Linden Lab is excited to announce the release of the Materials Viewer! This Viewer will allow content creators to build objects using normal and specular maps and will allow users to view the effects of this new feature set. The end result is photorealistic textured objects inworld, such as the SL10B Bear Avatar, which will look even better with this Viewer.
We’ve prepared a video to demonstrate the effect of Materials inworld and show builders how to add normal and specular maps to their creations.
In order to view Materials, you will need to have a Viewer that supports this feature and have Advanced Lighting Model checked under your graphics options. Not all systems will support this option; please see the Materials FAQ for more information on whether or not it is supported on your system. Additional documentation, including case studies, can be found on the Good Building Practices wiki and the Content Creators Guide.
We’d like to extend our thanks to developers from Exodus, Firestorm, and Catznip for their contributions to this feature. We are very excited about the result!
It’s hard to believe that we’re halfway through the month already - but we’re still in full party mode for Second Life’s 10th Birthday.
To start - there is an all new party pack available on the Marketplace, chock full of great celebration items including tasty treats, party favors and a bottle of the celebratory beverage of your choice. It’s free and only available until the end of the month - so get yours now.
Here is a quicklist of the other items available on the Marketplace. Get your goods before the month’s end - then they will be gone for good.
SL10B Fireworks - (NEW)
SL10B Mesh T Shirts (Female and Male)
SL10B Old Style T Shirts (Female and Male)
SL10B Baseball Caps (Updated with resize option now)
Starting today - Premium members can enjoy a grid-wide hunt with exclusives prizes. Not a Premium member but want to participate? It’s not too late - sign up for a Premium account, and you can join the hunt right away.
Magellan Linden has uncovered an evil scheme by mad Doctor Talpa, to build some form of mind-control machines and take over the world. Magellan is busy building a machine to counter this scheme, but in the meantime YOU are needed to gather materials and components -- and to destroy any of Talpa's machines you can find.
Get started now!
There’s more fun to come this month, so remember to stay tuned and watch our Facebook and Twitter feeds for late-breaking details about limited items that will be available inworld at the user-driven SL10B Community Celebration soon. These items will be collectable, so get ready to claim yours fast!
The Second Life 10th Birthday celebrations kicked off with a bang last week - and there is plenty more to come.
To highlight just a few things that have been going on - here is your guide to ensure you get the maximum benefit of everything SL10B.
On the Marketplace we launched some SL10B exclusive items to commemorate the occasion. If you haven’t yet had a chance to get in on the fun, here are some things you may want to check out:
- SL10B Mesh T Shirts (Female and Male)
- SL10B Bear Avatar - made using the new materials feature. Learn more about materials and get the Materials Beta Viewer now.
SL10B Old Style T Shirts (Female and Male)
SL10B Baseball Caps (Updated with resize option now)
Already, nearly 7,500 Bear Avatars have been claimed on the Marketplace, and we’ve started to see some great snapshots being shared. Here are just a few that have been featured as Second Life Pics of the Day this week. Keep ‘em coming! We love it!
“SL10 Bear Coffee" , photo by Roudoudou Hirons
"This year linden bear, tell me I am a cutie!" , photo by Isanelli Anatine.
"Teddy Bear Picnic" , photo by Serena Snowfield.
Take your own Bear Avatar or other celebration snapshots and submit them the SL10B Snapshot Contest for a chance to win a homestead prize!
Submission have started to come in for the SL10B Category of the Destination Guide - for example check out SL10B By Us - an intersim event celebrating Second Life’s 10th Birthday.
You can submit your events for consideration to this category and look out for more community events.
There is more in store for the rest of the month - including the upcoming Premium members grid hunt, more limited special items, and the SL10B Community Celebration event that kicks off later this month, so continue to watch this space for the latest!
This month marks ten years since Second Life first opened to the public in June of 2003! We’re incredibly proud of Second Life’s success and longevity and we hope that all of you are too - it’s thanks to everyone who has made Second Life part of their lives over the past decade that we’ve reached this major milestone.
We’ve planned some special things to celebrate SL10B that we’ll be rolling out throughout the month - be sure to keep an eye on this blog to be kept up-to-date with the latest!
Commemorative SL10B Avatar
Starting today, you can get a free, special-edition SL10B avatar on the Marketplace. This avatar is made with some of the new Materials features and will look even better once that Materials Viewer launches (you can also check it out with the Materials Beta Viewer). Visit the SL10B Marketplace and get your commemorative avatar today - they’ll only be available until the end of June!
We’re also kicking off an SL10B Snapshot Contest! Start snapping your celebratory images and get ready to share. Top prize is free use of a homestead for four months, and second and third prizes are free use of a homestead for two months. Check out the rules and submit your entries here.
Watch Rodvik Linden on The Drax Files
On the occasion of Second Life’s tenth birthday, machinimist extraordinaire Draxtor Despres interviewed Linden Lab CEO Rod Humble (aka Rodvik Linden), for a special episode of the great video series The Drax Files: World Makers. Check out the episode here.
Join the Parties Inworld
Throughout June, there will be celebrations for Second Life’s tenth birthday (SL10B) all over the grid - thrown by DJs and event planners inworld. So that you can keep track of where the parties are at, we've launched an SL10B Category in the Destination Guide. If you have an SL10B event planned - there is still plenty of time to submit your entry; and check back frequently - we’ll be continually updating the Destination Guide as always.
From June 16 - 29, there will be a large community-organized celebration inworld as well. As with past Second Life birthday celebrations, you can expect great exhibits, music, and events. For more info, check out the SL10B Community Celebration website.
More to Come
Later this month, we’ll be kicking off a special grid-wide hunt with unique prizes, exclusively for Premium members. We’ll blog with more details soon, but if you want to get in on the fun, be sure that your Premium membership is up-to-date.
We’ll also be releasing some limited-edition gifts on the Marketplace and inworld. Some will be limited quantity - so stay tuned to find out when and where to get them!
There’s more coming to celebrate Second Life’s tenth birthday, so be sure to keep an eye on this blog for the latest.
Thanks again to everyone who has been a part of the last ten years in Second Life - we look forward to what is still to come!
Linden Lab is excited to announce the launch of the Materials Beta Viewer! This Viewer will allow content creators to build objects using normal and specular maps and will allow users to view the effects of this new feature set. The end result is photorealistic textured objects inworld.
Credit: Katana by June Dion
Normal maps provide modelling of fine scale surface textures at far lower cost (to performance and Land Impact) than the equivalent geometry, while Specular maps, along with advanced specularity controls, provide much richer control over how the surfaces of an object interact with all the light sources in a scene. Together, these new features provide creators in Second Life much greater ability to make detailed and responsive content appearance.
Setting any material property on an object will change the accounting method to the current accounting from the old count-the-prims accounting; in most cases, this will mean that you can get lower object cost for detailed or varied surfaces that would otherwise require more prims to create. It also means that Materials objects will have improved simulator performance and mesh object upload cost by decreasing the complexity of object geometry.
Credit: Jacket by Geenz Spad
A Collaborative Effort
This new set of features has been developed in collaboration with open source Viewer developers and content creators. New pages on how to best leverage these features and optimize the Land Impact of your creations are being published on the Good Building Practices wiki and the Content Creators Guide, and more will be added in the coming days by Second Life content creators and builders from Linden Lab.
Download the Beta Viewer from the official downloads page.
To see the new effects in this Beta Viewer, you must enable 'Advanced Lighting Model' in Preferences > Graphics > Advanced (this preference used to be called 'Lighting and Shadows', but actually controlled a wider range of rendering behavior, so the name has been changed).
Once we have squashed all the beta bugs (which you can file in the MATBUG JIRA project), we will be pushing the Materials Beta Viewer to Release. Check back here for updates!
We’ve been working hard on some major changes to Second Life’s Viewer and back-end infrastructure to improve the Second Life experience for all users. Today, we’re pleased to share an update on Project Shining - an initiative that will make avatars load and rez more quickly and reliably.
We’ve tested changing of outfits, avatar swapping, and initial avatar loading into worlds, and our tests showed performance gains across the board. Bottom line, Second Life users will experience less time in “clouded” or untextured avatar states and/or completely failed bakes that require relogs. Check out this video for more about the project.
Project Sunshine is rolling out in three steps:
1) A required Viewer update, out now! The official Second Life Viewer (version 3.5.1 and later) includes important updates you’ll need to enjoy the benefits of Project Sunshine, so update today if you haven’t yet. Actively updated Third Party Viewers also already have Sunshine-enabled versions available.
2) A server-side update, rolling out soon. It’s at this point that you’ll begin to notice significant improvements in avatar and object load times and reliability. But if you haven’t updated your Viewer, avatars won’t look right to you when we roll out the server update, so seriously, update now!
3) A second Viewer update, released after the server-side improvements are rolled out. As long as you have the Viewer 3.5.1 or later (available now), avatars won’t look wrong for you, but this second Viewer update will be needed to get the full benefits of Project Sunshine.
Get on your way to a better, faster, and more reliable Second Life experience and update to the latest Viewer today!
If you who haven’t yet heard, we’re coming up on the Second Life’s tenth birthday, SL10B as we’ve affectionately dubbed it. While we’ve got a whole slew of celebrations planned, we’d really like to see how people across Second Life celebrate 10 years on the grid. So if you have an awesome place or a cool event, share your creations and we’ll make this a party for the ages.
Since we can’t stop thinking about SL10B, we figured we’d stick with the theme of parties and celebrations. For those of you who prefer something quiet and intimate, we’re bringing you haute cuisine in a waterfront restaurant. For the more raucous, be sure to check out a neon kaleidoscope of a dance club and a music and art venue carved out of a subterranean cave. A literal rock cave, if you will. And if you feel like taking a break, why not take a walk through a soothing park or an exquisite Italian town?
Following the recent update to the Second Life Terms of Service, which disallows trading of Linden dollars (L$) on third party exchanges, we’ve heard from some users outside of the US who are concerned that it may now be more difficult for them to purchase L$ to use in Second Life.
With a credit card, you can purchase L$ on the LindeX using 27 different currencies, including EUR, GBP, JPY, and AUD. If you don’t have a credit card, you can also use PayPal, which can be connected directly to a bank account in more than 193 countries and regions. If you put payment info on file for your Second Life account, you can also purchase L$ right in the Viewer with the “Buy L$” button. If you’ve never done it before, check out this helpful video:
Now, to give users more options and make it easier to purchase L$, we’re launching a pilot program of Authorized Resellers of L$. These sites are authorized by Linden Lab to purchase L$ on the LindeX and then resell those L$ using a variety of international currencies and payment methods. To be clear: per the Terms of Service, these resellers will not be allowed to purchase L$ outside of the LindeX (i.e. they will not be able to buy L$ back from users and cash people out). The list of Authorized Resellers participating in the pilot program is available here.
If you would like to receive an application to the program when it formally launches, please send an email to LDollarSeller@lindenlab.com.
We know that users are also concerned about the length of the LindeX’s cashout process and the limited choice of currencies when selling L$. We’re currently investigating ways to improve that experience for users while still providing superior fraud protections, and hope to hasten the cashout process and offer new currency options in the future.
Have you ever wondered about the personalities behind the avatars in Second Life? Virtual journalist and machinima artist Draxtor Despres has been documenting the many personal and inspiring stories of our creative community in the acclaimed video series “The Drax Files: World Makers.”
Watch the video interview here.
Motion capture artist Abramelin Wolfe and his wife are based in Edinburgh, Scotland.
For more info on The Drax Files: World Makers, be sure to check out Drax’s website at draxtor.com. If you haven’t yet watched the rest of the series, check out the past episodes at the links below:
This June, Second Life will celebrate its 10th birthday, thanks to users like you!
We have some fun things planned to celebrate the occasion (keep an eye on this blog for more on that soon!), but we'd also like to highlight your events. Like last year, we'll have a special category in the Destination Guide for Second Life birthday-related events. No one throws a better party than the Second Life community, and if you're planning an event to celebrate Second Life's 10th birthday, we want to know about it!
Submit your event or party information to the Second Life Destination Guide Submission Form (use the misc category) or via email@example.com, using “SL10B” in subject line on the form or email.
In addition, there will be an organized community celebration happening that is sure to be great, and they are currently taking applications for volunteers, performers, and exhibits here.
Are you ready to celebrate?
- Get the New Materials Viewer Today!
- SL10B News and Premium Gift Hunt
Second Life’s 10th Anniversar
y - The Celebratio ns ...
- Celebrate a Decade of Second Life!
- Materials Beta Viewer Launches
- Faster Avatar Loading on the Horizon
Highlights from the Second Life Destinatio
n Guide ...
- More Options for Buying Linden Dollars
- The Drax Files Episode 6: Abramelin Wolfe
Highlight Your Event Celebratin
g Second Life’s 10t...
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