Thursday, June 30, 2016

Great Second Life Destinations: Moonlight Charms Khaled

The landscape was covered with a thick fog when I arrived at Cambiamento Radikal's Khaled for a photographic visit. I was taken with the mystery of the destination. The arrival station looked vaguely foreboding - I was reminded of a set from the classic 1960's science fiction televsion series The Twilight Zone, episodes which can still be seen as reruns on YouTube.  As I walked around Khaled's Pines and looked across the moonlit lakes a strange and timeless sensation overcame me. My photographic eye found many of the scenes compelling, and strikingly beautiful. I highly recommend a visit to this unique destination.

Your taxi:

To see my review of  Gaio, another gorgeous  region destined by Cambiamento Radikal reminiscent of Tuscany, Italy:

Photographic  Information:

All images  were taken with Windlight Sky Setting "TOR" Dusk Fairytale Glow which comes as a standard option under advanced environmental settings in Firestorm and other viewers. I like Fairytale Glow for its eerie early evening light and darkly clouded skies.

In addition, I applied a grain film image effect using Analog Efex Pro 2 from Google's Nik Collection. which is now available as a free download. You can find out more about this here:

For more blog coverage of Khaled:

Inara Pey Living in a Modem World:

Diomita and Jenny Maurer:

Looking for more places to visit?

To see more of my coverage of great destinations to visit in Second Life (scroll down):

Check out Scoop It Second Life Destinations for more great places to visit:

Monday, June 27, 2016

Great Second Life Destinations: La Ville Par La Mer dans Le Royaume de Versailles

La Ville Par La Mer dans Le Royaume de Versailles (The City By The Sea in The Kingdom of Versailles) is a well designed shores destination that brings to mind a lush coastal resort destination in the French Riviera or perhaps the Island of Corsica. I particularly liked the chic decorating touches that showed a continental flair for design such as the grouping of large roses in glass bottles on a shop window seen in the lower photo here. The interior of the caf├ęs and shops are a delight. I also liked the seating areas enclosed by lush tropical plantings and waterfalls which blended in well with the long pier and boardwalk.  This is a charming destination full of surprises and one that has quickly become a photographer favorite. I highly recommend a visit.

Your taxi:

Royaume De Versailles has a Flickr Group:

I used Windlight sky setting [TOR] MIDDAY - Nostalgika in these images, which I favor for its warm golden light and clear skies. Nostalgika comes as an option in the Firestorm Viewer.

See coverage in other blogs:

World of Yana:

Inara Pey Linving in a Modem World:

Grid Vibrations:

Looking for more places to visit?

To see more of my coverage of great destinations to visit in Second Life (scroll down):

Check out Scoop It Second Life Destinations forr more great places to visit:

Friday, June 24, 2016

Great Second Life Destinations: Playa Flamingo and Rosemoor Imaged by Google Silver Efex Pro Software

Playa Flamingo

I love  black and white photography done with traditional wet and dry plate processes, particularly those done using silver as a base metal. This type of photography, made famous in works by great photographers including Alfred Stieglitz and  Ansel Adams was the dominant form of the photographic arts from the period 1880 - 1960, before the introduction of widespread color photography in the 1960's and digital process in the 1990's.

Playa Flamingo

Google's Nik Collection of offers virtual and other photographers an easy way to approximate the grain, lighting values, and subtleties of silver and warmer metallic colors with Silver Efex Pro, one part of the suite of processing tools. This software is now available for free download, and can be used as an extension to Photoshop or as a stand-alone program. I created these images using color photography from Second Life of two 2016 destinations with I recently photographed, Playa Flamingo and Rosemore.  I applied two different effects to each set of images.  If you like this type of photography, follow the links given below for more information and to download the entire Nik collection of digital processing tools.

Playa Flamingo

To see my review of Google's Nik Collection:

You can download the Nik collection, including Silver Efex Pro for free here:

Find out more about Silver Efex Pro in this review from the Digital Photography School:

Playa Flamingo

Playa Flamingo is a knockout destination. This island sim has much going on, and is perfectly coordinated and decorated. Every turn yields surprises. I particularly liked the realistic store interiors in the central town area, and the moving buoys in the central cove. The attention to detail is outstanding.

Playa Flamingo

To see my full review and original photography from Playa Flamingo:

To visit Playa Flamingo:

To see more images from Playa Flamingo in Silver Efex Pro:


Krys Vita, who recently closed Kaleidoscope, and Arol Lightfoot, who recently closed Tequilla Sunrise, have produced Rosemoor.  Rosemoor is a  charming island with fun touches including wild horses which you can ride and an amusement park with working attractions. There are nice vistas for photographers, and animated romantic furniture- most of all, this is just a very pretty place to roam and wander.


To see my full review and original photography from Rosemoor:

To visit Rosemore:

To see more images from Rosemore in Silver Efex Pro:


Looking for more places to visit?

To see more of my coverage of great destinations to visit in Second Life (scroll down):

Check out Scoop It Second Life Destinations for more great places to visit:



Thursday, June 23, 2016

Eddi's Hot Computing tip: I Just Picked Up an NVIDIA GTX 970 Graphics Card For Only $239. It's a Great Buy

NVIDIA, the prefered makers of graphics cards for Second Life has just introduced a new line of powerful graphics cards based on the Pascal architecture -- the 10 series. The 1070 and 1080 are now out. They are superb and powerful. You can find out more about them here.

Both are quickly selling out. The 1070 can be had $429, and the 1080 for $699 at New Egg last night.

There are some incredible deals on the older 9 series graphic cards - still superb, although not as powerful as the 10 series. NVIDIA slashed the price of the older cards earlier in June.

I just picked up a ZOTAC GTX 970 for $239 at New Egg.  This card is rated at 8,661 by PassMark Software  Benchmarks. This s is a big improvement over the 4,950 earned by the NVIDIA GTX 760  I purchased as an upgrade and reviewed two years ago. I  The most recent benchmarks are shown below and can be found here:

I'll let you know how the new graphic card performs after having Murji the local computer shop guy install it next week. I learned the hard way not to install graphics cards after frying my mother board four years ago and destroying my computer in the process. (Yes, I know its an easy thing to do).

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Great Second Life Destinations: The Lost Gardens of Apollo Memorial

The original Lost Gardens of Apollo, one of the most beautiful and romantic destinations ever to have existed in virtual reality, closed in 2011. A new "memorial" version of the Lost Gardens on a homestead region opened in 2015. Although the new Lost Gardens are not as large and detailed as the original, many of the original features are rebuilt to good effect. Stunning "Arabian Nights" architecture, romantic nooks and flying islands, and lush realistic gardens  loaded with romantic poses make this an ideal location for lovers. I highly recommend a visit.


For more blog coverage:

SL Newser

Echt Virtuell (Real Virtual)

Looking for more places to visit?

To see more of my coverage of great destinations to visit in Second Life (scroll down):

Check out Scoop It Second Life Destinations for more great places to visit:

You can see how the original Lost Gardens of Apollo looked in 2011 by viewing this great machimima by San Lowry:

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Project Sansar Is Coming in July for Content Creators. Are These The Preview Graphics? Read My Recommendation

Project Sansar, a new Virtual World project by Linden Lab, are now accepting applications for content creators - you can apply here. - platform  tools are set to made available in July.  Linden Lab says that general availability to the public is set for later in 2016. What is not yet clear to me is this  -- is Project Sansar actually a new Virtual World like Second Life, or is it a platform for creating Virtual Worlds like Second Life -- much like Phil Rosedale's High Fidelity venture?  I do not see how Linden Lab can create a new virtual world fully competitive with Second Life in so short a time without investing literally hundreds of millions of dollars of investment in gaining enough users and content development hours.

I do not think Project Sansar will be a  Second Life replacement.  I see the two coexisting and being complimentary. I think it will take several years before Sansar has the same utility or usage as Second Life- if it ever does.

I want to show some graphics released to date that are associated with the project that I have downloaded from Google Plus -- I am not sourcing any of these images.  I do not think all of  these graphics are actually based on what the initial release of Sansar represents. In addition, I do not feel that they show much of an improvement over Second Life. Many of these graphics appear to be constructed outside of virtual sources and are ported over as textures for three-dimensional applications. There is nothing wrong with this, but they are simply not organic virtual constructions.

Project Sansar probably will be optimized for headsets including Oculus Rift, since this is what the industry (i.e, Mark Zuckerberg the CEO of Facebook) considers ripe for acquisition. Even this information is sketchy,  Whatever the case, I will wait and see what the initial release looks like before I make my initial judgment. What I will recommend is this. If any Second Life users are losing sleep over Second Life becoming obsolete when Project Sansar (or whatever it is ultimately called) is released in consumer form at the end of this year don't be. It is going to be several years before something is available that ever is a true Second Life competitor -- if indeed, that is the goal of the project.

My Recommendation:

The bottom line is this. I would not worry about Project Sansar impacting your investments in Second Life land and product development. If anything, the increased publicity that Project Sansar will bring to Second Life and Virtual Worlds in general will help Second Life in the short term more than hurt it. Virtual Worlds are still a very new and nascent technology, with a very small footprint among computer users. Second Life will benefit from the breath of fresh air that Project Sansar will bring to the Virtual Reality category.