Friday, August 28, 2009

Hard Crashes

I've had shadows turned on for a while, but not now.

This morning my computer crashed hard a couple of times. It seems to be signaled by flashing of a window on the other monitor.

I was lucky; I was able to sign on for long enough to turn off renderdeferred, after which the problem went away... but of course, so did the shadows.

I think I'll submit two JIRA entries, one being to allow setting of debug options before signing on.

Monday, August 24, 2009


At the Black Swan sim one can now see an amazing work.

It's a large (perhaps three times life-size) photorealistic 3D figure of an odalisque in the artistic sense of the term. Like the many paintings, this odalisque is in repose, though this one is blissfully asleep.

It's a technical tour de force, but I fear it requires its darkened room surroundings to look as good as it does. SL has yet to even get basic shadows save as an experimental feature, much less skin and hair that realistic.

You really should see it in person, but here's a photo I took:

We look like bad CGI cartoon figures gazing upon a human.

I hope that someday avatars will look that realistic.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Reichlich Weiblich

Even if I didn't buy anything at Reichlich Weiblich, I'd love it for its name. The store owner gives the translation as "bountiful female".

There are very nice dresses to be had--one day I will get a dirndl. (I've never worn one before, and besides, like Hobbes and "smock", I like to say the word.) What really caught my eye, though (ouch!), are the gorgeously textured shoes. I have a pair with rose texture, and I'm sure I will return for others.

UPDATE: "Reichlich Weiblich" is also the name of an all-woman jazz orchestra.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Sorry, Marnix; here's an honest NBTBP

I kind of cheated on Marnix's meme of nekkid but tasteful [booty] pictures, I must admit. I took the Lady Godiva approach.

Now I feel guilty about it, so I have made what I think is a NBTBP publicly visible on flickr.

It's a little ironic; for a long time, there was a big argument on flickr about SL snapshots being mere screen captures, like people clicking PrtScrn to show you their spreadsheet or their spiffy window manager theme. Now, because of a bug in the Snowglobe client that causes photos saved to disk to be solid black instead of actually capturing the image you so carefully composed, to get this "photo" I actually had to do a screen capture--so you'll see the SL UI.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Ad Umbra

I've experimented with enabling shadows in the Snowglobe client. A lot of the problems I used to see have been corrected, and the shadows are beautiful.

There's one big problem that I've noticed: snapshots with shadows enabled are still solid black. The preview window just shows the sky as black (and if you look at the saved image of the last place you were before logging out, the sky's black there, too), and the saved image is solid black. I had to use screen captures to save what I saw--which, after I spent so much time arguing that SL "photographs" aren't just screen captures, is kind of ironic.

The other thing that I've noticed is objects coming and going; plants and strands of hair vanishing and reappearing. I can only conclude that enabling shadows ups the number of vertices to be processed enough that even after increasing the arbitrary limit imposed for RC/Snowglobe, it still goes over, so I have to increase it yet again.

Sharp Dressed...

Leia Sharple has started a service of customizing Implant Nation prim breasts to work with an outfit of your choice for a fee (L$500 for one outfit, L$2000 for six). There's a group for announcements and such, called, um... let's just say the name is perhaps inspired by one of ZZ Top's hits. (Search for "sharp dressed" and you'll find it.)

UPDATE: I didn't notice the little sign tacked on to the billboard; she can now accomodate eCorp prim breasts, too. (Foxbean Laboratories, pretty please?)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Eep! Client freeze

Sigh... I was distracted for a few minutes by an announcement on a web site, and when I returned, the Snowglobe client was well and truly frozen. Darn... and apologies to anyone who may have tried to contact me.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

New blog from Maggie Bluxome

Maggie Bluxome's new blog A Little Sweet, A Little Naughty tells of her experiences and shows off the lovely outfits she wears. (There's a red gown from P.S. Design that is particularly beautiful. It's supposed to be latex, but it doesn't look like latex to me.) Do check it out.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Big Art

New World Notes mentioned a huge painting, Comet Morigi's "Wind Observatory", that spreads out over four sims, so I had to go take a look. I will have to go back to really see it, but I am very impressed with what I've seen. Do go see it; photographs don't do it justice.

I've virtually stood in front of a David Hockney painting, so I decided I should stand in front of "Wind Observatory". One advantage of a four-sim painting is that you're unlikely to block someone else's view, so I didn't feel guilty. :)

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Mood Irrelevant

In a scene early in Dune, Gurney Halleck teaches Paul Atreides the fallacy of mood. One can't wait for inspiration to strike. Edison and Pasteur had it right.

I think that's in part why Jonthan Coulton did the "Thing a Week", and now Lillie Yifu is posting a poem a day for a year on 2nd Sex. Be sure to check it out.

Friday, August 07, 2009

A better view

I had to try to show that not-totally-rendered jewelry to better advantage, something befitting it... and I think I managed, with some help from Windlight's "Desert Sunset" setting, one of LAP's Bollywood poses, and a lovely shop on Serena Island as background:

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Broken Jewelry

The other day I retrieved the latest Snowglobe SL client and went exploring. I noticed some strangeness--parts of buildings flickered in and out of existence--but what was fairly blatant and not seemingly intermittent was the way the client treated some jewelry that I couldn't pass up.

Here's a photo taken from a distance...

...and here's a close-up.

What happened to the stone in the necklace? Well, as the classic saying goes, "That's not a bug; that's a feature". From a comment on JIRA entry VWR-13868:
The large number of highly detailed sculpties has exceeded a recently added limit on the maximum number of vertices that the rendering engine will process. When the limit is exceeded, the renderer stops rendering any later vertices. The skip vertices could be from the same object or any other object in the scene.
That explains both the flickering buildings and the vanishing jewelry. It's a rather blunt instrument, as the commenter (Street Spotter, and thank you if you're reading this!) points out in the last sentence quoted, and that's unfortunate. if the choice is forced on me, I think I'd rather have some of my jewelry disappear than parts of buildings.

There's a workaround of sorts, though as a fixed setting, there will always be some scene that will force the problem:
The workaround for this problem is to reduce the number of high resolution scrulpties [sic], or to adjust one of the debug settings "renderMaxNodeSize". The default value of 4096 for renderMaxNodeSize causes some portions of [a necklace that displays the bug] to disappear when zoomed. Incresing [sic] this value above 6000 displayed all the elements of the necklace.
SL jewelers are understandably highly upset--but it's not just them. Q Linden says "Occasionally, imposing such limits will break a tiny fraction of existing content", but I question whether the content broken by this can be fairly characterized thus.

P.S. If you look at the full-size version of the first photo, it will be obvious that the stray spots on photos are back. Sigh.

Monday, August 03, 2009

When I grow up (part N+1)

I had to find the "Woman in a Box" that Cheyenne wrote about--fortunately, one of the photos had a sim and coordinates, with which it was easy to find her.

One of these days...

Sunday, August 02, 2009

"I didn't know they could do that..."

While sculpted prims are a major advance in SL, one can do surprising things with the original prims if one knows how.

In "The Ultimate Guide to Prim Twisting", Ayumi Cassini shows you some of those surprising things. Check it out. (And don't stop with that one post...)