show #21: svvr [part 2: lindens with goggles]

show #21
show #21

lindens were spotted [above l to r: ed mason, gamefacelabs, voidpointer, catalyst]at the recent svvr con/expo.

most certainly they were dragged in front of a mic and they had a lot to say about the recent vr resurgence + goggles + redefining the sl narrative!

enjoy the show:

yes, this is indeed our last live [to tape] show for this first season but fear not:

every friday throughout the summer pre-recorded “evergreen” interviews with fascinating newsmakers will keep you in the [sl]loop!

and below linkage for the reading person:

– support the show with a voluntary subscription: get a cool “on air” sign + mic for 100 l$ per month

on air sign not lit = no support for the show = sad!
on air sign not lit = no support for the show = sad!

leap motion + oculus mash-up = skeletal tracking!

– all exhibitors from svvr [including vr chat and other cutting edge concepts]

the future at svvr: collaborative 3d spaces...
the future at svvr: collaborative 3d spaces…

designing worlds discusses new user retention

– new mesh avatars = what do YOU think? [call us!]

mesh drax types and desires new suit jacket without holes
mesh drax types and desires new suit jacket without holes

– our guests voidpointer linden and catalyst linden

the future of vr?
the future of vr?

translation software for speech to text to speech

loki solves EVERY ui problem over the weekend:

1920s Berlin = 5th anniversary

party time [in sepia!!!]
party time [in sepia!!!]
– virtual ability needs volunteers with the healthcare equitability project

– good ol’ fashioned russian prank updated for oculus rift:

krysaniaa has some great perspective on all the vr craze….


the drax files radio hour [with jo yardley] is a weekly production of basicdrax entertainment.

the show is supported by leap motion, sl go [by onlive], stitcher, botgirl’s identity circus, kahruvel design, vika creations, humanoid animations, escapades, botanical, death row designs, nantra, angel red cotoure, fallen gods incorporated, {what’s next} and landscapes unlimited!

music by bd.

special thanks to al [from the UPS store] for providing the station id this week. contact the show via skype draxfiles, avatar draxfiles or email

16 Comments Add yours

  1. Medhue says:

    You guys need a more technical person, or very knowledgeable creator to give feedback, because you both tend to spend time speculating about technical creative aspects of SL that either aren’t possible, or causes too much lag to be possible. It’s the only aspect of your show that constantly makes me cringe. A regular. I would not call myself an expert, but I do live off my 3D income, know and understands all aspects of 3D creation, know and have used most of the current 3D creation products on the market, and I sell different types of 3D products across a half dozen unique platforms. Although, I might be too critical of LL to have on your show, lol. Personally, I have no interest in being on your show, other than to maybe clear up some untrue, problems, impracticalities, or impossible aspects of 3D creation in SL. Knowledge empowers every1, especially from the view of the creators and merchants. If I had to vote for some1 I thought you should get, as a semi regular on the show, I’d vote for Gaia Clary. She understands both the technical and creative aspects of SL, as she created the awesome Avastar Addon for SL creation in Blender. Almost every creator in SL that makes avatars, mesh clothing, and animation uses that addon.

    My thoughts on the new Mesh avatars are mostly not good for many of the reasons you both bring up. The modeling is pretty good, and the bright spot. Everything after that is not as good. Texturing is OK. I’m not really a texture artist, and I can do just as good, which is OK. I love animation creation more than anything else. That said, I didn’t see much use of the new Materials system on the new mesh avatar.

    The rigging is hit or miss. I tried the werewolf and he had a vertice that sticks out his back when I use my Lycan AO with it. I’ve seen some of the new mesh avatars that have not so good rigging weights in the armpits and crotchs. These are not easy areas to rig properly, but these bad 1’s would have never passed my rigging standards. If the avatars were rushed, then it is always in the rigging weights that you will see the time crunch. Rigging a character means you have to move all the joints around and adjust every single joint. It’s time consuming, and an artist stops adjusting it when they have no more time to work on it. It’s almost endless how much time you can spend on weighting the character.

    Now, I move on to the completely WTF aspects of the new mesh avatars. The eyes are not rigged. Why aren’t they rigged? There is no trick to rigging eyes, or a hack. It’s completely straight forward, although you generally have to actually move those bones to fit the location of the new eye balls. It’s completely unacceptable that the eyes are not rigged and moving around.

    The other thing about the avatars is that they are no mod. You can’t adjust anything about them. If you attach a new body shape, then you can adjust some aspects. Why did LL do this? It is senseless. Every1 likes to adjust their avatars. Some game critics spend whole episodes about the avatar creation systems in games. SL has easily the most versatile avatar creation system ever made. Yet, they put out mesh avatars with no adjustments possible at all. Not even a skin tone or hair color options on them. Do creators understand that the new Fitted Mesh solution allows for custom avatars to work with the body shape sliders? Why were these new mesh avatar not rigged for Fitted Mesh? I mean, they didn’t even use the thing they just fricken made. It’s just a matter of rerigging the avatars, which LL expects all of us to do. Don’t get me wrong, I despise the Fitted Mesh solution. It is a terrible solution for clothing and frustrating for creators, as well as consumers. That said, it’s somewhat ingenius from a full avatars standpoint. It won’t make the facial sliders work, but the body would work perfectly, and exactly like the default. I’m dumbfounded by LL decisions, or lack there of.

    What I would have liked to have seen from the creation of mesh avatars by LL, is a completely different experience. IMHO, they need to sit down with creators, hash out the problems with the SL avatar, it’s skeleton, and how we can all make it better. We can have new and old together. That’s not really the hard part. The hard part is getting LL to listen to creators. The SL default is a base, and it is a perfectly fine base. From a creators standpoint, I just need the ability to add to it. I need to add bones to the skeleton. This can be integrating into the custom skeleton creation system that LL should have made for meshes. The reality is the mesh was never fully finished. It always needed it own bone system. Not just for avatars, but for meshes that have moving parts, instead of using scripts. Scripts cause lag, and we should not be using them to rotate things that a bone is meant for. So, if LL simple implemented a bone system for mesh, then we could attach those meshes with bones to our SL default skeleton. Bingo, wings with bones that flap and whatnot. Bingo, fully animated faces. Cloud Party implemented this just before they closed. It was pretty crazy all the possibilities, and in SL, it would be much more awesome.

    All that said, even with their own bone system, mesh is still not complete. They are still missing MORPHS. Some programs call these blend shapes, or shape keys. This is basically exactly what LL did with the SL default avatar. All those body sliders are basically Morphs. If we could import morphs with our meshes, now there is nothing that is impossible from a creators standpoint. We’d have all the tools to really wow people. In Unity, which I’ve been doing alot of recent contract work on, just allowed for blend shape imports in January. OMG is it fun to import your own morphs with meshes. I’m currently working on a contract right now where we are deciding just how many morphs we’ll be giving the users, and I might be the 1 who’ll end up creating the morphs for all our customizations.

    Hey LL!!!! Bones and Morphs!

    1. I believe I say it on every show that I am not a technical expert when it comes to content creation in SL hence the beauty of having knowledgeable guests and listeners that comment [calling would be even better since this is radio]. On the SOCIAL impact of the somewhat rigid starter mesh avatars versus the beauty of freely expression your inner persona via the avatar and having some albeit limited strategies to express emotion via HUDS – that subject I feel fully qualified commenting on. If I have learned one thing documenting SL over the past 7+ years via human interest reportage with a sociological bent it is that it is all about human interaction! We strive to be a community driven show that goes beyond technical manuals but most certainly would love to [and as a matter of fact often do] have experts on like I mentioned earlier! Get in touch – after the summer hiatus. Meantime: in July we will have technical discussions galore so hope you enjoy that!

      1. Medhue says:

        Well, despite you being a commy, I always enjoy the show. I just think you need some1 more technical to join in with you and Jo’s discussions. I think back to the old show you were on and there was always Karl or that other guys to give feedback. I enjoyed hearing that side of the convo. I do really love the interviews too, but it would also be nice to hear a creator ask technical, or creation oriented questions to LL. Like maybe, why doesn’t LL prioritize custom skeleton’s for meshes? It has been talked about since before mesh was even released. Those of us in the mesh dev group were told that LL wants to do it, but could not spend the development time at that moment. That was years ago now. Why is it not important today? It should be.

        If I have the time, I’d be happy to help out, but I’m very critical, and tend to stir feathers. I’m not 1 for the spotlight, but at the same time, I see so much that is wrong and can’t help but speak up, as I feel few are pointing out the obvious, at least from a creation standpoint. It is good to see that LL is more open to feedback, but it’s a bit early to tell if things are really changing. I have yet to see LL actually engage us, and not just people that have radio and video shows. IMHO, the best place to engage us is on the forums, and we’ve only seen Ebbe there for a brief period. Hey, what about bringing back the user group for creators, and meet weekly or monthly? They need to hear from us.

  2. Medhue says:

    Oh, I forgot to mention the animations for the new mesh avatars. As I said, I tried the werewolf, but his feet go about a foot into the ground, and uses the old AO from their old mesh werewolf. How did they not catch this. With my own Lycan AO, the avatar works much better and his feet are on the ground. Yeah, it’s probably helps me that LL released a werewolf where the AO doesn’t work right, but still not good they didn’t even notice his feet were under the ground.

    1. Inara Pey says:


      Re: No mod shapes. I tackled Ebbe Altberg on this right after the avatars were released, and he stated it had been a “mistake” (!) and is due to be fixed soon. He also indicated that several other (unspecified “mistakes”) were due to be fixed.

      Kudos to him for owning-up, but I have to agree with you, that making the base shapes No Mod to start with, as well as the other points you raise – is a pretty basic error to have been made – particularly given the Lab launched them as being “compatible” with fitted mesh.

  3. lokieliot says:

    It’s going to be a long long while before Oculus experience in SL is good. So any championing of SL along side VR at this time will just be damaging. I still don’t agree with throwing everything into the OculusViewer UI. Even with every option available to you, you will still end up unable to do stuff because content creators have designed their experiences for point and clicky menu driven UI.

    I attempted to make a video today to perhaps showcase how Oculus works with places in SL, ended up being just a long video of me trying to do things but failing, and I’m a veteran SL user who’s been rifting for a year.

    Constantly shouting “Hey SL is great for VR , better than the Demos”, we are effectively telling lies. The potential of SL and VR is there, the reality though is that it’s not with the Oculus and if we are not careful, SL will end up being just a joke.

    I was slightly uncomfortable with the SVVR metaverse panel, i felt Second Life was referred to to much. It’s starting to feel a bit crazy because it was supposed to be about exciting new future technology and software, but here comes decades old second life with its walled garden of eden with no room to effectively grow unless the handful of Lindens are afforded the time needed to implement new technologies while trying not to break the whole thing.

    Second Life is relevant to a lot of people, and i know of a few LL projects that will make it even more relevant and useful. But without any Oculus hype.

    1. I agree with lots of your points Loki, but just speaking for myself: SL has a LOT more to offer than these demos and that has to be put out there into the minds of the new VR crowd in the HMD/Goggle context. I am hopefully NOT hyping Oculus on this show – I promise if that is your perception I will try my best to tone it down but as an enthusiast of democratization of content creation in a community context that is diverse, vibrant and transcends cultural boundaries I HAVE to remind folks that a glossy demo is a glossy demo and nothing more [of course nothing less either!]. Yes, SL is a walled garden, but a beautiful walled garden that is pretty easy to access. Like KRysaniaa said in this show: it is all about community. If folks want to goof off alone with NPCs = there is plenty in the offering. SL is about people and bigger than the sum of its parts! In that sense SL is way ahead of the everything else conceptually and if we get away from the myopic obsession with new/shiny we can learn to appreciate the richness of what we have 🙂

  4. Jerry says:

    For more than 10 years the Lindens were in charge of the new user experience, maybe it is time for a change. Second Life is about user created content, so why not let the residents create a Welcome Island for newbies. I have a competition in mind to bring some fun into this. Also I think the new user experience should constantly improve. Some of you may be familiar with the former CEO of General Electric, Jack Welch. He suggested to fire 10 % of the employees every year whose performance was worst. That way the average performance would constantly increase year by year. I thought about something similar for the new user experience in SL. Let’s say we need 4 Welcome Islands, depending on the amount of newbies. So the Lindens set up a competition and residents can submit their ideas for a Welcome Island. The Lindens pick the 4 best ideas, which are the winners in the first round. The winners then will be provided a sim each and can build their idea. The Lindens will start dropping newbies on those sims and measure which is most successful by AB-testing (or rather ABCD). The worst performing sim will then frequently be replaced by a new resident submission. That way there are new sims frequently and the average performance of those will improve constantly, since only the best sims are kept in each round. Those best sims will receive a prize, e.g. free land or money or a behind the scences tour of LL.

    1. draxfiles says:

      Jerry always great ideas indeed!!!!

  5. rseelowe says:

    Draxtor and Jo, I love your show! I love all the information you pass along
    and enjoy the way you two communicate with each other.You are able to discuss issues you may not agree on, listen to each other with respect and have so much fun along the way. I will happily support your show!!

    1. draxfiles says:

      We so much appreciate your support and kind words. We are really thrilled to produce a true community program 🙂

  6. Qie says:

    Several times per show, the hosts rag on legacy content, about how Second Life’s reputation suffers for being full of “old and ugly” stuff. That may be true. In fact, my own in-world stuff may contribute to that. You know: if the shoe fits, wear it.

    But you know, I don’t find that motivating. Maybe it’s just me, but increasingly after each episode of this podcase, I find all this carping about the evils of old content makes me want to just leave SL to the elite Oculus-equipped gamers and their mesh-ripping kin.

    And let’s be honest, it will be years and years before many folks other than hard-core gamers spend much time wearing opaque “full-immersion” VR goggles. Indeed, Second Life is likely to be the largest non-gaming market for such devices, for many years. Note that it does *not* follow that many folks will use VR goggles in Second Life.

    Which raises a point made in this episode: User-generated games in SL are never going to compete as first-person shooters; that’s simply not where SL interactive engagement can succeed. Yet that’s a huge chunk of the initial Oculus market.

    And yet the hosts seem seduced by “gaming-envy”, repeating that SL’s future depends on gaming-quality appearance, best viewed through VR goggles. I don’t think SL could succeed in that market even if all those ugly ol’ prims were poofed and everything were shiny and new.

  7. Becky says:

    “My friend Ella” – (which should really be her name…) has written a post pertinent to the new user experience that we typically don’t consider – follow up emails – scoot over to: for a read of the latest in the series.

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