Friday, 31 December 2010

The Lost Temple Volume III B- Seamless 2D Texture Collection.

With the release of The Lost Temple Volume III a couple of weeks ago I decided to add an optional "add on" collection which can be found at ContentParadise.com for $9.99

For Secondlife.com use it can be found at the Second Life Market Place for 800 Linden Dollars.

Separate single textures from both collections can be purchased from iSourceTextures.com for 50 cents for 512 x 512 pixels and $1.00 for 1024 x 1024 pixels.

Seamless left to right.


SAMPLE A
SAMPLE B

SAMPLE C



SAMPLE D

Music I should Hate But Love. BEP - The Time Dirty Bit



The first time I heard this was on The X Factor and I knew instantly it was going to be a massive hit although that first live performance wasn't too great as I need to hear a song more than once (usually) before I take to it.
I totally love the track now, it literally gives me goosebumps.

I am 40 years old FFS!
Surely that electronic whining noise should be tickling my 'middle aged, stuck in a time warp: "that's not music, it's just noise!" knee jerk reaction? Mind you, Fergie (female vocalist from BEP) is 36 now and a momma too, seems people stay younger these days.

In the 60/70s you were practically a dead woman walking at 30.

Anyway, it's New Years Eve (Yay! .. Yawn) So *through gritted teeth* Happy New 2011!!! 

Monday, 20 December 2010

Train2Game - Make a 2D Game in 10 days Contest !

Splash Screen
Train2Game announced a contest to make a 2D "top down game" designed for use on the iPad. 

The winning entry would be published by DR Studios for commercial release with some of the proceeds going to charity.

I didn't see the forum announcement but I was contacted by Aaron who is on the programming course and asked if I would like to join his team as the "art director" (there were only 3 of us so that title is a little grand!)

My background is photo realistic textures because I make them with Photos mainly.

I am a pixel pusher, I can take existing digital images and blend, layer and make something of my own but I cannot draw a vector car for example, I don't even own Adobe Illustrator nor can I make a 3D car model yet,  so it was a steep learning curve in 10 days to make things I have never had to make before but we got there in the end.

I notice people who don't make graphics or textures will look at someones work and assume they can apply that artistic "skill" (for want of a better word) to all practises that fall under the umbrella of "art" 

I guess it is like me making assumptions that someone who can program a website must be able to program a game when in actual fact there are many different types of code languages and methods and very few people are mastered in all of them.

A few people at the Train2Game forums have made assumptions that I would "kick ass" in any 2D contest and that's so not the case. 

I hoped I would be asked to make some seamless tile sets of grass and earth, streets, roads etc but what Aaron needed for this game was cartoon or cell shaded "top down" car sprites and this was and still is totally alien to me, it is the opposite of what I am confident in.

My comfort zone





















NOT my comfort zone! 















It can be and indeed often is harder to make something very basic but with enough depth and shadow to look like a car at 64 x 64 pixels. I guess its like digital impressionist art.

Normally, in a bigger team with plenty of time before a deadline, you may have the benefit of a concept artist who can sketch a story board and how things should look to give you something to go off but we didn't have the luxury of time or concept art and in fact only big well established game studios have concept artists.

I was told the basic game play design and from there I was to create characters (avatars) sprites and a splash screen (the first picture) which gave the user a simple story line and an idea of what the game is about. The map was provided by DR Studios and could not be edited or changed.

I made some errors and at times stepped into other roles,  sometimes when I wasn't welcome and other times, when I was. 
There were only three of us, the programer/designer, the code breaker and me so at times we each slipped into different roles and once or twice "locked antlers" over things but we got there in the end and are still on speaking terms! lol

Aaron, the captain is 17 but trust me, he is not like any 17 year old I have ever met.

He is very articulate, intelligent and diplomatic (which has never been my strength!

Not once did I feel like "Ohhe's just a kid, what does he know?!" In fact quite the opposite.
His opinion meant a lot to me and I am sure it must have been weird for him to tell a *cough* older person that he didn't agree with me at times.

In hindsight, I learnt I can over complicate things and tend to dwell on the details more than I needed to and at one stage I was trying to re think and re design the whole game because "I" wasn't happy with the art style.
I think because it was our first project we each learnt something new and it was good experience.

We submitted our game in yesterday as today at 4pm is the deadline.

I have no idea how well we did in relation to the other teams,  I am not even sure how many teams there are or what they have done so there's quite a lot of suspense. 

The winner won't be chosen for great graphics or fantastic sound effects, it's the game play concept that will be the deciding factor and the winning game will be "polished up" by DR Studios before it is published.

I would love us to win but even if we don't,  I am glad I got involved.
It's been a great learning experience and it's something I can add to my portfolio which is always a good thing.

I will post a link to the game after 4pm today.








Wednesday, 15 December 2010

The Lost Temple Game Texture Collection Volume III



















Over 90 seamless fantasy style textures sized 1024 x 1024 pixels.

Available from Contentparadise.com
and for use within the virtual world of Secondlife.com you can buy them here and also from TRU Textures Ltd .
They should be available in 7 days from the website but are available now from our in world store.

Available as single textures from iSourceTextures.com under the Seamless Texture category.

Prices vary depending on your license and usage but for Second Life use you can buy the entire collection for L$2000 (Linden Dollars) or in 3 separate collections from the website and store for L$750 per set.

Windows come in opaque and transparent.


Thursday, 9 December 2010

Death & Decay Texture Collection (Work in progress)

New Texture Collection I am working on











Martin, my partner at isourcetextures.com has recently made some new user ready or "game textures" which has inspired me to make my own version.

His is based on a historical crypt, you can see them here and I love the whole skull theme.

Of course a good texture set starts off with a good base and the one here is the base with a crumbling hole created from using this photo.

The actual wall is many layers of rust, cement and stone each with different blending styles, opacity and various levels of contrast and desaturation.

After desaturating the hole I had to apply colour back into the plant life at the bottom of the entrance which was achieved by literally painting over it with a shade of green and setting the blending mode to overlay and again playing around with the hue and saturation and finally the opacity.

Where I go from here is anyones guess, I rarely have an image in mind, I usually just play around with different elements and see which ones I like. But it's fair to assume there will be some kind of window, door/gate, trim, relief work and of course, columns! lol Got to have those columns, they frame and separate one texture from another.
I love Martins columns with the skulls, I am really impressed, enough in fact it has given me something to work on were as previously I was having another creative block.

So, watch this space if you like what you see so far!

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Elizabeth Gallagher - Game Artist Portfolio on the Behance Network

Elizabeth Gallagher - Game Artist Portfolio on the Behance Network

Hall Of Fame Or Shame - Second Life Fashion

Sexy and Casual. 


What I would wear for work in a "real" job.
 Excuse the layout, I never know how it will all come out when I add a lot of pictures.

So, I've been in Second Life for 6.5 years now and just like most women I have enjoyed dressing my dolly up and over the years my clothes folder is stuffed with stuff I either don't know I have or forgot I bought and simply don't wear.

The  reasons why I don't wear something is because my actual activity in SL is very limited. I rarely leave my store and generally only partake in activities such as uploading textures, marketing shoots and occasionally talking to customers.
I am not your typical SL female, constantly buying new clothes and changing them 5 times a day.
SL has long since stopped being a pass time or a "game" it's a platform were I make part of my living.

So anyway, I decided to have a rummage through my junk and see what I had to wear and why not take some photos and show you just how a good idea (at the time) can often result in a "omg! What WAS I thinking" moment as soon as you try the outfit on.

It just goes to show how moods can effect your decision to buy certain clothing in SL and also how good marketing images can look fabulous but when you try the garment on it looks like crap.

There are some very big and famous fashion stores in SL and a lot of what they make is "prim heavy"
The problem with prim based clothing can be the with the right position and pose it can look really cool on the "catalog image" but the reality is when you are wearing it and depending on which AO (animation override) you are wearing those prims look wrong.
A classic example of this is the mini skirts made from a prim. When you walk it swings around your waist like a barrel and God forbid if your avatar bends over slightly or dances.

Anyway, here are a handful of my Shame and Fame outfits purchased over the years.

BAX boots are still a SL classic
Pretty but never worn until now.
I have NO idea what I was thinking!
Nice but never worn.
Nice Never Worn
Period Clothing, but not me.
Seriously?

Don't laugh! I wear this very occasionally.


Beautiful detail but a little "Middle Aged"

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Colouring Black And White Photos.

Original Photo Of My Mum aged 17
I put some colour in her cheeks!
I have never had the need to practise the art of colouring black and white photos but I thought it might be some fun and I wanted a photo of my wonderful Mum for a future post I intend to dedicate to her.

This photo was taken by my Dad when they were dating and it's one of his favourites.
Mum doesn't like it, she reminds us she had blonde eyebrows when she was young and in the black and white photo it looks like she doesn't have any,
so, I gave her some! lol

Mum was a natural red head with fair skin so I hope I did some justice in that respect.

I will follow up with my post about my Mum and how and why I love her so in the coming days or weeks.

Telesales Canvassing Calls - Poetic Justice?



I used to be a telesales account manager and I was damn good at it. But that was a long time ago and now it seems what goes around comes around because I absolutely hate my land line telephone.

I keep meaning to ring Virgin (my suppliers) and get the damn thing disconnected.

No one ever uses it, we both have mobile phones and so the main purpose of having my phone at a cost to me of £25.00 a month  is for annoying telesales robots calling me to give me recorded messages about helping me solve the debt problem I don't have.

I get two or three a day, it used to be more but I registered with some place that essentially meant your name was removed from lists and by law they were not meant to be canvasing me.

The problem is, my telephone number, which is X directory (meaning you can't look it up, it's private) has somehow been linked to a women that lived here over 4 years ago and who must be in debt because I keep getting her debt collection letters in the post too.

How does that happen? How does a telephone number I created just over a year ago (after I had to change my number to avoid the unwanted and deranged calls from a Second Life psychopath) end up being linked to a woman who hasn't lived here for 4 years?

Mrs Holden, I swear, if we were formally introduced I would bitch slap her for the crap she left on my doorstep! lol

Its annoying as Hell to have to drop what your doing, (usually work) spend a frantic 30 seconds looking for the handset, to find it stuffed under the dogs cushion then answer it out of breath with rage already building in anticipation of the dreaded tinny recorded greeting: "Hello, do NOT hang up the phone, this is not a sales call......"

It may be dressed up as a survey or "government scheme" but they still want to sell you something and if that's not bad enough... it's not even for me! Its for Mrs **@**@@ Holden!

The most lame assed thing a telephone person can and indeed does do is when you tell them that you are not actually Mrs Holden, that Mrs Holden hasn't lived here or been on the electoral role for 4 years, they then say:  "Oh, I see, OK well are you the house owner in that case?" That's just lame.
What are the odds of me actually continuing to listen to their monotone, script read sales pitch?

I  used to be a telesales person and the domestic market is no fun. It's literally a numbers game, the more calls you make the bigger the chance of someone desperate, bored or lonely enough actually not put the phone down on you. It's soul destroying.

B2B sales is a different thing, sure you still have to get passed the dragon receptionists who are compelled to not put calls through from people who aren't on their Christmas card list, but there are ways and means to get around them.


I have done the whole works with telesales.. residential, B2B, account manager, cold calling on doors the lot,  so I have no patience for crap sales people calling my home when I am working trying to sell me something that I apparently wouldn't have thought about buying had they not telephoned me to tell me I wanted it!

Peerlease!

I'm getting the damn thing disconnected today. I rang virgin to get it pulled and they UP-SOLD me to pay for this "thing" that stopped calls coming through from withheld numbers.

She must have been a good sales person as I was steaming when I called Virgin and adamant I wanted the service disconnected and I ended up actually paying more for the privilege of denying unknown numbers... Anyway, it doesn't work and I have had enough.

I am just glad I live on top of the steepest hill in my town because at least that keeps the door to door sales men away.


Bah humbug!  :D

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Hair Textures Straight And Wavy



















20 textures in each pack, 10 colours each with coordinating transparent tips.

Available from Contentparadise.com. Wavy and Straight.
The Second Life market place and of course TRU Textures Ltd 

And isourcetextures.com

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

The Saddest thing in the world is loving someone who used to love you.

"The saddest thing in the world, is loving someone who used to love you"
                                  -----------------------------
"Relationships are like glass. Sometimes it's better to leave them broken than try to hurt yourself putting it back together"

                                  -----------------------------
Sometimes I'll fall straight to my knees
And sink, in to the floor
Lost in a hundred memories
Of a time, I'll call before.

Now I can't even seem to remember
What I've fought so damn hard for
It hurts to see your face and know
I should'nt love you any more

It's when my head is way too full
Of hating her for having you
And you as well, for your big piece of cake
And me for letting you eat it too.

Damn this wall, built to keep me at bay
Hating the fact I can't have my way
Feeling fully naive, straight to the core
For waiting on what I'm wishing for

Wanting to be able to hear your name
And it not riddle me with shame
From a hundred memories of before
That I shouldn't think about anymore

So maybe my knees will give a little
I'll lay my head down on the floor
And maybe with my eyes closed tight
I won't love you anymore
                             ----------------------------------

Monday, 29 November 2010

Geisha Honey Shoji Textures




















Geisha Honey Shoji Textures

Second Life Web Browser Beta

Screenshot of SL on web client BETA

















I happened to see the Linden Lab blog announcement yesterday asking people to help them beta test the web browser client they want to release for Second Life. (my experience is detailed in the last half of this post)

A web browser client is what  IMVU uses and the last time I looked IMVU had 140,000 people logged in.

I love IMVU as a business concept but not as an alternative to Second Life.

Unless you actually enjoy cartoon avatars and cell shaded graphics IMVU is kind of lame on the face if it, realism is not a feature.
But IMVU is doing very well indeed.

As I posted a few months back, I love the way IMVU has been set up, how it navigates users to the Market place and encouraged us to spend money or earn credits by doing simple but good things like verifying their ID and age or verifying their email for example. (you know,  things that SL has allowed people to get away with for years)

Another thing, unlike SL not just anyone can be a content developer (that's what they call them over there) You have to be a VIP (premium/paid for) member to be able to create and sell content.
You also have to electronically sign a contract which clearly explains about copyright violation and the consequences if you breach someones copyright. (education is key)

Yep, they had their heads screwed on at IMVU when they thought about cash flow. Shame the actual platform sucks, I logged in once and it is the total opposite to SL,  really lame ass avatars, very anime.

Anime Type Avatars IMVU





This look will appeal to many Asian game players I am sure, but I don't know, it just doesn't sit well with me for a number of reasons.

I don't want to look like I am 12,  I run a business and I don't even like being referred to by my stupid SL name , LillyBeth Filth which is why I tend to include my real name in a lot of publications and in world communications.

How can anyone be taken seriously as a business owner in SL with names like Buttercup Trixibell?

Perhaps more importantly IMVU like SL,  has an adult area but with IMVU you have to pay for a "pass" to have access to adult themed areas.

I am not sure what "adult" means in IMVU but I don't think it means streaming porn.  I just think it means you can swear and talk like, well, an adult.

But with "adult" comes sex and whether you like it or not, sex is part of the online territory period. Chat rooms and online games alike all attract adults looking for something a bit stronger than swapping cooking recipes.

Now, we all know that sex happens in SL and by sex I mean avatar sex or "The Simpsons Sex"

It's more like soft porn than anything but it happens, we all know it happens and apparently sex is the biggest cash spinner in SL just as it is on the internet. Sex sells, we all know that.

But you apply that to IMVU and then take a look at those cute avatars above and its just wrong on so many levels. Anyway, regardless of my opinion, they have bucket loads of members (140k!)

This leads me back to the SL web browser client I beta tested last night.

Lets cover the basics first.
The first picture in this post shows your typical ocean shore scene in SL. Nothing new there then,  but the important thing to realise is the speed at which textures and in game assets appeared which was lightning fast.

When I logged in with beta, I landed on some main land, normally if I even attempt to visit main land in SL I am rubber banding and getting trapped in buildings that had not rezzed at the point of me flying into them, the whole business is an absolute nightmare. (I have an iMac with 50 megs of bandwidth so nothing wrong with my PC or internet speed)
Because of this, I avoid main land as much as I can these days and I really do pity those people who rent or own a piece of main land.

But with the web browser client, LAG was not much of an issue, certainly nothing like how it would be normally and I could see things from a distance too,  I could navigate smoothly and with some speed.
In short, even on a beta client it was clearly better than the current system which is great news, of course.

But what excites me is something I don't think everyone really understands and that is by running SL on a web browser it means Linden Labs can start to advertise again and start pulling in more users, something they haven't been able to do for a long time.

I read a few of the comments from SL users in response to the blog announcement and as usual the moaners were aplenty.
One person was moaning about how Linden Labs should "advertise more like IMVU do and get more people into SL!!" They totally miss the whole point of the bloody post!

Second Life cannot handle more than 70K logged on at the same time, the grid is already laggy and choppy and that is exactly why Linden Labs are "trapped" and can't promote SL too much.

The current client is too taxing on the servers and this is precisely why they are wanting to move to a web browser client (like IMVU) so they can advertise and increase population, increase in world spending, increase brand recognition, increase positive user experience, this is a good thing!

My only regret is I suspect they had to see the success of IMVU before it occurred to them to do follow suit.
This "coulda shoulda" been done 2 years ago, but hey, that's hindsight for you.

Also, there is a red button at the top which says "Full Access" I assume this means that like IMVU, people will have free access to some of the places in SL but not all. That means if you want "full access" you have to pay. Again, good idea and a system that IMVU uses and it clearly works for them.

Anyway, there are a few more screenshots at the bottom of this post, they don't really show anything "new" they just show that textures are loaded well and you will just have to take my word that it really was much faster and smoother than the current client.
Or see if you can test it yourself by clicking this link: http://interest.secondlife.com/beta

Note - The beta wouldn't work for me on a Firefox browser but it did work on a Safari. It also picked up on the fact I was running a mac computer too and I am from the UK.
The reason why I mention this is because there was a lot of bitching and moaning in the comments about how unfair it was that people who weren't from the US couldn't test it  *groan*

I just wanted to clarify it has nothing to do with bloody geographical locations.

Because it's only a beta, I am assuming they have made it compatible for a specific set of "specifics"
Your gender, country of origin, colour of skin and colour of underwear you are currently wearing has not been a deciding factor when they released the beta client.

Second Life Web Browser beta Screenshot 2
Second Life Web Browser beta Screenshot 3





Second Life Web Browser beta Screenshot 3

Monday, 22 November 2010

Geisha -Shoji Screen Texture Collection

75 seamless Asian paper and Ebony screen wall textures available in sheer and opaque.
1024 x 1024 pixels.

Available from

Second Life Market Place

Contentparadise.com

TRU Textures Ltd (leave it a week though)

isourcetextures.com (as singles)

Perfect for most virtual worlds IMVU, Twinity, Second Life (of course) Inworldz, BlueMars and so on... :)

That's all folks!

Thursday, 18 November 2010

True Blood - "Pure" - New Orleans/Mississippi Texture Collection

Click to enlarge



















I love the architecture in New Orleans, not that I have ever been there sadly, but as a huge fan of True Blood I loved the shots of the old run down Victorian wood buildings.

A horror movie, The Skeleton Key was set in the same location and that too was an inspiration for another collection of textures I made some time ago again, named after the movie.

None of them were duplicates but rather my interpretation from glimpses of the architecture within the show and movie.

England, where I live,  has a lot of Victorian buildings but none are made from wood siding so it's difficult to get photographs to work from.

The windows in both the True Blood collections were a combination of hand made and taken from photographs from  isourcetextures.com

As far as building textures go, this style of architecture cannot be really overdone because most of the look and feel is made from balconies, railings and prim based content as apposed to the face of a wall.

The semi circle window (which I posted about earlier) was a real bitch to make as it involved playing with paths in Photoshop to create the shape and that's just not an area I am confident with because essentially I am a photo manipulator and I have always admired those texture artists who could create their own "shapes"
I can turn a shape into a fairly good 3D looking object within Photoshop quite well but I need the shape to begin with and that's where I fall.
Anyway, I got there eventually (5 hours!)

I think I will learn more about paths and shapes in Photoshop as I continue with my TIGA Game Art & Animation diploma.

The last two lessons touched on Photoshop which was a relief to be honest after the previous lesson which was all about 3DMax, it was killing me!

The irony is I got 100% for the TMA (Tutor marked assignment) which covered 3DMax but the following two TMAs, which covered Photoshop, I only got 85% and 95%
(You need 75% to pass or 15 correct questions out of 20)

It just goes to show no matter how long you have used a program you never know it all.
Plus, I think in hindsight, I was over confident and made assumptions that it was going to be a "walk in the park" were as 3DMax requires my full and undisturbed attention and perhaps that's why I got the 100% mark.

So, I have reached the end of Section 1 Part A which is a book of 216 pages and passed all of the TMAs within that section (yay) and I am now waiting for the course material and DVD to be posted for Section 1 Part B.
Each section will get harder of course so it's important you really understand everything you have studied previously and as such, I need to keep playing with Max to get familiar with it.

I have decided whilst I am waiting for the course material to arrive, I will go through all of the tutorials that come with Max. A lot of them will bear no relation to what I need to learn but they should help me get a better understanding of the tools.

Essentially, the course leans towards "box modeling" because this is the method used by game developers to create low polygon models for use within game engines.
High polygon models are rarely used in game engines because the amount of memory required to host them is too taxing and can slow the game down.

Box modeling is basically the ability to create realistic looking assets/models with the lowest amount of polygons possible, which in itself is a skill.
If you are not restricted by the amount of polygons used, you can create some awesome and very realistic models but they could not be used with most game engines.

True Blood - Pure can be purchased from these locations:

http://www.contentparadise.com/productDetails.aspx?id=16141

http://www.texturesrus.net/front_content.php

https://marketplace.secondlife.com/p/Textures-R-Us-True-Blood-Pure-Volume-One/1624009

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Reflective Textures Second Life?? I want my floor to reflect my room!

LOL Ok... I know its a neat trick and who ever thought it up should have patent it because he would have made a fortune!
The amount of times I get asked this question is not even funny.
As soon as they get to word "reflective" I say:
"STOP!......" and go on to explain how this illusion of "reflective floors" in Second Life is created.

So, there is no such thing as true reflection in virtual worlds or game engines period.

The closest thing I have seen is in The Sims3 and it took me by surprise actually, one of the little sim NCPs walked in front of what looked like a window and he was reflected back to perfection.. must be some kind of "screen within a screen" trick.

Anyway, in Second Life is all trickery, clever, prim expensive trickery.

All the builder does is duplicate the walls, a few of the major pieces of architecture within a room, spin them all upside down to create a "mirror" effect. Then they make the floor prim semi transparent (so you can see the duplicate walls and objects mirrored below) slap any marble or wood texture on the floor and set the shine to high in the texture edit options... TADA!

Now, if anyone else asks me I can refer them to here :)

Whats really sad is this morning the lady who asked me said she had asked several store owners where they got their "reflective textures" from and none of them would tell her. (that's just saaaad!)

I wouldn't mind but it's hardly a new phenomena! It's been used around SL for at least 2 years now.

Here are some links to and about how to do it:

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:3cQ9hLJ99tYJ:virtualdrifting.blogspot.com/2009/02/creating-reflective-floor-in-second.html+reflective+floors+in+Second+Life&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=uk&client=firefox-a

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:Dwv2yFzO2S8J:www.flickr.com/groups/secondlife/discuss/72157607370023249/+reflective+floors+in+Second+Life&cd=7&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=uk&client=firefox-a

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

True Blood - Texture Volume One Now Available!

Click to see full size
34 textures, seamless, 1024 x 1024 pixels.

Comes with and without transparent windows. Opaque windows display closed drapes.

They can be purchased from Second Life market place here:

https://marketplace.secondlife.com/p/Textures-R-Us-True-Blood-Texture-Collection-Volume-One/1613524

From the TRU Textures website here:
http://www.texturesrus.net/front_content.php?idart=10&idcat=7&lang=4&csearch=+3D+Build+-+New+Sets

And for use for projects outside of Second Life and other virtual worlds, they can be purchased from Contentparadise.com here:
http://www.contentparadise.com/productDetails.aspx?id=16115

Thumbnails

True Blood - Work in Progress - New Texture Collection

True Blood Coordinating Texture Set -Collection in the making.

Funny how the small things have you baffled, the posts on either side took me longer to make than the bloody window!

The wood siding is made from scratch, as is the window of which there will be alpha versions and two other window styles, all the same colour.

The corners are Photoshop brushes off Deviantart.com, posts hand made, drapes hand made etc

This isn't the final draft, it's all still in layers I will have to tweak and fuss before I am 100% confident.

For example, the lower trim doesn't look  like it belongs.
There is too much contrast in it and it looks grainy compared to the other elements so I will replace that soon, but it's starting to come together now.

I never used "drop shadow" these days, it's a default setting in Photoshop and rarely creates realistic shadows. I basically select, fill, blur and scale it so there's no particular direction but it still adds depth.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

True Blood - New Texture Collection - Work in progress

I am making a new set of textures in the theme of New Orleans architecture, dark Victorian styling.

They are going to be called True Blood after the cult classic TV show by the same name as that's set in Mississippi and I just love that type of architecture.

Expect lots of Gargoyles and dirty wood siding and windows with wood Victorian frames in semi circles for the basements.

The inner windows have been a bitch to make. I am not good at creating shapes in Photoshop, more of a photo manipulator than anything but the windows I want to use can not be found on the internet at all. I spent all day looking for something like them on various stock sites to no avail.

So anyway, I have just finished the first draft of the inner metal frame of the semi circle windows, there are no frames to them yet but that's the easy part for me and I already have the resources to finish them off.

I like how they have turned out so far, but as often is the case, I may find once layered onto the wood siding they may not look right and I may have to re-texture them with something more subtle as they are a bit dark.



I have just added the frame and I am quite pleased. The final draft will be dark blue painted wood and not the grey material you see here because the window will be placed onto old wood siding so of course the window frame needs to be wood too. It's taken me all day to get this window to this stage but as I say, the windows and architecture pieces are the most time consuming, the rest is plain sailing.


Sunday, 7 November 2010

The Library - Windows Optional Add On Collection

The Library - Windows Optional Add On Collection

Want One.

Bose SOUNDDOCK10 SoundDock® 10 Digital Music System + 2 Years Warranty Quality goods from MultizoneAV.com

Been looking on eBay for "something" to play music because as much as I love my iMac the speakers are crap and whilst I could get some additional speakers it would kind of defeat the point of an iMac with wires and less space on my desk. Plus I want something I can play in my bedroom or indeed anywhere.
If I knew how I would have speakers in most rooms in the house (including the bathroom) but I don't know how and I have a coffee machine that's been spitting hot water at me for 6 months and my fella has bought all the parts to fix it..... ohhh... 3 months ago? They remain in plastic bags in his "drawer of doom"

(He gets email notices each time I write a blog, I'm hoping he gets this and takes the hint! lol


There is a first generation Bose docking station which have been out for 3 years or so and they don't sell for less than £140 second hand! So they must be good then there's the second series which will knock you back around £250 and then there's THIS! lol

I can't justify spending that kind of money, well, I can I suppose because I do love my music especially when I am working and it's been 10 years since I owned a hi-fi system. Not sure why, perhaps because I've been listening to music on my PC all these years. The last hi-fi I had was black with a TAPE CASSETTE PLAYER! lol

There! That's a justification if ever I heard one.

Friday, 5 November 2010

Virtual Photography in Second Life


I'm not very good at it to be honest but there is definitely an artistic skill involved as I have seen some amazing screenshots of Second Life post worked into pixel art.

Elizabeth Tinsley has taken some nice photos in some amazing places, it's just knowing where they are.

This is just my virtual dolly sat on the fire hydrant (?) next to some painting easels displaying some of my texture work inside my own store within Second Life.

Just minor post work in Photoshop.

Bit boring really.