Mesh is nearly ready for grid-wide release. I have the feeling it will be ready for residents before all residents are ready for it. Third Party viewer developers are working to get their viewers ready for mesh. There will be many residents in-world who, for a time, will not be using mesh capable viewers. At this stage of mesh development these residents will see only sphere, egg and pancake shapes instead of what the creators intended.
It seems to me Linden Lab could have some kind of place marker displayed in lieu of those mesh objects thereby letting those residents know why whatever they’re looking at seems rather, if you will pardon the expression, primitive.
There will be plenty of complaining once the dust settles, once Linden Lab has established and set the parameters for mesh upload. Some will find the upload cost too expensive. Many will find, free of the constraints of sculpted primitives, that it is all too easy to create an object with a prohibitively expensive number of vertices and triangles.
I have already read the complaints of people worrying that mesh will replace sculpts. Some had a hard enough time learning how to create sculpts and believe mesh far beyond their ability. The same can probably be said for the premier of sculpts themselves and I have no doubt there will be user-created tutorials with which to learn more about mesh creation.
I am learning more about it every day.

   Recently I’ve been helping out a new resident with advice and tips. I’ve been doing more than just handing over a box of freebies and landmarks. I’ve been spending time with this person and being a friend.
   Long ago when I was starting out, I got a lot of genuinely heartfelt help from new friends. This included one friend giving me control of an Open Space sim for a month when he would not be online enough to use it. I think back back on that and how much it meant to me.
   I’ve never been especially mercenary when it comes to making money here in SL®. And Lately I’ve been a little low on inspiration. I’ve been finding it hard feel purposeful when I am logged in.
   Helping someone new has helped me to look back on my first weeks here and recall how magical it was, and how confusing at times. It has helped me to look at SL® objectively and realize, anew, how truly amazing it is. It may evolve and turn into something it was not before, it’s been doing that all along, but to me it will always be amazing.

   Not too long ago I transferred some of my builds to Reaction Grid. I used Imprudence to export a few things and imported them into RG. I hadn’t read a lot about the process. I just used Imprudence’s ‘export’ and ‘import’ tools. I was impressed with the faithfulness of the reproduction. Of course I was disappointed that none of the objects’ contents were included in the transfer but I was not surprised. This is apparently how the xml files work and only objects of which you are the creator will be exported.
   There was some development on an XML format called Hierarchical Primitive Archive, or .hpa. This was being developed by Shack Dougall of liferain.com. I say was because there does not seem to be a lot of recent activity at liferain. And it seemed at one time that Meerkat might support hpa but Meerkat appears to be dead.
   If development of hpa has stopped, it wouldn’t surprise me if the headache of determining the creator of each of an object’s contents was a factor. And if development of hpa continues, I hope Imprudence picks up support for it.

Reading Peter’s blog I saw that it has been five months since my last post here, which is ridiculous. Time should not be passing so mercilessly. But it is true, as evidenced by the impending arrival of Summer. One of my children will be moving on to Middle school and the other is leaving behind the “little” status. So, yes, time is indeed passing more quickly than I would like.

And with time passing comes changes. I look at the arrival of viewer 2.0 as a significant change. Even though oldbies are able to still use other, older viewers, it is still a big change because new users will be strongly encouraged to use 2.0. I wonder how many true ‘new users’ there are each month these days.

I have my first pair of boots that use the avatar alpha layers function instead of invisiprims. Those are quite nifty, though it is a bit tricky to combine different alphas together. I found that wearing a lower alpha that came with the boots made my ‘no system lashes’ alpha inactive. So they appear to act as a group, or the boot’s alpha was created as a group.
On the whole, there are more things I like about viewer 2.0 than I dislike. The alpha layers alone bring many creative possibilities.

Other changes include friends who I have come to expect never to see again after not seeing them for months. And I hope that Real Life® is treating them well. In a couple of cases I know this is so.

I while back I got one of the Linden Homes. I thought it was a neat idea and I like having a place to go that I can call, virtually, my own. There have never been more than six avatars in the region. And there is definitely no nearby club with 38 dancing avatars. I will resist the urge to create a cricket sound around my house.

Your move Time.

   We’re all used to change in our real lives. Change starts from a very early age and doesn’t stop. Change happens in Second Life ® too. Places go away, people stop logging in – most of the time telling you they’re going.
   I have reached a time of residency where such changes have become significantly evident. There are a lot of landmarks in my inventory that have become obsolete – superseded by the unfamiliar. There are groups to which I once belonged which exist only in my memory now.
   Only in this medium – this collective of part reality and part dream – are things so mutable. It is at once amazing and unsettling.

   As happens every so often, another place I have been has ceased to be. It’s sad that any place in which you have spent time can so quietly vanish without warning or notice.
   I am familiar with dead landmark syndrome. It’s still a little surreal to try to visit an old favorite spot and find it replaced with a different build or, disturbingly, finding an entire sim has vanished from the face of the grid.
   I will admit that I spend more time than I really need to, flying to and fro, in order to verify that yet another old haunt has become a ghost I can only visit in my dreams.

   For a while I thought prim eyelashes were a bit superfluous, and that system lashes were good enough. But then I think back to when I experimented with prim eyes and how much better they could look with a higher resolution. The truth is, prim lashes do look better than system lashes – when they are fitted properly.
   That’s where the saga part comes in. That you will need to adjust your prim eyelashes is a foregone conclusion. Avatar’s eyes can come in many different shapes. But eye shape isn’t the only factor you deal with when fitting your prim lashes.
   As I delved into the fitting of some of my first prim lash purchases, I sensed a little bit of a dichotomy in whoever it was at Linden Lab® who decided that someone might want to adjust their hair down to nothing, but that a “zero” eyelash setting of about one quarter normal length would be enough to satisfy even the most extreme minimalist. There is always a little bit of system lash left to get in the way of your prim lash fitting and, as far as I know, creating a custom skin with a complete alpha subtraction of the lash area would merely reveal the default system skin beneath, complete with lashes.
   This is one thing I never saw mentioned, as far as I remember, in any of the fitting instructions that came with the lashes I have so far purchased. I would have appreciated a little “The system lashes can never be completely zeroed.” System lashes are just something you have to work around and overcome when fitting prim lashes.
   Some good advice I did get came from my friend Nissa Nightfire. She gave me a white mannequin skin which makes fitting lashes easier. Not having eye makeup makes positioning the prims easier.

Lash fitting torture

   I met with success, finally. I kept working at it because I had seen plenty of “live” examples of well fitted lashes that looked really good. As not all skins will look good with every shape, so it is with prim lashes. Eyes come in many shapes. There are many parameters that change the way they look. I found lashes from Celestial Studios that use three prims for each side, two uppers and one lower. This made fitting the upper lash easier for me as I find my upper eyelids have more curve than the lower ones. And for me, I found that I had to place the prims so they were all in front of the system lash meshes while at the same time trying to keep them close enough to my eyelids to look good. This is an example of the alpha transparency bug helping us. So, if that bug gets fixed, something else breaks.

   Just a little bit more UV real estate in the skin head texture could be allocated to the lash mesh would be an improvement.