Monday, 31 August 2009

When I grow up.....

.....I want to be an Astronaut.

I asked a friend recently what they expect to be doing in SL in a few years time?

Their response was: No idea really, guess i'll be still going to gigs, maybe running a store, who knows?

I asked the question because I was wondering what happens when you reach middle age in SL, a few years on, you've seen the sights and know your way around, got a healthy contacts list, learnt a bit of scripting/building?

Stepping back and looking at paths in SL the list is fairly open:

Land Owner
Object Creator
Co Ordinator
Machinima creator
Part goer

the list goes on.......

The great thing is many of these vocations are interchangable and it's fairly easy to jump in and out of each one as you go along but how many of us really sit back and wonder where their really going in SL, in three years time where will you be?

While some of the ages in SL are fairly easy to map, the newbie freebie frenzy, the finally settling in with a bit of land etc, the later phases seem to be a bit blurred. With a set of skills under their belts many older SL AV's become the swiss army knives of virtual worlds able to cross over and apply them to whatever they need to.

My friend also asked me, what did I expect to be doing in 3 years time? I'm not sure, I guess i'd like to further realise a transcendental and philisophic relationship between RL and SL, both helping and attributing to the other (it's made a lot of progress so far), i'd also like to really feel like i'm involved in a wider community than now.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Quick Textures for SL Part 2: Organics in Gimp

This is another process I use sometimes for creating some really nice random Organic textures, it works especially well with flesh tones but can also create some really psychdelic effects.

1. Open up the Gimp: File->New and set the image size to 512x512 Pixels.

2. Select the Gradient Tool and select two different colours for the foreground and the background (two similar tones for a more natural effect, or in this case purple and green for a texture that stands out).
Draw any gradient on the image:

3. Right Click on your image and elect -> Filters -> Render -> Clouds -> Difference Clouds
On the Tool screen that opens select the Turbulent option, this helps create a more organic finish, but apart from that just experiment with the other settings to create different results.

4. Make the Texture seamless by right clicking on the image and selecting Filters->Map->Make Seamless.

5. You can leave the texture there but sometime I like to add a little more depth to the final result by Right Clicking on the image and selecting Filters->Map->Bump Map, from within this screen play around with the settings to create the look you want.

There you go, quick easy and painless Organic textures in Gimp. :)

Quick and Dirty ways for Making Textures in SL Part 1

I use this method probably more than I should at the moment because of Time constraints but it works pretty well for the organic builds I create and it's good way to create a number of textures quickly and get them loaded onto your prims.

1. Grab your camera and get outside, take close up pics of any interesting textures/colours and shapes that catch your eye - for me I usually grab shots of leaves and tree barks as they change over the seasons.

2. Download Gimp install and load up your photo's: (ideally you want you pics to be in focus better than this example :\).

3. Right Click on the image, select Filters->Map->Make Seamless:

4. Next select Image->Scale Image and change the size to 512x512 Pixels (good size for speed/quality in SL) and Voila a ready made texture!

Load your textures into SL/other grid and away you go! Simples. :)