Thursday, 26 August 2010

Scotland - 8th Sept Here I come !

I'm off up to Scotland on the 8th Sept for 10 nights and staying at The Ruin  (Pictured here) 

I kid you not, it's taken me 10+ hours of Google browsing to find 10 nights in Scotland for a nice property that had WIFI access, cable TV and accepted dogs.


Most places that accepted pets were out and out crap holes and the other end of the scale the price tag was £1800 for 10 nights!



We're going away because the house is being decorated and all of the wood flooring and carpets replaced.

I can't stand to be in a house that's going to be turned upside down or face the humiliation of seeing months of dust collected behind my furniture lol

Anyhow, I won't be beaten and found one I think will do nicely. I'll be taking my camera as usual to add some more stock to isourcetextures.com 

Poor Martin adds 90% of the raw unedited stock on the site were as I tend to stick to the "user ready" type.
From past experience the few sales we have had have been a mixture of both so at least I feel I am contributing something.

And at last! The TRU website had finally been rolled out with the new template. This project was first discussed and agreed in Jan 2009 lol
But Thorian and Chosen Few have done a great job and I'm just glad it "looks" better now.

We haven't added the PayPal/direct download option or details of the three different license types because we're still working on the site, it should be 95% completed by this week-end.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Russian Chapel Ruins - Seamless Texture Collection

I was asked by a customer, Yelena Istmal to create a texture collection for an old Russian Church she was building, and the pic to to the left shows the finished textures applied to the build on her sim
NOCTIS The Uroc, Haunted Quarter, Armada

It's very rare I get to see my textures brought to life full stop but rarer still to see them used as creatively as this.
The windows are taken from original photographs of traditional Russian buildings.
he pack contains dirty semi shear windows and night time glow windows (as shown in the picture)


It was a real pleasure to do and Yelena provided me with tons of reference photos and URLs to images in the internet which really helped me to get a good idea of the concept she was aiming for.

The collection of over 80 textures can be purchased from Xstreet and of course direct from the TRU Textures Ltd store 
For use outside of Secondlife.com (on other grids for example) you can purchase them with the appropriate license from Contentparadise.com

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Avination.net - Business & Pleasure

A Virtual World With Very Real Difference
Melanie Milland emailed me earlier today to request an extended license to use my personal textures for the 100 sims that are being built in their "virtual world with a difference"

I went to the website to check it out and have no reason to deny how impressed I was,  not just with the design but the concept of the platform.

Avination.net in their own words describe themselves:

Avination, the original home of Dark Freeform Role Play in OpenSim! Utilizing the renowned CCS Combat System, trusted as the RP/Combat System leader in Second Life ™, Avination has positioned itself as the clear choice for the most effective RP/Combat experience where performance and reliability count!
Prepare to enter the world where good meets evil, where darkness finds light, and where chaos endlessly abounds. Unleash your inhibitions and allow your talents to prevail as you RP with others in this enhanced dark RP environment. Take advantage now of all this growing world has to offer and see first hand why the grass IS actually greener on the other side!


It's about time someone created more than just another Second Life double and Avination seems to do this by offering it's members the option of being involved in dark RP combat gaming using the legendary CCS combat system which Melanie helped to develop originally in Secondlife.com

There are so many virtual worlds now, and all of them duplicates of Secondlife.com

It was because of this we decided to upgrade the TRU website to allow external purchase and download of textures paid by PayPal with licensing that allowed external use on other grids and sims.
(The new website template, designed by Chosen Few will be rolled out tomorrow and PayPal added next week-end)

I wish them the best of luck.

Vitamin D Deficiency - The Truth

Malignant Melanoma Verses Vitamin D Deficiency




I have had Malignant Melanoma and I am also vitamin D deficient.


Makes me bloody ill when I use the sunbed though. The creation of Vitamin D boosts my immune system and by default fights the systemic Candida I have had for 4 years which causes a Herxheimer Reaction


I have had to stop using it as I got so poorly after two weeks, I was using it 3 times a week, 20 minutes a session. I ended up in bed and have been ill for weeks now. 


Bit tired of feeling worse before I feel better as I have yet to get better! 

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

The Sweet Vandals - Beautiful

First heard a small part of this song on a bloody car advert! Had to do some Google searching but eventually found it.
Love it.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Visions Of The Future - The Intelligence Revolution

My brother phoned me about this interesting documentary he saw on TV about the future of AI and virtual worlds.

I don't know how old this program is, so this may not be "news" as such, but it was new to me at any rate.

Second Life and wow (world of warcraft) are featured around 12 minutes in and the narrator  mentions "In just four years Second Life has grown to 5 million residents"

I'm not exactly sure where the "5 million residents" info came from and I am guessing that the program was originally made in 2007/8 based on the four year comment.

EDIT - The program info does confirm it was first broadcast in June 2008 so the interview and research may have been initially documented 6 months prior to the first broadcast. 

There's a section where you meet a couple who met in SL and got married 6 months later and the lady moved to England from the US.

She goes on to say how she makes a real living from SL by making & selling shoes and accessories, I don't know who she was as I couldn't make out any logos, branding or her avatar name.
Shame, if I was her I would have worn a T shirt with a great big neon green TRU Textures logo on the front and a tattoo saying TRU slapped on my forehead lol.

But who ever she is, I hope she is still making a good real living from SL because if it was made in 2007/8 that was the post recession and post "SL shit storm" days,  when everything looked far more rosier and exciting in the world of virtual reality.

All things "virtual business" in todays SL are more complicated, more competitive and certainly more time and effort consuming than they were in 2007/8 I think.

Friday, 13 August 2010

3DMax - Back on Course

I've been away from my Game Art & Animation course for a few weeks due to health issues and the fact running two businesses in this economy sometimes means I have to work 4 times harder than previously.

It's hard trying to work and be in 5 different places all at the same time, even in a virtual sense.

Anyway, I got the CD copy of 3Dmax and installed it etc and although my next lesson due was lesson 3 (material editor) as I had been away from 3d Max for some weeks I wanted to refresh what small amount of memory I had developed with the program.

The last time I played with it, it left me feeling deflated and impotent - I wasn't enjoying the learning curve at all.

I think because I have reached a comfort zone with 2D textures and Photoshop, starting out in 3D art as a noob was very frustrating to me and made me feel like I would never get to grips with it.

But the good news is after re reading lesson two I started playing with prims and extended prims as advised by the course work and I somehow came up with the 2 piece suite above.

Now I know the chair doesn't match the sofa!  lol that's because the chair was the first thing I made and then saved. Then I started off with the L-ext prim and ended up making the 3 seater sofa too.

I have no doubt that the prims will not be aligned and will all be slightly different sizes and the actual size conversion to a real life model will be out of whack but to the untrained eye, I don't think it looks too shabby.

I linked them all, and learnt how to import the chair into the existing sofa scene..and they are all low poly (240 for all I think) which is vital when making models for game engines.
I know with experience I can get that number down some more...
So yea, I'm starting to get a little excited now again and can't wait until I can start applying materials and playing with photometric lighting.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Grannies Cottage Wall Textures - 1024 x 1024 Seamless


Grannies Cottage Walls, thats a lame name if ever I heard one. I just couldn't think of anything more fitting.

I like the little wooden sign though, it was a freebie from a scrapbook site, I just used it for the display image.



"What could I have done better?" is a question I have started to ask myself after the completion of all textures in a bid to improve my techniques.

I think adding some subtle wrinkles to the wallpapers would have kicked another level of depth and realism into them and perhaps some worn, exposed brickwork patches. I may go back and enhance them more but use different patterns.

The wood panel came from my stock site - www.isourcetextures.com, co owned by Koba Ajax (SL name) so thanks to him for the original wood photograph.

The textures can be purchased here for Secondlife.com use only and here for use outside of Secondlife.com

Naming texture sets is getting increasingly difficult I find as names come to me "after" I make the textures and quite often in the past,  the actual texture name has nothing to do with the name of the collection as a whole.

It's a bad habit I have forced myself to correct as it makes things difficult when customers ask me to help them find textures some-one has told them about.

Not sure these would be in demand for external use really.

I am trying to think of things people would use these for except secondlife.com and I can't come up with anything.

They would be good for games of course but in 3D props and scenes? I'm not so sure really.

The shade work may conflict with lighting sets in a 3D application. It's a catch 22 scenario as to make them realistic for SL the shadow and light is important but for use within game engines that use dynamic lighting the shadow work is overkill.

Sometimes the only way to find out is to upload them and see. But the time I spend uploading to 5 different websites is so time consuming.

I am finding I have less and less time for creation these days and creative moods are forced now.

I think the pressure of the economy and fear of loosing an income can really mess with your creative Mojo, I am sure others can relate to this.

I am getting more and more people asking to buy the license to use my textures in different grids and virtual worlds.

I hope when we finally open the new features and look of the TRU Textures website this will help people buy textures for use outside of SL and would mean they didn't have to buy an extended license and just pay directly and download to their own PCs.

We're just waiting for Thorian to complete the coding to make the new template work with the sites architecture (is that the correct term?) I feel like I've been waiting my whole Second Life!

Monday, 9 August 2010

Clothes To Cry For - All Saints Top Bargain



Love Love Love
This top.. just bought it from www.asos.com

The only benefit to going from a UK size 8 to a UK size 12 is I have a bust for the first time in my life and whilst I couldn't wear a bra with this top, the front isn't too clingy to look slutty.





But as layers are all the thing at the moment, even a strappy white vest would look OK under it, if needs must.

Course, I wouldn't wear it "as is' (God forbid! lol) It would look good with some faded blue or black skinny jeans or even skinny flare jeans. I think it's sexy but not slutty and it's something I could dress up or down.. love it!

I wouldn't mind those Gladiator shoes either but I couldn't find them.

The great thing about this All Saints top is it was in the sale YAY - reduced from £80 ( I think?) to £51.00 and it's just one  of those items I had to have.

I'll probably look like a sack of shit in it and send it back lol

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Comic Genius - The Peep Show

11 High Resolution Seamless 3D Wood Textures

Let's get the spam out of the way ....

44 Texture Maps Diffuse Specular Displacement & Normal - Seamless

Yep - Wood

https://www.flatpyramid.com/3d-textures-architecture-other-wonderful-wood-seamless-3d-textures-v2-p19578.html

OK,

Peep Show is British humour at its absolute best.

In my opinion, the best piece of UK comedy created since The League Of Gentlemen and in many ways it's much better.

David Mitchell is by far the funniest of the two characters and I guess I find it so funny because I can relate to his character as I have grown older whilst Jeremy reminds me of when I was in my teens to twenties.
David Mitchell is actually very witty out of character too as seen in "Have I Got News For You" when he hosted an episode.

I could blab on about Peep Show, but like most funny things, "you have to be there" so without further ado...


Series 4 - Episode One 

I don't know how it works if you're not from the UK so heres a little clip I think is universal?

Either way, just browse YouTube - Peep Show and you will get the drift.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Texture Photography - By Me! lol

Comfortably Numb - Pink Floyd - The Wall

  

Listening to this song (loud) makes my eyes water.. dunno why, there's no emotional link to the lyrics, it's just a beautiful song that I have recently rediscovered.....

Floyd are timeless.