Monday, 31 October 2011

The Skeleton Key Add On Texture Collection - Transparent Windows

Click to enlarge 
A new customer came to the store today having found The Skeleton Key texture collections on The SL Marketplace 

Here are the original collections from TRU Textures

Interior Opaque Windows 

Exterior Set Two

Exterior Set One 


The customer wanted transparent windows and I had not made those collections with transparency for some reason.

Anyway, I think it’s good to offer a choice so I made 32 textures as an Add On collection which features interior and exterior walls all with windows which are transparent but also include dirty antique lace and pulled back drapes.

The customer got this add on collection for free just for bringing it to my attention as I would not have given it a second thought otherwise...she was happy! :)

You can see the new transparent window optional collection in world by clicking this SLurl 

Saturday, 29 October 2011

TRU Textures - Customer Care - Going Beyond The Standard

TRU Textures in Second Life 
I approached a customer in our virtual world store in Second Life this morning to see if I could help.

She explained she was confused because she had lost 1000s of textures from her Second Life account inventory and had come to the store to replace them all fully expecting to have to buy them again.





What she was surprised about was that when she paid for a product she was trying to replace, the vendor sent her the textures but then refunded her in full.

Just thought you should know” she said.

I explained that the vendors were refunding her because our system had recorded all of her purchases since 2008 and we don’t think people should pay twice for textures they have lost.


Sometimes, I forget about this feature but I feel it’s one worth mentioning.

Quite often customer will try to buy something twice because of the delay in delivery within Second Life and then both items are delivered meaning they have paid double. Our vendors ensure this doesn’t happen.

Also, as TRU has been around for 7 years, customers easily forget what they have purchased previously so again, this little cool feature ensures mistakes like that are fixed by offering a full refund.

I have to give credit to Thorian Pennell for this, as it was he who added that feature into TRU vendors and website system, it was his idea and a good one because our customer care reputation is very important to us.

So, if you didn’t know already, it’s something you may find you need to use in the future.

Friday, 28 October 2011

Winter Snow Icy Paving Terrain Textures - TRU Textures Ltd

Tiling Winter Paving Textures 
Well, the clue is in the name really... I recognise there’s a lack of winter ground textures in Second Life despite the fact that a large percentage of the virtual land comes with winter environments by default.

Anyway, here they are...

400 Linden Dollars for 10 textures which are sized 1024 x 1024 pixels and saved as TGA 24 Bit (the requirement for Second Lifes terrain editor)

Of course, they can be applied to prims in SL too.

They can be seen from TRU Textures in world store by following this SLurl

Also available from the Second Life Marketplace 


As always they will be available from the TRU Textures website for purchase and licensing for use outside of the Second Life environment by buying them with the Any World license.

Thanks for looking :)


C

Thursday, 27 October 2011

TRU Textures - Mediterranean Villa 75 Piece Texture Set

Click to enlarge - 

























Frolic Mills, CEO of BOSL Magazine contacted me to enquire about some very old textures he once had and later lost.

He sent me one and I had to explain they were one of many texture sets I deleted from stock over 3 years ago when TRU got a lot of (deserved) negative attention over some less than unique and original textures.

Click to enlarge

Over the years, and especially from my noob 2004 days, I would collect and purchase content that I, at that time, was unable to create myself but knew there was a market for.

It came back to bite me in the ass which is fair enough.
I am a big girl now and it was time to clean out my closet.

Click to Enlarge 
Anywaaaay, long story short, I created a replica collection based on memory.

Frolic only wanted the walls mainly as the windows on his new build would be made from prims and/or sculpts so I just bulked it up to create this 75 piece collection.

It’s a simple collection (for me) and by that, I don’t mean it was easy to make!
Just that I have kept it simple and understated.

As always, the windows come as sheer and opaque, semi transparent silk drapes or wood shutters.
The set comes also with and without creeping vine and ornate columns.

There are 75 textures divided into two collections from within Second Life for 750L each set.
You can see them by clicking this SLurl

They are also available from the Second Life Marketplace as a full collection for 100L less (1400 Linden Dollars) by clicking this link 


As always they will be available to purchase for use outside of the SL environment by visiting the TRU Textures website and purchasing them under the Any World License

Thanks for looking!

Monday, 17 October 2011

Animal Fur - Tiling Textures - TRU Textures Ltd

Click to enlarge 
The previous collections I made of these furs have proven to be really popular, more than I had expected to be honest so I guess as I enjoy making them, another smaller pack can’t do any harm.

This collection has 10 textures in all tile on both axis and are sized 1024 x 1024 pixels.

They can be purchased for Second Life “in” Second Life for 350 Linden Dollars by clicking this SLurl link: 

They will also be available from the SL Marketplace soon

For use outside of Second Life, IMVU, other grids and virtual worlds or most other types of use they will be available from the TRU Textures website via PayPal very soon too

Thank you for looking! :)

Friday, 14 October 2011

Underhand IMVU Google Ad Words War With Second Life ?

When I type “Second Life” into Google I get one of two results, both of which display IMVU either above or beside the official Second Life website as displayed below:

Now, having experienced this myself with an online SL based texture website I know for a fact the only way this happens is when the competitor adds the name or phrase which includes the name of your website into the Google Ad Words Campaign which is apparently frowned upon by Google and I consider it to be unethical because for all intents and purposes this is no different than a real life store owner sending his staff to stand outside his main competitors store handing out flyers to the visiting customers.
Or in a virtual world, it’s the same as standing at the entrance to a store and handing out landmarks to customers teleporting in.

Its aggressive direct customer hijacking and maybe it’s me but I think it smacks of bad ethics.

As I tried to explain to the texture website who tried this tactic with me, “If your goods are good enough you will gain new customers by merit alone” and that, in an ideal world is how it should be.

What surprises me is that Linden Labs are:

1)  Silently allowing this

2) Not fighting fire with fire and doing the same as screenshot 3 displays.

When this happened to me my first thought was “Ok, if that’s the way you want to play, I will do the same” BUT upon some research, it turned out that the competing website at the time of the issue had 91 unique visitors a month compared to TRU website which had 1900.
Hardly an even playing field.

Thankfully, after an exchange of angry words they removed “TRUTextures” from their Google Ad Campaign (After trying to tell me it was just a natural occurrence because of the link with textures and second life. Strange, because no other SL/Texture site popped up when I typed TRU Textures into Google other than those affiliated with us.)


But IMVU gets a lot of traffic and has more people logged on at the same time than SL ever has so Linden Labs DO have something to gain by a “Two can play that game” come back. 

When I type in “Contentparadise” I do not see sites like turbosquid.com or Renderosity.com and the same applies vice versa so I don’t think this is normal business competition tactics and even if it was allowed in Googles TOS it still reflects poorly on the business who attempts such below the belt bullshit.

Now I like IMVU, I wouldn’t “play” it I tried it once and from what I could gather you cannot walk or run or dance all I could manage was jumping from one animated chair to another and from one room to another..not my cup of tea but clearly it is for many other people if the log in volumes are anything to go by.


So why aren’t Linden Labs doing something about it? As a business owner in SL it ticks me off because IMVU are not just stealing customers from Linden Labs, they are stealing customers from every single business merchant on the SL grid who are paying for the service to run their business there.
IMVU Above - Click to Enlarge 




















IMVU Beside - Click to Enlarge. 




















IMVU Search - No SL - Click to Enlarge 


Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Rocky Mountain Terrain Textures By Elizabeth Gallagher TRU Textures Ltd

Add caption
750 Linden Dollars for 30 textures and available from our in world store HERE

And from the Second Life Marketplace by clicking this link:

30 x 1024 x 1024 pixel terrain textures in the theme of a craggy mountainside terrain.

A mixture of grass, dirt, pathways and scattered rocks and stepping stones and wild flowers.

They are saved as TGA 24 Bit for use within Second Lifes terrain editor.


Samples Below:



Hand Painted Grass & Rocky Terrain Textures. 



















































Thumbs








Monday, 10 October 2011

Thoughts and Rambles...

Its difficult writing in a blog when your livelihood is based on the internet because you have to maintain a professional veneer and come over emotionless and politically correct. Some people can do that very well and you only get to see the real human, “Warts and all” in private conversations, but I struggle.

I am by nature opinionated and not the type to bottle it up.. if something ticks me off, makes me sad, or happy or laugh I want to talk about it, write about it, shout about it.

I was once given some wise advice from the owner of Textures Unlimited  ( SL’s very first texture store and where I got my inspiration from in 2004 ) that she felt forums were a place that no matter what you wrote, someone would disagree with you and in business that someone may be your customer and so she kept out of them.

I ignored her at first but I soon caught on and that’s why I have less than 200 forum posts in the official SL forums since April 2004.

That person isn’t in SL anymore and neither is her store, which I do feel partly responsible for sadly... but thats another story and again, I am not sure it would be “PC" to write a public blog about it.

Back in the day, Textures Unlimited was "the" texture store in SL and it must have turned over a lot of sales because of that. (my assumptions nothing more)

I remember going to the forums to respond to people who were looking for specific textures and all the  replies were: “Textures Unlimited, best store in SL!!”  whilst me and a few others would be at the bottom of the thread squeaking “I sell textures too!” lol

Back then, a texture stores popularity was never about what they created but rather what they found!
And that is no exaggeration.
Everyone kind of knew that textures for sale were freely available off the internet but the skill was finding them  and if you were really professional, adding an alpha channel (lol) and the cost of uploading them.
Very few people raised an exception to this fact.
No one knew any better at the time.

People were happy to pay for the convenience and few people owned paint programs much less knew how to add an alpha channel or make something seamless.

Of course, PNGs are allowed in SL now so no need to play around with TGA alpha channels.

Second Life in 2003 - 2005 was in its "Tribal Stage" of evolution and it's members were learning and growing just as SL was.
What may seem obviously wrong today was really no big deal back then and people learnt by example.

I would often find textures on the net that I had seen in my inspirational texture store but had no reason to question it. I assumed it was “the done thing” and to be perfectly frank, so did about 95% of the other texture stores around that time.
There are still today 1000s of people selling freebie scrapbook kits on the SL Marketplace, they don’t know any better, they believe if people are giving them away on the internet then they must not care what happens to them and so they make a quick buck from them.

I have done that in the past. I am glad to say, I don’t do it today.

Since having my own Googled ass dragged through every gossip mongering forum and blog with hundreds of absolute fantastical stories written and read about me, I have become a real self righteous pain in the ass on the subject.

I am anal about where I source my materials from these days.
If I need permission from the author of a photograph I would like to use, I not only ask for it, but I send checks and keep a copy of the permission and make sure 100% that he/she knows that I need a commercial license because I intend to use it for commercial distribution.

But, unless you have been burnt at the stake of copyright infringement and learnt the hard way, 99% of people will happily continue down the road of ignorance is bliss. That’s human nature.

SL is a totally different world today. Sure, we still have the ignorant opportunists and people who think they can shit in a box and someone will buy it,  but we also have very professional designers who have come to SL to do business and it’s scary.
They know how to make their own websites, they know how to make 2D and 3D content and they know how to market it and navigate the maze of SEO.

I am starting to feel like the owner of Textures Unlimited must have felt like once upon a time.... behind the times.

3D scares the Hell out of me and it’s not something that I can just learn in a week.

By the time I get to grips with it,  SL will be introducing Smell-o-Vision  so I just keep honing my 2D skills and telling myself one day I will go back to the course on "Game Art and Animation" I paid a small fortune for,  but in the meantime.. I must make more and better textures!

:)

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Seamless Rocky Grass Terrain Textures

14 Textures Size 1024 Pixels 
Now available from the Second Life Marketplace

Set with Ivy Vine Can be seen by clicking this link.

And the texture set with no floor vine can be seen by clicking this link

They will also be available for use outside of the Second Life environment by direct download from the TRU Textures website 

--------------------------------------------
Tile On Both Axis 
I have just finished creating & uploading these new terrain textures for Second Life.

I say for SL because they are saved as TGA 24 Bit which is SLs required format for textures applied within the terrain editor but of course, they can be used on prims or in other applications.

They all tile on both axis and are sized 1024 x 1024 pixels.

Two collections one with creeping floor vine and one without.

400 Linden Dollars per texture collection and they can be seen and/or purchased from within Second Life by clicking this link.

I will add the SL Marketplace links in due course.

Many thanks for reading ;)
Sample 1 With Vine 

Sample 2 No Vine 

Sample 3 Grass Vine And Soil.