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.

zip!

whoosh!

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)