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Back in  February  2011 I started replacing some of my hard drives with solid state drives.
The ssd’s made a tremendous impact on me, one brought my old laptop back to life one gave me wonderful frame rates when  recording video in Opensim the third one made it even better in a new computer with a new and faster gpu.
The love lasted for about a year  then things started to  go a bit sour. I started to have problems booting my main computer the drive just wasn’t detected same for the 2nd computer,  the laptop had no problems  but also had very little use.
I overcome  the problem with main computer by installing a new driver  so far  it look OK.
My 2nd computers ssd  died today….   I have not said RIP yet  because I will try everything in my might to revive it yes I have some data on it that I forgotten to back up. A hand modeled terrain for 4 sim and a few other  bits.
This is what I wrote  Feb 2011. The drive that failed is a OCZ vertex 120 gig drive  my other OCZ Agility 3 is still working fine after I managed to install new drivers to it  Link to how if drive has OS installed on it.
I don’t really think the brand of drive has much to do with if it is going to fail or not  but that is only my opinion and I could very well be wrong. I still like ssd’s  so much that I order another one to replace the one that failed This time I will try a SanDisk extreme 120 gig  more than $100.00 less in price than the drives 18 months ago and faster speed  I only hope the quality is a bit better as well.

This is how my design flow works in conjunction with Blender Opensim and finally into The Lost Castle simulator.
I like to use Opensim as my sketch pad this where the original idea takes shape. It is easy to do a quick sketch with a few prims and easy to move around and get a feeling for the design.

I  Start in Opensim, The Lost Castle merchant area outside the castle moat.
The intention is to Build a Boat shed and living quarters for local boat builder.

After the concept is roughly laid out and a few measurements taken in world I open Blender.  The design will be an all mesh design,  like most of our work in The Lost Castle.
I make the first simple mesh in Blender and then import it to TLC to make sure I have the right  proportions.
The import  is an ongoing process between Blender and TLC checking up to see that the conversion between Blender and Opensim is right.
I like doing this often to make sure I am on right track I also find it hard to get the right feel for things in Blender I like  to walk around with my Avatar  to make sure the design works in  the simulator  and looks in proportion.
(We can talk about scale all day long and not really going  nowhere this is a bit of difficult part with this type of simulation  the camera is behind the Avatar and higher so  to walk around  in comfort we have to have that in mind  but that is for another day).
Often when I import the mesh I see  how I  can make improvements and I add prims and build in world as I would normally do.  Ahh if I had a tool to  export what I just done so I could bring the edited mesh back into Blender that would save me lots of time. However  now I go back into Blender and build that into my mesh what I just edited in TLC.

You can see how this design evolved from the original concept to  product in this album
pictures tells it better than words.

Nikon unveils D800 DSLR and yes, its pixel count is enormous.

A 36 MP sensor  wow you need  plenty of storage space for your photos. The D800 looks like a great  camera  but so it should  at $3300.00. That was about the price for the D300 a few years back and it has proven  the best digital camera I have  had so far. 36 MP is good to have when you want to crop and still keep sharpness to your photo. The D800 is an impressive camera

As you can see from resent videos the work in The Lost Castle is progressing, we keep on finding more and more interesting information about Mori Tadamasa’s original Castle at Tsuyama City Japan. This means additional fun, work and gives us more insight in to how the lifestyle might have been not only in the inner Castle area but also in the township forming around the Castle it self (today’s Tsuyama City).
Miyoko is creating that traditional Japanese feel to the project by adding animations, textures clothing and designs. We still have many rough edges to smooth we hope to be part of the Hypergrid soon We like you to visit us then and explore The Lost Castle. Vivox voice is enabled in The Lost Castle so you can chat by voice if you so like. Until then have fun.

 

Additions to “The Lost Castle”, We have added a few sims to the west of the Castle town . They will be home to the township that is outside the  Castle moat. Miyoko’s 5 level Temple is part of what will happen outside the original Castle town. This is the first video I have attempted with Nirans Viewer I still have a lot of tweaking to do but I like Nirans . This is a Diva distro, at the moment it is not a megaregion setup  but  I hope that will be the end result. It is run locally  and has 26 regions at the moment the final product will be somewhere between 25 to 30 regions. The dense building is in the Castle town inside the moat most of that is mesh.  Further out towards the edges on the  a north side  will be mostly forest, west farms and rice fields,  south  and east  outer township  and farms South also has the mountain-range waterfall and mill. We are experimenting with  mesh and a combination of mesh sculpties and prims over all it works really well. However the problems with physical shape for mesh is still bothering us I hope we will solve that  asap. This is a short clip to show the Temple and  two farm houses and what can be done with Nirans viewer.

“The Lost Castle” sets the scene of Japan early 1600. It took 13 years to build. The Castle survived  for many years however was partly destroyed by fire in 1809 then later broken up in 1875. Today only one building (reconstructed) stands together with the stone foundations that many other buildings once rested upon. With the help of  Opensim, mesh, sculpties, prims, “Miyoko Solo” and “Honey” we are digitally reconstructing “The Lost Castle”  We plan to have the project open in early 2012, before that  I wanted you to know what we are working on and give a short preview to show our work in progress. picasa album photos

The Lost Castle

The Lost Castle

The holy grail as it seems is to have everything happening in the browser. I agree with this because it is where we spend a lot of our time and most of us know how to use it and we are comfortable with our browser. Plugin to browsers give the browsers more horsepower but WebGl super-charges it. I was playing with WebGl water by Evan Wallace mesmerised by gravity, light, reflections and waves when something caught my eye, I had Fraps video capture program running in the background and it was telling me it was ready for action in Chrome browser? So I started to record my play and you can see the result below. I have noticed that Fraps will work on some websites and in some web apps. Yes I am a fan of Fraps so it really made my day. Now WebGL is not working in all browsers It works in Chrome , Firefox and Safari I think you have to enable WebGL in Safari before it works. Have a look at what Evan Wallace is doing the WebGL water is just fantastic.

We started testing  mesh in Troppo main grid SL a few weeks back. We uploaded  animals and terrain  mainly. I think  we still have a long way to go before we can say  we know what we are doing  but we are heading in the right direction.
It made me take a good look at what  we have and how Troppo looks today  with no mesh it will be interesting to see how this video will compare with something  a few years from now.

Areas that I think will benefit from mesh is Avatar, clothing, nature and terrain. Since the advent of sculpted items we have seen a big improvement in the look of nature in form of better trees,bushes and flowers, all though I think most of that change did come from a saving in prims therefore allowing us to have more nature included in our designs.  Anyhow  this is how Troppo looks today we like the place, please feel free to visit us any time

A few weeks back we started building in The Display Village, We started a new server in Europe and we been testing the server and the opensim 0.7.1.1 release. We have had good fun  both server and opensim has worked well. The builds are a bit different to what we have done before more on the fantasy side anyhow Miyoko made a  video clip from parts of our building spree, it is work in progress fish, trees, seaweed and rocks are added all the time.

Almost a week in to testing mesh @Troppo SL.

Mesh is by far the most complex change I have seen during my stay in SL, it is an exciting change. Is is good or bad?  I think it is for you to experience and for you to make up your own mind how, what and if you want to use mesh. If mesh can live together with prims and sculpted items in harmony all is well and I guess this exactly what Linden Lab is trying to do.

I don’t think that is an easy task, especially if at the same time you are trying to make it in a business like manner.

What is this going to cost?  There is added cost to include mesh.  I am not including the cost for software that you might need to create the mesh. You pay for uploading the mesh in the same way you pay for uploading textures and photos. The price for uploading varies on the complexity of the mesh.  As an example the Lion and Tiger (in the clip below) cost between $L150 to $SL200 to upload, the prim count for each is around 180 prims.

The texture for mesh can be as complex as the mesh itself or it can be simple what is right for one not necessarily so for the next and  the ordinary cost for uploading texture  applies.

How will this affect the performance of SL and Opensim?  Well I don’t know but I suspect that as long as we stay within the old prim count rules we should not see much difference. Adding a bit of mesh to Troppo Island has made no impact but we have not added lot of mesh so time will tell.  When you have a mix of prims .sculpties and mesh and try to determine what effects what performance wise, I am glad I don’t have to work it out. I have no doubt that the quality of mesh can be really good and  can be superior to what we had before. However prims and  sculpties are easier to build with. Lets not get too involved or technical,  lets us test more and get more knowledge, meanwhile here is a short clip to show mesh sculpties and prims living together in harmony:-). Thank you to Linden Lab for giving us the opportunity to participate.