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Nalates Urriah

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    SL Blogger: blog.nalates.net

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  1. I think you'll have gotten the idea that Linden Lab wrote their own render engine back about 2003 or 4. A time when online gaming companies tended to build their own render/game engines. Most of us know that it connects the our computers via an OpenGL interface, making NVIDIA the preferred video card for SL. Havok Physics Engine is separate from the render engine. If you are familiar with games, you understand how that works. We are hoping the Lab will upgrade the render engine to use Vulkan. But, the Lab doesn't leak plans until they are positive they can deliver on them. So, the Lab is saying nothing about render engine changes. But, Apple has thrown a wrench into game graphics by departing from Microsoft's and NVIDIA's ideas and going with a proprietary engine. The Lab is big on maintaining legacy compatibility. VERY SELDOM do they depart from that rule. So, developers can be confident what they build/make today will be usable tomorrow. There is no simple way to tell you where the gotchas are for building in SL. AvaStar and MayaStar are tools for Blender and Maya that handle most of the gotchas so you don't have to figure them out. The AvaStar tutorials on YouTube will get you most of the information you need for understanding the SL system. My blog has lots of OLD tutorials that follow the developments in SL modeling. I used to model-raw, no assist from tools, just plain Blender. So, those old tutorials get into some of the gotchas. But, that got old and tedious so I got the AvaStar addon for Blender. Much easier. For better answers look or ask in the Answers and Creative sections of the SL Forum. Only a few of the tech people participate in this section of the forum.
  2. Wondering through Laurel's Halloween Nightmare. If you decide to go there... (see Featured SL Blog for more discription) allow some time to explore and find your way through the exhibit. It is big. I think you could easily spend an hour. Some serious effort went into building these scenes. Be sure to check it out.
  3. You have found the basic way I think most of us do light-beams in-world. The Black Dragon Viewer has a feature called God-Rays. NiranV does some nice shots using those light rays. But, he wrote the computer code that makes the rays. So, I expect him to know how to use the feature. I keep meaning to try it and never get around to it. Look up the how to on his blog: Black Dragon Viewer.
  4. When searching in either Google or YouTube you can specify a date range. Look at the last year, then last 2, then 3.... easiest way to find newer tutorials. For Draw Distance (DD) use what gives you the background you want. For closeups change the camera's focal length, Ctrl-8 for wider angles, panoramas, and fish-eye closeups. Use Ctrl-0 for narrow angle telephoto which is BEST for low distortion close up work. Use Ctrl-9 to return the camera to its default zoom (50mm). I don't consider the computer or performance when putting together a shot. I know people with really old computes that shoot Ultra-graphics and long DD That pull their system down to 2 or 3 FPS. But they get great images. I, and I think they, use graphics presets for changing their camera to and from a performance setting for setting up the shot to a quality setting for the actual camera snap. I shoot most of my images at 3,000px wide and whatever high from the standard ratio. Images uploaded to SL are limited to a max of 1024x1024. Flickr lets you upload whatever size you want. I suspect SL and game images are some of the smaller images on Flickr. I tend to upload 1024 and 2028px wide images on Flickr, which is probably just some OCD on my part. Then I can grab whatever size image I need for a post. Click Flickr's download for the image then select View All Sizes. Then pick a size and right click the image to copy the image link. That link can then be posted in the SL Forum to display the image without a file size restriction. If you examine the images on the SL Forum you'll find a number of them are hosted on Flickr. When you down size an image and use DOF you must plan for the downsizing and increase the DOF blur beyond what looks right. Downsizing tends to sharpen the image which removes some or all of DOF effect. I tend to add my DOF effect in Photoshop where I can see what I am doing in real-time and easily tweak it. There are places with backgrounds on display. Some of those places allow you to use them for SL photography at no cost. Search in-world for backgrounds. How well they work depends on your imagination when putting the shot together. Some of us use green-screen shots and then insert a background we like. Like: When using a green-screen in SL use a freeze frame to lock the avatar in place. This will allow you to take a COLOR shot and Depth Map shot. The depth map can be used to mask out the avatar. Green screen does present some color-cast issues. So the SL backgrounds are often an easier and simpler choice, plus everything can be done in the viewer. Otherwise you get into post production work in Photoshop.
  5. I searched for Batman in the marketplace and I see several batman avatars and outfits... There are less cute but way badder versions...
  6. I am not sure why you think SSR (Screen Space Reflections) should work with your avatar... Take a look at this explanation of SSR and how to use it HERE. This is in German but it translates well.
  7. @Chloe Darkheart Yeah. That would be nice. But, there is the matter of protecting Intellectual Property rights. So, we can't export poses from BD's Poser as it would be too easy to make small tweaks to a purchased pose and export it. The next closest thing to BD's Poser is AnyPose available in Builder's Brewery (L$4,500 w/export feature). I find it hard to use. I do poses in Blender. Which has the added advantage of fitting my avatar perfectly.
  8. Like Chic, don't be afraid to mess with the settings in Preferences. If you want to get wild, save you basic graphics settings as a preset. Makes it easy to reset and start over. I think all the settings on the panel tab show above are saved into a preset when you make one. I don't consider ANY of the graphics settings dangerous. You can back out of any mistake or in the absolute worse case clear the viewer's settings and revert the viewer back to its default settings for your video card. Go slow. Change one thing at a time. You don't say which viewer you are using. I don't recognize Nick's viewer. But all the various brands of viewers now have the preset feature for graphics settings, AFAIK. Not all the viewers have ALL the various graphics settings out where you can find and tweak them. Some are hidden in Debug Settings. An example is here (blog article on Firestorm shadows). Black Dragon viewer has made some tweaks and additions to the viewer render engine. AFAIK, all the other viewers use the same exact render engine. The difference is in the settings they make available for tweaking the render engine. Like Chic I tend to use Firestorm most of the time as Black Dragon (BD) lacks some of the features I use several times a day. But, for the best pictures and especially when I need to tweak a pose I resort to BD. No one has mentioned Gamma setting for achieving the more muted look... Experiment with it. Preferences->Graphics->Hardware Settings->Gamma (slider) Also, post or point to a picture you consider more muted. To me that might mean less vibrant, less contrast, less saturation, softer focus... or a few other things. Any of these changes can be made in the viewer or in post-production editing.
  9. When mesh bodies/heads became popular we had to learn to use appliers. Only Mod-OK prims and our avatar allow us to add textures. With a prim it is direct in the Build Panel. Pick a prim, the whole thing or a face then select a texture, scale and position it, done. With mesh-prims we have to have a texture that works with that mesh's UV Map. But still, only one texture. To emulate avatar layers onion skin bodies and heads were made, sort of a Russian Dolls thing. For each layer in the body or head we used a copy of the body/head that was tiny, tiny bit larger than the body inside it. Presto, we had a mesh-prim that seems to behave like a layered avatar. Getting all the textures on the correct layer of a mesh body was a complex thing. Appliers were the easy way to handle that "put a texture on a special mesh", body or head. But I also use an applier to paint helicopters. I am putting textures on mesh things. More people are into wearing a body than painting helicopters. So appliers are mostly now thought of as being for skin and makeup. Avatars are an exception to how we apply textures (aka skin, teats, etc.) We make a skin LAYER by putting textures in a skin item (aka layer). Before mesh bodies all skins used the exact same UVMap. So we did not have to deal with UVMaps. We used TEMPLATES, like Robin Woods' templates. There are Head, Upper, and Lower textures for skin. All three went in a Skin Item and we wore a skin item. Very simple to use. All the complex tech was left to Skin Makers. But prims do not do layers like avatars do. They have materials as Diffuse (aka the texture), Normal (aka bump mapping), and Specular (aka shiny) layers. Avatars only use the Diffuse layer, but we can have several of those composited together. In your day Server Side Baking (SSB) was added to improve performance by reducing download traffic and viewer side compositing. Big improvement. With the addition and popularity of mesh bodies/heads we were re-creating the download and viewer side rendering problems of the pre-SSB days. Bakes On Mesh is an update to the SSB system. It extended the compositing service to work with prims, generally mesh attached to avatars. For BOM to work we use the old system layers we used with the system avatar. The BOM service does the bake as SSB did. The difference being it hands us back a UUID that links to the baked texture so we can put the composite texture on a mesh-body/prim. The only things you need to consider is whether a body/head is BOM compatible and which brand of body you are using. BOM doesn't know about UVMaps. You have to handle it textures (aka system layers), done by wearing a skin, clothing, etc. layers designed for your body's UVMap. If you are TRYING to do BOM you'll be lost. There is nothing to do once you enable BOM on the head body. Dress like you did pre-2017. PS: there is no reason to have separate parts. My Slink bodies have body, hands, and feet in one attachment. And I have 5 types of foot in that single body. Generally we use a head and body. People like to mix heads and bodies. Doing a head and body in a single attachment is not proving popular. But you can find a few.
  10. When you want to find someone you have spoken to look in your chat logs. They here on Windows: C:\Users\[Windows_login_ID]\AppData\Roaming\Firestorm_x64\[your_avatar_name] If you have IM'd them there will be a .TXT file with their name. If you only talked in local chat then you have to look in the large file CHAT.TXT. Start at the end of the file and work your way toward the beginning until you find them. Open the files by double clicking the file name.
  11. There is a group for the cafe: Noggins Network. I haven't been it long enough to much about it.
  12. All may notes seem to remain in place.
  13. Debate with intellectually honest people is always interesting. Unfortunately in this age of mass propaganda people are being trained to hate, be emotional, and avoid genuine debate to come to a reasoned conclusion. It is a win my position no matter how wrong I am factually, an Alinsky style used to push an agenda. People absorb the propaganda and use the propagandists' tactics to defend the propagandists' agenda they have come to believe. In SL you'll find debate and philosophy groups. For those that want to get together spontaneously and find others with similar interests, groups are the best way to do that. But, most of the groups in SL that I have tried aren't open to discussion nor do they know how to debate. Not even the founders of the groups. Challenge their beliefs and they'll foam at the mouth and start their ad hominem attacks. You obviously don't spend much time on the forum, at least you don't post often. So, you might find the thread Darwin Spinoff enlightening. I think it is a common example of what debate looks like in SL, forum or in-world. In-world people can be more hateful than here in a moderated forum. Most people are not looking for answers to their big questions, if they have even become aware of them,... or even their small ones. They are only engaging to defend their beliefs. Within the thread are a couple interesting posts where a person calls on authority as an expert in a field to claim people in HIS field never engage in censorship or information suppression. Then a couple of posts later calls for silencing anyone that disagrees with the proposition. To me this is the mark of those arguing from emotion over reason. With such people forming a group for intellectually honest debate in this day and age, especially in SL, is going to be difficult and a drama filled endeavor. While interested, I have little hope of your quest working out well.
  14. Language... The most accurate and useful part of the profile is language. What is your first language? I can pick up language if they have written their profile in their first language. At least I assume it is their first or preferred. Some days I am not into using or dealing with a translator. I am surprised no one mentioned that profiles are a part of a person's role-play and may say absolutely nothing relatable about the RL person. When we start to talk about what a person must REALLY be like from what they wrote in their profile... we are revealing our self, our biases, prejudices, and projecting our world view on them. We say way more about our self than them. I think reading a profile as anything other than a statement of what they want in SL and an obtuse clue about their true nature and how they want to play is WAY over thinking it. I have 4 or 5 profiles, I change depending on what I am doing and am interested in that day. Empty Profiles.. How many of us say something to those with empty profiles? If they are new, I will say something. Notes... How many of you keep notes on those you meet? I do for those I spend more than ~5 minutes talking to.
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