New Technology & Dark Journeys in Second Life

Nitroglobus Gallery (moderate)

JadeYu Fhang↑ has an exhibit at the Nitroglobus Gallery↑ with both works demonstrating  her signature 3d style as well as some glorious 2d “paintings”. I’ve spoken of her before and if you haven’t visited the Song Bird↑ sim you really need to visit each of these locations.

This artist’s belief that the two worlds of the artist (real and virtual) feed each other and complete each other is appropriate for my thoughts these days. The title of her installation at the gallery, Dark Journey, reflects my concern in those thoughts. By the way – she also has the best bubbles I’ve ever seen inworld. :)

It could just be that I’m becoming more cynical and suspicious as I get older, or I’ve been in Second Life too long, but every time there’s an advance in technology I wait for the inevitable uproar/scandal involving the more criminal elements in our world.

Nitroglobus Gallery (moderate)

You’ve heard of 3d Printing↑ I expect. If not, take some time to research what’s happening out there. It is very exciting and will be a boon to people in many industries including, I predict, those who like to steal things.

Not everybody can afford to have their own printer – but, in the tradition of service industries everywhere, you won’t need to. Staples↑, for example, is going to offer to print your objects for you (at a cost of course). You’ll just need to have the file – they’ll provide the output.

One of the aspects of Second Life that I think is underutilized is the ability to prototype everything from small objects to plumbing design to architecture before attempting to build it in the physical world. Creating samples of your idea on the grid is far less costly than contacting a real life manufacturer to build you samples. Now you can prototype and manufacture directly.

When mesh was introduced the big concern was that people would import creations from other parts of the metaverse without permission. Now we should be thinking about people making real world versions of mesh creations owned by others.

Can you imagine the excitement felt by Maxi Gossamer↑ when she held a physical copy of her Second Life jewelry? Her virtual design now available for sale as a real life object to the world at large.

My first reaction was pleasure on her behalf. My second was that this could prove profitable for a lot of inworld creators. My third was less positive.

How long before somebody takes a mesh piece of jewelry or art or anything they like on the grid, has it printed and sells it as their own work? Oh I know there are technical aspects involving higher detail in the mesh etc., but you can bet they’ll figure that out.

I asked the wrong question initially. I wondered if you “can file a DMCA”. Of course you “can”. If you know about it. Finding thieves in the real world is going to be a lot harder than seeing them on marketplace or having your loyal customers report seeing copies in Second Life stores.

My conclusion is that it’s going to happen and creators need to start keeping documentation etc., filing whatever official records they can, to protect themselves. But, knowing that somebody on the other side of the globe is selling your broach to people is going to be almost impossible. Prototyping something for real life and not sharing it with others on the grid will be one approach. But the stuff that’s already out there? The things created for inworld sale or display? The coming years should be interesting.

Redefining Avatar in Second Life

Pirates Keep (moderate)

I’m starting with the same photo I used at the beginning of yesterday’s post. I’m doing that because there is a glaring error in it that has been bothering me ever since I clicked “publish”. You see it right? You recognized my incompetence, I’m sure.

I went back and fixed it this morning. If you’re having difficulty distinguishing the one problem that has obsessed me over all the other issues in the image – look at the reflection in the near foreground. Now look at the one in this version.

Pirates Keep (moderate)

In the first image there’s no reflection of the ship – and there should have been. The mistake I made was to tell the graphics to show reflections of all static objects – I forgot to include avatars. This matters if the objects are mesh – the system treats them as avatars. I could probably figure out why, but it’s enough for me to know it does, trying to psychoanalyze some code is not necessary. :)

This little quirk in the viewer trips me up frequently – you’d think by now I’d remember.

Edo Japan Kitamachi (moderate)

It sometimes happens that I’ll spend an excessive amount of time lining up a shot. I’ll get the angle, light, composition just the way I want it and then some innocent avatar will arrive.

To fix that I would tell the system not to render avatars. Problem solved. Until the advent of mesh. Now look what happens – same shot, just no avatars.

Edo Japan Kitamachi (moderate)

You don’t lose all mesh constructs. Buildings, for example, seem to stay. Objects, however, can vanish along with the resident you’re trying to ignore.

I’ll have to figure out workarounds for some of these things and put giant notes to myself around the screen saying “Avatars are Mesh, Some Mesh = Avatars”. In the meantime I’ll follow the arrow and go visit Romy Nayar’s↑ new exhibit. I’ll bring you that tomorrow. :)

Escaping My “White People’s Problems” in Second Life

Parta (moderate)

I did a quick ramble around Parta↑ this morning, a Japanese sim with lots of mesh. I like mesh. :)

Parta (moderate)

This is Thanksgiving weekend in Canada and plans have been changing hourly, however, it was decided yesterday that I’m cooking the dinner for tonight. This isn’t a burden, but I usually spend days cooking feasts and this one will have to come together very quickly.

Parta (moderate)

I won’t get all maudlin and list all the things I’m thankful for. I will, though, finally and gratefully acknowledge all of you who actually read this blog and those who comment or send me emails. It means a lot! Bloggers are all talking out loud to themselves, having others look in makes us less self-conscious about it.

Parta (moderate)

It’s another short post (aren’t you lucky!) because I really do have to go do something about feeding these people. If you’ll excuse me there’s a 5 pound dog peeking over the edge of the bathtub at the turkey floating inside. There are far worse problems in the world, but today this is one I have to go solve. :)

Parta (moderate)
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