Saturday, December 4, 2010

New Phoenix Viewer Release ROCKS!!!!!

Hey Folks!
How's it going?
YAY SL rocks again!
Now is your chance to throw off your chains and take a great step forward. The new Phoenix Viewer is a dream! I was wrong about the download times as they have installed a gizmo to make it go really fast! Lol! Installing it is equally speedy!
Yes, I turned up my nose cuz I hate reading this kind of stuff too. However, for once I figured why not go in knowing what to expect! The biggest shocker may be your log in appearance as the new Phoenix now uses the SAME cache as SLV2 (Second Life Viewer 2 and the old SLV) which is great! PLEASE REMEMBER TO 'MAKE OUTFIT' IN APPEARANCE MODE AND SAVE IT BEFORE RELOGGING IN THE NEW VIEWER! I did this and had only a couple of differences with attachment points as a new attachment system is being used so that you may attach up to 38 attachments. The documentation explains this and all the other new stuff briefly, simply and clearly.
You can just download and install without getting rid of your previous viewers or installations. Phoenix will write its new code perfectly over the old ones. I am hearing in the Phoenix Support Group (which is swamped by the way mostly with people who haven't ready the documentation!) that there are a very few who are experiencing errors. For those that do, please read the documentation before posting in the group as this is adding to the confusion! LOL! However if you have had problems using new viewers in the past I do recommend that you do a clean install and remove all your old versions of Phoenix before you reinstall.
For me as an artist and photographer the most exciting changes are to the WindLight Editor. You are now able to save your settings and won't have to reset them every time you log in! There is a day cycle slider right in the pop up settings menu arrow on the far bottom right of the viewer as well as number of other new possibilities. You can now save your WindLight settings for your own parcel or skybox so that everyone who allows it will be able to see your build as you intended! On the other hand, one will continue to have the same choices when using WindLight. This will be a super help for designers and bloggers for sure!
You may not know that you can use the Phoenix Viewer to log into other Open Sim grids which you can't do with SLV2. SL doesn't allow it is my understanding. After I finish this article, I'm going to test the viewer on another grid where I now have a free sim! (Ask me if you're interested.)
Especially wonderful for bloggers, builders, shoppers, free hunters and explorers are the search features found in Phoenix Viewer. These have been carried over from the now defunct Emerald Viewer. For those of you who don't know about these options and wish to slash their time used in looking for certain things in unknown sims (or your own) please read on!
Personally I do experience a great deal of lag on some sims that are not built with the current knowledge of lag factors (for more great information about lag please see the Phoenix Hour November 2, 2010 edition here on The Phoenix Hour and The Anatomy of Lag by Gwyneth Llewelyn as well as googling for more info and wikis). Generally speaking however I speed well thru everywhere except shopping areas! Unfortunately there are many merchants who are unwilling or unable to resolve their lag and transportation problems and this makes shopping in those places a very heavy experience.
One may want to find that shop or item that one saw in the blog which doesn't bother to post SLURLS for some unknown reason when everyone knows that shop names are nearly impossible to find using the SL Search function, especially when the shop name is something like (**(())**P++))((++) One will never ever find it even by searching profiles. This is very very discouraging and turns many people right off that shop. (Hint: Use a very simple name with no punctuation or weird spellings for your shop or blog name and it will be WAY easier to find.) Many will tp out instantly! They will remember this experience and many will never return to that shop! There is no need for this folks. Please SLURL your blog posts or post on an art blog instead. Also remember to notecard your favourite designers asking if they would consider using delag options and not blocking teleports and flying! (Hint: wide open spaces in certain builds are a total lag monster! You may think it looks cool but in act is discouraging people from entering your areas, not to mention making things totally impossible to fine and BUY.)
Excuse my digression! Go to the Phoenix Menu at the top of your viewer and go to 6th option from the bottom and click on Area Search. A search engine will pop up. Type in any search terms and hit the Refresh button at the bottom of the pop up and the engine will go to work. The search speed is dependent on lag of course. Use this time to look around for any signs or displays! Often it's instant if the sim is well built. A list of objects containing your search terms will appear in the list. Double click on any one of them and a red beam and arrow marking the location of the object will appear on your screen. If double click teleporting is enabled you can hit the Map function and teleport directly to the object itself. If teleporting is blocked of course you can move your avatar or your camera to find the object the red arrow is pointing to. Sometime you will teleport right onto the article and the red beam will evaporate. In this case, simply move your avatar a few feet away from where you landed and again double click the item on your Area Search engine pop up and the red beam and arrow will appear again.
You can imagine how many uses this has and how quickly you'll be able to move through such activities making more time for actually using and wearing the items you're looking for. Caution: many devious shop owners, determined to have searchers waste as much time as possible searching (NOT looking at their merchandise tho) instead of getting and using the items, have taken to misnaming objects and making many objects with the same name. You'll need to fool around and experiment with this settings for optimum search abilities. You'll also need to move your avatar around some when distance and lag are factors. On most sims, the Area Search function will turn up EVERYTHING in the entire sim which may not help you - or if you are looking for lost objects on your parcel, may help you a lot! One more caution, many folks aren't aware of these options and place their objects in areas where they have Security Orbs so be careful that you don't inadvertently tp into someone's private area. I speak from experience. LOL. Note: if your search terms don’t exist on the sim, obviously the object is not there or has been misnamed and you will have to try other search terms or contact the owner if it is supposed to be there.
For other methods of making searching for objects easy, please im me inworld or email me using your SL name (not display name - which by the way is now supported in Phoenix!). My im's go to my email or email me directly at leonie22 at hotmail dot com.
To celebrate the Windlight potentials, I show two shots (taken on CRT monitors which I find way better for accurate lighting than flat screen monitors) of one of my pet lighting loves in second life!
Please see this article on “Best Light for Avatar Settings” here: .
Also google WindLight and you’ll find many other fine articles about using the WindLight Editor in Second Life.
without best light
In this photo I am using the typical daylight setting. I think these shadows aren’t attractive!
with best lightIn this photo I am using the so called best light for avatars setting. (Wearing the free group hair Chisato in Onyx from D!va (with many other group gifts, LB's and bargains to be found here as well), free Christmas Wreath Eyes from amato (2nd to top right of wall of freebies and bargains), and the special edition of the Glam Affair [Note: you will have to use the coordinates in this landmark to find it) Eva Winter Make up Skin, formerly available in The Dressing Room for 70L. (Glam Affair has many wonderful variations of this skin in store here for 999L. Wish I could afford some more! Hehe.)
Some folks tell me that these settings are too bright. In that case a few simple slider adjustments should solve that without compromising the look. Others say, well other people won’t see me or my products this way. I say – on the other hand they may be using ANY light settings and won’t see your product properly! So for best results and colour accuracy I advocate using these or similar (or ANY) settings to achieve the effect you want in SL. Remember, you can’t control the experience of others OR what they see. It’s all about what YOU see in SL and how YOU take photos of your creations and your avatars – which are also in a sense, your creations! So choose the light you want in SL and be happy! Note to designers and photographers, I hope you will make a note of what light settings you are using for your effects as well as for your every day settings. I also hope that this will presage an upsurge of interest in lighting and photography in Second Life and other grids you can access thru the Phoenix Viewer!
Thanks for reading! LOL!
Leonie Szczepanski
Lotusland Notes V.2
PS Though the “jump feature” works on my blog, it often doesn’t work in the blogs I’m syndicated on so please excuse this exceptionally long, even for me, post!


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