The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

How to view The Accidental Artist exhibition in Second Life

The exhibition is quite complex now. Here's some suggestion when visiting:

1. Try turning the glow off. Go to preferences, graphics, and uncheck
basic shading, if it's on. Basic shading seems to use up more resources
than anything else with the rendering engine. You can also set things like
rendering distance; the lower the distance, the faster the loading.

2. Turn the video media button off. This on the lower right-hand corner of
the screen. If you turn it on, the texture-mapping consumes a huge amount
of resources. On the other hand, the audio for the parcel (the audio
button) runs fairly lean.

3. If you find the space too cluttered to enter, try flying in.

4. If you find flying in too cluttered, fly higher, and drop in. There is
a dome in the center of the space which you can enter.

5. Most objects on the ground level (and some beneath the ground, on the
seafloor) will flee from you - what looks crowded from a distance might
well clear out.

6. If it clears out, look up - you'll see all sorts of things above you.

7. Fly vertically to see the rest of the exhibition. If you can't fly as
high as you want, click control-alt-d, which opens up an advanced menu.
Open the menu and get rid of camera constraints. You can then move the
camera at a great distance from your avatar body - your viewpoint moves
independently, and you can move at least to the top of the exhibition,
which is maybe a mile or so up, SL measurement.

8. If you get stuck anywhere, teleport back in.

9. Try moving inside the objects; the interior textures are often
different from the exterior ones (this is almost always the case with the

10. You can push objects vertically into the sky by moving beneath them
and flying; they flee upwards.

11. You can see the exhibition 'differently' by using the advanced menu,
going to render, and then looking for info - clicking on any one of the
info options will give you different viewpoints.

12. You can often sit on moving objects, which will whirl you around; if
you sit on an object that moves vertically as a result of your proximity,
you can ride it up. When you stand up again, you can fall down back into
the space. The riding height seems to be around 4117 SL units, but unless
you have a flight bracelet or feather, you probably won't go that high.

13. Moving about on the ground level, keep the sound turned on (lower
right), and you'll hear a variety of songs about SL and language. These
mix with a number of looping sound modules embedded in the space.

14. Go to
and you'll find shortcuts for all sorts of rendering possibilities; most
of these are also available in the menu or advanced menu.

15. If you've been moving around SL a lot, go to preferences, and empty
your cache; this might speed things up. You'll have to restart SL again.

16. If you see a sign for teleporting, try it. Sometimes it will lead back
to the ground level, sometimes to the seabed, sometimes to a skysphere.
All of these locations have clickable objects which will take you else-
where (or back to the same space but at a slightly different location).
You might have to right-click on the object, then click on teleport - or
you might just left click - it depends on the object.

17, Try different 'lenses' - click on control-8 to make the image wide-
angle, control-9 to return to normal, control-0 for telephoto. Repeated
clicks work as well - with control-8 you can create extreme distortions.

18, Try moving into 'small' spaces and look about. You can save snapshots
of anything you see, on your hard drive.

19. That's about it. The general idea is to run lean, fly about, teleport
back if you're stuck, play with the controls. The architecture is constan-
tly changing and deconstructing itself - play with that....

To go into the space, as always, go to, get an avatar, go
through the initial 'training' which is usually under five minutes, then
click on the URL below:

Let me know if you have any difficulties.

- Alan

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