Friday, December 31, 2010

Time to hit the JIRA?

Sigh... I was in SL this morning and in a lot of IM conversations. RL came calling, and I am sure that I overlooked people in saying that I had to go.

Is there some way I can send an IM to everyone I'm chatting with at once?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Coming Year

It's the time of year when people haul out their predictions for year (N+1). I won't hazard a guess in that regard; guessing is all it would be, and some of the things that have happened this year, such as the hefty LL layoffs, make my guesses fearful.

That said, I have hopes for 2011. Mesh import actually moved into public beta, and I hope it will become official. I hope that the rendering improvements that have been unsupported--shadows, and more recently depth of field settings--will become supported as well. Above all, I hope that Mr. Humble will lead Linden Lab and Second Life in the right direction.

More specifically, the beloved Mammatus sim went away in 2010; I hope that another place will become the gathering spot for prim breast users that Mammatus was. (Yes, I know I've urged us out into the bigger world, but we still need a place where, as the song goes, everybody knows your name.)

The proliferation of prim breast makers and clothiers who cater to them continues, and I hope 2011 will continue that proliferation. I'm hoping that with mesh clothing, everyone will have the problems that only prim breast users have now, so said problems can no longer be ignored and we'll see a solution that will work for everyone.

2010 brought us BUSTed Magazine and Maggie Bluxome's new blog. May they prosper and be ever more widely read.

2010 also brought us Buxom Life. If you're a prim breast maker, clothier who caters to prim breasts, prim breast user, or just considering or curious about prim breasts, I hope you'll head over, join up, and participate in the discussions.

Best wishes to you all for 2011. Guess we'll see what comes of it, or rather, what we make of it.


There's a feature request that's been sitting around for not quite three and a half years that I really wish would be implemented: VWR-1186. It asks for a way to create and restore preferences with a simple dialog.

The obvious use for this is photography--until we all have infinitely fast graphics cards, you'll want to switch to a high-end but slow setting for still photos, and then return to a less fancy but higher fps setting for other activities. You may even have a bargain basement, fps über alles setting for gaming or racing.

I bring up the issue now because this morning I had switched clients because, for some reason I have yet to figure out, the computer I'm using over the holidays provokes the issue I used to trip over at home with Kirsten's client (though it's not unique to Kirsten's), in which the SL client would quickly consume all available RAM and bring the computer to its knees before crashing. I fiddled some with the graphics settings and was about to turn on deferred rendering when I noticed the frame rate in the low forties even at "ultra" setting, and decided 40 fps has an appeal of its own if I'm not taking pictures.

P.S. Many thanks to Elysia Snook and Val Suisei for a wonderful conversation.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Depth of Field

The "mesh upload" beta of the Second Life client now has depth of field options. The ever-diligent KirstenLee Cinquetti has put that code into the latest version of her SL client. I have yet to learn to control it, but clearly it is there, as you can see in this photo:

(You'll want to look at it full size to see the effect; shrinking a photo hides blur.)

Thanks to KirstenLee Cinquetti, and to the SL staff responsible for this feature; it's yet another option for creative expression in Second Life photography.

P.S. See the Second Life Wiki for details and knobs to twist.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Best Wishes to You All

It's that time of year, and I can't be sure how much time I'll have free to wander the grid. To you, dear readers, and to my virtual family in SL, I hope you are surrounded by loving family and friends in both lives. You mean a lot to me.

A Plea to Prim Breast Makers

(I seem to be pleading a lot lately.)

I hope that you'll seriously consider registering over at Buxom Life. I'm hoping that among the things that it will become is a way that prim breast users and those who are considering prim breasts can communicate with you, and vice versa. Communication is an issue--see the interview with Emeline Magic in Big Booby Girls in Second Life--and several things conspire to make that communication difficult:
  • IMs get capped
  • new residents may not know how to create and send notecards
  • some prim breast makers don't have web sites; at least one exists but has sat in an unfinished state for months
  • above all, there's no way I know of to spread the word among new SL residents
If prim breast users can see others' comments, they are encouraged to add their own, to agree with someone else's suggestion they'd not have thought of themselves, or to be inspired to come up with a better idea.

Finally, do you want to let people like those at What the Fug? be the ones that define you, your products, and their users? I certainly hope not.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Silent Night... and Day

It's been a while now that I've had 64-bit processors in my home computers. Of course, I moved to 64-bit Linux. I want to be able to get to all my RAM. I want the additional registers and instructions.

What I didn't want was to lose streaming audio in Second Life, but that's what happened. No more background music or lazy afternoons listening to Jaynine Scarborough's glorious alto voice and infectious laugh, or Xaxoqual Mandelbrot's excellent DJing.

Imprudence has a 64-bit version. I will try that again with an eye to testing streaming audio. Live music is a big part of SL, and I'm tired of doing without it.

UPDATE: Just tried out Imprudence 64-bit, and streaming audio works beautifully on it. Now, if only LL and Kirsten would come out with 64-bit versions, or Imprudence fixed some shadow/deferred rendering issues, I'd be a happy camper.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

1000 Avatars

Gracie Kendal was sneaking up on 60% of the way through her 1000 Avatars Project when I went there today to get my picture taken. I first found out about it through NWN's post on the project, and having a bunch of free time this weekend, I went to take a look.

If you go, you'll be surrounded by walls with photos of avatars, with the empty spaces at the bottom. The avatars are all facing away from the camera's POV, providing anonymity of a sort... though on the other hand, one could argue that one's avatar reveals a lot about one.

Ms. Kendal is a wonderful person... and even the brief wait in line was fun; the people gathered to be photographed were very interesting and quite elegantly outfitted.

I urge you to go there, to be photographed if you wish, but if not, to look at the project as it develops and to see the amazing variety of avatars in Second Life.


I must learn to turn off certain functionality that I managed to just invoke while trying to sit down on a bench. *blush* I guess there's nothing like embarrassment to drive a lesson home.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Be Prepared

If you're a prim breast user, people may ask you about your prim breasts. (I mean a serious question, not the silly stuff like "Are those real?" or "Doesn't your back hurt?") To be ready for such occasions, I hope you'll respond appropriately, and I hope that you'll create a notecard based on the text below to hand out to interested residents.

I release the following under the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike license. Clothiers and prim breast makers: I doubt that anyone would charge people more for including this, so feel free to include it with products or put it in a device that hands out notecards.

A Very Quick Introduction to Prim Breasts

Melissa Yeuxdoux

This document is released under Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike license. (See for more information about Creative Commons licensing.)

The Second Life avatar is limited by design. The obvious limitation, where breasts are concerned, is size, but that's not all. For example:
  • The number of polygons devoted to breasts on the female avatar is very limited. If you run your "breast size" slider towards the high end, you look like you stuffed your bra with cardboard boxes: your breasts have corners.
  • Second Life clothing is mostly painted-on textures. That would be perfect... if we were beachballs. We're not. We have concavities, most notably cleavage. Real life clothing jumps across concavities, but painted-on textures are vacuum sealed to your body, distorting T-shirt artwork into unrecognizable junk. Painted-on straps in Second Life clothing look phony and unable to support anything.
So, long ago (In Second Life years, at least) someone invented prim breasts that attach to the chest. Current prim breasts use "sculpted" prims for better, more organic shapes, and when mesh is official in Second Life, I expect they will move to mesh. They have greatly improved user interfaces. They have many more options for matching your avatar's skin.

Most importantly, most prim breasts sold now have a "clothing layer" to paint with a texture. It approximates the shape a T-shirt would assume over your breasts if you put it on. ONLY women with prim breasts, therefore, can wear a T-shirt in Second Life and have it look right, at least until people start making mesh clothing.

That layer has given rise to a growing market of clothing for prim breasts. Such clothing includes a texture for the prim breast clothing layer and one or more applicators to apply that texture to certain brands/models of prim breast. Some sell packages with just applicators and textures intended to work with existing outfits or tops from "mainstream" clothiers.

If you are interested in prim breasts, I highly recommend the following as places to start:

Feel free to contact me:

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Like an Ad for Sunglasses

Long ago, I read some advice in the context of SL fashion photography, though I believe it's generally applicable: take your photos in high resolution. I don't remember and never linked to the page recommending that, but here are some web pages of people who agree:

Unfortunately, following this good advice will now make you fall afoul of an SL client bug, VWR-7672... and here are the results:

The strange reverse silhouette is expected, an effect of the Windlight setting. The bug is the darkening of the top portion of the image. If the boundary were curved, it would be like a bad commercial for sunglasses, or a commercial for bad sunglasses.

It's not just horizontal:

And it's not just along one axis, or even just once along each axis:

Needless to say, this is highly frustrating, and is not doing at all well by SL photographers. I hope you'll consider voting for

P.S. Especially now that it's been pointed out, you'll see it in photos I've put up in the relatively recent past.

UPDATE: Experimentation seems to show that the culprit is the "global illumination" setting, or more accurately, turning it on provokes the bug.

UPDATE: Even more accurately--the global illumination code seems to be written to work with the size of the SL client window. If you specify a photo larger than that, you see the effect on the photo. To check progress on this issue, take a look at VWR-24178.

Old Man of the Metaverse

Ziki Questi has a nice article on the statue "The Man", the oldest object in Second Life. It's over eight years old, as it was created on June 19, 2002. I had to go take a look, so off I headed to Natoma.

The Man is on a hill overlooking the Ivory Tower Library of Primitives. No commemorative plaque, just the statue itself, with a strange little construction sitting near its base. (No, not me... the strange little construction over at the right.)

I almost feel guilty about using Windlight for the photo; it seems too new for the purpose. But the statue itself is very Art Deco, and shows how art is influenced by the tools available at the time.

A great calligrapher, Oscar Ogg, wrote a book titled The 26 Letters. It's a wonderful history of the alphabet, and the theme throughout is how the letter forms are shaped by the technology of the time. In this blog, you can compare the Varosha Buddha with the "Sliced Lime Buddha"... and I should follow through by finding a sculpted prim Buddha and eventually a mesh Buddha. I don't think prims will go away; artists didn't all say "Hey, we can draw with computers now! Let's ditch this oil painting crap."

UPDATE: The "strange little construction" is a jug of sake, created by Aliasi Stonebender, as he kindly explained in a comment that I got a copy of in email but which for some reason doesn't show up here. Thank you, Aliasi.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

/me slaps her forehead

Teny et al.: I wish I could say that I was thinking of both Big Trouble in Little China and Barton Fink, but I just got it wrong.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

The Bathycolpian Ambassadress

[This is a revision of, and expansion on, a post in one of the forums in Buxom Life. If you are a prim breast user, or especially if you run a business that hires or caters to prim breast users, I hope you'll visit that site.]

How often do you see other prim breast users? I personally see other prim breast users when I go to places that cater to prim breast users or clubs that feature them, or when I go somewhere with friends who also use prim breasts.

There are several possible explanations:
  1. Those are the places I spend most of my time in when I'm in SL.
  2. SL is really big, and there aren't that many prim breast users.
  3. Other prim breast users don't have the same non-prim breast interests I do.
  4. Other prim breast users spend time in secluded or private places.
It's probably a mixture of them all, but I would like to urge prim breast users (including myself!) to cut down on (1) and (4).

Time for SL is limited, of course, and especially with the increase in clothiers who cater to us, the temptation to shop the night or day away is strong. Places that cater to us or where there are a lot of us are unlikely to be infested with those who are rude to us. (I think the technical term is "jerks".) The "OMG!"s, the comments to others made not caring if we hear--they get old, and they can hurt.

But this is Second Life. Jerks can be muted and abuse reported. There are, alas, some sims that forbid prim breasts. In any other public place, though, if you're dressed appropriately, you have a right to be there. Enjoy the architecture, the landscapes, the live music that everyone else in Second Life enjoys.

When you do that, you are an ambassadress for prim breasts. (Or should I say Primbreastistan, or Bathycolpia?) You're right; it's not fair to expect you to be a "credit to your bustline"... but you may be the only prim breast user the people you meet have seen. You can give the lie to the stereotypes. You can show them what is possible in Second Life. Some of the people you meet may wish to overcome the limitations of the stock female avatar, and not know it's even possible until they see you.

Don't force yourself or information on people, but be ready for honest, sincere questions. (Keep a notecard ready to hand out.) Be ready for the silly questions, too, with the best humor you can muster:

Q: "Are those real?" (Yes, somebody really asked me that.)
A: "You're asking that question in Second Life?"

Q: "Doesn't your back hurt?"
A: "No, I do back exercise animations."
A: "Fortunately, Second Life physics isn't that accurate."

You're as much a resident of Second Life as anyone; you just have larger breasts than most. Each time you go out into the world, you make it easier for your sisters, and for yourself, to do it the next time, and you may even help increase our number. Do us proud, OK?

P.S. "Jerk" really is a technical term, by the way.

P.P.S. I can't take credit for the first answer to "Doesn't your back hurt?" That belongs to someone who commented on an earlier blog entry. I'd credit her by name if only I could find that comment. I'll keep looking...

UPDATE: I was at Glitterati for their pose sale, and wandered past some people. A beautiful woman complimented me on my appearance, and asked me where I got my prim breasts--she'd looked for some, but wasn't happy with what she'd found. I gave her some advice, pointed her at Maggie's blog, and asked her to let me know how things turned out. My mitzvah for the day, and an example of why we should go out into the larger world.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Tikvah Island

Speaking of holidays... we're a bit past the midpoint of Hanukkah for this year. (If you have XM Radio, I hope you're listening to "Radio Hanukkah" on channel 28; the fare varies from the beautiful voices of cantors backed by choirs and orchestras to folk songs to fun mashups of traditional songs and modern styles--right now there's a traditional song as it might have been done by Carlos Santana.)

I went looking for places where Hanukkah might be celebrated in SL, and found Tikvah (hope; you'll recall Israel's anthem, "Hativkah", the hope) Island. I've come nowhere near exploring it all, but I think you'll agree with me that it's beautiful.

Approaching the place where the menorah is lit...

...and then we see it.

May you have a joyous Hanukkah.

Hyper Couture

Prim breast users aren't all human. Hyper Couture, at Rabbit Valley 144, 30, 22, is a store that caters to the well-endowed furry--but non-furries should check it out as well. They currently only support eCorp prim breasts, but since applicators for eCorp work with Foxbean's Nadine 1.5, I was in luck, and I bought two of the outfits. (UPDATE: Oops... I spoke too soon. The Liquid Metal only does eCorp. The "Pink Butterflies" sweater I bought supports Implant Nation.)

This is the "Liquid Metal" top--the skirt that comes with it is a bit short for my tastes, and would be even more so given my shape choices.