Revisiting Sansar

I visited Sansar for the first time two days ago.  My first thoughts were like those of many: meh?

I want to like Sansar. I really do. But my first visit was not that impressive.  Granted, I’m visiting via PC instead of VR, so clearly I am not the ‘targeted’ consumer at this point.  I’m also not a creator (though I’m working on that), so what I can do in Sansar right now is limited.

I can walk, talk, and take photos.  That’s about it.

My first visit was out of curiosity – to see if it lived up to the hype. For me, not yet.  Some of the computer specs are pretty stiff, and my graphics card, while great for SL, works overtime a lot when wandering around Sansar.

My initial impressions aside, I wanted to go back in and look around again, especially after reading some of the posts people have written about their initial experiences in Sansar.

Is it as robust as SL?  Nope.  It’s still in beta, so of course it won’t be.  They are still developing Sansar as I write this, and likely will be for some time to come.  SL as it is now looks nothing like what it did 1, 2, or even 5 years ago.  (Flexi hair, anyone?) So Sansar as it will be may look nothing like what it does today.

My plan is to log in every so often and check things out as they are updated.  And also to take lots of pretty pictures. 😀

Grand Gardens in Sansar

Today I visited the Grand Hall and Gardens experience by Loz Hyde.  This is the view when you gaze off into the distance.  The clouds, the light rays – so gorgeous!

While I was wandering around taking photos, I experimented again with some of the camera controls and had much better luck this time.  It is a definite learning curve to ‘forget’ how I do things in SL and discover how to do them in Sansar.

My second visit was better than the first – enough to encourage me to try again.  In the meantime, my better half is searching for a VR headset so we can both try Sansar via VR instead of PC.  We’ll see what happens. 😀

Find Yourself at NorderNey

NorderNey is another sim that I kept meaning to visit – so I did and finally crossed it off my list!

I wasn’t sure what to expect – the area isn’t large, but the scenery is gorgeous.  I think some of the builds are actually resident’s homes, but they were so beautifully decorated that I couldn’t help sneaking some pictures with my zoom lens. 😛

Norderney Beach HouseI love this beach house – it’s so open and airy and exactly the kind of home I’d want if I lived on the beach.  My favorite part of the house is that the curtains were blowing in the breeze – it’s those little details that add to the feel of a build.

Beach DreamsThis little bench underneath the window would be one of my favorite spots.  Sitting in the warmth of the sun, a cool breeze blowing, while you listen to the waves crash – pure heaven.

Beach PatioOf course, one of the best parts of living on the beach is that you can spend a great deal of your time outside (something I don’t get to do enough here in the Midwest where I live). These shaggy seats and comfy pillows look so cozy, with snacks and lots of reading material nearby.

Woman on WallI think this was my favorite house on the sim. I don’t know if this house build comes with this photo already on the wall, but I thought it was a such a great idea – I love how she seems to be staring out the window at the waves.

Bistro Table with BirdThis little fellow was chirping away when I wandered by – I think he was enjoying the breakfast leftovers.

Interior Design ArtThis is such a fabulous vignette – I wish I had enough space in my RL home to have an area like this for all my art supplies.  I love the woven rug and the little space heater.

Front GardenI couldn’t resist the field of daisies in the front yard – and the little chicks wandering around were simply adorable.  The cute yellow scooter is so inviting – it was so hard to resist hopping on and going for a quick spin around the beach!

If you’re looking for a quiet spot to sit and relax, NorderNey is the ticket.

Where Beauty is Neverfar

After completing my course through Visionaire, I’ve been even more excited to travel around SL and find gorgeous sims to practice with.

I keep a list of places that I’d like to visit when I have time to go for a photo wander.  Neverfar was on that list, so away I went!

VR WindmillI must say, Neverfar absolutely fantastic.  I normally play around with various windlights when I take photos, but the sim windlight is spectacular.

All the earth tones were fabulous, and the landscaping and decorating were amazing.

Neverfar Artist VignetteEverywhere I looked there was another stunning view.  I would love to have an outdoor studio space like this one.

VR Living Room VintageI was blown away by the design aesthetic of the whole sim.  I’m normally not a fan of shabby chic or rustic vintage, but this sim is one I could definitely live in.  The sumptuousness of the decor and the lived-in, cozy feel made for some spectacular scenes.

Swamp HouseAs I walked around, I found surprise after surprise, including this fabulous little patio area.

Beach HouseThis little shack with its comfy chair makes you want to just kick off your shoes, sit down, and relax with your favorite book.

Boardwalk Cafe VintageIf you get thirsty, you can head a short ways down the boardwalk and grab a cold drink at this gorgeous little cafe stand.

Neverfar sim SLOne of the things I love about SL is being able to see the creative genius of its residents.  I was actually surprised how much I enjoyed Neverfar – it’s not my usual style, but it is so gorgeous.  I found myself staying much longer than I normally do, just to let the beauty sink deep into my soul.

Take a few minutes and go for a visit – it will not disappoint.

Tranquil Bay

Fall is one of my favorite seasons, so I was absolutely captivated by Tranquil Bay.  Tranquil Bay (Fall Trace) is the last visit in my Trace series.  It’s seriously amazing.

Tranquil Bay LandingYou land at this gorgeous spot – the colors of this sim are spectacular.  I love the soft orange of the horizon, balanced by the browns and greens of all the plant life.

Night TreeI think this is my favorite photo from my visit.  I love the glow of the lights in the tree and the fireflies – I can almost hear the cicadas and bullfrogs as I sit in front of the fire.

Tranquil Bay HouseThe pops of pink flowers here are stunning, mixed in with the earth tones of the house and surrounding plants.  That rocking chair on the porch looks so comfy – sitting there rocking, watching the sunset, sipping on my sweet tea . . . *sighs*

tranquil bay cabinCan you imagine living here? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to get up every morning to a sight this gorgeous?

Tranquil Bay IndoorEven the indoor decor is fantastic – I love the woven net with the lights and the clock.  I’m not a huge fan of rustic, but this is so well-done.

Shooting StarsThere was no shortage of things to see, including these amazing shooting stars over the water.

This is definitely a place I’ll be visiting again – it’s so peaceful and beautiful.

Tips & Tricks – Camera Lock

Image Source:  www.iheartnaptime.net
Image Source: http://www.iheartnaptime.net

I recently came across an article by Huckleberry Hax about making your own animated GIFs in SL.  He does an amazing job with his, so head over to his blog and check them out.

This is now on my list of things to do, but while reading the article, he mentioned something that reminded me of a tip I’ve learned.

Huck mentions that he uses a camera lock HUD, so that once he has his angle and everything set up for the shot, he can move his avatar and his camera angle remains fixed.  This means he can walk through the shot, as he does in the example animated GIF.

The HUD he mentions is only $10L, so I will definitely be picking this up.  However, if you are not going to be moving in your shot, Firestorm has a built in option.

We’ve all been there – you get everything set up for your shot, your camera angle is perfect. And then you notice that your arm is going through your dress, or your hair has eaten part of your jaw.  So you have to zoom in, edit things, and then try to find your perfect angle again.

With FS, it’s pretty easy.  Find the camera tools button, which looks like this:

cameratools-button

Add it to your toolbar and then open it.  The camera tools menu looks like this:

camera tools menu fsSee the two eyeball buttons on the right-hand side in the middle? Those are the two you need.

Click on the eyeball with the DOWN arrow, and it will save your camera angle.

So if you find your perfect angle, you can save it.  Zoom back in, edit and make your fixes.

Then, hit the eyeball with the UP arrow and it will move your camera back to your perfect angle.  Tada!!

Now, you can only save one angle at a time, but it’s a built-in tool (in Firestorm), so you don’t need to fuss with any other HUDs.

It won’t work in situations like Huck’s, where you want to move your avatar around while shooting, but for still photography, it’s a very handy tool. Try it out!!

An Uncertain Destiny

The last several days I have spent some time traveling around to new places, trying to ease my soul with beauty.

One of the places I found is ‘An Uncertain Destiny.’

gargoyle fountain

I found myself drawn to objects on the sim, like this gargoyle fountain. I love the play of light and shadows on him, the duality of it – is he as adorable as he appears? Or will he eat your face off?  Hard to know, isn’t it?

The sim is a rather rainy destination, so an umbrella is probably in order if you visit.

dragon light

This little creature caught my eye as well.  The detailing of the textures is simply stunning.  The lantern bathes him in soft light, bringing out the amazing patina.

vintage tricycle

I found this little gem just as I was getting ready to leave the sim.  A reminder of a time when life was simpler.