Second Life: What is Project Arousal? (Review-Tutorial)

I keep finding things I either haven’t known about or haven’t taken the time to… study… play with… whatever. One of these is a set of related toys all named Project something. I think Project Arousal is somewhat known. It is the core engine of a series of sex toys with a strong anime flavor, that supposedly makes SL sex more realistic. Sure. Of course. But, is it fun and what is meant by more realistic? What if you aren’t into anime?

When I started this a couple of weeks ago, SoCal was drowning in major rain like I hadn’t seen for at least a couple of years. It was a good day to stay in and play with sex toys.

Back off, humans. Finders Keepers!

What it is…

First, there is the Project Arousal Engine (L$1,000). This is the core of the Projects’ system and is mostly required for all the various parts to work. But some items in the Project family are standalone. This core mostly provides sounds and facial and body animations denoting arousal. The number of body brands supported for some features is very limited. But as a female with a Slink body, I haven’t found that to be a problem. I first suspected it might be for males. But as I learn more, I think it won’t be.

This core part of the system does not need to be rezzed. You simply wear it and your partner wears it. There is a guest HUD in the PA package you get. It is for your partner without Project Arousal. The PA engine can be used in No_rez areas. This is and isn’t true for some of the add-ons. Read the promo material carefully to know which is which.

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Another Photoshop 2020 Thing

There are a number of things in the new Photoshop. This is one I don’t remember seeing mentioned by others. I think it is handy for making pattern backgrounds.

While I am pointing out somewhat ignored features I’ll include this WordPress-Facebook feature.

In WordPress when posting there is a feature section labeled Open Graph and Twitter Card Tags. You may have to go into WP’s settings and enable Open Graph display on the editor. Whether in the Classic or Block editor the section will appear below the bottom of the editor.

There are two fields in the section, Use this image and Use this description. These are for automated systems that pick up on articles in your blog. The image field needs to be set to avoid Facebook, aggregators, and other automated systems grabbing the first image they find to use with their display of an article on your blog. If these systems comply with web standards they will use these two fields, if available, in whatever they post. Continue reading

Second Life – How to get better image quality…

There is an ongoing quest, for those of us texturing clothes and things in Second Life™, to upload better quality images. So, here is some new information on making better textures or aka diffuse layers. See Compression Depression.

Beq Janus, is one of the people working with the Firestorm team and has tweaked the mesh uploader and other parts of the viewer, been involved in tracking down bugs, and figuring out workarounds for various problems. Now she is on about a discovery made with the help of Whirly Fizzle, all starting with one of Hamlet Au’s New World Notes posts about Frenchbloke Vanmoer…  who?

Beq’s Blog – February 2019

Whoever, down in the Debug Settings it is said there is some magic. Unfortunately, it isn’t there, often as is the case with magic. The magic appears surprising to some as they do not understand the trick and think the wand, hand waving, and abracadabras actually do something magical.

However, there is a lesson to be learned and another step in the quest for better SL image uploads.

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Using the EEP Viewer – Second Life

The Enhanced Environment Project is progressing and nearing completion. Thursday Feb 14, 2019 Rider Linden updated us on where they were in development. (Ref) He is expecting the project to move to RC status very soon™. It is now available to test in its ‘project status’ in the Blue Steel and Le Tigre channels of the main Second Life™ grid. So, it may be time to start playing with the feature.

Also, with this feature comes a new item, EEP-Windlight settings, that can be sold on the market place and traded among users. If you have a talent for making sunsets, this may be your niche.

EEP and Non-EEP Viewers Feb 2019

You can get a copy of the Enhanced Environment Project viewer in the Second Life™ Alternate Viewers. As I write we are on version 6.0.2.524123 of this project viewer. It installs in its own directory. So, it won’t break or affect any of your other installed viewers. Updates to this viewer are mandatory. Meaning when a new version of the Project or RC viewer is released you have to install the update to continue using it.

NOTICE: If you click SLURLs to open your viewer and login into the SLURL’s region, installing any viewer will change which viewer Windows uses. Windows uses the last viewer installed. There are tools and tutorials that will help you tell Windows which viewer you prefer for those clicks. See SLURL Proxy.

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Second Life: Photo Backlighting

If you have a Flickr account, you know how popular photography is in Second Life. So, photo-how-to’s are popular too. Then there are the peeps with a bit of exhibitionist in their blood posting in, How does your avatar look today?

Hamlet just posted an article with a couple of video tutorials on backlighting in Second Life. See Cassie’s Clips: How To Use Backlighting & Projectors.

Hamlet is featuring videos by Cassie Middles (Flickr URL). The video shows how to use Cynefin’s Projection Lighting Kit (L$650) (Video below). Mixed in is how to use your Windlight settings and adjust the sun to get the lighting you want.

Cassie also made a video showing how to use the resulting image and improve it. Below. Continue reading

Photoshop CC 2019

A new version of Photoshop is out. Here is a video explaining 20 of the more interesting new features. They include mention of a couple of performance improvements, which I don’t think much of… but, I will pay attention when I try the tasks next.

Some basic key operation has changed. Undo (Ctrl-Z) is one. I think the new behaviors are more logical. But, I will have to unlearn the old ways now committed to muscle memory. The changes affect a number of things. So, I’ll be bumping into them.

And there are sort of small changes that will make using PS much nicer.

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How to find Cheap, Good Stuff in the SL Marketplace…

Ryan Schultz has published a little tutorial on his site, Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: How to Find Free and Inexpensive Items on the SL Marketplace. I think it is a handy tutorial on how the SL Marketplace search features works… I use the word ‘works’ loosely.

The Search

The Search

Using the left-column of filters makes finding stuff a bit easier. But, one has to know to make the search using the top ITEMS – Merchant/Store search setting ‘Search In’, ‘Show Maturity Levels’, and ‘Keywords’ before adding the left-column filters.

The ‘Sort By’ in the mid-upper right of the page just below the ITEMS search is also a big help. The sort can be changed at any time in your searches.

You can also search for a store or merchant. Once you select a merchant/store you have the option to ‘Search this store’. Then follow with left-column filters.

Things in the marketplace do not age out. Also, when merchants stop using Second Life, their stuff remains in the market place. Even if it requires a third-party server to work and that server is taken offline. All of which is a BIG gotcha for new SL users.

So, the sort order can be important search criteria.

Adobe Spark – Free

Adobe has released a new free web tool, Spark. It is an editor/creative tool for those wanting to quickly put creative things on Instagram, Flickr, YouTube, and other social media. The video shows how it is used as a video editor.

From the video, this image shows that video is one of the three primary areas in which Spark is useful, Posts, Pages, and Video. Amy Landino, the video creator, points out the limits of Spark. It is not going to replace Adobe Premiere Pro.

Spark Options

But, this is may be handy for quick little things and those that can live within the restrictions of a template driven system.

Since it is all free, you may be wondering why it is free. The servers and programming all cost money. So, there must be some financial model behind what Adobe is offering. I think Adobe’s incentive is marketing for Adobe products. There are opportunities they take to promote Premiere and their other retail products. I can’t yet tell if that is the sole benefit to Adobe. But, they weren’t asking for an email address or log in during the parts I played with.

YouTube already has some Spark Tutorials. So, you aren’t solely on your own.

If you have ever wanted to show off your SL creations, avatar, pretty place… this is an opportunity to create with free tools from the premier maker of artistic software.