Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Diving Deep

Written 28 September, 2010

Diving Deep

Sweetie and I have long lamented the scarcity of attractive underwater areas in Second Life.

Like just now I just mapped to Moose Beach to see what's up and I landed underwater and there's not a damn thing in sight.

The Linden Moles have made some nice underwater areas, and there are places for merfolk and any number of landowners have developed their seabeds, but still, nice aquatic areas are hard to find.

One of the oldest and best-known undersea gardens is at the Cave Rua sim, That's where Sweetie and I started our SCUBA adventures yesterday. It's also where I bought a wonderful squid which has been swimming around my property for nearly four years, inking any avatar who gets too close. The Vernian Sea is another great area.

We eventually wound up on the Dive World sims, which were wonderful, expertly landscaped and filled with plants and animals by Kaikou Splash.We had a great time exploring.

What made Dive World fun and interesting and friendly to the camera was its texturing and contouring-- that, and a water depth of 50 meters instead of the customary 20. This allowed a varied landscape, with gentle slopes and underwater cliffs and chasms, crevasses and folded canyon; shading of the land textures enhanced this effect. Fish were tucked into contours in the land, looking most natural. Sweetie was enchanted.No, more than enchanted. She told me just now, even as I was writing, "I'm jealous of that water."

The problem with having a sea level above 20 meters is that the ocean's edge doesn't visually match the off-sim Linden water, which is set at 20 meters. To mask the discontinuity, there needs to be some sort of camouflaging, either through use of land on the sim borders, or of off-sim megaprims, or both.

If we were starting Whimsy today, we would without a depth have a raised water level. But of course Whimsy is a mature sim and it would be disruptive to change everything so late in the game, so it will have to endure with 20 meters seas. Still, how nice if our underwater areas could look like the photos of Dive World, below.

Click on More to see the pictures.

This shot is from Whimsy. The drop-off  behind the sunken ship lends drama.

Phaom Merlin's land on Whimsy. Beautiful, but more depth would be great.
Dive World Sweetie was mightily impressed that the tall ship was entirely underwater.
Exploring the sunken ship.
The water's depth adds a lot of drama, doesn't it?


Brinda said...

Yes..when i did a scuba site I found that since I didnt plan ahead over two years ago..i'm stuck with 20 meter water :-(

Yordie Sands said...

Totally cool! I can't wait to tell Tak about these places. I'm new to the whole scuba scene and although I seem to spend plenty of time underwater (hehe). Thanks for sharing your adventures. And be sure to checkout JDC Dives. Tak took me there on Sunday. hugs, Yordie

Yordie Sands said...

btw Chey... the inland waters around Junkyard Blues and Junkyard Blues South are open to the public and have some cool areas for scuba. Not to deep but scenic and I think the man eating sharks have been removed.