Wednesday, December 21, 2011

dogs age

It's been a while. First, let me say 'happy holidays, yo.' Oddly, given all that has happened in the past year, this is the first year in probably 20 that I have actually felt some seasonal spirit. While the search for work continues and seems bleak, I am focused on the good things that have happened this past year and if you knew me, you'd be reaching across the table to feel my forehead to hear me say that. While I call myself a realist, most hear me describe the world as a pessimist. C'est la vie . . . you see a rainbow in the puddle, I see the oil spill from the car next to the puddle. I call it how I see it. That said - this year has been filled with tiny triumphs. Whether it was the mortgage assistance from Georgia's HomeSafe program, Chris being declared cancer free, or finding Laika in the street and giving her a home (and me a completely new take on life) - this year has been hard, but it has been good.

Speaking of Laika, she's been such a good girl this year and in preparation for my return to full time work (eventually - it's got to happen soon, right?) we have wanted to give her a little buddy to keep her company during the day. We've discussed it at length: this is absolutely the worst time to consider making our little family larger, yet - we felt that given these hard times it seemed even more reason to throw caution to the wind and rescue a dog from an uncertain fate at the pound. I can't even begin to tell you how much Laika has changed our lives for the better and bringing more love into the house seemed like really the only answer. Meet Jaxon.

We looked at hundreds of dogs online and had a very hard time singling out the dogs we wanted to meet in person. While I know the people who run the shelters try their best to describe these dogs in a way that will make them stand out, terms like 'energetic' and 'puppy-like' were actually detraction's due to Laika's nature. To give you a for instance, if I am sitting on the couch with Laika - she might be at one end and me the other. If the cat see's my lap is open, she'll quietly sneak across the room to get on it . . . Laika however has no intention of allowing that to happen, so she'll scootch on over and flop her head on my lap. To add salt to the wound, she'll lift her head and stare at the cat for a moment before nestling her head in my lap again and letting out a big sigh. The dog is a bit jealous of anything that might try to get my attention. Jaxon was described as being in a cage with a 'jealous type' and didn't mind being second fiddle. Sounded like a match made in heaven. The shelter being two hours from the house seemed like a long trip and there were hundreds of available dogs in our area, but he met what I felt was necessary criteria - smaller than her, a tiny bit older than her, more low key than her, but when it came right down to it - this was absolutely a gut feeling that we needed to meet this dog.

He was very nervous when we met him, but he seemed exactly as they described him. We'd need to apply for him and he'd need to be fixed, but if all worked out and we wanted him - he was ours. Laika was a little aloof with him at first but warmed up to him quickly and as nervous as he was, he exposed his belly for Chris and stepped up onto my lap to give me a little kiss on the chin. We were all sold and a week later we were driving back to get him.

Now, nothing against the shelter, but I would have rather taken him to my own vet to be fixed, but thems the rules - he could not leave there without being fixed. Shelters are often way over capacity and  have limited resources so we donated a bunch of cleaning supplies and fresh sheets and blankets for the animals. Jaxon was black and blue from the neutering and it looked simply terrible. We drove back and took him to our new vet who did a therapeutic laser treatment on his 'goods' and gave us some pain pills. We also had him microchipped and checked over. Laika was also checked over and even got to meet a squirrel face to face (they have a wildlife rescue program)! If this woman would be my doctor I would be thrilled. One of the best vet experiences ever.

Cut to today . . . he's been here five days and he's
completely different. That's actually a good thing. He's happy, he's affectionate, he's playful, and while Laika the first day was like 'uh, are you still here? when are you leaving? I'm tired!' today she's happy and playful with him. He's still learning to adapt to his new environment and (significantly better) diet and supplements. He had a very big 'accident' in the house today and I don't know that he understands that outside is a business trip. These things take a bit of time. He's willful and a bit of a sneak, but Laika tried to explore her limits too when we first brought her in. Good news for them at least - we're installing a fence in the back yard to enclose a large area for them to roam freely. It's scheduled for the 24th.

So while this year comes to a close, I hope that the new year brings bigger and better things. The many goods that came from this year were often equaled by the heartaches and its hard to not be remembered what a tough year this has been. I am often left wondering if Atlanta is a bigger challenge than Boston ever was, but had I never made the move, things would have turned out quite different for a number of parties involved. I am also reminded that this is a difficult time for many people and while my struggle seems large - in the big picture, I have enjoyed many blessings.
As for my holiday spirit this year, I enjoyed my gifts throughout the year. That wreath in the first picture I made with the pine cones from the now largest tree in my yard - my version of the giving tree I guess - it also provided enough pine straw to help with the landscaping :) Go Nature!

Hopefully I will find some inspiration soon to start meshing again, but that will be in the new year. Enjoy the last of this year and reflect on what has been. We made it.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

boxed bread

Affectionately called: The "Is It Bigger Than A Breadbox" Breadbox, this is based on a gift from my sister. I am trying to recall the exact circumstances of how it came into my possession, but I remember seeing it at an antique store and commenting on it and suddenly it was a gift to me not too long after. I am told I am a very hard person to buy for so it is not uncommon that if I mention liking something in a shop, it will end up as a surprise for me later. Note to self: comment more on big ticket items. For me? Aw shucks! You shouldn't have!!

So, this again is not the usual run of the mill breadbox. This is actually a punched steel box with an enamel coating in a similar color to the canisters. Probably from the 30s. I have never seen one like it since. I thought this with the canisters would go well together in a set - that's the short and long of it. I will say this - I remember reading the comments on a set at MS3B where people can be wildly free with their thoughts . . . . (read: cruel) and I don't remember exactly what it was, but it was something to go on a counter or table or something and someone said something along the lines of 'well if it doesn't do anything I don't want it' . . . . fair enough. I understand the sentiment. In fact, I am very anxiously awaiting Unleashed because I am expecting that there will be a box of dog biscuits or cat treats or something that can be cloned (finally) for objects that sit on counters - like the canisters. So with this thought in mind, and remembering Sandy at ATS3 made some chests that were based on the WA chests - I asked her to help me with the process of making an object a chest. [as an aside, way back - I saw Sandy asking a question on one of the forums and as per usual it was being ignored by the moderators much like pretty much every question I ask on said forum {cough cough TSR cough} so I messaged her and told her that at MTS they had helped me with a problem I had and from what I learned, wouldn't it be possible to apply the attributes from the object she could not clone {no textures} to the object she made . . . long story short - she figured it out well beyond my understanding and somehow I got the credit . . . but I had to ask her how to do it and she was kind enough to assist me so really - this is only working cos Sandy rocks! And what a crazy simple solution too!!] So this breadbox DOES something! It holds things . . . seeds, tomb artifacts . . . anything a chest will hold - sans the animation but oddly - anyone can use it - it's not limited to those who have World Adventures. Must be in one of the patches. I am beginning to wonder if we can clone a lot more than we think with no EP/SP limitations . . .

Three slots . . . just in case . . .
So, here's the funny part. Well I find it funny. I needed to use an OMSP to place it the way I wanted to on the counter. It's no secret - I am NO FAN of these things and not because they are not terribly useful, but simply because I have zero patience for working with them and trying to get my stuff where I want it . . . so many pretty pictures out there use them and god bless every last one of them who uses them well - I (seriously) got a migraine trying to use it today. BUT IT WORKED. Let me tell you - 98cm is the key to getting this puppy on a counter. The thing disappeared every time I tried to pick it up then it started spinning and I couldn't undo that - then it wouldn't move back and when I finally got the hang of using it, I couldn't get the breadbox onto it . . . then I tried the cheat moveobjects on and FINALLY it worked. Hol-lee moses that was a year off my life. I tried a lot of different OMSP and the height just wasn't right . . . this really cool one (please - do not take my SPED experience as what you will encounter - I am simply challenged in these matters) from MTS by the creator granthes was the only one that worked and allowed me to tuck it back into the corner . . . I wish there was a way to counter the problem without an OMSP - but this is the one to do it with.

Sorry bubbies - you're going to have to click on this to read it . . . .
*EDIT* - I need to update which OMSP work. I will confess that Mango's OMSP are the first I always go to - they are simple and do the job. I often feel like there is truly something wrong with me that I cannot seem to use one well - these are that simple to use. For some reason I must have overlooked this particular height and frankly, je ne parle pas anglais - so I don't even know what the titles say. [aside: I have to wonder if my descriptions are in any way offensive when they are translated to different languages] So - if you want a very easy to use OMSP, download the Mango set (page two of sets, bottom set). Here is a picture of it in use - a screen capture to show you the exact name and look of it as well. It has two styles - but you won't have to make this one invisible - it's inside the counter.. The advantage to the other is that it's larger than the breadbox and you can place it again if you put it in the wrong spot. CTRL Z also works for the low-fi inclined.
You can thank Jenba for pointing out that this set indeed had the correct height.
Every piece in this set has multiple styles, but each style has it's own tiling. I have been trying to make objects with as much versatility as possible. When I am in my own game and want to use a pattern and it looks horrible on whatever creation I am trying to CASt . . . anyway - I know it is frustrating to have an idea for your 'scene' and none of your patterns seem to look right - wood alone has such a vast array of scale . . . . well - you know - you play this game too. Anyway - I started to include different tiling sizes before, but this set every object has multiple tiling options - I am hoping that is clear to those who don't read the notes and helpful to those who do :)

The different tiling options . . .
This is the last piece to the kitchen set . . . probably won't be released until Monday or Tuesday due to the weekend being almost upon us. If I could have finished everything yesterday, it would have been nice to release the set today for the weekend. Weekend releases - I have said this before - just get lost in the mix. You kill yourself to pull together a set - release it and no one realizes you did. Soul crushing. 

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

eating time.

Not entirely sure why this is in skinny vision . . . 

Just a quick update. While this was not particularly difficult, I have been tinkering with the silverware  on this all morning and finally got it to where I think it looks good. This is based on a real clock in my kitchen. Mine is a little rusty and worn. I purchased three of these back in the early 90s  in Cambridge Massachusetts at the Church Street Fair. I was looking for gifts and could not resist one for myself, too. I am learning to include different tiling for each style as certain patterns simply don't look good when they are too small or too large. Version 1 is set to 4,4, version 2 is set to 1,1 and version 3 is set to 2,2 on the pie tin. The silverware I have left at 4,4. This should aid in getting the right look from your own patterns.

The clocks as they appear in game . . . . 
EDIT - I am going to add some kitchen picture spam from Jenba at Greetings from Mt Geneva who has been kind enough to help me with testing these items. Her pictures back to me are always to amazing. The patterns she'll try out on the different objects always makes me feel like I include some of the most boring recolors! I also need to say how important her feedback has been to this set! There were some clumsy oversights in the refrigerator especially that she caught and I am not sure I would have even noticed until I went to take final photos or worse - post release! So, THANK YOU JENBA!!

As I know these only as crackled, it had not occured to me to try a new type of base pattern!
It was testing a wood pattern that caught a tiling oversight - this is the corrected version
I had only tried metal patterns . . . custom kitchen wood panels made perfect sense!
I actually got a little weak kneed seeing this - I love the pattern selection!
This is with Awesims new kitchen - I haven't even had time to try this set out myself!
I am curious if the height is the same or if this is an optical illusion  - looks good with that set :)
The clock - brilliantly patterned to be especially fun and funky!

Monday, September 05, 2011

Lights and lettering

You know - if you looked at my very early meshes you'd think - meh - not a perfectionist. In reality there is the constant balancing act of doing the best one can and OCD. At any given moment one can only produce to the best of their current ability. But abilities refine - it's how we grow and improve. Sure - it would be nice to be an expert at the beginning but we do what we can and hope that someday there is a payoff.

Nope. Just more challenges.

I have been working on a simple canister design. I picked these up in Cambridge, Massachusetts at the Cambridge Antique Market (my god I would give my eye teeth to fly on up there and do some therapeutic shopping). Simple Art Deco kitchen canisters . . . I hadn't seen any like these before - usually just spun or anodized aluminum, chrome stackers, or some ceramic something. These were interesting because the lid is hinged and they have a little bakelite knob and typically deco lettering reminiscent of a rail line. Easy enough, right? Well . . . sure - they meshed well, but these needed options.

I like my sets to be designed that they can be built upon. This kitchen set is a continuation of the ideas in the Salt is the Fifth Food Group set. The flour cabinet in that set had many options with many overlays. The problem with an overlay is that you have the options but they are static - you cannot CASt them. This needed to be a little better than that - especially where the lettering was going to be more prominent. Often when you see lettering for the game it is a little blurry and almost never is it CASt-able. There was my challenge.

Attempt one.

A little creative license with these. Because the flour cabinet had a band around the 'enamel' table surface - I wanted these to fit in. The real ones are simply pale yellow with black lettering and a black knob - so the shape is pretty much the same and the band can go away with CASting. As for the lettering . . . it was okaaaaay but it was blurry. I had decided to do the lettering as a multiplier alpha trick instead of using the mask. When the mask is utilized to get this affect (so, picture a red field with green words on it) changing a color within the same area will cause little white lines to appear - even EA meshes have this problem - just take a good look at the oval coffee table. I felt that it needed to be improved - back to the mesh - make the lettering larger and it will be clearer, right?

Attempt two.

Well - sure - now the lettering was clearer and actually larger too on the object - not just the mesh - so it should look better. I mean - it looked better than attempt one but man - it still had a very choppy looking hard edge - nothing like how the multiplier looked. When you pan out, the letters start getting even more hard looking. Deflated, I remembered that I encountered this with the venetian mirror . . .the solution there was using Phong Alpha as the group to remedy the problem. Just change the group. Easy, right?

Attempt three.

Finally - the lettering okay . . . but the whole object became a little transparent too - the knob disappeared at certain angles and the band at the bottom could be seen through the object. W. T. F. . . . WTF???? Lip trembling . . . don't cry . . . drink heavily. That will solve the problem . . .

Attempt four.

O. M. GHAHHHHD. It's clear, it's clean, it recolors - it shines appropriately . . . it's still legible from a distance - not choppy and hard looking. AND it comes in simlish . . . and it's not translucent! The trick in this case was making the lettering a new group. I don't know that I will ever truly understand Phong Alpha, but clearly I need to experiment with it further.

Two! Two slots! ah ah ah (my impersonation of the Count from Sesame Street)
This is also the second object I have made with specific slots to allow for them to be lined up on a counter without an OMSP. I hate those things! Worse - if you had to use one - you'd need four to line all these up. The way this has been designed is the large one has two slots for both a large and a small canister - the small only has the one spaced for a small canister. Because slots are like high powered magnets sometimes - I didn't want to have them on both sides - I thought it would be overkill. I also did not want to have all four (or what you often see is three) sitting there in a row as all one mesh. That would require a significant amount of polys for one object but then you couldn't put the flour on the table next to the bowl and leave the other three behind. Same thing as the salt and pepper shakers - what if you're doing a baking scene and only want the one? So this hopefully fills a need in the game. Did I mention it also comes in simlish?? It comes in SIMLISH.

This morning I was drinking coffee and looking at the light in my kitchen and I thought - oh - this has to be made. It's one of those 50s round fluorescent bulb fixtures that often hum and make you look a little green around the gills . . . what better than to have that in game too? We now have the ability to have 'neon' lights so it would be easy enough to light it up, but also have it as light source. Full bright (the neon effect) is akin to the refrigerator Full Bloom (the lighted interior of the fridge) only it is recolorable and can (with the assistance of a light source) be dimmed in game which is really a nice feature.

Don't you wish you had one in your kitchen? I can't even take photos in the kitchen most of the time because of that lovely green overcast that it adds to everything. While this one is recolorable to whatever you want it to be, I thought it would be funny to include the standard colors. It's incredibly subtle, but the one on the left is green, center is blue and finally pink for the end. Just like science class in high school when you were nodding off but you looked up and noticed that there were no two bulbs alike on the ceiling and if they just moved those from over there to over here then you'd at least have all pink bulbs on this side of the room . . . no? Okay - I am OCD.

One more kitchen spam:

Bowl and Cookie jar from previous kitchen set - counters and stove from Exotic Elements
Salt and Pepper (the salt is on an included slot) and my old cookie jar
The kitchen so far - 2 step stools (stool and table), 2 canisters sizes, fridge,  light, and shakers
Fridge and canisters
What's for dinner? Bleu cheese, oranges, a lemon and frozen dinners! Mom!
Desert, milk and juice! . . . Look at them glass shelves (my southern inner voice comes out again)
Well look who stopped by! Wendy Darling. She's making crow . . . god love her.
Wendy's groceries demonstrate some of the slots. There are three slots per step and even a slot between the legs!
Oh! And guess who's birthday we settled in on a date for? Laika! There's an album out there somewhere of Chris, Katie, Laika, and I all wearing party hats . . . but I'll just let you see one photo of the dear thing wearing her party hat . . . it was her big day - well her's, Katie's, and Chris' too . . .

Tiny hats for everyone!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Let the cold winds blow

I have been thinking about the different things that one could have in their kitchen set. All sorts of counters have been created and I don't think I would have anything new to offer other than to say that 'oh - this is something I made' but the reality is - the counters that interest me have already been created by others and rather well too. What do I want out of my dream kitchen . . . I like vintage and have always lived in vintage, but really - if I could build it from the ground up - it would be modern and industrial. Industrial is clean and functional and utilitarian. While I do like embellishments in my vintage world, an industrial stove doesn't need to have curves and architectural elements on it to make it cook better. In my humble, yet correct, opinion - Exotic Elements created the stove for a modern and industrial kitchen. Heidi would tell you that the poly count is high, but I say polys be damned - it's gorgeous and something I would expect to see in the overpriced loft of a chef. In my vintage homes I have a few stoves that I gravitate to, but for my modern homes - I don't even know why I have others in my CC folders - I simply don't use them.

I needed an industrial refrigerator though. Sub Zero is the name most people think of when they think of cool commercial refrigerator units . . . their price dangling somewhere in the area of $14,000 for a simple model. I'll take two, right? Pfft. In my dreams. Now I don't want to say that I have created a refrigerator that is the industrial refrigerator, but I am pleased with the outcome. I think if I were to start this project again right now I would approach it completely different, but that is the magic of meshing - you never seem to tackle something the same way - even paintings I always change the way I work one up.

Lookie there! The step stool, the fridge, and Heidi's amazing stove
This was one of the more complicated meshes but not probably for the obvious reasons. When I try a new project, I am trying to think of better and more efficient ways to lower polys and this was no different. All included this is just over 1000 polys for a full fridge. Then breaking each shape down so it can fit into one of the 32 smoothing groups was a bit confusing . . . but after all is said and done - this was relatively easy - just time consuming with a few snafus. What was the biggest challenge is how the interior of the refrigerator is lit. It's a group called 'full bloom' meaning - the whole thing glows. There is no documentation on how to alter this and that is where it can become time consuming. You cannot see the results of minor tweaks in workshop - you have to import it into the game over and over and over again. It's really soul sucking work because half the time you can't see if anything has altered and worse - with some objects you need to reclone it over and over again as the changes being made cannot be seen due to cache memory in the game. It's about now that you're thinking - oh that's easy! Just clear the cache. No. Two weeks from now I would still be generating new icons for my game and it would take four days just to find my object in game.

Anyway - that said - I am pleased with the outcome - it is out for testing now and hopefully it will be well received. While I would have liked to offer variations to the interior - each overlay adds a significant amount of file size so this will have the one style option for the inside.

On a completely different topic, if you haven't heard, there is a new sims forum and I have to say - it's really a fun one at that. The Sims Daily is a new forum from some of the LivingSims alum. While I love LivingSims for the design aspect and all things objects, sometimes you just want to let your hair down and do so in a place where you all have something in common - no restrictions on said topic. I don't have personal experience with the forums at say the official site, but when I have run across a problem and I am forced to deal with said forum, I find I pinch the bridge of my nose a lot while shaking my head and closing my eyes. Deep breath . . . let it out . . . another? Yup. Better? No . . . but thank god for The Sims Daily. I know there are a number of forums out there and I can't vouch for all of them, but this one is truly fun and welcoming, so I highly endorse it.

Okay - back to the kitchen with me - happy simmin'

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Modern Love

I think we're all grown ups here - so when I say I am having a love affair with my latest mesh - it shouldn't even phase you. I think reality television has pretty much made our skins a little tougher.

Well - you know I am working on kitchen stuff, and it's not moving as quickly as I had hoped, but I am really loving how things are turning out . . . well sort of. I have so far encountered a few strange problems with the shakers which have been addressed and they are out for testing, but the next item - mmm . . . when I moved this from New England to Arizona (long story) I thought it had broken as I saw raw edges, but the foot 'cap' had fallen off and the angle in which it had tilted (the whole freight car was a jumbled mess that surprisingly nothing broke) it appeared to have snapped in two. I broke out in a cold sweat and nearly burst into tears crying out like I was in some overly dramatic movie 'Nooooooooooo!' Anyway . . . I love this thing - I have never in my travels seen another like it and the simple design is really quite ingenious.

Steps up - as a stool
Steps down - still testing - possibly an end table if a stool won't animate correctly.
I had to take a bit of creative license to keep the polys below 1200 - the legs are slightly different in real life but pretty much it's as close as I could get it to the real McCoy. It would be really nice if we could program these things to 'work' like they are supposed to - having the steps animate would be really quite neat. I need to get a better photo of the real one, but you get the idea . . . still sorting through ideas to create for the whole set - it probably won't be a large set - more a continuation of the original kitchen set.

**Edit - it's 2:00 EST - Just in from taking Laika to the dog park - she's so damned cute!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Laika and the Shakers

While I am busy at work on a new set(s) I am taking a tiny break to present some photos of the irrepressible Laika, whom I spend the majority of my day with now. She's a whopping 34 pounds now! She doubled in size since we found her. When people talk about their children I am like 'I know - I found this dog and she's . . .'  and they're all looking at me like 'uh, that's a dog' and I am looking back at them thinking 'you need to ditch that child and get you a dog'

My internal voice is sounding more and more southern . . . y'all's.

Let the spam commence:

Myspace angle . . .

This is often how I see her when she jumps at my face.
Isn't this pathetic? This is when she stayed at Wag-A-Lot for the day which is great for her socially, but she does tend to follow the attendants around instead of mingling with new friends . . .
She is about to get a treat . . . but she has to give her paw first.
See her marcel wave down her back?
crazed sped child.



Oh yeah - and a little sneak peek at what's to come . . .
Based on the real ones I found in rural GA many years ago . . .
Kah-kah-kah-Kitchen! (sung to the tune of the lowly Chia pet jingle)

Monday, July 25, 2011

moving backwards to move forward

I've hit a point in creating that I wanted to look at what I have done in the past to see which pieces I have liked enough to go back and fix or update. You learn new tricks or interesting techniques and I feel these previously released pieces might have turned out a little different if I knew then what I know now.

Things like the batter bowl from the Salt is the Fifth Food Group set . . . it's cute - in fact, I have to say it's pretty darn good for where I was at in my meshing skills at the time of its inception, but the handle has well over double the necessary polys . . . it was also intended to hold something but at the time I had no idea how to do that. Well - now I do and so, I've remeshed the handle to lower the poly count so we can raise it right back up again with things for inside the bowl . . . things like lemons or tomatoes . . . having a slot inside the bowl allows one to place pretty much anything inside it - not just these five new fruits and vegetables. Old poly count just under 1500, new poly count just over 1000. **I also need to add that my understanding of smoothing groups has jumped tenfold so this actually looks nicer. It was completely remapped too so this looks quite a bit better.

New handle and slot to make this object finally as it was envisioned
Five new fruits and vegetables to go into the slot (sorry for the sloppy merge of photos at different angles)
Comes with three styles at different tiling scales - here seen with fruits 
'New' bowl to the left - resmoothed (properly) and the new handle.
Speaking of the Salt set . . . the water glass. While I loved it originally, I have grown to hate it. I don't like it any more upon working with it more. Accursed thing. I was requested to fill it with something. I could do that sure - but I wanted for it to look real - like a bit transparent. I'd have to go through the archives to see if I mentioned the excessive head banging I did working on the edison bulbs, but there is a problem with how the game renders transparency. You can have two transparent items - adding a third causes some problems. Well - let me rephrase this. Adding a transparency to the multiplier is the problem when working with more than two transparent items. I think (think) you can have glass ad nauseum, but if you want glass, recolorable glass AND a transparency of a label over the glass? Fuck you and the horse you rode in on . . . at least - that is what the program whispered in my ear - it may have been a pick up line - I cannot be too sure - workshop has it's issues. The glass - it drove me nuts that as the camera panned out, the pattern became worse and worse and . . . where did the glass go? Playing hide and seek during my photo shoot is unacceptable! SO. Glass - less 'real' more 'visible' - pattern - it's still a bit glitchy, but that is the nature of Drizzleware (er . . . the orange pattern) and Oh yes - we have juice. Sorry - it's not transparent as I had hoped, but . . . well, you reason with the game.

Finally visible and full - all in the same file . . . fancy dancy!
The pillow. My first pillow I realized was not going to please everyone. When I went to work with it myself in game, I was so annoyed with the fact that you A: needed a cheat to place it, and B: it hovered above some chairs and sofas - worse - it could never be placed on the floor. I released a second version of the pillow that sat on the floor, but that still left the hell we know as OMSP. One More Slot Please. Or as I like to call them - OMGH - One More Grey Hair. Heidi showed me a nifty trick of being able to code something like a rug - so no cheats were necessary to place it. The hovering part . . . well - I have tested a number of things and to the best of my ability (currently) my findings are that while I can make it move up and down like a painting no problem, this blocks the ability to allow it to turn around fluidly. It seems the ALT key function can only be back and forth/around OR up/down - it cannot be your everything like Andy Gibb could. Hell - nothing could hold a chest hair to him. So after all that - it will still hover curiously over some seating. Sorry bubbies. I tried. **Further update: Even in taking the following photo I realized what a pain in the ass placing these pillows near to each other was going to be without using the cheat. So now all the pillows including the floor style in two sizes (not shown) will be recoded to not need a cheat. Why I hate the cheat - it's a necessary evil - but when you are setting up a screen shot, if you need it active, you cannot place doors and windows. Annoying to turn it on and off, on and off over and over again. My mind simply does not work that way.

15 new styles that go on the two different meshes - including simulated fur
(no animals were thought about being harmed in their creation
[you know I am an animal lover, not a fighter
{Laika! Git'da squirrels! Git'em!}])
Pretty much all the 4x3 rugs that have been released (since CB2 series one) will be re-released as a 2x3 as well. That's six (6) rugs. Sadly, with image sizes and quality, rugs released before this mesh cannot be remade entirely. Some images are higher quality while others were a stretch to get on the old meshes used. It's sad, but the clarity of those rugs I have always disliked in game and I hate to abandon them, but it's been a year or more since I collected those images and it's hard to locate them again on the off chance that they can be found larger . . . . that's like finding a grain of sugar in the salt shaker. The most recent small oriental rug had small images as well so they cannot be also made large.

Six resized rug sets in antique, blue, green, kilim and CB-tastic flavors
I am also planning on filling another request . . . the shadow box/acrylic box sets came with a light attached and while the art is pretty modern, the light fixture I think gets in the way. I am not sure if it's physically in the way or stylistically . . . regardless. This will be recompiled without the actual fixture but the light intact. If the light is not present then the glass glare is very strong and hard to see what is inside the frame. While I enjoy that sort of realism in my own game, the art really suffers - I could be putting Thomas Kinkade painting in there at that point. Muahahahah - there's a thought. Painter of light my fucking ass. That man should be shot for crimes against innocent retinas everywhere. Oh the humanity! I am still looking though my files to see if either one of these paintings will see a Series 2, at the moment it is not looking like they will.
One of the last things that I would love to redo is the male nude set. This was one of the first recolors I did and I always promised a female nude set to follow. One of the reasons it never came to light is that it is rather difficult to find a diverse selection of female nudes that are serious art. While I am still not sure why that is exactly - the female nude is far more popular a subject for artists - every search for pictures would pull up either the exact same artists every time OR would pull drawings that would more be considered pornographic in nature - not fine art. While there are arguments that all nudity could be considered pornographic in nature, I think one can usually tell the difference (quickly) by the placement of the hands. Generally speaking, in fine art, they are gracefully resting on the leg, for instance, or held away from the body. This is usually not the case for pornographic drawings, and I will let you use your imagination there. While I am still considering how to approach this project again due to the irregular nature of the 'paper' each drawing is on, the original set of 9 seemed small and that frame, while  at the time I was thrilled to death with because I was able to do anything different to the existing EA mesh, has always been a rather large distraction to me and seems clumsy when I look at it today. Blocky frame with squiggles upon it never really was my intention. We'll see if I can pull something new off.

Off to get the light off that picture . . . hope I can pull this off before weeks end. Between this, searching for work, and the mortgage song and dance (though, it looks like there is a program that is going to temporarily assist on the state level! Fingers crossed!!) I am not meshing as focused as I could be . . . .