The Mesh Project Male Body, or, Ennio Morricone’s Best-Known Music Goes Here

Howdy folks! I picked up the new male body from The Mesh Project a bit ago, and while I’ve posted a few photos over on Flickr with it, where I’ve worked like crazy to clean it up, I thought it was prime time to sit down and assess the body on its own merits, rather than as a canvas for me to play with Photoshop. I’ve altered levels and contrast on all of these, but I’ve otherwise left it be, so you can gauge the thing on its own merits.

Page break because there is pixel nudity behind the break. Continue reading

Spiderweb Ascot suit from Paradoxical!

Just in time for your Halloween needs, Paradoxical has a new design out: the Spiderweb Ascot suit. here’s a pic…

spiderweb torso

I just love it!  Fully mesh, and meticulously done textures really make it sing.

The suit’s available at the Halloween Hellraiser party that Paradox Messmer (yes, the designer for Paradoxical) is organizing; it’s a fundraiser event for the Mental Health America charity, which helps folks who have mental illness. So you’re not only getting a nice seasonal suit but you’re also helping out those in need.

The event is a a 2 day party with 10 DJs playing from 12pm noon-10pm SLT each day both Saturday (oct 18th) and Sunday (Oct 19th) and there will be exclusive Halloween-themed goodies from 16 great designers: Madrid Solo, Faster Pussycat, Vero Modero, Death Rocker Bettie Crocker, Goth1c0, Razor and more, with 50% of sales of these items going to the cause.
The event is going on at Terre des Mortes Saturday and Sunday, so you should stop by and see what tickles your fancy: with a suit like this available, I’m sure there’s going to be some other lovely stuff- and I KNOW the DJs will be great fun!

Here’s another shot of the suit in a less cool tone of light:

Spiderweb full

STYLECARD:
Hair: Exile ‘Machinehead blacks’
Suit: Paradoxical ‘Spiderweb Ascot suit’ in Medium
Eyes: FATEwear FATEeyes
Skin: ‘Samuel T4’ by Clef de Peau
Freckles by Lolli Hoxley (a dollarbie you can find on the Marketplace)

Uh-oh, It’s Firestorm Phototools Time…

So a couple of people have asked me to do something about how they’re not sure what to do with phototools and I seem pretty confident playing with them.
I’m going to walk you through the VERY basics in this blog post, and I would love love LOVE hearing from you about what you’d like me to delve deeper on.

This is a photo I took a while ago- back in February, the upload date tells me.
bleedingheartmale3
It bears note that I did not touch it with Photoshop: I’m including it as an example of the sorts of effects you can pull off with phototools if you take the time. Now that I’m getting a bit of a handle on using Photoshop, I feel like I could have done SO MUCH more with this, but imagine having this as your starting point in editing with Photoshop. It’d be handy to let the viewer do a lot of the work for you, right?

Let’s look at some of the Phototools settings available using Firestorm or Singularity viewers. I’m going to be working on a PC with Firestorm here: Singularity uses most of the same shortcuts, and has most of the same functionality. On a Mac you’ll wanna use the Apple key (if memory serves) instead of the Control key.
So here’s where we’re starting out: mid-range graphics settings, no bells and whistles. This is just me, sitting in a chair, hum de hum…

phototools 0_001

Nothing bad, but nothing very exciting, right? Let’s go deeper… Continue reading

Better Than The Rest

So this morning I crawled out of bed RL and checked email, and hey, what’s that SL notifications? A new thing from Exile?
I logged in to find out a couple things.
A: Exile has new hair for Mens Dept this round,
B: it’s named Machinehead
C: I look good blonde.

machinehead1

This new hair also has a really lovely profile, as you can see here:

machinehead2

One thing it occurs to me I haven’t really shared about Exile hair that is probably worth noting is the really lovely hud that Kavar does for texture changes. So here’s a photo of it.

exile hud

So this is the ‘Dark Blondes’ HUD: Exile does a variety of colors, but what you may miss out on is that in addition to the ten different tones of dark blonde here… see all the little colored dots around the left-hand side of each circle? Each of those is a highlights color. You can give yourself blue highlights, or purple, pink, white, gray, red, brown, or black- I used the brown highlights in the pictures above.

All that at Mens Dept this round; click here to shop!

 

STYLECARD:
Shape: I made it myself
Eyes: FATEWEAR FATEeyes 3.0Skin: Clef de Peau ‘Samuel T4’
Hair: …you read up there, right? Exile ‘Machinehead – Dark Blonde (California)’

Echo Beach, Far Away in Time (yes, two posts in a few hours!)

From nine till five I have to spend my time at work
The job is very boring, I’m an office clerk
The only thing that helps pass the time away
Is knowing I’ll be back at Echo Beach some day

paradoxical solaris
Echo Beach
Far away in time
Echo Beach
Far away in time

— Martha & the Muffins, ‘Echo Beach’

So Paradoxical is the shop of someone I’ve known inworld for years, Paradox Messmer (whose blog is over here).  He’d done a promo image recently for a new top he came up with (he’s only done just a few items, and he’s already texturing things this well!), and I was saving up my pennies, so he threw me a copy of the top. It’s named Solaris: it made me want to go wander on the beach in the afternoon.

paradoxical hoodie2

I really love the way he’s gotten such a solid knit texture baked into the thing- and it really hangs nicely, too. Good stuff, and hey, at L$150, isn’t it worth a shot?
You can find his marketplace shop here (and yes, there are demos!).

Additionally, this is my 201st post on this blog: I am surprised the anniversary snuck up on me so thoroughly!

Stylecard:
Top: Paradoxical ‘Solaris’
Skin: Clef de Peau ‘Samuel 04’
Hair: Exile ‘High And Dry’
Eyes: FATEeyes 3.0
Hands: Slink ‘Male Hands Relaxed’
Pants: LMD ‘Beach Bum Pants Pewter’

Le boulevard des rêves brisés – Argrace, Mohna Lisa

Hey gang.  I’ve been putting off buying this hair for a while- I demo’ed it, I loved it on me, I just… couldn’t come up with justification for spending the lindens.  I finally did, and was going to do something entirely different with a pose for it but my pose wouldn’t quite work with the set I’d chosen.  So instead, you get these.

boulevard des reves brises 1 Continue reading

Where the Wild Things Are

The night Max wore his wolf suit and made mischief of one kind
and another
His mother called him “WILD THING!”
And Max said “I’LL EAT YOU UP!”
so he was sent to bed without eating anything.

-Maurice Sendak, ‘Where The Wild Things Are

I imagine that a lot of us are familiar with the book; I imagine some of us are even huge fans.  I’m one of those huge fans, I have to admit: just transcribing the above got me a little sniffly. When I heard about the Wild Things summer gacha I definitely wanted to have a look at it (and you should have a peek if you like wild animals, too! There’s some fun gachas there!)

Well, Uriah Eulenberg is also a fan of the book, apparently.

LET THE WILD RUMPUS COMMENCE!

LET THE WILD RUMPUS COMMENCE!

We’re all used to Balaclava!! (his store) producing intricately detailed funny little objects, like the wee robots that go ‘ping’, or the playset of construction equipment.  Here’s something he did for Wild Things as a gift.
A gift.
It is free.

It tells time (you can reset the clock to your own timezone; it’s SLT by default), and the little figures in the dome rotate around the fire, just like in the Wild Rumpus panel in Mr. Sendak’s book. Here’s a closer shot of them:

wild rumpus 2

And yes, it’s a gift. That means you can have it for free if you visit the Wild Things Summer Gacha event! And ONLY if you visit the Wild Things event: it won’t be available in his store, or anywhere else, afterwards.

If you’re curious what other cleverness Uriah’s got out at his store, you should click here to visit Balaclava!!.

Lapointe & Bastchild “Death Royale” Men’s Cargo Shorts – Dragon Demon

What can I say about Lapointe & Bastchild I haven’t said a million times before? Paul and Bastchild really do amazing clothes for men and women alike (though obviously, I don’t wear much of the womenswear).  Here’s a pair of shorts they did for Project Limited:

new shorts

They have four textures on them – two with dragon and demon faces on the front of the legs, and two tones of camo (grayscale and a more classic olive-green), which you can switch between with a HUD.  I chose the ones I liked and stuck with them for these pictures. Setting on this first picture is Elegant Environs’ lovely ‘Mya Cozy Cabana’ in Poppy: there’s more on Elegant Environs’ terrific Summer collection on the Homestuff blog, click through to read that entry!  You can also visit Elegant Environs to shop by clicking through on this link (which you will also find in the Homestuff blog if you like viewing previews first).

Here’s a more clothes-centric photo of the new shorts from Lapointe & Bastchild: I’m wearing a slightly older L&B T-shirt with them.

new shorts 2

As usual, Paul’s attention to detail in designing the hang of the garment and the wrinkles (or is that Bastchild’s? I’m really not entirely sure) just makes these work.

There were a hundred-and-twenty-some pairs of these still available when I left Project Limited this evening: you can find a pair of these shorts waiting for you by clicking right here to visit!  The L&B shop has the ‘S’wear’ logo over the entryway and isn’t too far from where you TP in.

Stylecard:
Shirt: L&B Swear “Classic” T-Shirt – GE
Shorts: L&B “Death Royale” Men’s Cargo Shorts – Dragon Demon (limited edition)
Skin: Clef de Peau “Samuel T4”
Eyes: FATEwear “FATEeyes”
Hands: SLink “Male hands relaxed”
Hair: Exile “High and Dry” (from Hair Fair)

Random SL Photo discovery

Today I learned that the annoying stepped edge on shadows is all about an advanced setting.

I went into the Phototools menu in Firestorm today, playing around with posing a photo, and got very cranky with the way the shadows were rendering. I mean, really, look at this:

Image

Uggggh.  All those… raster-y stepped edges, and the shadows not meeting the object casting them.  Why does it do this? WHY DOES SL HATE ME???

I went through the pop-up text on Firestorm’s Phototools ‘Lights and Shadows Settings’ menu bit by bit by bit, and found this on FOV Cutoff:

Image

This determines the FOV cutoff at which the viewer will switch between ortho instead of perspective projection.  If you are getting shadows that are ‘jaggedy’ try adjusting this setting for improvement.  Also adjusting the XYZ values for the debug setting RenderShadowSplitExponent can be VERY helpful.

I played a bit with FOV Cutoff there, then went into the Advanced menu for the debug settings.  I dug up the RenderShadowSplitExponent setting and found that my X was 3.0… my Z was 2.0… and my Y was 65.0?!?
Resetting the Y to 5.0, I found that suddenly my shadows looked like this:

Image

Well that was easy, wasn’t it?

Figured that someone might find that helpful, so- enjoy!

Coming back to this one after a while, I notice that there’s something I learned that hasn’t gotten in here.  I talk about a specific set of numbers in the above post: ‘I dug up the RenderShadowSplitExponent setting and found that my X was 3.0… my Z was 2.0… and my Y was 65.0?!?  Resetting the Y to 5.0, I found…’
Further playing around with this has taught me that Y varies dramatically depending on what the angle of the sun/moon is in comparison to the shape you’re shining the light on.  Since the jagged edge is from transitioning not often enough from one type of perspective to another, sometime, you may find that a Y of 65 IS RIGHT (disclaimer: I haven’t found that yet).  I would say ‘play with the Y number, and see how it affects your shadows’.