Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Day 59: Pilot Outfit and Skydiving

Ever wanted to skydiving? You know, jump out of a perfectly good airplane? Well in case you couldnt make it to the Real Life version, you can try the Second Life version.

Welcome to Abbotts Aerodrome, one of the oldest sims on Second Life. Abbotts is an airport...sorta. Abbotts is about things that fly (or fall). There are airplanes, helicopters, airships, balloons, and of course, skydiving.

OK, you may think its silly to go skydiving in a place where you can fly. But you can only fly up to 200M. Abbotts will take you up to 2000M or more and drop you. :) Plus its free, so why not!

To come to Abbotts Aerodrome, Search under Places for "aerodrome". The SLURL is Abbotts (160,152,71).

While there, try the elevator instead of the teleporters. Yes, its an honest-to-goodness elevator.

So OK. I assumed you came here to skydive. So lets get that over with. First things first, you need a parachute! Fortunately, there is a skydiving equipment shop right on the 3rd floor (next to the skydiving platform). Here you can purchase (for $0L) the free Terra E-Chute (emergency parachute). There is also a more advanced sport chute for $100L and loads of accessories and clothing, such as skyboards, altimeters, goggles, etc. But for starters, all you need is the free Terra E-Chute.

Just Wear your Terra E-Chute and you will see a little black bean on your back.

If your computer can handle it, you may want to increase the Draw Distance to get a better view. To do so, go to the Edit/Preferences... menu at the top of your screen. Select the Graphics tab and look for the Draw Distance: box. It should be around 96M by default. Make a note of your setting. You should change it back when you are done skydiving, otherwise it may increase your lag elsewhere. Now, try bumping the Draw Distance up to 256M or more. But make sure it doesnt bog down your computer.

Strap yourself into the pod, and get ready to rocket to 2000M and beyond (you can select the altitude, but leave it at 2000M for the E-Chute). Once you reach top...

Wheeee...I wonder if it was a good idea to wear a skirt...

You can see your altitude at the top of your screen. Its the number thats dropping quickly :P To open your chute, you need to say the word "pull" in chat. Now heres the catch: You dont want to open too early, cause the chute REALLY slows down your descent and it can get a bit boring. You dont want to open too late, cause well...splat (you dont actually die, its just uncool :P). So 400-500M is a good range.

Id recommend typing the word "pull" into your chat box and press [Enter] at the appropriate altitude. When you hit ground, you are ready to go back up again. Do this as many times as you like! And bring some friends!

When you are done, go to the airship dock and take a ride on the airship around the airport.

Since I was planning to go skydiving today, I thought I would wear a pilot outfit: one reminiscent of WWII aviators with a dash of Top Gun with a skirt. :P I had a lot of fun putting the outfit together. The leather jacket is a freebie. I rolled up the sleeves (reduced the jacket's Sleeve Length in Appearance...) and added 2 sheepskin cuffs. These sheepskin cuffs are Single Prim Attachments with a sheepskin texture from the Internet. Cuffs are a quick and easy way to add some realism to a long sleeve outfit, like a jacket. You can make them using a torus sized to fit your wrist. In case you want to make a set, here are the dimensions of my cuffs:

"Object" Tab
Size: X=0.070, Y=0.085, Z=0.080
Hole Size: B=1.00, E=0.15

Attachment points are Left Forearm and Right Forearm. Just find a good fur texture and apply it to the cuffs.

My sunglasses are also freebie items, although they needed some significant adjustments to fit. I did run into 2 significant challenges with today's outfit:

First, I did not realize how difficult it is to find freebie cloths for men. I had wanted a white dress shirt for men to wear underneath my jacket. I was shocked that I couldnt find one. I am not encouraging men to use female AV's (please dont), but there are far more freebie cloths for female AV's than males. But if its any consolation, you guys dont have to change quite as often. You can get by with 1 pair of good jeans. :)

Second, I was all dressed to go skydiving (with my usual assortment of attachments). When I purchased my Terra E-Chute and chose Wear, my skirt pleats disappeared. This is fairly common if you wear a lot of attachments. There are a limited number of attachment points, and sooner or later, attachments will step on one another. When this happens, you need to move an attachment from one attachment point to another point. This will require work in repositioning the attachment at the new attachment point, similar to fitting a Single Prim Attachment.

You can change attachment points by Right-clicking on the object, select "Attach To >", then select the appropriate attachment point. ***I STRONGLY recommend that you duplicate an attachment before trying to reposition it!*** Sometimes a lot of work goes into positioning an attachment. Whenever possible, make sure you have a backup before you start.

For example, both the E-Chute and my skirt pleats are trying to attach to the "pelvis" attachment point. I would not recommend repositioning the E-Chute (I tried it, its a nightmare). That means I had to move my skirt pleats from "pelvis" to "stomach" (these attachment points behave in a similar manner). Unfortunately, the belt was attached to the stomach. So I had to reposition the belt to the "spine" first, then the skirt pleats to the "stomach".

If you have an outfit or AV with lots of attachments, this may be something you need to do occasionally.

This is Captain Natalia speaking. We will be taking off in a few moments. As soon as I learn how to fly a plane :P


Dmitrij Nyehljudov said...

Hi Natalia! You mentioned that I can IM you inword. How do I do that? I mean how to find people, how do I know if you are in the grid? (plus I always have to calculate the hours, 'couse you live a 9 hour earilier timezone than I do :-))

Maxine Montale (SL) aka Digital Femme (RL) said...

OMG! I love your posts! Lol.... This was incredibly informative as well as amusing! Can you BE any cuter!!! :o) I shall have to try this!

Sorcha McConachie said...

Looking good Natalia! Thanks for the parachute tips :p I was having having a lot of trouble knowing when to pull the cord!
The outfit is adorable!

mbc said...

I enjoyed reading about your skydiving adventures. Can't wait to try it! Thanks for the link on your blog. I just noticed it and was pleasantly surprised. :-)

SLNatalia said...

Hi Dmitrij, Maxine, Sorcha, and MBC :) Dont you love all the cool things you can do in SL?

Dmitrij, if you want to IM me, just go to Search/People and type in my name, "Natalia Zelmanov". It will tell you if I am online or not. Hope to chat with you soon!

Field said...

That whole paragraph on men wearing female avies was very transphobic. Please be more mindful of the trans community in Second Life. Thanks.

SLNatalia said...

Field, lol not sure which paragraph, but Im sorry if it offended you! I wrote this over 300 days ago...and I never realized just how many guys were using female AV's!

Ayakia said...

Oooh, that looked cool!

You got lucky no guys were around; That skirt might have gotten Blue Ball jealous if any guys were flirting with you :P

Natalia Zelmanov said...

Ayakia, lol Captain Natalia is not afraid of anything! (except spiders...and mice...and...:P)

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