Pictures from Tonight’s Sci-Fi Party

Here are a couple of shots of the sci-fi party held this evening with Greg Aronowitz, the curator of the Star Wars production art collection, at his virtual museum experience.

Sci Fi Party at Star Wars Exhibition 15 Dec 2017

Unbeknownst to us as we were standing around talking about movies and special effects and art, SIN was busy re-arranging items from the collection!

SIN's collection 15 Dec 2017

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Sci-Fi Party Tonight at the Hollywood Arts Museum Star Wars Exhibition

lost art of SW

Join us tonight at 6:00 p.m. Pacific Time/Sansar Time for a special sci-fi party at the Star Wars production art exhibition, called the Lost Art of Star Wars, at the Hollywood Art Museum experience! You are encouraged to dress in sci-fi theme!

Here’s the text of the invitation in full, from the official Sansar blog:

As fans the world over prepare for their first (or tenth) viewing of the brand new Star Wars: The Last Jedi movie – we’re celebrating in Sansar with a Sci-Fi party hosted at the virtual exhibit Lost Art of Star Wars – in Sansar. Where else can you engage and interact with such a unique collection of Hollywood history like this? Get up close to sketches and early production designs, pick up and throw an X-wing starfighter as though it were a mere paper plane?

See what you can find in the Sansar Store to deck out your avatar in theme – then join us from 6 – 8 pm (PT) for an epic good time.

Hollywood Art Museum curator Greg Aronowitz will be joining us. Greg is a prop and set designer, director, writer, producer, and practical effects professional who has worked on hundreds of film and television projects, and also has a passion for preserving film history to collecting unique production pieces from many of Hollywood’s classics. He shares compelling stories about the history of each piece in his collection.

The Hollywood Art Museum: Lost Art of Star Wars is a virtual tour of many of these never-before-seen pieces that can be enjoyed in both desktop and VR modes.

See you there!

Scene of the Day: Winter Wonderland

I haven’t done a Scene of the Day for a long time, so here is one! This post doubles as a brief report of the Product Meetup. As usual, I will leave it to Inara Pey to do her usual professional job of reporting in detail on these meetings, and just link to it. (Thank you for the valuable service you are providing to the Sansar community, Inara!)

This morning’s Sansar Product Meetup was held in Beverly Zauberflote’s Winter Wonderland experience. We did have some problems with instancing, where some people ended up in a duplicate version of the experience, wondering where everybody else was. It took a few minutes to sort it all out.

Along with Jenn, Brett, Carolyn and Nyx from Linden Lab were present to answer our questions.

Winter Wonderland 15 Dec 2017

The first version of access controls for experiences will be part of the next release of the Sansar software, where you can restrict access to your experience to people on your friends list. People will also be able to create and sell clothing on the Sansar Store, as has been reported before, but runtime cloth simulation (cloth physics) will not be part of the upcoming fashion release next week. There will also be updates to scripting abilities, which the C# programmers among us will no doubt welcome.

It does sound that Linden Lab is still going ahead with their controversial decision to allow consumers to retexture items taken out of inventory and placed in their experiences. Some creators who disagree strongly with this decision have said that they will not place items up for sale in the Sansar Store until Linden Lab implements a comprehensive permissions system. There was quite a bit of discussion about this today.

Jenn stressed again that consumers who retexture items will not be able to take them back into inventory or resell them, and that people will not be allowed to retexture clothing and attachments. Both Jenn and Carolyn stressed that Linden Lab is taking people’s concerns about this matter very seriously.

Editorial: Can We Sit Down?

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Photo by Sean Pollock on Unsplash

One of my longest-running complaints about Sansar, for all its wonderful features and capabilities, is that you can’t sit down! Standing avatars only. Drives me crazy. We can sit down in just about every other virtual world on the market (Second Life, High Fidelity, Sinespace, etc.), but not Sansar.

Draxtor Despres has told me that he wants to launch a regular talk show in Sansar, but he is holding back because our avatars can’t sit down yet. (I’m not sure if he was kidding or serious.) And if you think about it, having a talk show where everyone is just standing around is kind of silly.

Jason Gholston, head of the creative team at Linden Lab for Sansar, danced around the question when Saffia Widdershins asked about it in her TV show Designing Worlds this week, refusing to be pinned down as to when we can sit, and joking about our tendency to want to put chairs down in our Sansar experiences that we can’t yet use.

I can’t embed the video here, but here’s a link to the broadcast:

https://www.slartist.com/designing-worlds-dw355-sansar-creative-beta-part-ii_3e220ed0d.html

(Skip to the 26:10 mark in this video to hear Jason talking about sitting down.)

We have been told that Linden Lab is still working out technical details to provide us with an elegant solution, where you don’t have to author custom animations to have a chair work. We currently have no idea where avatar sitting “sits” on Linden Lab’s roadmap for future software development, or when we can expect to see it happen.

When he joined us for last weekend’s Atlas Hopping, Ebbe Altberg remarked that, going forward, any features which promote user retention and engagement will be ranked higher on the Sansar development roadmap. I would argue that the ability to sit down would go a long way towards user engagement and satisfaction in Sansar.

Frankly, I would be happy if Linden Lab just implemented a quick-and-dirty sit animation that we could use while they put everything in place for the new-and-improved, more elegant, sit solution they keep promising us. Is that too much to ask?

UPDATE 12:51 p.m.: Galen the scripter responded to my cross-posting of this blogpost on Facebook, so I asked him if I could quote him and he said yes. He said:

Sounds so simple, eh? But here’s my understanding of why this isn’t a thing yet.

First, in SL, sitting is accomplished by two basic tactics: 1.) attachment; 2.) avatar animation. When you sit on an object, your avatar gets treated like yet another prim getting attached to that object. That’s why if a couch gets made “physical”, your av goes flying with it. It’s comical to watch, but illustrates this key concept. For now, Sansar has no attachment mechanism, so it couldn’t implement sitting in the SL way.

Second, sitting requires avatar animations. The main reason we don’t have those, LL has said, is that they are creating a new avatar body model set. Including, presumably, a new skeleton. That skeleton is what gets animated, so it would have been premature to introduce skeletal animations for a short-lived skeleton. This fashion release, if it does include the “final” model for the avatar skeleton, will be one prerequisite down for sitting. Next would be allowing us to upload animations based on it. Sitting would be an obvious example.

This annoying limitation makes sense when you see the temporary hurdles facing LL. I have a feeling that when we go live with this next update, we will get a few minor surprises and announcements related to this.

By the way, I suspect LL may opt for a shortcut, bypassing the attachment concept for now. That is, I think they may make it so we can sit on stationary objects before they make it so we can sit on moving ones.