Thursday, January 28, 2010

Art 101

As much as I love running around naked, it’s just not always practical. There are times when you just have to let someone else have a turn. On this particular day our model did not show up and I was not fast enough to volunteer!

This is actually a class in GIMP the GNU Image Manipulation Program. It’s similar to Adobe Photoshop and free to download (google it) and while i haven’t completed all the assignments yet, I’d thought I’d share my first few with you.  Yeah, I already know my way around Photoshop, but I have my reasons for wanting to learn about GIMP too.

So this was Assignment #1, Take a picture, save it to your hard disk, and upload it to SL. By this time in the class our model had arrived, lovely isn’t she? Since I use Emerald I get to play with a lot of Windlight presets that come with the viewer. Unfortunately I can’t tell you what preset this is, I tend to flip through them till I find one I like, and almost never remember to write the name down.

Assignment #2 was a little freeform. We had to read the tutorial, then crop one of our own images to 8 ½ by 11 ratio (or as I did, 11 by 8 ½.)  I went behind the school building to the beach and played with Windlight some more. I think it turned out rather well. I used a subtle face light to illuminate my model (me) and only needed a minor adjustment to the color levels The cuffs are by Bondage Witch and I love them. I’m not so fond of the collar, but the cuffs are so pretty I put up with it.

I’m still working on assignment #3, it’s a little more involved and my first couple of attempts have not been very good. Hey, it’s a learning process. I’ll share it soon.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

In Search of Torley


DATELINE: 7 January 2009

You all know him, you've seen his movies, you may even have seen him on the grid. Today I was assigned the task of tracking down the one and only Torley Linden. That's right the King of the SL tutorial, the Prince of Pink and Green, Mister Friendly Greetings!

My first task was tracking down Mr. Linden's office. This is not as easy as you might presume, for though there are many wonderful searching aids in Second Life™, none of the doors at Governor Linden's Mansion are actually marked. Nudity is discouraged at the mansion, but that didn't deter me from my mission. Still, I had to be careful;  I've never gotten the impression that all Torley's cousin's were quite as friendly as he, so I was anxious not to get pinned down by the wrong Linden.

Eventually I did find the correct door and popped my head in. Torley's office is a lot bigger on the inside than you might think from it's exterior appearance.  It's an indescribable world filled with green and pink neon, larger than life and micro small. Where melon rinds are carousels and dinosaurs dance amid rolling hills and dine on Chinese take-out. Wonders filled my eyes in every direction, but no Torley.

I was contemplating my next move when I was approached by a dark stranger. "Kin I help yahz?" he asked. He was a little scruffy, a little short in the pants, and generally more pungent than the usual man on the street.

Putting on my best professional smile I replied "Oh, thank you, no, I was just looking for Torley Linden. I was hoping for an interview..."

The gentleman was suddenly overcome by the most curious of grins, filled with more teeth than you would think would fit into a single mouth. "Well..." he drawled, "as it happens, I'm Mr. Torley's personal assist.... Manager. Yes, heh heh, howllll.  Howl can I help you?"

"Well, I'm writing a profile piece on him, maybe you can tell me when he'll be available?"

The fellow seemed to be thinking about that for a long time, long enough for a single drop of drool to slowly drip from one of his long incisors to the ground. "Well you know, Mr. T is a very busy man, 'e's of your more important Lindenz, 'e iz."

I tried to reassure him, hoping he'd be a short cut through to Torley. "Maybe you can help me with some background. What's it like working for the most famous resident in the metaverse?"

His eyes turned sad, misting a little as he looked into the distance. With a grumble he croaked "I don't know if I should tell this..."

I tried to give him encouragement, recrossing my legs. He responded with that toothsome leer and kept talking. "T's a complicated man, there's that obsession of his for watermelon."

I nodded, "We all know about that. There was also An incident at his bachelor party involving drunken WoW Dwarf tossing. Some accusations of insider scripting, and a rumored addiction to particles."

I straightened up, clearly this story went a lot deeper than I had imagined. "He sounds much more than his public persona..."

He grinned that forest of yellow ivory at me, nodding as he warmed to his story. "Oh yes, the T-man has his dark side too." He glanced down at a watch and leered up again. "Say, would you like to come see one of his newer movies?" And before you could say packet loss we were away to the theater.

I'm not sure what to say about the feature, it didn't have any of the familiar TL trademarks, the pinball bells, the frank narration, or the friendly greetings. Instead, it had a more somber, almost blood curdling lilt. It clearly depicted a departure from his previous movies, perhaps growing in a new direction. Then my companion informed me that he did have access to the set of T's current film.

Hoping this last shot might provide me with the interview I've sought, I accompanied him to a dark warehouse. We searched high and low, but Mr. Linden was no where to be found.

Reporting for CMNF Naughty News, I'm Zimmi Warwick.

"Max, can you please put the camera down and get me off this thing! Good wolfie, good, stay boy."

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Are Lucky Chairs Really Safe?



Lucky Prize Chairs have been with us since the dawn of time. Or at least most of our Second Lives. They are those funny looking red chairs that are terribly uncomfortable looking used by shop owners to attract business. They offer a quick thrill of victory to anyone whose name happens to start with the right letter.

But we’re learning that these prize chairs are not always what they appear to be. There have been increasing reports of malfunctions, striping, electric shocks, even beheadings have occurred when prize chairs go bad.

We went to Prize Chair Headquarters “Lucky Enterprises” hoping to get a comment from inventor Shep Korvin.

Mr. Korvin was not available for comment, but we did get a chance to look around his store. There are a wide variety of prize machines offered, from those familiar red chairs to pyramids and a whole lot more.

Closer investigation of one model reveals part of the problem, there’s a buzz saw connected to the back!

It seams that rival prize chair makers are willing to put poor avies through now end of tortures for their bit of bling. From electricity to flames!

This isn’t even the real problem as most of these SL wounds are totally healable. But Mr. Lucky Chair’s own blog shows the depth of the real problem. There are those out there whose entire second life is spent obsessing over these chairs.

Which leads us to the obsessive chair paradise. We didn’t bother to count the number of chairs here, but if you can’t find at least 6 prizes here for you when you rez, you’re not looking, or your name begins with punctuation!

Clever programmers have even found a way to enlist Santa in the prize chair game.

But be careful! When this Santa realized I was from Naughty News he took action, and I have the lump of coal to prove it!

Even if you’re only an occasional Prize Chair jumper, there’s something for you to find and enjoy. Like this lovely tattoo I won at BiSentual.

Keep you eyes open and don’t be afraid to take a chance. For Naughty News, I’m Zimmi Warwick.

Hyde Park


DATELINE 24 December 2009

Just before Christmas my photographer, Max, and I visited Hyde Park Virtual-Linked's community gateway in the London England UK sim. Standing outside the Dell Restaurant we found a international gathering of avatars, young and old.

This lovely tribute to British park just outside Westminster Abby is a basic learning center, offering detailed instructions on everything from opening a box to operating "Search" to connecting to voice.

They even include a "Sandbox" for you building or adjusting needs, with helpful advice and free building textures.

In addition to this memorial honoring England's brave soldiers, Hyde Park has a recreation of the Princess Diana Memorial. Each of these offers a place of peaceful reflection, away from the crowds.

But that doesn't mean you won't meet a friendly soul to share a few kind words or make sure you haven't sat in something.

Of course Hyde Park is a PG rated sim, so you need to be careful when visiting, and don't expose too much or you may be ejected.

There's a great deal to see in the area than just the park. The build includes four other sims connected, they include Kensignton, Knights Bridge, Westminter and Mayfair with lots of shopping for the apparel minded.

Reporting from Hyde Park, I'm Zimmi Warwick, CMNF Naughty News

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Searcing for Relevance in a Virtual World


Nothing really to say here, I'm just taking a look at things, seeing how they work.