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I'd planned on illustrating my adventures a little more extensively, and still may do so, but I realized that there is a certain measure of trickiness that comes with surreptitiously taking screenshots in the middle of a conversation. So most of the pictures here will either be me solo, or me at some kind of mass event where everybody's out to see and be seen anyway. More intimate shots will have to wait until I get the consent of those I'm hanging out with.

I'm writing this entry without any access to last night's screenshots, but I may edit it later to add them in.

I did a little experimenting with my scanner and a dress and came up with a velvet fabric texture. I even got it to work with the alpha channel texture I'd created earlier. Doesn't work as well on the prim skirt as I would have liked, though--have to figure that one out.

Teleports were gafarked for some reason. I got stuck at Medazzaland which, in keeping with the cowboy/cowgirl theme that night, was playing country music. Gah. I tried teleporting to Quantum and couldn't. Tried teleporting home and that was also a no-go. I ended up logging out and logging back in, setting my entry point for home instead of the last place I was. Teleporting still didn't work. I gave flying a try, but found myself once more blocked by angry red barriers around various plots. I couldn't even teleport home. I IMed with Miles--who wanted me to meet somebody--and logged out once more.

Then I tried something sneaky that will come in handy the next time teleportation garfarks.

When you log in, you can set your entry point three ways. You can reappear the last place you were when you logged out, you can start out at the spot you've designated as 'home' (this only makes sense if you own land--otherwise you're only allowed to set spots near the antique telehubs as 'home', which are usually crowded and annoying) OR you can type in a region name and get plunked down somewhere in the middle of it. So I gave the last option a try, typed in "Quantum Acres" (where Miles' place is) and logged in.

Ta-da! I could even see Miles (the wings are a dead giveaway) off in the distance with somebody, so I flew over and landed where they were. I hung with with Miles and some of her friends and we decided to fly over to Quantum Fields where Lysander Lemuria was DJing. I know Lysander through Miles (they're siblings in RL, actually) and he's one of my favorite SL DJs--he plays an eclectic mix of tunes and he'll even give shoutouts to each of the avies in the room in between songs. (He once mused aloud whether my screen name was actually pronounced Cy-Fy-Shy.) I mentioned I was taking pictures for my blog a few nights ago and Lysander said "Go ahead and blog me!" So here you are. ;)

(Incidentally, the "One Hot Bitch" is the Group title of the gal next to him, not Lysander himself. His name and details are offscreen, because I zoomed in so closely.)

I danced until late and called it a night. (That's one of the groovy things about Second Life--that you can go out to a dance club while still in your pajamas.)


Date: 2007-04-24 09:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] caliburnsusanto.livejournal.com
"Eventually everyone in Second Life becomes a spy." -- Me

The camera is essentially an invisible object that is anchored to your avatar by an invisible tether. It is not quite the same as an invisible prim, as it cannot be made visible by others, only by yourself. You can write a script or buy one that makes your camera show in-world in any shape imaginable -- most gadgets that do this make the camera appear to be a floating robotic surveillance cam, or even a floating, blinking eyeball. Whatever shape it appears as, others will see it but (of course) you will not as you are looking out from it.

This feature comes in handy for the fun of it (sending a little creature, or a camera, or an eyeball zooming all over looking at things to the amusement, or annoyance, of others) but it has a practical application, too. If you use a utility to temporarily make your camera a pointing finger, or an arrow, etc. you can roam it around and point things out to others -- such as at a lecture, or in a huge store with lots of wall displays.

In its default state, the camera is invisible to others, of course, but avatars can "sense" it when it comes close (the avatar program, not the user). If you zoom in and look closely at someone the avatar will turn toward the camera and look straight at it. :-)

The default constraints on the camera are to take snapshots with an accompanying loud whirrr-click! and to make your avatar hold its hands up to its face and smile. This is more a matter of social courtesy than anything else, I think. It lets others know you are taking pictures of them. Also, the camera tether has a set length (not sure what the exact number is, but it seems to be about 25 meters) to which it can roam away from home base (you).

However, both of the above constraints are changeable, as is nearly everything about the SL in-world experience if you know the menu commands or can write scripts to override the defaults.

If you press either CTRL-SHIFT-D (or CTRL-ALT-D, I can't remember and can't log into SL from work) you will get two additional menus to show on your toolbar at the top of the screen. One of these is CLIENT and the other SERVER. The Client menu affects things at your end, in your PC. You can change these in-world, but they don't "stick" and revert to defaults when you log off and back on again.

About 1/3 way down the drop-down menu under Client is a choice that says something like "Save Silent Snapshots to Disk" or similar -- anyway, look for "Silent." When you check this you can then take totally surreptitious pictures in-world by pressing CTRL-Tilde (the key to the left of the #1 key at the top of the keyboard, right above TAB). When you takes a picture thusly, and if you have "Save Snapshots to Disk" chosen in the camera dialogue box, then the screen will flicker briefly and the picture will be saved to your hard drive and numbered sequentially. Nobody in-world will know you are taking pictures this way.

The other thing you can do (and the people who want to believe they have privacy online, when in fact no one does, are going to get pissed about this, I'm sure) about 2/3 of the way down the Client menu there is a choice called "Remove Camera Constraints." When you put a check next to that your camera is no longer restrained by the invisible tether, and can roam your camera around an entire SIM (albeit slowly) while you stand or sit perfectly still somewhere. I use this feature all the time to roam all over big shopping areas from a stationary point. I just send my camera all around the store or even into neighboring stores while I float a ways up from the floor, out of everyone else's way.

Of course, you can also send your camera roaming far a field this way and spy on your fellow residents having all kinds of various personal moments. But that would be shameful and wicked, so of course you would never do anything like that. Nor would I. ...

Now go forth and snap your little avatar’s heart out.


Date: 2007-04-25 12:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cyfishy.livejournal.com
I don't actually use the SL "photographs" very often. I'm on a Mac, so I simply use Command-Shift-3 to take a full screenshot, which saves directly to my Desktop. It makes a little camera click on my end, but nobody else hears it, as far as I know.

This is why I'm so hedgy about posting pictures without asking people first. Precisely because I can do it without their knowledge.

I'll have to remember the Remove Camera Contraints trick, though. That could be useful.


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