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Stay tuned for news of a special edition of Designing Worlds at 2pm SLT today – with a viewing party followed by a discussion in our beautiful studios on Garden of Dreams.

Designing Worlds studio

Designing Worlds studio

The post-show discussion will be streamed live on Aview.TV.

More news about this show (including details of how to watch) will be released later today, so please keep an eye on this blog for details.

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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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In the Atelier

In the Atelier

As readers of this blog will know, I don’t usually write about new releases from designers.

But occasionally, something much-longed for comes from a designer, and one definitely wants to shout about it.

Kayle Matzerath’s Dream Scenes – those wonderful interchangeable skyboxes – are always stunning in creation and detail, but sio much work goes into each and every one that new releases are few and far between. I was extremely lucky to win a full set a couple of years back in a raffle to celebrate the Garden of Dreams birthday. Since then, I have added the Library – a really sumptuous place. I use various of the Scenes for different purposes – the Piano Bar has been an actors’ hang-out, we have Golden Prim meetings in the Library – and the Library has also figured in The Blackened Mirror. I have entertained clients in the Village Cafe and the Field and the Roman Baths are my ultimate private chill-out spots.

In the Atelier

In the Atelier

Now Kayle has released a new Dream Scene – The Atelier – and as soon as I saw it, I was humming Puccini. Because this really is that Paris garret where Marcello, Rudolo, Colline and Schaunard live and work. You can see Narcello’s easel and a work in progress, as well as the (sadly) unsold canvases piled against the wall. And there are books a-plenty for Rudolfo and Colline – dramas and philosophical works piled on almost every shelf and table. There’s no sign of Schaunard’s fiddle – he must have taken it with him – but surely the wind-up gramophone belongs to him.

In the Atelier

In the Atelier

But there are other forces at work here too. In a couple of places you’ll find pressure boilers – and there’s a very workman-like work bench. Could it be that our artistshave a practical bent? And a taste for steampunk? Certainly that artist’s lay model looks a little … rusty. And there’s a telescope too – is that used for spying on the cigarette girls leaving the factory (yes, I am mixing my operas) or is it used for stargazing? And … is that an airship to be glimpsed through the upper window?

I have a suspicion that it’s New Babbage out there …

If you’d like to see more than my pictures can show, there’s a video which I’m embedding here.

Many of the elements of the Dream Scene are also on sale individually, so you can add them to your existing home.  The Atelier uses the Advanced Lighting Model with normal and specular maps so to get the full effect you need the latest Second Life or Firestorm viewer.

The team at Garden of Dreams, to celebrate this new release, have also announced a competition with a really exciting prize:

They say:

We’ve never had a Dream Scene that was so detailed and while building it we had our own story in mind that might fit to the person who lives ..lived? there and what his life must have looked like. But instead of telling you our story, we want you to tell us yours. Who ever tells us the most funny or heartbreaking or whatever story of that atelier or its inhabitants is going to WIN a complete set of all 35 Dream Scenes available worth more than 60.000 L$. If the winner wants to, we will even publish it in our next notice.
You don’t even need to buy the scene, you can just use one of the Bubbles in the Garden of Dreams.
Don’t be afraid. Not a lot of people read that far into the notice and we might get only one story. Why shouldn’t it be yours? You got time until the 14th of February! Good Luck!

In the Atelier

In the Atelier

The whole scene is designed to Kayle’s usual high standards, but what makes this really exciting to me is that Kayle’s skill with mesh means that the whole Atelier has a land impact/prim count of just 156 – including all the furniture and furnishings – which come complete with a huge variety of animations; the bed alone has 113 (and no, I haven’t checked to see if dying piteously of consumption is one of those). If you want it as a single, standalone skybox, its footage is a modest 26 x 19, and it will cost you $2000, which is very cheap for worksmanship of this detail and quality.

So why not pop over to Garden of Dreams and take a look for yourselves? And definitely enter that competition!

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A Winter Journey to New Babbage!

A Winter Journey to New Babbage!

And what can possibly go wrong with that?

Well, quite a lot – as Saffia and Elrik discover when Mr Merlin takes tea with a certain Dr Jekyll …

But not to worry, for Miss Widdershins and Mr Mornington are on the trail with the aid of a trusty (if somewhat reluctant) Mr Biggins*.

But all is not quite what it appears …

The aftermath of tea with Dr Jekyll

The aftermath of tea with Dr Jekyll

Join us at 2pm SLT today, Monday 8th December, for Designing Worlds at our studio in Garden of Dreams as we celebrate the festive season with a special holiday edition of the show set in New Babbage.

And amongst the cast are Mr Mornington, Mr Biggins, Dr Jekyll and sundry inhabitants of New Babbage – as well as the amazing horses and drivers from the Heart Stables (with thanks to Miss H0neyheart).

On the trail in New Babbage!

On the trail in New Babbage!

So … do join us at 2pm for a very special Christmas episode!

Or – if you can’t attend in person – tune in to the web at 2pm SLT on Monday for a special showing on Aview TV – or catch it later in the week on our shows page on the Treet.tv web site at http://treet.tv/shows/designingworlds – or on the Designing Worlds blog – our very own version of the iPlayer!

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* This is believed to be Mr Jebediah Biggins as his brother Odadiah has got himself mixed up with some very strange types, currently to be seen in the series The Blackened Mirror!

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Join us at 2pm SLT today, Monday 11th November, for Designing Worlds at our studio in Garden of Dreams, as we discuss an issue of key importance to many designers on the grid – the changes made to Linden Lab’s Terms of Service for Second Life.

Designing Worlds Terms of Service show Part 1

Designing Worlds Terms of Service show Part 1

In this first installment of a two part show, we are joined by Jilly Kidd, of the writer’s group Written Word, Chic Aeon, artist, machinimatographer, builder (past tense), blogger, store owner and curator of LEA7 – the Machinima Open Studio Project; Ramses Meredith, owner of the leading fashion brand Egoisme; Cain Maven, designer and owner of Maven Homes and Quantum Luxury Homes; Kylie Skyborne, Council Facilitator and Press for UCCSL & Curator for the Rose Theatre Galleries; and Jamie Bryce Infinity, a technology lawyer who started on Wall Street and now is the general counsel of an internet standards organization – in Second Life, he has served on the SL Bar Association board of directors, and has been involved in a number of virtual world intellectual property and privacy disputes.

They outline the problems that are caused by the changes for different communities.

Designing Worlds Terms of Service show Part 1: Agenda's presentation

Designing Worlds Terms of Service show Part 1: Agenda’s presentation

In the second part of the show, we see a presentation by Agenda Faromet of the Second Life Bar Association, who compares different Terms of Service before looking in detail at the Lab changes. What she has to say may surprise you!

It all makes for a stunning show – so do come and watch it at 2pm!

Designing Worlds Terms of Service show Part 1

Designing Worlds Terms of Service show Part 1

Or – if you can’t attend in person – tune in to the web at 2pm SLT on Monday for a special showing on Aview TV – or catch it later in the week on our shows page on the Treet.tv web site at http://treet.tv/shows/designingworlds – or on the Designing Worlds blog – our very own version of the iPlayer!

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The Playa at Burn 2 - photograph by Wildstar Beaumont

The Playa at Burn 2 – photograph by Wildstar Beaumont

Join us at 2pm SLT today, Monday 4th November, for Designing Worlds at our studio in Garden of Dreams, as we pay a visit to the amazing Burn2 art festival – the only virtual regional Burning Man event in the world!

The Man at Burn 2 - photograph by Wildstar Beaumont

The Man at Burn 2 – photograph by Wildstar Beaumont

We’ll be talking to Taralyn Gravois, one of the organisers of the event, and also talking to artists who have created some of the amazing installations, including Toady Nakamura, Lauren Thibaud, Ub Yifu and Krystali Rabeni – as well as meeting some of the people who worked to create the communal installations – the Temple and, of course, the Man.

The Temple at Burn 2 - photograph by Wildstar Beaumont

The Temple at Burn 2 – photograph by Wildstar Beaumont

It all makes for a stunning show – so do come and watch it 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 catch it later in the week on our shows page on the Treet.tv web site at http://treet.tv/shows/designingworlds – our very own version of the iPlayer!

On the Playa at Burn 2 - photograph by Wildstar Beaumont

On the Playa at Burn 2 – photograph by Wildstar Beaumont

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Pandemonium entry point - photograph by Wildstar Beaumont

Pandemonium entry point – photograph by Wildstar Beaumont

Join us at 2pm SLT today, Monday 28th October, for Designing Worlds at our studio in Garden of Dreams, for a special spooky edition for Halloween when we visit P4NDOR4 Quintessa’s beautiful sim of Pandemonium.

P4NDOR4 has a unique design eye and colour palette as she creates her mysterious and evocative creations – ranging from buildings to pacels builds to some strunning sim builds – and we explore many of them on the show. And P4NDOR4 discusses some of the ideas and processes that lie behind her creations.

P4ndor$'s latest build at Pandemonium - photograph by Wildstar Beaumont

P4NDOR4′s latest build at Pandemonium – photograph by Wildstar Beaumont

And there is a very special treat for fans of The Blackened Mirror. P4NDOR4 has created some of the environments used in The Blackened Mirror – and we have two clips from the upcoming season to share with you – for the very first time!

It all makes for a stunning show about a very exciting show – so do come and watch it 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 catch it later in the week on our shows page on the Treet.tv web site at http://treet.tv/shows/designingworlds – our very own version of the iPlayer!

Pandemonium - photograph by Wildstar Beaumont

Strange creatures at Pandemonium – photograph by Wildstar Beaumont

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Tradewinds: Sailing in Second Life; photograph by Wildstar Beaumont

Tradewinds Yacht Club: Sailing in Second Life; photograph by Wildstar Beaumont

Join us at 2pm SLT today, Monday 23rd September for another episode of our new season of Designing Worlds at our studio in Garden of Dreams, as we learn about the amazing (and beautiful) phenomenon that is Second Life Sailing.

Blake Sea: Sailing in Second Life; photograph by Wildstar Beaumont

Nantucket Yacht Club: Sailing in Second Life; photograph by Wildstar Beaumont

We will be exploring different facets of sailing in Second Life – we’ll be talking to the icon of Second Life sailing, MarkTwain White, who will be telling us something of the history of sailing in Second Life, to David Abbott who tells us all about racing under sail – and takes use for a trip that demonstrates the speed of his craft, the Final Draft.

Holly Kai One: Sailing in Second Life; photograph by Wildstar Beaumont

Holly Kai One: Sailing in Second Life; photograph by Wildstar Beaumont

Then we’ll be talking to boat builders RJ Kikuchiyo, owner of Kiku Craft and builder of lighthouses, and Jethro Sands & Rene Underby of ReneMarine.

And finally we will be talking to our own Wildstar Beaumont, who supplied these beautiful pictures of sailing ships (and has supplied many more for the show). Wildstar talks to us about the Age of Sail and tall ships in Second Life, and the possibilities of long distance voyages of exploration.

Isla de Jacqinda: Sailing in Second Life; photograph by Wildstar Beaumont

Trudeau Classic Yachts: Sailing in Second Life; photograph by Wildstar Beaumont

This is a very special feature length show – and it’s stunningly beautiful – so do come and watch it 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 catch it later in the week on our shows page on the Treet.tv web site at http://treet.tv/shows/designingworlds – our very own version of the iPlayer!

The Battle Star: Sailing in Second Life; photograph by Wildstar Beaumont

A frigate at the Crow’ Nest: Sailing in Second Life; photograph by Wildstar Beaumont

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Art and Machinima Challenges at the University of Western Australia in Second Life

Art and Machinima Challenges at the University of Western Australia in Second Life

Join us at 2pm SLT today, Monday 9th September for another episode of our new season of Designing Worlds at our studio in Garden of Dreams, as we visit the University of Western Australia in Second Life to learn more about their work in virtual arts and take a look at some of the works that featured in recent – and older – challenges!

The University of Western Australia in Second Life

The University of Western Australia in Second Life

Jayjay Zifanwe of the University of Western Australia (in real life Jay Jay Jegathesan, Physics UWA), takes us on a tour of the Second Life version of the University, and shows us the winners in this year’s challenges for art and machinima, as well as some fascinating work from this year and earlier challenges.

And you can also learn more about an exciting new Art Challenge – the Freedom Project.

Strange oaks from simple acorns grow by Soror Nishi, winner of the Centenary Challenge

Strange oaks from simple acorns grow by Soror Nishi, winner of the Centenary Challenge

Why has a University in the Antipodes become the centre for amazing virtual world art? Watch today’s show and find out!

Silent Reflections by Krystali Rabeni

Silent Reflections by Krystali Rabeni

It makes for another great show – so do come and watch it 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 catch it later in the week on our shows page on the Treet.tv web site at http://treet.tv/shows/designingworlds – our very own version of the iPlayer!

Neurons Sphere by Shenn Coleman

Neurons Sphere by Shenn Coleman

All images photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

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Join us at 2pm SLT today, Monday 8th July, for the new episode of Designing Worlds at our studio in Garden of Dreams, as we celebrate Second Life’s Tenth Birthday with the third and last of our programmes from the Community Celebrations!

Bear Island at SL10B Community Celebration - photograph by Wildstar Beaumont

Bear Island at SL10B Community Celebration – photograph by Wildstar Beaumont

We’ll be talking to some of the people who made SL10B so special – we’ll be talking to Yavanna Llanfair about her wonderful podcar tours, we’ll be talking to AineMarie Flanagan about her beautiful Sotrybook exhibition, to DrFran Babcock about her amazing spoons collection and catching up with our old friends from Arcachon about their taste of their own little corner of France. And we’ll be taking in the iconuic builds of The Cornfield and Bear Island before signing off from the last of the four stages – the Lake Stage.

The Lake Stage

The Lake Stage

It makes for another great show – so do come and watch it 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 catch it later in the week on our shows page on the Treet.tv web site at http://treet.tv/shows/designingworlds – our very own version of the iPlayer!

The Cornfield - photograph by Wildstar Beaumont

The Cornfield – photograph by Wildstar Beaumont

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