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Wednesday, January 26, 2011


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Awesome! Things like this, keep me turned on about Second Life. Now I want to make videos too!

And no, it's not wrong to show videos from high performance machines. My boyfriend loves to look at exotic cars, even though he'll probably never have one.

brinda allen

I guess I'm very fortunate...thanks to a one year old HP tower W/AMD quad core processor... and added Nvidia GeForce9500GT card with a power supply to run it... 8gigs ram. Except for the depth of field etc., that video is pretty much what I "see". On a private estate draw is clear across 3 sims.
Here's the thing... maybe Linden Lab could stop with some of the high dollar bells and whistles and concentrate on making stuff work for those that don't have my hardware. Yes, that stuff is cool...but why spend the money? Make our world work well for average income people.
After all... if The Benevolent Monarchy continues to kill off "average" content creators and makes the Secondlife world into a 3D Farmville who will need high end hardware?

Melissa Yeuxdoux

No, it's not wrong to show videos like this. On the day you made this post, the hardware blogs are full of articles about the new nVidia 560 graphics cards, priced for $10 more than the 1 GB 460 cards were when they came out. The 460s in turn have dropped to $170 and up. By today's standards, I am limping along with an nVidia 250, and I run Kirsten's S20(45) with the graphics cranked. Not the greatest frame rate, but livable.

Moore's Law puts us on the good side of "hodie mihi, cras tibi".

soror nishi

Now, if they had just used good trees it would be so much better...

Lucius Nesterov

On one hand this is certainly the up there with the best that Second Life has ever looked; and anyone that has spent a lot of time in SL will appreciate it.

On the other hand, compared to other 3D worlds that people outside of SL have seen, it looks terrible. To be fair it's mainly the trees, which are from the mid-90's, but as a forested region they drag it down a lot. Compare it to the 2 year old Far Cry 2's jungles. It's partly a question of design, but also due to the nature of SL.

"Fast, easy, fun" was the right path to choose.

Geo Meek

Yes there are many things you can do to make sl better in time that will happen. Good video capture can be made with a older computer it just takes a little more time....I do both live video streaming and capture at the same time.


I will never see SL like this, because im a mac user :). Lovely video, i can but dream.

What i meant by my comment in the last post was that perhaps some people come to SL after seeing videos such as this on blogs/youtube and think it is broke and leave because it did not look like the video above :)

it was more a thought than an opinion.

Opensource 'picky' Obscure

Sorry Hamlet, but I rarely experience "grey avatars".

"put more than a dozen avatars in this scene, and they'd surely start collecting lag and gray"
this may reflect your personal experience - and no doubt, it's the same for the majority of SL users - but it's not a limit of SL itself.

As previous comments also confirm, it's mostly about users' hardware.

Also, with regard to the title, "scale" or scalability has almost nothing to do with this. The current title implies that the SL infrastructure is preventing users to experience such a good graphic quality, but as I explained, the root of this problem is mostly the users' hardware.

Eddi Haskell

Everything takes time.

Three years ago the idea of going out and buying a laptop with the capability of an Asus G-73 (Intel I-7 chipset, ATI 5870 I-gig graphics card, 8 megs RAM, etc.) that can handle settings required for this for $900.00 US (the price of a refurbished one) would have seemed far fetched and frankly ridiculous. Within the next two years, PC and Laptop purchases for $700.00 that can handle this and more will be commonplace.

If you want to see graphics of this capability, you will need to go out and spend a bit more than an everyday computing device. A portable device running iOS will simply not deliver these graphics is real time. In addition, I am not sure any browser-based client can offer this kind of fidelity unless an underlying fiberoptic network can deliver the same time of bandwidth that is commonplace in Seoul or Singapore.

All in good time ---- but I am delighted as a very disappointed Blue Mars graphics devotee to see that my future in Second Life will improve visually.

smiles large

remember to compile for my iPad silly

Adeon Writer

Before writing this comment, I ctrl-F'd for "Moore's Law"

Good - Nothing more to say. :)


Hey Loki, I am not sure what you mean that Mac cannot render these videos. Have you ever thought about the 12 core MacPro? I am sure this beast will be able to render this and much more...

I run a graphic design studio in RL and mainly use Macs. But yesterday I put some extra ram in my Dell XPS wich I only use for SL. The extra ram, 8Gb total and the switch to Win 7 gave me another 15 fps extra! So I can run my SL on ultra with framerates up to 35.

Btw, have some of you seen this one? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzcJs1PfXmk&feature=player_embedded

Good luck

Galatea Gynoid

"Then again, Loki has a point: It's difficult to imagine Second Life ever looking this fine for the vast majority of users..."

Not really. It's difficult for it to imagine it looking this good for the vast majority of users *today*. But what requires the best hardware today will require only average hardware in a couple years, and look as good on the bare minimum hardware a couple years after that. So, quite the opposite, it's difficult to imagine it *never* looking this fine for the majority of its users.

HeadBurro Antfarm

I'm not going to make a criticism of either the film or its subject as both are quite lovely, but rather I just want to share the feeling of 'strangeness' or 'otherness' the film left me with.

Whilst undoubtedly pretty it's eerily like a fly through of a war-game table top model. Maybe it's the static and X-profile nature of the trees, or maybe it's the odd way the depth of field works, I'm not quite sure. Still, whatever the reason it is as if the whole thing doesn't have a sense of... size. Well, except for a rather small one I suppose.

Karmannghia McGinnis

I want it, and I want it now! I'd upgrade my hardware if necessary (thought it's not, currently) to get virtual views like this every day.....

Richard England

Very nice. Does anyone know if these high res SL objects and worlds be exportes to other virtual world platforms, ala the "Create Once Experience Everywhere" open file format that the immersive education consortium has for meshes in OpenSim, realXtend, Wonderland and a bunch of other virtual worlds? The video on their homepage at http://members.ImmersiveEducation.org shows cross-platform graphics of the same quality, but SL Is not mentioned. Would it work anyway (I can't imagine the time and cost involved in creating virtual worlds of this quality but not being able to "see" them anywhere except in SL). Has anyone tried exporting meshes from SL, or is exporting even possible? Richard

Marianne McCann

It's pretty - but does this mean the Second Life of tomorrow will be totally devoid of people. This all had a disturbing feel of emptiness to it.

Second Life is in many ways a social medium. Don't forget the people. They're what gives the place life.


I haven't been following mesh integration for awhile but it had been my impression that mesh use would be fairly limited in SL. I assumed this is what Hamlet meant by scalability: "...here's a retina-licking look at Second Life with MESH OBJECTS" (emphasis added).

I wager most SL users have a substantially sub-par experience. Harping about how the problem is with users' hardware doesn't change this fact. I applaud Hamlet for recognizing the importance of actual experience for most users rather than potential or actual experiences of a few.

If Hamlet used the term "scale" to refer to bringing this kind of visual experience to most users (with or without meshes), the post was not at all confusing. The use of the term "scale" may be accurate in that regard, by suggesting the same result could be achieved with lesser hardware.

I don't know if SL's infrastructure could be so significantly optimized to bring this kind of experience (or at least SL turned up to 7 or 8, if not 11) to a wider audience. It certainly wouldn't be an unwise goal, rather than waiting for all of us to just buy better computers. Actual experience is far more important than potential experience.

Oni Horan

Sorry to say, but I don't see a lot that could not be done today... if... anything really, now that I think about it as a builder.

Hamlet Au

"If Hamlet used the term 'scale' to refer to bringing this kind of visual experience to most users (with or without meshes)"

Yep, that's exactly how I meant it, thanks. And I don't think it's a hardware-only issue. I have decent broadband and an Alienware gaming machine that can run Blue Mars on maximum just fine. But when I launch SL, I almost always get a blobby mess. Also, I'm the rare person who'll buy a new machine with 3D power -- desktop and laptop sales are declining as the market moves toward iPads, tablets, or when the need for a laptop is called for, cheapass netbooks with little or no 3D capability.

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