Friday, August 14, 2009

Second Life Tutorials now Frameless!

As mentioned last night, I've decided to just go frameless with the various sections of my website, and then do the actual revisions after that part is finished.

That way, at least people will be able to navigate around a section, instead of having a difficult time getting to the newer tutorials.

So, the Second Life tutorial pages are done now!

There's one new tutorial there, about Alpha Channels of course, and all the old ones that weren't so old they are being retired. It took a long day's work to get it all done, but still, it was just one day, so I'm quite hopeful about doing the other tutorial sections the same way.

The best part about this is that I can add new tuts as people ask for them, or as I come up with something I really want to do, instead of just grinding away on old stuff behind the scenes for weeks on end.

So... What do you guys really want to see a new tutorial about? Let me know!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Website Revisions

I've come to the conclusion that the website revisions are taking too long. There is too much time while a section is being worked on, when some of the new pages are finished, but others aren't, and the section is in flux, and difficult to navigate.

So, after thinking it over for a while, I've decided to get rid of all the frames first, which should be relatively simple, and just move the tables and things to the new pages.

Then, when that's all done, I'll go back and revise things, and get rid of the tables.

It's not a prefect solution, but it should at least mean that people will be able to find what they are looking for relatively painlessly.

With any luck, working like this, I'll have the Second Life tutorials done in the next few days, which means that I can put up a couple of new ones that are done, but not really linked into anything.

And with any luck, the whole project will move a bit more quickly.

It's not Best Practices, but it'll be better than what's there now, and it will give me enough breathing room to not go nuts while I'm working on the rest of it.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Wow... has it been more than 3 months?

I'm so very sorry. Life has just kind of been like this.

We've been house-hunting, and I've been working on my website, and between the two of them, I haven't had much in the way of discretionary time.

So, in the last three months (and a bit) I've made quite a few new things for Second Life®; most recently a washtub full of soft drinks, made with modo 401, Sculpt Studio, and Photoshop.

Washtub and Soda Vendor from SL


I'm inordinately pleased with how they came out. If you touch a can, you get an open can of that kind of soda that you can drink. When you "wear" it, so you can drink it, it makes the hiss-pop of a real can of soda being opened.

If you're in SL, and you want to buy a washtub, you can do so from the appropriate page at XStreet SL.

While I was at it, I also made a set of Soda can textures, so you can make cans, too, if you're in SL. I'm selling them through TRU (Textures R Us) which is why that link goes to the TRU website. The sculpt for the can is included, of course.

On other fronts, I've been working on the tutorials on my site.

It's taking some time, because I've been making videos to explain things, with short text descriptions, and then more detailed stuff in a javascript Accordion, in you want to see detailed information.

This is so, if you can use the program in question, and just want a quick description of how to do something, you can just skip the movie, and read the text, and be back at work in a minute or two.

If you want to see what I'm talking about, you can watch the movie. Or, if you want detailed instructions, or additional information, you can open the Accordion panels that deal with that specific thing.

Hopefully, it'll mean that it's not so completely overwhelming, when you open a tutorial page.

In any case, the Photoshop pages are all finished, and there are some new tutorials up there. You can take a look at the newest, which is all about Cel Shading, and is the result of a conversation at the convention I attended a month ago, on my site now.

Other tutorials will follow, and then the final section, which is Livingtree Grove, until there are no more frames and tables, no markup in the HTML, and the pages look like they belong in this century.

The other thing I've been doing since April, or, really, since January, is dealing with a bum knee.

I finally went to the doctor about it on Monday. (I know, I know, but I've always just expected things to heal on their own.) The upshot is that I've got a couple of inflamed ligaments, so I'm on massive doses of Motrin, with instructions to ice it for 20 minutes on, 40 minutes off five or six times a day, a referral to a Physical Therapy place, and a gift certificate to get orthonics to correct the "bad Q angle" caused by my "wonderfully flat feet."

Which means I've been sentenced to wear shoes. All the time. For the rest of my life. Or keep reinjuring my knees over and over, and frankly, I've had enough of that.

So I'll have a bit of extra time while sitting around with frozen peas on my knees to do things like get caught up on blogging.

See? Silver linings!