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Autumn 2014

Tweaks

First of all, this isn’t a regular post. It’s actually a post-it note with useful information related to SL viewer settings that I want to keep handy for quick reference.

Even though a lot of people are happy with SL’s official viewer, I’m among those who have one particular reason to hate it: It crashes constantly, period. I don’t know why, but that’s been my experience, even with different computer setups. Everything else works fine, but I can’t stand having to log back in every 5 minutes.

Crashes have been a thing of the past for all third party viewers (TPVs) I’ve used and liked over the years, but sometimes those projects, some of which depend on a lonely soul, fall out of updates, either because the developer is not interested in continuing with the burden, for example, or because other RL or SL endeavors keep their attention away from development or from matching the pace of official releases, among other reasons. When that happens, I tend to hop to another TPV and move on.

Besides the SL official viewers (stable, betas or release candidates alike), I currently use the following two regularly: Kokua Viewer and Firestorm Viewer. Both of them are closely related since, if I’m not mistaken, the first one is based on the second one; sometimes Kokua updates also take more time to come around. And of course, both of them are more feature-rich than their official counterpart.

To get to the point, the raison d’être of this text is to keep track of the camera settings I use on both of these viewers. Since I tend to “hang out” with one of them for a time and then shift to the other as features are updated (or a new annoying bug is accidentally introduced), with some frequency I’ve had to do a search for “camera settings” when switching sides… because I’m so lazy that I forget to write them down, yep. So this is my way to keep the notes handy. By the way, Firestorm has an exquisite tool that helps you backup and restore all viewer settings (found under Preferences), but there’s always something to tweak after a fresh install anyway.

Backup utility in Firestorm

So these are the camera settings of my preference, in case readers find them of any use. They can be tweaked by going to the Advanced menu > Show Debug Settings.

In Firestorm, the viewer I’m using right now, you get this warning when attempting to access the Debug Settings. That’s their way of scaring the hell out of you, but there’s nothing to be afraid of; the settings we’re modifying are quite safe and harmless.

Warning

Once “inside,” the Debug Settings window looks like this:

Debug

From the list, we’re scrolling down to CameraOffsetFrontView, CameraOffsetGroupView, CameraOffsetRearView, CameraOffsetScale, and a little bit down the list to FocusOffsetFrontView, FocusOffsetGroupView, and FocusOffsetRearView. GroupView affects the Side View in the default Camera Controls window (the little eye button usually present in the toolbar).

To know the nitty-gritty of the settings, please refer to these excellent posts by other SLifers; I won’t explain them better than they already do.

The values I use are as follows:

CameraOffsetFrontView:

X  2.300    Y  0.000

Z  -0.900

CameraOffsetGroupView:

X  -1.500    Y  0.700

Z  0.100

CameraOffsetRearView:

X  -1.900    Y  -0.350

Z  -0.300

CameraOffsetScale:

value  1.000

FocusOffsetFrontView:

X  1.000    Y  0.000

Z  0.100

FocusOffsetGroupView:

X  1.500    Y  0.700

Z  1.100

FocusOffsetRearView:

X  2.000    Y  0.000

Z  0.200

Of these settings, the only ones overly important for me (stressed in bold) are the two that control the rear view and the offset scale (though right now I’m keeping the default value for the last one). They really make a HUGE difference in the way we visually perceive the SL world. Everbody should change those, that must be mandatory. I rarely (if ever) use the other two modes, front view and group/side view, but some of you might do. I also tweak these values a little bit more depending on the situation.

 

Picture: No, I didn’t return to autumn after last post. It’s an old picture I came across that never got posted, and since this rambling is not about home and garden, it doesn’t actually matter what season of the year I stick to (nor that it matter in SL anyway). Stuff in the picture from 3D Trees, Botanical, and Studio Skye.

Pergola

Nomad no more

I think I’ve finally found a cozy little corner in Mainland. I had to keep looking, almost everyday, for months, till I found this plot last weekend… by accident. You know that the SL map only updates once per day, so any changes taking place after 7:30 a.m. SLT (more or less) won’t show up until next morrow. That makes the SL map an unreliable tool to find parcels for sale. Yet it kind of became a hobby for me for the last ten months (yep, ten months).

So last Sunday, after buying Botanical’s new umbrella tree –that I’ll show you in a short while– I TPed to my beachy plot (the one with Llorisen’s cabana) to see if the tree could fit in the current mood. To tell you the truth, I didn’t like the way the poor thing looked in that dry and sandy land, so fearing it might die of dehydration if I planted it there, I opened up the map to check if by chance there was a small and greener inland plot for sale that I could use for occasional gardening tests like this. Several minutes in the search, I saw a 512 sq.m. plot somewhere in the northern lands with a tempting price. I TPed there… just to find it wasn’t as attractive as it seemed from a 2D preview, but then, next to it and just waiting for me, lay this glamorous slopy lot that was simply perfect for my new assignment.

Umbrella tree

I didn’t give it a second thought (well, I did, but don’t tell anyone) and clicked on Buy Land. Then I said to myself: “Let’s get down to work.” So after a couple of long laborious days, I can now properly present to you Botanical’s new Umbrella tree. Due to the nature of this RL tree, I never thought someone could upload a sterling digital counterpart to SL, but I’m super glad Kriss Lehmann proved me wrong, woot! This schefflera is a tropical native from Oceania, but it took a trip sometime ago and now is found in so many places that I would have never guessed its origin if I didn’t look it up in Wikipedia.

The house is Scarlet Creative’s Mountain Lodge from last March’s Arcade, and the Maritime pine tree (in the background) is also a relatively recent release from 3D Trees I haven’t had the chance to use before. The same goes for the Beech forest groves in the first picture.

Mountain Lodge from behind

Here is another shot of the Mountain Lodge, as seeing from the nonexistent backyard (there’s a hillside in its stead). The previous plot owner was also using this house, and I thought it looked perfect, so that’s why I went for it too. To the left of the house, there’s another 3D Trees release: an Apple tree.

Apple Tree

And you know what? That apple tree is available for free! It’s a gift from Nadine Reverie. I don’t think any other gardener is so kind to his and her customers as Ms. Reverie: jste nejlepší (I hope that means “you’re the best” in Czech). So head to her inworld store, get this fruitful tree and don’t forget to send her your most sincere thank you.

Promontory

As is obvious, the house sits on a rocky promontory made of Fanatik’s Rocks & Cliffs Wales set, with a twist: the basic textures are good enough, but I thought that Studio Skye texture looked simply superb. That’s why I added that small waterfall (from Studio Skye’s Waterfall building set) too.

Happy bushes

At the base of the cliffs, a small grove of Happy Mood’s yellow-green Shrubs add their shades to the mossy rock. The Dirt Road that leads the way to the house (review the first picture in this post) is another release from this creator.

Ox Eye Daisies

The last veggie release in this installment is the Ox Eye Daisy set from Heart Garden Centre. Large bushes are a little bit “primy” at 5 LI per clump, but hell they look so great! Just use with caution if your land capacity is not that generous.

Gazebo

Lastly, I couldn’t resist using Atelier Visconti’s Adria gazebo in the garden area, next to the waterfall. Considering that I was already running out of prims, the only decoration I could add were lame’s Kenway Sectional set, Culprit’s Seagrass rug, and Floorplan’s Captain’s desk lantern. 

Rest

With a few more prims I could have put out more stuff, but well… At least now I can take a rest from nomad life, at last!

Is it greed, is it lust?

I wish I could understand the mind of privileged Mainland land-lords/ladies. Is it greed what drives  their lust for virtual land, or is there an altruistic end of some sort? Do they believe they’re doing SL and hence its residents a favor when they grab all the good land they come across and then put it up for rent? Do they realize that maybe someone else may want or need or desire the land they hoard for their private business? Can’t they see they’re depriving other individuals the same chance of owning land as they do? If on seeing someone inspecting an available parcel, couldn’t they just ask you, out of courtesy at least, if you’re considering buying that lot instead of clicking and buying, even from far away, as in a rush, robbing you the chance to even get the funds in order to complete the process? Or is it that they don’t think other people buy land, that only they do or have the right to?

Bay City

Since, in a sense, SL is no more than a game (a race for buying land in the case of business-people), are their minds powered by the same psychological (addictive) boost that “gambling” does for gamblers? Do they think SL is all about their class, them against other land barons? Or is it the action of an egotistical impulse that blocks their minds and only allow them to think of themselves? Are their social values different from the rest of us, or is it that SL twists their morals in a way that they can’t see beyond the tip of their noses? Do they believe in friendship or is it only a matter of business to them?

Bay City

Are we tenants worth anything to rental services, or are we just what we are: a disposable wallet that is easy to replace with another one if it happens that we, out of disgust, go away? Is there an escape to that? Are we hopeless? Are we doomed to live under this “business model” if we want to “own” land?

Bay City

Why does Linden Research, Inc. allow virtual land speculation to escalate to the point of having 512/1024 square meter plots selling for hundreds of real life money? Is it even right? Or is it that the Lab thinks all of us have the tools, abilities and skills to make our SL self-sustained? Or is it that they think their world is just for those that are capable of earning their living by such means? If so, why do they sell virtual currency with real life money in an uncontrolled economy base?

Bay City

Ah well… nevermind. Sorry for having such a depressing view of SL in Christmas. Blame me for trying to figure out the way things are not from a –probably– too idealized and hence distorted point of view anyway. When things like this happen they make me wonder why I invest so much time and effort in things that end up troubling me more than they please me. Is it some kind of virtually induced nonsexual masochism? I don’t know… I think it’s me doing things the wrong way for sure.

In the pics, some of the things I’ve put in a rented parcel in Bay City that may not survive the coming of the New Year.

Veggies:

Everything else:

  • bbqq – Humble Abode
  • Zigana – Ladder; Chime (neutral); Holiday spirit ornaments (Arcade Dec. 2013)
  • Lark – Winter Bunting
  • Myrrine – Christmas wall deco without planks
  • Dysfunctional Designs – Holiday Tree
  • Alouette – Toy Soldiers, Ho Ho Ho Decoration (Arcade Dec. 2013)
  • Vespertine – Nutcracker, Starbead curtain (Arcade Dec. 2013); Reading armchair (gatcha)
  • Trompe L’Oeil – Bird On A Stick (Arcade Dec. 2013)
  • Tia – Watercan Twig Deco, Winter Phrase Hanger, Let It Snow Blocks (gatcha)
  • Casa del Shai – Papaya Crate 2 (upside down)
  • we’re closed – old ladder with poses (group gift)
  • ILO – Milk Can; Garden set
  • floorplan – Three apple crates; Sleigh bed (rustic); Midsummer retreat
  • Botanical – Hanging Capiz Lamps
  • Cheeky Pea – Autumn Fly To the Sky Bench
  • lame – Woodruff Sofa (color modded)
  • What Next – Pine tree wall decal; Pallet log box (sans logs)
  • Pilot – Christmas Village – Sign [North Pole], Springfield (gatcha); Water Hose
  • Apple Fall – His Sideboard, Jute Natural Rug (gatcha)
  • TBF – Telefunken Animated Television
  • Honey Apple (aka MudHoney) – Curtains (cream)
  • Seven Emporium – Hanging bulb (triple)
  • Art Dummy! – Wintertide (chairs and sofa)
  • Warm Animations – Table with plant
  • Culprit – Victorian gazebo (Neva)