Monday, 28 July 2008

Heavy Plant Crossing ... beware

Well, its happening at last: I have been promising myself, for a while now, to get going on the beach and have a good prim clean. Thing is that a lot of the basic design of the beach was done a year ago, and at that time I couldn't build as well as I can now, so.... its all gotta change.

I'm trying not to throw the baby out with the bathwater, of course, and will be keeping all the best bits, but I fancy a change and only time will tell how much of an improvement it is..

So, I have moved in nearly 200 cubic meters of solid rock and chopped down loads of trees.... :)) and it feels great. Nice to work on my own stuff for once... have been doing other peoples sims for 4 or 5 months to have time to myself....:)))

So, its a bit of a mess at the moment, "Under Construction" but hopefully it wont be too long.... (I havent touched the shop, its much tidier up there....). If you wanna pop by, I'll be in the site office....:))

Saturday, 26 July 2008

Avgi, Isle of Awakening.............finished, more or less....

Well, the port area is the most recent bit of building, the photo above shows how it was when I started, I demolished some buildings, and added some colour....:)) well, what else would I do...

So the whole place is a little brighter, and I hope different enough that it shows that I was there....:))

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Pure delight

Well, you HAVE to go....... to selavys show.....see previous entry...

I loved it, and was playing about for an hour !!!

may be the best thing I have seen in SL

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Selavy Oh at Design island again

for those who missed her last build, another opportunity to see a completely new build (does that make sense?? hmmmm) anyway, Selavy is one of the few artists i know who uses SL like a medium rather than a glorified 3D IM device..... check it out.

Saturday, 19 July 2008

soror furniture

Added a couple of pieces of furniture to the shop, a 70's sofa and a new Daisy Bed........

Otherwise been talking to Orange about re-doing my island get over and see it if you havent yet, I may take it and put up some new trees and things.
Started to finish Avgi, have boxed up some stuff for Earth... still working in the port area...

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

The Angel Orchid

My latest flower, now in the shop, over by the 60's furniture....

Hope you like it....:))

Monday, 14 July 2008

Tree House at Avgi

Yes, I have finished the tree house at Avgi, its gonna be used as a residence, but its probably OK to pop over and have a look before its occupied, its at Avgi 60,235,45, theres sofas provided for your comfort.....:))

I have also finished a new flower, and will blog it later....:)) quite pleased with it....


Saturday, 12 July 2008

Charlot Dickens and Urania

Yes, another great piece by Charlot.... Urania, the latest in a line of exquisite sculptures by the brilliant sculptress....

brilliant website too

ColeMarie Soleil... new show

Another show worth visiting .... ColeMarie Soleil at Calliefornia 225,234,300 here seen in conversation with Sorbet Sorbet on the beauties of toast. The studio was invaded by flying toasters too fast for me to snap, unfortunately..... another of those unique SL moments...:))

Bird Girl is well worth listening too. Also by ColeMarie, it is haunting and totally relevant to how we all feel at times....

Friday, 11 July 2008

Selavy Oh at Design Island.

Well, several times before I have shown some of Selavy's work in these pages... and thats because shes a great artist and worth knowing about.....

This is how her build looks.......but........ with Selavy, it's about what her build DOES thats of interest. Be careful what you touch....hehheeeh . A truely amazing experience.. the sort of thing SL excels in being-able-to-provide-the-possibilities-for...(I will not use the word 'facilitate', it sounds like a toilet block)

The address is........DEsign Island,Culturegion, (207,27,81) GO, you will love it.

Thursday, 10 July 2008

new lilly

Its not black, its a dark, dark purple/burgundy colour..... a Calla Lilly.....

Had the Blender going, while we were all offline.... think one of the Linden Boys may have got some pizza stuck in his keyboard, or it may be more technical than that....who knows....

New products (july)

At last I got some butterflies, tricky little critters, and have them for sale in the shop with four different colous, and 6 prims.:))

And this is my 55th ancient one.... The Lavender Tree, she has a really lovely canopy, and is a stunner at night or against the backdrop of green canopies in a forest, 28 prims, and 24 of those are the canopy.... on sale in the shop from last night...

Well, I can't log on at the moment so...... Its Blender Time !!

This little blog.... called by someone " that boring little melodrama" hhehehehehe... is getting more popular! more people are reading my little musings each week, including the rich and famous...:))) over 3800 pages.... and 10% stay over an get out and build something..... hehehhe.... just kidding, its greta. Thanks for your interest. It is quite a good way to look at the trees tho, cos its getting a little crowded in the shop, looks like rain forest now....
Been visited by lots of Italian (and french) elves recently, they wont be reading this, but its kinda amusing... :)) can't say, like I did last year...I'm big in Japan....hehhehhee ... big in italy doesnt have the same ring to it....

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Congratulations to Caro

Well, this is Caro's new playground, a whole sim to mess with. We are all envious, Caro..... well done.... should be a great build, knowing you.... :)))
Its called Visaya's Isle ....and I will report back on progress....:)))

Meanwhile at Avgi, the harbour and club are beginning to take shape......

Before and after.....

Otherwise I am working on a new tree, the Lavender Tree, its mostly finished , so photos next blog, if I am satisfied with it.... :))

Monday, 7 July 2008

Textures in Second Life......Workshop 3

OK, so now we can move onto

Textures For Sculpties

and the reason they may need considering separately is because they can be very complex shapes and you can spend hours fiddling about trying to get them right. I cannot stop you doing that but there are two methods I use for complex shapes.... this is the first.

Test Pattern

After I have rezzed my prim

I apply the test pattern, which is by Robin Sojourner (wood) and then take lots of photos to disk. As I have the test pattern in Photoshop, I can use the colours, numbers and grid to locate things like eyes and fins.

This gives me the chance to do a trial run to find out if i can get, in this instance, the eyes and fins in the right place

Then after some more photos to disk.... a finished tex.

The second way of doing this, if the positioning is important is to use the 64x64 sculptie map as the start of your design, (not the finished tex, can do better.)

well this is all pretty self explanitory... there are so many ways you can alter a 64x64 tex.... just have fun

so, this is the prim

this is the sculptie map used in its raw state.... ok, but a bit boring for some uses

and this is it after all the stuff above.... still not good a bit more mucking about..(otherwise known as designing.....) and its far more presentable

So, just a few ideas, you may find something you like.


Wimbledon 2008 .... in depth analysis...

Hehehe.... well, thats a lie really, there's enough indepth analysis to drive you potty...

Basically, the Williams Sisters walked away with the Ladies Doubles and one of them one the Ladies Singles... now, that shows you how engaged I was, I saw the match, but couldn't really get excited about who won. It didnt really matter much to me... (it was Venus)....

The Mens Singles, by contrast was the most gripping tennis I think I have ever seen..... The Old Master versus the New Kid.... wowowow.... what a match... the two best players in the world, locked in (not quite) mortal combat.... extreme excellence versus pure determination...... greta....:))
Nadal won eventually: and really quite inspiring... that if you want something enough.....(well, you have to have the skills, obviously)...

Star of the show was beyond doubt Laura Robson... she won the Girls Singles championship... well done.... but.... where she really scored big was in the interviews she gave. For once there was someone on the telly who had not been media trained, she was natural and normal, rather than "media savvy"....what a relief that real people can answer these stupid questions easily and with a tongue in cheek attitude. She may have lots of techniques to improve in her game, but her interview technique is 100% there. Just hope no smart ass teaches her "better".


Venus Williams....... the only thing I am frightened of is cockroaches... (I believe you)

Nadal ... when I am serving for the match, I see nothing.. (it was getting late)

Laura Robson.... (when asked about playing Venus)... I will take her down... (Laura is 14.... )

Stupid Quote of the Championship: (by a half-wit commentator)

"this is a really tense tie-break" ( what ?? as opposed to a laid back/ relaxed one..... fool)

Saturday, 5 July 2008

Free texture

OK, so this is the texture I showed you in the previous blog,

Saturday, 5 July 2008
Textures in Second Life......Workshop 2

You simply use it in Appearance.... create new shirt...... create new pants..... I think it works well as a textile texture... :))
but forget the skirt...... Linden skirts look like sacks....:))

Textures in Second Life......Workshop 2

OK, so this is about putting two tex on the same prim..... well, actually its a cheat, it looks like two tex on one prim, but actually its two tex on two different prims. I will talk about why you would want to, later, and give some examples.

Here's how its done

First rezz a prim and put your base tex on it

Then make a copy of that prim

Put your overlying prim on the copy. It is usual to use an alpha tex for this, although you can use a normal prim and turn up the transparency on it, so you see the underlying prim through the top tex.
I have used a green wavy tex...

Then, in Objects increase the size of the overlying prim so its about 3 to 5 mm larger in all direction.... this case, the original prim is 2x2x2, and the copy is 2.005x2.005x2.005.

Move the copy down onto the original prim and locate it with the same centre as the original.

I dont like the green tex, so I change it for one with purple spots.

Then I decide to repeat the whole thing with a third tex.

Another alpha tex

Thats more like it. An attractive and rich texture.

You are very welcome to take a copy and upload it SL if you like, it would look good on fabrics, i.e. a carpet, tree bark or whatever you are building at the moment. I will show you briefly, in a later blog what it looks like as clothing.... (have to make it first).

So... WHY BOTHER.....:))

Well, I can now change the colour on all three layers.... that gives me great possibilities.

One or other ( or all three) layers can have rotational scripts added.

I use it for.... moss or grass on rocks.... blurring the underlying tex when its too crisp...... or adding colour I need for the whole composition.

SCULPTIES... the same principles apply... but remember that some sculpties change rotation slightly when you increase the size of the copy. This is due to them not being true to the x,y,z axis.... lots of fiddling about may be needed.

Hope this is useful....


soror Nishi freebie

Sorors Bird of Paradise

OK.....a free little toy for those who enjoy flying........ just pick one up....copy/mod at the beach.... sororNishi beach, in my Picks
and enjoy...... or IM and I'll send one....

free texture coming in my next blog about Textures, should be done today.... we'll see

Friday, 4 July 2008

Textures in Second Life......Workshop 1

Well, not exactly a workshop, more some thoughts and opinions on the use of tex in SL.

As it is purely my opinion I will state my case without lots of maybes and perhapses, although generalisations have their faults and there is always an exception to any rule. I am not unaware of all the shades of grey that lie between the black and white of such broad statements.... and take them as read.

Why I Hate Phototex..... especially the freebies.

by phototex I mean textures that started life as a photograph of a RL object, Linden trees, wood, brickwalls...etc, the list is endless, and they are available free by their thousands. I believe they are the worst textures to use for many reasons...

1. Resolution.... .. we are used to seeing printed images at a resolution of 300, at least, in magazines, computer screens TV etc. Taking a photo at 330 and uploading to SL at 72 spoils the whole thing. They look shoddy, out of focus and grey. There are several reasons for this, and a number of tips I have.....

Why anyone in their right mind would WANT SL to look like RL is totally beyond me, and I will restrain myself from having a rant here and now. Suffice it to say that objects in RL age, that is.... nothing is new all the time.... wood, stone, etc, all look like they are ageing in RL and this give an aura of reality to RL....... which is seldom recreated in SL. Also no two bricks, stones, pieces of wood or other commonly used tex are ever the same. As you will never achieve an authentic copy of RL, why try??

Tip a, if you have to use a phototex in SL, try the following... first open it in your Photoshop, or Gimp, whatever image manipulating software programme you use and see what it looks like at a resolution of 72, 512x512 pixels. OK, now maybe it doesnt look so bad on your screen, BUT, and this is the big but, you may be using it on at 10x10 meter prim. ZOOM IN. Zoom IN again. Looks crap doesn't it. Yes it does.

Tip b, so, enlarge your tex to 1024x1024, or if you are planning on a very big tex in SL (more about tex sizes later) 2048x2048 if you puter will take the strain. Try using fewer colurs, this can often be done by increasing the Contrast or Posterizing..... bepends on what you use. The idea is to get rid of as many greys as possible. This will also tend to accentuate areas of colour.

Tip c, experiment, experiment, experiment........ anything....Stroke, Fill, Invert, use all the different tools and gimmicks your programme has.

tip d, is quite simple.... the finished image, once you've played around with it should look good enough to hang on your wall, in your front room, or as a fabric for your clothing...... its NEVER gonna look better in SL if its even slightly dodgy in RL.

2. Surfaces

No surface in RL is as uniform as it is in SL. So any surface you take a photo of is gonna loose depth when transferred to SL. Shadows and nuances of texture get lost, Wood in SL isn't quite as bad as brickwork and stone, but very nearly, and the free textures or large collections of tex you can buy make very poor viewing on a flat SL surface. You may have more success on a bumpy or distorted surface, like clothing, or, best of all on a sculptie

3. Colour.

The human eye is capable of distinguishing an extremely large number of colours. Dont try to upload em all on one tex. The best effects can be had by using 16 to 64 colours in a tex, and like I said before.... see tip b.

4. The Transparent Prim.....

How poor is it to fly over Linden trees and flowers, and look down, when they are purely dodgy tex applied to a transparent prim or three in a cross or hexagonal plan???
Well, I think one of the ugliest things there are.

Why I Love Painted/ Photoshop Tex

Well, basically for all the reasons implied above.

Size of Texture.

512x512 is the norm for me. I use tga, or PNG personally, tho I have seen a video of one of the Lindens extolling the virtues of PNG.... I cant see the difference. Alpha texs are easier to do in PNG, cos you dont have to make another layer, just 'save as....PNG' and the transparent part of you tex get treated as alpha.

256x256... obviously faster to rezz, perfect for tex with few colours, few features or if used on small items.

1024x1024... for all tex thats gonna be applied to large items, its better to use a larger tex, obviously, but also for things that will be studied in close-up, where people are gonna zoom in..... in SL..... better use a larger tex and hope people are gonna be interested enough to wait for it to rezz.

Simple is great

Some of my best tex, some i use again and again are really very simple. Lots of things are easier to "read" i.e. to see and understand, if a simple tex is used, and this goes even further...... on very complex prims/objects a plain colour may be the best tex you can choose. Even better a tex with a gentle gradient from one tone to the next (Photoshop).... v cool.

ok thats enough for today, I got Wimbledon to watch, (I'm an addict)....will continue tomorrow, .....:)))
Maybe more about putting two tex on the same object...