29 June 2007

Off The Grid - Back In A Bit

I will be away for a week or two, and internet access for me during that time is questionable. Comment here, or send me an email or IM if you want to leave me a message. Things should be back to normal somewhen between July 7 and July 11.

Have fun!

28 June 2007

Travel, PNGs, Hair, and Stuff

You can now upload PNG texture files. If you don't already know, PNG is a format that's lossless and handles transparency. There's a lot of web-related tools that display and work with PNG that don't work with TGA.

I will be away for a week or two, and internet access during that time is questionable. Put a sign (with the poetry rock script) in my main store, paid up my rentals, added a note to my profile. I'll leave a blog entry as a reminder before I go.

I made my first prim hair last night. I've been working on a set of cartoony avatars and they need some. Hair requires a lot of patience.

Sales are typical, so I'm not seeing the summer slowdown I keep hearing about. This is my first summer selling in SL. I wonder if it only hits certain markets? A Linden I've never come across bought one of my invisible avatars, and the idea of a visibly invisible Linden running around amuses me. ;)

24 June 2007

The joy of privacy

There is nothing quite like trying to position something exactly so and finding out that your neighbor has set their brand new security orb to have a 2 second delay. AARRRGGGHHHH!!!

I'm trying to introduce them to the idea of ban lines, or to a slightly longer delay.

20 June 2007

Tiny Prims

Tiny Prims forum post.


All the talk about improvements to Support may have something behind them. I had a tree rooted on Gov Linden's land overhanging one of my parcels. I dropped a support request on the weekend to have it moved or removed. It was done less than 24 hours later.

16 June 2007

Of Temples and Toolboxes

I'm not sure why, maybe it was from hearing a friend talk about visiting the Parthenon in Tennessee, but I had ancient Greece on my mind last night. I spent some time experimenting with mega prims. I've still got a lot of work to do on it, but you're welcome to drop by The Temple of The Original Prim and say hi sometime. While hunting for virtual olive trees, I discovered plants by Lilith Heart. They're realistic but without the realism, so I'm in love. I expect I'll be back, $L in my pocket. ;)

I did some updates to the animation page on the Avatar Toolbox website this morning, and the new Toolbox freebies are now up on SLExchange.

Lindex Troubles This Weekend

For shoppers and vendors - Lindex purchases thru the client viewer have been turned OFF this weekend. Use your web browser instead.

15 June 2007

Toolbox, Cages, and Poetry Rocks

The grid was cranky last night. I had several failures to rez from inventory, and more than a few TP failures. Group chat was having serious problems.

Added another attachment sample to Avatar Toolbox (animation by changing prim size) along with some UV clothing. Hopefully I'll have the updated version of that on SLExchange tonight. I've got some pics to put up on the website and some text to edit.

I got the new group-friendly cages wrapped up for sale at my main shop. I added a "touch here to change color" script. There's a handful of prebuilt colors it cycles thru. I like that they've got the same interface as the basic cage - everything is based on touch. No notecards to configure, no chat commands to memorize. They're transfer, because the basic ones aren't, and because people sometimes sell furnished clubs and other gathering places. Hopefully I'll have them on SLExchange sometime tonight too.

Dropped by Uva Oxide's poetry garden to see how the poetry rocks are doing. They've been a popular freebie. The garden has a giant plant with some rocks at different levels, and a trippy hollowed cube water fountain.

11 June 2007

Japanese law and virtual spaces

So, are virtual locations considered places or billboards? Japan may soon decide their offical stance on the matter. From Tateru Nino, and The BBC. I hope more information comes out about this one.

The Church of England and Sony are having a discussion on a similar topic. One of Sony's games has a shootout in a virtual version of a famous church...

Do you sell/ give away avatars?

If you sell or give away avatars, esp furry ones, drop a note to Roxie Logan. Roxie's group is setting up a rent-free area for such vendors, and they've still got space.

Doings. And Stuff.

After a conversation with someone running a club, I made a version of the cages I sell that works with group ownership. I'll give it a few days testing there, and if it does well I'll sell a new version of the cages. Turned out to be a very simple code change. If I sell them transfer, I may also include a color change script.

Checked out Gardens of Apollo. Beautiful, crowded, and laggy. Fun design too - there's plenty of interesting spots that are obviously meant to be reached by flying. Sometime when I'm having insomnia I'll have to go back there.

Ran into an old friend while running errands. We chatted for a bit, and he gave me some interesting ideas for a new avatar.

Changed a couple of my own avatars. I'm not sure why I keep using some and get bored with others. Did a little clothes and AO shopping. Learned that successful stores can be sim-killers too.

Readjusted my profile - I was running out of picks. I may put together a landmark HUD with my vending sites so I don't have to wade thru my inventory every time.

Found that 16M plots are very vunerable to neighbors shaping terrain. I may readjust the server plots to have their trees in giant clay pots. If the pots extend far enough into the ground, the neighbors can do what they want and my little plot will still look decent. I could also script the pieces to move in response to ground height, but the idea gives me lag-guilt. I can't make it reliably respawn the one prim linden plants anyway - they only spawn if the owner is online.

06 June 2007

Vending - including a picture?

Friend of mine pointed out this article talking about including a texture/picture of clothing products with the items. I'd never thought about it before, although I've bought a couple things that included one. I do look at them when going thru the prim hair I've bought. I think next time I update my products I'll add a copy of the box texture.

I'm still ambivalent on adding my landmark HUD to everything; when I drag a folder on my avatar to wear, I wouldn't want to be stuck looking at the HUD each time. Right now people get them if they click on the "sign" part of the fancy vendor or if they loot the freebie hat. That's another thing I need to do next time I update - put it in all of the packages of products that aren't worn.

05 June 2007

Partial content creation?

And making content control even more interesting,rulings regarding responsibility for partial content creation in the USA.

REF: Mega Prims, Huge Prims, Giant Prims

This is a reference post. It may be updated.

Mega Prims, Huge Prims, Prims with dimensions greater than 10M.

They're a child of the libsecondlife project. The grid used to not validate object sizes that were passed to them in some cases. That has been fixed, so all existing mega prims are copies of the ones created on the grid before that time. They currently can't be made on the grid.

They can't be resized, but you can twist, hollow, cut, etc. Twists and other modifications may be ignored during collision calculations, making them interesting to interact with. You can change the cubes to cylinders. It has been said that some of the curved mega prims are treated by the physics engine as cuboids. They can be used with sculpted prim textures.

There's conflicting information about hollowing them; some sources claim that they only appear hollow, others claim that they hollow as if they were 10M versions of the shape. I've had no problems hollowing basic ones myself, but I've only worked with the smaller ones.

I have one that hollows strangely - it visually hollows as both a box and a cylinder, but it is phyically hollow only as a cylinder.

There's a trick used to make tiny prims where you dimple a sphere, then convert it to a box. Several of the huge box prims available were created from other huge prims using this technique. Their "center" when you edit them is far away from what you see of the cube, and several of the edit controls seem strange (hollow acts as cut, etc.)

Larger ones can upset the physics engine, causing sim lag and crashes when things collide with them. There's also talk that some of the largest ones can cause a "pull" - avatars nearby find themselves moving toward the prim as if it had its own gravitational force.

Object culling in the viewer can do strange things to them. Culling is based on the prim's center, so if the viewer's distance is short, they might not see the prim. Sim borders and object culling require special consideration. A sim only looks so far into another to find prims, so don't depend on a megaprim to be a bridge across sims.

If you use them, you're advised to not us them as physical or flexi, and to use them as phantom. Respect parcel boundaries, and make sure they aren't intruding on the neighbors.

LL's official statement on them has shifted over time; if you plan to use them keep yourself informed. As of the last edit here, they're allowed on both mainland and island sims. Builds using them that are perceived as "causing sim problems" will be deleted without warning. Requests to remove them entirely from the grid have been refused with the comment that it would break existing content.

Mega Prims are freely available on the grid, and from SLExchange.com

Links to SL Forum threads about mega prims.
183213 166217 181082 57194

Second Life Insider article about the 2006-2007 mega prim controversy.

Second Life Insider article about megaprims and making a case for unlimited prim sizes.

EDIT: April 2008
With Havok 4, megaprims are now treated as they appear for collisions.

04 June 2007

Physics R Phun

You know those height limitations? You can't teleport to a location above 768M. Physics-powered movement only. So grab a flight ring, hop on a vehicle, or be prepared to make a physics-based elevator. I've made sit target based movers before, and ones that use llSetPos(), so I think I'll make the elevator.

Physical things roll like crazy. Especially when there's an avatar standing on them. The next line is your friend. Memorize it.

Box your avatar in the elevator. They'll shoot off like a rocket if you don't. And be careful about speed - if the object goes too fast, the avatar may fall thru the elevator.

Unless you make them sit. Don't trust them to sit. They'll have a smoother ride and the elevator can move faster if they sit. If you need them to sit, think about how you're going to enforce it.

llMoveToTarget() doesn't make for a smooth ride when you have to call it several times in a row. And each call is distance limited (64M) so you'll probably be looping thru it.

If the riders are sitting (and therefore part of the linkset), I could use llGetMass() and apply force. I'm wondering if I can do a mix of the two - use force for the majority of the movement, then switch to llMoveToTarget() for the last 50M to take advantage of the positioning and damping.

I have some concerns about what will happen if the elevator bumps into an airplane or other solid object... Theoretically, if I'm using llMoveToTarget(), the box should work its way around the obstacle ( unless it is at the target point). I wonder if it would bounce if I'm just using force? I need some airplanes...

02 June 2007


So I took a quiet Saturday and redid that plot.

The ground's back to being a park of sorts, mostly plants. I roughed up the land a bunch and filled it with weeds. Yep, that's part of one of Madcow Cosmos' sculpts. He does beautiful work.

The main shop's in the same location in the air, but I got rid of the building and made it a small floating island. Plants, waterfalls, and the usual day and night nature sounds.

I've got a basic work platform up at around 320M, but I doubt anyone but me would find it interesting. I attached the photo setup to it. No pictures of that for you.

01 June 2007


My main plot's currently boxed in with large boxy stores, so I've been thinking about rebuilding.

I think I'll make the ground into wilds, with a half-buried large skeleton of some kind. Grasses, some trees and bushes. I'm tempted to throw in some city trash - empty boxes, old newspapers, tires...

The store stays in the air, but it needs a new look. A landscaped floating platform, with pavilions. Some water flowing off the edge, maybe a fountain. I want to stay at a height where people can fly unassisted so it'll have to be below the clouds. I should probably try to keep the arrival point the same; it'll make things simpler for anyone using a landmark.

The photo setup will stay basically as-in, although I might swap the current poseballs for one with a dialog box. I'll probably attach it to the workshop.

For the workshop, I'm thinking about making a floating platform under 768M. Holo-deck type rooms are great for skyboxes, but I want to be able to move things with the editor. I want a quiet area for scripting and focused building, and I can't build without script positioning above that. I'll probably start simply with a floor and railings, but who knows what it'll end up as?

I need to remember to add a sit-teleporter. I get impatient.

The height limits as noted by Moriash Moreau:
- non-physical movement (768m)
- permanent build (2,000m) anything above disappears on a sim reboot.
- absolute object (4,096m) objects above are destroyed almost instantly.
- avatar existence (1,000,000m)

EDIT: April 2008
The non-physical build limit changes to 4096 with Havok 4.

Define "broadly offensive content" please.

I'm very curious to see how this plays out. Is it just verbal grandstanding? Or are all the Gor groups about to move elsewhere? The safety comments strike me as a load of crap; you can always TP or log out. I've wondered if that is part of why BDSM on the grid is so common.

The vagueness of "broadly offensive content" concerns me. Is homosexuality broadly offensive? What about furries? Running around in lingerie? Fat avatars? Transsexual avatars? Gambling? Child avatars - and as "news of the painfully stupid" I've been hearing about people harassed for having short avatars lately.

If you want to engage in kinks or violence that I find offensive, but you put it where I won't accidently come across it, why should I care? I guess I don't see the why of this - we've got age verification coming to SL, so soon there'll be no need to worry about protecting unsupervised children. If I go seeking things I find offensive, why should that become anyone else's problem?