Mesh Mouth

Image Source: softimage.wiki.softimage.com
Image Source: softimage.wiki.softimage.com

There’s been a lot of buzz the last few days over the Skin Fair opening tomorrow.

I could have gone to an early preview, but I didn’t.

Honestly, I already own a TON of skins, and I only wear one on a regular basis.

Once in a great while, I’ll go searching through them and find something for a routine, but I just don’t change my skin a lot as a rule.

So, I was really stoked when Laqroki announced they had made appliers for the Maitreya body.

I’ve just now gotten around to actually playing with them to see how they work.

I must admit, I’m not thrilled.

The hands and feet match perfectly, but I can’t seem to get rid of the line/seam at the neck, no matter what I do.

And after a day of trying on practically every mesh outfit in my inventory, it was a bit discouraging to find that only one or two items actually work.

After searching around for various fixes, I got sidetracked a bit by the mesh mouths.

PXL has released a new mouth that seems all the rage.

I’ve said before that I don’t understand the appeal of mesh heads.

To me, you end up looking the same as everyone else.

Even with different skin and makeup, the underlying structure is the same and just doesn’t seem as ‘realistic’ or unique to me as a classic avatar face.

I’ve seen some new heads on the market, and creators may be getting closer to a realistic look (complete with customizing options), in my opinion.

A mesh mouth seemed much easier to tackle than a mesh head, so I got the PXL demo.

I must say, it was more complicated than I expected.

I’m still not clear on how the HUD works (I think pieces of it are disabled for the demo, but it doesn’t tell you that in the info nc).

I wasn’t able to get a perfect skin match, but I got fairly close.

And the positioning seemed pretty good right out of the box.

But I’m not sure whether I want to take the plunge and buy the mesh mouth or not.

I like the way it looks.

But – another mesh attachment?

It’s already a major pain dealing with SLink hands/feet and all the HUDs and appliers.

When I first got the SLink hands, I was collecting nail appliers right and left.

But I rarely use any of them.

That was one of the appeals for me about the Maitreya body.

The hands and feet are all right there, and one HUD does the nails for both.

I’m just not sure I’m up for another attachment and adding another 10-15 minutes of futzing around with colors when I’m trying to get dressed.

Has anyone tried the PXL mouth?

What do you think of it?

Are there other mesh mouths that might be better?

Content Creators – I Get It

Image Source:  community.secondlife.com
Image Source: community.secondlife.com

Yesterday was a bit of a frustrating day for me.

I have a ton of projects I’m working on all at once, and yesterday I couldn’t seem to get anywhere with any of them.

One of my ongoing projects has been to work more with my Maitreya mesh body (which I love!) and see if I could figure out how to tint it to match my current Laqroki skin.

Thinking that I could just go grab an RGB value from somewhere, I went looking.

I found about 15 different ones, and none of them worked.

Sigh.

So, because I had a picture I wanted to finish, I ended up wearing the Glam Affair skin I bought.

It looks good.

It looks really good.

It just doesn’t look like ‘me.’

I spent a little bit of time feeling sorry for myself because Laq doesn’t make appliers for the Maitreya body.

But I totally understand why they don’t.

It’s a mad, mad, mad, mad applier world out there right now.

I have no idea how content creators keep up with it all.

It has got to be maddening.

I’ve made some clothing myself (using both system and mesh templates) and I’ve considered selling them on MP, just to have a few L$ trickling in now and again.

I haven’t, so far, because I have absolutely no intention of learning how to do appliers.

Which, I assume, would hinder sales.

Everyone wants something for nothing these days.

Was it annoying to have to pay for the GA SLink appliers separately from the skin I purchased?

Yes.

Do I understand why the creator does that?

Yes. Absolutely.

Time is money.

After watching my daughter (a ‘digital native’) struggle to learn Blender, I have no doubt of the time and skill it requires to create good content for SL.

That said, I also have to watch my own bottom line.

So sometimes that amazing headdress from !dM is totally worth the $300L in gacha tries.

Sometimes it isn’t.

That’s my own decision, and not something I would ever complain to a creator about.

They price their products based on many factors, including difficulty, creation time, overhead expenses, etc.

Are some products priced ridiculously high (imo)?

Yes.

Does that mean I complain about it?

Hell, no.

It just means I don’t buy it.  😀

*For a content creator’s view of this issue, read this post by Sian.

She makes some incredibly amazing stuff, and it’s interesting to hear about this issue from a creator’s perspective.

Time Flies

Image Source: empower-u-academy.com
Image Source: empower-u-academy.com

Nai has recently started up a new blog/website for the Blue Moon (check it out here if you haven’t already).

He is also starting a ‘365’ project.

Each week, he will set a theme with prompts to inspire him to write, sketch, take a photo, whatever.

He’s invited others to participate as well, so I’m going to join in the fun. 🙂

The theme for this first week of January is TIME.

So my first offering is going to be this blog post.

Since it’s only the 4th day of January, and we’re fresh off the whole ‘Happy New Year’s’ thing, time is a subject that’s been on my mind.

Hubs’ birthday is coming up this week, mine is next month, and then I’m going to blink and my kids will be heading out into the real world.

Where did all the time go?

It seems like just yesterday my kids were little, needing help to brush their teeth, wanting me to kiss their boo-boos better.

When did they grow up?

In fact, I’m wondering where the first week of the New Year has gone – 2015 is flying by already!

Here’s hoping I have enough time to accomplish all the things I’d like to this year.  😀

Windows? We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Windows!

Image Source: inthralld.com
Image Source: inthralld.com

In chatting with a friend the other day, he asked why a lot of clubs in SL have no windows.

I had to stop and think for a moment. (Scary, I know!)

Do clubs in SL have windows?  As I thought back to shows I’ve attended and the venues they were in, I realized that most venues don’t have windows.

Why is that?

Is it because the weather in SL can be whatever you want, so there’s no need to have a window to look outside?

Is it because whatever is outside the window will be a distraction?

Is is because there isn’t anything outside the window?  I know many clubs are up in the air (1000 meters or more), so perhaps it’s because there’s nothing to see?

I personally like having a few windows, but then, my build is on the ground, not up in the air.

Is it because theaters in RL don’t have windows, so therefore, neither do theaters in SL?

Nai suggested that there were other reasons, including that having windows (and a light source) can make particles look bad, since they tend to be full-bright, as well as the fact that you can control the light sources when taking pictures if there are no windows.  I have never played around with particles before, so I’ll have to try it and report back.

Do clubs/venues in SL need windows?

Sound off, readers!

So Excited!

I have been waiting eagerly for the next game/hunt from MadPea.

I did their Blood Letters hunt (and got creeped out a few times, I must admit).  But I thoroughly enjoyed the game – regardless of the prizes. (There were some really awesome ones, however!)

This month, I’ve been doing their Scrumptious Sweets hunt and loving it.

Everything is so darn cute!

I was even inspired to create a dance using one of the gifts from it.

Today I got a notice that a new game/hunt is coming in Feb/March.

Woohoo!

BURIED logoBuried will be another murder mystery-type game/hunt.

You buy a HUD for $300L and then work to follow the clues and solve the mystery.

The notice does say the hunt is rated moderate and will have some sexual content.

*Grabs her sleuthing gear and heads out the door*

Picture Experiment

Image Source:   www.ms-ds.com
Image Source: http://www.ms-ds.com

A few months ago, I signed up for a subscription for SL Go by OnLive.  My computer is okay, but not top-of-the-line, so I thought I’d try out SL Go and see how it works.

It’s supposed to turn any tablet or PC into a machine capable of running SL at Ultra settings.  So you can have all the fancy shadows and lighting to take pretty pictures and have less lag, even at Ultra.

I haven’t really used SL Go much, although my husband has played around with it on his iPad.  He had a little trouble getting used to the controls (it took him a good 5 minutes to ‘sit’ on something the other day).

Then I saw a video by Iris over at New World Notes about taking fancy-schmancy pictures using SL Go.  So I thought I’d try it myself.

I’ve been debating for several months whether to get a Flickr account, and hadn’t yet.  Partly because I detest Yahoo and I have to sign up for an account with them in order to use Flickr.  But also partly because I didn’t think I could take pictures that would be able to compete with what I see on Flickr.

I don’t run SL on Ultra on my computer, and I rarely have shadows enabled, because it causes too much lag.

However, to take some pictures, like landscapes or portraits, maybe I could make it work.

If I can take awesome pictures with SL Go, even better!

So I decided to do a little experiment.

I logged in to SL with my computer and went to two different winter sims to take some photos.  I didn’t bump up my graphics to Ultra, but I did turn on shadows.  I found a quiet spot on each sim and spent a few minutes playing around with the windlight presets to get something I thought was pretty.

Then, I logged into SL Go and went to the same two sims to take photos at the same spots.

SL Go does take some getting used to – I use the Firestorm viewer, and SL Go is a scaled-down version of the official LL viewer.  So it took me a little bit to get used to where all the controls were.

(Side note – I use the FS built-in AO, so since I don’t wear an AO attachment, I was doing the newbie dork-walk everywhere I went.  Ugh.)

I also had a bit of trouble, because I couldn’t find all the snapshot options to play with, like I have in FS.

There were only about 10 total different windlight presets to choose from using SL Go, so then I had to figure out how to adjust the settings myself, to try and get as close as possible to the windlights I had used with FS.

(I spent about an hour trying to figure out how to turn on the ‘advanced menu’ in SL Go, only to be told later that I couldn’t, because it uses a scaled down version of the viewer.)

So after finally getting the pictures taken with SL Go, I needed to resize them.  I am going to post them below, and I would love your feedback on which ones you think are better.  Just click on the poll underneath each set of photos to vote on which one you like.

For the first set of photos, my windlight settings are not close.  For both sets, the angles are a bit different.  In retrospect, I probably should have had the first set of photos open to use as reference, but I wasn’t thinking that far ahead.  I was just trying to duck-walk to the site as quickly as possible.  😀

After I get the results, I will post additional information about the original photos.  All I have to done these photos is to resize them down to 1024X576 or 1024X548.  I did not do any other post-processing of them.

Winter Wonderland:

KellanWinter
Photo 1 A

 

Photo 2 A
Photo 2 A

 

 

 

 

Frisland:

Photo 2 A
Photo 1 B
Photo 2 B
Photo 2 B

Please vote and send the link to your friends and ask them to weigh in as well.

I’m curious to see which photos people like better!

(Just FYI – you find some weird shizz when you do a search on Google for ‘photo experiment.’ 😛 )

Alternate Escapes?

Image Source: www.quickmeme.com
Image Source: http://www.quickmeme.com

I was listening to the new episode of the Drax files yesterday.

I usually listen while I am writing, so sometimes I get a bit distracted.  This time, a comment made by one of the guests caught my attention.

He was discussing how he often logs in to SL using an alternate account (alt) so that he can work on things without the constant disruption of IMs from friends.

The issue was on my mind already, after reading a recent blog post by Canary Beck about needing ‘transition time’ when she logs into SL.

Personally, I am always happy to hear from friends.  To me, that’s the great thing about IMs.  I may get them instantly, but nothing requires me to ANSWER them instantly.

If I am truly trying to concentrate on something, I generally set my availability to ‘unavailable’ so that I can finish whatever it is I’m working on.  (I am guilty of also forgetting to uncheck this setting, even when I am done working. 😛 )

When I first log in, whether I respond to IMs right away depends on what I am doing.  I usually work through IMs first, then NCs, and then whatever other housekeeping tasks I need to do before moving on.  However, I can honestly say that I’ve never been frustrated or annoyed by IMs waiting for me when I log in.

If I am busy, but not so busy that I want to be ‘unavailable,’ I will generally just let the IM sit until I can take a break and send a quick response.  Sometimes that response is ‘Hey, working – get back with you in a bit.’

I do have an alternate account that I use for various things, but I’ve never been so bombarded by IMs that I felt I needed to log in on that account just to avoid people.

In the interview, Drax also mentioned that many people do not feel ‘like themselves’ when they log in as alternate accounts.  While I can understand that, if that is how you feel, why bother having an alternate account in the first place?

I think perhaps there is a social perception that because someone speaks to us via IM, an immediate response is required.  Speaking for myself, my friends know that if they don’t get an immediate response, I am not ignoring them, I am busy and not able to respond right away.  When I IM someone, I do not get upset if I don’t get an immediate response.

There are lots of reasons this may happen, so I don’t take the lack of response personally.

What about you?  Do you feel the need to escape using an alt?

Inventory Challenge!

Image Source:  randomcovers.com
Image Source: randomcovers.com

I came across this inventory challenge and thought I’d join in the fun. 🙂

I am always conscious of trying to keep my inventory count down.  It usually sits somewhere around 34-36K.  But I still think it’s too big.  So when I read about the ‘inventory game,’ I decided to give it a try.

I’m not sure what prizes there are, but it will at least give me the impetus to really buckle down and clear out stuff I know I don’t need/will never use/will never wear.

I have gacha items that I don’t want, a ton of extra sizes of mesh clothing that I don’t need – etc.  I am, however, dreading going through my ‘costume’ folder.  I am forever coming across cool outfits and thinking, ‘hey – I can use that in a routine.’  So I buy it, and it promptly disappears into the black hole of the costume folder.  :-/

I put my current inventory count on the board (34,015).  We’ll see how it goes, since two new hunts start today, and I just bought a ton of stuff at the Geeks and Nerds Fair I haven’t even opened yet!

I Need a Clone!

Image Source:  geeepeee09.wordpress.com
Image Source: geeepeee09.wordpress.com

I may have bitten off more than I can chew this week.

It’s a holiday week, so things are busier than usual in RL.  Only one more day and then my munchkins will be underfoot for the rest of the week.  And I have a to-do list that would make most people weep.

I need a clone so that she can work while I sleep (when I don’t get enough sleep, I get cranky).  She can write my blog posts, choreograph my routines, check all my emails, stay on top of my Google and Twitter feeds, and all those other social networks I don’t have the time for.

I have 3 routines to fix/alter/add/create in the next two days.  Ack!

I have a new HUD to learn (which includes learning a new mover system, a new rezzer, and a whole host of other new goodies that I just can’t wait to get my hands on!), hunts to finish, and pies to bake.

Where has my week gone?  And it’s only Monday!

So if you come across a cloning machine (or a time machine, that would work too), send it my direction.

In the meantime, I’d better get to work!

Information Overload

Image Source: www.terminally-incoherent.com
Image Source: http://www.terminally-incoherent.com

While writing another post, I found myself thinking how I wished it was possible (or at least easier) to keep up with all the stores and creators I find interesting.

With the number of in-world groups you can join limited to 42 (which sounds like a lot, but really isn’t), keeping up with everything is a real challenge.  I routinely only have about 1-2 slots open at any given time, and lately that number has been 0.  When I started dancing, I need one slot for the troupe.  These days, it’s usually at least two.  Yes, LL upped the group limit from 25, and yes, you can use subscribos to stay updated.  It all sounds good.

But what ends up happening is that I am constantly in ‘information overload’ mode.  The idea behind subscribos is great, and if you don’t have one for your business, you should get one.  I am interested in lots of things in lots of different categories and subscribos help keep me informed when I don’t have a group slot available.

However, when I log in, I am deluged with notices and notecards from all the subscribo lists I’m on.  Half the time I end up deleting them because I need to work on something else and they are just clutter.  Sometimes after subscribing, I’ll find that the store/group is just not a good fit for my tastes.  So then I have to research where the store is so I can tp back there to ‘unsubscribe.’  I wish there was a way to unsubscribe via a website or something.

Other stores/groups require you to send a notecard to someone in order to be unsubscribed.  Again, time can often be an issue.  Yet other stores/groups send you the SAME notice EVERY SINGLE DAY.  There’s a pose store (that, unfortunately, I really like) that does this and it drives me batty.  It’s just more junk cluttering up my inventory.

I do a lot of shopping on MarketPlace because I can see a ton more items faster than I can tp’ing around in-world and waiting for things to rezz.  (I blame some of the rezz issues on my computer, but I have recently upgraded my graphics card and find that some places are just built poorly.  I don’t need to see the entire place filled with giant textures all at once – that’s what MP is for, silly.)  I wish there was a way on MarketPlace to ‘favorite’ a store, not just an item.  I find cool things while I am surfing that make me want to come back.

I know that a lot of creators/stores have FB pages.  However, I refuse to use FB.  (You can read about that here and here.)  I thought about joining Plurk and/or Flickr (read my thoughts on Flickr here), but decided against it.  I already have a multitude of various email/social media accounts, I don’t want to make my information overload any worse.

Maybe someday I’ll figure out a better, faster, easier way to stay connected to the things/stores/creators/whatever that I’m interested in.  Until then, I guess I’ll just keep wading through the mounds of notices.  :/