Two posts in one day!

So I did a little more exploring today, and got given something that I’ve been playing with here and there.  Something people have been doing recently (or that I’ve discovered recently) is the idea of using a tattoo layer to darken up a skin with a tan.  I love the idea, myself: it’s a nice way to buy one skin you like, and have several different tones available in it.

The ones I got today are from Black Label Menswear and are going up on their marketplace store later today, with an inworld release to follow soon after: the item is called ‘SkinTints – Skin Tone Enhancers’.  There are five different tones all in all, for the low low price of L$150 for ALL of them (!), but I’ve only photographed three of them – along with my own skin for comparison’s sake.


From left to right, this is: BLM’s SkinTints – Skin Tone Enhancer in ‘Dark Tan’, ‘Medium Tan’, ‘Light Tan’, as well as the colortones of Ispachi’s ‘ISPACHI Skin [ GABRIEL ] Creme ~ Bald/Shaved’, for comparison’s sake.

As you can see, a variety of tones exists, allowing you to go from beach-bronzed to lightly tan, all with a single L$150 purchase!  I also took photographs of me in a skin from Tellaq – the ‘Avenger Skin Style 1’ – both with and without the dark tan BLM tattoo layer, so you can compare the differences in how it affects the sharper details in that skin:


These certainly look like they’d be a handy investment for anyone who wants to mix it up a bit going to a more tan look!  You can find them, again, at Marketplace, in the Black Label Menswear shop. Have fun, beach bunnies!


Hair: W&Y ‘Apollo’

Skin: Ispachi ‘Gabriel – creme’

swim trunks: Retroswim’s ‘(RS) Choco-Black Polka Trunk’

Curio Obscura (the New and Unusual)

There are plenty of weird, odd, and amusing things out there in Second Life.  Some of them I got for free (like the salut chaotique and the onigokko), some of them I bought.  A lot of the really terrific ones I own came from a shop called Curio Obscura, whose creations always make me think of a line from Beetlejuice: ‘people ignore the strange and unusual. I, myself, am strange and unusual.’

So I’ve gotten a lot of interesting stuff there over the years.  The Clockwork Moustache (which was free):

The Rococo Fantastico hairstyle, which every well-dressed drag queen needs (L$450):

And most recently to me, the Riderball (which is a L$75 gacha prize in the store):


The Riderball is one of the most amusing things I’ve encountered in SL in a good while.  Your avatar stands on top, and when you want to move forward your avatar slowly (or rapidly!) walks backwards, rolling the ball forwards.  You can turn and go backwards too, of course.
What makes it is Pandora Wrigglesworth’s attention to detail: she made sure that your avatar’s movements on the ball differ from your AO.  You sway from side to side, with arms darting this way and that to keep your balance.  You walk carefully along the contour of the ball, rather than walking on air above it.

Also, it’s just funny.  I giggle every time I walk around on the thing.

In case you haven’t found Curio Obscura yet, let me throw you a link to to the inworld store, so you can visit.
And that’s what’s new and amusing today!

I found some more fun whackiness from C.O., coming at the Gacha fair!

Render weight, big events, and you! Or: So I went to the runway show for the Gabriel 2013 collection in Second Life this afternoon…

So I decided, this afternoon, that I would attend the runway walk a big SL designer was doing of their new line of clothes.  I love the stuff they do, after all, so it seems likely they’re going to do more stuff I love.

rickracer flux-clarity

A little teaser image for you of what’s coming: this is the ::GB::MESH Double jacket and Half pants suit (Zebra), worn by RicoRacer Clarity with the ::GB::MESH summer Boots.  The other models appearing in the show were: Huntington Harbour, Ewan Crumb, Riku Ilo, Steele Sirnah, Angelik Lavecchia, Ryuji Yuhara, Salvo Waydelich, and Apollo Call.  My apologies for not having photos of everybody: SL and I were not getting along at ALL well today!

I got booted off SL entirely three times in ten minutes, and couldn’t even rez the teleporter at the sim where the event’s happening to get myself to the catwalk!  Why? Because the sim’s crowded as heck, obviously.  But what can you or I do about making that easier?  Wait, what’s that you ask?  You didn’t know there was anything you could do?  Well, then, that’s why this post is being written!

First thing to do: check your ‘render weight’ in Avatar -> Avatar Health -> Show Render Weight for Avatars.  My average render weight’s somewhere around 60,000.  Render weight is how much processing power the server needs to put into making your avatar visible to everyone else. You can easily strip this down a few simple ways.

First, take off all accessories that have scripts in them (or remove the scripts).  Those shoes you can resize whenever you like with the color change hud and menu?  Don’t wear those.  Wear the simple shoes which handle the job of covering your feet.  The prim hair with the resize script built in?  Leave it at home, or take the script out of it.
Secondly, avoid flexi prims in your outfit.  Now sure, the skirt on that outfit looks grand when you’re in motion, and the textures are beautiful!  But we’re not here to ogle your skirt: we’re here to ogle the new skirt that is up on the catwalk.  Just wear avatar clothes, rather than mesh or prims.
Third, leave off HUDs.  Take off the AO, leave your Tiny Empires at home.  These things have scripts and scripts, you guessed it, are a major source of server lag!
By following these three simple steps, I got my own render weight down to a fifth of what it was before I left the house to go to the show.

nath stripped down

This is what a render weight of 12000 looks like. Only a LITTLE bit like the photo that turns up on the news with the caption ‘KILLED 17 IN GRISLY TRI-STATE SPREE’.

Once I TPed in the first time, I saw a guy who was just grey shape and attached prims – his textures hadn’t even baked – and he was over 65,000 in Render Weight!  I’m writing this for you because I want to tell you something simple: don’t be that guy.  Be the guy who’s there to look at what’s new and exciting; a runway walk isn’t about me, or about you: it’s about the models, and about the designer!
Also, fourth: adjust your viewer’s graphics preferences.  You don’t need to waste your viewer’s time rendering trees when you’re in a skybox watching models.  You don’t need to render the whole sim, so knock your draw distance down.  You want to crank up avatars, avatar cloth and flexi prims, though.

Now here’s hoping the catwalk renders for me in the next ten minutes… 😉  Have a happy Second Life, everybody!

UPDATE: And while I was typing this handy little suggestion list?  SL booted me, a fourth time, from the sim.  And a fifth.  And then SL stopped allowing me to save photos to disc so I had to email them.   And then it crashed a sixth time.  Oh, how I love Saturday afternoon on SL! 😉

Only two shades of gray, not fifty.

And a bit of verdigris, too.
So yesterday night I discovered ‘FATEwear’, the shop of one Damien Fate.  I was looking around for a scarf prim of a particular shape and style, and wound up considering mesh alternatives… which wound up with me finding this at the shop in question on Marketplace.  It’s a nice mellow green in color, rather than the bright, highly-saturated greens one tends to find, which had me wondering what else Mr. Fate had out there.


Pretty sweet, isn’t it?

So I went to his shop in Second Life to see what other nice looking things he had and found myself promptly blown away by what I’d found.
Shopping had to ensue.  Immediately.

What FATEwear offers is a majestic variety of business suit / formalwear looks, all designed around the same jacket and trousers, in five different colors (black, red-brown, dark gray, light gray, and blue).  ‘Majestic variety’ as in, here are all the looks you can get out of one range of these suits (I picked the ‘London’ suit, as I already have far too much darker dresswear).Image

As you can see: there’re six different upper body looks: vest (Damien calls it a ‘waistcoat’, which is a little strange to an American ear) and buttoned blazer, waistcoat and open blazer, buttoned blazer, open blazer, blazer off, and lastly shirt untucked. Each item of the outfit comes in 5 sizes (XS to XL), so you can find a mesh that closely approximates your own form pretty easily.  The shirt and scarf in the first picture also come in that broad of a variety of sizes. you can wear black tie and belt, or gray tie and belt. Or gray and black, or black and gray.  However you like!

You might have missed that there are two different sets of trousers, though: one a bit wrinkly, and one more crisply pleated.  You probably also missed that the third, fifth and sixth photos are using an animator that comes with the suit.  The third has my left hand tucked in his pocket, and also comes with mesh jacket and pants which are built so as to reflect that my hand’s in my pocket- the jacket is hiked up just a touch, the pants a bit bulged. Photo five and six have the blazer section of the jacket hanging over one shoulder and down my back, and an animation that puts my hand up to hold the jacket over my shoulder.

Pretty gorgeous stuff, huh?  They do a lot of other things, too: mesh gloves with an assortment of hand positions, several different scarves, and some truly, truly gorgeous short trenchcoats:


If you see something you like, you owe it to yourself to get down to FATEwear and do some shopping!  There’s other things I haven’t covered: casual biker-styled jackets, urbanwear, polo shirts.  All of it’s gorgeously textured, and all of it is available at FATEwear.

Photo 1:
Scarf: Fatewear “Harry Scarf – Jungle (K)”
Shirt: Fatewear “Ronnie – Jungle”
Hair: W&Y “Apollo”

Photo 2:
Okay, ALL the suits are from Fatewear. that’s the ‘Edward Suit – London’ (London refers to the color).
Shoes: Kalnins Footwear – “Terra v1.7”

Photo 3:
Trenchcoat and sweater: FATEwear “Derrick – Jacket with Sweater”
Scarf: FATEwear “Harry scarf – Jungle (DWS)”
Shoes: Kalnins Footwear “Terra v1.7”

No photos, use your horrified imagination and/or google image search

As someone I know was looking for a hairstyle I’ve never seen inworld, I started to branch out my attempts to find something that suited his needs.
If you have never typed ‘second life men’s hair’ into google image search, and if you have a strong stomach, I cannot recommend it enough.  It’s amazing how many of the images predate my rezzing almost 5 years ago.  I guess there’s a serious stack of links to old content out there?


Surprise Sunday! (unusual avatars)

So this may not be new to YOU, but it’s certainly new to me.  And I imagine that there’re some folks who haven’t seen this lady’s work before, too, so I bring you two avatars from Aley Resident.  These were brought to my attention by Nigel Riel, whose blog is named Trials of Eyeliner, and is very much worth visiting!

First, we have Robot Maria, from the classic 1927 film ‘Metropolis’.  So much of Metropolis informs everything we know of science fiction cinema it’s ridiculous.  Seriously: the conflicted villain of the piece is a mad scientist with a shock of white hair every-which-way, occasionally wearing goggles, and a rubber-gloved right hand as the result of a horrible accident.  There is a sort of 20’s steampunk feel to the film, too.  If you haven’t seen it, you really ought to: if you HAVE seen it, you should see it again, as a couple years back someone found a battered 16mm print that is THE WHOLE MOVIE, save for one very minor scene.  The scenes that were on the 16mm print are really beat up, but enough of the original vision to restore things to Lang’s intention.
Amazing film. And an amazing avatar, which Aley sells on the SL Marketplace.


A standing pic, so you can examine textures and shapes further:


Aley seems to like movies, which is something I certainly have no problem with!  Here’s another avatar from the same shop, modeled closely on Clarke-Nova from Naked Lunch:


‘Bill, I want you to rub some of this powder on my lips…’
It’s a nice creepy little avatar for all your creepy little avatar needs.


(n.b.: chair included for scale)

So yes, two free avatars from a shop I didn’t know about, which is chock-full of interesting steampunk and piratey goodness!  That’s AleyMart!

Happy Belated Valentine’s Day (with gratuitous vanity)

While I’m not much of a fan of Valentine’s Day, more than a few of you likely are. As a result, I figured I would go about putting something together for the holiday which those of you who like beefcake can enjoy looking at. I gave some thought as to what sort of Cupid I would expect to see crop up in Second Life, and this is where I wound up.


Again: no post-processing occurred on this image: I’m currently trying out WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) as far as graphics goes in SL, as opposed to Photoshopping the picture within an inch of its life.  I am also currently trimming up some photographs I have from inworld to slip into the frames on the branch above and behind my head: all textures on the thing are modifiable, so why not slip in some photos I’ve taken?

And now for the shortest stylecard I’ll ever write:

Eyes: Random Eyes (No longer available in-world, I fear!)
Hair: Apollo, from W&Y
G-String: Prince Pearl Thong, from VITAMEN
Skin: Gabriel – Cream Shaved, from Ispachi
Wings & armbands: Part of Jen Fashion‘s ‘Fairy Bag’ Hunt gift from the Fantasy Hunt (going through Feb. 28)
Pose: Morgan, from Diesel Works
Building: “Studio Coast” Loft Build – Grunge Tan from [CIRCA]
Branch with frames: “Funky Valentine” Branch – Picture Wall Art – Blk&S from [CIRCA], a gift for the ‘For The Love Of’ Hunt
Flowers: Black Tulips, from Zoe’s Garden

Lapointe & Bastchild Classic Black Tuxedo (mesh design)

So Lapointe & Bastchild have been playing around with mesh lately.  A lot of us are cautious about the mesh we use, and with good reason!  I’m not a fan of mesh jeans with a non-Mesh top, or with a mesh top that doesn’t hang over.  The alpha prim almost always shows at the waist on me with a non-mesh shirt, making it look as if I have Mysteeerious Haaaaunted Paaaaants. Every piece of mesh that L&B have produced and I’ve tried, I’ve loved.  The jeans they’ve been doing come in SEVEN sizes, which reduces the odds of the Mysterious Haunted Pants happening, and the shapes they sculpt for pants are, uhm, nice and flattering to one’s backside.
When I heard that they were going to do tuxedoes, I was thrilled: I’ve always liked L&B’s formalwear for men, and I assumed that when they played with mesh I would also be thrilled.  So, sadly, nothing to report here… except that the suits are positively gorgeous, and come with a HUD so you can set several different textures on several different parts of them.

This suit’s brand-new – Paul and Bastchild just got it out last night.  The tux has several textures available: from a simple wool tuxedo to a glossy silk edge for the tuxedo’s lapels.  The stripe on the trousers has the same variety available. Here’s a pic:


As you may have noticed, there are more than one color for the tie and cummerbund and pocket square available; you can set these with the HUD as well, easy as point-and-click. Here’s the four basic looks that L&B have supplied: you can mix-and-match any of the two shirts and four accessory colors as you choose!


And as Bastchild’s forte is the patient attention to detail and texture involved in creating remarkable little jewels, flowers, and other sculpted accents for the clothing that she and Paul make, here’s a glance at some of the cufflinks she’s made to go with the suitImage

You can acquire this suit from the marketplace website, or from Lapointe & Bastchild’s inworld store.


Suit, accessories, and shoes: Lapointe & Bastchild (note: Shoes are sold separately)

Hair #1: LoQ “Malibu”
Hair #2: W&Y “Appollo”

Poses: ‘Dante’ and ‘Gabriel’, from Diesel Works.

UPDATE: I should have linked to Lapointe & Bastchild’s blog above!  Do have a peek.

An Actually Fun Thing I’ll Likely Do Again (with apologies to D. F. Wallace)

Today’s exploration of things that are new is really just things that are new to me.
I’ve been a participant in the Menstuff hunt since it was founded, and in the original Make Him Over hunt, as well.  One of the creators who’s been one of the most enthusiastic participants in the hunts has been Egoisme Fashion.  Their CEO, Ramses Meredith, seems to spend a lot of time working up outfits or single items that are terrifically well-styled, but which just don’t seem like ‘me’.  However, I decided to try out putting on an outfit of things that were entirely from the shop and seeing how they worked together: I have to say that I am MOST impressed with a whole outfit of Egoisme, and I obviously needed to change my pre-conceptions!

If you’re looking for a good casual outfit, Egoisme has some terrific jackets, jeans, T-shirts; if you’re looking for something flamboyant and flashy, they do some beautiful fur coats, and they also do clothing intended for role-playing, both modern and medieval, fantastic and science-fiction.  Additionally, they do skins, and eyes, and they’ve invited a few accessory designers to have shops on their sim, as well.  Egoisme has definitely made serious efforts to be a one-stop menswear shop.

I would recommend that you should definitely check out Egoisme if you’re in the mood to shop for a complete outfit.  Also, if you like to mix-and-match your clothing, I’m finding that any individual Egoisme clothing item or accessory works really terrifically with the other ones, even if they’ve come out several years apart!  I would definitely recommend Egoisme to anyone who likes piecing together an outfit to exactly suit his own taste.
You can visit Egoisme here.

Everything is from Egoisme except for the hair and the pose: the hair can be found at Zeus’ shop.
Pose: ‘Gabriel 8’ from Diesel Works
Skin: ‘SAMMV2 – Pale – Unbald – Normal’ (a hunt gift from some years ago)
Shape: I made it myself: sorry, it isn’t for sale!
Hair: ‘YH-01 5color Black’ from Zeus
Eyes: ‘Egoisme – Grey eyes 2’ (another hunt gift!)
Pants: ‘Ego Brown jeans’
Shirt: ‘Egoisme shirts – C’est La Vie’
Jacket: ‘EGO – Pea Coat – Black – M’
Shoes: ‘Egoisme Snake Bronze’

1: Ramses pointed out to me that he’s done a new version of the skin I’m wearing which I’m quite sure is an improvement on this one.  Though I am quite pleased with the older version!
2: Someone got another photo of Nath in the same outfit: please click here to go to Flickr!

Crazy Hair Hunt

So I found myself jabbering with somebody today about how much fun the third Crazy Hair Hunt was.  Which led me to showing him some photos of the stuff I’d found, which led me to looking around and realizing oh, shit.
Not only is the designer who did the awesome mohawk that everybody jabbers on about the awesome of gone, but so is the designer who RAN the hunt.  I’m dubious if there’ll be a fourth Crazy Hair Hunt, gorrammit.

So I’m wondering: do you know people who would be willing to take the time to do a silly hair that was in a set theme? Would they want to participate in a hunt that’d drive some traffic to their shops?  Frankly, the crazy hair hunt had some amazingly clever stuff in it, and I feel like we’re missing out on new and fun weirdness in SL because we won’t have it.

Your thoughts?