Those experienced in using Second Life™ (SL) don’t think of SL as a game to play. You’ll find out it is not a game with points or levels. There are such games within SL. But, SL, the overall ‘thing’, is much more like real life with an amazing variety of things and things to do.
Also, it is like Adobe’s Photoshop® in that no one knows everything there is to know about either. This means there is a learning curve. Probably beyond any game you have played. But you can take your time learning as in general no one is trying to kill your character.
Second Life has changed considerably in 2020. New players and returning players are challenged by the learning curve. Fortunately, lots of people make tutorials. Here I have collected what I think are some of the better ones.
The Sign Up & Moving About Tutorial…
This is a 4-minute basic tutorial walking through how to signup, pick an avatar, walk, and fly. It is the first in a series of tutorial videos made by Strawberry Linden. The playlist for the series is here.
There are more in this series. If you want one thing at a time, this is an ideal set of tutorials. Also, if you are looking for a specific subject then the series is handy as the video are named things like; Getting Started with Bakes on Mesh, Finding Interesting Places, and Customizing Your Avatar Shape.
This is probably the best set of tutorials for the total newbie. Those that follow will be easier for those with some SL experience.
Getting poses is sometimes hard. In some cases, one has to make their own. I suspect Madd Flair did some manual posing to get this shot. Or it could be built into the coaster, I have not checked. However, it looks very posed, unusual for built-in poses.
I doubt the image is taken from the Black Dragon viewer. Would be nice if they said. However, Black Dragon gives a ‘prettier’ render by default, thus my doubt.
From the How’s your avatar look today? thread Scylla Rhiadra spun off the thread Making Avatars Look Good in Black Dragon! Share Your Hints and Advice! (Link) This thread explains how people get those perfectly posed shots you have been wondering about.
NiranV the author of Black Dragon has been posting in the thread, so there is some good information and ‘how-to’.
See the feature… change… request BUG-227585 – [BOM] Display the new Universal wearables between the Skin and the Tattoos ones.
Gael Streeter (of GA.EG products) has pointed out a possible problem with the use of the Universal Layer added with BoM, Bakes on Mesh.
As it is now, most are familiar with the original Classic layers provided by the SL system pre-BoM and pre-Mesh, Skin, Tattoo, Underwear, and Clothes. These stacked respectively from bottom to top. Each layer could cover the layer below.
The Universal Layer added a new layer between the Tattoo and Underwear layers. The order of layers doesn’t seem all that important as layers other than skin can be used for any purpose. The problem comes in how people think of the layers and figure out how to use them. So, using a tattoo layer for anything other than a tat is confusing until one learns what is going on.
Skin makers for bodies and heads have run into the problem of adding shiny and wet looks. With the Universal above the Tattoo layer, things get a bit complicated and require way more textures and layer-items to get the look possible if the Universal were moved down one layer.
Think of it as a tat maker having to make their tats for the Tattoo, Universal, Underwear, and possibly the clothes layer so we can dress as we want and stay mix and match. Continue reading →
There are 4 viewers out. Plus, the main viewer. The Ordered Shout Down RC is looking good. From that I would gather it is the current likely bet for the next promotion. The Maintenance RC is doing OK. The project viewer for EEP has a couple of bugs yet to fix. New employees specializing in graphics now available to work on those. So, hopefully… A Voice RC viewer should be out next week, maybe.
From the Firestorm peeps, the Firestorm release is going fine. No real problems found yet. Adoption is good.
There was a discussion about BoM adoption and use. The opinion seems to be things in the fashion community are still way disorganized.
If you are looking for people that blog, vlog, or photograph Second Life then you just hit found the pot at the end of the rainbow, Ballot for the 2019 Bloggie Awards. The ballot is 38 pages of categorized URLs.
Voting is open until Oct 19, 2019. But, you have to vote in every category… tedious… before you can submit any vote.
Also included is ‘best’ at photo-friendly. So, if you are looking for places that provide interesting backgrounds and gorgeous scenery this is a handy list. Continue reading →
The Lab is starting a blogger network. The idea is they will promote blogs that are about Second Life™. They have posted an article introducing the network and a follow-up article with FAQs.
Just Beyond The Gate
They say their initiative is not to influence the blogger’s editorial content. But they get to pick what does and doesn’t appear on their pages. You have no guarantee your articles will appear. It is the Lab’s choice. While that is not explicit or forced influence, they will influence bloggers.
The SL web properties are privately owned, so it is their right to choose what they include. I suspect it won’t take long until the Lab’s San Francisco liberal bias shows through and bloggers learn what is and isn’t acceptable. I doubt we will see any articles critical of the Lab. I also doubt we will see any articles appear that promote Christian or conservative values or anything actually controversial.
Inara Pey is covering the Bloggers’ Network too. She has been involved in helping them get it going. She points out that they may have bitten off more than they can chew. The idea is they will follow all the blogs submitted and pick the articles they like. Currently, there are 100+ bloggers signed up. that seems like a lot of blogs to follow. Technology makes that a minor task. I follow 125+ blogs in my morning reading. It takes about an hour to cover the headlines and check out the fashion pictures.
But I suspect Inara’s point is the reality. That is a lot for the Lab to handle. The result is likely the Lindens will look for a way to improve efficiency and reduce the workload. That usually means they find the sources of rich material they like and stick with those. It is how liberals and conservatives in a world of fake news come up with so many bizarre ideas distanced from reality.
Then there is the matter of how many people read the SL Blog and Forum. I suspect it is only a couple of thousand. Threads commonly have 300 to 600 views. Way popular threads hit 600,000 views, but that is over 2 or more years and most of the views are from a small number of people. ‘How does your avatar look today?’ is a good example.
Blender 2.80 released a few weeks back. I am waiting for AvaStar to update before seriously trying to use it. And now I see a version 2.81 is planned for release in November 2019.
Blender Nation is doing a series of articles and videos that show the planned new features in 2.81. Look for the Blender development watch.
Photoshop updated and added new features recently. See What New? There is nothing that will be earthshattering for Second Life™ designers. There are features that will make those into SL Photography happy.
My experience point is with GA.EG’s Jennifer head. The rest is hearsay. So, you’ve been warned.
Every Time I Breathe I Take You In
There is a significant problem, IMO, taking the current Bento Mesh Heads into BoM compatibility. As the pre-BoM Bento Heads provide considerable control over makeup, at least GA.EG does, and I see no simple way to provide that control to the system layer style of makeup, I expect little change as BoM capability is added to Bento Mesh Heads.
Thus, the simple change is to add the ability to add BoM skin to a Bento-Head. GA.EG does that with an applier. A new head could be made that has BoM built-in. But, would it still provide a choice of applier or BoM skin? The applier does. A new head would have to add scripting to provide the choice. I find script weight already a problem.
I love the Slink Redux body because it reduces my script load by about 2MB. A BoM-Head that increases script load seems counterproductive. Continue reading →
The bug is BUG-227526 – Issue with compiled experiences being lost when a script is copied in-world.
The Shrek Ears Thing
If you used Places Pages in 2017 then you noticed a problem back then. They were suddenly gone. Seems a developer ran a clear & reset script on the live database of Place Pages. Then they found out the database’s backups (plural) were scrambled.
The result was the database could not be restored. That data was gone. So, Place Pages had to be rebuilt by the page owner. It also meant ALL the SL backups were tested to make sure they would work if needed.
It was purely human error. A bummer. But, I bring it up now because from it we learned about Shrek Ears in the Linden offices. You’ve likely seen the movie or at least the trailer so you know what Shrek’s ears look like. But what they mean in Linden circles is unique and SL lore now. The full story is here, “Re-experience the fun of customizing your Place Page!” A Tale of Oops from Ops. Check it out to learn what the Shrek Ears thing is about. Then you’ll understand why some Lindens were recently wearing Shrek Ears… the recent problem with Experience scripts. Continue reading →