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Paradise Lost – Take 2

Paradise Lost is the current production of The Basilique Theatre.  Set to the music of Mozart’s Requiem, it is the story of Adam and Eve and their ejection from the Garden of Eden.

I saw the show back in April and had some issues with things not appearing properly for me (see my blog post here).

Becky, one of the creators of the show, was kind enough to invite me back to see the show again.  Before the show in April, it was advertised that there would be a camera control in place.  It was not ready at the April show, and is, unfortunately, still not available.

Camera control issue aside, the show is amazingly well done.  There is no dialogue during the show, but the narrator introduces each scene and ‘sets the stage’ for the action.  There’s no question that this was a huge project and an incredible accomplishment for Becky, Harvey, and The Basilique Theatre cast/crew.  After upgrading my old graphics card, I was anxious to see how well it would perform at Paradise Lost.  I am sure that the issues I had at the show in April were due to my equipment rather than the fault of the creators.

I am happy to report that God appeared correctly for me this time (rather than as a ‘mini-God,’ as he appeared to me in April).  Because I had been to the show before, I knew what to expect and was able to take some nice shots (which I will share below).  I haven’t done any processing to the pictures, other than some cropping, so what you see is what I saw at the show.

The first run of the show is quickly coming to a close, and many of the dates are sold out, so if you haven’t purchased a ticket yet, time is running out!

PL 1

The Creation of Adam

The Creation of Adam

PL 3

PL 4

Satan plots revenge

Satan plots revenge

Shame

Shame

Cast out from Eden

Cast out from Eden

PL 8

The Flood

The Flood

Turning Water to Wine

Turning Water to Wine

PL 12

PL 13

Ascension

Ascension

Older and Wiser

Older and Wiser

As you can see from the photos, the sets and costumes are wonderfully detailed.  And the second time around I was able to see many things I missed at the first show, like the baby Moses floating in the basket of reeds, and a grown-up Moses turning the water to wine before parting the Red Sea.

Again, kudos to the creators for crafting such a well-done production.  A one-of-a-kind experience in SL!

Restore to Last Position

This is an issue that I have come across more than once.  Often when I built a set for an act, I would use no copy and/or no mod items.  I know that many dancers use a rez box to rez sets, but with no copy and/or no mod items, you cannot use a rez box.  Hence, the restore to last position.  Occasionally, however, I would run into issues – the items would not rez, I would get an error message, and the item would disappear from my inventory (also known as the ‘SL ate my set’ problem).

Inara Pey’s latest blog post highlights this problem and why it occurs (I never could find anyone who could explain to me why I had to relog for things to reappear in my inventory).  Read Inara’s post here.  The ‘Restore to Last Position’ is near the end of the post.  I still use ‘restore’ once in a while (because that chair is EXACTLY what the set needs, even though it’s no copy), so reading that Firestorm (which is the viewer I use) is possibly going to restrict the use of restore with no copy items is disappointing.  It’s not always possible to find copy/mod items for a set that work with your artistic vision and what you’re trying to create.

I am not a content creator and I don’t have the skills (or the time) to create every item used in a set.  So taking away ‘restore to last position’ as an option for me is again, disappointing.  I could switch viewers, I suppose, but since the LL official viewer may remove ‘restore’ entirely (not just for no copy items), that doesn’t seem like an option either.  While I can understand the attempt to limit the loss of no copy items, I wish there was a better fix.

 

Project Interesting

According to Inara Pey’s blog, LL has released ‘Project Interesting’ – read her informative blog post here.

‘Project Interesting’ is said to make object loading better – it will load, for example, floors, doors, and walls first, and objects further away will not be rezzed until you are closer to them.  Included at the bottom of Inara’s post is a video by Torley Linden showing how ‘Project Interesting’ will improve viewer performance.

This follows the previous phase of improvements – Project Sunshine, which introduced SSA to help with faster loading of textures.  No more walking around grey or blurry!

(I have noticed, however, that with the advent of mesh, I often see others as naked with mesh clothing attached vertically to their hands until everything rezzes completely.  Or with hair floating several inches above their heads.  Gotta love SL!)

 

Are You Lonesome Tonight?

Sorry, I couldn’t resist the Elvis tie-in. :-D

Canary Beck (one of the creators of Paradise Lost at the Basilique Theatre) posted an interesting question.  (Read the original post and lots of comments here.)

So what is Second Life for you? A lonely place? Or an escape from loneliness? Or is it neither? Maybe you can’t relate to how anyone could consider this big, crowded, ever-changing world of ours to be lonely?

I’ve read that many people turn to virtual worlds like SL because they are lonely.  Perhaps that’s true.  It’s not the reason I am in SL.  That said, I do often find SL to be a lonely (ie, empty) place.  When I first joined SL, I spent a lot of time going to clubs, dancing and chatting.  When I started performing in dance shows, much of time in SL began to be taken up by rehearsals, performances, and working on creating my next act.  Creating is usually a solo activity.  When you’re trying to work out a problem with timing, looking at endless animations to find just the one you want, or listening to a song for the 3 millionth time, it’s not conducive to chatting and socializing (for me, anyway).

When I’m not creating something, I usually have a list of places to visit or things to see – an interesting sim, an art installation, a dance show, Fantasy Faire – whatever.  However, even when I go to places that I hear are typically crowded (like The Arcade or Fantasy Faire) I don’t usually find them to be so.  Maybe it’s just luck of timing, but I was at Fantasy Faire for several hours the other day and only ran into one other person.

I don’t spend much time going to clubs anymore.  When I do, more often than not, the inane chatter going on is not something I’m interested in joining.  And since deep philosophical discussions are not usual fare in SL, I don’t chat much, other than polite hellos/goodbyes.  So while I am often (usually) alone in SL, I am not ‘lonely.’

What about you?

 

New Mesh Avatars

While scrolling through my Reader, I found a post by Jo Yardley with some pictures of some of the new mesh avatars that LL is rolling out for new accounts.

You can find the pictures of the avatars on Jo’s blog post here.

I must say, I am not all that impressed with the avatars.  I’ve tried a mesh avatar myself (the WowMeh mesh body) and I didn’t really care for the way it looked.  There were some nice features, including the fact that your derriere doesn’t become a pancake when you sit.  However, the ankles seemed incredibly tiny in proportion to the rest of the legs.  Also, it appears that most of my current clothing inventory wouldn’t work with the mesh body.  After having just purchased some SLink hands and feet (which would be useless (and unnecessary) with a mesh body), I hate to waste all those lindens.

I think that you can wear some mesh clothing with the mesh avatar body (I’m not very clear on how that will work), but I don’t like to wear mesh when I dance.  Mesh stretches in weird ways when you move/dance, it appears ‘broken’ depending on your movement/dance, and pieces of you are invisible due to the alphas that most mesh clothing requires.

Does this mean that ‘basic’ avatars are on the way out?  Will I no longer be able to find clothing for my ‘basic’ avatar unless I wear mesh?

It will be interesting to see how/if SL users welcome the new mesh avatars.  I may create a new account just to see what they are like.  And what of the ‘library’ of things (including clothing) that LL includes with all new accounts (you know, those folders of stuff you never use but can’t delete)?  Will it now include mesh clothing that will work with the mesh avatars?  Or will you just get one ‘outfit’ and that’s it?