Archive for the ‘Building and texturing’ Category

Building a Story Set

Melanda 1

When I do storyboarding for my short fiction, as I’m doing a lot of lately for the story based on “Like a Thief In the Night,” I like to get as detailed a set as possible, so that I’ll have the place my characters inhabit as clear in my mind as I can.  When we first meet Melanda, Duconna Ceal of Eldav, we’ll see her in the office of a doctor specializing in biosculpt and cosmetic enhancement technology.  Not surprisingly, though, there aren’t many places even in Second Life that boast a biosculptor’s office and exam rooms.  So I was forced to build one for myself and my partners.

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Freeform Starbases, Via Exosphere

Starbase expansion 1

Welcome to the beginnings of what may be a permanent dormitory section of my starbase!  The main regions below don’t have room for the approximately fifty people that usually work at Tulla ‘niFalon Starbase, so some sleeping arrangements needed to be provided.  Brenda Hoisin and Exosphere recently came to the rescue on this, with X-Walls, a set of modular panels that can be assembled into any type of room you may desire, either on the ground or in orbit.

Learn more on the next page.

It’s the Signs of the Times

Starbase, 12-21-2014

Changes are going on at my starbase.  As you can tell from the tubes going up and down at several places, along with the moving of several elements (and the removal of several others), there’s a lot more vertical spread than there used to be.  This is because Exosphere has released new components, including what Brenda refers to as “Starbase Decks.”  These are essentially elevator landings with four iris doors in the outer walls.  (The lift tubes, of course, help keep the vacuum out as well as allowing passage from deck to deck.  Most people find breathing hard vacuum somewhat…unsatisfying.)

With a little thought, I rearranged things using these new modules, and I now have a fully linked square, allowing you to walk the entire perimeter of Deck 1 (as it now is) if you prefer, instead of taking the travel bubbles.  The tram stations are still there, however, allowing for fast movement between one side and another when speed is needed.  I’ve also removed the prim-heavy Black Bishop modules, which are pretty and less “space-worn,” but are not compatible in length with the Exosphere components, and will not fit without a special connector.  I can still, however, put up the Black Bishop modules for special purposes in another volume of “space” — I’d be willing to rent out the station for machinima — or for another commons in a separate dormitory block.

Just one problem with all of this activity — I have to redo all my signs now.  As the starbase grew more complex — remember, I originally was thinking of just a few sheds for storing boxes out of my inventory! — becoming more of a set for my fiction, and my thoughts on what would be needed for it grew, I needed to mark out the ways around it (for visitors, if nothing else; I’ve had a few).  But every time I change the configuration, of course, I have to change the signs.  For instance, the main landing center, which you can see in the lower left corner, is currently on Deck 1L.  It used to be on Deck 1, but I’m trying to move some of the “grittier” aspects of station life off the main levels and down to a “basement” deck.  I could even go down another deck or so, as well as up past Deck 2 (the current top level) within the volume I’m inhabiting right now.  But that will, of course, mean more or new signs…

GIMP is starting to overheat on me right now….

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What Mighty Obsessions, uh, Oaks….

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I just wanted someplace to store all my extra stuff; maybe clean out the Inventory finally.  The only real place to go was up, so I tried out the Exosphere modules; and I began easy….

Yes, that’s where the obsession started! Turn the page and see.

Station Map

I figured it was time to get the layout of my starbase somewhat formalized, so I spent some time learning a few tricks with GIMP, and I came up with this “subway map”-style illustration of the layout:

station map -- 08-15-2014 upload

If some of the terms are weird to you, such as “Grand Council” or “Ard Taòisha,” fear not; you need to be reading my stories (which I still hope to publish one day) to know everything going on here.  If I ever get those stories up, you’ll have a chance to learn them for yourself.

I felt it was logical to divide the station into its proper functions, and assigned a color code to each area.  (Gee, I wonder where I got some of the colors from…?)1  Not everything I want is in the station yet, and so this map will certainly change as time goes on, and as I discover and fix mistakes.  (I’ve already added in something since I made this, and discovered one spelling error [sigh], so I already need to go back and fix things.)

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1 And yes, I know you’re probably used to the colors being assigned differently.  Remember, in the Star Trek I grew up with, “Command wore gold, Engineering wore red–”  “And the women wore less.”  (Deep Space Nine, “Trials and Tribbleations.”)

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Some Shots from Fashion For Life

A few snapshots from the prettier areas of this year’s Fashion For Life.  The entire build, all 11 sims, is excellent; but these are my favorites.

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Free Water Normal Maps by Trompe Loeil : StrawberrySingh.com

In case you haven’t seen a link to this article yet, or actually been to the original, rush off to Berry Singh’s article on a new goodie from Cory Edo.  Cory has released, through Trompe Loeil on the Marketplace, a set of normal maps for use in world in the WindLight editing tab of your client.  Please do read all of this carefully, and make sure to see Berry’s video on how to use the maps.  You can’t make a “water prim” this way, but you can give your in-world water a look that you desire for photography purposes or machinima!

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