second Life – A Licence To Skill.

Gaia Asking for Help

Gaia Clary of Machinimatrix.org is making a new video tutorial on weight painting for Second Life™. A new post is up on her blog asking for input. See: Weighting with Blender.

The actual tutorial part being worked on is here: Course: Weight Painting (Blender&Avastar).

AvaStar is not required. Plain Blender (2.70+) can be used for the tutorial.

One handy thing is the free ‘blend’ file with example clothes. There is also a free OBJ file with the same models. The models are licensed via Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 with accommodation for the current Linden Lab TOS. The models are not yet weighted, that is for a class activity.

Education in Second Life

Virtual reality/worlds have extensive possibilities for education and training, we all know that, I think we do… But, I suspect most are like me and think little on the problems educators have using virtual worlds as their classroom.

SLeducate - University of Western Australia (UWA)

SLeducate – University of Western Australia (UWA)

If I think about it even a little I realize the first problem is just getting a student into the world and to the right location. The University of Western Australia (UWA) has an article up about those challenges. See: Eliminating a headache faced by all SL virtual educators!

Experience has taught us over the years that existing Learning Islands in Second Life™ don’t really get people new to Second Life to a level of usability needed to take a class. Often people are still figuring out how to use the viewer rather than focusing on the lesson.  Continue reading