Thursday, November 22, 2007

Sculpty growling.

On sculpties, I've hit a rather massive (and insanely inconvenient and tedious) roadblock, that lead to 4 hours last night to not even get halfway either taught me a very important (and inconvenient, again!) lesson, or there's a Better Way that I can't find the slightest bit of info about. Partly, this is because Blender is incomprehensible at the best of times. *sigh*

If I can find a way around it that doesn't involve massive amounts of brainless monkeywork, I may be able to lure Max back into making some things for SL. He's very much beyond the general level available, and finds it all ugly and primitive- Windlight, for instance, has the downside that it just shows off how badly built a vast majority of the Grid is (oh, that's right, not supposed to call it that anymore). Sculpties provide the more advanced objects, pair that with competent texturing, and you've opened the door to a lot more long as the Grid can handle it, which can't _really_. (He also bitches about the crashing and slowing and laments that beautiful Babbage even brings _his_ computer to its knees, which, well, what the hell exactly are they running there? High res textures are some of it, but it can't be the whole problem, can it? Grid stability really does need to be a higher priority than fancy smancy features.)

But then, he plays more games than I do (for reasons beyond simply, "ooo shiny!" but that too)- I don't play much (pre WoW which sucked me in hard, and then I went back to SL), so I haven't lost the wide eyed wonder (I haven't lost, haven't lost, haven't lost that stupid fear of thunder).

But, if I can find an easier way, I've got a few things lined up that will be finished up in the (one hopes) near future, and ideas for more. If I can't, I'll be completely rethinking my workflow to try to plan around it, which has certain less desirable elements to it (aside from scrapping everything I've already started).

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

What's in a name

I've considered getting an alt, now and again. I love Allegory, I really do, but she's a little limiting. You see, there are certain things about her that are strictly defined.

First off, her totem animal is (and has to be, it's wrapped up in her name) the alligator (or crocodile, in this case there is no distinction). Me, I'm much less scaly, more furry, and mostly not much of a predator (not a straight up prey animal like a bunny though, which is a bit better- I don't really need to be more timid). This means a) her colour is most definitely green (alright, brown was an option, but, uh, no. I detest brown), and b) she is way more fierce than I am. While I don't wear skirts often, she wears them less (mostly only to Caledon or Babbage, and even there she often crossdresses). So many pretty frocks I'd flounce about it, just sit in her inventory because they just don't fit. She also looks just plain wrong when I try to put her not in a mohawk- great for everyday, less great for fancy dress parties when you aren't actively crashing (versus invited, not as in "SL crashed again"), or historical sims (that, again, you aren't actively trying to subvert in a way. I don't actually mind wearing the left of normal to Caledon and Babbage that I do though). Add in my own dress sense, which is primarily monochromatic to the dark end of the spectrum, and you've excluded a vast amount of the things out there.

While I don't role play, I do tend to be a little...different when I'm Allegory. Not in a huge way, but I do talk a bit more (I'm not very social, and pretty quiet most of the time), and I tend to let her say more of the things that I tend to not say because I'm not sure how they will be taken (read: she's a smart ass, there are lots of random things that get said, and the occasional lascivious comment happens now and again. Still not as much as I think, because I have a filthy, filthy mind. Nevermind that trying to cybersex me is the fastest way to /ignore).

She does tempt me to upload very odd skins for her (not counting the dramatic makeup, that's perfectly acceptable, and something I'd probably continue with an alt), and make me dearly wish I could manipulate the face mesh (I might, perhaps, hinge her mouth like a snake now and again. But really, generally the limitations put on the avatars irk me- from hand and facial meshes being so limited, as those are THE two places people express themselves, to limitations on animations themselves, hand control being unspecific [and broken], inability to mod anims once they've been uploaded at all [hand position, priority, looping, would all make for a lot more flexibility and ease of use]).

Bleh. And after a day of fighting with my dying mouse (at least some small amount of progress was made...on things I may never finish), I'm out.

Friday, November 16, 2007

To do list

I need to sort these things out in my head. Bleh. Sooooo much stufff....

1) Seam your damn gloves, woman. Seriously. When you close this blog post, open that file. Seam. Test. Seam. Test. No doubt curse the way fingers map, and seam some more. Some day you _are_ going to be releasing that thing, and even if the gloves are just a bonus afterthought, they need to be decent, dammit. Also, you will appreciate the starting point for next time. While you're at it, figure out the damn shading. Right now it's sort of between two things. PICK ONE, and be committed. Plusplus, figure out your shirtsleeves theory for good and all.

Also, proceed to curse about compression formats, and bitch about how they are MAKING YOU upload something twice the proper size, entirely because the compression makes everything crap otherwise. Seriously, you could have 1/4 the file size (entire), if you just didn't turn things to mush. Things only really map to 512 on avs, but having to upload files at 1024 just so stuff matches up is a pain in the ass. It's still being shrunk to 512 to be seen!

2) Speaking of that thing, make a light version and a colour version work. Stop being a lazy ass with the shading, it will take you less than a minute to do it the other way, and you'll be happier. See if things actually work in other shades, and then commit to uploading the black version. See, then you can't change anything! You're stuck! You might actually finish something! It's a good thing! (And then probably rope Nivsy into wearing them for pictures because you're, ahem, lacking in the chest area. And don't even have any good skins for faking it.)

3) Re: the thing that only Subs, Niv, Max, and random peoples at the sandbox where you built it ages ago have seen: SEAMS. Yes, the seam between the upper and lower bodies make the head hurt, because you're talking one pixel matching up to one and a half, but get to the fixing. You're almost there! Well, maybe. The bodysuit is probably sort of done, but decisions need to be made about the openings. Match to neck? Too fussy? Something else? Leave plain? MAKE UP YOUR MIND. Yes, I know they won't ever be seen when someone's wearing the whole deal, but you and I both know (in that we are the same person and all) that you won't be happy unless you've made a real choice and stuck with it. Also, gah, test Windlight. I heard that once upon a time, at least, shiny was out the window. DO NOT MAKE ME CRY. Also, that thing you were making this in preparation for? Yeah, that's right, it's up. You can't make one simple little outfit faster than they can add not one, but two sims. (And then decide what rainbow sherbet flavours it ought to come in, that you will never wear. Although some of the variants are rather purdy. And, there is the whole possibility of green accents, at least.) Also! Prim wrangling! Check your joint-goes-this-way-prims-go-that-way. Gloves at least could do with some tweakage. And girlyboots. You've got the start sitting there, get to it. Rivetting. *twitch*. Speaking of, minus 10 prims per boot while you're at it.

Argh. And then comes the sizing. I seriously hate resizing things. Pains in my ass.

4) AO. *sigh* Sit down with QAv and muck about with walks and non static poses until you find something you can live with. Bonus, the main AO(s?) actually needs a "sloppy" walk that doesn't mesh up the way a _real_ one would, so you don't have to be perfect. However, the secondary AO(s?) do, although it's going to be all clompalicious. I need to get a real concrete idea of how this is going to work. I need to sit down and do something. Trial and error is fine, just start the frigging trials. Speaking of AOs, your default stands still irk you. Figure out how you want to stand. Argh, I still...dunno. This is why I haven't bought an AO either, none of them seem "right." Grumble grumble picky avatar.

5) You finally bought the bullet and uploaded a sculpty the scary way yesterday (after days of being terrified, gah). Good for you. And, even better, they proved there is hope for the sculpty! So now, you need to actually get back to, you know, sculpting, since before you had (rather rightfully, with the regular uploaded version) given up on the system entirely until they made it less massively broken. Pick a thing, start to finish, and actually finish. Picking one thing...yeah, I know, that's the hard part. Maybe Lumpy will get finished up. He has potential, and doesn't push the system too hard, unlike the next one in line (which again, *fear*). Better still, work on the damn legs and texture maps, and you can have a complete thingie. Decide about handles. They wouldn't be impossible now! Of course, then you have to figure out all the colour variants...

And then, there's that other thing that The Way To Do hit you last night. *warm fuzzies*

6) The almost VERY FIRST ARTICLE OF CLOTHING you ever tried to make is still sitting there, not on the grid. Suck up the skirt mesh pain in the asses, it's impossible to ever be perfect with the way it deforms. Stop being wishy washy on the skirt shading, make a choice, and commit. Upload it all. Make up the prim skirt(s?). Wear it around and decide that it really doesn't suck and make with the releasing already. Seriously, this is ridiculous. Of course...decide on the colour variants and blah blah blah.

7) The two that followed soon on its heels are JUST AS BAD. Ok, actually worse. It is time for pants to be made. Figure out what said pants should look like other than "er, black" and do something about it. I swear, waistbands are my nemesis. Not that that's the only problem. Both of these things were supposed to be done before Halloween, after months of being worked on. Are they done? No. Is it after Halloween? Yes. Do you need a kick in the currently nonexistent pants? Possibly.

At least for those you've already got a pretty good idea on colours on launch. The one that's only going to come in one might get more massively different later, but it's going to be a Thing if it does.

8), dammit. Snaps need to be taken of old items with new metals, THAT IS NOT HARD. Shoving everything in to fit might be, but suck it up. You've also got a large folder full of earrings to be listed, and then some more earrings. Make up a Digital Alchemy box. Just rez all the silly boxes you've made, steal one bit from one, and another from another and just do it already. Then fill up the dropbox so you need to get a second one, because you probably can already. Last night you actually did good and started a massive multi sizing push- finish deciding on programmed variants and take some pictures of those puppies. Yes, I'm sure the hat will take longer because oh noes, it needs more textures. Still, they are not supercomplex texture, they are easy one. Do eet.

Once you've finished the ads, it's time to go through your transaction history. *cringe* Then I have to actually try to talk to people. This will be especially exciting when attempting to converse with the Japanese, I'm sure, but no doubt there are many other languages in my grab bag that are just not going to happen :/. Grumble. I suppose I could dump no trans versions on everyone who doesn't reply, so at least they'd have the replacements. Of course, first it's required to GET OVER YOUR TERROR OF TALKING TO PEOPLE.

9) Decide about the pants. Is there too much ass in your pants? Or is it a reasonable amount of ass? A couple of days of it has not driven you to distraction yet, so that's perhaps a good sign. Finish up that first set of panttats, see if the theory actually works. If you do decide they are worth letting other people have the opportunity to own, you know you still need to work on cuffs a touch. It's not stuff you see, but people who wear actual shoes might sometime. On the other hand, it's plain enough that you may not bother...but still. Finish things up for your own sake.

10) Commissions. In the future, just say no. Especially just say no to things shortly before Halloween. If you say yes, bare minimum of twice your current rate, it's just not worth it otherwise. Yes, most of the headache is probably due to the fact we don't speak the same language so you don't know what he's saying half the time...but ugh. Beating your head against the wall, not worth it.

11) Half napping in the 3+ hour car ride here didn't actually get things done, but did come up with some interesting ideas. Get thee to building, bitch.

I swear, Tableau is so not helping my current voodoo obsession. I <3 the new build, and it's the sort of thing that I could see myself doing something quite similar too (in fact, I've played with building a French Quarter dollhouse on my roof at Gogo's to possibly replace my shop with, since she first said "you can build something else if you want." Erzulie is my current indulgence in the mood, but I'm not sure I want to go whole hog on it and run with it everywhere...hence the not having decorated anywhere else yet. Also the not having replaced my signs with the old/new font yet, since I haven't decided on other decorative elements to go with). It makes me kind of desperately unhappy to know they'll probably bulldoze it and replace it with something entirely new in a while. They've done it before, I'm sure they'll do it again :/.

12) That thing you built 2 nights ago? FINISH. Then code up the earrings you've had since before the Jewelry Expo to match, and decide whether you're going to go for a necklace to go with or not. Speaking of, SPECTACLES. Seriously, you wear them all the time, sort out your theory on glass tints, find a nice steampunk-but-not-too-busy background, and list.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Happy Hallowe'en!

Today (or, I suppose, yesterday now), being Hallowe'en, meant that there were a great number of things going on. I've been scurrying all over for the past few weeks on and off with treasure hunting (and have gotten some very nice things out of it, including the lovely rust silent sparrow coat I've been wearing with my pumpkin head, and the lovely red dress and Gritty Kitty hat I was wearing for a bit before that as a witch)...and it did really get to the point that there was just _too_ much of it and I got a bit burnt out.

However, I took in some of the New Babbage activities. I missed the parades and such as I wasn't around at the proper time for it, but today I first went to the barrel race. Flaming barrels are flung around by the racers, trying not to drop them in the drink as they navigate the streets of New Babbage. It was great fun. At first I was the only adult participating (it was, I suppose, stated as an activity for the urchins), but then I was joined by a gentleman as well- we had more spectators than participants! I was doing quite well with my barrel...except for crossing into Port Babbage, whereupon it blipped out of existence. I gave up the search eventually, and found out that one of the others brought mine in with them instead of their own! (Sadly, sim crossings were quite detrimental and ate a few barrels.) Afterwards, we flew back to the theatre on Loki's airship, to ride the carousel. Unfortuantely, I got stuck (on sim crossing!), and crashed. At least I'd had the chance to ride it earlier, when going along the ghost tour.

A fair bit later in the evening I heard about Professor Nishi overseeing a Samhain ceremony. It was not very well attended, but it was quite magnificent, and the intimate little group really did make it more special. I do feel that I need to make a better marshmallow on a stick that the huge and not-so-awesome freebie I had, which I shared with the young Ms. Paine- especially as Bonfire Night is coming up soon, and I've heard that New Babbage shall have festivities for that as well.

Later still, I cleaned out all of the Hallowe'en decorations around La Reina and Le Cadre', the shops look so sad and sterile now, it is quite depressing. So much so that I whipped up a quick (and really a bit sad, honestly- next year I shall have to think ahead and be ready. And by then I shall have either given up on sculpties ever being fixed, or they will have fixed them, so I shan't be using the library skull as a base) sugar skull so the La Reina store wouldn't be completely bereft of everything. The coffin with the treat bucket shall be available until the 4th, as the Ohana Isle treasure hunt ends then, and I had included a landmark with a note about picking up a treat bucket. The pumpkins and the cauldron are gone though, so the pink brooms and the chewy eyeballs and martini and the spooky facelights are now unobtainable (some things will probably be available next year, but some may not. The brooms, for instance, will be overhauled if I do brooms again next year). Do make sure you get your bucket while you still can, as I do not believe I shall offer it again next year (something else perhaps, but not it).