Lag Lag everywhere! Part 2

December 16, 2009 at 8:25 pm (Life of SL Model) (, , , , , )

Second in a three part series

Last time I discussed the issues with lag realted to the avatar we looked at Gwyneth Llewelyns article at http://analutetia.com/2009/06/22/anatomy-of-lag/ to gain a clear understanding of lag and all that is involved. One of the previous mentioned areas that causees lag is the draw on servers by having lots of people in one particular area and this really did make me think not only about shows that models, fashion agencies and designers are involved in but also the shops and sims that these things occur on. Gywneth goes on in her article to make some excellent points about this matter.

What do shop/sim designers need to do?
Well basically to avoid open space! If there is a draw distance of over 256m then the interest list for the avatar will cover the whole sim and with the creation of advanced graphic cards this is usually the default setting they are on. This can however be changed by the user as this adds to the huge jump in content transfers and lags the sim alot. Simply put the designers should build no open spaces rather large rooms with partitions so that people may still move around. They can artificially enhance the optimisation mechanisms built in SL and if none of the rooms are bigger than 64m and you request people to have their draw distance down people might move relatively lag free. Another useful method is to have multiple landing points in a shop that way not all avatars will be in the one area and only a handful of avatars are in plain sight of each other allowing an SL client to only rezz the avatars it needs to display. Gwyneth goes on to make mention of some optical effects and signage to help shops rezz faster. Also to suggest that they prevent avatars from flying as many of these tips and helps are null and void if an avatar has to fly to see the items. So shop keepers must make things accessible to avatars at an easy to see level.

Now one I know you all worry about…Does good hair really make us lag?
Since the introduction of Avatar Rendering Costs – yes I know you ladies and gents know about it in the modeling world! It has become apparent to some that hair jumps the numbers up quite a bit. See my before and after picture here for that one! One day experimenting on myself I saw that the hair I was wearing jumped the ARC up by nearly 1000. So shocking when we all love to find the perfect hair to go with out outfits. The better it looks the more costly to your ARC it might be. Strangely enough though this is another one of those myths. A higher ARC however according to the boffins does not create sim lag! This also can be applied to shoes – basically a prim is a prim if it’s on your head or the ground or in the designs of a building. The more there are the longer it takes to load. Usually in the case of hair its one of the first things that does download.

Lastly I want to relay Gwyneth’s discussion on the differences between sim lag and client lag. We have talked alot about sim lag so far. Gwyneth states that Sim lag is what happens on SL grid and affects every person on the same sim. Client lag is what you experience on your own computer. She mentions that computers or laptops particularly on WiFi lag more then a desktop computer worth half the price with a wired connection. Wireless and WiFi connections are susceptible to loosing packets and having information re transmitted. Laptops overheat quickly and have to start slowing things down and the CPU and graphics cards are the first to go! She goes on to talk about unconfigured computers to affect the client performance especially when discussing the performance of Vista on a CPU. Not being so technically minded myself this might require someone who knows what they are doing to adjust and change the settings to get the optimum performance. SL tries to guess this with knowing what computer you use and adjusting the settings so for that but according to Gwyneth they do get it generally wrong. Generally she says is all client lag caused by improper configuration and the answer is generally yes. Apart from that a good quality graphics card is what helps to minimise the client lag. The interesting part even if you can afford this state of the art item with a sim of 50 to a 100 avatars one will always get lag as there are no graphics cards powerful enough to deal with it.

Yes I know I said last! But there was one more important bit of information. There is one thing that will lag everybody on the sim not only for the reasons mentioned above. To put it simply it is time. The more avatars that enter a sim the more the time it takes for refreshing of data for smooth performance. The goal is to render all those polygons around you 25 times in a second. The article suggests ways of using the View Statistics window to see how this works but I wouldn’t want to bore you with too much technical stuff. It is worth a read however. The important information is that if lots of avatars arrive at the same time requesting textures as they start rezzing the time dilation or delay increases for that aspect and thus other things start to slow down causing things to not occur in real time. What does this mean for us as models? Possibly some of the suggestions would be to ask the creator of the sim to have less open space and limit the textures used in the sim. To ask people to come to an event and have them be there prior to the start so that real time might actually catch up. Maybe even to limit the number of people attending an event by putting on a few shows people can go to. The lag generally happens when there are avatars that are sitting at events for long periods of times say over an hour. So making the shows quicker and less populated might be the answer. Have you ever noticed how things speed up to real time much easier towards the end of a show when avatars start to leave?

The reality is we can not really do much to cut down lag we can slightly affect it but in essence the sorts of things we are doing are pretty much happening independently of what we attach to ourselves or what we are wearing. No matter how much we turn off take off or lower down the one true answer and not the desired choice is to get rid of the avatars!

My next part in this series will concentrate on the little you can do to help with your own client lag – so stay tuned to see what we can all do be it small or relatively minuscule to help with your own lag.

Stay lag free
Keeley

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Lag Lag everywhere!

December 14, 2009 at 10:41 pm (Life of SL Model) (, , , , , )

First in a three part series.

Recently I was given a link to an article about the dreaded Lag Monster all SL people have to endure. Gasp I hear you say – well to be honest some people just bang it down to the fact there are too many people on line and others to day that SL is having a ‘bad day’.

As models and fashionistas we are forever having to deal with the issue of lag not only in going about our daily lives in trying to race from store to store to buy that important outfit, hair, or set of killer shoes. But also deal with it during shows and events which require us to be at our best. Other areas of fashion are dealt a horrible blow when lag kicks in on their sim if they are designers and trying to upload things or make modifications to designs that won’t save. This is also most important for shop owners and running vendor scripts with delivery of items and for all where money is concerned.

The interesting thing this article discusses is some of the myths people have about Lag. For those of you that don’t have time to read the full article at http://analutetia.com/2009/06/22/anatomy-of-lag/ I will summarise it for you!

Basically one massive cause or even way that lag occurs isn’t just the draw on the servers created by lots of people in one particular area but in fact also your SL client application. It as Gwyneth Llewelyn so beautifully puts it ‘takes two to tango’. Each of these things has its own limitations and when they are pushed to the edge is when things start to go wrong. She goes on to say compared with times of old on SL where the servers and the clients found it hard to handle more then one aspect at a time even though a variety of things such as sending each avatar prim data and textures, tracking down on the sim where your avatar was and handling physics just to mention a few were needed to be done. In those days the only way to deal with lag was to make avatars as simple as possible. Shock – yes ladies that means sorting out that hair, getting rid of attachments and making sure the location was as simple as possible with cubes and blank textures. Could you imagine!

I took a picture for my personal blog of me attaching all my hair heavens know if i ever went for a SL walk about so to speak if I would be spiking the draw on the sims all over SL! See below.

Thank goodness now days things are much more different. Firstly on the side of the server things are being done in parallel and scripts will now only run when all else has been done. Hence why your AO, Hud or Chim might run a little slower at crowded events! Turning of AOs or entering ‘sleep mode’ on MystiTools or detaching everything with a script will really have no effect now to the lag of the sim all it will do is make scripted attachments run very very slow or not at all.

Gwyneth goes on to talk about the myths associated with lag and the etiquette that was associated in the old days with making Sims lag free. She does stress however that they made sense in the past but however don’t really apply to today. Turning off AO’s will not reduce lag – although many people still think they will. So she is suggesting if people still request this in politeness and SL etiquette it might be nice to do without the AO for a few hours even if it is only to make the requests by the host feel listened to.

What we as avatars need to do?
The cold hard facts are the following – the more prims a sim has on it the more textures our SL clients have to download which means it takes longer to rezz now days however the SL clients do have the ability to download what it basically needs and not to include every last little texture unseen. On the sim site basically the same happens it keeps a little list of what your avatar wants and needs based on the Draw distance you have on your SL client. The lower it is the smaller the interest list. Basically it means the lower you have it the less you are requesting and sending to and from the SL client and the sim.

Well now that I have totally made your brains hurt ! I will say that the next part concentrates on Sims and Shops for lag as well as looking at client lag which more realates to how you can help your lag. Lastly the third in the series will be lots of helpful hints on how to reduce your client lag.

May the power of lag be with you!
Keeley

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Creating a new me.

December 12, 2009 at 5:01 pm (Life of SL Model, Modeling world) (, , , , , )

Whilst creating some looks to put together for a photo shoot I have lined up in January I decided I needed a new me.

It is great trying out all the skins on Second Life but at some stage you end up looking just like everyone else. So in an attempt to evolve as a model I wanted to look more unique. I remember a talk I went to with the famous model Wicca Merlin and she said to be one of the best you need to be unique. She really stressed about finding something of your own to make you the most unique you can be to stand out from the crowd.

So with that in mind I was told by a friend I must check out The Body Politik and Kin located at http://slurl.com/secondlife/Eventide%20Far%20East/138/171/42. So off I ran as soon as I got a moment free. Walking into the store looks just like every other skin, shape, hair, clothes and accessory store until it is that I stumbled upon the display that made me smile. The display said ‘ Create the exact look you want, billions of different combinations’
EUREKA – Just what I have been searching for. The Body Politik has designed a range called Infinity Skins that allows you to design your own skin using a few powerful swift moves of the mouse and a few rapid clicks of the buttons.

The board takes you to their own site www. Infinityskins.com where you can work inworld or out of world to create skin for you. The best part is that there are so many different combinations that the chances of you choosing the same as someone else will be quite rare.

On the web site I was able to choose the skin tone I desired, the shade of lipstick that I wanted for my skin and the eye shadow that I desired. As I did this the model on the right hand side of the base skin changes showing the over all look. Next I decided to change other elements of my body from skin shading to eyebrows and freckles and a few unmentionables you will just have to see !

Rather then spoil all the fun take a look at the end result. Rather nice having something very unique.

I chose just for this skin from Amber Skin colour , Charcoal eye shadow, Bouquet lips, Blush No 5 and Dark Brown eyebrow colour.

I am wearing :
Outfit: Aurora dress by Champagne Designs
Shoes: 24’s Wow! No 18 Platinum by 24 Shoo-Shoes
Hair: Antoinette – Biscotti by Hairy Situations
Eyes: Rita Eyes -Blue Green by Curio
Eyelashes: MoulinRouge by Redgrave
Jewelery :Dahlinks Ice Princess Bracelet – Diamond, Stacked silver Bracelet, Necklace and Earrings – Cristallo by Twinkleberry

Happy creating everyone.

TTYL
Keeley~~~~~~~~~~~@

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Magpies with agencies.

December 10, 2009 at 10:36 am (Agencies) (, , , , , , , )

The thing I have noticed a lot of recently and probably more so since I have been in the industry is the amount of ‘new agencies’ opening up. After the demise of a certain particular agency that started me out on the way into the world of modeling due to none other than a disappearing act by its CEO I decided it was time to add another agency to my repertoire. It was a shame really as the agency itself was a great one and all those that worked for it in the time I was there were wonderful people in their own right. I will and shall always try and keep up to where these people have gone.
I have seen many models parade past me be it in castings or competitions or even working in store when they come to visit and buy. Lots of these avies have either a good collection no more then say four of well known good agencies that they work with. Or otherwise have a list as long as your arm of agencies I have never even heard of in the hope to glean at least one runway event every so often.
The question then begs.. Why? Why have so many agencies that the model can not stay true to one group. Nor can the agency obviously if they have that many people on the books. I do wonder how much of it is like collecting numbers and names without much thought going into it.
I decided it was time to branch out and find this new agency to add to my list. It was through a friend who I had a modeling contact with that suggested this particular agency and said that in light of the demise of my other one we as models would be accepted in to the fold.
I went down to the agencies location and decided to sign up using the application form. It was quite the waste of my time as it was only an application for new models but I thought well without the right people on line I shall fill it in anyway and see how it all goes. I made sure to mention my contact who was meant to be running the school there. This morning I popped on to Second life to have the following message given to me .

Hi Keeley, we received your application. It sounds like you have many courses already and are just really applying for a position as one of our models. We do not have advanced classes yet, but will be getting those probably somewhere along summer of next year. The usual sequence of things is first an interview just so we get a feel for ur personality, then if you find its for you and we find ur for us..u get a quick tour. Let me say up front that there is a fee of 300L, you ofcourse would not have to pay the 1500L. The reason for the fee is to first and foremost deter nonserious models(we try not to waste our time here) and second, the fee helps us to be able to put on shows twice a month and do some beautiful runway themes. please let me know your availability if you are still interested. Thank you for your application.

It was very polite but to be honest my response was quite curt. I will not pay to be in an agency if they feel that my work thus far has not been up to their standard then say so – but considering I have graduated one agency and one Institute of learning then I really do not see the point of ‘advanced classes’. Chances are I have already taken them. So at this stage I am going to politely decline as I do not feel that a proper agency would charge any of its models to enter as a deterrent to being time wasters. Heavens sakes if that were the case I wouldn’t be in modeling. I know it seems petty as the money is probably worth not all that much but it was the principal of the response. I am sure there are agencies out there that would be most happy to interview me see some of my pictures and see how things go. Should they then so desire that I am not working to full capacity they are quite within their rights to have me leave. So thank you but no thank you I shall not be parting with my money.!!

I am not sure if I am the only one that feels this but I was quite discussed at the attitude and although relatively new to the industry of only 4 months I felt that an agency that werent prepared to hire me on face value was probably not an agency I wanted to be involved in.

Rant over

TTYL

Keeley ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~@

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Casting punk style.

November 23, 2009 at 11:29 pm (Modeling world) (, , , , , , , )

Tonight I went off for a casting with FSC model agency. They are a fairly new agency and I was lucky to be accepted way back when they had their opening a few months ago. They also host a shop for clothes called Zeen. The two ladies that run the agency and the shop are Elyna Carver and Jennifer Felissimo. To very lovely people I have had the fortune to know.
We were give a skin and eyes and asked to style ourselves in a punk style for the casting. I was very nervous but did what I thought a punk was like. I didnt know till i googled the meaning that there were so many different types of punks. It was really interesting to find out what Wikipedia had to say.
Please excuse the above pictures but as anyone knows trying to take a pic listen to the instructions and model is soooo hard to do:)

2 Different styles
2.1 Standard punk
2.2 Hardcore
2.3 Anarcho-punk
2.4 Crust punk
2.5 Gothic rock, deathrock and horror punk
2.6 Psychobilly
2.7 Skate punk
2.8 Pop punk
2.9 Droog
2.10 Suicidals

I must say I wont copy all the information here but it was unbelievable all the different styles. I real enjoyed the styling and choose the following items

Skin : *NOIR* female skin
Eyes: *NOIR* eyes
Hair : .::MADesigns HAIR::. ~ SETH ~ CB V
Clothes :>>GothiCatz<< Dystopian
Shoes:BAX Ankle Boot Black Patent
Accessories: Gems and Kisses long drop earrings.

I thoroughly enjoyed it and was so lucky to make the cut with five other talented people including the girl you can see in front of me Kat.
Well done everyone a great casting.

TTYL

Keeley~~~~~~~~~~~~@

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That was me then…. This is me now……

November 18, 2009 at 10:56 pm (Miss Refined International, MRI blogs) (, , , , , , , , , )

Well we got the official second challenge in on Sunday and as part of the challenge as I mentioned before we had to complete a picture of our avatars from the time we started out to where we have got ourselves to now. It was a great experience as I had to redress and put on all my old avatar skin and hair and what ever clothes I could find that I used to wear back in the day. Luckily its just over a year for me so not all of it was gone yet. But it did make me think i need a huge clean out 🙂
Here is the resulting picture that is now up at the ModelPages website http://modelpages.net for voting. I suppose I could beg unashamedly for votes but it would not be very refined now would it 🙂

TTYL

Keeley ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~@

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The Challenge.

November 15, 2009 at 11:02 am (Miss Refined International, MRI blogs) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

Well I have been working on the Challenge to beat all Challenges today with the Miss Refined contest. It has really taken it out of me this week thinking about the business side and aspect of the second part of this challenge. Here is the second part to the challenge…

Develop and submit a 10 point (concepts) marketing plan for the blog you created in challenge 1. You must use at least one marketing E-Book purchased from http://www.kissmyebook.com and you must provide in your plan, the title of the E-Book(s) used and page number(s) where you found the information.

I must say this teacher mind does not really have the business acumen that many others probably have. I had to really research what this topic was all about. I told a friend I have no idea what I am doing but I will give it my best try. I think the hard part which is really quite interesting is that I have no idea to what the term ’10 Point Marketing Plan’ means as the terminology that say Australia and the UK will use might be slightly different to what the US use. A friend mentioned well isnt it all english lol Sure it is but essentially we use different terms in different english speaking countries for different things 🙂
Say for example you want something sweet to eat. In the USA it is candy whilst in Australia we call them lolliles and in UK we call them sweeties 🙂
So really all the same thing just different terms. Same with fizzy drink, pop, lollywater, soda or softdrinks or the other host of names for describing a carbonated flavoured drink. Don not even get me started on flipflops, thongs and scuffs !!! I talked before about different languages and the need starting for us all to learn a language but in essence we are doing that every day in SL when we come across different english speaking people. Just luckily for us we can communicate to make the connections in these differences. So….. basically before I started the challenge I had to really define what the words meant so that I knew what I was talking about. The truth being is I think I know but if I actually know that will be a minor miracle. LOL So with my ideas in hand I set about doing the challenge. I had to devise what would be the steps I would need to follow in order to Market my Blog a bit better to get it to the masses. After trawling through some ebooks as asked to buy and download and doing a little investigation work I think I finally arrived at my top 10. I must say it was very hard to limit it at 10. But I do think like everything this is a plan for the now and once some or all of the goals have reached then I need to redo the plan to include some other ideas 🙂 So that was what I basically based it on and sent off my Challenge 2 to Jason at MPI. Lord knows I am nervous and I have no idea how I went. It would be lovely to get feedback so if any of you business types ever get a chance to read my blog. Let me know how close to the mark I got with the plan. I will include the steps below and run and hide before someone tells me I have completely ballsed it up 🙂

1. Make sure that I obtain a stand alone domain name from wordpress so that it becomes more prominent to people.
2. Optimize the blog that has been created in wordpress. Make sure the style and the plugins suit the style of the blog and the target group it is for. (Pg 10/11)
3. To ensure that trackbacks and pings have been included to link to other blogs and important sites.
4. Setup a Google account for Sitemap.
5. Identify authoritative blogs, web sites and hubs for outbound resource links and blogroll. (Pg8 )
6. Build up online networks through services such as MyBlogLog, Twitter and Facebook and use them to promote particularly useful content on your blog.
7. Enable statistics for tracking – Google Analytics, ClickTracks.
8. Submit RSS feed and Blog URL to prominent RSS and Blog directories / search engines (Pg 20/21)
9. Identify authoritative blogs, web sites and hubs for outbound resource links and blogroll. Submit blog url to paid directories with categories for blogs like Yahoo, MSN. (Pg 22/23)
10. Monitor inbound links, traffic, comments and mentions of your blog – Google Alerts, Technorati, Blogpulse, Yahoo News, Ask Blogs and Feeds.

Not sure how it will go 🙂
Fingers crossed
TTYL

Keeley~~~~~~~~~~~~~@

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Hair today gone tomorrow.

November 14, 2009 at 11:42 pm (Life of SL Model, Musings) (, , , , )

Well I don’t know if it is senility as I am yet another year older two days ago lol or that I was feeling erm particularly silly the other night and in some very rare down time Shal and I decided to do something totally insane. We were talking about how I am always trawling for great hair. He has um one hair 🙂 Never the less I thought I would make some fun by well wearing all my hairs at once… Resulting picture follows….

It does seem a little silly to dress up like that but hey we all need some down time and we all need to have a laugh at our own expense. Now the resulting silliness caused us to have a giggling fit over some possible titles for the blog which was nice and also means now every time I go to put a hair on for an outfit I have to find out where I attached it!!!!! Oh well never mind a small price to pay for such fun for the evening. 🙂

Here were the possible titles 🙂
Now which shall I wear tonight?
Hair today gone tomorrow
I’m having a bad hair day
Hope I don’t get head lice
Hair raising day
New winter coat
Got hair?
Sort this out toni & guy
Is it shearing time
You gonna do some quilting ?
What do you think they’re gonna make of the hair… woman
How much shampoo do you think I need?
How much to re-colour all this?
How about a wax.. do i really need one?
Yeti’s love child
Boots here I come
Keel you really expect me to love you with all that hair – a lovely one from my other half 🙂
Remind me to purchase a lawn mower – his offering again.

LOL not sure it will cut it in the world of modeling but such fun was had!

TTYL

Keeley ~~~~~~~~~@

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Thank god for small mercies.

November 13, 2009 at 11:17 pm (Life of SL Model, Musings) (, , , )

SEX_ZIT

Ok this is a pretty mundane thing but I just was thinking – thank god for small mercies. As a model in SL we need to make sure we look our best and show off the clients clothes in the best possible light. Many models pay lots of money for lovely skins and have a small stash they will choose from in an effort to be malleable for a designer and their clothes or a shoot they may be doing. I was thinking if this was in RL it would be brilliant if we could take off a skin that might not suit and change to another. I am sitting at home after having a lovely birthday yesterday and a nice dinner with my RL partner last night. I do not know how and or why but it seems I have a lovely massive zit growing beneath the skin. Yes I said it! A zit….. The curse of all women the bane of our existence a zit. Now I never hear on SL complaints of such things. Where do you find a model crying into her decaffeinated herbal no flavour tea waved through water about how she has suddenly developed a huge country on her chin the size of China! LOL never I bet. So its thank god for small mercies that for all the things that models on SL complain about and yes there is quite a bit they do complain over – that they never have to worry about spots, zits or anything of that nature.
Behind the keyboard and screen of the RL world I can continue to look beautiful to the SL eye whilst in reality I am thinking how am I ever going to cover this sucker with enough make up that small children do not go screaming when they see me walk down the street. Aint life grand 🙂

TTYL

Keeley ~~~~~~~~~~~~@

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Be aware Be informed!

November 12, 2009 at 8:32 pm (Miss Refined International, Modeling world, MRI blogs) (, , , , , )

Well as part of a life of a model in RL or in SL and part of being in Miss Refined I have learnt that it always good to be informed.
images

I think its important to keep up to date. This is where making time to read comes in. I find at times it hard to keep on top of a lot of things when my RL starts to kick in a little more. But tonight I made time to read some more of the MPI blog on http://modelpages.net/ and more importantly they have been recently writing about creating impressions and the must have things in your wardrobe. The latest information posted on 12/11 was about getting an impressive portfolio. I have had one portfolio done at this stage and I am in the process of thinking about getting another done. In my classes at Fashion Institute I have been thinking about what was said about the types of looks its important to have. This article on MPI’s site further develops the idea that there are a few things every model should have. Yes we want to look original and have an interesting character but at the same time when presenting a portfolio it is also important to remember to have a variety of styles. Which is hard to capture in a twenty page book.

You have to make a statement with your wardrobe. The clothes you choose must create a character

LOL at times I wonder if I should create some totally out there characters or looks and I did do that recently with two activities I was involved in – one a casting that I did for Infinite Focus for Spooky Fest and another was for an avant garde picture that we did for FI – Fashion Institute class. Well needless to say I was trying to create that new character look and when thinking about it much later down the track it makes me think how much I have changed my views and my stable steady sense of style and tried to develop myself more. I guess you could say I was living the Miss Refined ideal and I didnt even know it!

TTYL

Keeley ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~@

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