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Blog by Ina Centaur » Amusing


Ina Centaur 4-Year Rez Day Party & PantheonSL Pre-Grand Opening

Written by ina on Monday, 1 of November , 2010 at 4:34 pm
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Pantheon SL Teaser

My Dear Friend,

You’re invited to my quadrennial Rez Day party, Primtings Patrons Party Preview, and pre-grand opening of the Pantheon SL — it’s all day on November 1.

It’s always awkward being born in an odd hour of the day, but it was on this day on Halloween at 11:59 PM exactly 4 years ago that a megalomaniac artiste in RL (whom some of you have come to love — or hate) gave birth to the “Ina Centaur” avatar on SL. I don’t like celebrating things till it’s time, so this is why you’re getting this just now.

Of course, this is completely spontaneous and unannounced. Feel free to see it as a birthday unparty of sorts — you can do whatever you want at the Pantheon! Everyone’s just finding out about this just now — other than the Pantheon building, nothing has been set in stone, so feel free to even IM me for open stage time at the brand new, shiny Pantheon shrine of a performance space!

Meanwhile, I’d be taking the day off from RL — putting together some of the Pantheon perks (and more) you’d find in Lora Constantine’s Pantheon press release below. I know a lot of you have been trying to get access to me on SL, so consider this that open office hour buffet day you’ve all been waiting for. Due to a slurry of RL obligations, I don’t know when I’d next be this free ever again, so…

Hope to see you tonight - or sometime on November 1, 2010!

(TP: Pantheon, sLiterary entrance or Pantheon, Primtings entrance)



The “Pantheon SL” opens in sLiterary-Primtings
Contact: Lora Constantine
Date: November 1, 2010

sLiterary and Primtings, Second Life—The Pantheon, “the most celebrated edifice in all the world,” in RL is now in 1000+ prim sculpted goodness on SL. Grand Opening on December 4, 2010 in the arts mecca 4-sims of sLiterary, the Pantheon SL hopes to serve as a virtual shrine—“to all the gods.” Straddling the borders of the sLiterary and Primtings sim, the “Pantheon SL” is directly east of the 4-sim SL Globe Theatre, with the portico on the southern border of sLiterary, and the rotunda on the northern border of Primtings.

Based on Antoine Desgodetz’s sketches from the Renaissance era, the Pantheon SL shows several historic features not on the modern restoration of the Pantheon RL in Rome. The attics have been ostensibly modified for SL, with easy fly-in entrances and fall-out exits. Visitors are given angel wings, and “encouraged to fly to the top of the rotunda, to the oculus and out, and in.” They also have a chance to donate to SL relics. According to Ina Centaur, executive director of Primtings and sLiterary, “For kicks, we’d also have a scripted ‘Bocca della Verita’, where those who hold weddings here can put their hands inside this stone lion’s mouth and risk having their hand chomped off if they’re lying… Due to limited space in the sims, we’re going to be putting other fun Italian-esque things here!”

Created by Daedalus Ferina as a rezday present for Ina Centaur, the building will be a permanent structure—“for as long as these four sims stand, before we can’t raise enough funds for SL tier and absolutely have to move off to OpenSim!” In a lighter air, Ina Centaur jubilantly declared, “This is one of the neatest two sim birthday cakes I’ve received yet!”

Category: Amusing, Daily Sumly, Projects

A Casual Meditation on Life from the Creation of Virtual Bunnies

Written by ina on Wednesday, 13 of January , 2010 at 1:04 am
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I. Exordium

What is a living creature? It responds to things, and it multiplies. From the perspective of computing, it’s an entity that is capable of input and output, with a manner of self-propagation.

Ah, propagation… Therein lies the interesting element–the growth of a population. Consider a hypothetical case, where you start out on a desert island with a pair of male and female creatures; each female produces just one female offspring per generation, and stops reproducing after two generation. Assume the male is immortal, and massive incest occurs to create all subsequent generations, all females. The heritage diagram of sorts would look something like this:


Or, referencing the same diagram, but slightly more organized, and not-too-snobby-against-the-color-blind (thanks to @WildstarB):


To make it more interesting, Fibonacci, from back in the day, thought of the same problem. Apparently, bunnies were the most nearly-instantly promiscuous creatures back then, so his gedanken involved bunnies, and he devised the eponymous Fibonacci Sequence using the generation scheme described above (though, he didn’t use an immortal male, but rather, the assumption that each female produces a male and female pair per generation, with guaranteed brother-sister incest).

This is just an interesting thought experiment of an extremely basic model for describing population growth that, other than using bunnies as our key sex players, has absolutely nothing related to the virtual bunnies to be discussed in the rest of this article.

The point is that living creatures, in addition to responding to stimuli, have internal mechanisms of sorts that enable its reproduction. At least, that’s the perspective of a living creature that we have from observing its behavior from our limited microcosm. Microcosm? Habitat?

We’re actually right on topic, heading onto the most basic features of creating a virtual critter with AI-esque–certainly necessary for the creation of the virtual bunnies that piqued up your interest.

II. The Pseudo-Physics of Our Subset of the Virtual Microcosm

In “RL”, when you drop a ball, it falls, and when it hits a flat surface, it stops falling (though it might bounce or roll or crack or explode, or do a number of things in reaction to this action of collision). In “SL” or any virtual reality, when you drop a ball, it might not do any of those things, or it might do all of those things, depending on what you program the “physics” of your virtual microcosm to be. The essential affect is the reaction to an action–what happens when the collision (or, in general, the interaction among separate entities) occurs. In a virtual reality, this reaction is defined by a pseudo-physics that governs what happens when this interaction occurs.

When you’re working with phantom objects on SL, or regular objects that are not explicitly physical, you can’t rely on the built-in physics system, and thus you must design your own–from the perspective of parsimonious code being the most efficient (read: best), this is basically a “good-enough” physics system that will emulate just the wanted or needed reaction.

If you’re trying to program virtual critters (VC) or moving objects that are phantom, you’d need to worry about what happens visually when they collide. They ought to be “smart enough” to bounce away, or try avoiding merging into each other. A simple solution would be to have a llSensorRepeat() detect and react to objects that enter a certain small “bounding sphere,” whenever the virtual critter (VC) is moving. Upon entering the radius of this bounding sphere, the original VC will try “hopping” a random-small-distance away from the impending VC. Similarly, since the impending VC has the same bounding sphere “pseudo-physics”, it will try doing the same thing. Both VC’s will continue hopping randomly away until their “bounding spheres” do not intersect. This is the HB Bunny 1.x solution to avoiding the classic “merging phenomenon” demonstrated in the beta.

Characteristic behavior is really an orchestra of interaction, a sequence of action-reaction occurrences–a sunflower blooming towards the sunlight, a mouse attracted to cheese. But yet, when you look in nature, on the subject of group animal movement, you wonder what keeps them together in the way they move. For example, migrating birds often fly in a V-shaped “formation”. Obviously, the solidness of their physical bodies keeps their bodies from merging, unlike the phantom VC’s described earlier, but how do they know to fly in this V-shape, and why do they do this? While science has speculated on several reasons why, deferring to economy of such motion, how they do it requires both wirings in the bird brain that respond to such a situation, as well as features in reality that allow this. When cast in such an abstractified perspective, it becomes clear that what’s happening is that there is simply a different, but “equivalent” mechanism at work to keep things in formation–in reality, and in its emulation, virtual reality.

A series of such mechanisms might be considered to be governing characteristics of a paradigm. In the case of the phantom VC’s, their movement might be set such that they will move only when they detect a mat, and such that they will stay level only to the mat. Because the VC will detect the mat, it is almost like a magnet, or from a more macroscopic perspective, the mat is like a flat earth — although, contrary to what the Flat Earth Society believes, the mat doesn’t accelerate(!), and yet things simply stick to it.

A pseudo-physics that deals with only the known elements in a microcosm works because the VC only has to react to certain things, rather than to all elements in the physics of its containing world; moreover, having the VC respond only to such known elements in a microcosm is more resource efficient. Using this idea, in a pseudo-physics named “FIZ”, the HB Bunny implementation of my VC design averages to only 0.1 ms at peak, which is a fraction of what most AO’s take. The HB Bunny will “hop” away when they hit each other, or small objects named HB Rock. They detect only objects known to them, such as HB Food (which they eat), HB Toy (which keeps them happy), and HB Mat (which, they stick to). Moreover, in SL, when one uses VC’s whose prims are sculpted prims, it is actually necessary to use an alternative physics system, as sculpted prim bounding-boxes are not always as expected and precise as those of regular-prim VC’s. The phenomenon that may bring wonder is that with such simple behavior constraints, a VC that appears “alive”. And, with further internal constraints that will change their behavior, such as growth functions and mating functions, VC’s appear “living”–more on that in a later section, though!

The idea of having a creature react only to things that are immediately relevant to it, or that it is capable of detecting, is actually a common phenomenon in nature, RL. Humans and other animals live in the real physical world, but are capable of perceiving only a limited subset of reality. For example, we humble humans are not capable of seeing UV or infrared light, though other animals can; we are consciously susceptible only to a limited subset of the electromagnetic spectrum, though our bodies may react incrementally to gamma-ray bombardment, for example, its effects are 99.9% too small for any macroscopically-observable difference to occur. Many examples also exist on the size spectrum; we can’t see things that are too small (a virus, for example), or too big (the universe! - we live in it, but we can’t detect its entirety). But yet, we function in our own paradigm, and equivalently, so do these VC’s.

III. The Protocols of Life… Er… aLife!

Artificial life or, to coin a term, “aLife” might be considered a fine-tuned simplified set of protocols that emulate life, with complexity depending on the realism of the particular aLife entity. There are three general categories of aLife protocols–external interaction, internal determination, and non-interactive autonomous behavior. I will briefly discuss elements of each category for VC’s, particularly in relation to their implementation in HB Bunny.

External interactions occur when either collision occurs, or when an interaction is proximate, within detection vicinity.

Collisions occur with either the environment or its objects. In a pseudo-physics as described above, i.e., a physics that deals with only a limited microcosm, collisions that generate recognizable reactions would occur only with known objects, such as objects named a particular name, or flagged otherwise for detection. In the HB Mat example above, the HB Bunny’s environment is simply its mat, and this is its entire world, on which it can move. (However, if the mat is moved slowly, the HB Bunny will be able to go beyond its old bounding box environment, to “move with the world;” but, it is really the world that moves the VC…)

Some examples of possible proximity behavior phenomena are sickness (too many VC’s nearby), friendly interaction (gathering to sleep at night), or mating (for sexual creatures, at least two’s required). For HB Bunny, sickness occurs when the VC detects more than 6 scripted objects named HB Bunny nearby; sickness is manifest as an incremental counter, from 1 to 100 units, which can be decremented when the VC is hungry, and eats twice as much to decrement both hunger and sickness. HB Bunny will first find each other, in friendly “compassionate” behavior, and gather close-ly at night time to sleep, before deactivating all detection until daytime. Mating is possible when a HB Bunny is more than 14 days old, and is fully-grown and considered an “adult bunny”; presence of an eligible non-pregnant mate of the opposite gender is required.

Mating is perhaps one of the most important components, when you’re creating aLife for the purposes of viral breeding. And, since we’re 21st-century non-gender-discriminating folks, a significant mating system for VC’s must account for the case of gayness or genetically-disposed celibacy (with respect to impregnating). From the perspective of statistics, gayness might be considered a non-systematic deviation from the mean. Thus, consider a system where gender is assigned on birth of a VC as a global variable, and where this global variable might–in an extremely rare case–be reset. Assign the null value of gender to default to female VC, and the non-null value to be the male VC; when reset, or when communication error occurs (which has a higher chance on noisy-platforms such as LSL/SL), gender becomes “miscarried,” and you wind up with an effectively gay VC (i.e., outwardsly-male, inwardsly-female).

But, in general, the proposed VC mating system does contain the regular features of mating, such as VC-preferred-selectivism in mate selection, as well as birthing processes. This is best summarized in the diagram here (please click to see the larger version):

virtual critters mating protocol

Mating selection occurs on closest-match of a random number generated by the female and male bunny; call this the mating random number (”MRN”). To add “personality-in-female-choice,” in the HB project, I chose to have the male bunny generate his MRN at birth. A female bunny generates her MRN each time she goes into heat. The male is the one who chooses which female number is closest to his, and thus will favor a certain female if she generates the right MRN each time they meet while she is not pregnant (they’re bunnies, and not monoagamous).

To conserve resources, heat only occurs when there are eligible opposite-gender adult bunnies nearby. For HB Bunny, mating only occurs when bunnies are near non-pregnant entities of the opposite sex, and if bunny characteristic conditions fit (bunny has to be both happy and energetic enough).

Internal Determination is necessary to show changes in a VC’s characteristics (such as its core stats - happiness, energy, hunger, sickness, etc.) and changes in states. A VC contains a –literally — biological clock that governs its self-behaviors, such as growth and perkiness. A VC has three general states: awake/living, dead, and sleeping (semi-conscious). In the case of HB Bunny, when it is sleeping (and has found the other bunnies, if any), the entire script “goes to sleep”, suspending detection of other objects, effectively giving the simulator hosting the VC, some time to cool off. When the VC is living, it goes through its full range of behaviors. When the VC is dead, it simply ceases to exist in the virtual reality, other than as data stored in a database somewhere.

Non-Interactive Involuntary-Autonomous Behavior is generally an aesthetic feature of VC’s, as they do not have any “internal organs,” other than scripts. HB Bunny VC’s blink and twitch, and sometimes, they “bristle” on SL texture change lag.

IV. Concluding Remarks - Some Thoughts on Copy Protection and “Playing God”

The rage about SL virtual animals is likely due to the spirit of creation, albeit in a VC-promiscuous way, but then again, it’s also due to the value that they (and their offspring) develop, in part due to their rarity. Copy-protection is essential to the survival of a VC line whose lifespan depends on costly server-resources to run, which is, paradoxically, funded through steady sales of VC’s. But, next-generation propagation is also important, so I will discuss the general idea behind the propagation of turtles and Sion chickens (call this the “traditional method”), as well as alternatives.

validating virtual critters for transfer or spawn

The “traditional method” for a VC to give “birth” to offsprings essentially has the female VC rez an egg, and then have her drop a VC in the egg. The mother has a copy of this offspring VC in her inventory; her offspring in the egg, does not (but will, once they are born, as the egg script, will, in turn, give a copy of the VC to the newborn - though, for HB, this happens only for the female newborns).

This idea of a script creating a copy of itself sounds like a worm or a virus, and in fact, the adjective “viral” totally works. This concept is best illustrated through an interactive example. Drop by the park-like area next to the Skin City Library (NorthEast side of Skin City sim) to grab a copy of an “Infinitely Viral Urn.”

The “Infinitely Viral Urn” is the most basic implementation, with delayed inventory-drop check, of a script-based object self-reproduction. You only need to get a single urn, touch it, and it will give you another urn, that will, in turn, be able to “give birth” to yet another urn, and so on. What’s interesting to note is that if you attempt a “Cesarian,” by just taking the baby urn from the mother urn’s inventory without having it being “born” through a regular touch-rez, the baby urn will poof in a quick burst of stillborn particles. This is basic copy protection, where rezzing of a scripted object is only permitted by the script.

On SL, though, the problem of no-copy becomes complicated with a faulty permission system. The “traditional method” for copy-protection is also what’s done for the classic SL-AI-esque VC’s, the turtles and chickens. When a VC is transferred, it must be taken to inventory or sold in-place; using the SL feature of take-copy will disrupt normal script-flow and disable the VC. When taken to inventory, the traditional method requires that the VC be boxed. While the VC may be a +copy/+xfer object, the box itself is always no-copy. One the VC is boxed, it’s the box that is the inworld indicator of the uniqueness of the original VC. To prevent both the old owner and new owner from having the same copy of the VC, the box applies its no-copy permission to its inventory VC. When the VC is unboxed, what occurs is that a completely new VC is rezzed, but the data that defines the characteristics of the old VC is transferred, to give the appearance of the old VC’s continual existence, even though it technically ceased to exist the moment it was boxed.

Incidentally, a seamless updater works just like unboxing a VC, except the new updated VC is rezzed in the position of the old VC; it’s the same idea of “injecting” data from the old VC into the new, to make it appear a continuous incarnation of the original. Like boxing, the original was destroyed upon updating.

An alternative way to facilitating copy-protection would be to use a technique I’ve dubbed “pregnancy fortified food“. This would allow the best of protection in that all VC’s would have the SL no-copy permission, because the new VC is actually the no-copy inventory in the food bowl. (Kind of brings a whole new perspective to “eating something to get pregnant!”)

virtual critters reproduction and feeding tokens

In conclusion, I can’t help but recount the times when I felt like some deity when planning the general VC diagrams, and in implementing the HB Bunny, and in fact, it was more hubris than anything else that prompted me to take this project. I was even high enough to address myself as “Bunny Goddess”, at one point.

In beta phases, we tested the HB Bunnies on shortened lifespans, roughly 1 beta day = 10 regular days. (This meant the bunnies became adult and mating-age in about 1.5 days.) So, anyway, the fact that 1) these bunnies will automatically sleep at sunset, 2) have predetermined “promised lifetime of 356 days (barring starvation or sicknes)”, and 3) essentially have their body mechanisms limited by AI, and more, does not make me like the Goa’uld experimenting on the Argosians. (If you read this entry before hulu takes it off, the entire Stargate episode where that happened is embedded below.)

I confess. I’m just Ina. Ina Centaur ;-)

Category: Amusing, Daily Sumly, Projects, Reflections, Tutorials, bots

Ina Presents @ SLCC

Written by ina on Thursday, 20 of August , 2009 at 12:00 am
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Alongside RL celebrities like Ray Kurzweil and Jeff Barr, I was lucky enough to present on the BizTrack and EdTrack, and sit on two panels on the FashionTrack at SLCC 2009 (Second Life Convention) at the Westin St. Francis in San Francisco. Here are my presentation PowerPoints (ppt) slides:

BizTrack presentation:

Branding for a Cause - Two Case Studies in the Arts” was a two-part presentation by avant garde virtual world artists Eshi Otawara and Ina Centaur, that tells the story of each artistic brand name that both sustains and is their art, in a very economically-materialistic virtual world. The presentation started with an introduction (slideshare | ppt) that set the “status quo” of Second Life, and how that really isn’t a medium for art or any endeavor that requires the input of abundant time, care, and love:

And continued with - Eshi Otawara’s presentation, which is available on Eshi’s site.

And, concluded with my presentation (and an informal Q&A), entitled “Ina Centaur and The Creation of the SL Shakespeare Company” (slideshare | ppt)

EdTrack presentations:

Shakespeare’s Virtual Theatre (The Ina Centaur SL Shakespeare Company - The SLCC Introduction) (slideshare | ppt)

Primtings: A Museum of 3d “Primmed” Paintings (slideshare | ppt)

sLiterary, Inc.: A Mini-Overview (slideshare | ppt)

Category: Amusing, Builds, Designs, Projects, theatre

Drawing Day 2009 - 24-Hour Marathon and Revitalized Gallery

Written by ina on Saturday, 23 of May , 2009 at 2:08 am

So, this year, I will again be hosting a 24-hour drawing marathon (no, not the *chance* kind of drawing, but rather… the thing you do with a pencil–no, not *that* thing! Oh, come on, don’t you draw?!) on the first Saturday of June, the traditional international drawing day–June 6, this year!

I’ll be taking drawing requests gratis ad nauseum–that is to speak, no Sicilian mafia artist can ever refuse a (drawing) request on Drawing Day. The best way to send me your request is to drop by the Drawing Day gallery inworld on Second Life anytime on June 6, 2009 between midnight and 11:59 PM PDT. You can also plurk or twitter me your request. Drawing Day gives me a chance to relive my undergrad days skipping out on NSF research to be a derelict sketch artist on the beach–actually, I meant, I’ll produce quick semi-abstract sketches of whatever your request is. Feel free to go crazy with your ideas! Here are some items I drew last year (some personalized with requestor’s name):


Incidentally, all participants (who log on SL this special day) get to display their drawing day artwork for free at the Drawing Day Gallery! Further details available at the sLiterary Drawing Day Gallery Venue Website.

drawingdatesummary 2009

Category: Amusing

TED Oxford Fellowship Pros & Cons

Written by ina on Monday, 11 of May , 2009 at 7:18 pm

Last month, I spent a couple of hours applying to TEDGlobal. Admittedly, the biggest reason I did that was because it’s held in Oxford, and me being in my Shakespeare phase… the UK is the one place in the world I’d want to un-hermit myself to go to. I also convinced myself that it’d be a worthwhile experience to attend, if only to meet people who can help sponsor my projects — sadly, the prospect of art for art sans funds just doesn’t work out, especially when (though you thrive at it!) you end up having to do everything yourself. Then again, considering that my formal education is nothing in what I’m perusing independently now (virtual worlds, Shakespeare and virtual theatre, historical reconstructions, medieval studies), maybe I might find some sort of epiphany there that might guide me on a different path…

Reasons why TED should choose me, which I’ve tried to convey within the box limits of the application:

  1. I create more than I talk. Most of the time I don’t have the time to update my blog; I am so immersed in actually doing things instead of reflecting on them.
  2. Projects mean more to me than anything else in the world; I exist to create and do.
  3. I am a true polymath, adept in many things across the spectrum, and not limited to just math/science or arts for example, but in both that and more.

Reasons why TED shouldn’t choose me:

  1. I might not be sane. My mental processes are abnormal; normal people don’t have their speech functions disabled in order to maximize creativity. My visual IQ typically far overshadows my auditory IQ.
  2. I’m quite evidently a hermit; I was even candid enough to mention in my application that I find myself antisocial. There’s too much uncertainty in my nature.
  3. The cynical mentality behind the (Shakespearean) Authorship Question - People might not believe me. Most people don’t sacrifice their lives to do everything well.

And, though I made it to as far as receiving a phone interview from Logan (TED Program Coordinator), today at brunch, the verdict came out the negative with a rejection letter! I believe the phone call revealed my insanity. So, we know now that TED polymaths are the sane types… ;-)

Category: Amusing, Lists, Reflections

Some Early Notes and Inaugural Data on the vShakespeare Concordance

Written by ina on Monday, 11 of May , 2009 at 12:15 am
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I’ve been musing on creating a Shakespeare Concordance that includes side-by-side comparison of Folio, playscript (as used by my SL Shakespeare Company), and (interpretive) Modern English editions, as well as other language editions, with video and audio segments (SLSC again!) and inline notes (and perhaps even some rudimentary scansion — stray syllable counts, if not some de-dum marks!) Beautiful(ish) layout with jQuery perkiness, and just convenience, in general, especially for acting troupes who use the first folio for analysis.

Today I’ve gone through creating its first data file (and, there are also several foreign language files, aside from some of the Mandarin Chinese, all translated by volunteers, each one lined up by row numbers).

It’s initially a series of flat files, for reference for actors. At the current rate, aiming to produce a Shakespearean-play-a-year, it’d probably take a bit for the actual lexicon to fill up. The spreadsheet above should easily convert to csv for php’s text processing functions to shrill!

It started when I was trying to catch up on what our original Mandarin Chinese translator was supposed to translate, but didn’t get to do. Fortunately, for OEP1, I’d finished much of the wardrobe assignments and scenic design items months ago in our preview season in late 2008 - so I had some time for manual labor. But, the Chinese texts I found were all so sterile, I ended up translating my own versions, where I attempted to convey more of the poetry and interpretive meaning I’ve applied in directing Twelfth Night. (You can see a bit of what I mean in the “first data file,” especially my Modern English interpretive translation.)  This unexpected bout of creativity made me remember how when I first encountered Shakespeare’s plays in seventh grade, I’d read them quite differently than the standard interpretation. So, it’s given me chance to (literally!) find my own meaning in the play, where I disagree with the various editions (and, it seems, that many words in the concordance are taken out of context — or perhaps not viewed as creatively, as should — for example, there’s the reference of fools’ breast in Act 2, which might have been taken literally, with a drunken Andrew noting Feste’s breasty breast!, instead of interpreted as voice).

Category: Amusing, Projects, Reviews, theatre

FashDoll HUD Preview

Written by ina on Wednesday, 6 of May , 2009 at 12:34 am
Tags: , ,

I’ve been working on getting fashDoll ready for a semipublic beta. On one hand it might be considered another one of my super-fancy super-extravagant pet projects (of startlingly limited scope. read: lots of work; little point. :-( ), but, considering that my fave programming projects are typically “weekend projects“, this was good experience having to plan it out, and work on it across several weeks to create a large-scale program with serverside PHP/MySQL and multi-link LSL/http-re to render the (esoteric) clientside interface. Anyway, here’s a brief preview and draft of a manual-esque for fashDoll:

{fD} fashDoll is a fashion “paperdoll” social networking platform. It lets you dress “fashDolls” by creating “dollfits” from both existing outfits and outfit pieces that either you create (upload the imagery) or find on the fashDoll network. (Here’s a screenshot from Second Life.)

FashDoll HUD Preview with Base (Cropped)
Each fashDoll dollfit consists of at most 4 layers, with the lowest layer consisting of a “base layer” (or semi/nude “paperdoll”) and the other three clothing layers being any combination of transparent or paperdoll outfit design. Essentially, a fashDoll dollfit is a paperdoll that lets you easily put on up to three possible layers of “paper outfit”.The fashDoll HUD has three core modes: Create, Browse, or Shop. Both Shop and Browse display a collection of possible outfits for you to choose from, and Create lets you create your own outfit component.

Shop: This is where you shop for clothing and base layers and dollfits! Clothing and base layers are just individual layers, but dollfits compose of up to 4 layers. You can find out more about each item by clicking on it to find out who created it in SL, and more!

Create: You can create outfit components or base layers by submitting the UUID of each layer texture. Each layer consists of a SL photo (1680×1030) you take of an avatar, whose background has been made transparent. These photos are easy to make: The fashDoll Photobooth is a “pinkscreen” booth, which you can use with either the default fD magenta skin and avatar, or recolor to use with a different set, depending on your colorset. Once you take a photo of your outfit or base, you take it into photoshop, Select > Color > and put the eyedropper on magenta, expand by 1 radius, cut and delete, then crop to fit 512×512 — or you can use either the “de-pink” or “de-pink and size” Photoshop actions.

Browse: Unlike both RL and SL, you never start with an empty wardrobe! By default, the fashDoll library consists of several dozen outfits and base choices either created by its maker (Ina Centaur) or used with permission by its respective creator(s). As you add in outfits, your inventory will grow in size, and newer outfits will be displayed first. Similar to the Shop mode, you can also search tags to find outfits.

Once you select or upload an item, it is shown in the fD Preview Pane. Any item in your wardrobe that you set for a non-0 price will be publicly available in the Shop mode for other users to share and create from; you can change the price of an item by clicking on the Price Pane.

Each outfit component is classified by a base type–by default, the fashDoll Photobooth has the classic paperdoll pose, but you can create fashDolls based on other poses (or other shapes). Each outfit component (and dollfit) can be named, and anyone can add tags to it to help others find it on the fashDoll network.

The Search button lets you search for things based on tags, separated by comma’s. There’s also a neat “BUY LOTD” button that lets you buy the “Look of the Day” featured in the panel above that button.

Finally, when you’re done with your dollfit, you can click the “WEAR on VIZ” button to have your SL-sized non-HUD vizDoll wear it! VIZ sort of hovers around you like your own personal daimon from the Golden Compass — so, anyway, via VIZ, fashDoll is your fashion pet and new best friend ;-)

And… Should you (or anyone) wish to by the 3D SL version of each fashDoll component from its original SL creator (before being turned into a fashdoll paperdoll piece), you’d just click VIZ for more info about the outfit and its components.

So, if you’ve read through this far, I should mention that you’re welcome to join in on the upcoming semipublic beta! Please post your SL name to the comments!

Category: Amusing, Projects, Tutorials

April Fools SL Shakespeare Super Spoof Performance

Written by ina on Wednesday, 1 of April , 2009 at 9:46 am
Tags: , , ,

SLSC SUPER SPOOF MultiParody April Fools Special Apr 1 ONLY

The Super Spoof plays @ 5 PM on April 1. ONE DAY ONLY. The SL Shakespeare Company is going to multi-parody a whole bunch of things from 2008, and see if they flow with Twelfth Night–that is, this is the SLSC’s “Twelfth Night - Popular Culture Analogues” Edition.

Everything is summarized by the playbill above. Please feel free to link. This is a strictly unofficial fan production; the SUPER SPOOF-esque version of Twelfth Night just for April Fools Day 2009 - just for fun - join us at the SL Globe Theatre at 5 PM PST (GMT-8).

Category: Amusing, Designs, theatre

Inachi Presents Avatar Nyotaimori on Second Life

Written by ina on Wednesday, 18 of March , 2009 at 12:47 pm

inachi* Codie is Nyotaimori on March 21 at 1 PM PDT

March 17, 2009
Contact: Lora Constantine

Inachi Presents Avatar Nyotaimori on Second Life

Shakespeare, Second Life and Skin City, Second Life—In the midst of a virtual reconstruction of Shakespeare’s Elizabethan England, an avant-garde virtual sushi restaurant named Inachi unveils its first gourmet dish. Dubbed “Nyotaimori,” the platter features an artistic arrangement of finely-priced sushi adorning the nude avatar body of virtual celebrity Codebastard Redgrave. The sum of sushi prices on this Nyotaimori reaches at about L$1,000,000; its purpose is to be dismantled by its audience as every “edible piece” of this virtual culinary sculpture is sold off in a single fundraiser to benefit the SL Shakespeare Company. The presentation opens to the public at 1 PM PDT on Saturday, March 21st at the Blackfriars Theatre.

Not surprisingly, the prolific Ina Centaur is both the founder and artist of Inachi and its Nyotaimori. As with many of Centaur’s projects, Inachi began as a hobby, “Inachi started out as a somewhat offbeat-obsessive project to document and semi-immortalize in virtual-world-3D, some of the sushi I’ve tasted. And then one day a friend showed me a picture of nyotaimori, or female body sushi. It all became clear to me that day—both the name ‘Inachi’ made sense, as well as how I might turn these sushi-Lego things I’ve created into… a feast for your eyes!”

Inachi in its most literal translation to Ina Centaur’s native Mandarin Chinese means “Ina, go eat!” But, since Centaur’s discovery of “female body sushi” last May, the translation, while still retaining its homonym, became ??? or, literally, “One Take Eat.” Centaur explains its significance, “The translation sounds flip, but I think it’s cool that the translation back to English also affords a theatrical pun. My SL Shakespeare Company project has been something I’ve been trying to raise funds for since its inception in 2007, and basically everything I do in virtual worlds goes to fund it. Also, I think the translation fits how we’ll manage to present nyotaimori as a viable artform in a very material and commercial virtual world: people will simply take (pay) and eat each piece of artful virtual sushi goodness.”

To Centaur, this Nyotaimori event is both art that represents Second Life, and a social experiment, “Art is essentially an interpretive representation of an object, in the general sense; in this case, the object is the virtual world of Second Life, and Nyotaimori is kind of like a satirical symbol of it. Inachi’s Nyotaimori recasts a nude female avatar into both culinary and ethnic art via an artistic arrangement of sushi. The individual pieces of sushi are cast in a state that will soon dissipate, as each piece is taken, just as the artful sims of Second Life are dismantled due to the decree of limited resource budgets. The avatar in this avatar body sushi presentation is famous and has media appeal, just like how Second Life has it. But, the art lives in the manifestation of its sushi, just like how Second Life wouldn’t be anything without its user-created content… The social experiment would be to see if people’d bite.” Despite its novelty and representation, Centaur is uncertain but hopeful about Nyotaimori as a means to fund inworld art, “Most of my fundraising attempts in virtual worlds have failed miserably. I hope this one is different enough to meet its goal!”

On a happier note, when asked to comment on her choice of designating Codebastard Redgrave as her maiden Nyotaimori, Centaur comments, “I think Codie is incredibly sexy, and Second Life might find it interesting to undress the sushi off her—literally!”

About Inachi (???)
Inachi is a fictional restaurant set in the virtual world of Second Life. Ina Centaur, its founder and head chef-artist, serves hand-made virtual sushi with exquisite detail and care in performance art settings. Its main store is located in the underground metros of Skin City, Second Life.

Category: Amusing, Designs, Projects

A Very-SL Solution to Dealing with Drama

Written by ina on Sunday, 15 of March , 2009 at 6:28 pm
Tags: ,

A blast from the past that came up just a few days ago ;-P

new llamas from schadenfreude

Drama sux… but a long while ago, I adopted a pair of drama llamas and put them on guard on both ends of my Wall of Sculpted Genitalia…

(You see, there was a group of girls from the Convent who randomly chose that location to worship back in 07, and I thought the only way to consecrate the grounds would be to create a shrine to their Freudian demon…)

So, when drama strikes, you are welcome to relieve yourself on a wide and long array of sculpted genitalia… ride-friendly on the spot and in all colors and several sizes! (Sculpted Condoms are free for those who end up getting too cozy with them…)

(Beware: the wall is gender biased! Not that sculpts of the other gender look anything other than ick on SL…)

it is complete

Category: Amusing

Who is Ina Centaur?

A 25-year old American polymath of Taiwanese ancestry pretending to be old and Caucasian in Second Life. Semi-retired independent scholar also dabbling as an independent artist in new media, particularly theatre and the humanities—notably Shakespeare. Programmer, playwright and novelist. Formal academic background in, philosophy, and bioengineering.

This is largely a personal blog which isn't always up-to-date. There's no one definitive way to stalk me ;-).