A Lovely SL Illusion

While doing some photography work recently at Horizon Dream, the region which contains The Looking Glass, I found a clever little bit of trompe l’oeil craftsmanship that I wanted to share.  This can be pulled off in Second Life quite easily, if with a little effort to do the building.  There probably aren’t too many places that would want, let alone need, such a trick.  But for those interested — in case it’s not commonly known — here’s the 411.

You’ll find this circular room, with the annexes to the sides, in the castle on top of the hill.  (There are vendors like the ones you see scattered about the island.  I get the feeling that the whole thing is part park and part intriguing store.)  Take a good look at the floor, and you’ll see reflections of the pillars and the doorway in the mirror-polished marble surface.  I didn’t take a picture of the windows, but I think the same thing is happening for them.  Or do you?

No, you don’t.  The floor conceals the second half of a doubled room.  The floor is just translucent enough from above to let you see shapes through.  From “downstairs,” it’s completely transparent, as you don’t need a reflection in a room that isn’t going to be used in the normal run.  Here, the pillars are textured “upside down” to give the illusion of a reflection when seen from above.  I guess the easiest way to do this would to be to texture the original pillar, hold shift and drag out a copy in build, rotate it 180 degrees, join the two together, then link them to form one solid column.  After that, place the pillars where you wish, then create a floor and raise it up to where it sits in the middle of the bronze ring at the pillar’s center.  From above, the ring becomes the foot of the column; from below, it makes the reflection of the foot.  Texture the top surface of the floor, then increase the transparency until you get the effect you desire in Photo 1.

The down side:  it makes for a double-sized building, which means around double the number of prims you’d normally need.  But, in the name of aesthetics, who cares?

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