Friday, July 23, 2010

Portrait photography... next episodes in the HiQ photography series

I really love to take photos in SL and to try to make them look as good as possible. There are some easy things to learn how to improve the quality of your photos. If you haven't read our old articles about high quality photography you find the links here to the left.

I mostly do landscapes and try to document the places I like the most in here. In future articles I will try to dig into how to make as good landscape photos as possible but before that I will dig into my favourite object for my photography passion.... portraits. Below you can see a few example of some of my portraits and in the upcoming article I will try to explain my best tips to be successful in making nice portraits in SL.

I have received a few IM:s with practical questions about photography and machinima in SL and I will write a special article were I try to answer those. But please don't hesitate to ask questions in world, by IM or email or in the comments here....

Happy snappings...

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Relay for Life... about doing good in Second Life

Right now there is an ongoing mission in Second Life called "Relay for Life". It is about raising money for the research in cancer treatment. Real life in Second Life! So great!

And the sailing community is of course also involved in this and that makes me a bit proud. Right now there are biding going on for a beta-version of the new upcoming version of the ACA33. But you can also bid on lots of other interesting stuff as well and all the money will of course be donated.

Please go there and support this:

Relay for Life has all kind of interesting things on a number of Sims there. This evening there will be fireworks at 10 AM... This is truly a very impressive effort, please go there and explore and we hope you would like to contribute to this.

Look at the map below and observe the incredible amount of visitors at the same time... how wonderful. You just don't want to miss this..

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

My building tools

I like to create things in here but I didn't like that the paradise island looks like a junk yard between the building sessions and it is totally boring to clean it up all the time so I decided to do something about it.

This building platform is 100 * 50 meters and is made out of just 5 Megaprims. You cant link all that the normal way so I have used a Rez-Faux-mechanism for making it easy to move and build in new places. The textures on the walls are seamless and the building texture on the floor is great for fitting things together. IM me if you interested in a something like this platform.

Below the platform you can see the Art exhibition hall, and the Stardancer exhibit is still going on there and even further down are the islands.

This post will be about some of the tools I often use for building. Some of them comes from the amazing Skidz Tweak. On the first photo above you can see the very useful Robotic Land Laser. You can rez it at any hight and it shows you very precise the borders of your parcel below.... how useful.
Here you can see two of his other tools, The Skidz Primz and the TNT Primz. They are not cheap but so incredible useful. They are both intended for aligning different prims to each other but have a different twitch each of them. You rezz special prims with scripts inside or you can insert those scripts in regular prims. Skidz Primz works with both Mega and scuplty prims while TNT Primz (to the right here) only works on regular prims, but is on the other hand smoother and less prune to lag.
You use them just by clicking on those red dots and you get perfect alignment extremely fast. Every Saturday there is free of cost classes at the main shop en there are lots of great YouTube-videos showing you the usefulness of these tools. I don't build without them any more.

There is also another alternative called PrimDocker. That is very cheap compared to the Skidz tools and works also with Mega prims... but is not that sleek and fast. In PrimDocker you use a hud and click on that for the adjustments and not just but clicking on the prims them selfs. It is a bit less intuitive but when you have learned it you find that it is very fast and low demanding on resources.

Here you see the manual for PrimDocker on my building platform. On the photo you can also see the MegaPrim search tool even though I prefer as it is possible to see the rotation and orientation of the Megas there and I find that extremely useful.

Behind that you can see the PrimFinder tool that lets you create normal prims but with an unusual shape very quickly.

And so... finally.... here is the gem! SculptCrafter! With sculptcrafter you have a reduced set of prims that you can use in a limited number of ways. To the right here you can see a buoy I have built with 29 of those prims. Then with a twist of the magic wand i can convert those into a single prim sculpt map. Totally incredible and extremely useful.

But it is a rather expensive tool and it has a number of limitation, but if you are aware of those it is the most valuable tool I have. If you accept some pointless script errors I have also discovered that it is possible to insert both PrimDocker and Skidz Primz scripts in the SculptCrafter prims and combine the tools. I just love it!

Go to the creators sandbox and play with the demo:

You can make real sculpty prims that you own with the demo. But you can only build them there in the sandbox and you are limited to 10 prims... but the resulting scultpy is real and can be used anywhere.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

So... the new angle... my first post on shoes.

A few days ago I wrote:

"Well now I think I will quit writing about the snobbish cultural side of it all...  and start writing about..... looks, clothes, sex, shallow behaviour, intrigues, parties, tattoos and... and ... shoes?... SIGH.
Stupid, silly me.....  ROFL"

So now is time for my first post about shoes.

Well maybe not the kind of shoes you though I would write about but I really like the detailed work at display here. Look at the engravement on the metal buttons, the stitches, the leather on the heels and beautiful folds. This is really supreme craftsmanship in SL.... how great!

This is the newest person on my friendslist.... Lemondrop! Yes, it is her shoes and tomorrow I will show you the incredible Sim she and her friend has created. If you also liked the shoes, just hold your breath!

Tradewinds 2010 Boat Builders Show

 Yesterday on february 15 the Tradewinds 2010 Boat Builders Show opened for the public. This is what they write about it on the web page:

"Fostering a friendly and helpful environment for sailboat builders and those who love them, to network and show off their boats. With the idea that together we will all improve.
1) these are boats YOU made or are making
2) they don't have to be finished
3) Although maybe not working yet, the idea is that you intended to get these sailable


The great thing about this all is that this also marks the release of a totally FREE building kit from Becca Moulliez. How great! There are textures and scripts... all free that you can use for inclusion in your own masterpiece. And you are welcome to expose your creations here even if they are in a very early state.

and if you are a bit overwhelmed by the though, be aware of that even mothers with babies can find the time do this... so surely... it is worth a try....  ;o)
So just run over and get your free building kit... and while you are there... get a free Fizz as well and come sailing with us!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Fizz training with the Japanese sailors

The sailing community here in SL is really a fabulous crowd. In my search to be a better sailor in here I have searched all over the place and to my surprise I have been welcomed everywhere. It is certainly not like that in all the groups......  ;o)

Soon after I got my Fizz somebody told me that the Japanese group of Fizz sailors are some of the very best and as they have weekly practice races I started to sail together with them. The best way of learning is to learn from the best.

I got to know them and Taku who is arranging these sailing (Liv is also one of the arrangers) took a lot of time to explain the rules and the different tactics to the group. He has tought me so many great things and is so incredible patient and friendly. Thanks a lot, mate! Without his N3 navigator I wouldn't had a chance in the Americas Cup.

The Tradewinds Yachtclub is the base for the Japanese sailors and after each day of practice the winner is celebrated there and the winners boat is exposed for all to see.

This day the winner the winner was Mihwa who also competed in the Americas Cup Trophy. The Fizz is very difficult to master as it is so realistic and much more precise to sail than for example the ACA33. I don't have a chance yet against the best ones in the Fizz...

After the races there is always a discussion about the tactical details that made the difference.

Now days the Fizz is totally free (used to cost 1250 Lindens) ... so just grab a boat and come sailing with us. Starboards shopping mall in Hollywood sailing sims.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Art galleries in Second Life

This is a totally new experience... to look at art galleries. And it will keep you busy for a a while... the present number is 668 different galleries...   ;o)

Here are just a few to get you started...

Freedom House of Arts - Gallery  

 Feathers Bay - Gallery

Avalon Art District

Lawst Oaradise

Pygmalion Art Glass Sculpture Garden
You need to go here to get some kind of overview:

Well now I think I will quit writing about the snobbish cultural side of it all...  and start writing about..... looks, clothes, sex, shallow behaviour, intrigues, parties, tattoos and... and ... shoes?... SIGH.
Stupid, silly me.....  ROFL

Friday, February 12, 2010

Art in Second Life

A few weeks ago we opened up our first exhibition here in Second Life. The response has been overwhelming and so many nice people here have said so many nice things....

One tips was to join the group of Art Galleries in SL... what a great tip!

There are nearly 700 galleries in the group and you can even get a HUD to easy navigate among them. On the creators webpage there are different ways to find the ones that may interest you.

So much fun to TP around and experience the incredible creativity in here:

The creator of this group also has a great blog where you can follow the art scene in SL.

In just a few weeks our gallery has established itself rather well in that group. The current exhibition will go on for a few more weeks. Please come and have a look and dont forget to vote for it if you like what you see:

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The details makes the differance

It has been a busy week! First the first round of the Americas cup challenge (that I will write about a bit later), then the opening of the gallery (and the signing up in the big group with 650 galleries... also in a later article)... and then all the ongoing projects. I am such a fanatic for the details that I have a a really tough time to decide when something is good enough and I should decide that it is finished....

Well this story is about buoys... the small stupid insignificant things that you see when you are out sailing in the beautiful oceans in Second Life. I wanted to have some buoys to mark the small canal between our islands so that people dare to sail there. You know if you are sailing in the main direction you shall have the red buoys on the left side and the greens on the right side (yes I have a skippers diploma in real life).

However those up for sale were either so ugly or consisted of a incredible amount of prims. I need 6 buoys for that canal and if each of them is up to 37 prims.... well there we go again... that ads up to 222 prims for some stupid buoys. No way... and even the low prim good looking buoys are like 17 prims = 102 prims.

So what will a handy man do? Right, build my own ones!!! You should say YAY to a challenge.... well a few weeks later I am not so sure....    ;-)

The resulting buoy itself is made in one sculpted prim and the flashing lamp is another prim. So 2 prims/buoy that makes 12 prims instead of 222 for the six buoys... Amazing. The buoy itself took me less then an hour to build and turn into a sculptie. The textures took me forever even though I have great tools. I have 13 green versions and 9 red versions before I am pleased with the worn look of them. They should look like they have been in the salt water for some time and not like they are newborn plastic ones.

Then there are the scripts. One for making the lamps flash in the right way and another one for making the buoys move in the water in a natural looking way. Those took me a few hours too.....

Then a fool never knows when to end..  ;o)

So I decided that it would be handy to be able to use them "out of Sim" as well.. so I added that functionality (2 more prims if you want to use that possibility) and lastly I had to learn how to make nice foam or wave around them (adds 1 prim if you decide to use that)

So the result is a nice looking moving and flashing buoy in 2 prims with foam for another one and "out of Sim" use for yet two more... the choice is yours.

My own joy lies in understanding all the detailed works at hand here and put together an object like this, were all is home made by my self.

Sure... a total waste of time as I can buy them on Xstreet for a few Lindens... ;o)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Lucid Dreams.... come and see our photo exhibition

Photography in Second Life is a big thing for us. It is so much fun to try to document all explorations and discoveries in here. We have been posting photos in Flickr, Koinup, in Blogs and in other places but have all along been thinking about a more dedicated approach for the photos.

A few months ago we decided to try to do a coherent exhibition as a way of keeping focus on the creative side of the photography. So Marlia has developed that side of her photography and I have been somewhat busy trying to build a place for an exhibition.

The goal was to make a place that looks nice but is neutral enough not to draw the attention away from the exhibitions. We wanted it to be light and have a positive feel about it.

The result is two rather big halls combined into one structure with 100 * 50 meters in all. It is mainly made out of mega prims and all the objects (except the plants) and all textures are created by us.

The problematic thing is that with a construction of this size you cant link together everything into one piece. But I have found something similar to fauxrez that lets me pack it all together in one box and rezz it somewhere else with just a few clicks. How fantastic! I just love the creativity in here!

So even the exhibition hall is up for sale and there is also an option of a hall half the size and other sizes can be made on requests. It is just around 25 prims in all. IM me if you are interested in something like this.

The first exhibition is totally from from the amazing Marlia Looming. It is called the "Stardancer Series" and is a part from Marlias brand the "Magical Virtual Life art". Part of the photos have already been exposed in another exhibition in Second Life.

This exhibition is for trigging the imagination and shows the creative side of her photography. If there is any of images you particularly like, it is good to know that all of her photos are also for sale at a very decent price. In every package there are a couple of sizes and if you right click on them you will find the prices and a buy option.

You will find the exhibition hall here:

And please...... let us know what you think..... that is the best way for us to develop further.

I have just two small slideshows in a corner there, showing some of my portraits and landscapes. The purpose of this is to show my slideshow frames. They are for sale there... ;o)

If you should want me or Marlia to take your portraits for your profile or any other purpose, you are welcome to IM us in world. We prefer to do portraits in natural surroundings but have of course also the possibility of studio work.

Friday, January 22, 2010

My first commersial sculptie!!

During the last few months I have been trying hard to learn to build and script. I have been trying all kinds of tools and also mad some things for sale on Xstreet... no big hit yet I can tell you...  LOL.

I have been nosing around that sculptie things for some times and tried some of the tools out there. Both for use in world and of line tools like Blender, SculptiePaint and so on. Then I stumbled upon this amazing tool that made some sculpted prim creations incredible easy. My first atempt was to replace the old bridge I made in traditional building technique with a sculptie one. I am so pleased with the result that i have decided tp put it up for sale.

Here you have it in the proper place at home. It is 3 segments about 10 meters long each of them. With normal building technique this bridge demanded 29 prims for each section. That is  if the wooden floor consists of planks and not just a board with a plank texture and that looks really awful.

Now each section consists of only 2 prims (in opensim it could have been just 1 prim but the way Second life treats sculpties until now make it necessary to use a ghost prim). So instead of 87 prims this bridge is now 6 prims... Wow!!!

On the image above you can see that it is real (well virtual real) planks and that you see through like you do in real life. I have also made the texture for the bridge... more on that another day.

Now the million dollar question is what tool did I use for creating this? This is the cliffhanger and the answer will be in my next blog post.

So now I will start selling this with copy rights... and hope that this will be my breakthrough on Xstreet...   ;o)    (Ohhhh yes... you can call me naive)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Americas Cup in Second Life

Americas Cup in Second Life!! Yes, you read correctly... about the same time the event is ongoing in real life in Valencia in Spain ( there will also be an 33:rd Americas Cup in SL on two saturdays on January 30 and February 6 in the Pacific start line close to Santa Barbara in the Blake sea.

Read more about the event here 

Today (January 20) there are 39 ACA33 yachts registered for the event and that must be some kind of record in SL. Yes, you guessed right, of course am I one of the 39.

Initially I had planned to start a Swedish challenge as Sweden had a number of yacht competing in last few RL Americas Cup.  I made some clumsy attempts to find some interest for that in the Swedish community, but as I failed I decided to go with the Mango yacht club in Fruit Islands instead. The beautiful sails Isis made for us was the final deciding factor....   ;o)

The registration is still open for a few more days if you are interested......

Close to the start line you will also find the Sailing Academy where you can learn all the rules and finer details about sailing competitions in SL. Fantastic useful place....

In the different halls there you will find pedagogic sideshows that explains the different aspects of sailing competitions.

Bea Woodgets has also written some amazing articles on the slsailing site about using the winds and finding the optimal course when racing in SL: 

and then adopting the theory to one of the competition courses in the ACA33 2010 Trophy:

Whenever I go to the startline now, there are lots of ACA33 yacht swarming the  place looking to find the perfect way to do those courses in the fastes way possible. So much fun!