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Thanks to Kat Feldragonne on her A Kat and A Mouse blog, I recently read this five-year-old post by Penny Patton that explains not only what’s subtly wrong with the default camera angle in Second Life, but how to improve it! She also offers a great trick for camming around while moving. It’s about 6 steps, and not very complicated (but double-check that you’re entering the right numbers so that you only have to do it once). The instructions are written for the Linden Labs viewer, but they should be very similar or identical in other viewers.

I don’t know about you, but it never occurred to me that I didn’t like the default camera angle in Second Life…but as soon as Penny mentioned it, I realized that things I’ve found frustrating, like not being able to see in small spaces and sometimes having my camera stuck outside a wall or something when I’m on the other side, are due to this camera angle problem! Compare these pictures of me with the default camera angle compared to using the “over the shoulder” approach Penny offers.

Original view at my front door

Original view at my front door

Modified view at my front door

Modified view at my front door

It’s not just the practical things: the improved view angle makes me feel part of the scene instead of like I’m looking down on myself from above (go toward the light, Kate!). It’s more personal, more you’re-actually there.

Original view in a sculpture park

Original view in a sculpture park

Modified view in a sculpture park

Modified view in a sculpture park

Does this really make a big difference in my Second Life experience? I don’t honestly know. I think it makes a difference, but it’s so subtle. Well, but I will say that at my housewarming/10th rezday party over the weekend, it worked very well. Want to try it? Comment or post and let me know how it went! If you post about it on your blog, let me know so that I link or repost.

^^^\ Kate /^^^

UPDATE: Nalates Urriah provides more information and links to an easier way for Firestorm users to change their view settings here. She has a detailed post from a few years back (still applicable) here.

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