Nyx Linden

February 3, 2010

Today Nyx talked primarily about the Cache and took suggestions on how to improve it. A few people had some comments about the current problems with cache. One suggestion was to allow the owner of a sim to mark which objects should be cached. SnowGlobe has some features of new cache code built into it already that can be tested.

Another topic that came up was transparent avatar skins [VWR-812]. It’s comming, but Nyx would not indicate which version of the viewer that we would see it in. He indicated that viewer 2 may be offered as a public beta sometime this month (or next), and may or may not have something related to the new feature.

Nyx Linden is a developer for the client viewer software that connects to Second Life servers. He is currently focusing on improving avatars and building tools. His avatar looks like a small robot and has a power cord for a tail.

posted by Dedric Mauriac on Borrowdale using a blogHUD : [blogHUD permalink]

Making Faces

November 18, 2009

I found out about CyberExtruder.com yesterday. They offer some software that lets you use an existing photo of yours, and then create an avatar skin from it. I pulled my hair back to get a better picture. The software is free, but you can’t save unless you purchase licenses in batches of 10 saves for $10 USD. The quality looks great until you upload the skins into Second Life. I think it has to do with the limitations of the pixel depth in Second Life itself. Afterwards, I was spending a lot of time getting my avatar to look like me, as well as shopping for hair that makes me look a bit more like the real me. The hairs a bit too flowey, but I can’t find anything closer to me yet.
posted by Dedric Mauriac on Nikita Fride using a blogHUD : [blogHUD permalink]

How to create a conspiracy

January 10, 2009

I’ve been really getting creating with the different skins for my UFO’s. I’ve started using a combination of ArtRage, Adobe Photoshop, and AvPainter. This is really getting to be a lot of fun. Each UFO is a blank canvas to doodle and draw on. It really helps that I have a tablet as well. I would never be able to do this stuff with a mouse. I’ve worked a bit more on the idea of how my game will work, and I believe I think I’ve made it much easier to hash-out and get going. I’m still designing stuff and thinking along the way. It’s going to involve a lot of things that all need power. What better way then to get it from renewable energy sources? Well, back to work!
posted by Dedric Mauriac on Woodbridge using a blogHUD : [blogHUD permalink]

AvPainter and Mapping Photorealistic Textures

December 25, 2008

I’m starting to look into making clothing as a possible stream of new income in Second Life. The benefits are that people do not need to own land in order to use the product. My other products (gadgets) often require land with available prim space in order to work.

I started searching for swim suite/club models to work with photorealistic textures. I wanted to find something tight-fitting that would not need additional prims to look good (such as a dress, boots, frilly shirts, etc.). I found a One Piece Rio Swim Suit at Liquid Vinyl Clothing that may do the trick. I choose it because it had additional holes that allowed me to see visual markers to help with the mapping to a model.

The original templates provided by Linden Lab for creating clothing and skins were horrible. Today, they offer better templates provided by Chip Midnight. I hadn’t realized that they updated their templates and went with the Avatar UV templates by Robin Wood. I had used the templates a few times in the past and was comfortable with how much detail and help they offered along with many other Second Life Tutorials by Robin Wood. I was familiar with Robin Woods artwork outside of Second Life. I often use one of my favorite tarot card decks, the Robin Wood Tarot.

Using Adobe Photoshop CS3 Extended, I was able to start morphing the swim suite model to cover different points of the UV maps. Once a texture is mapped, designers often had to attempt an upload in the past to see a preview to determine if the clothing appeared correct. There were rumors that you could use Poser to load up an avatar mesh and preview the textures. I purchased the program, but was a bit confused with the setup to even attempt to load my own mesh and map textures. Other folks who design software have created tools to help speed up this preview/creation process without the use of Second Life until the final texture is ready. The first that I had found in the past was the freely available SL Clothes Previewer. I wasn’t able to find the software at the original site or on my network storage device, so I started looking at more options. (Update: Found a link to the original files on TATS blog on the post, SL Clolthes Previewer).


Desktop of AvPainter and Photoshop to create swimwear for Second Life

Desktop of AvPainter and Photoshop to create swimwear for Second Life

The next item to help out designers is AvPainter. The AvPainter software lets you not only preview textures, but also allows you to paint directly onto the model. Their is a free demo version that prevents you from saving – but it’s enough to give the same functionality (if not more) as the SL Clothes Previewer. Drawing directly on the model was very helpful with being able to not only see where I went wrong, but to start making corrections.


The software also lets you use layering for each part of the clothing. I had a skin layer, a UV map layer, and then the actual swimsuite layer. I was able to draw on the swimsuite without affecting the other layers. A tablet is a must-have for this software. I personally find the pen to be much better when working in 3D. The addition of pen sensitivity in the image also gives an added benefit.

AvPainter comes with a default UV Mesh as the base. It’s great for seeing the mapped parts, but horrible for getting an idea of what body parts are where. I started hunting for skin to go under the swim suite. I found a post by Vint Falken about free full perm female skin textures by Eloh Eliot . Eloh Eliot posted many different skins as PSD files with many layers showing how the skins are built up. I found that loading up the PSD in AvPainter with all the layers started having an effect on memory. I flattened all of the skin layers so that the PSD eventually only had 3 layers. Skin, UV Map (15% opacity) and Swimwear. It worked perfectly. I could visually see how the clothing would appear on a fully skinned model with a hint of UV mapping.


Although you can smudge the image in AvPainter, it leaves much to be desired in the realm of moving the mesh to prevent smudging. I had to keep going back to photoshop to stretch/distort/warp/liquify the image a little each time and then come back to the AvPainter. I may even have to go back and work with the Morpheus Photo Warper a bit to help with the morphing as well. However, I’ve had trouble in the past with it since it is not originally meant to morph images in this way. It is often used to morph one image into another; not to morph the mesh of an existing image.

At first glance, I showed my wife and she was amazed at what I had done in a couple of hours. Then the critic in me started pointing out the problems to her. Shapes did not appear correct. Holes that appeared as ovals on the original model started to look egg shaped or too circular in my version. The back of the model was not showing enough detail for me to map. The left side didn’t map well either and I had to duplicate and flip the right side of her, giving an odd mirroring effect. Clasps sat against the skin which would eventually require prims on models with large chests.

I suppose it is a good first start, but it leaves much to be desired. The optimal model would offer a front, side, and back view strait on with hands stretched out to the side. It would be easier to map the photos to the UV templates. However, I have never seen any models like this in photographs. They are often at an angle, and only sometimes show the back. The lighting often changes for the back because the camera man is usually in the same area where the model simply turned around. Even better would be if the model was wearing a catsuit of an avatar mesh under the clothing. I can’t have everything.

Fending off ladies begging for my attention

January 14, 2008

So I was working on placing product listings away from Second Life and came back to see that someone had sent me a Teleport Request. I did not remember who Lorelei Larsson was and there wasn’t any message from her. Apparently, she is on my friends list. My friends list is getting out of hand. I don’t know where I’ve met half of the people who are on there. I decided to take a chance and see where the TP would take me. Why not be adventurouse? I needed a break away from my Second Life anyway. I arrived at the entrance to X2 Exotica with no one around. I saw a few green dots and started walking towards them. The store appeared to sell a bunch of clothing. As I made it up stairs, I found a lot of skins for sale. There was a tall figure in a dark cloak with a hood over their face standing next to Boog Nishi. I apologized for not taking the TP sooner. She slapped herself a bit and realized she was trying to teleport one of Boog’s friends who was new on her list. We got reaquainted and she reminded me that I met up with her at the NaNoWriMo days with the Inksters group. Ah, I remember those days. A lot of people and a lot of writing. She said she had also visited my shop as well and we discussed a few things there. I’ve got such a bad memory. I used to joke to my friends and family that my real-life blog was just an extension of my brain so that I could find things easier if I had forgotten about specific details. I think my second- life blog may eventually become the same way. Next time before I ask my friends how I know them, I’ll just seach my blog to find out. Lorelei was amazed that I was brave to just take the TP and apologized. I replied that it wasn’t a problem and that I knew how to fend off screaming ladies begging for my attention if things got out of hand.
posted by Dedric Mauriac on Hamlin using a blogHUD : [blogHUD permalink]

Talkin’ Bout’ Trains

February 8, 2007

Acedia Albion, Analogue Montagne, and I talk about Trains. The main concern is that the trains here are no-mod. I’ve used Kitto Flora’s trains for a long time. I liked it a lot, but wanted to change the colors. I made my own skin for the train and Kitto agreed to give me a discount if he could resell the skin. I see he has 2 more skins now so people can choose from 4 colors. In the end, Acedia was sold and got herself a nice black train.
posted by Dedric Mauriac on Webworm using a blogHUD : [blogHUD permalink]

Categorized Menu’s are done

October 31, 2006

Menu’s are done. I can now change the volume, skins, language, and start a new game via the menu dialog. non-owners can’t set the volume. This way, anyone can walk up to the game and try it out at the moment.

I got a simple PA system setup to broadcast messages sent to it. The game is able to be put on mute, whisper, say, shout, broadcast, or send instant messages.

I think all that is left is tie breaking spin-off’s, and announcing who won. From there, it’s a matter if setting up different modes of the game. Stand-alone, Gameshow, and Pay to Play.

End of Line.
posted by Dedric Mauriac on Higgins using a blogHUD : [blogHUD permalink]

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