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Ian Undercroft

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> there is no escaping the fact that in SL, notwithstanding avatar height, doorways have to be wider and ceilings have to to be considerably higher than in RL to allow for ease of movement and, in particular, movement of the trailing camera.

The camera is not set to a uniform height over every avatar. Larger avatars push the already too-high camera up further. Said camera can, and should, be fixed. Of course, it's up to SL to fix it for the average user, but those wishing for a better SL experience in the meantime, I recommend this thread.

Whether or not you consider a better sense of scale in SL something worth achieving, a lower camera is simply more immersive. Gives you a better view of yourself and those around you, and gives you a better view of the environment in front of you as you walk/run/fly through sims.

>Further, it's impossible now to turn back the clock. Objects have to be created and animations made to accommodate the majority of avatars who are oversized. 

This statement is just not true. Most content is created to accomodate the shape of its creator. Given how spread out avatar sizes are, even amongst just the oversized avatars, this means the majority of content you come across is not made to fit your own avatar. 

 Most animations are unaffected by individual height, however the difference in height between two avatars can, and in nearly all cases in SL, does break the animations involving 2 or more avatars. Ground sit poses are the animations affected by height, these are not used very often and when they are most avatars find that they are left either floating, or sinking into the ground, as it is.

The phrase "better late than never" comes to mind, as pushing for a better, more universal sense of scale now would mean that over time this problem would be diminished considerably now. Properly scaled avatars have no trouble finding content that works, or can easily be made to work, with their size.

 Keep in mind, I'm not suggesting LL re-size all over-sized avatars without offering a choice in the matter. I'm suggesting LL should start all new users with properly scaled avatars, provide correct avatar height in the appearance editor and fix the SL camera in upcoming viewer releases.

 The trend is already pushing towards properly scaled avatars. These changes would make the transition faster and reduce confusion among residents. It would still not be an overnight fix, it would take time.

 The argument that it is somehow "too late" suggests LL should drop their mesh import project. Afterall, it's been 8 years or so of regular prim content. Too late for mesh to have any effect now.

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*slips a linden in Ian's undies*

Woo hoo, first tip, shake that dwarf butt for mama, you bearded thing you!

Oh and they are called MOOBS (man-boobs)

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For one thing, the tape measure kit that tells people the normal sizes of things sets avatar height in such a way as to suggest the meter is closer to 2.5 feet, as it does with ceilings and door frames. 

For another thing, consider what you get when you set avatar height to 50. Why do you get that?

For another thing, consider the size of the default object cube. It appears to approach one Chinese foot or one Egyptian cubit, either of which would seem to be between 14 and 16 inches, making 0.5 Linden meters something very close to 1 foot and 3 inches.

Also, consider the only known counterargument at this point; that the Linden meter is the metric meter, and everyone is supposed to have a giant avatar living in giant buildings etc for no reason at all.

Which argument is weaker?

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BTW... has anyone done any acceleration studies on falling objects?

I should think that would settle it if there is any coherent form of acceleration before terminal velocity.

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> For one thing, the tape measure kit that tells people the normal sizes of things sets avatar height in such a way as to suggest the meter is closer to 2.5 feet, as it does with ceilings and door frames.

You mean a resident made tape measure kit?

>For another thing, consider what you get when you set avatar height to 50. Why do you get that?

Um...try setting ALL the avatar sliders to 50 and see what you get. 

>For another thing, consider the size of the default object cube. It appears to approach one Chinese foot or one Egyptian cubit, either of which would seem to be between 14 and 16 inches, making 0.5 Linden meters something very close to 1 foot and 3 inches.

You have completely left the relm of rational thought. Please remember to send a postcard.

>Also, consider the only known counterargument at this point; that the Linden meter is the metric meter, and everyone is supposed to have a giant avatar living in giant buildings etc for no reason at all.

Avatars were much shorter in 2003 than the average avatar now. The starter avatars were shorter when I joined than the 7' giants people start with now. Buildings, as pointed out earlier in this thread, are scaled up far more than avatars due to bad camera placement. Until late last year no official viewer listed avatar height at all. Even with the current viewers, LL has acknowledged that the height displayed in the appearance editor is wrong and needs to be fixed.

 So not only does your argument fail to hold any water, but you completely ignore the practical repercussions.

 Right now, effectively ALL content in SL is broken due to scale issues. Buildings are too large for avatars. Furniture is all made according to random creator sizes, animations are a complete mess, and everyone who owns land in SL is paying about four times more than they are getting out of the land due to rampant up-scaling.

 Even LL loses in this bargain because as a direct result SL is uglier (more prims devoted to structure means fewer prims allotted for content and detail) and fewer people are willing to own land at all (the common perception is that it costs far too much for any amount of land large enough to do anything worthwhile.)

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Josh Susanto wrote:

BTW... has anyone done any acceleration studies on falling objects?

I should think that would settle it if there is any coherent form of acceleration before terminal velocity.

Hi, you are looking in the right place! The gravity constant in Second life is indeed 9.8, an SL meter is one meter long. :)

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I'm actually surprised by that. Given we can jump like we're on the moon, we walk at like double normal speed, and have absolutely no control over things like mass for objects I figured SL's physics would be as wonky as everything else.

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Penny Patton wrote:

I'm actually surprised by that. Given we can jump like we're on the moon, we walk at like double normal speed, and have absolutely no control over things like mass for objects I figured SL's physics would be as wonky as everything else.

Oh, mass is completely bogus, but gravity is semi-realistic.

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I think it's funny how a discussion if Ian's manboobs have now turned into a discussion of whether the Linden meter is equal to a real world meter. :smileysurprised:

I could be wrong, but the in world measures are just measurements of one object in relation to another in world. Does it really matter then if the linden meter really equals 1 rl meter, 2 feet or 16 inches?

[EDIT] Sorry Cerise. The reply was not meant for you but for the whole thread. I thought they had fixed the reply buttons to create a reply to the OP, but it seems not.

- Luc -

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I could be wrong, but the in world measures are just measurements of one object in relation to another in world. Does it really matter then if the linden meter really equals 1 rl meter, 2 feet or 16 inches?

This is serious business! If you are in a plane on RL scale and your avatar is too big, your head could stick out and you will get bugs in your teeth and bird poop on your hair, and if it climbs too high your avatar could suffocate!

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Cerise Sorbet wrote:

I could be wrong, but the in world measures are just measurements of one object in relation to another in world. Does it really matter then if the linden meter really equals 1 rl meter, 2 feet or 16 inches?

This is serious business! If you are in a plane on RL scale and your avatar is too big, your head could stick out and you will get bugs in your teeth and bird poop on your hair, and if it climbs too high your avatar could suffocate!

Bugs in your teeth? Chew and you won't go hungry. Bird poop? Probably works well as a conditioner. If you can hold your breath for a really long time, even the height will not be a problem. If you can't hold your breath, stay at low altitudes, and you'll be fine.

Still don't see the problem... :D

- Luc -

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I thought I laid the problems out pretty clearly.

I'll let you go back and find my posts if you want to understand how the scale  issues break animations, furniture, attachments, etcetera, but I'll repeat the biggie.

Land in SL is a limited and costly resource. The rampant up-scaling means that everyone who owns land is paying four times as much for the practical use they're getting out of their land. The Prim count of large structures (houses, shops, castles, etcetera) similarly goes up by about a factor of four as you double the size.

 Combined, this means SL is less detailed (more prims eaten up by structures means fewer prims allotted for details) and smaller. (Say you could fit four whole city blocks in an SL sim if you built to scale. Up-scaling to double size means you'd only be able to fit a single city block in that same sim. This is why sims built with attention given to scale consistently seem much, much larger than a single sim's worth of content.)

See the problem now?

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My comment was only about the comparison of Linden meters to RL meters, but perhaps that did not come across. It was not about the fact that avatars - and objects - are being scaled up in world. The fact that we think of a linden meter as the same as a RL meter does not make sense. It is, in fact, impossible to find out if an SL meter is 2.5 RL feet or one standard RL meter. We do relate our sense of RL measurements to SL, and in that sense one meter in world is one meter.

That being said. I see your point regarding land and primcount, and about the avatar and building scale. As I said, I was not really commenting on that.

- Luc -

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I really don't care what the Linden meter is, but I take exception to the claim that it in any special way correlates to the metric meter.

I have not scientifically measured the gravity, but I'm not convinced by the mere assertion that acceleration of falling bodies is 9.8 meters per second.

One of the first things I did when I joined was make an all 50 avatar to see what it looked like. It wasn't normally proportioned, but the discrepancies were smaller in total than the observable discrepancy between the way a meter looks in SL and the way a meter looks in RL.

The tape measure may have been made by residents, but I have yet to see a competing tape measure, much less one provided by LL to settle the matter.

The fact that LL has never taken any position on any of this is only compounded by the fact that their own avatars are not uniformly smaller than those of most other residents. If you look at things built by Lindens, I expect you'll find a similar conformance to a Linden meter closer to 2.5 English feet than to e meteric meter.

In regard to the cubit/Chinese foot question, it's the only reason I can see for making default objects half a meter across rather than a full meter. Put the arm of one of the "giant" avatars across a block and see how the distance from elbow to fingertip relates to the distance across the cube. No one who has studied both architecture and archaeology could possibly miss this. 

I think the core issue is not ultimately the meter, itself, but the idea that SL is or is even intended to be a perfect analog of the Earth. 

Assuming, though, that SL is intended to be an Earth analog, we should be able to settle the meter question by further assuming SL's moon to be of the same size and at the same distance as the Earth's moon.

With perspective triangulation, we should be able to calculate the diameter of SL's moon; if it turns out to be the same diameter in Linden meters as Earth's moon in metric meters, THAT would have some persuasive weight in my case.

Anybody?

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> I really don't care what the Linden meter is, but I take exception to the claim that it in any special way correlates to the metric meter.

You mean, despite the fact that LL chose to use the metric system as the basic unit of measurement. They could have let it entirely unnamed, or chose a fictional method of measurement, but they didn't.

>One of the first things I did when I joined was make an all 50 avatar to see what it looked like. It wasn't normally proportioned, but the discrepancies were smaller in total than the observable discrepancy between the way a meter looks in SL and the way a meter looks in RL.

I can only assume you are not very familiar with human proportion. The discrepencies are immense. A woman avatar needs to have the arm slider set around 90-100 to have her arms not disturbingly short. What you get with an all 50 avatar is not human. Not sure why you're leaning on that as any sort of argument.

>The tape measure may have been made by residents, but I have yet to see a competing tape measure, much less one provided by LL to settle the matter.

The prim editor window has several built in methods of measurement, all of which contradict this resident made tape measure you're talking about. Not the least of which are the measurements for prims themselves.

>I think the core issue is not ultimately the meter, itself, but the idea that SL is or is even intended to be a perfect analog of the Earth. 

No one has made this argument, and this argument entirely misses the point. I've only pointed out the very practical and costly consequences of SL's scale issues. Issues that have had a very real, very direct impact on

1) What residents pay in land fees.

2) How much detail you can get out of a given number of prims on a given amount of land.

3) New user retention (an ugly SL is going to drive away more people)

4) LL's ability to sell the idea of owning land in SL (people often opt not to own any land at all due entirely to these problems)

5) Broken animations

 

 Etcetera.

 

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All these problems could have been avoided if LL had actually instituted a clear system of measurement rather than simply alluding to one by using a familiar word for a measurement unit.

But pretending that they are (or have been) anything but complicit in the use of the Linden meter as a unit substantially shorter than a metric meter is pure denial. 

They further encourage the pereception that SL is an Earth analog by the duration of an SL day, the appearance of the moon's surface and other factors. Such a perception is evident in the general response to my educational diorama, in which SL is depicted as seen from the surface of SL's moon: "What do you mean SL's moon? It has a different moon?" etc.

I tried the all 50 AV both in male and female, and I agree it's not how most people probably want to look, but I actually have met RL people who look like that.  My main point, though, is consistent with yours; that the implications of "50" are not better than the implications of "meter", and that if LL intended these things to mean something, they created a scenario in which what they imply and what they must mean are inevitably different in a substantial and significant way. Again, I think I should point out the heights of the Lindens themselves. What is the secret message, and why should we listen or not listen?

It has often occurred to me that a lot of space could be saved if people just made avatars smaller. But why just a little smaller? Why not really, really small? They could also make better use of sim spaces by turning gravity and camera controls sideways........ When is that going to happen?

Regardless of what should have happened, what has happened is that the Linden meter is more distinguishable from a metric meter than it is from two cubits.

The worms are out of the can, and bigger can needed to recan them isn't going to include a mass movement to shrink millions of existing items down to some other "correct" size. The bigger can is a simple acknowledgement that the Linden meter is not a metric meter, but something closer to 2.5 English feet.

Disney set different feet and inches. There's some controversey over whether the United States Department of Defense is using different weights and measures from the civilian population.  It wouldn't be the first time that a name for a unit of measurement had a different, even proprietary meaning.

Why can't we just look at what and who actually already exists in SL and agree to measure things and people as they are? There's a saying in recovery programs that it's easier to put on slippers than to carpet the whole world. I think this is a lot like that.

"In the fight between you and the world, I back the world."

-Frank Zappa

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Oh wow, worst case of avatar malfunctions ive heard of :)

sometimes when i load, im told i have gigantic ta-ta's hitting everyone in the face..and im a guy..

so yeah, your not the only one with this problem.

-K

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>But pretending that they are (or have been) anything but complicit in the use of the Linden meter as a unit substantially shorter than a metric meter is pure denial. 

Your position is that LL deliberately went about with the intent of making a system where the "linden metre" as you put it is shorter than a standard metre by intent and design.

My position is that LL simply didn't put much thought into the visua design side of SL at all when it comes to scale.

Which of us is in denial?

> tried the all 50 AV both in male and female, and I agree it's not how most people probably want to look, but I actually have met RL people who look like that.

Originally your argument seemed to be suggesting that a height of "50" meant "average height". This is flawed for two reasons. One is that the height slider is only one of several which affects avatar height. The second is that an all-50 avatar isn't even human in proportion, "let alone average". So I can say with complete confidence that you are mistaken, lying, or in dire need of an eye exam. Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce to you, Mister and Missus All-50s.

mister_all50.jpg

Mr. All-50 has ape-like arms that are about 4-5 inches too long for his body. This ape-like body structure is also evident in his legs, which are short compared to his body. Mr. All-50's brain is underdeveloped due to the small size of his cranium. He stands at 8.25 heads tall. The average human being has a larger head, standing at about 7-7.5 heads tall. 8 heads tall at an extreme, almost always indicating a very tall individual. Any more than that and you enter NBA all-stars territory. Mr. All-50's may want to look into a career in basketball due to his massive hands. Or perhaps the circus with his massive clown feet. Mr. All-50s is also a Star Trek fan, or maybe a Lord of the Rings/D&D fan, take a look at those long, pointy vulcan ears.

missus_all50.jpg

Mrs. All-50 is much worse off. Unfortunately, she is apparently a thalidomide victim.Her arms are about 4 inches too short for her body. Also inverted is the issue of the legs, where her legs are actually too long for her body by human standards! The return of the pointy ears suggests the couple either decided to get surgery to show their devotion to their mentor Spock together, or they are of the same alien/fantasy species. Mrs. All-50 is only a couple inches more than 8 heads tall. Like her husband, her hands and feet are far too large. She's also appartently expecting a little All-50's Junior. In addition, her boobs, despite considerable sagging, manage to point directly forward, as if they were unbound by our earthly laws of gravity.

 I can say, with the utmost certainty, that you have never in your entire life met anyone in real life who suffered the full combination of deformities it would require to look like either of these avatars. Again, they are not human, let alone any sort of depiction of the "average" human, which was the basis of you bringing up the avatar height slider in the first place.

>Again, I think I should point out the heights of the Lindens themselves. What is the secret message, and why should we listen or not listen?

I can assure you no professional artists were employed in the creation of most Linden's avatars. With very few exceptions. This may have something to do with it and SL's other visual problems.

>It has often occurred to me that a lot of space could be saved if people just made avatars smaller. But why just a little smaller? Why not really, really small? 

If we could shrink avatars and prims infinitely smaller, you'd have a point. However, there are two problems with this argument. First, we cannot shrink prims or avatars infinitely. We have finite controls over avatar and prim sizes. Even if we shrink avatars to the smallest size allowable, we run into the issue of minimum prim size. We can save space, to a point, however we eventually reach the point where we can't actually build anything and keep it in scale with our avatars.

Oddly enough, shrinking avatars to realistic sizes allows us the "sweet spot" of prim size controls, allowing us to fill sims with highly detailed content, and create attachments that don't look like giant cubes dangling from our limbs. It is pretty much the perfect balance, actually. Now, if I were to follow your reasoning, this must mean something, right?

 

>Regardless of what should have happened, what has happened is...

 What has happened is that this very same argument already recieved a thorough debunking earlier in this very thread. By this logic sculpted prims and mesh should be abandoned. It's too late for them to have any effect on SL. Of course this is rubbish. The reality is, exactly like the introduction of sculpted prims and now mesh, there would be no massive "Scaling down" of existing content. Instead, slowly and over time old content would be phased out with new and improved content. This is how SL works.

 You also remain under the assumption that everything in SL is scaled up to exactly this imaginary "Linden metre" which happens to be about 2.5 english feet. If you want to talk "pure denial", try and test that theory. You'll find it's not the case. Few people follow any measurement at all. Most peoplke "eyeball" scale based off their own avatar's size, or entirely without any reference at all.

 I'm simply pointing out why it's a problem. Everything I've said is demonstrably true, and has been proven in the only place that matters. The grid itself.

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Penny Patton wrote:

My position is that LL simply didn't put much thought into the visua design side of SL at all when it comes to scale.

Yes, and the person who picked the avatar sizes would agree with you!

 

Andrew Linden
Linden staff
Join date: 18 Nov 2002
Posts: 692
12-01-2003 13:11
As I recall, the max and min heights (head to toe) possible are somewhere around 2.95 and 1.25 meters, respectively. I determined those numbers emperically back in late beta.

 

The historical reason the "middle of the sliders" avatar is taller than the average human is because our last non-modifiable avatar back in pre-alpha just happened to be that tall (a guy we called "Primitar" ;) . Then we changed how the avatars looked without changing the physical representation of the avatar on the server, and their default size was scaled to match the collision model.

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Ian Undercroft wrote:

Over the last 2 or 3 weeks I find that I'm frequently being told that I appear dwarfed and have sprouted little boobies. On occasions, I'm sent pics to prove this. Should I celebrate and embrace my mixed sexuality by using avatar physics to give my little boobies some bounce?

You should see what this all did in furry town. Some of my avatars have been told their eyes are popping out of their heads like floating glowing spheres. But others are just fine and dandy.

No idea why it only messed up some of them.

 

But SL has so many female avatars, that I guess with the newest version of V2 they decided being female would now be mandatory for everyone. :D

 

 

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Josh Susanto wrote:

For one thing, the tape measure kit that tells people the normal sizes of things sets avatar height in such a way as to suggest the meter is closer to 2.5 feet, as it does with ceilings and door frames.

Tape measure kit?

That's not any normal height meter then. Most height meters and height sticks say or mark 1m for every 1 SL meter, and convert to feet using the standard metric to hill-billy, erm American convertion system found in any math book.

 

HeightStick.jpg


Josh Susanto wrote:

Also, consider the only known counterargument at this point; that the Linden meter is the metric meter, and everyone is supposed to have a giant avatar living in giant buildings etc for no reason at all.

Ego has driven it up. People with a fixation on being bigger than others. Or people who want long legs and don't understand anatomy enough to do it without stretching the entire avatar. Furthermore, sheer lack-of-awareness has driven it up; people just dialing the dials up to stretch out of the badly made defaults, without using any reference to see what they had. The edit appearance window telling you how tall you are is new. In past people had to rez a prim, size the prim, and compare - and that's too complex for a lot of people, let alone newbies.

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Penny Patton wrote:

>But pretending that they are (or have been) anything but complicit in the use of the Linden meter as a unit substantially shorter than a metric meter is 
pure denial. 


Your position is that LL deliberately went about with the intent of making a system where the "linden metre" as you put it is shorter than a standard metre by intent and design.

My position is that LL simply didn't put much thought into the visua design side of SL at all when it comes to scale.

>Again, I think I should point out the heights of the Lindens themselves. What is the secret message, and why should we listen or not listen?

I can assure you no professional artists were employed in the creation of most Linden's avatars. With very few exceptions. This may have something to do with it and SL's other visual problems.

 

I seriously suspect that the first generation of Lindens didn't even think people would be interested in detailing their avatars much at all. To them it was probably more fascinating to read a text-code dump of what was happening in the grid than to actually be in it. And if in it, they were busy in sand boxes experimenting with prims and talking about William Gibson while pretending to be Avante Guard.

The idea of a poseball and sexbed was probably a complete miss for them. The idea that hordes of women (and men) would come in here and dress up barbie dolls in fancy outfits and pay through the teeth to do it was probably something they lacked the mental ability to see, even after it happened.

 

Ps: half the lindens I've met were Tinies or on quad-animals of tiny size. So if the Lindens are an indication of the proper scale, we're all -WAY- too big.

;)

 

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Pussycat Catnap wrote:

Tape measure kit?

That could be Ryan Linden's "builder's tape measure" from 2002, I think it is still in the library. It shows an avatar height of 2.1 meters, that was Primitar's height. It was not really made for the avatar we have now.

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