Friday, June 23, 2023

Illusions @ the Second Life 20th Birthday Shop & Hop

Second Life is turning 20 this year. I remember a time in 2006 where I signed up for this odd not-a-game game, when people who had joined in 2003 seemed like they had been around for ages.  I marveled at the venerable last names like Thereian and Midnight.  I now get to be one of those dinosaurs I guess, figuratively and literally, as there are some really cool dinosaur avatars out there now.  There's actually only eight of us Suens left who show up in search (though I know there may be others with their profiles hidden).  It's pretty amazing to me that Second Life has grown and evolved so much in that time and not only stayed active but remained one of the largest virtual worlds out there.  I know I've put it aside for a long time but it's actually really cool that it's just been there still doing its thing, improving and advancing.

Since I missed out on Fantasy Faire, I felt like I should join in the celebration. Illusions is a part of the celebratory SL20B Shop and Hop, and everything at my stall is 20% off!  With my long term inactivity, I haven't exactly done any sales in a long time so enjoy it while it lasts!



You can find my stall on the Snowflake sim and I've put out a lot of great stuff.  I know my store's look is pretty dated but I'll get around to that eventually.   You can grab the new Curia masks for 20% off while Shop & Hop runs.  It goes until July 11th, so swing on by before then.

Illusions @ SL20B

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Civetta and Farafallina Curia

I'm happy to say that I did get a chance to do as I hoped, and have another Curia mask to share with you all. Two, in fact!

The Civetta Curia was the original partner to the Columbina Curia, and had the same issues with its construction that bothered me.  Despite that, it's been the "mascot" mask of my brand for many years, so I'm happy to replace it with this newer version.  Again, the geometry is much smoother and more efficient, the shapes a bit more defined, and I got rid of a central element I had been waffling back and forth over.  After six or seven years my blog banner could use a refresh, huh?

Speaking of refreshes, the Farafallina was the first mesh mask I released, in fact it was the first mesh item I ever released, way back in 2011.  I was just learning how to do things, and while the geometry was really not that bad, I had sort of goofed on the UV seams.  I decided to give it a refresh, give it the "basic mask collection" treatment, and update its color selection to match the other basic masks I have out right now.  I ended up adding in those metal textures after all.  Of course, if it's going to be a basic mask, it needed a fancier version.

The Farafallina is slimmer and more delicate than the Civetta, but they were similar enough shapes that it made adapting the pieces pretty simple.  This one has become a favorite to wear around.  I don't know if it has the surface area for the Barocco details but I like how this one turned out.

These are available now at my store on the Twilight and on the marketplace.


Civetta Curia: 295L

Farafallina Curia: 295L

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Curia... again

 When I first started getting comfortable with making mesh items one of the first masks I made was the Columbina Curia, a meditation on pretty, curly flourishes that I can't seem to get enough of.  I had fun designing and sculpting and tracing pretty swirls all over my new mesh masks.  Unfortunately, now that I am looking at all of my mesh items as a collection I realized it's a weak link.  As I took new pictures of my masks to update all of my vendors I just couldn't quite get myself to give the Civetta and Columbina Curia the same treatment.  At the time, I just didn't have the chops to do the concept justice, so I made some clumsy mistakes. 

With the new standardized basic shapes providing a potent platform for pretty permutations, I wanted to revisit the Curia.  I opened up some 10(!) year old files and threw my improved skill and experience at a new version to satisfy my insatiable perfectionism.

The new Columbina Curia uses the same base mask and color options as the basic Columbina, along with my six metal trim colors for the flourishes.  The geometry is smoother, the textures are silky smooth, and the mask is a single object now to make fitting much easier and more customizable to your avatar.

For comparison, here is the old version in the same color combo:

I won't pretend it's terrible, I can understand it still has some appeal.  Where I see the flaws, I know some people might see the charm.  The two versions are distinct enough from each other that the old version could be missed if I did away with it completely.  Because of this, I'm going to keep the old version for sale, but the vendors will not be updated to the new standard and the prices will be discounted.  

I think it's funny that in that original blog post I predicted that one day I would look back with the "facepalm of hindsight" at this mask.  Well, now that we have reached "one day" I will be more kind to myself, and recognize that it held up pretty well considering its age.  I just can't help but always want to strive for better.

Like the Barocco pieces, I plan on creating Curia versions of some of my other basic masks, starting with the Civetta and I'll see where I go from there.  

The new Columbina Curia is out now at my store on the Twilight and on the marketplace.

Columbina Curia: 295L

Sunday, May 21, 2023

Civetta and Civetta Barocco

 I can't explain how or why but in the past month I've had a bug, an itch, to fiddle with things on Second Life.  This hasn't happened to me in a long time and I've seized upon it in order to get some things done around here.  

It was long overdue that I update my mesh items to my "new" vendor system (from 2017 oh my god how was that six years ago?) and took a good look at my store inventory.  I got rid of some things that were still up at the Twilight that I think were truly obsolete and reduced the price on many older sculpted items.  I am still in the process of going through those and plan on reducing more items to reflect their vintage.  I was happy to see some things still look pretty good in this day and age of fancy bento stuff and newfangled animesh but I still felt like making some tweaks where I could.  

I've added some new colors to the Bauta, Mezza, and Columbina masks, and their Barocco counterparts.  I decided to add orange and brown, but since I can't leave well enough alone I also added more metallic options than just the gold and silver so they now have all of my six metal options too.   It makes for a very luscious effect and... oh... right... yeah, I made another one. 


I know, I know, another release?  Has it been a year already?  No, I just stayed up late every night after the baby fell asleep because I realized that I had never just released a simple mesh version of the Civetta mask.  There was the Civetta Curia, the Civetta Musica, but where was just the Civetta?  Gotta have those simple options.

"Civetta", the Italian word for owl, is a nod to the shape of the mask and how it frames the eyes.  What once was too simple to be exciting to my novelty starved brain is now totally in my lane for my current limited time budget.  It too got the extra color treatment, and now my simple masks all have the same metal and color options.  If I get a chance I might even update the Farafallina to have metal options.  Are you getting sick of the barocco masks yet? Maybe I'll do a version for that one too....

In any case, it's nice to work on things again.

Civetta Mask: 125L

Civetta Barocco Mask: 325L

Friday, April 21, 2023

Columbina and Columbina Barocco

As you can imagine, this past year has gone by in a blur of diaper changes and sleepless nights as I adjust to motherhood, as well as settling in to our new home.  Yet things have calmed down enough in the past month or so, that, with some help, I was able to make some time to make a new thing.

It's been a while, I had to blow the dust off of my programs and remember all of the hot keys.  I decided to do something easy and quick that would still be very satisfying.  Ever since mesh was released I kept saying to myself I'd make a run of simple, flexible, infinitely versatile basic mesh masks, but I kept putting them off to do more ambitious projects.  Since saying I'm feeling unambitious lately is an understatement, this was a good opportunity to do just that. 

Columbina is one of the classic characters from commedia dell'arte, her name meaning "little dove".  She often poses as a love interest and the only functional intellect on the stage.  The mask is elegant and characterized by the smooth line from nose to cheek and upswept sides. 

 I did warn everyone though that when I released the Mezza Barocco mask that I'd be using those pieces again.

Along with the Bauta Barocco, the Columbina Barocco offered a sumptuous way for me to capitalize on previous work done to make something new.  It was something that I was able to put together in the time that I had, generously donated by my mother as she kept my rambunctious offspring at bay. Along with this, I realized I had another quick and easy project I could release with a bit of spit and polish.

Another basic mask was hiding all along underneath that Mezza Barocco.  I cleaned up the textures a bit and added a gold and silver version, to match the others, and put that together as a simple, clean alternative.  Can never have enough options, and of course the more basic mask shapes the better.  Different shapes will look good on different faces!  As always they are all modifiable, I still leave them unrigged so you can stretch and reposition them to fit your avatar's face, as long as it's vaguely anthropomorphic.


While I had originally hoped to have these done in time to participate in Fantasy Faire, I decided to take the win of finishing anything at all.  These masks are now for sale on the marketplace and in my in-world location at the Twilight. 

Columbina: 115L

Columbina Barocco 325L

Mezza: 115L