An Update Rant

130

Life is wonderfully hectic. Between bouts of allergies, waving paintbrushes around and sometimes actually hitting the canvas, long walks with the dog, cooking sprees and lazy, lazy days filled with books and music, SL has been taking the backseat for a bit.

In between all these wonderful ways to spent time, there is this pesky thing called day-to-day life. To top that one off, I had to re-install my computer and took the opportunity to make life very complicated.

Complicated, because after 15+ years I switched, just two days ago, from Photoshop to Affinity. Many reasons for that but the most important are, that I am sick and tired of paying way to much for functionality that is now available in other programs, and because in my not so humble opinion I think Adobe is losing the plot when it comes to customer service.

I actually own the program instead of paying a rather hefty lease fee of roughly 120 dollars per year. I paid a one-time 50 dollar fee and done.

On top of that I don’t have to go over my profile and settings with MI-6 worthy skills to try and avoid tons of shit I really do not want, primarily post my work in yet another cloud and finding buried deep in the fine print that Adobe now has the right to use it as they see fit.

Sim building is still going on. For those who contacted me requesting I bring back build X or build Y or do this or that, fuck off. If you want a certain style sim or have these ‘grand’ ideas here’s a novel idea in return: invest the money and f*cking realise it yourself.

Arrogant? I don’t know. Perhaps it is. And you know what? Since I pay for the whole damn enchilada, I get to choose what I do. Soon as someone else is footing the bill, they are in charge.

Of Languages and Tongues

tongue portrait

First things first; A mini-rant;

One of the things I love most about blogging is that you have an obligation to do the best work you can with the product the designer releases. Now that sounds simple and in many ways it is. Rezz, fiddle with angle and windlight and presto you have a picture. That is the bare minimum of the ‘job’.

Like many others, I have always taken a slightly different approach. I try to go where the item takes me. I see it as a challenge to make the best work I can without compromising the fun, the originality or the artistic side of this all.

Many feel that bloggers compromise the artistic value of a picture but let’s get a grip on this, shall we? If all of us making pics in SL, were such savants, we wouldn’t be in SL now, would we? We would be lauded with expositions, have busy photography schedules and clients to woo in first life. This is a blanket statement and there are obviously exceptions. So all of you who have your precious clubs on Flickr and curators of collections in SL, get over yourself, just as much as you high and mighty bloggers should get over yourself. Most of you are not so good really, but you churn out pictures like clockwork, and most of the time, you have not changed style the last 2 years, and have an audience so the designers love you.

Now with that out of the way:

tongue laying

Cinphul made a chair, which comes with beautiful RK-poses. This chair is a hate-it or love-it situation I think. You either are absolutely in love with the shape or it’s not your thing. For those who like to have a sculpture of a giant tongue, there is a 5-meter statue version of it in your package as well. And only 5 land impact.

As I have said many times before, I am a bad blogger and this picture is no exception. When I saw the chair at first the top picture is what immediately popped into my head. That’s another thing I love about SL and blogging. There are all these amazing items and you get to use them how you see fit. Not perse how the designer intended it.

Working on my long-tongued lady, I couldn’t help thinking about the chair some more and another picture was born. Whatever you think of my pictures, do yourself a favor and hop over and check it out, if only to shake your head wearily or to admire how it’s made or just so you can say, you sat on a tongue.

Toodles

Of Hair and Such

115

It’s late, there’s Sahara dust blowing in and I am wheezing like an old steam engine on its last legs.

Taking a break from building I felt like taking a picture just for the fun of taking a picture. Seeing the new hair from .Shi, I couldn’t resist and tried an angle that actually showed off the hair.

In the original picture, you can see it in all its glory. Alas, also this time, my editing skills, or lack thereof, made sure that you hardly see anything. I am THAT good! I think it might be time I start my own surprise-box venture in SL. I can see it in my head; a bunch of pictures that show absolutely shit all and then rake in the money. Oh, wait… Nvm, as I said it is late. However, just for the record, I don’t like these subscription boxes. I can see the commercial allure of them, but honestly, I am starting to get a wee bit tired of all the shopping entertainment in SL. Boxes, groups, huds, off-sim, on-sim, and so forth and so on. But I realize I am an old curmudgeon and like to see what I buy before I buy.

Horribly old fashioned, I know. What is not old fashioned, nor in a surprise- or not so much a surprise-box is this hair.

.Shi has since long been my go-to store for hair. I could ramble on for a bit about great styles, textures, and colors, but as I said at the beginning, it is late and all that. What I do want to say is that once more JoyLaperriere has released a hair that will stand the test of time. Because her styles are not perse ‘in style’ they stay ‘in style’. If that makes any sense at all. In my head it does.

Either way, do yourself a favor and hop on over to her Flickr page for information and a really good look at the hair. Or do one better and hop over to Uber and grab demos.

Toodles.

BOOM

the sim that didnt make it

The title should have read “And another one bites the dust” but BOOM sums it up nicely. It is the sound I imagine my sim makes, if I once again hit my all time favorite button in SL, return objects.

It was a near perfect build. The landscape was good, interesting, with a few surprises here and there. It had the perfect new rocks and cliffs from Skye, it had interesting builds, decor. But it lacked one thing. Flaws.

I like flaws. Flaws make that things are not boring. Flaws are what draws the eyes and what we see first and foremost. In a way, it’s rather sad that we are geared that way, but flaws also are a perfect way to train the eye (read: train our minds) to look beyond and discover the rest. Whether or not that rest is to our liking is as always a matter of personal taste.

There are at this time, tons of well build sims in SL, catering to a variety of tastes. I have decided I will gracefully bow out and not join to try and get my share of visitors. Not because I don’t want visitors but because I fail utterly in sucking up to the right people and on top of that I want the freedom to change my sim at will. That is hard when you have hordes of people visiting on a daily basis so it works out fine for me in a twisted way.

A lot of people have asked me if I don’t want to show off my build. Of course, I do. Of course, I am proud and chuffed when I see pictures on Flickr of ‘my creation’. And I grin like a monkey on acid when I see others copy my style or ideas. But that’s it. For me, the fun of SL is building. So yeah… how about that huh?

My build will not last long, it will change completely random, be blasted away on a whim and sorry in advance if you were just setting up for that one shot you just had to make and no I will not wait for you to be done. It will have a complete erratic policy on being open or closed, in short, it will be mine. The stray visitors that do find their way to this, will be more than welcome.

Away with the rules and away with the very much overused ‘Theme’. I don’t do themes. At best my build will be a happy mismatch of areas.

The only thing I am sure of right now is that my sim will sport the above three buildings. Or better, what is left of said buildings. Mea Culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa, I used the San Mora builds. Again. And I paired them with Apple Fall builds. So for all you theme-addicts out there, have at it! See if you can make soup of that.

Anyways, back to the building, should you after reading this feel the urge to come and visit while I am building, find me in the world and I might add you to the land so you can come at will. The operative word in the last sentence ‘Might’.

Toodles.

 

 

Skins – A Proper Rant

My staple skin(s) are pale, paler, palest. But variety is the spice of life so I set out to find a more tanned skin. Not a problem you would think. Oh boy. I stand corrected. It IS a problem if you are critical.

First things first; No pictures. I am not going to fry designers here because in all honesty I can’t be arsed to contact them all and let them say their piece. Which is in my not so humble opinion the only way to play it fair. So no names, no pictures. And no I will not go into this in-world either so no use contacting me. If you want to change skins, I advise you to do the legwork.

Ready? All buckled up? Here we go, in random order:

Vendor pictures are stunning most of the time. For me, they are the first way to sort through everything when I look for something new. Now I realize that not everything is as perfect as a vendor picture might show. But there is a huge gap between that and flat out lying.

Today I demoed like a pro. I tried the advertised skins, with the heads that were mentioned in the vendor pics and the shapes that came with the demo packages. And got squat. No dice. It simply does not look even remotely like the advertisement regardless what kind of settings I use. Hell with some skin/heads/shapes I could not get a match, even after altering the shape and fiddling with the windlights.

Non-matching face and body appliers. How the hell is it possible that some designers have nearly perfect matches and while others manage to make it look like they are using two completely different tones? No, I will not use the damn neck fixes. My chest and face have different tones. Or perhaps I missed the chest-fix? mhm? Or the back-fix. Or the shoulder-fix.

Some skins have onboard makeup. Which is cool. Sort of. Most of the time. Some use rouge in ways that is beyond me.  Rouge should be a slight dabbing of colored powder on the cheekbones, not fucking racing stripes. But then again, spandex these days is abused as well. I digress.

When I did find the right tone, right for me that is, then some parts of the body applier look like they have been forgotten. They have such contrasting highlights they won’t go amiss in a roadside warning set for your car.  The back of the arms and/or shoulders is far to light. The knees have sometimes a vastly different shade and then to my utter amazement, there are still body appliers out there that make you look like you just pooped in your pants. Seriously?

And what’s it with the stripes of white just above a bum-cleavage? A Sumo-belt-style tan line?

Demo skins with so many lines and stamps on the face that there is no way you can judge the skin. Trust me, I can’t be arsed to steal your precious skin texture cus you fucked it up so bad it’s not worth it.

“For the best effect use windlight xyz?” Are you fucking kidding me?? Did you just really lose the plot completely? You are basically saying that your skin looks bad and needs its own special lighting. Like Michael Jackson did in later life. Rest his soul. Cus lets face it, he didn’t look so hot at some point either. But he had moves. Guess what? You are not him. You are a skin designer who is messing up.

Now even if I were to fall for the windlight scam, yes I think it is a scam, then I will be happy in my little world with my special-lighting-needed-skin. But the rest of SL still sees my skin with their windlights. Up until now, I have not yet found a designer who is willing to force SL to use specific windlight settings because someone is wearing their skins. Get a grip.

It is a skill, an art creating textures with shading for a flat mesh object that YOU created. It is freakishly hard work to get everything right and near perfect. Let alone if you are working on objects that have a gazillion faces and all that.

Now I understand, thanks to a dear friend of mine who patiently explained a few things, that creating textures for mesh someone else created is horror. But that does not really interest me. Those are your problems. Not mine. I am not a designer. I am your worst nightmare, a critical consumer who sees that some hit the mark brilliantly and others miss it so far that is beyond me and they still have people buying their stuff.

Don’t even try to blame this on developer-kits. You are the one who obviously were sleeping during coloring-by-numbers-101. Do the work properly or call it a day.

Now, what set this off? Simple, it irks me that those missing the mark are amongst those who are most known and expensive for that matter. And I would not care this much, if not for the utter disappointment I feel. Because I am disappointed. For years I have bought my skins from the same 4 designers. One is still near perfection but I don’t like their darker tones. So I went out and tried the other 3 and from there it very much snowballed in how many skins I tried. I went deep, to use another catchphrase, and far off the beaten path and after 3 days of demoing skins I still have no tanned skin.

False advertising (vendor pics), windlight setting advice, utterly ugly and out of this world shading under the guise of ‘rouge’, natural effects and so on and so forth, is really not cool. It is in fact completely the opposite. It is what in my world is called a fucking travesty.