New on the Second Life Marketplace – a mesh project that I finally finished, for once!
A simple black top hat, which reveals a moire’ satin texture when using Advanced Lighting (see viewer preferences under graphics, must be enabled depending on your hardware). Any biggie, Tiny, Dinkie, or Furry avatar can wear this hat with pride! Note, the interior does NOT have invisible or deleted faces, so it could be placed upside-down on a table to display a pair of gloves, etc.
Materials – requires Advanced Lighting to see effect
I’m undecided about whether I’ll open another secondary shop again. I am quite tempted by 2 locations, both run/managed by old friends. Both are either in the Steampunk genre, which I’ve missed, or in the “early Americana” style, which has a comfortable vibe for me.
Almost all of my older products will be priced at about 50% off. I’ve deleted a few really old ones that nobody wanted (and with good reason)!
I’m actually looking forward to changes. What use is being Chameleonic without it?
I am bummed, because Kitty picked up most of his wonderfully eclectic junk from his bar in the Bayou, before I had a chance to take more pictures.
Meanwhile Janus Rhiadra’s general store across the way is gorgeous, stocked with gacha stuff. Makes my old Dry Goods store look so 2007.
So today I tinkered with a long-stale project in Blender, got frustrated several times, will keep trying and will review the basics. Again. Because I forget them from long disuse, again.
I also chucked out some old products from the Second Life Marketplace and my vendors. I visited a friend’s little town in SL and found a beautifully made stained glass lamp, with wrought iron and frickin light bulbs, and it’s ONE PRIM. Dhughan is feeling quite depressed as his old-fashioned products just are not up to snuff. Not. Up. To. Snuff.
It’s either bootstraps, or kits. Prims and sculpts are just not happening.
Onward into the future! Time marches on! Education is liberation!
Gabrielle Riel, owner of the St John Estate where I currently live and have a shop, has come to a hard decision:
I believe this. I always told everyone that if they needed to cut back their time in the virtual world that I would fully support their decision, because as much as I love and respect the platform that I turned into two businesses, I believe in Real Life First. Always.
With all my belief in “Real Life First”, there was one person to whom I never gave compassion or the ability to choose real life first.
Me. And it’s time for that to change. There are serious things that I need to attend to in my real life.
Ladies and gentlemen, friends and residents, I am closing the St John estate and I am semi-retiring from Second Life.
This was the scene last night at Kitty Vinje’s place in St John Bayou, next to his bar, the Love Shack:
I went along on an expedition with Kitty and other Bayou denizens to check out a land sale at one of those sim-rental/sale places. There was a lot of discussion of what to name it but there may need to be more discussion of how many people would be committed to going in on a shared sim rental, with one person designated as the owner to collect rents. They have a lot of thinking and organizing and number-crunching to do, I can’t even imagine. It’s a talented group but what they want to do is re-create their beloved bayou, and that takes work and passion.
Meanwhile, I have to get ready to pack up the shop in St John Parish, change all the landmarks in the Marketplace, change all the landmarks in all my boxed products, and make a fresh start.
I started by going to the beach.
I bought a simple cheap parcel, on the sim edge looking east, just a 512 with a little beach shack I found on the Marketplace called “Life’s A Beach.” I can put out a few things and call it done; last night the others were talking about the prims they need to put out by the thousands. I just need a place to be and listen to ocean waves and maybe a little music.
I spent the afternoon yesterday thinking about what Kitty will do with his wonderful “Love Shack” bar, which has such a wonderfully eclectic collection of stuff. He really does need to find a place with swampy ambiance for it; it won’t do to simply plop it down in the middle of generic grassland. He doesn’t know anything about terraforming or sim management; my dabbling with Open Sim gives me some dim idea of what’s involved with RAW files, terrains, terraforming, prim budgeting, and water levels. I hope he lands on his wee black paws. There aren’t many other places with a bayou vibe, and of those, I don’t know if they have a spot for a tough little black cat in a bowler hat and a set of brass knuckles.
Kitty’s Love Shack Bar, St John Bayou
I’ve had a lot of fun in St John but have to admit I’m not as shocked, surprised, and grieved as I was over the closure of Steelhead. In the former case, it was a very unfair situation – the estate owner got in some dispute with Linden Lab and was locked out, unable to pay tier and unable to resolve. In this case, Gabrielle had given some very clear signs that things in her personal life were needing to take precedence. Also, although she had plans for Christmas decorations, I missed any announcements after her first notecard; something went wonky with my ims-to-email and I wasn’t getting inworld messages. I feel like I let Gabi down on my general lack of presence, but my own First Life got busier 2 years ago and there was less time for Second Life.
I just wish we could have had one more Mardi Gras. I missed the last one with my own hiatus, and regret that.
I have some admin stuff to do too, and also I have some simple Blender projects in mind, which this little beach hut will benefit from. The “beach” is a sculpt prim and I’m pretty sure I can improve on it. And as the hut is prim based, it can be edited. There was another hut I liked that had a small deck for lower LI, so I may try that later. I was thinking of making a simple mesh deck and maybe an ice cooler. My needs are simple (and so are my skills).
For now, I will just try to be present, reconnect with friends, and get stuff done that I enjoy doing (along with less enjoyable chores).
Sansar has come a long way since we first caught wind of the project. In 2015, Linden Lab, the company behind the wildly successful Second Life virtual life simulator, saw the potential of virtual reality and set out to develop a successor to Second Life that would take advantage of modern graphics technology.
Word is getting out to surprising places – Tom’s Hardware, sellers of high end graphics cards – stands to sell some upgrades to Sansar users.
It seems likely that some bigger designers will migrate or branch into Sansar, and also likely that fashionistas will migrate to Sansar to play with tweaking their own clothes.
But many have a lot invested in mesh bodies and heads, too. Not sure how it will work out. If the fashion bloggers and customers who power much of the SL economy decide to abandon the older platform for the New Pretty, the mesh builders and designers may feel the pull.
I don’t have any interest in exploring or marketing in Sansar. I need less fragmentation in my virtual selves, not more. I doubt my simple fedoras or top hats will get much play there, and I’m no fashion designer.
A Macho Home on Guys’ Wrists: In the August issue of Vogue, Zayn Malik embraces Gigi Hadid, with a turquoise-and-silver ring on his right index finger. In an ad for Dior’s fragrance Sauvage, Johnny Depp rolls up his sleeve to reveal an armful of jewelry, including a turquoise-and-silver bracelet. – by Max Berlinger – Tags: blender, create, second life – https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/05/fashion/mens-style/turquoise-jewelry-for-men.html
It’s been quiet here, but I’ve been making slow and not very steady process in learning Blender again.
I’m signed up for a very comprehensive Udemy course, I’ve got several versions of Blender installed (and will need to update Avastar soon), and I’ve got plans for Christmas decorations at the St John shop.
But much of my Blender self-education consists of watching tutorials, some of which are helpful, many of which are not, and ONE of which is hilariously bad, strangely comforting, and actually useful.
I salute you, sir. You uploaded a cool chair without a physics model, without any attempt to create Level of Detail (LOD) files, and you have no idea how much you spent to upload your subdivided cube-chair. And at least you did it; you didn’t hold back and think “I can’t figure Blender out” and play endless games of Spider Solitaire like me. Well done, you.
Other things I’ve been tinkering around with:
CMFF mBody Mesh Body – Chip Midnight’s attempt to make a logical mesh body for Second Life is officially abandoned, but it can be used with regular mesh clothing. He responded to my request for redelivery, as I had deleted it in a purge, and remarked that he’s not really actively developing anything and has found a new career (also, well done Chip).
Ocasin Mesh Body – about as hilariously bad as the attached tutorial, it’s a very, very inexpensive mesh body with Bento-capable hands and face and absolutely enormously engorged nipples. The fingernails and toenails are pretty awful, the shape is not bad, the alphas HUD is actually quite good except that it’s rotated 90 degrees and is off to the side of my monitor (probably the creator has a very large format monitor). It was dirt cheap, about 10% of the cost of a conventionally pretty mesh avatar, whch is why I decided to ask Chip for a redelivery.
I’m in “tinkering and dabbling” mode. I want to work on improving old crappy sculpt based products and make a dream I had come true. And I don’t need to wear a beautiful mesh bod, but wanted to have the option to dump the “oh, God, it’s all gone horribly wrong” lumpy SL avatar now and then. I don’t plan on becoming a skin artist (can’t draw, mousing is crap) but I can manage a light template mod, just for my own use.
It’s been a somewhat frustrating week. But I made progress on a couple of fronts.
New hat – not really that new, I’ve been wearing it for a year, but only recently got serious about choosing the final set of textures (yes, it’s another texture change) and realizing something fundamentally dumb about how I’ve been doing things.
The new hat is called “Flutterby” and it’s got the same (old) base top hat with a texture change band and body. I really like the steampunk textures, of course, and there are some other ideas for other hats, but with a different base.
These are the body and band choices – I’ve gone this route before by photographing a simple texture organizer inworld to use as the “features” image on the Marketplace ad. It’ll look slightly different, this is just the raw inworld setup.
But due to my realization of the dumbness, I spent some time thinking about how to get around the problem, and decided that I’d have to join the rest of modern SL practice and produce a texture-change HUD. I figure that most users now probably use these for skin and outfits appliers, and after looking around a little, liked Xavier Sockington’s minimalist touch-area approach.
Some of his reviewers didn’t like that there was no resize option. But I’ve taken classes from Xavier and always got something out of them, and wanted to support his business. And although I struggled most of a day before the angels sang, I am still happy with this, although by the time I finally got it working, I was forced to knock off, pack prims away, and venture outworld to a gathering.
Note to my future self: setting this up as a duplex required touching the individual linked prims in order to get the actual link number. Separating them wasn’t a requirement, as they did have to retain their original link number rather than being recombined after being separated. This HUD gives up to 8 button options, with each button offering 8 link or face options. So you could use it to to change textures on multiple faces per button, and you can stack one on top of the other. This way, I get one for body textures, one for band textures.
You could also limit the combinations of textures to just 8 groupings per HUD. I expect builders of retexturable homes and furniture love this stuff. I got the idea from my “realization of my dumbitude” and also from the clever and beautifully textured HUD that came with my texture change patio furniture from Max Graf.
So not only did I mess about with prims, I actually dusted off GIMP and bungled around with layer files until I remembered how to select and mask and so forth, using the image of the texture organizer to stencil the HUD buttons. The textures are named in order so that they’re consistent with the button positions; in a future project, with a little scaling, it’ll be a snap to set up button textures.
Really all that’s required is to double-check the perms with some tests (my poor alts), re-check that the HUD is working (I literally took the working copy into inventory and walked out the door), and set up Marketplace and store vendors.
Of course, all this got me thinking about updating to a newer GIMP. And the dangers of filters not working.
And I set out a group gift in the shop (a mesh top hat, super simple), so that got me thinking about Blender.
Here we go again, taking online classes (Udemy this time, there was a big sale). And I pulled out some old unfinished things and had a look and a think. This time, I think I can actually finish the older projects and get over the block at last.
In the “stuff not done” column, I need to go through my MP listings, update the link to the shop (as it changed when the sim was swapped), and before that, cull old junk ruthlessly.
Although I wasn’t online at all this week, I was getting other things figured out. And thinking about fun activities (a kind of organized tour) that’s sort of fitness oriented. More on that later.
UPDATE: I had a few minutes at lunch today to check on the hat and HUD, and ermagerd, ert werks! Now thinking of getting my hair did with something modern and hat friendly.
It’s been a busy week. After a long break, the approach of fall meant I’d have more time on the weekends for inworld activities (the typist rides her bicycle and has other summer goings-on). I was thinking of a return to my St John shop, where I’d left several projects partly completed.
Then circumstances forced some quick decisions. The sim was to undergo a complete makeover. Would I continue, or depart? Make a clean break, or a fresh start? After stopping in at the shop to take stock, it was clear to me that I wanted to carry on.
All of the parcels were to be cleared by last Sunday of all prims, but I had time on Saturday. Sim owner Gabrielle Riel provided quick videos on how to pick up prims and pack them to be easily restored, but that wouldn’t be necessary for me; I planned to put down a completely different building, in a new orientation, so my vendors and doodads didn’t have to be restored to their original positions.
The parcel was cleared and I spent some time in a sandbox getting organized, trying out some old-school building, and also shopping for textures and looking at potential candidates for the new building on the Marketplace.
Most of the week, I spent messing about with prims – I bought 4 different buildings and tinkered with them. There’s something both relaxing and focusing editing someone else’s build, but frustrating too.
I settled on an old-style building called “French Quarter House,” but didn’t like how it was oriented; there’s a back garden with a little two-story annex that I ended up rotating 90 degrees, and I’m pretty happy with it.
The other candidate was a really big 3 story “New Orleans Bar House” that really had potential, but was a small footprint AND it was no copy. After spending a couple of days trimming out unwanted landscaping and garden furniture (all of which was no copy, but I saved it), the main house was mostly copy but some no-copy element remained somewhere. Finally, I found a no-copy animation in an innocuous barrel in the kitchen, and another no-copy texture in the back bar. Voila, the entire house became “copy” when those prims were delinked.
It has some really nice elements (beautiful front balconies with topiary plants) and some really not-great exterior textures; I went so far as to copy it and start to knock it into semi detached (still fits on the parcel) but decided that it was too big a project. I could make it work (using Anywhere Doors by Curio Obscura) for the upper floors and I may still swap it out later if I need more display space. And I could still grab parts (shutters that close, landscaping, the garden furniture).
In the end, I went with the French Quarter house that I remodeled; I have office space in the back, and will have minimal vendors out in the front building. Dhughan will also share space, with his walking stick vendors upstairs. I bought some Rustica furniture after reading about Maxwell Graf’s situation on other blogs – the funky patio set will look great out back. I do need to go through the house and trim prims, make sure that some elements are set up as convex hull, etc.
The other furniture I got from Rustica is one of his Craftsman sets; it’s one of my most favorite styles and it’s right in period with the era at St John Parish. As a part of this, some older prim based furniture I’ve been holding on to forever will go back into deep storage (and a lot more of it will be binned in another burning barrel of no regrets.
It’s weird being back after so long, yet it’s so familiar. The first night I was really back, it was a Talk Like A Pirate Day event that was a Radio Riel simulcast from the NeoVictoria sim. This amazing materials-enabled seahorse showed up. I have other pictures on my hard drive, need to get them on my Flickr page. I also need to remember to use my profile feed more, it’s handy to pull photos off of there.
That was so much fun, I went back for a Circus Night and Freakshow at my friend Kitty’s place in Bayou St John. The costumes were astounding, and the music was super eclectic.
I’ve been tinkering with some build tools and figuring out what I have and what I don’t, and rediscovered that before I went on hiatus, I had gotten most of my huge and overly complicated collection of textures loaded and categorized in a Kinex texture organizer. Some have complained that the creator, Kindred Skytower, hasn’t been inworld in months, but as a recent returnee, I’m still happy with the product – it really makes it easy to find something!
I’ve reconnected with some old friends and made some new ones, made some sales, and I’m getting the building bug again. There’s a lot of mesh work that’s simply beyond my sadly outdated skills in Blender; but I did manage to make mesh last year, and by God, I can pick it back up again. I’ll never be that talented or creative, but what I can do, I’ll do. It’s satisfying to pick things back up.
It’s also satisfying to move them around and rezz them somewhere else. And then relax.
There was talk on other blogs this week (I’d more or less kept up on feeds) about fellow Oldbies coming back to Second Life; once you “get it” inworld, you can never really leave.
So I’m back, again. I’ve got a big rezz day coming up and not sure what to do about it, but I’m here.