New Shoes and Viewers

Image Source: www.21shoe.net
Image Source: http://www.21shoe.net

Tuesday was one of my favorite events – 21 Shoe!

I am a shoe-aholic in SL.

I can never have too many shoes.

And since 21 Shoe is a two-fer event, it’s even better!

RapalloWhite
YS&YS – Rapallo – White

I love high-heeled shoes, and with my Maitreya body, I love them even more.

After doing some shoe shopping, I decided to try out something else – a new viewer.

I’ve been a Firestorm user for a long time, back when it was Phoenix, and before that, when it was Emerald.

I have just never been comfortable with the official viewer – it makes my head hurt.

But after a group chat conversation in a blogging group, I decided to try out some other TPV’s for comparison.

I’ll have a write-up on my opinions in a later post. 🙂

But I will say that I am in LOOOOOOOOOVE with the Black Dragon viewer at the moment.

Essenz LA Peach
Essenz – Los Angeles – Peach

I can take hi-res photos and it refreshes instantly.

With Firestorm, there’s always those few seconds of, “Am I crashing? Please don’t crash! Please!” when I take hi-res photos.

So, I logged in this morning with the Black Dragon viewer and snapped some pics of these gorgeous shoes.

I’m still trying to figure out the UI and where all the settings are, but there are a few features I love.

I also tried out Alchemy, Singularity, and CtrlAltStudio.

Anyway, back to shoes!!

I have begun phasing out any shoes but ones for Slink and Maitreya feet.

Iris Wine
MyADDICTION – Iris – Wine

I run ALM all the time, and invisiprim shoes look horrible with it. 😦

Even some mesh shoes can look odd.

But shoes like these?

A – MAZING!!

Some of the designers were new to me, but I will definitely be revisiting them in the future.

Do you have a favorite shoe designer?

What’s Your AO?

Image Source: wiki.phoenixviewer.com
Image Source: wiki.phoenixviewer.com

I’ve been following a couple of online threads recently about various viewer issues – things not rezzing, Winnie’s missing left eye, etc. 😛

Weird things catch my eye, and after seeing some screen shots of people’s issues, I saw several AO’s.

I use the Firestorm viewer and I also use the built-in AO.

I love it.

No attachments to fuss with and no remembering to put it in every outfit.

When I first heard about the built-in AO’s, I remember hearing that it would help cut down on lag.

I did a bit of searching around yesterday, but I can’t find any information on that.

The little I did find said that it might help a tad with lag, but that new scripts in newer AO’s are not a lag-inducing as they used to be.

I still see venues asking people to detach AO’s, so I wonder how lag-heavy AO’s are these days.

But then I started wondering – how many people use attached AO’s?

Are they better or worse than the built-in viewer AO’s?

Do people just use pre-built AO’s or do they modify them?

I personally have modified mine – removing stands and such that I didn’t care for (like the ones where you seem to be checking your shoes for something -.-).

I have changed the basic run into another one I like much better, etc.

Now if there was just a way to add an ankle lock animation into it – is that possible?

Does anyone have a home-grown AO – one that they cobbled together?

Attached or built-in?

What animation stores are favorites for AO animations?

If you use an attached AO, is there a reason you’ve made that choice over using a built-in AO?

I’m dying of curiosity over here!

Tuesday Tidbits

tidbit-tuesdayIt’s only Tuesday?

*Sigh*

This week is taking forever already.

A few tidbits for you:

⇒  What’s the meanest thing someone’s ever said to you on social media?  Strawberry Singh’s Monday Meme is all about the haters.

I recently came across this image and I think it sums things up pretty well:

InternetDickwad

⇒  The latest Drax Files was about my favorite SL artist, Whiskey Monday.

Check it out:

Drax Files: World Makers 28

⇒  Canary Beck wrote a post about a style make-over guide for men in SL.

One of the first things she says is you need at least $8,740L to complete this look.

Say what?!

Now, I appreciate the post, because there are lots of guys who don’t have a clue where to start.

And it’s a ‘ground-up’ build, including skin/shape, etc.

But $8000L?

That seems expensive.

Or is it just me?

⇒  Ciaran Laval reported that Premium Members (that’s me, yay!) will now be able to receive 50 offline IM’s, rather than the previous 25 limit.

Now, my offlines go to email, so it probably won’t be as big a deal to me as other members, but at least it’s a step in the right direction.

Something useful to go along with your premium membership!

⇒  Crossing my fingers that LL and OnLive will work something out and do a package deal (as Jo Yardley suggested) and bundle premium membership with an SLGo subscription.

Now THAT I would find useful!

⇒  Caitlin Tobias wrote a post about her recent issues using the official SL viewer.

Clothes disappearing, inventory lost (the WHOLE thing, not just certain items!), etc.

She can’t use Firestorm (which I looooooovvveeee), so she ended up trying Singularity and then the Alchemy viewer (which I’ve never heard of before).

So I got to wondering – what viewer do you use, and why?

Is there one you’ve tried and absolutely hated and why?

MY SL Doesn’t Look Like Your SL

I went to a dance show recently, and during the show, I was reminded several times that things are not always equal in SL.

I have an older computer with a new graphics card.  However, it is still not a great enough graphics card that I can use top-of-the-line settings when I am in SL.  (That’s on my current wishlist!)  I now have better internet (thank the Lord!), but I am still not able to run SL on Ultra graphics settings.  I did turn on shadows recently, something I couldn’t do on my old, crappy internet.

But I still do things to limit my lag – I turn down my draw distance, I don’t run on Ultra, I lower the number of particles, etc.

At the dance show, I was hopeful the better internet would allow me to enjoy (and photograph) the show successfully.

It mostly worked.

I was able to watch the show and take a number of photos without too much trouble.  However, there are always those little things.

At most dance shows, you are asked to remove scripted items, AO’s, facelights, etc. to help reduce the lag.  You are also almost always asked to set your viewer to midnight.

I rarely do.  When I set my viewer to midnight, I feel like I miss half of the show.  I don’t think a lot of performers give a lot of thought to the lighting of their performances.  I like to be able to see the performer’s face.  And since most shows don’t use a spotlight, I usually end up turning my viewer back to a midday setting so I can actually see the show.

It was a terrific show, one that I enjoyed very much.  But it was those little things that kept interrupting – breaking that ‘fourth wall,’ as it were.  Due to my computer, even though I arrived about 20 minutes before the show started, everything did not rezz as it should have.  In one number, the performer’s feet were showing (in that lovely pointy look you get when you wear the shoe base), even though I could clearly see her mesh shoes.  I don’t know if she forgot to wear the shoe alpha, or if it was just my computer.  In another number, the flexi parts of the performer’s costume were grey until about halfway through the set.

The show ended with an act that had a number of set changes, and my poor computer just couldn’t keep up with all the new things appearing.  Just as a set would finally rezz in for me, it would disappear and I would be waiting on the next one.  Although I understood the effect the performer was going for, it’s hard to enjoy a visual spectacle that you can’t see.  (Something like getting seats to a great game and then finding out they are behind a post – argggh!)

Particles and effects can also cause problems.  In one of the numbers, there was a point where a particle effect went off.  My screen filled – with giant grey squares, completely obscuring my view of the stage and the performers.  Sigh.  The next time the effect triggered, I was able to enjoy the view, as my computer had finally rezzed the texture – a flurry of small, tiny snowflakes.  -.-

During the show, I initially set my viewer to midnight, as requested.  However, everything seemed too dark and it made it difficult to see the performers.

As an experiment, I took a picture of myself in-world, using both settings – midday and midnight.  I am not wearing a facelight, and I did not edit these photos (other than cropping them).

Kat - Midday
Midday Setting
Kat - Midnight
Midnight Setting – I’m in there, I swear!

I wonder if the performers create their sets with their viewers set to midnight?  Do they wear facelights?  Interesting questions – and ones I hope to pose to some of these performers!

What does your SL look like?