Wow – so I boarded a ship on the 6th bound for New Zealand, but had to stay on till Australia for another week. I didn’t get the chance to post about these hunts before I left – but there’s still time!! Im in Melbourne right now, but flying home tomorrow.

Silk Road Hunt 3 – June 1-30

If the above link doesnt work (it keeps redirecting me to a .au site) try http://huntsl.wordpress.com/2012/05/05/silk-road-hunt-3/

One day left! I adore this hunt – my flight of fancy led me to imagine spice merchants bringing seeds, bulbs and seedlings home and carefully propagating them. I chose saffron because of its rarity and lovely flowers. Then turmeric because of its lovely golden dyes and the fact that it is sometimes used as a substitute for the costly saffron. Plus I think it makes a lovely plant.

Full Perm Hunt – Bon Voyage – June 14 to July 2

Follow the link to see the fun stuff!

I made a leetle leaf raft sculpty set, for floaty fun. As usual, I went a little nuts with options, but I think this set is great fun.  The hunt gifts on this hunt are for sale for 2L – and there’s lots of amazing builders stuff – only a couple days left so hurry!

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Wow – work is just killing me and its all I can do to get stuff made, let alone package it! Here is the latest pile of new stuff. Clicky on the images to see the marketplace link and more pictures. The market place links to see the item in SL actually do work 🙂

5 Tree Grove in 2 prims

This grouping of trees allows a big impact in just two prims. A new foliage and bark texture are included, but many other textures will work. And the 5 trunks alone would make a neat effect for a spooky or desolate look.

https://pasteworks.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post-new.php?post_type=post#

Wall vine sculpt set

Add some 3D visual interest to your walls or fences. This set includes one sculpt for against the wall, and one to top the wall. A texture is included, but again – most foliage textures with a good alpha border will work.

3 Prim Wishing Well kit

Yep – this was a hunt gifty. But if you missed it – here it is! Plus this version has full perm sculpts. These sculpts would work for a variety of other things – rocky well wall, roof with axle and handle, and flower patch. There are included textures, and the wood and flowers are white so you can add a bit of tint. But lots of other textures would work too.

Rockwork Sculpts – 3 maps & 2 textures

I made these as patios for hunt gifts and used them for the new shop area – and people started asking for them. These were designed for flooring with gaps and holes in the more rustic versions. Nice holes and gaps for water or dirt or plants or just plain holes. They would also work well as retaining walls and stuff.

*RH* & DBS Women in Love

Two gorgeous women sculpted by Thane Woodford of Raven’s heart sculpts. I gave em pretty textures. This is a 1 prim sculpt you can use for celebrations, as decor, or use a different texture to make garden statuary.

*RH* & DBS Man to Man

A handsome male couple in one prim. Thane sculpted them and I made the textures – but again they would also be very nice statuary as well. Or perfect as decor for a wedding or celebration.

Tigger Genira of Tiggerworks has moved her shop to the most adorable parcel. It is a lovely cove on the mainland sim of  Sido, with the perfect elevation to make things a bit splashy.

And by pure random chance its just 2 sims over from my shop at Milu!

I honestly think this is Tigger’s best build yet – its lovely and rubbly with lots of surprises, and very interesting visuals. Just rambling around you will find striking vignettes and interesting uses of terrain, build, scripts and sounds.

Tig is working on a new ambient sounds effect, so what you hear is dependent on where you are and also the time of day.  And besides the fun steampunk rover follower, shes also got some random glowy sprites that follow people.

And yes – its also a shop – with builders supplies for sale. In fact, the bits to make what is on display here are almost all available. And of course, Miriam Donogal of TexWorks and I hopped right in and littered our stuff about as well.

View from the water side

splashy details

Daffodil details and peeping otter followed by rover

So come and have a look at all the fun stuff and effects. Tig has been using this shop to test out her new stuff and effects, so it will be continuously changing.

http://slurl.com/secondlife/Sido/215/38/21

New DBS stuff in New Stuffs section, on patio right by landing point.
http://slurl.com/secondlife/Milu/144/178/25
Small sculpted sprout in a pot
Thane made this adorable sculpt set which was a joy to texture. Just the thing for a springtime addition to a greenhouse or windowsill garden.
See in Marketplace

Over in the *RH* & DBS Critter section – Running Hares!
http://slurl.com/secondlife/Milu/187/192/25
Each hare is in a different action pose, ready to thunder across the landscape!

See Running Hare 1 in Marketplace

See Running Hare 2 in Marketplace

Trees! Trees have started taking over – so I have given them their own grove area
http://slurl.com/secondlife/Milu/112/183/25

People have been asking about the patio sculpts Ive used here – so I stuffed em in a vendor crate right on the patio.

Ent Master!
In a striking pose, he is on a rock and looks like he is poised for action. 4 prims of customizableness, with included textures and a new viney foliage.

See Ent Master on Marketplace

Tree Woman
She is crouched and looks very different from various angles.
See Tree Woman on Marketplace

DBS Hollow Log kit 

I’m super excited about this new log kit.

The log is lumpy with uneven edges, included are 4 custom textures that have bark outside and rotten wood inside. This also comes with the full perm sculpt map, an ambient occlusion (AO) map and a seamless bark texture in case you need lots of repeats on a really big log.

These logs are also available in InWorldz

Oh and, a handy dandy tutorial posted here on how to use shadow textures that come with sculpts.

DBS Daffodils set 7 textures

I also finally got off my lazy fuzzy butt and took some photos of pretty daffodils to make a set of them in different configurations.

Individual textures can be bought in my in-world shop in Second Life.

Last week Thane Woodford of Raven’s Heart Sculpts and I worked on some more trees. The trees below are also in available in InWorldz

*RH* & DBS Lady Heart Couple Tree

This is a really pretty tree with the trunk in the shape of a couple dancing.  It looks good from all angles and Thane really captured the joy of the couple dancing, while making it look very natural.

*RH* & DBS 2 prim Birch Trees

These new birch trees have a clump of interwoven trunks in 1 prim, with a custom foliage sculpt to fit, 4 seasons of foliage textures and a really nice birch bark texture by Beautiful Shamen of Amulet.

Yayy! I adore this hunt. Mandi Blanco is such a great hunt organizer, and just have a look at all the fun TextureMania 4 hunt giftys! To get started in the hunt go to the Love My Textures link on the first page – the blog also has hints posted.

I am super excited about my hunt gifty, I think its my favorite one yet. I always want to make something useful and fun, and this set just came together organically. Its a 3 prim wishing well set with 3 sculpt maps, and 3 textures made just for this hunt. But, any nice seamless wood will work on the roof sculpt, any seamless stone or brick texture will work on the well part, and any plant texture with a good clear alpha border will work on the plant sculpt.

DBS wishing well kit Texturemania

This is one hunt I am definitely going to do  – its great fun to see what all the creators are doing and visit their shops. And I want that flamingo from S-Town!!

This post is now outdated due to changes in Gimp and Second Life, check out the newer post for a more current tutorial.

Ive had requests to show people how to use the shadow bakes or ambient occlusion textures that they receive with sculpts. These are greyscale textures that you sometimes receive when you buy a sculpt. They add a very nice touch of shadows and highlights to the sculpt when added to a texture.  This is a tutorial on how to get started in using them in Gimp.

I assume that you know how to apply and manipulate textures in world, and open Gimp and use layers.

The principles in this tutorial are the same for Photoshop, to tile a texture in PS use Filters > stylize > Tiles …  and set your repeats, use 50% offset  and fill empty areas with unaltered image or inverse image.

This tutorial was made with Gimp 2.6, Gimp 2.8 tips inserted for the saving steps. These steps also work for a mesh with a single face

I highly recommend using a viewer that allows temporary uploads – do a temp upload at each step and apply it to the sculpt to be sure you are on the right track.

    1. While in your virtual world of choice, rez the sculpt.  Scale and size it so it pleases you,  and play with textures on it to find one that looks nice.
    2. Repeats & Rotation – if your texture looks nice with no change in repeats or rotation, proceed to step 3. If you do need to change the repeats, keep them equal to each other for this tutorial*- so 2 horizontal and 2 vertical, or 3 x 3 etc… You really don’t want to go much over 4 x 4 repeats right now.  Bear in mind that the more you tile the texture in Gimp, the more resolution will be lost.
      * you can have uneven repeats by scaling layers and duplicating them, but it is much easier to start with equal repeats.

      Log sculpt with bark texture set at 2 horizontal and 2 vertical repeats

    3. Download that texture to your hard drive and open it in Gimp. In my example I’m using a seamless bark texture from my new hollow log set. If you rotated 90 or -90 degrees, you can apply the same rotation in Gimp via Layer > transform > rotate 90 degrees clockwise or counter clockwise.
      • Once you have downloaded your texture – go back to your sculpt and put any texture settings that you changed back to default (horizontal and vertical repeats to 1, no rotation).  Your finished texture should fit on the sculpt with no changes on the texture tab.
    4. Apply the same repeats that were pleasing to you in world on the sculpt using Filters > Map > Small Tiles…

      Filter > Map > Small Tiles …

      And set your repeats to the horizontal and vertical repeats that looked good in world using the segment slider. Leave the other settings at default. Click OK.

      Small tile repeats to 2 segments

    5. Download your shadow bake or ambient occlusion texture and open it in Gimp.
    6. Make sure both of these images are the same size! If not – resize one of them to match the other (Image > Scale image).  In my example both textures are 512 x 512. Some shadow maps are small – like 256 x 256, go ahead and scale them up to match the texture size.
    7. Layers – Either use File > Open as Layers to open the shadow layer over the texture layer OR
      Left click and drag the shaded texture thumbnail from its layers window TO the image window of the texture you just did the small tiles thing on. Release to drop into the window
      If you do not see the layers window as shown go to Windows > Dockable Dialogues > Layers

      Left click and drag the shadow thumbnail from layers window to the big texture image window

      Drop the thumbnail into the texture window

      you now have 2 layers with the shadow texture on top

    8. SAVING– Now is a very good time to hit save. Here is how my process goes:
      • First save as funwithshadows.xcf  to save all the layers. File > Save as …  Just type .xcf into the end of the name, pick a name that makes sense to you. Pay attention to where you are saving. This is the same for Gimp 2.6 and 2.8.

        save as anyname.xcf

      • Then go to File > save a copy as… and change to funwithshadows.png (only for Gimp 2.6)
      • For Gimp version 2.8 – you must use File > export, and for later saves use the Export To <name> You will NOT see the flatten information below, but everything else is similar.

        save as anyname.pngHit save and on the next window tick flatten for no alpha

      • click save and on the next window tick Flatten to remove the alpha:

        tick flatten

      • Click export and on the next window deselect background color and drag the slider to zero compression.

        deselect background color and slider to zero compression

      • Now you have two files – the one with layers to keep working on and one to upload.

      On later saves just hit File > save (or ctl + s) to update the .xcf file and File > save a copy as… to overwrite the .png file. BE SURE TO TICK FLATTEN for the .png or you gonna have an alpha texture on your sculpt that looks uuuugly. Alternatively – remove alpha from a .png by going to Layers > Transparency > Remove alpha channel.

      For Gimp 2.8 and above, you will not get the flatten option, so open the .png that you created one more time (use File > open recent) and then go to Layers > Transparency > Remove Alpha Channel. You only need do do this before you upload to SL, but it is critical to remove the alpha channel. Then use File > Overwrite to save this change

    9. Apply the shadow – now for the fun part! in your Layers window you will see up at the top a drop down box called Mode, and a slider for opacity. Change the mode from Normal to Overlay. Lower the opacity slider if you wish.

Change Mode from Normal to Overlay

      BAM! Look at your main window! You now have highlights where the shadow texture is white, and shadows where it is black!

Overlay effect

        Save the .xcf and .png again and upload the newly shaded  funwithshadows.png to your world and admire your creation.

Remember to change the repeats and rotations back to default on the sculpt!

Log with shadows and highlights!!

      Congratulate yourself and have a celebratory martini!

Other fun things to try with the shadow texture in Gimp:

      • Shadows only: If you want only shadows and no highlights, make a copy of the shadow layer (right click duplicate) and make the original shadow layer invisible by clicking the eye next to it (this leaves you an unchanged back up). Work on the layer you copied – make sure its selected.Remove the highlights by going to Colors > Color to Alpha and select white in the color box (it should be there by default)

        Color to Alpha…

        Change White to Alpha

        This will make it so you only have shadows, but no highlights.
        You can do the same to make only highlights by changing the color choice from white to black.
        When I use this color to alpha function, I often change the mode to grain extract or grain merge or burn or dodge and yank the sliders about.

      • Play with different modes and the opacity slider:
        try all of them to get a feel for what they do. Besides overlay I often use grain merge,  multiply, darken only…
      • If a layer is not giving you enough oomph with the slider at 100%, duplicate the layer and try different slider settings and mode options.

Remember to save often! Remember that temp textures go away after a while in world!

Ok ok I survived the holidays, survived another trip across the Pacific and I’m back!

Two superfun awesome hunts this month The first is the incredibly popular Full Perm Mini Hunt. I really like this hunt because it always feels spontaneous, and Raindrop Lowbeam does a nice job of setting it all up. Plus full perm hunts for builders aren’t all that common. My gifty for this one is a set of rocky ring sculpts in several styles and roughness. The main idea for these came from the need for a fire pit, but these also make nice planters or landscape accents. Be useful for a rounded hearth as well.

The next hunt is the ever popular Steam the Hunt.  I did a tree back in Sept for this hunt that dropped gears, so in that theme I made a leetle bonsai tree in a pot that drops watch bits with a little tinkly noise. I know, I now – this hunt had an under the sea theme that I may seem to have not gone along with. But my thought was that the hunters will get all of these wild underwater domiciles and vehicles and might just want a bit of home while they down there in the abyss. Thats my story and I’m sticking to it!

Up All Night Hunt  November 1-30

If you haven’t participated in this hunt yet, I highly recommend it. There are some very nice builders supplies as hunt gifts (the theme was “anything but holiday stuff!!). My gifty is a new exploration for me – sounds! I made a bunch of loop-able sounds: water trickles, burbles, gurgles, some with machine hums and one of an electric motor.

Couch Potato Hunt 2  Nov 15 – Dec 15

This is a fun hunt for furniture, and one that I love because I get to play builder for a bit. The theme is to “Say it with Song”.  So my song choice is Otis Redding’s Sitting at the Dock of the Bay because… Well just because it is! I love this song, I love docks, and below is a picture of Thane and I sitting on the dock of the bay, watching the tiiide roll away…

I know I know! I’m not ready for it yet, but still, it comes… I can tell because all of a sudden I’m seeing a bunch of wreaths and garlands heading out to make new creations.

So besides the fun of  wreaths and holier wreaths, garland sets and straight garlands,  candles, trees and Christmas tree and wreath textures I have been busy texturing some of Thanes new sculpts.  Some of which are definitely holiday things and others that will also work year round.

First the candles with little clip holders – made to go on a Christmas tree, but will work in a lot of other places.  The candles & holders are one prim and sculpted so as to put the scripted or particle flame right on the wick – so any small flame will work. Six custom textures are included.

Next is a sweet little 1 prim winged angel. She was made to be a tree topper, but will work well in lots of places. Two textures are included – with a simplistic face, or without.

Other new things are the dream catchers, which are very nice for thematic decorating:

And sculpted feathers with a variety of textures:

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