Saturday, August 25, 2007

At last, the Couples Animation Vehicle :)

I was deprived of a young girl's dream
By the cruel force of nature from the blue
Instead of a night full of romance supreme
All I got was a runny nose and Asiatic flu
It's raining on prom night, my hair is a mess
It's running all over my taffeta dress

Well, as anyone who has had to have the misfortune to listen to my whimperings the last few days can attest, I spent all my dayjob days off laid flat down with the flu. Bleh. So, last night rolled around, and once again I found myself on Second Life vice doing those things that people who find themselves sans maladie do, even if they have to work at six am or so the next day (Why do flights start so early in the morning? Why can't we just start our work at three in the afternoon or so? But I digress) The silver cloud in my raining on prom night cloud being the fact that today finds me still in disheveled dishabile at the computer, rather than on the unappreciated dusty trails of various hotel rooms. I moaned and whimpered enough to get a note from the nice doctor, made my excuses on the phone to the main office, and back to bed.

Or rather, a long nap followed by finishing up a few SL projects. One of which, I am happy to say, is the long awaited Embrace--an elegant name for Ms. Vicky Christensen's couple's animation device that allows two people to walk together. I am happy to say, it handles most terrain fairly well, with the notable exception of stairs (an SL issue with vehicles, I'm afraid). Later versions will allow flight and swimming, but for now, it has some lovely animations for couples walking romantically together, and even running. It has a "waiting for one's gentleman/lady friend" animation it plays until you are joined on the poseball by your companion. It allows either the owner or a friend to lead, and is rather easy to understand--just use the arrow keys. All in all, quite cute, and quite fun.

If you want to try it out yourself, a demo model is at Secondframe Animations:

Well, I did the vehicle part, so Ms Christensen generously gave me a copy to play about with last night. It could not have come at a better time. I was feeling a bit mopey with self pity and such, so my friend Miss Terry Lightfoot had taken me out to a Jazz Concert in Venice. That was cheering enough, but then a certain fellow by the name of Mr. Trevor Rowlands wanted to know if he could join us. I should admit, by way of explanation, that in fact, I know Mr Rowlands well enough in RL. He has gallantly refrained from any teazing on the subject of said obsession, and in fact created his account recently so that he could see the world that I will go on about at times.

Well then, I certainly wasn't going to trip the light fantastic in RL, or even grace the inside of the local, so this was a fine enough alternative :) Mind you, I say so strictly in view of my obligation to beta test the Embrace device.

First, there was standing---

And a bit of a stroll (I assure you the feet are moving in a strolling fashion here)--

And then full speed sprinting. Despite my flats, I found the terrain a bit rough going, but as you can see, he is a strong fellow!

Well, that and some swing dancing earlier had us all good and virtually glowing, so it was time for a hot toddy and a bit of a chat before toddling off to a fair early bedtime. But one cannot argue with the ability to get out and about, even when one is less than fit to be seen in RL public :P

Friday, August 24, 2007

And as promised...

Here they are, some photographs of Virtual Versailles and the Carriage in action. I am fairly pleased with the carriage: with Miss Terry Lightfoot's help, I was able to get the textures nice and cleaned up. I also added several features upon the clever suggestions of Duc Languedoc, such as the ability to change coachmen and enhanced stability/rough terrain handling. It suffers from its size in terms of maneuverability, but it will turn within its own length, which makes it possible to tour about, even on the narrow streets of Caledon. As an aside, I picked up a tourist today in Port Caledon--friendly fellow who apologized for being skint. I told him the tour was on me and took him south to see the Tesla tower of Caledon I. I am no Ollie (my stableboy/coachhand), but perhaps I might spend some evening giving rides in the future. Certainly a pleasant enough way to meet people.

Oh yes, the pictures :)

And here are Miss Lightfoot and I at the knotwork gardens--a spot on reproduction that gave me wonderfully happy flashbacks to last October! Well, I wasn't wearing a reproduction 18th century farthingale dress at the time. Wouldn't fit on Le Metro, don't you know ;)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Last Year in Versailles

Well, things have settled down enough for me to spend a few minutes prattling at the darkness, as it were. I'm not sure if any of you out there still actually read this foolish blog, but in a way, that knowledge makes it a little easier for me when I begin to scratch upon the paper. Said pen has been in a rather resting posture recently, what with RL work and all (see last, self pitying post), so the prospect of flexing it in apparent (albeit not actual) privacy is somewhat attractive. Anything to kick that lazy muse out of her post-Raphaelite reclining posture. Silly muses...

So, spinning about and taking a random subject off the shelf, I shall speak of Versailles!

There we are, a RL photo taken with my own little Brownie. It is nigh unto a year now since I left France and my favorite petit chateau. It was hardly a coincidence that I found SL shortly afterwards--on one hand, I missed the easy community I found in the streets of Paris (um, perhaps I ought rephrase that, especially as I was living near le Moulin Rouge) And in another sense, I missed the Grand Scale of architecture. I live on the West Coast of the United States, which has great natural beauty but at least where I am, little architectural beauty, and certainly no history. But architectural creation is omnipresent in SL.

In no sense am I saying that a virtual build is equivalent to buildings that took many years to complete and represent the work of some of the greatest artisens who've walked the face of the Earth. And yet--the tools here are comparatively easy to master. In a world where one can wave a hand and move a 10 meter solid "stone" cube, many things can suddenly become possible.

And, perhaps unsurprisingly, many RL works are being reproduced as well. So, it was with incredible delight that I received a call from the Duc de Choiseul, asking for my help in creating a carriage for the new Virtual Versailles.

Good lord, how many ways could I have said oui? The Duke was a complete gentleman, who flattered my poor work (which I do not regard as in any way complete), and provided a number of lovely links to the original carriages that they had in mind.

Second Life does not always permit precise replicas (drat that prim count!), but I think I have a good start on it. Right now, I need fight some nasty haloing (white edging on transparencies), but the carriage proper is behaving itself now, and has seen opening night in Virtual Versailles again.

*sigh* I was going to talk more about the Versailles sim, but I see that I completely forgot to upload the pictures I've taken :/ Well, it just shall have to be a "stay tuned" moment then, and when I waddle my way onto the grid, I shall have to upload those textures.

A Bientot!