Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Zoom Your Camera [Level II]

Above is a perfectly ordinary shot, taken at sunset on the Whimcentricity sim. In the foreground is a rusted-out boat by Wagnhorne Truss. Far away, in the background, is a lava flow on the volcano Pele.

Nice, shot, but wait. Let me zoom in my camera...

Click the images to zoom.

What the...!

Callie! Get out of my picture! Your eyes aren't rendering and it's creepy! Move along!

Click READ MORE to learn how to zoom your camera in and out.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mute and Derender [Level I]

If you mute a mime, is he still silent?
Photo from Albion Spiteller's FLICKR site

Written 4 May, 2011

Mute and Derender

Second Life is designed to make a level playing ground for every resident. A few people are able to game the system, but for the most part everyone has access to the same security and privacy safeguards. If you keep your password strictly to yourself and don't grant build and map-tracking features to others, people can't mess with your account or your in-world property.

But they can still harass and annoy you.

There are two tools which are absolutely invaluable when people annoy you: mute and derender.

Mute stops you from hearing their chat or getting their IMs, and silences their gestures and scripted object. Blessed silence!

Not all viewers have a derender feature, but Phoenix and Imprudence, at least, do. Derender stops you from seeing them something or someone. Combine it with mute and they're just... gone. It's as if they never existed.

Mute and derender persist until you reverse them. You can easily cancel them.

To mute someone, just right click on their avatar and mute them, or mute them from their profile. To unmute them, just go to your mute list, highlight their name, and choose unmute (or unmute them from their profile).

You an also mute someone by muting one of their objects.

To derender something or someone in Phoenix, just right click them and derender. To re-render them, go to the Phoenix Menu, choose Whitelist, and remove them from the list.

It's that easy.

Friday, March 18, 2011

I Found it in the Sock Drawer [Level I]

Written 18 March, 2011

I Found it in the Sock Drawer

Level I

I don't know about you, but I'm forever having entire folders vanish from their allotted location. One day Clothing > Chey's Things > Weapons > Edged Weapons > Swords > Scripted Swords > Japanese Swords > Katanas, and there it is, right where it's supposed to be. Two days later the entire Weapons folder is nowhere to be found.

OMG, it's gone! Gone forever!

No it's not. It's just in the sock drawer.

It's way easy to inadvertently move a folder into another folder. It happens all the time to me.

And so, I always look in my sock drawer. And there it is!

Actually, what I do is type the name of the missing folder, or, if I can't remember what I named it, something I know that's in the folder. When I locate the folder I drag it back into position and all is good.

I always check my trash before I empty it to be sure an important folder isn't in there. It's a good habit to get into.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

How to Make a Flat Prim Even Flatter [Level II]

Written 6 March, 2011

How to Make a Flat Prim Even Flatter [Level II]

Or, How to Make a Flag

Here's a trick to make the thin edge of a flattened prim even thinner. It takes only a few seconds, and it's well worth the effort.

Flattening the prim works best for flexible objects like flags and clothing, but is handy for paper and the thin edges of three-prim plants.

Let's make a flag.

First, we rez a prim. Distinguished looking, isn't it?

Now, in the Edit menu, select the Object Tab, and, in the Path Cut fields type 0.375 and 0.875. You'll see this halves the thickness of the prim along the Y dimension.

Here's the prim from the same camera angle.

Here it is with an uncut prim beside it:

Now type .01 in the Y Size field of your prim. This sets the Y dimension to the smallest allowable, 0.01 meters.

Here are the two prims, side-by-side. You can see the prim we cut is much thinner.

Here I've rotated the prim to 0,90,0 and checked the Flexible Path box under the Features tab. I set Softness to 3.0, Gravity, Drag, Tension, Force X and Force Z to 0, Softness to 3.0, Wind to 1.0, and Force X to 1, and the prim is waving merrily in the wind.

Now I add a flag texture Sweetie gave me long ago, rotate the texture by 270 degrees on the front of the flag, and...

But uh-oh, what's this?

Cutting the prim created two surfaces where there was once one, so the texture is displayed twice at 1:1 density on each face. And not only that, it's upside-down! And yes, that's a sea monster swimming by. Ya gotta love Second Life.

To fix, I turn on Select Texture and select both faces. Then I go to the Texture tab and select both faces. I set rotation to 90 and set Repeats Per Face to 1 (H) and 0.5 (V).

This puts the texture in the correct proportion, but things still don't look right.

Still in the Texture tab, set the vertical offset of the top face to 0.25 and the bottom face to 0.75.

Now the textures on the two faces are properly aligned, and our flag is complete.

Except for the pole, of course. But you know how to make a flagpole, don't you?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

That Stumping Sound [Level III]

Reposted from Cheyenne's Blogpost of 7 February, 2011

That Stumping Sound (Level III)

Don't you hate that stumping sound when steps have too much rise? Don't you just love going Bump! on every step of a 100-meter-tall Aztec Pyramid, or bump bump bump as you walk up the stairs to your bedroom?

Well, guess what? You can turn that bumping sound down, replace it with a more pleasing sound, or turn the bumping sound off altogether!

There's a scripting command called llCollisionSound. It's easy to slip it into an existing script in your prims or into the default "Hello, Avatar!" script.

Here's a simple script that will turn the sound off. Just copy it and paste it into a new script in your noisy prim:


// Simple Collision Sound stopper by Cheyenne Palisades

llCollisionSound("", 0.1);

touch_start (integer x)
// Here you can make the script do stuff when it's touched, if that's your inclination


By experimenting, I discovered the script must remain in the prim in a running state to suppress the sound, so keep in mind it's not like a cleaner script that rids your prim of particles and looping sounds. If you take the script out, the bumping collision sound will come back to haunt you.

To substitute another sound, simply drop it in the prim with the script and type its name (or better, the sound's UUID) inside the quotation marks. Best to copy and paste the name, as any error will make for difficulties.

The number that follows the name sets the loudness; you can change it from 0.0 (silent) to 1.0 (maximum loudness).

The wiki notes that setting the volume to 0.0 will disable collision particles. I didn't even know there WERE collision particles! I left the volume set to 0.1, which is very low.

You can see the script in action at the Whimsy Sungate. When you step up onto the round viewing platform or from the platform down to the walkway there's no sound-- even though there's a rise of more than .5 meters.

No stump, stump, stump! Imagine that!

Most Postings

Written 23 February, 2011

More Postings

I've let this blog lie fallow for too long. I'll be posting regularly from now on-- at least one or two posts per month.

What's Wrong With This Picture?

Written 22 February, 2011

Gone is Gone!

I can't stand Linden Lab's 2.x viewers, and so consequently I use Phoenix. I like it. A lot.

One of Phoenix' more interesting features is derender. From the pie menu you can make any object or person disappear. It's handy when obnoxious people are present; you mute and derender them, and they're just... gone.

Until now crossing a region border or teleporting to a new sim would reset all derendered objects; they would e visible again.

But with Phoenix' latest release-- derender is permanent. Once an object is gone, it's gone, and you can't see it, even with Highlight Transparent enabled. Ever. Again.

I found this out the hard way today. When preparing the last post I derendered the floating platform at the game area.because it kept getting in the way when taking photographs. Later, I derendered some plants at the swamp area at Whimsy so I could grab and manipulate a 100% alpha fog emitter.

This evening I teleported to the game area to play mahjong. When I arrived the table was there, but the platform wasn't.

I relogged. Same problem.

I flew to the marsh to check on the derendered plants there. Didn't see them.

I searched the web and found a JIRA for permanent derender. From there I went to the release notes and discovered derender is now permanent; objects will show only if you remove them from the blacklist.

Great. Where's the blacklist?

Maybe the preference menu... Phoenix tab... Nope... Network & Folders... Nope.

Maybe it's on the hard drive... C:\... Program Files... Phoenix Viewer... app_settings...Nope... llplugin... Nope.

Surprisingly, I found no FAQ on the Phoenix website. I did find an in-world support group and joined. With nearly 9000 members it was not working properly, but repeately typing queries that weren't posted finally resulted in a reply. The blacklist was in the Phoenix menu at the top of the screen.


Problem resolved.

It's Gone!
It's back!