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Archive for the ‘Textures’ Category

I am an awful coward about new viewers.

Because I need to use Second Life for work, when I have a viewer that – basically – works for me, I tend to cling to it with a passion.

The Atelier - without the advanced lighting model

The Atelier – without the advanced lighting model (old Firestorm)

For a long time, this was Imprudence which was blessedly stable. I was never tempted by Emerald but, when it finally declined gracefully (although it has lately resurged), I moved over to Firestorm and quickly fell in love with its bells and whistles.  Nevertheless, I tend to be a bit conservative about updating – I will wait till friends have tested it and reported that it’s safe.

But I have been seduced. I bought Kayle Matzerath’s Atelier, which I raved about in a previous post, and even a quickly dive into the official Second Life viewer to take pics told me that I was missing out. I knew it used materials, normal maps and specular maps … but oh my. Oh …my.

The Atelier - WITH the advanced lighting model (Firestorm beta)

The Atelier – WITH the advanced lighting model (Firestorm beta)

The difference is stunning.

So this morning I drew a deep breath and downloaded the beta version of Firestorm. Yes, I had been seduced so far. And you can see the results here. Both pictures were taken from the same angle, using the same windlight. The only different is the Advanced Lighting model (and thus materials).

And in case you are wondering – I was turned off the official Second life viewer by Version 2 (like so many) and after that have only used it as a back-up. Nowadays, I find the chat system cumbersome – I prefer the flexibility of Firestorm.

Anyway – let’s do a jigsaw (note that for jigsaws to work, I have to lighten the image before making the jigsaw – I do that using curves in Photoshop).

Click to Mix and Solve

In the Atelier

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Catch up with your Prim Perfect jigsaws (showing images of Second Life and other virtual worlds).

If you’d like to submit a photo of your own to feature as a jigsaw, send it to the Prim Perfect Flickr Group. It should be sized 800w x 600h, or else it will need to be re-sized.

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This week’s show is a timely repeat of our conversation with some of the people from Linden Lab about server side baking and materials.

Join us at 2pm SLT today, Monday 30th September, for Designing Worlds at our studio in Garden of Dreams, as we are joined by Oz, Brooke, Troy and Nyx Linden to discuss the issues of Server Side Baking and materials.

Nyx, Troy, Oz and Brooke Linden explain the changes coming

The changeover to server-side baking appears to have gone smoothly, and materials are now coming in on a variety of viewers. But what does it all mean for the Second Life user?

Server side baking is a whole new way of solving the problem of avatars (and system clothing) that fails to load properly, by moving this from the viewer side client to the server side. Nyx and Troy Linden talk about this and explaining what Second Life users should expect.

Katana, created by June Dion of Bare Rose, demonstrating materials

Then Oz and Brooke Linden explain about materials, normal and specular maps, what this is and what it means for our Second Life experience. And there are samples to see too – when Oz and Brooke took us to see the work in progress at Hippotopolis. You can go there and check out developments for yourselves but if you want to see the items properly displayed, you’ll need to download the special Materials Viewer (it doesn’t overwrite the main Linden Lab viewer).

A simple cube takes on depth and texture under changing light

Materials mean a richer Second Life experience, and creators are very excited about the possibilities! But don’t take our word for it – come and watch the show at 2pm!

Or – if you can’t attend in person – tune in at 2pm SLT on Monday for the live show on http://treet.tv/live – or watch it on the web at Treet.tv web site at http://treet.tv/shows/designingworlds/episodes/project-materials.

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The month-long, two-sim Home Show opens today!

The Home Show - a shopping experience on a boardwalk!

The Home Show – a shopping experience on a boardwalk!

Believing that there is a lack of home and garden based events in Second Life, the organisers of The Home Show want to fill that gap. This summer, they are aiming to bring some of the best, well known, and up-and-coming designers together in one event and one location to give customers a great shopping experience.

Map of the Home Show

Map of the Home Show

You can visit the Show here:
Sim 1: Sponsored by Cheeky Pea, Pixel Mode, and Circa
Sim 2: Sponsored by what next, Senzafine, and DIGS

And you can read more on their blog.

home-show-sticker-copyThe Home Show was created by Valena Vacano, owner of Casa de Smurf and manager of Cheeky Pea and The Nest. She has also created Four Walls, a home and garden hunt, as well as Together For Sway.

Look out for the stickers that indicate special releases exclusive to the Home Show.

Someone has been shopping hard at the Home Show!

Someone has been shopping hard at the Home Show!

There are forty-seven participants (by my count).  But why not go over and visit this amazing collection of top Home and Garden designers for yourself?

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Throughout the Home and Garden Expo, Prim Perfect has been running a series of talks at the Prim Perfect Temple on Home Expo 6. You’ll see a full list of the talks at the bottom of this post.

Today Rosamoo Mendelsohn will be talking to Auryn Beorn of Black Tulip at 3pm, and at 5pm, Saffia Widdershins will be hosting a Monster Mesh Mash Up – with a wealth of mesh creators appearing.

Meet the Designer: Auryn Beorn

Meet the Designer: Auryn Beorn

At 3pm, Auryn Beorn of Black Tulip with be talking to Rosamoo Mendelsohn about Mesh, Scripts and how education about them can lead to a better Second Life for us all – and we hope there will be demonstrations too!

Neet the Designers: Monster Mesh Mash Up!

Neet the Designers: Monster Mesh Mash Up!

Then at 5pm, Saffia Widdershins will be hosting the Monster Mesh Mash Up – and guests will include Maxwell Graf of Rustica, Kriss Lehmann of Botanical, Loz Hyde of Meshworx and Cain Maven of Maven Homes and Quantum Luxury Homes as well as, hopefully, Froukje Horrenbeeke of Dutchie, Cube Republic of The Cube Republic - and anyone else who wants to join in!

These should both be amazing talks – don’t miss them!

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We have a full programme of talks coming up at the Expo – make sure that you don’t miss them!

Prim Perfect Talks at the Home and Garden Expo

And make sure you don’t miss our daily lantern ceremony at 4pm, when we invite people to join us at the Prim Perfect platform on Home Expo 6 every day of the Expo at 4pm SLT for a communal release of lanterns both to celebrate the living and in memory of those we have loved and lost.

Lanterns Lifting

Lanterns Lifting

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The Dragon Spire

The Dragon Spire

Designing Worlds returns tonight, with the first of two shows from the Fantasy Faire.  More on that shortly – but for now, let’s pay a visit to a region of the Faire that was stunningly bold in conception, but very hard to photograph. It was one of two areas (the other was Evensong Woods) where, I felt, the atmosphere you got from being there was really, really hard to convey in a photograph. For both, “You really had to be there” to appreciate them. And if you were in either, your likely response was … “Oh, this is cool!”

The Dragon Spire was constructed as a series of caves.  As such, it could be a little hard to navigate (and helpful arrows appeared on the floor rather rapidly). If you took a wrong turn, you were led deeper and deeper into the labyrinth. If you took the right (as in correct) path, you found yourself exploring some amazing shops – and all within this quite stunning (and quickly rezzed) sculpted cave environment.

Caves, of course, are an archetypal fantasy environment – and a favoured landscape for roleplayers everywhere – not for nothing is the Big Daddy called Dungeons and Dragons.  But caves are incredibly hard to pull off in Second Life – I don’t think I’ve ever seen it as well done as it is here. So kudos to Khyle Sion, the designer.

Let’s do a jigsaw.

Click to Mix and Solve

Inside the caverns of The Dragon Spire

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Catch up with your Prim Perfect jigsaws (showing images of Second Life and other virtual worlds).

If you’d like to submit a photo of your own to feature as a jigsaw, send it to the Prim Perfect Flickr Group. It should be sized 800w x 600h, or else it will need to be re-sized.

Read Full Post »

Asian Inspiration

Asian Inspiration

You may have noticed that – at the end of all of our jigsaw posts – we invite you to add your pictures to our Flickr group, and say that we hope to use some of them here as jigsaws.  There are some very striking photos posted to the group – and today’s is one of those.

It’s by Emerald Beningborough (whose photos you can see here), and it’s a photograph of one of her styling projects for the new Inspirations book – the amazing source book for interior design that’s the brainchild of Pitsch Parx and edited by Persia Bravin.  This is the from the second part of the Second Volume – and the whole is the most amazing and visually ravishing treat. Do go and take a look. And also a discreet tissue top mop up the drool …

Let’s take a deep breath and do a jigsaw!

Click to Mix and Solve

Asian Inspiration Book Vol 2 by Emerald Beningborough

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Catch up with your Prim Perfect jigsaws (showing images of Second Life and other virtual worlds).

If you’d like to submit a photo of your own to feature as a jigsaw, send it to the Prim Perfect Flickr Group. It should be sized 800w x 600h, or else it will need to be re-sized.

Read Full Post »

Lunata Lupino in Darkwood Gardens

Lunata Lupino in Darkwood Gardens

Lunata Lupino is one of those creators who deserves to be better known.  Her product range is limited – but exquisite.  She produces hand textured and hand-painted flowers, some of the loveliest in Second Life, which she sells from a small garden centre in Darkwood Gardens in DarkWood.

Lunata Lupino in Darkwood Gardens

Lunata Lupino in Darkwood Gardens

I first came across Lunata’s work when we were shooting the Christmas episode of Designing Worlds (or Meta Makeover, as it was then).  Our location was Summer Gildea’s home in Caledon Cay, because  she had decorated her home for Christmas in amazingly rich Victorian style.  While we were filming, I noticed that she had the most spectacular garlands over her windows, richly and beautifully textured, and another, with hanging Christmas cards, over the fireplaces – and I asked where she got them.  She explained about Lunata and Darkwood Gardens and warned that they were not exactly cheap to buy … but really, I think one should be prepared to pay a decent price for the sheer amount of detailed, intricate work that goes into her textures.

Lunata Lupino in Darkwood Gardens

Lunata Lupino in Darkwood Gardens

Lunata comes from Berlin – which means that some of her products are labelled in German – the garlands, for example, have the names Kartenkette (christmas cards garland) and Mistelgirlande (mistletoe garland).  In real life, she is a screendesigner, and says that her reason for being in Second Life is “for painting textures (gardening + tapisserie)”.  She says her creations  require experience, endless patience and lots of real life-time.  Consequently those textures are  highly detailed and sharp without  having  halos.

These go beyond simple plants, I think.  They’re works of art.

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