Second Life: Moving/Positioning Avatars

In 2013 Strawberry Singh posted a couple of articles (here & here) about positioning and moving avatars when setting up snapshots. This was needed for those areas where you do NOT have rez rights. Over time viewer upgrades broke those processes.

Avatar Positioning with Black Dragon

Every so often I would check to see if the problems with those processes had been fixed. With Firestorm 6.3.9 (May 2020 release date) I can move the avatar again sort of with her process.

Strawberry explained the process for moving your avatar. (Ref)

  • Open the Develop menu. Top menu, press Ctrl-Alt-Q to reveal it.
  • Then enable Develop->Avatar->Character Tests->Allow select avatar.
  • Press Ctrl-3 to open the Build Panel.
  • Right-click the avatar. Move arrows appear. Move.

Here is a video showing how it used to work. If you have a mesh avatar, right-clicking the avatar likely is not going to work. Instead, you have to right-click on your name tag. Then it works.

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Second Life: Black Dragon’s Poser

How does it work?

Cassie Middles made a 12-minute video tutorial showing how to use it. It is sort of a “Poser” beginner’s tutorial. Not every feature of the Poser is covered. The important stuff regarding posing for pictures is the focus.

Black Dragon Viewer’s Poser

I think it is a nice video. The intro is a bit long but that seems to be a YouTube fad.

She skipped the save-a-pose features. They are intuitive so no biggie.

Before clicking MORE… the next page is not entirely safe for work.

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Second Life: What Improved Camera Controls?

The Linens have released Second Life Release 6.4.2.541639 – Camera Presets. See the Release Notes for all the details.

It took me a second to figure out which camera they were talking about. Well, there is only one camera in the viewer. There are a number of ways to look at it. So…

Graphics Settings – these controls in Preferences->Graphics do control the camera. I suspect most of us think of these settings as controlling the render engine, which they do. But the render engine is the camera. So, most of the labels tend toward describing what we are doing with it.

This isn’t what changed.

Snapshot Panel – I tend to think of this as more the camera than Graphics Settings. This, also, is not what changed.

SL Viewer’s Improved Camera Controls

Camera Controls – This is the thing they changed. I almost never use it. I consider it the newbie thing. I use and Alt-LM-click-drag and Ctrl-ALT-LM-click-drag to control my “camera”. My last guess as to what changed was this.

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Second Life Photography w/Black Dragon & DoF & Photoshop

This is a tutorial on how to use Black Dragon to capture DEPTH information for use in Photoshop (PS). The techniques can be used in GIMP and Paint.Net. The buttons are just in different places.

The reason you may be interested in using PS rather than a viewer’s built-in DoF is to get more control. Viewers tend to provide a perfect render of a scene. Our eyes pick up the texture and dust of real-life so a computer image usually doesn’t fit our experience of how the world looks. Making a photo-realistic is about adding the subtle noise of real life to an image.

Nal @ Port of Senses
Nal @ Port of Senses

This image raised some questions in the SL Forum thread How does your avatar look today? (About 1,300 pages) Mostly, I think, because I pointed out I did the Depth of Field out of focus thing using Photoshop with a Black Dragon Depth map.

Most viewers provide Depth Maps. You can create Windlight settings that will create a depth map too, but that is a PITA. It is easier to use a viewer that has the feature. So, Firestorm or Black Dragon or the Linden Default Viewer. I haven’t checked the others. I assume most have the feature.

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Second Life’s Firestorm Viewer April 2020

Everyone is interested in when Firestorm will release a new viewer with the EEP feature. Me too. However, it isn’t urgent for me as I may use the new Linden EEP viewer for a bit as it is said to have a really low crash rate. Something that has been an issue for me with this version of Firestorm. But, I am addicted to some Firestorm tools that keep me coming back to Firestorm.

The Takeoff
The Takeoff – Shergood’s EC-135

Whirly Fizzle says Firestorm has just branched their code tree. This is something they do in preparation for releasing a new version. Sort of a feature and fix lock to allow items in the build to be cleaned up so it is ready for release. They stop adding stuff in. The new stuff goes into the new branch of programing code.

I am usually overly optimistic about Firestorm release dates, but I’ll say probably in the next 2 to 4 weeks.

NOTE: Flying often results in a crash from network and region issues. This version of Firestorm has contributed its share of crashes often poofing and dropping me to desktop. So, I am looking forward to the coming Firestorm update with the hope the crash rate improves.

Second Life Viewer News 4/23

There are some interesting bits of news floating around. Nothing spectacular.

In The Wastelands

Viewers

We now have Linden viewers with controls and intelligence for the new Premium Levels and EEP. The release of EEP is a big deal as it has been holding other viewer releases back. With its release we will see new versions of the viewer releasing faster.

The way the Lab develops software is to release a viewer version. Then add all its features to the other release candidates. This merge often causes problems that have to be resolved. Other viewers were held back so EEP could finish and release by having fewer problems to resolve.

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Second Life EEP Coming… coming… soon…

The Second Life Environmental Enhancement Project (aka EEP) has taken way longer than anyone at Linden Lab thought. I suspect the reason for that is the old render engine. It is an ancient (in computer time) engine and the original programmers long ago moved on.

Linden Made Panel v6.4.0

Some problems encountered in the project lead the Lindens to bring in some specialists. They have been working on resolving some complex problems. About a month ago, I’m not following viewer development as closely as I used to and my sense of time frames is shaky, the number of problems fixed exceeded the number being reported. So, we are likely to see EEP release soon, probably in April. I’ve missed my guesses a few times now… Lindens are more optimistic.

I am more optimistic because Whirly Fizzle hasn’t found any EEP bugs recently.

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Second Life Images/Pictures

The Lab has a very interesting image on display in  Home > Blogs > Inworld > Second Life Pic of the Day 02.06.2020. I found it interesting because of the avatar poses.

From Second Life’s Blog

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’.