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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Fireworks!

Hello again, and a happy Fourth of July to all...even if you happen not to be in the United States.  One of the defining features of this national holiday is fireworks displays.  I love watching those...the lights and colors suddenly blooming in the air.  They are lovely and exciting...an incredible form of performance art, done with explosives!
There are fireworks in Second Life, too, and some of them are pretty spectacular.  One of my favorite performances is put on weekly during the summer months by Marianne McCann, usually at the Livingtree region.

Here are some performances that I found by checking the Events calendar.

DeCuir Fireworks  All day displays, and you can buy them too.


Helping Haven.  Celebration starts at 11:00 SLT


Purelife Lodge.  Celebration begins at 12:00 noon SLT.  Party, airshow, fireworks.


The G Spot Club.  Wytchwhisper performs live.  Fireworks on the pier, 3:00 pm SLT


US Military Veterans Center.  Toby Keith tribute event, 4:00 pm SLT, also 6 pm SLT


Cystic Fibrosis University.  Boomer Esiason Foundation charity event.  Live singer Potlatch Foggarty.  3 - 6 pm SLT


xOne club.  DJ Jester, 6 pm SLT

Equus.  Eagles and the Doobie Brothers.  Eight hour long extravaganza.

You'll find many more with an Events search of your own!

So much for the social part of this post...on to the tutorial!

Fireworks in Second Life are one example of particle effects.  Particles are used to create many effects, from fountains and water splashes to lightning.  Smoke and fog are particles too, and the flashy bling of your jewelry, and the fire of a jet or rocket exhaust.  All these effects are created by properly setting the parameters of one general purpose particle script.  That sounds easier than it is in practice...but there is a series of tutorials offered free by The Particle Laboratory to show you how to do this to create various effects.

Sometimes particles are used by griefers.  "Poofers" are objects that contain a particle script, and if you see a sky full of offensive or rude images, some griefer is using a poofer to create them.  You can turn off particle visibility in your viewer with the shortcut CTRL+SHIFT+ALT+= .  Toggle them back on with the same keyboard combination.

But don't disable particles today...you'll miss all the pretty fireworks!

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