Monday, October 30, 2006

Goth Skins Up in Second Life

I got the first of the Goth Skins up in Second Life at Intemptesta Nox last night.

It's just one makeup choice at the moment. I was trying to get several done in time for Halloween; but I've been sick, and the person I'm collaborating with, (who'll be doing the design work, since she's involved with Goth stuff, and I'm not,) has been too busy with her Real Life to do any. So last night I decided to go ahead, put the one I have done into vendors, and let it go at that for now.

Because some of the people who do Goth stuff also do whiteface (especially in Second Life, where it's so very easy to do,) I've added a new color, called "Salt", to the skin tones I offer. The same makeup is also available on my Cream skin, since some of the Goth people in SL won't wear white skins, preferring to distance themselves from the Vampire crowd.

Anyway, this is what it looks like, with dots over the naughty bits, since this is a Family Friendly blog. (I put an M on the dots, to mean that they are Mature content. But don't they look just like Goth 'm&m's?)

White Goth Skin, full length view

Here's a close-up of the Makeup, in case you'd like to see that as well.

Close up of the Goth Makeup

So that's done, at least for now.

I was still a bit under the weather yesterday, so, except for the skin, I mostly just went to Halloween parties and things in SL.

Which was fun, but isn't terribly productive. :D

More later!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Didn't Get Much Done Today...

The lack of sleep that I've been getting most of this week finally caught up with me today, and I wound up sleeping most of the day. Sigh. I had so many plans, too!

I did manage to get the Halloween Cat Wallpaper thing up on my website. It's here if any of you want to grab it.

Other than that, though, I did a lot of nothing. Which is good, I suppose. Every now and then, they tell me, it's good to take a day off.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Halloween Outfit

I got the Halloween outfit for Second Life Girl Kids finished today. It was really fun to do; I think I will enjoy this as much as Real Life sewing for little girls.

This is what it looks like, all ready to celebrate Halloween! (I'm standing in front of some of the rides at Thrills Ville, an amazing build that changes seasonally.)

Halloween in Second Life

I used Artlandia's SymmetryShop to do the fabric. It's the first time I've really used it for production stuff, and I love it. It makes it so simple to do fabric that really looks like fabric. Probably because it's designed to actually do fabric. (I did use it once before, to make some fall fabric for the Hawaiian shirts, but I was really just playing around then, and didn't much care how long it took.)

On a frustrating note; I was going to use the Warp tool in Adobe Photoshop CS2 to get the cuffs for this. (You can't tell in this picture, but they are a style known as "lettuce," which means that they are kind of wavy, and finished with satin stitch. Which, of course, has to match over two discontinuous seams on this avatar.)

I did the waistband for the skirt quite successfully with that method and Smart Objects, which means that I don't have to go into LightWave and burn a texture to the SL UV Map to match it perfectly over the seams.

But it can't be done on the wrists, because the map is so poorly laid out that there's a deep jag there. The Warp Tool in PS CS 2 is a new feature, and doesn't have the ability to add points to its "mesh" (yet. I have hopes.) So it can really only do fairly smooth curves. Not deep jags. Sigh. It would have been so easy if it could have worked, because I can't burn a transparent layer.

Ah well, at least I have LightWave, so I can get the totally seamless fabric. Best not to complain. :D

So I got this done, and posted to the SL New Products Forum, and fixed some broken vendors in Serenite, and other odds and ends of housekeeping and networking in Second Life.

And that was about it today. (I didn't post yesterday, because I didn't get much of anything done yesterday. They decided to cut down 4 trees on our block, starting about the time I finished the Long Post, and climbed into bed. Which was not only heartbreaking for me, but quite effectively kept me from sleeping until it was after one pm. So I got no rest, and was pretty useless. Sigh.) More tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Long Catch-Up Post

It's been a very long time since my last post; and I'm truly sorry about that. It was just more than I could handle for a little while there, and then I got the flu.

I did manage to keep up with orders, and got some custom windows done for Bella/Pella (which I can't post without asking them,) and a few other things.

I'm way behind on my work for Second Life; but here's what's been happening.

The Fall Makeup for the skins is kind of on hold right now, while I finish all the other stuff I have to do.

I was going to do some Goth skins, but I admit that I know absolutely nothing about it. I got one done and showed it to a friend of mine in-world who happens to be Goth herself, and she was very kind about it. (She only suggested a couple of tweaks. I hope to have them done, and that one ready for sale, by next weekend at the latest.)

Then I showed her a website that advertised Goth makeup, planning to do something similar, and her only comment was "Oh good lord!" Yes, apparently it was that bad. Well, how was I to know? :D

She tried to educate me for a couple of hours, but there's a lot to learn. Finally she said, "Can I just design it?" and I said, "Sure!" So we're going to collaborate on that. She's drawing the makeup on a screen shot of the face, and I'm going to put it on a nice, pale skin I made. Well, okay, some of it is going on a dead white skin, but my friend tells me that's not everybody's favorite, so some is just going on a pale skin.

All of this happened a couple of weeks ago, but then I got really sick, and she had something come up in her life, as well, so that is also on hold for a little while.

In the meantime, since I was too sick to draw (it looks horrible if I try, and I just have to go back and re-do it later,) I spent the meager time when I wasn't lying flat on my back playing with designing clothing for little girls in SL.

I've always liked to sew dresses for little girls, so this seems like a natural direction for me to go. I did a couple of very simple A-Line skirts, and hope to have them out this week.

I also did two new Fall Hawaiian shirts, and then couldn't deal with the Vendor end of things. But with any luck, I'll manage that this week, too.

On a related topic, when I wasn't feeling well enough to sit downstairs at my computer, I sat in the living room with the laptop, a throw, and a cup of hot tea (it's getting very cold in Michigan,) and looked at some of the graphic software ads that came in my mail.

I got the Bryce 6 for $6, even though I don't use Bryce much any more, because I still do support the tutorials, and it was six dollars! In order to do that, though, I had to sign up for the DAZ Platinum Club. And that led me to Content Paradise where they are having an "upgrade now, and get Poser 7 for free" sale.

It's been ages since I used Poser for anything but making animations for SL, and I've never used it to render with, because, frankly, the render capabilities weren't very good. But hey, I was sick, so I went to the e-frontier site and took a look at Poser 6.

I was amazed! Ambient Occlusion! Subsurface scattering! Skin shaders! Image-Based Lighting! Shadow catching! Wow! This might even be useful. So I bought it yesterday. And spent the whole evening figuring out how to make it do what I wanted it to do.

And then I started to design Halloween fabric for the kids clothing mentioned above. (I can't use fabric that's already been designed without permission, so I have to design my own. That's why it takes me so long to do stuff. If I could just use the fabric that's out there, I'd have a lot more done, but it's all copyrighted. Sigh.)

As part of that, I needed to make a central design with the Halloween Cat that I'm using for the motif. So that's what I did. I had great time doing it, and Poser 6, while it still has some of the stuff that always drove me nuts about the program, has fixed a bunch of the rest. I should have upgraded ages ago. :D

So, anyway, I got the design mostly done, and Michael asked to have it as a desktop background. So here it is, in the 800x600 size that he needs for the projector that he's using at work. You guys can grab it too, if you want, although if you want larger sizes, they should be at my site later today.

For now, as always, I need to crash. :D

Here you go, though! (It's exactly twice as large as it looks here.) Jack, the Halloween cat, using the DAZ millennium cat, the Hat and Pumpkin from "Boo!" and the Cell Shading in Poser 6, with a bit of Post work in Painter and Photoshop.

Halloween screen saver 800x600 pixels

That's it for now. With any luck, I'll be back tomorrow with more.

Thanks, everyone, for your patience!