Monday, November 30, 2009

Official Forced Perspective

If you've read my blog, you know that, until such time as I can have a giantess avatar, I have a thing for taking forced perspective pictures to have at least a little bit of the experience.

Imagine my surprise when I happened to head for the Second Life web site and found this:

Very nice work, and I feel kind of justified in a strange way. I should go take some more forced perspective pictures, though I don't know whether I'll ever do one better than this one:

P.S. Shadows make forced perspective photos a lot harder; not having a shadow while everything else does wrecks verisimilitude.

About that dress...

It's Ingenue's "Christmas Girl". I am looking around at Ingenue as I type, and while I don't see it, the "Tracy" outfit and "Birthday Girl" have skirts of similar design. They look wonderful, and I feel wonderful when I wear it--especially with shadows enabled.

Even if you're not as taken with this particular skirt as I am, Ingenue has lovely vintage fashions, and is well worth exploring. (Now to find some hairdos of that time...)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving finds me, as it does each year, with RL family. I hope that you all are with loved ones, in whichever life, and that you have much to be thankful for.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Good Ubuntu News Blog

I hope that I've encouraged some of you to give Linux a try. If you have, and chose the Ubuntu Linux distribution, or if you use Ubuntu without or despite my going on about Linux, take a look at the OMG! UBUNTU! blog.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Serious Shadows

Yesterday I didn't get what I was really after. Actually, I'm glad of that, because Paris 1900 was gorgeous with the "bergamot & rosemary" sky, but I really wanted to show off how wonderfully shadows fall on that dress. I was trying for something a little more like this, taken in Roma Centro:

The full effect would require machinima.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Windlight and shadows in Paris

I vacillate between shuddering and laughing when I go back to the first pictures I took in Second Life. Shuddering at my composition and technique, which haven't really advanced much in three and a fraction years, I fear, but also laughing... or rather, smiling as one does looking at a child's scrawled first efforts at art.

I went back to Paris 1900, armed with shadows and with the amazingly large toolkit of Windlight settings that come with the Emerald SL client. In the context, I promptly fell in love with the setting labeled "[EUPHORIA] Bergamot and Rosemary", and here's what I came up with:

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


If you've not tried Google's Chrome web browser or the open source version, Chromium, you should. It's blindingly fast, and much as I like Firefox, I will give Chromium a serious workout soon--just use it for a few days or a week. Who knows? I may switch. (Finding an adblock extension for it closed the deal; it's a sine qua non.)

I noticed one thing just now that is a bit odd, but practically is a point in Chromium's favor: it doesn't give the empty columns at the right and left of this blog nearly as much space as Firefox does. (It seems a little weird that they should differ, but perhaps that's something that web standards don't totally specify.) That means images, especially the masthead, are much larger. Text is the same size, but a wider column means less scrolling, and that one can set text ragged right and have it look a little nicer.

UPDATE: There's more to it than that. I tried viewing the blog on a test account on my computer, and it looks just like it does with Chromium, so something about the files under ~/.mozilla/firefox/mumble.whatever is making it display differently--but what?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Er, what was that settting again?

One of the nice features of the Emerald SL client is that it has a LOT of Windlight presets. Admittedly, many of them would be irritating to have on all the time, but they make for some striking photographs:

So everybody's happy... there's no way one can mess this up, right? Wrong. Remember how there's a problem with shadows enabled that makes snapshots come out black, so you have to use screenshots? Well, I took my screenshot, went on my way, and then opened it up in GIMP to crop the UI and stuff out of the picture--and I noticed that at the instant the screenshot capture happened, I had the mouse cursor sitting near the portion of the UI that shows one's location, and a little popup explaining that was smack dab in the middle of the image.

Go back to last location... uh, which Windlight setting was that again? Maybe this one... no. Maybe... no. Eek! So, I hope that the GIMPery to hide the popup isn't too obvious.

Time to suggest that metadata (camera location and direction it's looking, and oh, I don't know... Windlight settings?) be stored with snapshots, and to check up on the JIRA entry for snapshots and shadows.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

An interesting aspect of a harrowing tale

New World Notes has a post pointing people at this harrowing story of several soul-destroying months Sasy Scarborough spent gathering evidence of widespread illegitimate copying of SL fashions, hair, skin, and so on.

It's an emotionally draining read, but I urge you to read it.

One curious part:
You see Emerald viewer gave us this incredible function, the ability to see last owner on items in edit, yes that means that now not only were you able to see who copybotted it, but also could see who had it in their hot little hands last, and not the original , no the actual stolen item…. yes yes little thief enablers the trail to your door just swung wide open.
Gee, does that sound like something that evil opensource technocommunist wikinista [imagine endless ignorant incoherence inserted here]... would do?

Monday, November 09, 2009

Landmarks: Threat or Menace?

So there is, or perhaps there was, a brouhaha over landmarks, and whether they'll go away in favor of something else. Frankly, I wouldn't mind if there were something else, at least in addition to the current landmarks.

Why? As it stands, a landmark has two things: something you really don't care about (sim, x, y, z), and something you do care about (the thing that you want to be able to get to again, or rather some text and an image that describe it). Once you create that landmark, it can become obsolete at any time, because the thing you care about can be moved. Businesses move. People move, or more accurately, their homes do.

When that happens, if you're lucky, someone will give you a new landmark that you can keep--and then you should find and delete the original, assuming you remember to. If you neglect that task, I hope you have your inventory displayed in chronological order or can remember which is the current landmark.

Of course, often those landmark updates will be embedded in a group notice. If you get many of those, you may fall prey to a common mistake: continuing a sequence of clicks on the same response once too often ("OK, OK, OK, OK... oh !#$%@!")... and isn't there a limit on how many pending notices you can have?

Better to have a landmark that doesn't directly contain the (sim, x, y, z) values, but instead points at one that does. (For that matter, the pointed-at landmark could have the image and text, too, so all the new "landmark" need have is the object ID of the real landmark. After all, maybe the store owner remodeled as well as relocated.) Then it's up to the store owner or whoever gave it out to update the single pointed-at landmark, and everyone having a "landmark" that points to it has up-to-date information without having to catch a message, save a new landmark, and delete the old one.

I'd also like an SL client that takes action to let me avoid redundant landmarks ("You already have a landmark that refers to a spot just X meters away from there--do you really want to clutter your inventory by saving this one, too?") and helps me organize landmarks ("Do you want this saved in an existing or new subfolder of Landmarks, or just in Landmarks?"). It's as easy to lose track of landmarks as it is to lose track of one's web browser bookmarks; landmarks have no particular advantage in that respect.

(Let's not get started on the way people abuse Picks, OK? Some other mechanism ought to be in place for non-landmark items, be they your Significant Other, BFF, what you consider acceptable behavior in roleplay, your store's policy on refunds, gifts, etc., ad infinitum.)

Friday, November 06, 2009

Home Again

I've been wearing some lovely clothing that supports various brands of prim breast, and it's been a pleasure expanding my fashion horizons... but today I went back to Foxbean Laboratories' "Nadine" prim breasts, and it was like coming home. I just love their shape.

As time goes on, I'll have to stray again, but I will always return.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

In support of Emerald

There's been a recent brouhaha about third-party SL clients (aka "viewers"), including a strident and, IMHO, at the very least totally misguided call for banning all third-party viewers.

Lately I've been experimenting with third-party clients, but I've settled on Emerald. I hasten to state that I'm not a griefer, and I spend far more L$ than I probably should on clothing and the like, because I want people who do work I appreciate to keep doing it.

So... as a personal statement of support for the Emerald SL client and third-party clients in general, I will buy some emerald jewelry and wear it constantly in SL until the issue is settled--rationally, I hope. I hope you will join me in this quiet protest.

P.S. The vendor labels the eyes as "emerald", too. :)

Thank you, Mesha

The beautiful and talented Mesha Sewell helped me with editing the top for "Miss Jane". Depending on prim breast size, it can require some adjustment.

Once again, thank you, Mesha.