Second Life – How to Lower ACI – A Script

One of the complications in 3D rendering is working out how to blend the objects with transparent parts. Think of windows and SL hair. Designers can reduce the complication by how they use alpha layers and blending. I’m not going to try to explain how to set stuff up because I have yet to get it figured out. But, I came across a handy workaround for things we already have.

I buy hair, dresses, and other things that use blending modes. Most are no-mod. But, the script below can be used to modify them.

In the beginning of the video, I am wearing Magika’s Dreamy as purchased. This is hair that in the Linden viewer has an ACI of 4,699. Using the script reduces the ACI by 702. That is a saving of 15±%. This is my first try, so I have no idea if this is typical, minimal, or a max. You may find that high ACI items benefit more.

There is some degradation in the appearance. When zoomed out, it is barely noticeable. Only when zoomed in can you see the difference. Personally, the 702 ACI saving is not worth the loss of appearance. Continue reading

Second Life Bits 2017 w18: Shopping

30 Linden Saturdays

Obviously this is for the shoppers, L$30 Saturdays is a Discount Sales Event. Seraphim puts the event on. The event is a set of merchants that place a product on sale for L$30 every Saturday. Prices are dropped for 24 hours then return to normal. You can visit Seraphim’s web site each week to get a SLURL to the first shop in the day’s participants. Plus, Seraphim has a load of hunts and sales listed.

GTS Weapons

This week the sale starts at GTS Weapons… they are offering 3 melee and 3 ranged weapons you can pick up for free. GTS features bows: cross, compound, and medieval, when you walk in the door.  They offer some spears and swords. As you wonder the store you find most weapons types, chainsaw, lasers, old west guns, present day military, steampunk, black powder, explosive, futuristic, a tank, cannons, poison plants… pretty much everything a combat RP’er could want. Generally, in the L$600+ range. These are mesh objects. The scripts use Raycast tech in appropriate weapons, the newer tech for SL weapons.

The region is GTS Weapons. GTS has other stores there and offers other products from clothes to tools needed to run an RP game.

The L$30 Sale Item is over at WHATZ (Fashion and Props), across from the landing point. There are 4 sale items, one of which I couldn’t resist. A cute camisole but, it fit so poorly I tossed it. 🙁  Continue reading

Slink Male Dynamic Hands Released

I just saw an in-world notice that Slink has released their Male Dynamic Hands, or AKA Bento hands.

If you already have Slink hands then this is just an update, no cost. Just visit the in-world Slink store (map URL) and click redeliver.

What you get depends on which hands package you purchased. If the full pack, you get the full HUD that has all the hand poses.

I’ve been wearing my Dynamic hands since they came out. Love them. Of course none of my rings work any more and nails have to be Slink or Slink Bento nails.

Second Life: Mesh vs Classic Bodies

The question keeps coming up in the SL Forum, what is a mesh body and why won’t my clothes show? I am so confused… Yeah, I can see how that would happen. So, I need something I can link them to. This is the ‘something’. I’ve tried to keep it simple for noobs without 3D modeling experience.

Basics

To understand Classic and Mesh avatars one has to understand Second Life™ has a history and understand some of the basics of 3D modeling.

Mesh & Classic Avatar 2017

SL Started in 2003, 2004 depending on what you define as ‘starting’. It started with a basic avatar that evolved over time. That is the Classic avatar. It is still with us.

If you take off everything you can take off your avatar is wearing, you are looking at the Classic avatar. You can click the top menu Developer (press Ctrl-Alt-Q to reveal the menu item if it isn’t showing)->Avatar->Character Tests->Test Male/Female. This will set your avatar to the very basic (Classic) avatar known as Ruth. Continue reading

Second Life: Bento Add-on Problems

While I am happy with my new Slink Dynamic Hands and the add-on Stiletto Nails, Strawberry Singh is pointing out that not all add-ons work with all mesh body parts. See her article: Cutie Loot March 2017 Unboxing Video. She is working to keep people honestly informed about the products she reviews.

That all this new Bento stuff doesn’t work together is no surprise to me. I was expecting problems, especially for facial animations. Strawberry ran into the problems with Catya’s Bento Bubblegum. Catya, to their credit, tells you the gum is designed to work with a specific Catwa head, not all Catwa heads.

Bento Heads are going to be a problem. Trying a demo before buying any Bento product or add-on is very important, especially animations.

The Bento heads have a load of new bones. Each of those ‘head’ bones is rigged and weighted to some part of the head’s skin. So, it isn’t surprising that each developer will do things differently… even the same developer trying to make their products as similar as possible will likely not be able to achieve full compatibility.

This means add-on and animations for different heads, even in the same brand, will likely have to be tweaked. A great looking smile animation for one head is likely to look odd when run while wearing another head. So, I expect to see a lot of …for specific brand and model only… notes on Bento products.

There are some conversations in the user groups about how to minimize these problems. But, it may be awhile before things get ironed out, if they do.

So, be careful. Try a demo before you buy.

Hopefully, we will see some people using Advanced Experience Tools (AET) to make some nicer demo tools. I really don’t want to see more animation demos that work like dance demos… the ones where they put 10 to 50 animations in a pose stand and you click through them. Tedious.

Slink: The Bento Hands are Here

And wow… it is an update… no additional cost… WOW!

To get yours visit the slink main store and find a REDELEVERY terminal. Have the system redeliver the hands you previously purchased. Take them home and figure them out… J

If you purchased the multi-pack hands you get all the new Bento stuff. If you purchased a smaller pack or a single hand pose… you get less stuff. See the Slink Dynamic Hands (aka Project Bento comes to Slink) article in the Slink web site for more precise details. Or just get your update and open it. Continue reading

Photoshop 3D: How to make textures for Second Life Avatars – #1

There are a number of good and really bad Photoshop 3D tutorials online. I think Michael Hoffman makes one of the better sets of tutorial videos for those starting out. Clicking his name takes you to his YouTube channel. Here is his BASIC tutorial for getting started with Photoshop 3D (#1 in series) but, it isn’t specifically for Second Life users. So, I’ll add some SL specific help.

More to Know

There are some things left out that I think are important for the basic starting out tutorial. Plus, it doesn’t answer questions about using SL Classic Avatar files. I’ll try to answer those questions and jump you to the things we do in Second Life.  Continue reading

Second Life Bits 2017 w09

Forum

It still isn’t open – 3/3 @ 11 AM SLT/PT.

Update – As many of you have noticed, the Community migration is taking a bit longer than planned. As you might imagine there’s a lot of complexity in the structure; and because we strive to preserve all of the KB, Blogs, Forums, Answers etc as they were, we’re being extra careful in verifying everything is in order. Linden Lab is actively engaged with the new provider to get the new site up and running as soon as possible. We know it’s a frustrating wait, and appreciate your patience during this disruption.
Mar 2, 14:58 PST

Hopefully they didn’t hire the same people that built the Obama-care sites. Since it is behind schedule, I would assume someone will be working on it this weekend. But, I doubt it will be open before Monday… if then.

Everheart 4

Everheart 4

Uber Event

The crowd at Uber (Maps URL) is thinning out. Today at 11:00 AM SLT/PT, there were only 30 people there. So, it is much easier to get in. Continue reading