Posted in Opinion, Second Life

Maitreya Lara X

There is a lot of excited chatter about the upcoming Maitreya Lara X body, and also some concern, and also a lot of misinformation.

Let’s get the key information out of the way first – it is going to be a free upgrade, and Maitreya are going to continue to support Lara.

I confess that when I first heard about Lara X I thought it was a crazy idea. Lara is starting to lose market share, and more and more designers are starting to drop support for it. And there has been a proliferation of new mesh bods too. My opinion was that the last thing Maitreya needed was to fragment the market still further.

However, that changed when I learned it would be a free upgrade and that Lara would continue to be supported.

As I understand it, the reason that some designers are dropping Lara support is because it is is too much of a hassle to rig for. And Lara X is going to be much easier to rig for. So with any luck, these designers will start rigging for Lara X as well as just Legacy / Reborn (which is what they seem to be favouring).

Also, Lara X is going to allow us to be more curvy if we want to be, but will not force us to be if we don’t.

Although Lara X will be incompatible with Lara, Maitreya will (as I mentioned) continue to support Lara. So what I foresee happening is that we will run two bodies for the time being. If you buy something for Lara X you wear your Lara X and if you buy something for Lara you wear your Lara. For those of us who use Outfits extensively this won’t be an issue as it will just be part of the Outfit. For those who do their outfits on the fly, it could be an irritation perhaps.

I think, looking further into the future, what will happen is old Lara will start to go away. Maybe it will become something we start to see on only cheaper or older stuff. But you will still be able to wear it so long as you wear your Lara body.

Overall it seems like a good idea and a good way forward. But only because of the free upgrade. I think if it had been something you had to buy into then I would be less positive. Not because I begrudge Maitreya money, but because I think it would have lost them traction and it would have been just another new body with no incentive to adopt.


On a more personal note, what I need now is to find a BoM skin that I really like because I am still wearing an ancient Laqroki skin that I adore, but which suffers from the dreaded fingernail / toenail issue of pre-BoM skins, so I have to use it in Maitreya Applier mode (it works fine in BoM mode on my head though) but that denies me the advantages of BoM on body. And I am not sure if Lara X is going to support Lara Appliers (although what I have read suggests that it will).

Sadly Laqroki aren’t interested in revisiting old skins which is a pity as if they could just do me a BoM version of my skin I would be so happy.

 

Posted in Fashion, Reviews, Second Life, Shopping

Akira by PlayDevil @ Access

Location: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/ACCESS/199/182/22

PlayDevil @ Access
PlayDevil @ Access

I love a Cheongsam / Qipao and own many, despite having a constant worry that my love is Cultural Appropriation.

This offering is currently available at Access

L$270 a pop
Fatpack L$1,100 (breakeven 4.07)
Megapack (including all shoes and fans) L$2,700

 

Ooh!
Ooh!

 

Mmmm!
Mmmm!

 

Clipping
Clipping

I was only really interested in the dragon patterns. So I took a punt on the dark pink.

NOTE: No demo HUD so I was buying semi-blind. However, pics of the HUD suggest there is no mix & match other than unicolour on the dress & thong. I can see no options for colouring the edging.

One thing I did not notice on the demo is a major alpha issue on the shoulders for Maitreya Lara

Unfortunately this cannot be mitigated with alpha cuts unless for static photography (ie. mask the front and you get invisiareas at the back, solve that and you get pokethrough at the front)

Also there is no BoM alpha supplied.

Frankly I had my reservations when I saw the demo was called “Object”

Posted in Exploring, Fashion, Photography, Second Life

Velocipedestrienne

Apricot Paws at The Engine Room

Recently I bought a lovely vintage cycling outfit called “Velocipedestrienne” by Apricot Paws at The Engine Room event.

(Edit: Tipped off by my friend CC, who is demanding credit. LOL)

Initially I bought the white blouse for L$124 (fatpack was L$414), and the bloomers in burgundy also for L$124, and I also picked up the blouse in wine as a free gift at their mainstore.

However, afterwards I realised that I liked several colours of the bloomers, and contacted Zii Minotaur (the owner of Apricot Paws) and they were more than happy for me to buy the bloomers fatpack at L$414 and to refund me the L$124 that I had spent on the single pack, which was absolutely wonderful of them.

I also wanted some boots to go with the outfit, and I already owned Solvej by Ingenue in Noir, Oxblood, and Walnut, which had cost L$295 each, and I had written myself a notecard at the time saying that I had decided to buy single colours because the fatpack was L$1,500 (a breakeven of 5.02) and that the only other colour I could see myself wanting was Saddle. The Walnut looked too dark (although perhaps might have sufficed) and I thought that I did indeed need the Saddle so bought that.

I also wanted some hair to go with the outfit and, as luck would have it, the ideal hair was right there at The Engine Room

F191 by KMH

The hair was L$325 for the Natural pack. It is Rigged in two sizes, and also comes with three separate Unrigged bangs, and also the HUD allows 4 different style variants. I’m wearing Bangs2 in the pic, and Bangs3 is a wider version, whilst Bangs1 is a straight fringe.

So, with the outfit all done, it was time to look for location and a bicycle.

My first idea was to find a nice sim which had free bicycle rezzers, and the first place I found was Calas Galadhon Park. Whilst it is a lovely sim I wasn’t happy with the sizing of the bicycle (it came in fixed sizes, and I was between sizes) nor was I happy how totally uncontrollable the vehicle-based bicycle was, with it being way too oversensitive.

Taken at Calas Galadhon Park

The picture was fair, and frankly I could have left it there, but I went looking further.

The next place I found was a delightful bicycle-themed cafe called Java Sprockets which has a vendor board giving free “Java Cruiser” ladies bikes.

Java Sprockets

For a freebie, this was actually pretty nice. You rezz it, and then it automatically attaches to you. It rides fairly well, but has fairly poor anims. It has a script which allows you to recolour with a choice of “Cherry Red”, “Lemon Yellow”, “New SL Blue”, “Coffee”, and “Old SL Green”. It also allows for resizing.

With hindsight, a few mins with AnyPose would have come up with a half-decent pose (this is what I managed in 30 secs).

Java Cruiser

Finally I bought the Sonoma bicycle by {what next}, which actually turns out to be who makes the rezzer that I found at Cala Galadhon, only this version you wear as an attachment and it acts like an AO, meaning you can ride it anywhere. It sells for L$249 for a single colour, but I noticed that it is copy-mod so I bought it in Cream and then retextured it to a lovely Bugatti Blue and also made the flowers in the basket transparent because I felt it suited the type of picture I wanted to take rather better.

Where to go for a backdrop? My first thought was the Paris 1900 sim, even though the bicycle is more of a 1950’s style, although I would say the outfit is much earlier. I chose the famous Moulin Rouge as the backdrop.

Taken at Paris 1900

I sent the pic to my sis, Karen, who I know loves that sim, and she suggested that I might like to try Soul2Soul River, which is a gorgeous quintessentially English village, and it was a good suggestion.

 

Final picture, as published to Flickr

This is the picture I finally settled on because I had to stop somewhere.

 


Summary:

Outfit: Velocipedestrienne by Apricot Paws (at The Engine Room event)
Boots: Solvej by Ingenue
Hair: F191 by KMH (at The Engine Room event)
Bicycle: Sonoma bicycle by {what next}

Posted in Fashion, Second Life

ReNyx by Violent Seduction

I have way too much stuff, and spend too much money in SL, but I really couldn’t resist this cute latex outfit by Violent Seduction that is their current Fifty Linden Fridays (FLF) offering.

There is a Darks Pack and a Lights pack, each of which is L$50 and is for just one body. So if, like me, you use the Maitreya Lara body then you buy the Maitreya pack.

Shown in my pic is the HUD you get with the Darks pack, since that’s the one I bought.

Note: The HUD gives the impression that there is a slider giving a sliding scale between fully solid and fully sheer, but this is not the case. The ‘slider’ is just a divider, and ‘SOLID’ and ‘SHEER’ are buttons.

 

The hair I am wearing is by Truth and was a VIP Group Gift.

 

Posted in Exploring, Photography, Second Life

The Blade Runner Sim

Last week, Inara Pey alerted us all to an amazing sim by Hera (Zee9)

(see https://modemworld.me/2022/02/06/heras-superb… )

In my 14+ years on SL this is quite probably the most amazing, most detailed, most immersive sim I have ever visited.

I took loads of photos (over several visits), and since my free Flickr account has a 1000 pic limit, and also since I choose to make my Flickr stream highly curated, I thought it better to create a blog post to feature all the photos. Plus it gives me more freedom to talk you through both my photos and also the sim.

All of the photos are in 1440px height resolution. Do please click on each pic to see it in full resolution, because the large thumbnails just don’t do them justice and this is meant to be a photo gallery!

 

WARNINGS

Unlike Inara’s blog post, this will contain loads of SPOILERS. So if you want to explore the sim yourself then I suggest you do so first.

Also, this is an Adult sim and some of the following pics may be of an adult nature, although I have chosen to pixelate some of the most sexual content. However, there may be some artful nudity.

Continue reading “The Blade Runner Sim”

Posted in Developer Zone, Phoenix / Firestorm, Programming, Second Life, Viewers

Compiling the Firestorm Viewer

Last updated 16-Dec-2023


Extended instructions, tips, and ‘gotchas’ on how to compile and build Firestorm, a third-party Open Source viewer for use with Second Life by Linden Lab.

Includes both Firestorm for Windows and also Firestorm for Ubuntu Linux.

First published in February 2014, and regularly updated ever since.

NOTE: This article assumes that you are a competent software developer who is comfortable with C++ build environments and command consoles. Most people will have no need to build their own version of Firestorm from the source code.


Continue reading “Compiling the Firestorm Viewer”

Posted in Developer Zone, Programming, Second Life, Viewers

Adding new libraries to a custom Viewer

As part of my private build of Firestorm, the Open Source third-party viewer for Second Life from Linden Lab, I have added new library dependencies for something I am working on (adding metadata to snapshots).

This blog post details how I added them, making use of CMake and modifying various files.

I present it in the hope that it may prove useful to others.

Continue reading “Adding new libraries to a custom Viewer”

Posted in General, Second Life, tips

Show Me the Money! – getting more L$ for your US$

[First published 20-Mar-2012, updated 05-Jul-2017]]

You know how it is; you’re out shopping, you don’t have enough L$, so your cursor heads up to that familiar button in the top right of the screen labelled “Buy L$”. It’s so easy, it’s so convenient, and it’s so quick.

But, wait! That convenience comes at a price. You are buying L$ at whatever rate Linden Lab feel like giving you, and that’s not the best rate.

What do I mean by rate? Well, when you go abroad you often convert some of your normal currency into the currency used by the country you’re going to visit, and you are offered an exchange rate. In other words you buy some of that currency, just like you might purchase any other service or ‘thing’. And, just like buying anything, different people have different prices and it is a good idea to shop around for the best price.
It’s not just limited to people going on holiday either – there’s a whole area of Finance called “Foreign Exchange” (often abbreviated to ForEx or FX) that deals with this.

It’s a less-known fact that Second Life has its own little Foreign Exchange Market, called the Linden Exchange (or LindeX for short) which is accessed via the Second Life website.
Here people buy and sell L$ using US$. And it is here where you can get more L$ for your US$.

So, how does this differ from the good old in-world “Buy L$” button on your Viewer? Well, it’s way less convenient I will admit, although I find it kind of fun! But you have the reward of getting more L$ for your US dollars by being able to shop for the best price, which is what it’s all about.

Instead of just converting US$ to L$, you offer to buy L$ for a certain amount of US$. This is known as a Limit Buy which is a conditional purchase. You are offering to buy L$ from one or more people who are selling for a certain price or better. On the LindeX your offer will stay open until it is either ‘Filled’ (ie. the transaction completes successfully) or until you cancel it.
Depending on how aggressive your Offer Price is, how long it takes to fill could be measured in seconds, minutes, hours, days or never! Also, for larger purchases, you may get a partial fill, which is when more than one seller fulfils part of your order as no single seller is selling at the price you want to pay in the quantity you want to buy. The remaining unfilled amount keeps the order open until all of the order fills.

(If you’re interested in further reading, then some of the basics of ForEx are available here, although it is in no way needed and I only provide it for your interest because I think I’ve covered enough here already)

“Enough with the waffle, Becca. Just tell me how to do it!”, I hear you saying. Well, ok, if you insist.
Continue reading “Show Me the Money! – getting more L$ for your US$”

Posted in General, Second Life

The Art of Prim Reduction (and changing pictures with the click of your mouse)

[Originally posted on 14-Apr-2012, updated 20-Jun-2017]

Introduction

I’ve been trying to reduce my prim count at my home in SL, and one of the things I figured I could improve on is the pictures hanging on my wall. I’ve got 4 walls of pictures, and each has 3-5 pictures on it, each one on its own prim. So I could see some good savings there.

But how to reduce that number?

Well, a picture is just a texture on a prim. And a wall is also just a texture on a prim. So why not combine the two? Bake the pictures onto the texture of the wall itself.

However, unless you really are pinching every single prim, I think it is better to spend an extra prim per wall and create a transparent veneer onto which you bake your pictures. Think of it as a single picture frame prim that happens to contain multiple pictures. I will refer to this as a “veneer prim” or “veneer” for the rest of the article as it covers the wall just like a wood veneer. However, as I will shortly explain, it is actually preferable for it to be smaller than the wall itself but that doesn’t alter the fact that it is a veneer of sorts.

Continue reading “The Art of Prim Reduction (and changing pictures with the click of your mouse)”