Why I don't (consistently) post SLURLs with hi-res snapshots

Posted on: February 7, 2009

I love using SLURLs. But in some respects, they're still too hard to use — even for a seasoned doneitaloter like me. I've been asked some GREAT questions, which usually go like this:

Hey Torley, I heard you took snapshots of the new Second Life login screens. But why didn't you include SLURLs? It'd make it easier to visit those places in SL.


The reason basically boils down to me having a lack of an elegant way to provide sourcing for the creators of the wonderful places I photograph.

What's my ideal? That as a minimum, landowner name, parcel name + description would all automatically included along with SLURL. As you may know, when you save a snapshot to hard drive, no coordinate info is saved. You can paste it into Notepad, but x1,000s as I do, and that's impractical. Some've suggested EXIF data for JPG images, and related, when I send a postcard, it does have the SLURL.

Before I unspin this,

The quickest way to get SLURLs of places Torley's explored

Bookmark my inworld exploring page. It refreshes regularly with my Second Life adventures. Click on any image, like the below, and see the "Visit…" link? Thanx SLBuzz!

amu Noel catches a whopper

like a scene from a dream

However, there's a tradeoff

Postcards are lower-resolution and have compression artifacts. You might rightly think:

Torley, why not just take a snapshot to disk and send a postcard?

I've done this multiple times. That's where it gets somewhat trickier. Yes, I'm quick on the keys, but the images aren't the same, since there are sometimes moving objects or avatars within the scene. Still much better than not having a SLURL since while the image changes, the location doesn't, but, what's the bigger problem?


(Yes, Lindens crash.)

On my Windows PC, taking multiple high-resolution snapshots in a session will crash me out sooner or later. It's especially exacerbated if the content is very rich (lots of textures), especially so if there are many avatars.

My Mac tends to be more stable, but, as you might know, there's a bug which hangs/freezes Macs taking hi-res snappies, so they're out of the question. And in addition, the Mac version of SL performs noticeably slower, which slugs the whole process.


More unfurling


Why not just take normal-res snapshots? 'Cause content may be useful for future uses, like press publications. You know what they say: you can always edit out, but you can't add what's not there to begin with. (Which could lead to another tangent on image forensics…)

And the other part: the login screen displays pretty pictures but currently doesn't allow clickthroughs to go where you see. Wouldn't it be lovely to see an inspiring image and login there? Constructively, I'll bring this idea up at any opportunity I have. Another thought is: I wish the login screen and Showcase images were integrated. Would give these outstanding places an additional, well-deserved boost. (I don't take those photos, they're well-done by Showcase editorial team.)

I like to customize

Furthermore, I'd love it if Second Life could automatically set my WindLight settings for you, or preferable in general instances, the landowner's choice. Server-side WindLight's not here yet. Therein is nested yet another angle, which you can see why this is quickly spiraling beyond the scope of my little blog post…

(There a whole legal dimension of this too which I'm not getting into here.)

SO for now… the manual answer: broadly and altho comparatively rare, a portion of the hi-res snapshots I upload have postcard equivalents with SLURLs. Most of the winter set I've been asked about have SLURL versions here (browse forward in time). I don't know when more/all of them will be used as actual splash screens, but the main thing of creative importance was to capture an assorted array of awesome. (And so, like they often say about pictures lasting longer…)

~ Scribble ~


Again, easiest way to look is at my inworld exploring set shortly after I take the pic. It may take awhile to browse as I'm prolific, so if you're utterly stumped, leave a comment here with the Flickr or other screenshot URL, and if I know where that is, I'll tell you. Please be curious. And if I don't remember, I hope someone else does — we help each other, right?

I love connecting SL explorers with the Residents who made these lovely places, hoping greater things will happen. Once more… I just wish it was easier. Happy travels!

4 Responses to “Why I don't (consistently) post SLURLs with hi-res snapshots”

  1. Sahoni Tigerpaw Says:

    Sometimes the first picture I take in a set is a screenshot of the entire SL viewer window (on a Mac, CMD+Shift+4+Spacebar will let you take a screenshot of any window that is currently open)… the region info is in the SL viewer title bar and I can refer to it any time later.

    I don't know much about hi-res snapshots however… I'll have to look up what those pixel dimensions end up being and compare them to my monitor screenshots resolution.

    Thanks for the info Torley and you have some very cool ideas about integration. :)

  2. Torley Says:

    @Sahoni: Oh yes! The built-in Mac screen capture is surprisingly good compared to Windows Print Screen. I like Skitch (and am trying LittleSnapper) also. Hi-res ones are 4x the size (2x each dimension) of a regular one. They don't have antialiasing if that's on, but are overall more suitable for print and other fine-detail uses.

    I like sharing stuff like this because it's very user-centric, my casual observations…

  3. Koinup Burt Says:

    One of the reasons, because we at Koinup launched a Second Life Places Directory
    (http://www.koinup.com/places/ )
    is exactly the idea of a bridge between residents, SL photographers and metaverse explorers.

    On the Koinup Places you can get a sneak preview of the most interesting places or the most latest sims discovered by the community and then jump there and watch them with your eyes.

    We plan to expand the directory to provide our members new features to have even more fun and to make more easy the discovery of places.

    There are such awesome areas in SL and such many people that would love to visit them…..

  4. Dedric Mauriac Says:

    One of the things that I did was to create an in-world object that sits in my hud. If i spend a while on a parcel, then it sends twitter the name/description of the parcel in a slurl (convieniently converted to a tinyurl), and invites people to find me there. If i'm above 400 meters, it only posts the name of the region without coordinates.

    I would like to see more social media tie-in features for second life. However, it's pretty closed off and i have yet to figure out how to install the windows server 2003 SDK on vista 64 to start developing the client on my own.

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