Firestorm Has Bakes On Mesh

Image Source: xelerus.de

Firestorm has released an update that includes the new Bakes On Mesh option.  I have updated my viewer, but I haven’t yet had time to play around with how it all works.

However, I have watched a few videos and read a few blogs that have some pretty good explanations.

Elayne over at The Studio has 2 videos about BoM.  The first one explains the difference between the two alphas provided with her mesh head and which one you should use depending on what you’re trying to do.

She keeps the explanations fairly simple and non-technical, which is always helpful, in my opinion.  Lots of people don’t care how it works, they just want to know how to use it.

Elayne also linked to a blog post by Cazimi that has a lot of resource links for BoM at the bottom of it.  Tons of good info there.

I still need to pick up the Maitreya BoM HUD and the nail fixers, but I’m excited to play around with them.  I have a ton of makeup layers and tattoos I used to wear all the time and I’m curious to experiment and see what they look like using the BoM system.

Not having to use a HUD to apply layers to my mesh body would be a HUGE deal for me personally.  I never got into tons of appliers, especially makeup, because it was too overwhelming for me dealing with all the layers of a mesh head.  Plus, I try to be conscious of my personal rendering cost, so wearing things that are easier to render is a bonus as well.

I’m still debating whether to keep my Maitreya body or pick up the SLink Redux body made for BoM.  I don’t know if Maitreya plans to remake their body with fewer onion layers, so the SLink body is tempting.  Except that previous frustrating experiences with SLink hands/feet issues is still recent enough that I don’t know if I want to do that.

On the other hand, if I do pick up the SLink body, I definitely will need to go shopping, as most of my current shoes and clothes are made for Maitreya only.

Hmm, an excuse for shopping – I may have made my decision! 😛

Simulating a 20mm lens in SL – Kultivate Magazine

Image Source:  simpleicon.com
Image Source: simpleicon.com

Another great article from Myra Wildmist about simulating different lenses in your SL photography:

Kultivate Contributor Myra Wildmist is back with a new tutorial. This time she demonstrates how to simulate a 20 mm lens in SL: Last time, I showed how to change your Phototool settings to mimic di…

Source: Simulating a 20mm lens in SL – Kultivate Magazine

Windows 10 OpenGL issue affecting some Second Life users | Inara Pey: Living in a Modem World

Source: www.quickanddirtytips.com
Source: http://www.quickanddirtytips.com

My Windows 10 updated in August, and while I can’t say I’ve experienced a LOT of issues since the update, I have had several instances where my display drivers stops, which then causes me to crash.

It doesn’t happen often enough for me to investigate further (because I’m not that tech savvy), but perhaps this is part of the issue.

If you’ve been experiencing issues, you might take a gander at the article below:

In August, Microsoft issued their Windows 10 Anniversary Update, which result in some problems for users around the world, notable with the operating system locking-up or freezing (see this Reddit …

Source: Windows 10 OpenGL issue affecting some Second Life users | Inara Pey: Living in a Modem World

Firestorm Update, Jelly Dolls, and Graphics Settings

Yesterday Firestorm released a long-awaited update.  I downloaded and installed it immediately.  I love Firestorm, and I am always sad when I am forced to use the LL official viewer.  (Yes, I know there are some who love the official viewer, and that’s great.  Use whatever makes you happy.  Me, I’m sticking with Firestorm.)

First, let me just say that I am so appreciative of the Firestorm team and all the volunteer work they do to keep tech-illiterate peeps like me swimming in all the gorgeousness of SL.  If you are in the Firestorm support group, a thank you might be appreciated.  In fact, one sec while I go do that myself. 🙂

Ok, that’s done.  Now, the two biggest things with this latest update are the Jelly Dolls and the Quick Graphics preferences.  I have been awaiting both with great anticipation.

Jelly Dolls

I’ve talked in many posts before about ARC/Render Weight.  This is now called ‘Avatar Complexity.’ (How this number is calculated I don’t know exactly.)  You can now set your ‘Maximum Complexity’ how you wish, in order to avoid being lagged out at busy events, for example.  If you use Firestorm, it’s in the Quick Prefs window:

Max Complexity

In the pic above, you can see the Max Complexity Slider under the Max Bandwith slider.  You can set it to 0 (which will make pretty much everyone Jelly Dolls) or move it all the way up (which will make everyone render fully).

I went to a busy club last night just to test out how it worked and how people appeared.  With a setting of around 30,000, most people in the club were Jelly Dolls.  Interestingly, if they were Jelly Dolls, their animations appeared to be slow-motion (everyone was dancing at this club).  I moved up the slider to around 70K and more people rendered.  However, there were a few avatars (including the hostess at the venue) who did not render fully until I set the complexity to above 250K.

You can also see your own complexity.  Under the Advanced menu > Performance Tools > Show Avatar Complexity.  In the pic above, you can see that my complexity is 165,374.  Not great, but I was wearing a mesh head for some photos, which makes my complexity larger than usual.  The ‘rank listing’ has something to do with how distant from you others are, so your rank is always 1 (I think).  The green 229m^2 – not a clue what that means.

Also, when you tp somewhere, you may get a message telling you that people around you may not render you fully because of your avatar complexity.  I’m already seeing people who are annoyed about the complexity issue.  A lot of people are afraid it will harken back to the days when ARC/RW was used as a tool to berate and belittle noobs and others who were ‘causing’ lag.

While this is probably going to happen, I am happy about the new information and settings offered.  I have been paying attention to my own ARC/RW/ACI for some time now.  For example, I no longer wear any jewelry when I go to dance shows.  After doing some testing on my own, jewelry was often the culprit of my high complexity.  I don’t routinely run around in a mesh head that I know may cause others to lag.  And I have experience myself crashing when someone with an extremely high complexity renders.  This way, I can control not only my own complexity, but how the complexity of others affects (or doesn’t) my own SL experience.

I’m also hoping that clothing/jewelry designers will become more aware (as residents do) of how complexity affects things and design items with lower complexity – as most home decor/landscape designers are already doing.  Clothing/jewelry designers have not had to pay attention to it, because worn items don’t affect land impact/prim count the way that rezzed items do.  However, since a large portion of residents are in SL to be SEEN, not rendered as a colored body, supply and demand may change that.

For those of you who are dancers, there is a way to make certain people (like others in your troupe) ALWAYS render for you.  Simply click on their name or avatar and there should be a menu option to ‘always render’ so that they will show for you, regardless of your maximum complexity settings.  This should also work when you go to a dance show and want to make sure the performers render.  I believe I read that these settings will persist between log-ins for Firestorm, though not for the official viewer.

So for Firestorm users, you should be able to do this once and then have no worries when performing or going to a show. 😀

Quick Graphic Preferences

The other big item in the update is something I have been waiting for – the Quick Graphics Setting option.  When I perform in a dance show, I turn down my draw distance, change certain items to not render, turn off shadows, and a myriad of other things.  When I take photos, I bump up many settings so that I can take a very high-resolution picture.  When I go to a crowded shopping event, I turn many settings down low, so that I don’t lag out or crash before I’m done shopping.  Now I can create a quick graphics setting by doing all these things only once, and then loading that setting quickly whenever I need to.

quick graphics

See the little TV/monitor in the upper right corner?  If you click on it, it will open a window where you can choose one of your quick graphics settings or open the graphics window to create one.

I set up two different options last night – one for everything on ultra/high for taking pictures and one with settings lowered for crowded events.  So now, with just one click, I can be ready to go.

The graphics setting window looks like this:

Graphic Preferences Window

At the bottom, there are now buttons for saving, loading, and deleting your presets.  If you are using a preset, it will tell you which one you are using (or not) at the top of the window.

I can’t wait to try out these new options!

Examining Firestorm’s landing pages for Second Life | Inara Pey: Living in a Modem World

Image Source:  xelerus.de
Image Source: xelerus.de

I am planning to make a new avatar just so I can try out the Firestorm gateway.

Lots of interesting information in this post from Inara Pey.  I do agree with her point about people possibly/probably not understanding ‘why’ they need to download the Firestorm viewer.

In this day and age of malware, trojans, and whatnot, I would question why I need something called ‘Firestorm’ when I am trying to play ‘Second Life.’

Source: Examining Firestorm’s landing pages for Second Life | Inara Pey: Living in a Modem World

Sneak Peek at The Ghost Town & Firestorm Gateway Launch Party | MadPea

Image Source:  thewaytosayit.com
Image Source: thewaytosayit.com

There’s so much going on in these last few weeks of the year that I’m not sure how I’m going to get anything done!  Tons of shows to see, Advent Calendars to visit, gifts to open, gifts to send, and shopping, shopping, shopping. . . 😀

I’ve been waiting to see what the Firestorm Team has done with their new gateway and I’m super excited to see MadPea involved, as I love their games.  This sounds like it will be a lot of fun – if I can fit it into my crazy schedule, I’ll definitely be checking this out tomorrow. 😛

Source: Sneak Peek at The Ghost Town & Firestorm Gateway Launch Party | MadPea

Camera Tool Tip

Image Source:  www.iheartnaptime.net
Image Source: http://www.iheartnaptime.net

This is a trick I use often when I am photographing at dance shows.

I have a camera HUD, but don’t really use it much.

Mostly because I forget that I have it!

Anyhoo, when I go to shows, it can sometimes be laggy.

(Shocking, right?!)

Because camming around seems to make things worse, I set up a camera angle using the phototools in Firestorm.

I don’t know if this works in the official viewer, because I don’t use it. 🙂

When I arrive at the venue, I set up a camera angle with the stage centered.

Then if I cam around during a number, trying to get that ‘perfect shot,’ it’s a click of a button to reset my camera to the default angle.

I have mine set as a button my toolbar, but you can find it under World > Photo and Video > Phototools.

When you click it, you will get a pop-up window that looks like this:

Camera Tools PopOut

To set the initial/default camera angle, set your camera where you want it, then click the ‘store current camera view’ button (it’s the eye with the down arrow).

That’s it.

I leave the cameratools pop-up minimized while I’m shooting, then when the act ends, I click the ‘load stored camera view’ button (the eye with the up arrow).

Then my camera is ready to go for the next act.

If you like to watch other dancers when you are also performing, you can use this trick to cam out to the stage quickly and watch.

Alternatively, you could set the camera angle to the tip jar, so that you can log in and out quickly during a performance.

What’s your favorite SL camera trick/tip?