Monday, December 4, 2017

A Quick Look at the Normie Head

I've tried a pretty wide variety of MESH bodies, but I've not really stepped into the realm of MESH heads yet.  Partially because they all are pretty expensive.  Also, there's a pretty large variety of options and it's not quite as clear on which is "best for me".  The body part felt pretty easy, for the most part, they are a layer a MESH that lays over your standard avatar skeleton to sort of smooth things out.  There are nuances in there, but picking one and then adjusting it with the standard body sliders felt pretty straight forward.

Heads feel different.  Like, it would be easy to end up spending 2000+ L$ on something that I couldn't possibly make work for my "preferred style".  It's not clear to me how much these heads can be adjusted using the standard sliders.  The head and face are kind of a big deal, at least to me, as part of the identity of my Avatar.  It's what I look like.  I use it in SL, I have all of my values written down so I can slap them into any OpenSIM instance I need to.



Recently <UTILAZATOR> released a head called "Normie".  The name is a little odd but if you know anything about <UTI> it will feel kind of obvious.  Most of <UTI>'s stuff is anime themed, very stylized.  It's popular among people who fall into the "4chan crowd", for lack of a better description (this isn't meant to be any sort of insult).  "Normie" is sort of board vernacular for a "regular person".  The Normie head, unlike most of <UTI>'s offerings is more "normal" looking, instead of the stylized Anime look.

I decided to try this head for two reasons.  One, it's only 500L$, which is cheap.  Secondly, based on the ads, and other pictures I've seen, it has a bit of a softer roundish style, which is the sort of look I wanted in my avatar's face.

I think I may have a <UTILIZATOR> body, but I haven't tested the head yet against it, my preferred MESH body is the Maitreya Lara.  It still works out pretty well and I was able to make the neck fix bits work pretty smoothly, or at least as smoothly as it can get.  I also created a quick OMEGA applier for my skin so I could keep the same skin I've been using for ages (I really like it, and it's almost as important as my shape).

So, the head itself.

I... mostly think I like it.  I have a few issues but I think maybe I need to just tweak things a bit more to make everything better.  Most of my problem is with the mouth.  The lips look weird no matter how I adjust things.  There are several different Bento based face poses in the HUD as well, but it could really use a good closed mouth smile.  Every single post makes my avatar look grumpy except the smile face, which makes me look derpy.


I've tried adjusting things to give the mouth a natural up curl on the sides for the neutral pose with no luck.  I am not sure exactly how universal Bento is, so I have not yet tried looking into some sort of alternative face posing HUD.  I do know that the old smiler attachment (randomly smiles every so often) doesn't work with this head.

I'm not giving up on this head or anything, in fact I'm kind of confident things may get better in the future, I've seen comments that <UTILIZATOR> is pretty good about keeping their products updated.  This is essentially the 1.0 product.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Playing with SpacialOS

I've been wanting to explore some other Virtual Worldy environments outside of Second Life and OpenSIM a bit, and recently went through a quick look at Spacial OS, using their tutorial which can be found here.  Spacial OS kind of feels more like a basic game engine/server than a real virtual world environment.  You don't really develop in world or anything, but it is something that can be used to develop and deploy a multiplayer online environment.

I didn't get too detailed into developing anything, though it uses Unity, which is a pretty common platform these days.  I did run through and deploy a world that I could connect to, and somewhat more fun, I used a remote computer for the server and my laptop for the client.  I had to adapt the tutorial a bit, during the authorization phase by copying and pasting the URLs around and entering the IP of the server instead of "local host" but it worked out easily enough.  I deployed the server end on a Windows 7 VPS I have on Cloud At Cost.  


During the set up, you connect the server to the console at improbable.io.  Once it's up and running, you can use this dashboard to view and interact with the backend of the game world, in this case, the demo Lumberjacks and Wizards game.


The demo game itself is pretty basic, and definitely a demo, you control a little wizard, you can set fire to things with one button and put out fires using rain with the other button.  There are also some lumberjacks gathering wood and building little houses.  You pretty much just walk around setting trees, lumberjacks, buildings, and even yourself on fire.  


It's kind of neat watching the back end of the world, you can do some interaction here as well, like deleting things removes them in real time.

Ultimately, I decided to wander off to the edge of the map, when i reached it, my little wizard just disappeared, forever.  Kind of disappointing, but it was a neat little demo.  It would take more time and skill than I have to go much farther with this platform however.





Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Gique

This is sort of how my mind works.  I try to come up with a name for something, I maybe come up with something mediocre.  Eventually, I get some sort of epiphany for something "Clever" 9though probably still mediocre).

When I started selling in world and on the marketplace 6 months ago, I settled on the name GeekTronic.  I've never been real satisfied with the name, it's a little clunky and long.  Recently I had an epiphany moment and came up with the name Gique.  Pronounced "Geek".

Some web searches later and I was satisfied enough that no one else, especially in SL was using the name.  I then proceeded to rebrand my imagery on my store from the clunky ugly Geektronic to Gique Boutique.  The  Boutique park came later, partially to push the idea that it's a store and partially to help people get the "Geek" part, since it's an alliteration.

The logo is still kind of a work in progress but I'm pretty happy with the name.

I've also started a blog to go with my store.  Not really anything there yet but, Gique Boutique Store Blog.  It'll be a good place to do announcements and maybe help as a motivation too myself to keep working at this.

I've also used the name Gique for my new region on OSGrid.  No links on that one yet, though you can search for it in world.  I will probably move it to a new location soonish.  The server overhead running the region isn't nearly as high as expected so I plan to stake out a 9x9 block and add a little ocean around the island.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Ten Years of Second Life

As of today, in Second life, I am ten years old.

Ten years doesn't put me anywhere near the club for oldest avatars, but it's pretty old.  I have noticed that I am often the oldest avatar in in the area.  This doesn't really mean anything of course, I've come and gone a bit and I doubt I spend anywhere near as much time in world as a lot of other people.  Not to mention that many who have been around for a long time will be on their second or third new account, generally due to one drama or another.


My avatar hasn't really changed a lot.  Hell i may even be using a modified version of that old old shape still.  Sure I've augmented it over the years with Lolas boobs for a while and more recently with the Lara Mesh body, but under the hood I've always been pretty much the same.

I figure I would just reminisce a bit, kind of flow of thought.

Back when I started of, there was no mesh or sculpts.  It was all prims.  This feels like of insane today, if anything, the world needs to be all mesh.  

I spent many many years surviving on the free 50L$ Stipend that accounts used to receive.  Real early on, traffic was an important measurement for showing up in search, and locations would pad this with camping chairs that would pay out tiny amounts of L$ for every 20-30 minutes or so you sat.  I never did this a lot but I did it some.  That dried up when traffic stopped being important.

I still am not a very good builder or scripter, but i still like to create things.  Considering I was always pretty decent at using CAD software back in college, you would think I would be a natural at learning to make MESH objects, but I'm still working with Full Perm templates.  Fin Fact, the glasses in the above picture on the left were one of the first things I made, because I really wanted to give myself glasses, and they were hard to find.  The ear pencils were also one of my earliest creations.

I used to hang around Waterhead Welcome area a lot, it was the first real sim that SL put me in after the tutorial island.  It was my home for many years.

A couple of years ago I took the leap into owning land.  I won't ever go back, I love having a home of my own.  I do sometimes reduce down to just living in a Linden Home though.

Somewhat tangential to owning land, I also have been using OpenSIM for ages.  I'm talking literally since the early early prototype version, I want to say Kotaku or something posted about it and i jumped all over the opportunity to run my own SL.  I sometimes feel like I should look into doing some sort of real contribution to OS, but like a lot of things, I'm an amateur at coding at best. 

I remember finding a free prim hair at a freebie house and finally ditching the system hair I had been using.  System hair is sooo nasty.  I've gone through a ridiculous number of hairs over the years.  I don't like to change my shape too much because it feels off but I'll change my hair constantly, both style and color.

Speaking of unchanging, I've used the same skin (L.Fauna Lapine)(something like that), for a very very long time.  I even made appliers so I could continue using it on my MESH body.  Like my shape, my skin is just part of what makes my avatar feel like me.

Don't tell anyone but that image on the right is actually from around one year in on my SL adventures.  I couldn't find any decent older images.  

Anyway, just a little self indulgence for my Tenth Rez Day...

Friday, November 8, 2013

Fictional Eviction

I recently moved to a pretty nice little plot of land on the water.  Technically I think it's only water because the guy next to me keeps his place up in the sky but that works for me.  For a while i was living up in the sky in a skybox anyway but I have expanded a bit and moved down to ground level.

The problem is, I found out my pretty nice view has a rather awful eyesore right in the middle of it...



Then, I remembered that I can easily block and derender some objects with Firestorm.  I don't really mind the aqua mall thingy to the right, but that monstrosity on the left had to go.  Heck, i probably wouldn't mind that monstrosity if it had real walls instead of fences.

The end result is much nicer.



Saturday, October 26, 2013

Buy Something Will Ya?

So, i finally got off my lazy ass a bit and created a new store.  I'll be adding more over time but if you want to buy some Women's Tees you can head on over and check out the selection over at Geektronic.

I'm not real sure I actually like that name... so.. yeah...

Rigged Mesh Tees (uses the TD Designs template), comes in 5 sizes and includes alpha layer.










Thursday, September 26, 2013

Making a Few Avatar Adjustments...

Every once in a while I like to shake things up a bit with my avatar, usually nothing major, just a change of pace.  Often it's the hair.  I have a few favorites, but I quite a few different hairs, most of them some shade of red, though occasionally I go through this crazy color matching phase of outfitting (IE, blue shoes, pants, shirt, and hair).

I generally don't change my shape.  I've grown pretty attached to how I look.  I always dump my numbers into any OpenSIM grid I visit so I know I look right and I've used it for pretty much ever.  I don't believe I've ever bought a shape that I used regularly, I just made my own and tweaked it over time as I decided I didn't like parts of it.  The latest tweak was in the nose.



One thing that always bugged me, and it showed up a lot in screen shots, was that my nose had this weird clipping artifact at the edge of the nostrils.  I fixed this by making it larger, and I'm pretty satisfied with how things came out.


I've also made some other parts larger as well...  I'm blaming a long time in world friend for being a bad influence...


I bought a pair of mesh breasts, specifically, Lolas Tango breasts.  I have to admit, it seemed like a ridiculous thing to do at the time but the end result is pretty satisfying.

I've always been really bugged about how Second Life handles clothes and breasts.  Mesh helps a bit and you can get some fakey cleavage tattoos that sort of work.  Still, the "painted on" effect has always been a pet peeve.  This fixes that.

I also managed to blend it surprisingly well with my skin.  I forget where I picked up this skin but I'm rather fond of it.  There are three base categories of light, medium and dark with like a dozen shades inside.  To complete the effect you get a selection of tattoo layers that I'm pretty sure are just gradiants to transparent to help blend things.  You can tell in some light and some angles but it's not any worse than the normal clipping issue of the Avatar mesh itself.

I also will admit they feel a little comically oversized.  I'm ok with it though.  I like a little more, "cartoonish" look for lack of a better term.  The only real problem is making them work with my clothing.  There are several built in clothing appliers for generic flat looks that work pretty well but I want to look into the included developers kit to see if I can make some better tops to add.