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My immediate neighbor built a rather large building directly next to my little plot. I felt a little hemmed in with a brick wall right next to me. I was seriously looking at buying a new place, but I've decided for now that a sort of privacy fence with a snow texture suits me just as well. Looking at a wall of snow doesn't feel as claustrophobic to me as looking at a wall of brick. And, ya know, two prims and a library texture are free, whereas a whole new plot of land wouldn't be cheap, especially in this market.
posted by CyFishy Traveler on Livigno using a blogHUD : [permalink]
cyfishy: (selfport)
The lovely and talented Natalia Zelmanov did a tutorial on how to create textures for SL using the PNG format instead of Targa (a new development I wasn't even aware of until reading that tutorial!)

The beauty of it is, you can create transparency without futzing around with Alpha Channels. It also seems to avoid the infamous 'white halo' effect. (Don't quote me on that just yet, tho--it's hard to tell on my pale skin!)

I gave it a try, on some glitch pants for the water dress I'm still working on.

It worked. Perfectly.

/me laughs maniacally.

cyfishy: (Default)
So I set up another saleprim at the shop, this time for the slightly cheaper unlighted version of the safety pin that Miles created.

I decided that I needed to try and make something of my own for a bit, so I tinkered a bit in Photoshop and attempted another backless top texture. Still don't quite have it perfected, but it looks a little cleaner than my very first attempt. I pulled a

Oh, yeah, by the way, I've gone back to being a girl again. ;) This happens every time I come up with a new clothing design . . . I have to shift to girlshape to try it on.

posted by CyFishy Traveler on North Bound using a blogHUD : [permalink]
cyfishy: (boyself)
So it's Halloween in Second Life. (Some might argue that every day is Halloween in Second Life.) Marcus Prospero ([livejournal.com profile] adjectivemarcus) was kind enough to point people in the [livejournal.com profile] second_lifers community (in this entry) to some amazing, free and full perm costumes that he had. So, last night, I used the SLURL and popped on over.

Cut for large pictures and much geekish flailing . . .  )

So it being Halloween and all, I decided to make a costume for SL. Of course, it seems a bit odd to make a costume in an environment where one can change appearance at will, but I had a little little idea, and just enough texturing, building and scripting skills to pull it off. (Along with a cheap suit from China and my Blaze tuxedo shoes.)

The result . . .  )

Happy Halloween, everybody!
cyfishy: (whitehair)
Mastering the skills needed to ascend from mere observer to creator in Second Life can take some doing. Like everybody else, when I started out I couldn't do much more with building and scripting than rezzing a plywood box and making it say "Hello Avatar!"

A little Googling pointed me toward many wonderful online tutorials, particularly Natalia Zelmanov's blog, which I continue to use as a resource. (She's added a few tutorials on sculpties, which I've been trying to follow, but Wings 3D isn't playing well with my computer right now, alas.)

Lately, though, I've also been taking classes inworld. They're amazingly easy to find--just go to the Events listings, select the Education category and all the casino ads magically go away and you're given a list of places to go and things to learn. I found a class on how to build neko ears and a tail, and I ended up wearing the results for weeks afterward. I took a class in animation, so I was able to learn exactly how to use that Avimator program that came with my copy of the Second Life book. And I ended up taking a four day course called "LSL Boot Camp", which was a very intensive set of classes on scripting. I'm still digesting everything I learned from that one.

I also wanna give a shout-out to [livejournal.com profile] kherber who taught a fun class on furniture building, though I learned that from the [livejournal.com profile] second_lifers community, rather than the Events calendar.

I've gotten a little more used to my appearance in Second Life, and then I went and put on a completely new one. While I wasn't able to make it to [livejournal.com profile] grizzygriswold's discussion of race and gender (she asked that people try on an avatar of a different race or gender than their usual one and talk about how people reacted to it) I was still intrigued enough by the notion to try on a male body for a while.

So went into Edit Appearance mode, did a Save As on my shape, pressed the Male radio button and ta-da--insta-gothboy! With girly slit still between legs. Hm. I decided to pull the male version of the CyberGoth skin out of the Library and try that on for size. It worked for what I needed, since I was only doing it as a lark at this point. I did a little slider tweaking on the shape, then threw on some freebie hair I'd gotten somewhere earlier. While it wasn't perfect, it, again, served for a mere experiment. I donned the Blaze tux I'd bought earlier and went out into the world.

Nobody actually noticed, it seemed. Miles knew, but only because we were, once again, in the same room in RL and able to shoulder-surf. We went to a beach party that DJ Lysander was spinning at, and none of the usuals made the slightest remark on it. Then again, my boyself and my girlself are both pale and skinny, so it's possible people didn't even see a difference!

Seeing 'myself' as male was a curious sensation. I did gain a measure of insight into those certain men who apparently play female avatars in the shapes of their personal fantasies. When I looked at my boyself my thoughts were something along the lines of "Damn, I'd hit that!"

But there was also a sense of detachment that went with it. Part of it may simply be that I'm not 'used' to being in that shape. I also had a bit of that when my female face was changed in ways I wasn't comfortable with.

Note the number of caveats I put on my remark about the motivations of men who play women--my point is most definitely not that all men do this, just that some, possibly, do. I also know of RL men who play SL women as a way of expressing aspects of themselves that cannot be easily explored in that thing we call reality, particularly when their biology does not match what they feel their gender to be. It's also possible that the reason for my detachment is that I don't have as deep-seated a need to 'be male' as other people might.

My perceptions of this may change if I'm ever addressed and interacted with as a male, which hasn't really happened yet.

I've organized some folders for my two different bodies and I think I'll be jumping back and forth between them for a bit. I do need a decent AO with a male walk--my sexywalk AO just doesn't work for my boyshape, but I can't hack it to change walks. I've picked up a few more freebies to wear, but I'd still like to find a decent male skin that has the impossibly bleached pallor that I'm accustomed to. Some things, it seems, I just can't bear to change.
cyfishy: (whitehair)
Miles has come across some software tools that will make our ideas much, much easier to manifest.

Unfortunately, they only work on Miles' computer (one of the occupational hazards of being a Mac person--I get shut out of some pretty cool stuff sometimes) but said computer is only about a fifteen minute drive away in RL so I may be putting them to use myself if Miles will let me.

At any rate, Miles created a fantastic shirt and then handed it out to all the members of our little Social Butterfly group. I also made a simple dress with some textures she gave to me and a prim skirt I'd just made for myself. It's probably the first dress that I've made that I could seriously see someone paying money for.

The possibilities are unfolding. Like flowers. Or butterfly wings.
cyfishy: (Default)
I made my first sculpted prim texture last night, using Rokuro, available here. It's a very simple program that allows to you manipulate a cross section of a circular object and then create a texture file from it that can be used for a sculpted prim. The interface is a little crude and not entirely intuitive, but is pretty easy once you get the hang of it.

They just released an OSX version and I pounced on it the moment I found out it existed. Miles told me--I was so excited I logged out just so I could download and play with it and then logged back in to try out the result. I made a martini glass. A one prim martini glass. Groovy.

It's a little odd up close, but that seems to be a function of the whole sculpted prim thingy. From a distance, it looks just fine. Not bad for a first effort, if I do say so myself.

I just played with it to create a base for the mod chair I've been working on for as many ages. I also tried out a neat trick--testing textures on the Beta Grid so you can try them without spending the Lindenage. I'll have to remember that one in future.

I think I may attempt making a vase. Just because I can.
cyfishy: (whitehair)
The good girls keep diaries, the bad girls don't have the time? Yeah. That one.

Much as in my RL blog, the long silence between entries is not always an indication that nothing is happening. It's just as likely to be an indication that EVERYTHING is happening, and I'm afraid to update, because it will take me days to write it all down.

Of course, by the time I do update, all the witty and detailed things I was going to write have vanished from my head and I'm left doing a quick summary.

So, in no particular order (links and pics may be edited in later . . .)

At the recommendation of one [livejournal.com profile] caliburnsusanto, I visited the legendary Svarga. It's a beautiful place, in the style of some ancient garden in a fantasy novel. I spent some time wandering about worn roads and mossy courtyards and even stumbled on an oracle that gave me my fortune on a notecard.

I've gotten into the habit of using the Events Calendar to find neat stuff to do. Yeah, the Events can be pretty spamtastic, but if you filter for, say, Discussion or Arts and Culture, it screens out the casino ads quite nicely. And there are art openings going on all the time, so I've come across some really neat galleries. Unfortunately, I keep forgetting to create Landmarks so I can find them again! (Memo to Galleries--LM dispensers are handy things to have if you want people to come back.) I've also used the Education filter to find classes in building and even on meditation and manifestation.

I also did my first Event myself--I hosted a salon discussion on "Art in Second Life". The turnout was large enough that I had to duplicate my couch and pull out a few of the one-prim chairs I learned to make at that building workshop. (I also got a few confused French people who must have seen the word "salon" and thought "Yeay! A word I understand!" Unfortunately, I don't speak French, and I didn't feel like strapping on the Babbler to explain this concept.) It was a nice little discussion--I hope to do it again sometime.

Speaking of Events, I also went to a Linden Lab town hall type meeting on the subject of spam in the Event Calendar, with Jesse Linden hosting. Thankfully, it stayed relatively on-topic. They're looking at setting things up so people could flag Event listings as spam, the way one does on Craiglist, which I support utterly. (Heck, I suggested it in the Linden blog!) They're looking at adding some other weird feature which would allow people (people who can do complicated computer coding stuff) to set up Events in their own way, which I didn't like the sound of, but I couldn't hang around to get all the details on, because I had a RL event to go to. I registered my displeasure and left it at that.

The other night, I also went step-by-step through Natalia Zelmanov's tutorial on how to make prim hair. (Click on "Build (Tutorials, Techniques, etc)" in the Site Index of her blog to get to it--there is so much great information there!) The basic prim hair came out pretty good for a first try (and, hey, it's FREE!), but the flexi hair ended up a mess. I did learn a lot from it, though, and I think I may take some flexi hair I already own and examine How They Did It a little more closely.

The lovely and talented irix Pink has created some textures for Miles and I to use for our Social Butterfly line. Things are starting to fall into place.

Oh, and one other bit of good news. The prim litter on the Governor Linden land near my place has finally been cleaned up. I filed something like three different Abuse Reports about it and the Lindens finally got a clue and set the land for five-minute autoreturn so people won't be able to stack up crap and leave it there. Yeah, so it took them a month or so to get around to it, but, hey, they finally did something, so I'm happy.

And I recently discovered what the Lockmeister Cuffs that I picked up for free from a bondage chair are actually for. Up until then, I'd just been wearing the things for decoration. Go figure.
cyfishy: (selfport)
Actually, it's not really a Maneuver, it's more of a Gesture . . .

No, really, Miles and I made a Gesture in Second Life. Miles wanted a way to type our logo in the chat window--:)i(:--with a shortcut instead of leaning on the shift key for four keystrokes. I suggested if we were going to do that, we ought to have a little sound to play to go with it, so Miles composed a little nine-second .wav file of a sort of fluttery ringtonish chime. (This is not as annoying as it may sound, since most of those seconds are a long slow echoey fade after the initial notes.) Miles uploaded the sound and gave it to me, and I went off to create a new Gesture with it.

In case you were curious, here's how it works . . .  )

Once again, we did our usual rounds at Quantum Fields, with the Positive Quantum Energy Festival in full swing that night. Miles handed out the /bfly Gesture to the other Group members in the room and people were triggering it all night. Miles and Lysander wound up doing tag-team DJ duty--Lysander would play a few songs and then hand the stream over to Miles, who would then play a few tracks and then hand the stream back to Lysander. (I don't know the techy details about How They Did It, beyond the fact that they both have access to the Shoutcast server and used IMs to coordinate the changeovers.) It was a really fun night.

I also did some mucking about with prims, but that didn't turn out quite as well as I would have liked. The torus still baffles me in many ways.

There are big all-day events happening at both Quantum Fields and Caledon. I might check out Caledon; I'll definitely have to swing by Quantum Fields at some point. Of course, there is that pesky Real Life business to be taken care of . . .


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