Tweekly Digest: 07-Dec – 13-Dec

Blender: Straighten Up And UV Right

Finally, I got something figured out with Blender! After much looking around, got a clear answer from Blender Stack Exchange.

Tiny Hat Fedora Test

How can I straighten ALL the vertical UV lines at once? Is there a hotkey short cut? Or if I have to do them one by one .. is there at shortcut for that? Thank you!

Source: How do I straight UV map’s – Blender Stack Exchange

The answer turned out to be both “There’s an app for that!” which didn’t work, and “do it the old school way, like a boss,” which did. The instructions are beautifully clear, concise, and helpfully illustrated with GIFs that repeat so that you can watch the steps as it’s done.

I tried to install the app but didn’t seem to succeed. However, it may require a restart or even a reboot.

After more than a year languishing on my hard drive and stressing me out, I finally got the “Tiny Hat” fedora model unwrapped – more or less correctly, I think, although there are a couple of issues I need to solve, and I need to tweak the “faces” to add at least one more for the top.

Uploaded to Haleakaloha, my test grid, and the LI says “0” which is bunk, everything on the home grid is free.

Reminders and checklist:

  • It’s friggin huge, needs to be resized down before uploading
  • No need to upload with textures, remember to uncheck that.
  • I do have an AO map along with the UV map and also a shaded/diffuse AO map (with the colors I set for the materials).
  • Need to figure out how to add edges between 2 stray vertices that I can only see on the UV map,not on the model. Whut the whut now?
  • The first iteration will end up as a group gift YAY.
  • More new stuff to come.

My Word It Seems Branding Is In Order

Dhughan here, after a long break rambling about at random.

My new shop in St John, a city based on New Orleans circa 1915, has opened softly. Or is that “soft opened?” Perhaps it has come in on little cat feet, tapping along with a stick in the mirk.

In any case, it seems I’m in need of a new logo, or brand or somesuch marketing whizzery, so here it is for now. Subject to change at the drop of a hat.

FroobertsFurtherWestLogo

It links to my Flickr page, where many product photos live, and where many more new product photos will soon reside. I have suddenly come all over with a bad case of the meshles, a communicative disease caused by using a gadget called Blender. When infected with the meshles, someone must hold your hand and walk you through it patiently with aetheric visual talkies.

And now that I have a logo, I can do something else quite reckless and bold.

Having recently watched two aetheric talkies on Blender showing a simple new technique for making something in mesh, it has occurred to me like a thunderclap that my next walking stick must be in mesh. I own a real-life example to work from, it is a simple form, and it is perfectly suited to this method.

Suddenly, I am quite excited to have a bad case of the meshles! Wish me luck!

Here are the talkies. The one on trees is quite mesmerizing. The one on the genie bottle is well presented and clearly shows How It’s Done.

Tweekly Digest: 30-Nov – 06-Dec

Missing Steelhead, But Forging New Social Connections

Farewell Steelhead St Helens

Yes, it’s gone. And yes, it was a lot of fun, and I’ll miss it for a long time. I was there for more than 4 years, after all. But now there’s the new place in St John, new people and events along with old friends, and Dhughan has taken a shop in the new sim and will be announcing the location soon.

And meanwhile the Ravenwood sim is carrying on with internet radio broadcasts, and so is Sheriff Fuzzball with his new parcel. So things do go on.
The Green Fairy In Ravenwood_001

This is something of a test post – if the Blog2Social plugin is enabled correctly, it should appear on my Google+ page, my nearly inactive Tumblr, and at least one image will go to my Flickr page.

Google+ is HARD to set up, it kept refusing the connection no matter how carefully I typed my login and password on the Blog2Social settings page. Finally I found a weird solution at this support page; I had to enable the connection from the Google side first to unlock a hidden Captcha, then it appeared to start an authorization dialogue that I had to confirm again. In that case, the “succeeded” message was in German instead of English as the other accounts had done. Weird.

If this works, I will say “MOO-AH-HA-HA” and chuckle about making my domination of this fully operational Second Life blog complete, or something.

Meanwhile, an irritation: the plugin is free for these features but paid for using it to post to my Facebook page, and it’ll conflict with Social, which is currently handling posts to Twitter and the Facebook page just fine. If it were free, I could dump Social, which keeps losing connection and requires updating every time the blog is upgraded.

“Wish me luck, I’m off to crash the server!”

That Thing I Made In Mesh Last Night

Prepare to be astounded. No, really, sit down or you’ll fall over laughing.

MeshWalkway_001
UglyBridge_001

This last one is in comparison to one of the sculpted walkways Linda Kellie left in a texture pack in one of my OARS:

Comparison To Sculpty_001

And this is why I felt compelled to get off my ass and make something, anything, in Blender last night:

Comparison To Sculpty_001

The original path sculpt map won’t even rez, this is an almost identical one. LOD is good – much better than for my crappy fedora hat (which I will eventually finish or redo from scratch). Meanwhile some exported prim builds that I have hamfistedly tried to “optimize” in Blender look bad, but that’s okay, I give myself permission to keep failing until I get them right.

I am pleased to say that mine appears to be better, the texture sits on it more accurately after many attempts to mark seams, unwrap, and pack texture islands on the UV editor in Blender. I need to keep working on it, had to give up on getting the AO to look right on it at about 2am last night).

Meanwhile, comparing the Linda Kellie sculpt to my very low-poly hand-built mesh bridge makes me feel both satisfied with my effort so far, and sad.

This… I’m sorry, this shit is everywhere in this OAR, and in every free OAR that Linda Kellie so generously provided for free, for any use on any grid. This specific stone sculpted path segment wasn’t in the pack of sculptmaps in the section of my grid that has her store on it but the wooden one I used as an example got me started “on the path,” heh. This OAR is called “Garden Center” and is full of dated looking plant sculpts and flat treewalls and, well, rather ehhh cuddle spots and poseballs scattered all over. I’ve been fooling around with some kind of opensim local host for a few years now, off and on, and what drives me up the wall is feeling unable to cope with tackling the awesome duty to create something, while surrounded by stuff that’s copious, but not really very well made.

There are some awesome OARS out there, in particular a fun Steampunk one someone else made, that I may load up on one of my spare regions (I’m running 9 in this current iteration). But mostly what I end up doing is going around deleting Linda Kellie stuff that’s ugly and literally pruning stuff out of the Garden Center, like all these dozens and dozens of sculpted stone paths. I will take great pleasure in deleting the ugly paths and benches.

There are a few items, later in her productions, that started to show some better quality textures and attention to detail. But her color palate isn’t my favorite, since I gravitate to deep jewel tones and saturated color, and she has a lighter, brighter look with a lot of light greens and oranges and blues. Not a fan.

This is good, though. I’ll keep this. I added the cartoon by Allie Brosh because it makes me happy.

Judge me all you want, Stupidface by Allie Brosh

I wish Linda Kellie well in her current endeavors, and I know she struggled with some health and interpersonal issues a few years back. I’d like to wean myself from the easy and cheap created content for Open Sim that she made.

I’ll hit reboot and start, literally, as a castaway on a desert island. It would mean I have to make all my own stuff for survival, in a narrative that eventually gets me off the island, while re-learning GIMP, learning Blender and also Avastar for creating poses and simple animations as I go.

Meanwhile, I’m in Second Life in St John Parish, getting ready to reopen the store with new stuff. See you there!

GIMP 2.9.2 Released – Warp Tool at last?

Great to see that the next stage in GIMP is here, as the lack of a good warp tool had frustrated me some time ago. Looks like an upgrade is in order. While I’m at it, time to upgrade Blender, as there’s a bug fix that reportedly affects rigging attachments, and I may be playing with that soon.

UPDATE: this is the next development release, available for download. I upgraded to the current stable release, 2.8.16.

New and Improved Tools
All tools in GIMP are now GEGL-based and fully functional in up to 32bit per color channel precision mode.

GIMP 2.9.2 also introduced two new tools that we consider mostly complete:

Unified Transform, designed by Peter Sikking and implemented by Mikael Magnusson, combines rotation, scaling, skewing, and adjusting perspective in a single tool.
Warp Transform, implemented by Michael Muré, replaces the old iWarp plugin and provides its features in a tool that works directly on images, without a preview window.

via GIMP 2.9.2 Released – GIMP.

Blender Resources For The Deeply Befuddled

This page will hold links to some of the tutorials I’ve found helpful, illuminating, or have bumbled across numerous times in search of answers. Also found here will be stuff relating to OpenSim, as it is useful to have a locally hosted OpenSim private grid as a test bed for uploading meshes and textures.

BlenderObjectsUnjoined400

Added these only because I need them all in one handy place…

Blender

Blender.org
Blender Cookie
Blender Nation
Blender Guru
Haven Ditko’s YouTube channel – beginning Blender series here
Canned Mushrooms Blender TRL Tutorials on YouTube – in depth series in class format
Blender 3D: Noob to Pro
Blender 3D Design Course by Neil Hirsig. See below for link to textbook.
The Complete Guide to Blender Graphics (Computer Modeling and Animation by John M. Blain

Second Life or OpenSim-specific Content Creation – THANK YOU fellow creators!

Machinimatrix – Avastar paid add-on for Blender creation for Second Life
Nalate’s Things N Stuff – Blender category Anything here is useful!
Loki Eliot’s Digital Mischief Maker blog – Making a Mesh category When frustrated, remember Loki’s advice and “have a play.”
Kats Bits Blender and other content management tutorials
Aine Caoimhe’s OpenSim blog – really useful Blender tutorials!
Ferd Frederix’ Blender Workflow steps – Open Sim and Second Life
Diva Canto’s Metaverse Ink blog
Sim on a Stick maintained by Ener Hax
Hypergrid to Go – an alternative OpenSim method using SUSEStudio (better security?)
Previously I used NewWorldStudio but the files became corrupted; no longer updated.
Maria Korolov’s HyperGrid Business blog – How To’s for Blender, etc.
Aquila Kytori’s SL Community thread on Ambient Occlusion
Ashasekayi’s Clothing Tutorials for Blender
SL Community thread on TopologySL Community thread on Rigging
Zadaroo – repository of free Linda Kellie content for OpenSim
Pay It Forward Building School – videos by Chic Aeon
My Blender Collection on G+

GIMP

BlenderArtists.com discussion of InsaneBump plugin for GIMP
Gimp Chat Forum – these people are insane in a good way
VScorpianC’s YouTube channel – GIMP and Blender tutorials and much more
GIMPTricks’ You Tube Channel – inactive for 4 years, but got me started!

Pini Shop Closed: Rebranding

I sent out a group message but need to re-write and re-send it, also need to send a notecard to a couple of marketing groups: the Pini shop has been closed.

I sold the land on to someone who’s working on a big railway project and needed some space. I checked with an acquaintance in the old Cafe Wellstone group (most of us used to hold almost the entire sim in Pini, in smallish parcels).

To do: need to set up the building I’m renting in St John as a shop, or substitute something in period that would do. It needs open doors and a bit of a verandah on both ground floor and second level. It’s on the trolley line (right where the trolley turns) and I believe it’s also on the Mardi Gras parade route. Also to do: something new for Mardi Gras, which is very early this year.

The St Helens Dry Goods brand will be retired. I may go with something as simple as ~SHDG~ which I’ve used on ad banners at SLU before. It would be a bit of an ironic twist on the name of an old-fashioned department store from my misspent RL youth, so that has appeal.

Dhughan’s outlet shop in Tweddle is open and all my vendors are there. My Marketplace needs to be revamped, with some very dated stuff needing to come down and go in the burn barrel. And new stuff needs to be thought up and made and textured and photographed… so many steps to be taken, any one of which can be interrupted by any damn thing, including an overpowering desire to cheat at solitaire.

And oh, shit-oh-dear, all the item pages have to be updated to remove the old links showing St Helens, on my pages and on Dhughan’s as well. WHAT fun.

Do What Now?

A few weeks ago, I started to write an entry. I left it unfinished for so long, because my mood lately has been so… unsettled. I wrote:

So, weirdly, the Steelhead sims were still up last night, so I went in and rode a bike around for a while, and played with Tobias Catmow’s steampunk tanks; his shop was down the street from Dhughan’s, which he burned “for the insurance” for the official closing. That’s been a month ago. I haven’t checked today but the Marshal of Steelhead (the community continues) says the sims are queued for deletion.

Most stuff is gone, but there’s a lot of items of Lunar’s that’s no-copy… it’ll all disappear. So awful.

I just checked, they’re still there. I tidied up a few things and deleted the barrel of no-copy items I didn’t want. There’s a few trees that may find their way into my lost and found folder after the Big Delete.

Meanwhile, what to do next? I’ve taken a rental in St John Parish, the home sims of Radio Riel, in a nice building just off the central square. There was probably a community tea tonight to lay out the plans for their new sim, but… I like the spot I’m at, I don’t know if I need to sign up to help open a sim.

Awkwardly, tentatively, reconnecting with old friends; last night I ran into one of my very oldest friends in Second Life, Dani. It turns out she’s now doing some DJ stints at Cafe Wellstone – that is, where the old Cafe Wellstone crowd hangs out now that the big place in Pini is gone. Currently they have music and dancing events almost nightly at Red’s place (/me waves at one of my only readers). And speaking of Pini, that’s my long-time shop parcel, but nothing much is happening there now, although a few friends still hold parcels on the bluff above the old Cafe Wellstone/Jackson Bookstore party parcels.

Earlier today, I actually opened up Blender and messed with an exported object I built last winter; and then I started up my local grid to import it. After a few false starts, there it was. I’ve been making a list of the many, many unfinished or half-baked projects and ideas. I’d still like to maroon myself on a pimple island and start building my way off of it (I imagine this is done with a palletful of duct tape and a palletful of… pallets. I looked around my little OpenSim grid and thought, well, I like building. I like tinkering. I’m not so much a fan of building becoming a chore, though. But lately I’ve been working through some good Blender tutorials, I’ve got GIMP set up with some good tools, and in the winter, I have more time. I miss out on watching the aetheric idiot box, but on the other hand, I have a new-to-me laptop so I can log in to SL from anywhere again.

It’s so hard to settle myself on a course of action. There are so many distractions and impulses pulling in different directions, but always there’s a pull to be in SL, interacting and chatting, laughing and dancing. In RL I’ve been busy all summer with cycling and travel, with plenty of down time, too. And now it’s the time of year when it’s good to reconnect, burn off the old stuff that isn’t doing me any good, and think about new things.

I went back to Steelhead St Helens several more times since then; as recently as last Sunday (November 19) the sims were still up, but Bixyl Shuftan at the SL Newser has reported that the sim names were no longer shown on the map, and he had heard from Sheriff Fuzzball Ortega that they weren’t in transporter range. And yesterday when I searched for them on the map, they’re “not found.”

It took two months for the place we called home to be deleted after it was declared closed – I believe Lunar was still unable to get inworld, although some alts were able to get in. It’s just… ended.

I’ve been working on my new place in St John, moving things around. And I’ve been watching a lot of Blender tutorials and putting together a half-baked plan. Dhughan has taken a reservation for a shop in the new sim in St John and is also thinking about new products and fresh ideas.

St John is the home of Radio Riel, which I listen to constantly during the day. All summer, when I wasn’t logging in to do anything in Second Life, I was listening to music streaming there. It made me feel like I was always connected. I follow a number of SL blogs and dabble with discussions at SLU so I’m relatively current.

I haven’t done anything with High Fidelity, I don’t plan on doing anything with the new “SL 2,” Project Sansara or whatever it’s called. It’s interesting, but would require a completely new compu-beast and I’m literally not going there.

I’m here, wherever that happens to be, in Second Life for the duration.