Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Ah well

A few weeks ago, I heard that the Linden Lab was looking for "moles" to create builds for new sims. Wildlife/ecosystems were specifically mentioned. I dutifully put together a portfolio of my work on the Aviara project, badgers, snakes, antelopes and all. But today I got the "does not meet our needs at this time" form letter :/

Well, it's not as if I don't have enough projects to occupy my time, but I still have the usual post-rejection letter feelings. Anyway, if you actually like my critters and want to see them waddling about, it looks as if for now, you'll just have to visit the Caledon sims.

My submitted work:

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Birdies For Sale

Yes, take home a ridable Bird of Prey today! (click here for the video). Comes with a lifetime supply of newspaper :)

Now on sale at Munro Imaginary Motors in Loch Avi:

And the Eyre Carriage House in Caledon Eyre:

Friday, May 15, 2009

Congratulations Vi and Marc!

Some of you may remember "Vi Paravane", intrepid steampunk girl and stalwart gun bunny. She isn't on Second Life much these days, thanks to a slower computer and more happily, a very busy Real Life.

How busy? Well, she still blogs her life in comic strip form over on, so I shall let her tell you :)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Bird of Prey

Done and done! Will be on the market as soon as Miss Munro comes back from holiday.

Watch more videos of Second Life

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Falling in love again

We went to the shelter and a border collie bounced into our lives.

I'll never forget Puppy, but I've made room in my heart for Mopsy. And I think she needs an awful lot of room.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Jet Pack Dreams for Vi

My friend Vi Paravane kindly commented on my yesterday's post:

How I wish I could ride one of those in SL. Alas, even if LL could do it, my poor old machine would probably choke on it.

But the truth is, amazing things are possible with current game technology. So for Vi, and for anyone else who loves flying lizards, may I present a browser based game, with amazing 3D animation. And, oh by the way, it is absolutely and utterly free. And absurdly beautiful:

(well, he's an Aptosaurus. But his name is Brontosaurus, you see. It's in the introduction)

Cute, wonderfully animated, and lots of places to explore with his magical Jet Pack. And, not to hammer at the point too much, all done with fairly low polygon models and heavy use of simple procedural textures.

But enough negativity! Go have fun!

Edit: if you don't have it, you will need to download the free Unity plug in for this game.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Fiddling about with 3D

Not to teaze, but I will be making an announcement about a collaboration with Miss Ilsa Munro fair soon. Hint: it makes good use of her amazing skills with fun flying flivvers and my obsession with cute animals. Well, perhaps not so much cute as dignified in this case, but that might be Miss Munro's influence.

But we want to check it all out before releasing it, so not just yet, sorry!

I'm also finishing up my first year of design in RL. I've learnt an awful lot, and I have to admit there are more than a few days in which I really, truly, painfully wish that I could do some basic things in SecondLife such as import meshes (rather than just the base sphere sculpts are), and create and animate skeletons for them. Not to whimper too much, but the technology for bumpmap importation (not just the stock Linden ones in the edit window) has been around for quite a while--and yet even something that simple has yet to happen.

Le sigh.

So, in the meantime, I fiddle about with projects outside of SL, sometimes for class, sometimes to amuse myself. The following is an example of my workflow for a somewhat science fictional dragon I imagined-- it has no legs, being primarily a flying creature, with hydrogen filled bladders that keep it aloft (akin to a fishes' swim bladder).

Here's my basic "concept art", which mostly demonstrates my inability to draw. But when I squint, I at least could see what I had in mind:

Next I blocked it out in Maya, fiddled a bit, and came up with this:

Next, I added the wing membranes, textured in Zbrush and Photoshop and added a basic bumpmap (greyscale leather from a Maya procedural texture):

Note that this one is about the polygon count of four sculpts in Secondlife. Or (please reference earlier whimpering), we could have shapes like this if they'd just set up mesh importation.

Finally, because this was really just to amuse myself with, I sent the silly thing to Zbrush, bumped the polygon count up to erm...1.4 million, and had fun with all those lovely different brushes that aren't that useful at lower resolutions like the clay and rake brushes. Then a few different render passes and off to Photoshop for compositing:

And here he is, Stormy the Dragon--

I like to think I managed a touch of dignity in his eyes...