Sunday, 31 July 2011

Ivy Vine Textures Volume 2 NOW AVAILABLE

Ten  1024 x 1024 Pixel Vine Textures
Okay, so I decided to create smaller collections at cheaper prices and each collection will have different styles of Ivy.

This set (Volume 2) are wall climbers. Flat, wide and tall. No drop shadows as I suspect people want to use them in the creation of their own custom textures for builds in SL

They are saved at 1024 pixel resolution on a transparent PNG background.

Each render took between one and two hours due to the high render settings I used to ensure crisp details of the leaves.

The next collection, Volume 3 will be more ground growing vines.

So here are the URL links to preview and/or purchase:

Available from the TRU Textures store in Second Life. : Click this link

Available from the Second Life Marketplace also: Click this link

Both are priced 750 Linden Dollars for the 10 piece collection.

Also soon available from TRU Textures Website: Click this link 

iSourceTextures.com as singles.

And contentparadise.com 

Many thanks for looking and I do hope you enjoy bringing your garden to life in SL with the use of these or any of the other plant textures I made which are also available at the URL links above.

Here are some samples:
Click to enlarge 




















Click to Enlarge. 

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Amazing Detailed Ivy Vine Textures - Available Soon

Beautiful Crisp Render. 
Here is number 2 of a 25 piece collection I will be releasing.

The render is perfect now, I’ve got the light sets down to a T and the render settings are high enough to enabled clarity of the leaves without taking 8 hours.

This render took 30 minutes.

I want them to be better than my earlier collection which I used Poser Debut for.

These were rendered in Poser 8 which has much more flexibility and power behind the rending settings.

I am away on vacation soon so I will be taking lots of texture photos for isourcetextures.com and aim to complete the Ivy texture collection on my return.

I hope you like them as much as I do as I have put a lot of time and care in their creation by not cutting corners in terms of render speed.

Friday, 29 July 2011

Ivy Vine Textures Volume 2 - Work in Progress

Click to Enlarge 
So, a few hours after my last post, things are starting to fall into place at last.

This is the first good result and it took over an hour to finish in Poser to render.

I plan to make 25 textures of this size (1024 x 1024 pixels) and this level of detail so that’s 25 hours just in "waiting time”

No wonder there aren’t too many original vine texture collections.

There’s some ropey ones on the SLMP and yep some of them are my own older attempts made with Photoshop brushes or photo manipulations.

Basically, the more polys a mesh has and the better clarity you desire the longer the render time.

I made my own light set for these using IBL with ray trace shadows.

One down 24 to go....

Oh I am not including the last attempt as it’s not quite the quality I am aiming for but it’s still better than many Ivy textures and for free, you can’t grumble :P

Here it is for free:

http://www.isourcetextures.com/catalogue/free-textures/free/free-textures-free-textures-126

PS - Please do no redistribute this texture for free or profit on any platform or location.

Thanks.

Rendering High Poly Meshes in Poser 8

30 Minutes Rendering - Crash 
OMG

I am literally falling asleep at the desk here.

I am trying to make some more (and better) Ivy Vine Textures and using Poser 8 to render them.

I spent all day the other day rendering crap results using Indirect Lighting.

All the leaves came out blurred and semi transparent and after 5 hours I simply gave up.

Strangely, when using the introduction level of Poser, Poser Debut, I had little trouble rendering crisp nice vines but since I upgraded to Poser 8 I have really struggled with the render settings and light sets.

I followed a tutorial on creating light sets and managed to create some beautiful results but only at low resolutions.

So I applied the light and render settings learnt from the tutorial to a 1024 x 1024 pixel render dimension and so far I have spent 7 hours today trying to render just one image of admittedly a "poly and pixel heavy mesh"

The last attempt kind of just “froze” half way into the render. After 3 hours I cancelled and tweaked the settings again.

Then I got 30 minutes in (above) and the render just failed. It stopped rendering and left the image as you see it above.

It's driving me INSANE with boredom and frustration.

Making the mesh and texture maps is a piece of cake. Rendering the final image is stupidly complicated and technically tricky and buggy.

Not a happy camper right now. Wish I had stuck to Poser Debut, seemed to work fine for my needs.

I have a ray trace bounce of 6,  Shade Rate of 1.00,  Remove Back facing polys, bucket size of 64 (I have 16 Gig of ram I can afford it!) I have turned off Cast Shadows in the render settings as I am using Ray Tracing shadows..

I suspect its the mesh. It gets really dense with leaves in the middle I have no idea how many polys the mesh has but I would imagine more than most meshes and whilst I have tons of RAM and run an iMac it would appear I have pushed Poser 8 to its limits.

I will give up on this mesh if it fails again and try a less complex (less leafy) alternative but at this rate it’s going to take me a week to make 20 textures and 90% of that time is spent waiting for each pixel to render and praying it will not crash or freeze.

Absolutely boring nightmare.

Getting there...
UPDATE:

SO this was OK it took 20 mins but it’s not mind blowing.

I want as much detail as possible so much so you can see the veins on the leaves.

I don't mind waiting an hour or 2 for a render but not if its going to crash or freeze every time.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Carved Wood 3D Textures Volume Two

36 Tiling 3D Texture Maps $7.99
arved Wood 3D Textures Volume Two

Peep Show - Mark Fakes Taking Ecstasy



I love Peep Show, its my favorite comedy show and this sketch is my favorite from the entire series.

I can relate to from my days at Hacienda, Boardwalk and Sankey Soap  in Manchester.

There were ALWAYS at least 5 of these types of morons, they were usually found right in the middle of the dance floor, tops off, hugging complete strangers with sweaty hairy armpits and bad breath and a seasoned raver would avoid eye contact with them at all costs.

Friday, 22 July 2011

Interior & Exterior Victorian Window Textures With Lavish Swags & Drapes

24 High Resolution Interior Exterior Window Textures
Available now from:

Second Life Marketplace link.

TRU Textures Website Link

I have just finished making this collection it will be uploaded into Second Life tomorrow.

Each exterior window texture has a matching interior and they come with transparent (open) and opaque (closed) satin and lace draperies.rior window was made from an old photo of mine which is on our texture stock website, iSourceTextures.com

I made them because I believe there are people who want to make their own textures to ensure exclusiveness of their building designs in SL.

So,  rather than me making another 3D texture set from them, I am exploring the option of offering texture resources to designers and content creators that prefer to make or edit textures they use on their SL prefabs and builds.

As soon as they're available for purchase, I will come back and post the SLurls and URLs but for now, its 12.30am and I am going to bed!

Thanks for looking.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

The Sims3 ---- Erm, Naked?

Because I am insanely immature 
I actually paid for this mod lol and it could get a lot more "Adult' than this but even I had to draw the line when I saw kids and OAPs running about nekid..

How old? (Sorry Dad!)



Nekid Pillow Fighting. :O

3D Textures Carved Wood Volumes 1 & 2 by Elizabeth Gallagher TRU Textures

Pro Mesh Version 1 With Bump Maps
Pro mesh Version 2 With Bump Maps
I have finished making two separate collections of ornamental wood textures for use in 3D applications used for mesh and model creation for Second Life.

The 3D collection V1 has been divided into two because there are 4 maps to each texture so they add up quick.

They are 500 Linden Dollars for each set of 20 maps.

V2 has 36 maps and costs 750 Linden Dollars.

As always, I have released them as 2D textures too without the Specular, Normal and Displacement maps for direct use in content creation in Second Life.

All are 1024 x 1024 pixels and tile on both axis.

The 2D sets V1 and V2 cost 400 Linden Dollars.

Currently, they are available from TRU Textures official in world store in SL which you can visit by clicking this SLurl:

Now available also on the SL Marketplace

3D Pro Mesh V2
3D Pro Mesh V1
2D Version V1
2D Version V2

They will soon be available for sale under the Any World license from the TRU Textures website as well as www.isourcetextures.com and contentparadise.com 

Many thanks for looking :)

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Free Gold Ornamental Decoration Textures For Second Life

Right Click To Enlarge _ Save Image As
Right Click - Save Image As
I started making these a few days ago and got bored.
I have 8 of them. All are 1024 x 1024 Pixels on transparent PNG file format.

Because I am giving them I think that's bought me the right to give you a lecture. lol 

I think it's fair to assume you understand I do not want to find my textures being sold or given away either in Second Life or any other platform, including the internet.

I have done that kind of thing myself in the early years born out of "convenient ignorance"

I used to think "Royalty Free" meant I could sell them because it had the word "free" in the title and I am aware from my own experience many people make the common mistake of thinking of some-one is giving something away then they do not care what happens to it.

In the long run, it was not worth it.

I was dragged through the "Peoples Court" for 3 years by a crazie banshee *coughs* business competitor who saw an opportunity to remove competition by starting a smear campaign based on half truths and absolute lies.

It was Hell at the time but 3 years on and I can hand on heart say it was the best thing that could have happened to me.


It forced me to develop my skills as an organic texture artist, I started taking my own photos and made damn sure I sold nothing that was not meant to be sold.

Learn from my mistake!


I avoid anything taken from Google now unless I paid for the commercial license to use it as a derivative (secondary) source in my own artwork and I feel so much more professional and proud that my work, really is "my" work.

Post 2008 there was not a single texture store in SL that was not selling something grabbed from Google (Except Lauren Fox Textures) and even today the majority of texture merchants are selling freebie scrap book kits and website backgrounds or stuff from torrent websites often in total blissful ignorance. 

I know of old time,  fairly well known texture artists and stores in Second Life who to this day still use Googled images or photos taken from Flickr without the authors knowledge and permission.
In fact one store in particular seems to be avoiding selling on the SLMP because they think displaying and selling in Second Life grants them a place to discreetly profit from pirate resources without the "outside" discovering their work like they would if they had them displayed on the internet via SL Marketplace.


Yep, I have become a total self righteous PITA in my age, expedience and learnt wisdom.  LOL

That aside, enjoy!.....
Commercial Content Creation is Allowed Just NOT by reselling or sharing them :)

Please Do Not Redistribute As Textures.
Free Does Not Mean "free to sell and share" !


*Sticks Fingers Down Throat** - Jeremih - Down On Me (feat. 50 Cent)



I can imagine my ex liking this crap, just because its "What the kids get down to"

I  MUST be officially old because this is THE most annoying track, ever.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

iSourceTextures.com - Featured in The 3D World Magazine

iSourceTextures.com
We received an email from one of the marketing and PR staff at The 3D World Magazine www.3dworldmag.com  asking if we would be interested in having some of our textures added to the free disc that comes with each magazine.

We said "yes" naturally.

We have yet to pick which images but they will be licensed for commercial use.

I will let you know which month the magazine will be featuring us on so you can pop down to your newsagents and grab a copy

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Maintaining Motivation in a Global Recession.

I love this texture. It was made from one of my own photos with some post editing done in Adobe Photoshop (Blinds were added and I made it tile)

Its perhaps at least in part "why" I love this texture, because it's totally organic. It's mine.

I am lucky that my hobby is still at least in part, my income.

I have little doubt that if that was not the case and I was "clock watching" each time I sat down at my PC, within the current economy,  I would have thrown the towel in.

Many already have.

Some are comparing now to "The good old days" in Second Life (Pre 2008) when you could shit in a box and sell it,  and that's totally unrealistic because the economy in Second Life at that time is just as unnatural as it is today.

Second Life Post 2008 went through what FaceBook went through when it first kicked off.
Everyone wanted to be part of the action. It was new and exciting and novel.
But like everything, the novelty wears off.

Just as Facebook has recently lost 8 million users recently, Second Life has gone through a similar process.

It doesn't mean Facebook is going broke, it just means the initial rush has dampened down somewhat, other options and alternatives have surfaced and some people decided they didn't like aspects of it or simply got bored.

I think Second Life went through that same process around about the same time the real world economy nose dived.
The timing sucked but even without the global recession, I suspect we would have seen a general lack of "buzz" with Second Life around that time.

Those two changes have made running a profitable business on the Second Life platform bloody hard work.

But we shouldn't compare our business expectations with that of Second Life 2005 - 2007 because the economy was unrealistically inflated back then were as now,  it's gone in the opposite direction.

Now, you do have to work hard and "keep your eyes on the prize" Now it gets very real.

If we just "take our ball home" complaining about this and that and blaming that and the other, the only person loosing is you.

If you made an income from Second Life and that income is reduced or under threat because there is more or better competition and/or less spending customers and more freeloaders, then  "Welcome to the real world!"
Because this is the time when hard working people with a good set of business skills will be separated from those that were just lucky enough to be around at the time when the tidal wave of Second Life popularity was at its peak and consumers did not concern themselves with a one dollar virtual purchase.

The truth is, we have not seen Second Lifes natural economy yet, it went from inflated to depressed  within six months. (March 2008 - July 2008)

If you love what you do, if you're passionate about it regardless of how much you charge or how often it sells,  then keep on creating because at least that way you stand a chance of being around when the dust settles. And it will. Nothing stays the same for ever. Just as we had the good money flowing days and they ended, so now we have the "OMG I have just bought a 10L dress twice by accident!" stage and that will also end, one day.


On the other hand, if you are only "In it to win it" then financial incentive alone is likely to be your downfall.

That's not to say those who love what they do are not effected by lower sales or do not worry about being able to cover their overheads. Its a very natural and real concern.

I can vouch its not always as much fun working in SL when sales are not as thick and fast as "The good ol' days"
I can totally relate.



Like most people in my position, its a concern and a worry to not know from one month/year to the next whether I will be making enough of a wage to cover my overheads.
Its only because I love what I do, regardless of amount of sales,  that I am able to gather the motivation to keep creating new content.

And we all like to play the blame game don't we?

Its Linden Labs fault. Its my competitions fault. Its all of the freeloaders fault.... the list is endless and at some point I have pointed my finger at most of them,  but the book always stops with yourself.

Work with what you have or walk away. Those are the only options.

People who "Made It" in Second Life usually didn't set off down the path with the sole intention of making money.
But their obvious passion and love for what they did translated in the content and by default the quality of their designs and that made others want to buy it.
Sadly it made opportunists want to copy it whether its the actual design itself or the concept and business model. But that's no different in the "real world"
We replicate success.  

But those that developed a service or designed content based solely on "Chasing the coin"  are probably the SL stores we we no longer see around anymore and quite often the same people who complain about how unfair it all is.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Vitamin D Deficiency Syndrome: Dr. Michael Holick

Vitamin D Deficiency Syndrome: Dr. Michael Holick: "Michael Holick, MD, discusses vitamin D relating to bone and muscle health and the prevention of autoimmune and chronic diseases. Courte..."

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

TRU Textures - Majestic Fantasy Architecture Texture Collection by LillyBeth FilthText

130 fantasy architecture texture collection
So, as I have been actually applying textures and not just simply making them,  I feel my productivity level has been lacking over the last 3 weeks since I started re building and retexturing the TRU Textures store in Second Life.

And I don’t like that feeling. I start to get tense when I haven’t released a new texture collection for a few weeks.

So as I ended up making over 130 custom textures for the new look store and people had already started to ask where they could find the terrain or the column textures used,  I decide to set them for sale. (Ever the capitalist!)
Well, why not?

I could be anal and declare I wanted them to be exclusive but that would be like asking the lady working in a clothes store where she got her outfit from and her replying “I’d rather not say”

So I could leave them sat in my inventory collecting dust  OR I could set them for sale. So I have.

Some are hybrids from the MoonShadow Texture collection but most were made from scratch and specific to the build.

Anyway, here are the links if you’re interested:

Second Life Marketplace   https://marketplace.secondlife.com/p/TRU-Textures-July-2011-Majestic-Fantasy-Complete-130-Piece-Texture-Collection/2469434

You can also get them in four smaller collections from our in world store by clicking this SLurl:
http://slurl.com/secondlife/Textures%20R%20Us/229/123/31

I have NO idea why the collection is displayed as “Adult” on the SL Marketplace...they’re textures!

I can only assume its because they have the word “fantasy” in the name and description which is pathetic.

To my knowledge, building textures do not contain adult sexual themes. Linden Labs should exclude “textures” from the maturity settings on the MarketPlace because some of the “flags” are so obscure and unidentifiable it’s impossible to fix the wording to make sure they are viewed in the General listings.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Sunshine & The Ricky Gervais Show - Podcast.

Seriously More Flattering When the Suns Behind You!
Just some pics of me sat in my garden, drinking tea  and listening to The Ricky Gervais Show (Podcast) which cracks me up.

I bought the animated TV series created from the Podcasts  (Karl Pilkington, Stephen Merchant and Ricky Gervais) after I watched “An Idiot Abroad

Then I bought a copy for Elizabeth Tinsley, in the USA.

Then, I couldn’t get enough and bought every pod cast they did from Audible.com...  highly recommended!
































Saturday, 9 July 2011

Meeting With Game Studio Nov 2010 - What Happened?

A couple of people have asked “What happened to that meeting with the game studio you wrote about?”

SO I may as well slap it on the blog,   Lord knows everything else gets slapped on here.

I have just been looking at my older junk..  I write some real weird crap in hindsight...a blog about “Low Self Esteem” (???)

Anyway, what happened was this, it became apparent it was not going to be good for me on a personal level.

I have been dancing to the beat of my own drum for way too long to even consider trying to dance to someone else’s.  By that I mean, I got a taste of “having a boss” again and I really didn’t like the experience.

During our written communication leading up to the first informal meeting,  I was told I could not bring my business partner from isourcetextures.com as they felt: “It wouldn’t be highly appropriate.
I totally understand their view point but my problem was I was under the impression this was to be nothing more than a chat about “me”
What I did, where my heart was in terms of what makes me want to get out of the bed in the mornings.

Initially they said they would come to my home town, which I was grateful for and it would be 2 men from the studio.
Over time that changed to me meeting 3 men in some pub in Manchester and on that basis,  I felt it was “OK” to have someone who I was involved with from a business level and from my neck of the woods.

It’s not like I was bringing my Mother!

Anyway, as soon as I was told that I could not do something, my feelings went cold.

The initial telephone conversation I had with them it was agreed in writing that I would be working a set amount of hours per month for several incubator studios as a texture artist and that I would attend a few game conventions each year and represent my business,  TRU Textures Ltd and would have my own stand with all of the marketing materials for TRU being provided.

That was so exciting to me and obviously a fantastic opportunity for TRU and or iSourceTextures.com

But then, as time went by it went from that,  to me being expected to pop on a train when asked, to meet the some of the game studios business partners.
The goal posts kept getting moved.

I am not saying it was all their fault, not at all, because what I discovered in this process was that after 10 years away from the corporate world my self esteem in these situations was poor.

I have worked alone,  from my spare bedroom/come office for 5 years and before that I was at home with ill health for 4 years.
The thought of getting a phone call on Monday telling me to “pop on a train to Brighton” the following day to attend a business meeting in a game studio with 10 people scared me to death.

I have lost all of the self confidence I had when I worked in the “real world” many years ago.
I had not realised it until this potential opportunity presented itself.

Plus, it was turning out to be less of the “mutually beneficial business partnership” to more of an “employed position” and even in my last employed position at Cooke Card Marketing in 2001,  I was not “managed” in the true sense of the word.

I was the best sales person in the office, made more money than my manager (Who was more like my friend) so I more or less did what I wanted, providing I arrived at 9am,  hit my targets, (And I always did) I was pretty much left to my own devices.

That said, I loved the people I worked with back then, it was a laugh and part of my social life was at work and I do miss that.
But it’s too great a leap to make to go from working alone and for myself from my bedroom office to travelling around the country to attend “business meetings” with big corporate companies.
I am sure I would adapt and then look back in hindsight and wonder why I was so worried but at this junction in my life, I am not confident enough to do that.

Whilst I like being my own boss and don’t feel I need supervising, I also know I am dependable, reliable and very self motivated so the thought of working in a team does not concern me at all.
It's working in a team AND travelling around the UK in order to do that,  that I can’t seem to face right now.

None of my siblings like working for other people either, they both have their own business...

So thats what happened. I threw away regular stable income and a superb opportunity to increase TRU Textures exposure to its target market because: "I don’t like having a boss and I am too scared to got to “real” meetings”

Make of THAT what you will. I have a nagging feeling that I will be kicking myself in the years to come.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Meanwhile...back in the real world..

Me & Harvey (Click to Enlarge)
Anyone who works from home and their PC will tell you how “real life” tends to get lost.

Time certainly flies when you’re at the PC.

The meals I have burnt because I lost track of time as I was “plugged in” are too many to mention.

And just as the hours in a day seem to vanish in the blink of an eye, so do the years at an alarming rate.

I will spare you another Vitamin D deficiency warning but being a “tech head” or “PC nerd” is certainly the main reason I became deficient.

Furthermore, it is my belief this deficiency in what is technically a steroid type hormone that plays a major role in ones immune system, is the key to why my health over the last 10 years has deteriorated.

And so, I now make a conscious effort to get as much sun as possible and when it's not possible (North England...nuff said)  I take 5,000 to 10,000 IUs a day of D3.

It's early days yet (2 months) to see whether correcting my deficiency will play any kind of role in my continued quest for better health but I don’t mind admitting that I am pinning a lot of hope into it.

When the weather is nice I like walking my mini Dachshund, Harvey on the beach. For some reason I can’t understand, he is a totally different dog when he’s on the beach.
He loves it. His tail is up and he runs and plays were normally his stance is always on guard.

I have had dogs for 15 years now. Before Harvey I had Basset hounds, Bessie, Boris and Nelly and they still remain my favourite breed but after 10 years of dog hair malting, cleaning up jowl slobber and human sized turds, I wanted a low maintenance breed this time around.

I had always loved the look of mini sausage dogs so after blowing hot and cold over the decision to get one, I did.

The difference in temperament is unbelievable.

Bassets are THE most laid back, lazy, dumb ass, stubborn dogs ever were as Daxies never sleep during the day and are on constant alert.
A moth only has to fart in the back garden and Harvey’s ears pick up.

He is very sensitive too.

When me and my partner get caught in a heated debates we later find Harvey has gone into hiding under the bed, it’s not like we throw things around or physically attack each other,  but he can sense our moods.

At the same time, when we are play fighting and playfully shouting and laughing he barks and dances around our feet to get our attention trying to join in with the fun from a nine inch height, it’s so cute.

June 2011 Me & Harvey 
I know now, I will never live without a mini Dachshund,  I have fallen in love with them as a breed.

I am sure this must sound pathetic to non dog lovers but he truly is my baby.
He is part of my family and unlike Bassets I would miss him terribly if we went away and couldn’t bring him with us.

He is so small we can take him almost everywhere anyway,  so he always comes with us when we go away.

We’re planning to take a break in August as it’s been almost a year since we had a break and that was in Scotland when I spent 7 of the 10 days in bed or on the sofa with a Hellish viral infection.

I am a bit insecure that will happen again, worst holiday ever.

TRU Textures Store Build and Re Texture

Textures Created for SL Store Remodel 
Me and Elizabeth Tinsley have been slowly but surely remaking and re texturing the TRU store in Second Life.

It’s the first time *ever* that I have textured anything so its been and continues to be a steep learning curve.

I have made over 100 custom textures so far but not all of them have been used.

Here are a few photos of the store so far, but we are far from finished:
View from Reception















3D Store Entrance 














Main Store Entrance














The plan is to reduce the amount of vendors we have to around 1/3 but of course we don’t want to loose 2/3s of our stock, just reduce the vendors so we can make more of the sim as a canvas for displaying what we create and sell, textures.

So Thorian Pennell, TRUs all round technical guru did some work on our word search terminals.

Previously, customers could only search for textures by typing in search words.

Once they saw a texture they wished to purchase, they clicked the teleport button and it took them to the vendor in the store.

They still do that of course but as we will be loosing 1000s of vendors, what they do in addition now is, if the texture collection a customer wants to buy are not displayed “in world,”  the machines will rez a temporary vendor for 30 seconds allowing the customer to scroll through the vendor and/or make a purchase.

Either way, the search terminal will revert back to its former state after 60 seconds.

Its such a neat tool anyway but now its allowed us the freedom to reduce the volume of vendors on display meaning we can display only the “cream of the crop” whilst still maintaining the largest amount of texture choice in Second Life.

Additionally, customers can also visit the TRU website, get the product ID code (Displayed under each collection) and type this into the word search terminal, this will bring up the texture collection for the customer to buy direct from the terminal in world.

These search terminals are unique to TRU Textures and I have to say a big thank you to Thorian for he is truly a genius.

Without him, I don’t know where I would be, quite seriously.