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ValKalAstra

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Everything posted by ValKalAstra

  1. I feel like that's almost a rite of passage for anyone interested in image editing. Even just tinkering around with it often produces immediate and eye catching visuals. It was like a rush to me at the time - I had finally found the secret ingredient! Everything *popped*. Big league here I come! Yeh. No. More like I faceplanted in the training pool. Looking back now, all I can think is that my pictures must have been ordered extra crispy - and I'm still not out of the training pool either.
  2. It's an interesting question to me. Mostly because in my understanding, what's sold in an advertisement is an "identity" or feeling first and the product second. An advertisement becomes deceptive to me if that sold identity does not match the product. For example: Identity and feel sell a glamourous ball gown. In world it's a potato dress. That feeling of mismatch is entirely subjective and often a gut feeling. Still, an ad to me can be incredibly dolled up and barely looking like Second Life anymore, as long as it still conveys the feel and identity of the product. This is obviously excluding tech issues like mismatched textures or strangely stretched meshes. If the ad intentionally hides these, it's deceptive advertising to me. So all in all probably not too helpful of an answer but it's a gut feeling thing for me.
  3. Gosh, the graphics card situation... it's something, alright. It's the perfect storm of factors that have led to a frankly insane situation on the market. In essence: The previous generation of cards was lackluster. Expensive for little improvement, leading to people skipping it. Nvidia's new RTX cards are a gamechanger in terms of visuals and technology for games that support it (there are a lot of comparisons on Youtube, if you search for raytracing vs no raytracing (to be more precise, raytracing is the game changer - it's just the RTX cards support it). The pandemic and lockdowns have led to some people having more disposable funds (no expenditure for partying/travel and such) and more time at home. Right when the cards were released, a new crypto craze fired off. Scalpers have flooded the market with Bots and are buying cards faster than anyone can naturally get to them. Production shortages brought on by the pandemic have further troubled the distribution. As a result, the RTX cards are bought up the second they hit the market. People have grown so desperate to acquire one of these that they are genuinely watching live-streams of cardstocks, hoping to be quick enough to get one. The side effect is that it has caused a ripple effect and in turn made most semi-new cards jump in cost. There are waiting lists and some people have taken to buy complete systems, rip out the graphics card, sell it on e-bay and put in a cheaper one to basically get a computer on a steep discount. Aye. My prediction: Like previous mining crazes, this will pop like a bubble and come crashing down. The market will be flooded with a lot of half-broken second hand cards and it will all normalize. That is until the next time some billionaire guy kicks off the next craze.
  4. ___________ Out of curiosity, what's the extent of the RLV Api readout? This one: "RestrainedLove API: (disabled)" - depending I could see that as perhaps a bit private. Perhaps the equivalent of having to call a locksmith because the key for the kinky handcuffs vanished.
  5. Just to hook into the discussion at this point: This is the first time I've heard about AMD drivers costing money. If you're getting your driver updates from the official source, they're free of cost. As to the ants problem, that looks like aforementioned aliasing and should in theory be resolved by setting that to a higher value. Aliasing becomes more pronounced with lower resolution and contrast - and the FS EEP sure loves to pump up contrast and shine for some reason. However, with an effect that pronounced, something else could be amiss. Just to eliminate this as a potential reason, the driver suite that come with your graphics card (pre-installed on your system or manually updated) generally allows adjustments towards quality or performance. I can't give you screenshots how it looks on AMD/ATI as I do not have an AMD card but to compare, this is how it looks on NVIDIA (and notice the jagged lines in their performance example): A quick check confirms that AMD has the Radeon Control Panel which also allows fine tuned settings. Unless you know what is what, please just use the presets it offers. Ideally someone with an AMD/ATI could walk you through this.
  6. My avatar started out with the same height as me - and then had to be adjusted up to 1.72m or 5.65 Feet. It's like the land of giants.
  7. That does indeed seem to be heavy use of dodge and burn - like @Stephanie Misfitsaid, along with brushed on hair (either painted, using a brush or a composite) and selective sharpening and blurring. To break this down: First step is the right lighting in Second Life. This is true for most editing too. Unless you go for a specific effect or style, you will want to avoid extreme pure black or white in your screenshot as much as you can and have a rich mid range. This goes especially for these types of shots as you will want room to breathe. With avatars that have extremely dark or light skin, this becomes even more important. *1 Dodge as a tool, or using the layer method mentioned (personally I tend to pick multiply), adds white to the existing colours (hence why you want the room to breathe). Usually this is set to a certain color range, from shadows to mid tones and finally highlights. The latter is what gives it the exaggerated glossy shine. The opposite then is the burn tool. It adds black instead and likewise, can be configured to target shadows, mid tones and highlights. Setting this to mid tones produces the darkened red effect the picture has and further contrasts the highlights. In essence, one would paint over the body using dodge to highlight aspects, such as a nose, cheekbones or cleavage and burn to emphasise structure and shape. It's generally a good idea to keep the effect subtle, as dodge and burn very quickly escalate, leading to a somewhat, uh... crispy look, so to speak. It's also a bit of a trap in my humble opinion as actual lights and shadows are not black and white but the funniest of mixed colours. Moving on, another effect is to use selective blurring and sharpening to further put parts into focus. In general, one wants the eye catching parts in focus while the rest adds a soft look. For example on my pictures I tend to sharpen the cheekbones, to have the freckles draw the attention. I've often seen artists sharpen the eyes and lips while softening the immediate area around the hair but not the hair itself. Finally, the last part is a whole box of goodies. Painting on hair allows a much finer control over where it goes, while also avoiding the SL alpha issues entirely. There are a large selection of ready made brushes (stamps more like) or stock images for this purpose. The ultimate form then is to literally paint the hair. Now that's a whole different topic - with a lot of great tutorials out there. 1 - If you are willing to learn or perhaps know how to read a colour histogram, you can get a live read on your image using shaders (gshade -> quint lightroom -> preprocessor definition -> histogram enabled). That's kind of going nuclear though and an explanation would get a wee bit more technical. If wanted or needed, I can make a guide about setting shaders up and using them with SL. That might take a few days though.
  8. An influential videogame character from Final Fantasy. She embodies the spunky brawler archetype and is a popular cosplay at conventions. Think Buffy the Vampire Slayer but more Japanese Anime. Her design has also famously started a few controversies over the years. After some criticism that her bodytype had unrealistically large uh... assets, her later designs were more constrained.*1 Which in turn got people flustered, there was talk about big bust erasure. Counter movements formed - and counter-counter movements and... we all know how Twitter is known for well thought out, reasonable and calm arguments. --- 1 - They must not have seen what passes as small bust in Second Life. /edit: Whoops, missed the topic by a wee tangent. I think it is reasonably close. I would have recognised it immediately. I think either Hilly Haalan (maybe? Will check when on PC later) or Pure Poison had boots quite like that as part of their group gifts or clearance sale.
  9. At a quick guess: my vote goes to both examples being backdrops. The topmost picture seems to have two types of shadow, one in the background and another near the avatar. The bottom one seems to switch light direction at some point. But I'm without my glasses today and will happily accept I'm wrong. Cool pictures either way.
  10. And market found it in the titlescreen for the old videogame Hellgate London. That's where I recognise the backgrop from. Funny (and not meant as a dig at you, Carling). As to the topic of the thread. Personally, I've moved away from backdrops. I don't have my own land/home and as such was stuck with the public ones or public rez spaces, which bring their own headaches. Nowadays, unless it's a full 3D scene, which I prefer, it will at least be a 3D foreground and then a healthy helping of chromascreening. That said, I've always liked the more mystical and fantastical backdrops that people have made. I also enjoy a good postapocalypse (a genuine post-post apocalypse is even better). Anything that immediately piques my interest and makes me wonder what might have happened there.
  11. Perhaps I've worded it too strongly. Firestorm has the option to turn off camera pointers (the crosshairs) while at least a while ago Blackdragon took the stance that these stay in. Or more precisly it would be DIY, which I could not get working beyond creating grey ghost crosshairs. To me, unless I'm actively taking a photo, the camera is something I tend to zone out on and I've run into nasty trouble in the past because of it. Went to a shopping event with these on, chatted with a friend on the side and suddenly got a wall of hate about "ogling" someone's man. Just... no. But I realise the other side of the argument and also respect the creator's wishes. If calling it a drama-magnet came on too strong, I apologize.
  12. The Blackdragon viewer for sure is a bit of a strange beast. For photography it's an invaluable tool. The ability to adjust every node and bone of your avatar and the breadth of settings is what allows all these finely tuned shots where everything is just right. In terms of control I actually prefer Blackdragon to something like Firestorm as it's closer to the MMOs I am used to. Really the primary reason I'm not using it as my everyday viewer are some of the privacy/drama-magnet related settings. That's not a complaint though. The dev can do whatever they want with their program. I'm happy that I also get to use it for photography while ignoring it for the rest.
  13. Not who you quoted but maybe I can shed some light on the mystery. While I am obviously not privy to how Flickr runs their detection, I've bashed my head against this issue on other sites/apps before. Did some experiments using several of the AI datasets with a python script I had made for myself. When I look at your picture, which I would also absolutely qualify as safe, here are the key things I can see that could trip one or the other detection method: - Low amount of contrast between clothes and skin. Aye, tis proper silly - but I've had detection tripped on a rose coloured gown. In general, the closer to the surrounding skin tone something is, the more likely it will trip detection. - Sideboob and underboob. Especially the latter has several detection methods often nudge it further towards NSFW. Detection often looks at isolated instances and does not also check context. It just sees certain shapes and assigns a score based on them. - At a glance on the left picture, the lower waist area - which is partially covered by shadows - could appear to be red pubic hair. It's not. Obvious to the human eye. Not so obvious to an algothithm. - Low Res version looks NSFW (such as when loading). It's not unusual to simplify an image before passing it on to detection or as part of detection. If done to your image, even just a few steps of it, quickly lead to the impression of nudity. You can try this yourself by intentionally pixelating it. That with a general higher amount of skin shown, could have led to your image going past a nudity threshold and getting flagged as restricted. It's annoying for sure because it leads to uncertainty and self restriction on the artist's side. It also leads to forcing changes. I've had to manually recolour clothes to finally get a 100% modest image accepted on another platform. In short: Established community. When I ventured here, I had a look around at what platforms people were using and the most frequent results I had found were instagram and flickr. Contests often ask you to upload to their flickr group too. So while another solution might be technically better, it would need to outweigh established communities. That tends to happen very rarely (Digg being an example or Tumblr shedding their users when they banned NSFW).
  14. Yeh, to be fair - not even forums dedicated to professionals are immune to the drama (getting flashbacks to a writer's place I used to haunt *shudder*). They always needed stringent rules and heavy moderation. Even that didn't stop annual cataclysms and flaring egos - and those communities did not have entire sites dedicated to anonymous harassment and petty gossip. As much as I would love to provide and get feedback sometimes - that's not a nuclear minefield I'm ready to wade into.
  15. Likes, to me, are a form of communication that sits half way between no reply and posting a comment. It's that quiet nod, a little approving gesture - or a sarcastic intake of air. So at a base level, a comment or picture must have managed to engage me. As for what drives that engagement, there can't be a clear answer. to me it's too complex an issue to answer with a simple reply. Maybe I woke up to feeling that wanderlust and someone made a picture that got me dreaming. Like. Perhaps I was browsing lingerie earlier and someone had a tasteful photo in the same line. Like. Could be it's none of these and a photo just had that certain punctum. Like. Maybe ten people posted cats and one person posted a hamster. Like. Maybe MY cat flopped on the keyboard and hit a button. Meow nyah (Like). However I can tell what it won't be: A trade. That is about as far removed from fairness as can be and instead emphasizes cliques, including fights over hurt egos. No, I think I'd rather not engage with that.
  16. https://www.flickr.com/photos/191119559@N02/50904741827/in/dateposted-public/ Finally found it - the phonebooth that seems to be so popular for SL Photography.
  17. Way too much on outfits and accessories for one and done screenshots / artworks. Basically all of my Linden are funnelled into supporting that hobby. I suppose there is the off chance I might use them in roleplay at some point but my time budget is rather prohibitive for that. So... outfits, accessories, props.
  18. That is still to be seen. It's fascinating how this has brought together sworn political enemies from across the globe. It feels like everyone knows a story or two about hedge locusts and during a time of high division, their blatant manipulation has made them the convenient "enemy of my enemy" for some.
  19. There are two counterpoints I would like to make. My argument is that there was no drop in average IQ but rather that what we're seeing, we've seen throughout the ages. The in-group is seen as smart and enlightened while the out-group is described as dumb, brutal and animalistic. This makes it easier to do harm to one another and you can follow this thread to any conflict in history. People did not become on average dumber - but technology made the mechanism more visible. The second counterpoint is that we have figured out enough of the levers in our brain to cause some serious damage in the machinery. Something like the Asch Conformity Experiment shows that we even deny reality if given the right incentive (conformity). We have then created a culture and technology that directly pokes those levers (news as entertainment, social media, commodified attention) and then lets them run amok for profit. The result is an incredible fissure throughout all layers of society with entrenched in-groups of "smart and enlightened" versus entranced outgroups of... "dumb and hateful people". *tinfoil hat* Isn't it funny that every time we start looking at the flow of money, that we suddenly find a new big social division to hate each other about? */tinfoil hat*. --- As for the question of the ages: I think we will rename the information age in retrospect. While information is a key qualifier, it's more a complete shift over to the virtual that is happening. We have virtualized our interactions, emotions and communities, we have virtualized warfare where you can cause the damage of a nuclear bomb without ever physically getting near your target. Once we can virtualize production, the last holdout will switch over and with ideas such as industry 4.0 and additive manufacturing, it would not surprise me if we will soon reach a state where the goods we buy are virtualized too. For example: We don't buy a plate, we buy the temporary license to print one plate. Thus will the shift to the virtual age be complete. These mechanisms are less about information and more dominated by virtualizing our lifes, thus my believe we will retrospectively call it the virtual age instead. --- The future age then: Assuming we will still be around, which isn't quite guaranteed at this point, it would need another fundamental shift. It's no secret that as society, we're headed towards a bit of a dumpster fire right now. The question then is which technological development happens in time to provide the next shift. If neural interfaces will be a thing - and resarch has made in-roads - there's a good chance that we will begin widespread augmentation of our reality. Basically begin the great hedonistic age where clicking purchase on something gives us a straight shock to the orgasm center of the brain and where a trashbag might appear to us like a cute kitten we want to cuddle. Basically we might chose self deception over living with the aftermath of what we do today. Still, neural interfaces could just as well be a complete pipe dream and fizzle out before reaching that point. At the very least we would likely have an age called the great shift. An era of uprooted lives as we move about in nomadic lifestyles and maximally commodified existences. Either we move because water eats our shores and storms take our roofs, or we move because our corporate overlords demand it and they might end up buying entire neighbourhoods as workers. "General Appliances Incorporated has shifted production from India to America. As of this moment, suburbia unit #9871 has been activated. Your self driving smart home will now transit you to your new employment. A fee of 200.000$ has been added to your debt account." ...maybe I should write less dystopian novels.
  20. The Pretty Reckless is one of those bands I can listen to for days - especially when I'm on a binge for amazing Rock'n Roll voices. Their new song "25" still hits me like a truck. The moods it weaves through - from hopeful to bitter and resignated - are so full of emotions. (that thumbnail though)
  21. Without some structure, this might devolve into everyone just posting pictures and attempts to solve them are drowned out. West Baden Springs, Indiana? If it is, this was by pure chance. Few months back I looked around for buildings in the panoptical style and this one kind of stuck out. Pure guess but my mind instantly went Chicago.
  22. Performance and Second Life is a bit of a difficult topic. I've been in the same position: It did not run well for me at all and searching for help unearthed a lot of rather snarky threads that were not exactly helpful. In case the above doesn't help you, let my dive down the sass-pit be to your help: Temper your expections: A modern system does not equal great performance in Second Life. The "game" is old and its engine clunky. The greatest boon is also a bit of a curse as all that user created content hasn't undergone much in terms of optimization. As a result, getting about 15-20 FPS in a highly detailled Sim or one with a lot of people sounds about right. Shigata ga nai. Shadows kill your performance: The most frequent suggestion is to outright turn off your shadows. You can do this by switching the lighting from Sun / Moon + Projectors to none. The general look does suffer from this, yeh - but it's a significant speed boost in places that are bordering on unplayable otherwise. Avatars kill your performance: Aren't we all a bit vain? Yeh, yeah we are. As a result just a small handful of blinged out avatars can really drive the performance into the ground. Moreso when people attach so much stuff that you can hear your fans spin up when they load in. Lowering the amount of rendered Avatars naturally helps with that. Firestorm Update: On the off chance that you're using the Firestorm Viewer, the most recent version has trouble dealing with water refractions. Some say enabling occlusion helps - it did not for me but if your performance tanks near water, this is a potential explanation. See also here: Nvidia and SL: So this was a big boost for me. Some of the tweaks and settings in the Nvidia Panel seem to get into ugly brawls with Second Life. Even settings that by all logic shouldn't cause performance hits, can absolutely soak it. For example even just enabling the ability for DSR without using it, made my SL go crazy. Once I deferred ALL settings to Second Life (Application Controlled) - performance got better. So now I only flip these on when I am ready to make a screenshot.
  23. Debauchery. --- Rats? Rats.
  24. One: It's a yes from me, if that counts. Two: You need Jesus.
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