Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Struggles with mirrors, blogger, and other things

Not entirely sure what is up with Blogger today - it killed the formatting of my mostly composed post and I could not undo it as it loves to auto save. Fun that. Having an especially hard time applying images and while you can report it, I envision that google has harnessed the power of a black hole for acceptance of such reports. We'll see how this goes. Also changed the look - I am not sure if this typeface is too small or the links should be a different color . . . still tinkering.

Let's see - I waxed about my latest set of mirrors - the one I am trying to pull together. I have mentioned the beveled mirror and the oddities of trying to take a photo with a mirror (and what ends up not reflecting) and how the bevel doesn't seem to actually show in game when facing it directly (only at acute angles - some not so cute ones too).

The red circle is just showing one of the 5 clips on the mirror
This is an 'arty' shot that did not make the promo shots for the Mementoes set.
I created a domed mirror that will be released in two styles - leaning and hanging. The hanging one takes up the majority of the height of the walls which is nice - the only option for that currently is the flat one that comes in both 1 and 3 square widths. The domed mirror is something I have wanted to make now for 8 or so months - never really had the time to sit down to do it.

I am pleased with the curve and poly count on this one . . .

What has me posting is actually the latest of the mirrors. A venetian mirror. For those of you who are unfamiliar with them, they are comprised of many little mirrors that usually surround one central mirror - these smaller mirrors act like a frame, are usually beveled and etched. When I would see them most would be when people would bring them into the shop I was working to be repaired. Usually these pieces are glued in place and over time the silver becomes unstable and the pieces start to fall away or it's on a wooden back that expands and contracts mildly and that aids in the problems. I mention all of that because nearly 90% of the ones I have dealt with in person have been antiqued either on purpose or become antiqued over time. While there are a few good antique mirrors out there, there is no real steadfast rules on how to make them. Things like Alpha Mask Threshold and Transparency in the different groups can wildly alter the appearance - then you have the alpha channel on the multiplier that can make things wildly different and to further complicate things, settings in the game will alter the way something looks too.
Earlier version of the mirror . . . I think I have it where I want it now.
Each time you make a tiny change, you have to save it and export it and convert it and launch the game and look at it after loading the patterns it is using. That is because it is kept in memory and you have to pull a 'fresh one' up to see it with the changes. Some of the changes are so subtle you can't see if anything is new. Other times it's a massive disappointment. This would all be much easier if you could just see it the way it should look in Workshop, but that's a understandable limitation for this free program.

So while I am starting to truly hate the venetian mirror, as a whole, it certainly is an interesting lesson - one I will possibly apply to more than one of the mirrors - we'll see - that's a huge 'maybe' visible from space. In fact - I doubt it highly.

On a completely different note - I am no longer a slider virgin. It's true, and I am not even going to blush about it. We're all grown ups. Since the first 'slider' was introduced to expand whatever facial feature or boobs or whatever on a sim, I have been dubious. Possibly because there are so many that do the same thing and any time you see a sim you really like at some site, it has yet some other slider that I am not aware of and I simply stopped downloading sims. I am also not easily impressed with stiff looking jewelry and dodahs for sims either. Clothes are another thing that I have simply stopped downloading due to the massive disappointment of putting it on the sim and it's not recolorable or it was so severely photoshopped in the screen capture that it's barely recognizable as the same item (I say all of this knowing how many people could give two shits about rugs and paintings). We all have our interests in the game. Lady Gaga's hair is not one of mine.

The other day I was checking my 'dashboard' and noticed a hat over at #aWT which was really nice. So nice in fact that I downloaded it without thinking or possibly thinking something like minemineminemineminemine. I load it in game and realize that while it is in great scale to the sims head - hair is one of those anomalies in the game that no one can really account for. He's got a set of hat sliders too . . . do I break my oath to never download a slider? I want this hat. I need this hat. So I throw caution to the wind and download the sliders. My god - it's like someone turned on the lights. While I don't know that I am a convert and will go running to download every slider on the planet, I am utterly impressed with the craftsmanship in this little accessory and the handy dandy sliders. [edit - damn it - he's got more sliders I just noticed and now I have to have them. Rats! I'm a fucking convert.]

Wendy Darling has been promoted. She no longer has to sit around while I break my back arranging screen shots for promotional purposes. She's now the official b5Studio Hand Model and will be going on the road in the fall. Wendy now gets her own lot with a dressing room and private bathroom.

Wendy in front of her new private dressing room.
We were contacted by one of our former models - Jorg, from Denmark - who was interested in being the new prop master.
Jorg in the Japanese Woodcut photo shoot . . .
Wendy is happy for her new co-worker
Jorg insisted on matching uniforms for everyone in a wildly impractical espresso colored Irish Linen. Even the robins egg blue hanky (that I was assured was not an impulse buy) is hand woven.
Matching uniforms make work the central focus.
Spying spinach on ones co-workers teeth should be shared, not kept to oneself.

I have a new album for the garden over at Picassa. You'll see a number of un-edited photos - a number of them have already been here so pardon the repeats. We've done a number of adjustments in it and it's growing in nicely but my god it has been so hot here that the transplants are always on the verge of crying. If they weren't so stressed, they probably would cry, instead they dramatically wilt and cause a scene.

OH - one more creation note . . . I really wish to work on a garden set . . . I don't know what exactly it would entail, but I have a couple of ideas and one thing already meshed. It's actually a famous sculpture and it's bonehead simple . . . more on that a different day though . . . .

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