The Linens have released Second Life Release 126.96.36.1991639 – 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
There are some interesting bits of news floating around. Nothing spectacular.
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.
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.
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.
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 →