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