Sunday, April 12, 2015

Safari Lessons

          Yay it's nice to be meeting on OSGrid at the ole homeplace again. 

          But no time to feel homesick for Francogrid, because our first stop this week was on that very grid. Sim Avatar crashed - had to be an omen - but a second top secret alternative destination was immediately made available. Slightly ironically, getting there made even more of us crash.  Word of advice: Any sim address that begins with https:// is bad news. If you copy that into chat, it shows up as a link. People click on the link, and that opens their CPU hungry web browser and... it all goes pear shaped. 
          I blame people who use Firestorm. All of them.

           The fine folks of Francogrid invited us over to see a new meeting place they're working on, and to talk about their preparations for Fest'Avi, their annual avatar festival which culminates in a big party at the beginning of June. Anyone from any grid can participate in the event which invites people to express themselves in a body. 
Wizard Gynoid: if you see a bubble, sit on it
Fuschia Nightfire: there is another next to me
Cendres Magic the Friday workshop is about the avatar
Archael Magic: New avatars will be free and full perm
Praline B: Each Friday at 9.00 pm European time Cherry Manga is at Avatar for the workshop. She can help you to create your avatar.  Nothing to pay , that is the beauty of the thing ;)
Click on the scary lady to get your info about Fest'Avi!
           Last year's competition resulted in the creation of a dozen avatars that have become famous across the metaverse for their originality.  If you want to be part of the Fest'Avi fashion show this year, you need to register using the Notecard you'll find in one of these statues, you will find them in lots of venues, this is the one at the HGSafari clubhouse. Your completed avie (which they hope you will keep under wraps until the unveiling) should be finished and ready to be handed over in May.             
           This year, they hope to double the number of original avies on offer, and if you've the desire but not the expertise to make your own contribution, join the workshop on Francogrid every Friday at 12 pm Pacific, that's 9pm in the evening in France, when they get down and share screens to explain things like baked textures and rigged mesh.
           Wizzy wanted to know how to rig boots. Nobody told her. I think she has to come back on Friday if she really wants to learn. 
Praline B: also there is a part of history for those who don't want to make avatars, you may participate with participating to the permanent exhibit about avatar history. You may give things, or tell a story about avatar history.
Cherry Manga: so ... we count on you all, for this festival to become awesome, and before all, for the great spirit of opensim, sharing our skills, sharing our ideas.
          Second stop - The Lost Castle. This fabulous grid is the creation of Per Pegler and Miyoko  Solo. You can find out a great deal about this fascinating project by looking at the grid's excellent website
Per Pegler

         Evenings in Europe coincide with something close to dawn in Australia, so poor Per had to get up really early to meet us, and we much appreciated his presence. This huge build is much too large to appreciate on a single visit, so make sure you grab the URI at the end of the post - strictly no https:// - and drop in to check it out for yourself.
Pathfinder.Lester: I'm camming around and see lots of beautiful detail. wow
Neo.Cortex: i just raised my view distance.....
snowbody Cortes: that's a huge castle !!
Wizard Gynoid: obviously there is no dress code here. *looks at snowbody*
snowbody, far left, breaks the dress code at The Lost Castle

          Arriving on the var region, it's a really good idea to have all your graphics settings at a minimum for a while, then raise them as high as you can. The landing point is in a row of charming shops, and a red lacquer map room with teleporter makes it very easy to travel around this giant land. The outdoors feeling that you get from the build is outstanding, but Per and Miyoko have not fallen into the 'big is beautiful' trap, and forgone the little things. Attention to detail abounds here, and it's obviously a labor of love.
Per Pegler: This is the outside of the moat area, and not really part of the Castle town proper, so please have a look around, and if you have any questions please tell me. To get in to the inner parts of the Castle you go through a set of gates, all part of the defense security.
The group (center) dwarfed by the size of the great castle

Isolde.Caron: this is a 4x4 var?
Per Pegler: 5x5 var. The Castle is modeled from the Castle that once stood at Tsuyama Japan built between 1603 and 1613, so this is how it looked say 1615
Wizard Gynoid: does the castle still exist?
Per Pegler: sadly it was demolished in 1875, now only the big walls is left. During Meji period a lot of Castles did get demolished.
Wizard Gynoid: made into a MacDonalds?
Pathfinder.Lester: Wizzy, no, made into a White Castle ;P
Ange Menges: and you work with pictures of the castle?
Per Pegler: we worked with old drawings and with help from Tsuyama council. The council also has some models. 

Ange Menges: Nice.
Spike.Sol: How many people build here?
Per Pegler: 2 Miyoko and myself
Pathfinder.Lester: You two have done an amazing job here.
Per Pegler: Ahh ty we have fun. Miyoko is in Japan and I am in Australia. Working with Miyoko is really good she has a very good understanding of Japan's culture. There is a small art gallery next to the main Castle that is nice to look at. I met Miyoko about 5 years ago, and after the disaster in Fukushima, I contacted her again and we wanted to do something special we started this and it just went from there. We have a good system sharing our builds, I work in blender and she works in Shade 3D and we synch our builds in a program called syncthing similar to Bittorrent synch.
Isolde.Caron: Amiryu Hosoi in Kitely would love to see this I bet 
Ange.Menges: was flying around. A lot of work ! Bravo, Per
Thirza Ember: why a var region and not just joined sims?
Per Pegler: ahhh we started with ordinary sims but the building was just so hard over sim borders

Wizard Gynoid: now you do one .oar and you have the whole thing
Per Pegler: yep so much easier and easy to do backups
Pathfinder Lester: Per, do you have special events here? And if so, where can we learn more about them? Like festivals maybe?
Per Pegler: no events sorry - it is a place where you come and investigate and learn
Pathfinder.Lester is just imagining big parades and festivals in this hugely awesome space
Per Pegler: ahh yes yes that would be nice, and it is also a great place for making video.
Pathfinder.Lester: What is the significance of all the fish statue things on the tops of lots of the buildings?
Per Pegler: ahhh that is a shibi, two dolphins facing each other for good luck
Thirza Ember: do you think you will ever truly finish the build?
Per Pegler: In the Ukimido region we have been building the Phoenix hall temple for over 1 year now so it has been a good learning curve for us in is work in progress...
Pathfinder.Lester: Architect: "Uh, it would be a lot easier to build this on flat ground."
Castle Owner: "I don't care, dammit. I want it right here!" Architect: "We're going to need more wood..."
            And finally, the Safari, bruised but not beaten, made a stop on Logicamp, a Belgian grid that has its origins in software developed to manage a campsite. 
'Mister' Logicamp shows us a French math game. Don't ask.
               With strong links to Francogrid, VirtualFrance 3D, and Craft grid, Logicamp became an independent grid back in 2009. Have a sim you'd like to link to a grid for free? This might be the place for you.  Logicamp also has an Academy for virtual building skillz and offers weekly tutorials, social events, and educational facilities,including a math classroom in the Algebrus' magical wood. 

          You can also see some classic Belgian attractions - the Atomium, and the Spa racing track, beloved of all followers of Formula 1. No waffles OR chocolate freebies available, though, which some of us found disturbing.

           Lessons learned from this forty-seventh Safari? 
1) That he who puts https:// in front of a HG address shared in Local Chat is a Bad Person. 
2) That even super newbies at hypergridding can manage to get to difficult and distant destinations (well done to our newest friend Ebbe)
3) That hair and Var regions seldom agree
4) ... and that there is no end to the creativity, kindness, and variety of places to be visited in Open Sim.
Francogrid Avatar region, for fest'Avi:
Per and Miyoko's Lost Castle:        
The math seraglio on Logicamp:        

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