Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I/my landlord used land return to return all my items and now I cannot find....

(Please note that this ALSO often applies to "Ive lost a whole load of items from my land", or "I used object return to return several poseball sets and now I don't see them in my inventory in the folders anymore")

OK this one happening a lot lately, normally on rented land when people move house and decide that land return is the best and quickest way to get all their objects back, while its certainly the quickest way it will NOT return all the objects to the folder they came from, it will also prevent these objects coming up in the inventory search function, but they are not gone, you still have them.....

When a large amount of objects are returned at once, SL now has a "feature" called coalescence, this basically means a large amount of objects get bunched together to form one or two objects, the problem with this is that when it happens, these "coalesced" objects only retain the name of one of the objects they contain, they might be called "object" or "bath towel" or the name of any single thing that was in the item group, this means if you were searching for a set of poseballs by name, the search will come up empty, because the set is part of the object called "bath towel".

When a mass land return is done the items generally go into the "objects" or "lost and found" folder, so if you open that folder and look in it, you may see some icons that look unusual:

As you can see the coalesced items have an icon depicting that they are more than one "box", they only have one name but that icon means they are actually many objects, if you have icons that look like this, the name of the object is only the name of ONE object contained in the group, I have seen as many as 200 separate objects contained in these when Ive rezzed them.

Once you have found this type of icon, you need to be in an area where you can build and have a good number of prims free, if you knew roughly how many prims were returned from your land in the first place that will help, I myself have used land return to return an entire shop in the past, it was condensed into 2 of these types of icons, and the shop was a total of about 700 prims!

When you rez this kind of item, all the items contained in it will assemble themselves exactly as they were before they were returned, for instance if the object contains the west side of your house, it will also contain all the rugs, furniture, decor etc and all in exactly the same place they were in that portion of the house, when rezzed the items are not actually linked though, any part that could be taken individually before can also now.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

A word about animations and "in synch" or "out of synch"

Every now and then I get an IM, normally from club owners to say their dance sets are no longer in synch and could it be the scripts have "gone bad" or something like that, the fact is that seeing a couple set being in synch is actually subjective, they might not be to you, they might be fine to the other 5 people watching including the pair of AV's using the set.

Animation playing in SL is client side, what you are seeing is NOT what is "going on in SL", you are essentially seeing your own personal film, exclusive to you.

When you use an animation set for the first time, the sim downloads the animation to your computers cache and then plays it, in exactly the same way all the textures you see in a place gradually all come up for you, this is why when you use a new poseball set in a laggy sim, you might see yourself sit for about 5 seconds before the anim starts, you may even see the other person start first, this is because their animation was downloaded into you cache and started before yours was, and more than this, the animation is also downloaded into the cache of all the people nearby watching you.
This is why with the best will in the world, the animation of the two partners will not start at the same time even though the script has told them to, most people when they see this, jump off the ballset and jump back on, the reason this works is because by the time they have done that, the animation has been downloaded into both peoples cache, so when the script tells them to start again, they start instantly because you have the anim in cache and no downloading is needed.
Now if this were not bad enough, anyone who TPs in and doesn't have that anim in cache, its then downloaded to that person and started, so to this person the anim looks out of sync, but to the people using the set, its still in sync and nothing has changed, new guy can say "man that dance is way out", and he will be right(for him), but he will be wrong to all the people who have been there since it started.
The best analogy i can come up with to explain this is the following:

You go to a shop and buy 6 of the same film on DVD, you then post 5 of them to your friends and tell them to play it when they get it so you can all watch it, what chance do you think there is that all 6 of you will be seeing Darth Vader kill Obiwan at the same time?
The fact is all people will receive and play the DVD at different times due to delays in the postal service, they will all see it but it will be out of sync with the others watching it.
This is EXACTLY the same thing as the animation issue in SL.

So how to fix?

The way to fix this would be to phone all your friends in a conference call, tell them to stop their DVD players and all start them at the same time.
Thus after about 30 seconds, on the dance sets I make them do exactly this, the anim is stopped and restarted, by this time the users and those who were watching and now have the anim in cache will see it start at the same time and it will look right, it will still of course look wrong to anyone who TPs in after this.
I don't do this with the other sets because the resync is disruptive and most other sets are intended for private use where the couple are likely to have the animation in cache and will not have a problem, of course in all sets I have put the /1 sync command so that the stop and restart can be done manually by the users if they see the need.

I have also observed an issue when the set is used for an extended amount of time, the couple will appear to go progressively out of sync(although again this is in the eye of the beholder), I cannot fully explain this but I'm pretty sure its related to the frame rates in SL for the users and watchers of the anim, this is particularly an issue in clubs and high use sims of course, for this reason the "club versions" of the dances have a user definable second sync time, you can make them restart the anim at intervals like 10-20 minutes to take account for new people who TP'ed in and this "drifting out" problem.

I hope the above explanation has persuaded you that scripts cannot "go bad" in this respect, I have in the past replaced sets where people have claimed their set doesn't stay in sync, and of course I know it will make no difference because of the way anims work in SL, I replaced because the "placebo effect" of having a new set was the only option when someone is upset and saying the set has "gone bad".

Please understand this is not an excuse, I have done all I can to get around the limitations, it is also not a "problem" with SL, all online games must work this way, its a common misconception that we are "sharing the same world", we are not really, the world is created in your computer, all your interactions are sent to the server your sim is in, and them from that server to the client of the person you are "interacting" with

Friday, July 27, 2007

General FAQ

This covers more general things asked that don't relate so much to the actual operation of the things we sell, they are in order of frequency they are asked, if you have a problem with an item we make click here

General info:

Store locations:

Main Store - The Island(largest store - PG and mature sets)
PG Store(PG anims, plus newer copiable types)
Daphnis (Mature)

Bits and Bobs animations officers are:

Craig Altman
Jenny Dinova
Yoshimi Muromachi
Yawneeb Grommet

NO other person is authorised to offer discounts or offers etc and please report anyone doing so to any of the 4 people listed above.

Items in the shops are sold by their creators, we do not sell animations that are downloaded from poser content sites or made by any other person, ALL animations are made entirely by their respective creators(see above) in Motionbuilder and Poser 6 and 7

Please note that the following people have been allowed to place certain items in the shop, all enquiries about these items should be presented to these people:

Steve Patel - the Multi Animation Tool
Mash Mandala - Shower head and faucets
ZenMondo Wormser - Poseball security scripts vendor

F.A.Q's (Presented in order of Frequency)



Sorry but I don't answer these ones if I wasn't online at the time they are sent, because invariably when I do the conversation goes along these lines:

Caller:(Saved) HELLO?
Me: Hi can I help?
Caller: ??????
Me: You left a message saying "hello"
Caller: who r u???
Caller: do u script?
Me: Nope
Caller: what do u do??
Me: I make animations
Me: I presume you IMed me for a reason?
Caller: im trying to figure out that reason
Caller: hmmmmmm
Caller: i must have found your name on somthing u built
Me: possibly
Me: if you dont know why you IMed it cant be that important can it
Caller: bare with me
Caller: did u build a clock?
Me: um no
Caller: its ok
Caller: nvm

Obviously this is a short one I found for the purposes of example, they can often be a lot longer, if leaving an offline IM, please put a question or tell me the problem.

R U online??

Assuming SL is not having one of its "presence" issues, if my profile doesn't say I'm online then I'm not, I don't ever use "hide online presence", I am British so my time is 8 hours ahead of the time in SL, I'm generally online between about 2am and 2pm in SL time, if I'm not in game then its likely I'm near the computer and I do get IMs to email so if you state the question, Ill get back to you pretty quick.

Where is your shop/can I have a LM to your shop?

To get to my shop:

1. Open my profile(which you probably already have if are here or going to IM me)

2. Press the "Classified" tab at the top of my profile

3. towards the bottom of this page is a button saying "teleport"(next to another saying "map).

4. Press the button saying "teleport"

Alternatively you can click on this link , I think you must not be in SL at the time though

You can now if you wish go to the "world" menu at the top of your screen and press "Create landmark here" if you like.

Where is Lovescene?

OK If you are not already at the main store, follow the directions in the above Q&A, then go into the shop, go up the stairs, at the top of those stairs take the door on your right, Lovescene is directly on your right as you go into that room, incidently ALL longer anim sets are also in this room Lovescene 2 is on the stand directly opposite the stand with lovescene on it.

Where is Slowdance v6?

This is at the main store (go up the stairs and on the stand facing you at the top of the stairs) and the PG Store (go up the stairs and take the door on the right)

Do you make custom animations?

Not really these days I'm afraid, the issue is time, I'm normally asked this 3 times a day at least and it generally takes at least a week to make a single person anim, it got to the point where I could not keep up so had to stop, having said this I always appreciate ideas for animations and if the idea is good I will often make the animation and put it for sale in the shop mentioning the person whose idea it was and also send that person a copy of it for free.

Who does then???

I don't really know, and I'm not going to give a name unless they have either given me permission to do so or they are a person who has advertised they do custom anims, in the past I have given people names of animators who i thought might and the person has then IMed that animator saying:

"Craig Altman said you will make this anim for me".

As you can imagine I log in next day to a not very happy IM from the animator in question..

Do you sell couple animations in red/full perms versions?

Couple animations I do not sell in mod/copy/trans I'm afraid, I rely on these ones, they are what allow me to sell the ones I currently do in mod/copy/trans.

Please don't press me on this, its an across the board thing and its not about amounts of money or whether or not I trust the person, in the past I think I have heard all possible arguments including:

"Make a verified builder group" - verified people have alts, you will never know who the alt really is or who they got them from, its been tried before, infact the last 2 people to do this to me were alts of a person who informed to me about someone else doing it!!!, and the only reason I found that out was how bad the people in question were at hiding group links/use of language and common use of the same group land.

"Charge more for them to deter people" - Yes I thought 1000L$ was a lot to most people and would stop them, it didn't, the price is immaterial, the more they cost the more you could make from knock-off ones.

Now I still firmly believe the vast majority in SL are good people, the problem is that with full perms items it only takes one person, it doesn't matter even if I know who the person was, by then the damage is done and before long everything I ever made is in an identical "business in a box" being sold by 14 different people, yes I can and do use the DMCA to get these items removed but its like cutting a 2 acre lawn with a pair of nail scissors, would spend my whole time doing that and even when done it will have grown back.

How about copy/no trans then?

I will sell the following items in copy/no trans:

Animations intended for animation overriders (NOT POSEBALLS)

I charge no more for copy/no trans versions of these, to exchange a no copy/trans one for this type just IM me and send it to me and Ill send you the copy/no trans version.

More recently I have begun making newer couple animations in copy/no trans only, this I had to do as an exploit now exists in second life allowing infinate copying of "no copy" items, for the last year I have been asking Linden when and if they will fix this exploit, and I have nothing back from them so the only defense I have against this is to make newer ones in no-trans.

Is your stuff transferable?

Unless clearly marked on the items(as with the newer copy/no trans sets), all are transferable yes.

I have a mall, would you like to place a stall?

Sorry but I only really place on land that we own, where we have more control over any problems, in the case of the Main Store I have also done the best I can to limit lag by making sure that entire sim stays below 3000 prims.

I saw/bought a DJ Booth/Pool/Furniture set etc that was made by you and.......

In SL, linked items take on the name and creator name of the last linked prim, and although I ask people who use my copiable animation balls to link a prim they made last in the linked set, they don't always do this, thus items I have never even seen around SL report me as being their creator, there are a few ways to find out the actual creator:

1: Right click the item, press "more" in the pie menu until you see the option "inspect", this will give you an entire list of the prims in the object and their creator, the poseballs will have me as creator but the majority will show the name of the actual creator of the item.

2: Go to the "World" menu and "Account history", if you select the "to" and "from" dates to cover the time you bought it and press "view(up to 500)", you should find that item in the list and the name of the person you bought it from, now even if the person you bought it from is not the actual creator, if they are a responsible seller they should be able to help you or provide you with the name of the creator.

3: If you remember the store at which you bought the item, go there and IM the store owner, I would hope the owner can either answer the question or provide you with the name of the person to contact about it.

Please understand that I know no more about the item than you do, continually asking about the problem and getting angry will not change that, I know what I do and don't make, continually telling me "you are the creator" will not make it so, I cannot help the fact SL works this way on linked items and I have done all I can to get creators to make sure a part they made is linked last, its even in their best interests to do this as it means someone else is getting credit for a thing they worked hard to make.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Poseball and A/O animation FAQ

OK Ill add to this when think of more things.

I sell 3 types of poseball, the first is the regular non-synched older type, this also includes the single anims and couple poses that also come in full perms versions.
The second is the synch type, these ones require AVs on both balls before they will animate, they contain more complex couples animations generally of about 30 seconds length looped.
The third type are the sequence sets, these work in the same way as the synch ones but are designed to play 2 or more 30 second animations as a continuous animation(the max length SL will allow an animation to be is 30 seconds so the script controls the sequence and length of time each is played, it also controls the looping).


I dragged the folder to the ground to rez it, it didnt appear and now the set is not in my inventory.

When rezzing a ballset DO NOT drag the entire folder to the ground, if you do this SL thinks you wish to place that folders contents INTO the contents of whatever prim you drag it onto, the folder and notecards will remain in your inventory because they are copiable, the ballset will be transfered into the contents of whatever prim your dragged the folder onto.

If this has happened, right click and edit the prim you dragged the folder onto, be it a floor prim, bed etc, in the build box which comes up press "more", then press the "contents" tab, in here you should see the ballset and the 2 notecards, left click the ballset and drag it back into the folder in your inventory.

To rez the ballset you must open the folder and locate the small box type object which is in the folder with the notecards(this is the actual ballset), drag this item ONLY from your inventory onto whichever surface you wish to rez the set on.

I rezzed the ballset and when I sit on them I'm inside the ground.

All poseball sets must be positioned after rezzing, this basically involves sitting on one of the balls, right click on the other and "edit", then use the movement arrows to bring the ball upward, left, right etc, your AV will move as you do this so you can tell when you are in the place you want, once done close the build box, the set will remain where it is until you take and rez it again.

How do I adjust the set so that it fits my and my partners AV sizes?

To do this first the set must be unlinked, hop off both balls, right click and "edit" on the set, then in the "tools" menu in the top bar on your screen, the pull down menu has an option "unlink",
once unlinked hop onto the set, if the set is regular(not sync or sequence) say /1 show so that the balls appear while you are on them, its then a case of moving one of them until your AV is correctly positioned with your partner, once you have done this hop both people off the set again.
To relink right click on the pink ball and "edit", hold down CTRL and left click on the blue ball(you may need to zoom to make this easier), after this you should have both balls outlined so both are selected, then go to the "tools" menu in the top bar again and select "link" from the dropdown menu.
If the set you are doing this with is a synch or sequence set, the text will be red when they are unlinked, when unlinked these sets only play a static animation frame to ease positioning, once relinked the text will turn white and they will animate again, I find actually the best way to adjust these type is to watch the anim and decide which way the female ball needs to go to make it better, I then unlink and move the pink a small amount in the direction I had decided, I do this without AVs on the set, I then relink and try the anim again to see if that movement improved it, the trick is to only move slightly each time.

I have done the above but just cannot get the anim to look right on our AVs.

Unfortunately its not always possible to get a correct fit given the huge variety of AV sizes and size differences possible in SL, with the shorter anims its not such a problem, but with the very long ones where both partners move a lot more, if the AVs being used are of extreme difference in size its likely not all parts of the anim will mesh properly, a couple animation can only ever be 100% correct if the AVs being used match the test ones used by the animator, which of course means animations made by different animators are all based on different AV sizes, its not possible to anticipate all possible AV sizes and size differences, this would involve making infinite versions of the same animation adjusting every point to accommodate every possible body measurement.
Below are the measurements of the 2 AVs that we currently use when making anims.

BodyHeight 53
Body thickness 31
Body fat 8
Head size 65
Torso muscles 42
Neck thickness 47
Neck length 27
Shoulders 60
Pectorals 24
Arm length 30
Hand size 50
Torso length 43
Love handles 32
Belly size 7
Leg muscles 67
Leg length 50
Hip width 57
Hip length 56
Foot size 39

BodyHeight 40
Body thickness 26
Body fat 17
Head size 60
Torso muscles 49
Neck thickness 48
Neck length 51
Shoulders 49
Breast Size 60
Arm length 70
Hand size 43
Torso length 52
Love handles 40
Belly size 16
Leg muscles 57
Leg length 66
Hip width 60
Hip length 49
Foot size 30

Of course I don't expect people to change their AV sizes to suit a pair of poseballs, if you simply cannot get a set to suit your AVs as you would like, contact me and if the set was bought from me you can return it for a refund.

My sych/sequence set of pose balls is not working properly

Ok assuming the 2 are linked(the text should be white not red), and the scripts and/or animations have not been removed from the balls contents....
The one thing that "breaks" these types of sets is a sim crash while they are being used, even if you personally didn't witness the sim crash it could have happened while you were offline and maybe someone else was using the set, a sim crash break can take a few different forms:

The set may be spamming a script error like "script trying to trigger animation but PERMISSION_TRIGGER_ANIMATION not set" etc etc.
The set may go to the correct start position for one partner but the other will just "sit" on the ball in the regular Linden sit, or both may just sit.
One or both balls may have disappeared, they are not really gone, its just the sim crash happened before the script had the chance to reshow the balls after the AVs were logged out

In all these cases the scripts have become locked, stand near the set and say

/1 reset

As of December 2006, we put new scripts into all synch and sequence sets, this command will always fix a sim crashed set and return it to working order, if you have an older set send it back to me and Ill send the newer type.

Oh and if you did remove scripts or anims from the set just say so ok, I do look at the returns and contents removal can only be done by the owner,a person with their mod rights, or a group member if its group owned, contents don't disappear from a ballset, they have to be intentionally removed or deleted, its not a hanging offense, I don't expect people to know all the do's and dont's of SL, Ill still replace the set if its the first time and was an accident.

My poseballs vanished from my land.

OK this can be a number of things, the first is they may still be there but hidden, someone could have come to the land and said /1 hide, in which case stand where they were and say /1 show.
Another possibility is a sim crash occurred while they were being used, as mentioned in the above answer, stand where they were and say /1 reset.
Another one particularly common with rented land is you rezzed them without having the renters group tag activated, in which case the set was auto-returned to you and should be in your "lost and found" folder, however Linden recently introduced a "feature" where if a number of objects were returned at once they are bunched together in lost and found with sometimes the name "object", to find out if the ballset was bunched together with other things in this way rez the "object", you may find its several different things including the ballset(s) that disappeared.
Another more recent addition is "no object entry" on a parcel, I have only seen this once when I rezzed an item without my group tag on in land with this option on, the item I rezzed was zapped to the very corner of the sim and high in the air, Im assuming if you do this on a mainland parcel the object you rezzed will be relegated to the parcel closest that does allow object rez, in which case it could be returned shortly by auto return or the next time that parcel owner checks his/her prims, I should stress I have not fully looked into how this works.

Of course SL being SL it could have had one of its moments and they really did disappear, if you tried the above things and no joy the best thing is to open a support ticket with Linden Labs on their support page, state exactly what happened and steps you took to try to find the items, on many occasions Linden can help, if however they reply and say they cannot, contact myself, Yoshi or Yawneeb(whoever was the maker of the one(s) you lost), if the items were bought within the last 12 months we should be able to find the purchase in history, you must be using the AV that bought the items as we have no way to say who is an "alt" of who.

Can I change the listen channel to /2 hide, /3 hide etc?

OK inside each ballset(except Tango) is a script called "Parameters Master", this is a modifiable script which is commented and has the line:

integer CHANNEL = 1;

Just change the 1 to whatever number you wish to use for the channel it hides and shows on, for instance to make the set respond to /99 hide or /99 show

integer CHANNEL =99;

Can I change the name on the float text?

There is a line in the "Parameters" script which allows you to do this, if its a couple set remember to use "edit linked parts" to get to the contents of the second ball to change that ones text also, the line to change is:

string NAME = "Play piano";

if you wished the text to say "Play Keyboard", change that line to:

string NAME = "Play Keyboard";

Then "save" at the bottom of the script and close it, the text will then change.

If it is a couple set please note there is also a parameters script in the pink ball which controls the float text above that one, to get to this parameters script either select "edit linked parts" in the build box and left click the pink ball, or unlink the pair and edit the pink.

If you wish to remove the text do as above but change the anim name to " "(a blank space).

You say all your poseballs are modify, but this set in my inventory says (no modify)

OK all ballsets bought from me ARE modifiable, they can be unlinked if a couple set, they can be retextured/coloured etc, the set says (no modify) when in your inventory because the main script in the balls is no mod, the way inventory works is it says (no modify) if any internal part is no mod, if you rez the set you will find the balls are modifiable.

I bought a set from you and dont see it in my inventory.

All couple/multiple sets I make sell as a folder, they make a folder with the name of the set containing notecard(S) and the ballset, single anim balls go into your "objects" folder, if you dont see the folder press the "recent items" tab in your inventory, this shows all objects you received since you logged in.

In some cases SL is being slow, and it can take a while before the item is delivered to your inventory, if you dont have the item try logging out and back in again, clearing the SL cache can sometimes update your inventory, that also requires logging back in.

Again if no joy after trying these things, IM me or Yoshi.

I bought an AO animation but when I use it I walk on the spot, I wanted it to replace my default SL walk

The walks and stances I sell are FOR animation overriders, they are not animation overriders in themselves, that said if you need an animation overrider to put the walk/stance into, just send me an IM and Ill send you one ok, it has instructions but if you get stuck I have set them up before and can help ok

I bought your crawl animation but its puts me in the ground/floating above the ground

OK this is another AV size dependant thing, depending on your height(hip height to be specific), the anim may not go to the ground or it may go too far into the ground, if your AV is shorter than my test one it will be in the ground, if taller it will be floating above the ground, this is simply because the anim moves the hips(which is the governing factor in anims) a certain distance down so that the hands and knees are on the ground, of course if the AV is taller then the distance it moves down will not be enough to bring that AV to ground level, if the AV is shorter then it will bring you down too far.
But all is not lost, send me an IM to say if its putting you too high or too low, I do have a selection of the crawl anims where I altered the hip up and down, I will be able to supply one that will suit your AV height.

What are the timer settings for longer sequence anims when used in a Multi Animation Tool?

The anims used in these sets are of a 30 second duration(the maximum length SL will allow an animation to be), however because SL uses the first frame for rotation settings and then removes that frame, the actual length is less, the times I use in the sets are:

28.5 to 29.8 seconds

Now this may seem odd because you would expect a 30 second anim to always be the same timer setting, but in testing I found some were "jumpy" with the normal first setting I use of 29.5, I cannot fully explain it but I think its possibly related to the fact I dont always use the same frame rate of animations(there is good reason for that but I wont go into it now), also that depending on sim load etc, script timers I have found can run slow sometimes.

You can tell if a timer is too short or too long however, if you find that the anims are "snapping" into each other, the movement is smooth and suddenly a limb snaps to its next position, this means the anim had not ended by the time the script called in the next one, thus it might be worth increasing the time from maybe 29.5 to 29.7, if you timer is too long you may find at the join between animations the couple appear to jump up for a split second, this means the anim ended and SL was attempting to play a default anim just as the next anim started, if this is the case make the time slightly less by 0.2 and watch the anim again.

As with many things in SL, unfortunately there is no perfect setting, script timers are not too accurate, and a lot depends on the speed of the sim, the speed of connection etc, also on the fact that anims are downloaded to the client before they are played and cached(this is the reason if you use a set you havent used before you may sit there for ages before the anim starts), Ill put more on this in the general FAQ Im writing at the moment.