Saturday, May 31, 2008

Stand and Deliver!

After I had remade the Bauta cloak, I was having a lot of fun with the base of it. Once you have the cape prims and the flexi all sorted, it makes things a lot easier to make a few versions of it. So I did! Here's the open cloak, a bit like the original.

Pretty simple, but with a nice high sculpted collar to hide cozily in. This is pretty much the same cloak as the bauta one, just open and with a more finished collar. However, I did have a little fun with this next one.

I've always adored the triple caped coats of the late 18th century and I finally get to have one! It has the sleeves from my coque feather coat, with a bolero cut jacket underneath the coat so that the back has coverage as the prims move with the flexi. It has yummy sculpted cuffs too and it's very elegant for an evening out at the opera or perhaps an evening stroll around Caledon.

Yay for coats!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Revised Release of Remade Relics

I've been quiet but far from idle. I've just been holding my cards to my chest, and by cards I mean masks!

First up, my very first "event masks" made especially for the Midsummer's Night's Eve party of last year (speaking of, I need to set a date for my next party, that's coming up, sorry to keep you waiting). The originals used the old civetta and columbina bases which were rough and ill-fitting, and so have been remade with the latest base masks and fit much, much better. Also tidied up the textures, neatened up the details, tightened up the tiny prims and tweaked their royal little heads.

These are still unscripted, as I like to preserve my artistic vision in these with a specific look and color. That's the way I like to keep my super special event masks, my chance to play picky artist.

Next up are a couple of blasts from the pasts, from the very first retirement sale. I also apologize for not releasing these sooner, I really have no excuses.

Not much structural tweaking needed, just some texture work to again, tidy up, neaten up, and make them cleaner. The Swan Mask used to have seams for goodness sake! And the clockwork mask was all one texture, just tinted differently! That's been changed, and definitely for the better. The Swan Mask is now available in black or white, while the clockwork mask is available in that nice warm copper color or cold silvery steel.

Lastly, for my list of lovely remade treasures, the Bauta is back! I know how much everyone loved this one, but there was a lot wrong with the old one. Stiff movement, rough textures, prim overlap problems and a sort of awkward look at times in the shoulders. Not to mention, it was historically innacurate. Being the daughter of a history buff who helped make it a past time to point out anachronisms in movies I simply couldn't let that stand. So the new Bauta is New and Improved: Now With Lowered Innacuracy!

The real Venetian bautas are actually completely closed, and not a lick of hair or clothes would show. It truly was the ultimate disguise, and you could truly be anyone at all under there, all that could possibly reveal you is the quality of the material of your cloak and hat, or perhaps a pair of shoes. I've also now included a female version, which has a larger base to give the illusion of a dress underneath, and has more slender shoulders than the broad male cloak. As you can also see it also has a "guise" piece, which attaches to the skull and completely covers your hair, and includes the hat and covering scarf piece. The mask also has been tweaked from the original, to have the sharper more prominent features and the square shape that is just so distinctive of them. There's also a fun little tidbit I didn't mention on the vendor board (but it's on a notecard included with the set) that if you type "/5" before something you want to say, it will make you speak as the "Mysterious Cloaked Figure". Just for that extra oomph of perfect anonymity!

I know that there are some people who will be missing the line and amount of coverage that the original bauta cloak provided, which is why I am planning on releasing a "highwayman's cloak" that will have an open front and hopefully the same amount of flare. Still working on more piratey goodness, but I'd like to put it out all at once.

Now at least you know I've been spending my time well!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

New Promotional Pictures!

The past couple of days since I've gotten back from my weekend away have been full of administrative dullness. Taking care of vendor glitches, misbehaving scripts, custom ear skin tone requests, failed deliveries, etc etc. I really haven't been able to accomplish anything worth blogging. That is, until I finally got around to doing my new promotional pictures! I had to retire the old ones because they showed the old Columbina Venetzia, and it bugs me when I see retired things in promotional pictures because it's tantalizing and confusing. So I sat down, figured out what I wanted to wear that expressed my branding the best, and shot some pictures!

Oh my gosh, what's that on my head? Wow, those look awesome... Muahahaha. That, speaking of tantalizing, is from my Shaman collection, and I threw that in there to tease. Oh don't worry they're coming out, they're coming out, I'm just making more options and more varieties for it and you vill love zem.

I also wrangled up and sorted out some stuff that needs to be released, so that could be coming out either later tonight or tomorrow. Yaaay STUFF!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Le Fleur, & First Pirate Hats

It's finally time to come clean about my little secret project! Today, Nicky Ree released two new gowns, at the very least one that's bound to be an eyecatcher: Le Fleur.

As a collaborative effort orchestrated by Nicky, she wrangled up Tigerlily Koi of Calla, Alienbear Gupte, Roslin Petion of Fleur skins, and yours truly to make up a beautiful and elegant baroque ball gown and look. It was an absolute pleasure to let inspiration take me away on this one.

Nicky illustrated the flowers on the bodice herself, and from peering at them and trying to figure them out, I managed to recreate them in a three dimensional version! I made a black and purple version for myself, which I made the mistake of showing people so everyone ended wanting them. So...

The Noir is the same as the original, but only the stamen of the flowers is changed with the options. Being the black fan that I am, this one is my favorite, and I really love the red flowers and the purple of course.

It should also be said that ever since my sale wall came down, I have literally every day received some form of query asking about my pirate hats. I did finish a couple of them, and because I simply can not bear being one of those stores that has nothing pirate related in it, I simply had to release these quickly as a preview of what is yet to come.

Oooooo higher deeetail. I know some people say that there wasn't anything wrong with the old ones, but I disagreed. The old ones didn't have UV wrapped textures, and the feathers were very low detail, and the crown wasn't sculpted, it didn't fit well together! Those are things wrong, darnit! Plus, these are scripted to change hat fabric and feather texture, yuuummy.

This one has, zomg, SCULPTED TRIM. That was tough, I'll just say. Zbrush doesn't really like doing multiple objects together, or at least not that I've found, so managing the trim to look as good as it does was a major pat on the back moment for me. This one also changes texture, to 3 different fabrics in black or white, with different colored trim as well. These are just the first of many, to get people to stop thinking and despairing that I've completely abandoned piratey goodness!

Another quick note, I'll be going away for the weekend, completely without internet access Friday-Monday, so please be patient if you try contacting me between those days. Thankies!!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Civettas and Columbinas, Yet Another Revision!

I just can't leave well enough alone.

Well, since I robbed people of some of their very favorite masks when I discontinued the two Venetzia masks (and robbed myself even because now I have to do new promos), I've decided what my first post-sale release will be. I didn't even mean to revise the current civetta and columbina, it just happened when I realized how much better I had gotten at fitting to avatar faces and how superior my textures are now.

See how silky that looks? And thanks to Ziggy's texture changer, fatpacks are a thing of the past, and you can change the color of your mask with your mood and a touch. Because the "single" masks are now essentially fatpacks, there has been a price increase (sorry). Rather than the 75L of a single v2 civetta or columbina, these are 155L, but it includes eighteen different colors! And they fit better than ever, I've now included a male and female fit (and even male and female demos!) as vendor options so that they really ARE unisex. I'm really excited about these as simple, core masks, and I'm planning on doing a lot of little variations like them. Frankly, it's the texture, it's just too silky and the colors are too rich and nummy.

Oh, yes, the Venetzias. I teased you the other night by going on and on about teeny weeny itsy bitsy yellow polka dot prims and I wasn't lying. When I first imagined the Venetzias it was this sumptuous and rich and delicate scrollwork, and a year ago I suppose the one that you're familiar with cut it. Well, it didn't cut it for my perfectionist self anymore, nosiree. A new year, a new mask, and truly a year's work ahead of the others.

A gaze into those smoky adorned eyes makes me fall in love with this mask. If you haven't already just keep looking.

The detail on these really is extremely intricate, with over seventy prims and almost all of them technically impossible. A single venetzia mask includes all eighteen colors plus six different material choices for trim, the same as the elven ears and the elven jewelry. Again, with the fatpack-all-in-one-thing there's been a price hike, and rather than 125L they're 275L, but well worth every little linden. Here's a detail shot for you guys who can't get to a demo:

Click that and it should give you a bigger version.

Now I just need to redo my promotional materials!

Friday, May 9, 2008

I've been rushing to get pirate hats and the bauta and the new venetzias and goodness, so much done, and I've set myself the goal of having a release by Saturday of something, hopefully some pirate hats and other things.

Most of the remakes are going to be scripted with the texture changer, which means you'll have more options all rolled into one, but also means I'll be pricing them a bit higher. Especially in the case of the new Venetzias, there will be 18 different colors with different metal trim options all in one single mask, so rather than paying 100L or so for one, I'm think the new ones will be somewhere around 300, based on the level of incredible detail I squeezed out. And allow me to say... heh, I love teeny weenie itsy bitsy mini dinni tiny finy sculpted prims. I made a special sculpted sphere that's smaller than one tenth of a normal sphere. That's the sort of fine detail I'm talkin' about.

It's so much less work to just make a script and throw it in, and have an instant, flexible, easily accessed fatpack than to have so many color options to do permissions for and labels for and pictures for. However, it's not that easy on people who have a tight budget, so I'm still open to the idea of selling the scripted mask as a sort of deluxe model. However, I don't think the new Venetzias are going to be budget masks in the first place.

Speaking of textures, let me just say the colors and the quality of these for the new Civetta and Columbina are just beautiful. I've grouped them into royal jewel tones and pastels, and they really are very rich and very sumptuous. I'm looking forward to seeing them everywhere, frankly :D

Now I'm going to bed!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Welp, the sale is over, and I was hoping to have had some new releases for ya but that's just not how the muse moved me. I've completed and got one mask ready for release though, a new design that Nicky Ree actually asked me about making to match a dress she's made, She's also having hair and jewelry made to match which will all be gorgeous I'm sure, just the end result is I have a mask I can't release until she gives the all clear.

Since folks have already correctly guessed my hai-clues (tehe), I might as well say officially that my mysterious collection's theme is "shaman". I've been working on antlers and animal masks (most recently wolf and fox), and as I make more items I'll be writing more haikus and more folks will have a chance to win a free item by guessing :D I have some really fun plans for the antlers especially, and I can say with confidence that you simply will not be able to avert your eyes from my glorious rack :)~

I also set up something new on the island... my friend Jen Shikami who I've mentioned here numerous times has told me a lot about her fishing game 7Seas, but until today I had simply never had a chance to try it out. It seems I was blessed, because it's darn addictive!! The most fun part of it for me is finding and wearing the adorable fish that she's made for it. And since she has a passion for marine biology in her first life, it's actually kind of educational! As long as you suspend your cynicism when you see a devil ray with a little pitchfork.

I've set up a fishing area down by the Indigo Rose if you'd like to try it out and end up spending a lot of your time there ;)

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Illusions on!

So apparently, my friends whispered about this, it was a bit like a ghost sighting, an IM saying "I saw your wings on the Second Life homepage!" and of course when I would rush excitedly to see, well.. there was nothing but the usual homepage pictures talking about meeting new people etc. So I just sort of assumed that it was a fluke or a Flickr picture or just something that happened so rarely it was of no use or anything to be celebrated. Well, until Kriket caught this elusive and flitting happenstance via screenie!

I still haven't seen it for myself, but obviously it finally feels more real. They cycle through different pictures and different little themed "buy a home!" "make new friends!" "go shopping!" promos, and that's all I've ever seen every single time I've refreshed trying to find it. But now, I can say "OMG MY WINGS ARE ON THE SECOND LIFE HOMEPAGE! OMG OMG OMG"

Now if only I could get them to post their fashion information and sneak into the showcase >:D