Archive for the ‘Building and texturing’ Tag

Freeform Starbases, Via Exosphere

Starbase expansion 1

Welcome to the beginnings of what may be a permanent dormitory section of my starbase!  The main regions below don’t have room for the approximately fifty people that usually work at Tulla ‘niFalon Starbase, so some sleeping arrangements needed to be provided.  Brenda Hoisin and Exosphere recently came to the rescue on this, with X-Walls, a set of modular panels that can be assembled into any type of room you may desire, either on the ground or in orbit.

Learn more on the next page.

What Mighty Obsessions, uh, Oaks….


I just wanted someplace to store all my extra stuff; maybe clean out the Inventory finally.  The only real place to go was up, so I tried out the Exosphere modules; and I began easy….

Yes, that’s where the obsession started! Turn the page and see.

Station Map

I figured it was time to get the layout of my starbase somewhat formalized, so I spent some time learning a few tricks with GIMP, and I came up with this “subway map”-style illustration of the layout:

station map -- 08-15-2014 upload

If some of the terms are weird to you, such as “Grand Council” or “Ard Taòisha,” fear not; you need to be reading my stories (which I still hope to publish one day) to know everything going on here.  If I ever get those stories up, you’ll have a chance to learn them for yourself.

I felt it was logical to divide the station into its proper functions, and assigned a color code to each area.  (Gee, I wonder where I got some of the colors from…?)1  Not everything I want is in the station yet, and so this map will certainly change as time goes on, and as I discover and fix mistakes.  (I’ve already added in something since I made this, and discovered one spelling error [sigh], so I already need to go back and fix things.)


1 And yes, I know you’re probably used to the colors being assigned differently.  Remember, in the Star Trek I grew up with, “Command wore gold, Engineering wore red–”  “And the women wore less.”  (Deep Space Nine, “Trials and Tribbleations.”)

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Some Shots from Fashion For Life

A few snapshots from the prettier areas of this year’s Fashion For Life.  The entire build, all 11 sims, is excellent; but these are my favorites.

Read the rest of this entry »

Free Water Normal Maps by Trompe Loeil :

In case you haven’t seen a link to this article yet, or actually been to the original, rush off to Berry Singh’s article on a new goodie from Cory Edo.  Cory has released, through Trompe Loeil on the Marketplace, a set of normal maps for use in world in the WindLight editing tab of your client.  Please do read all of this carefully, and make sure to see Berry’s video on how to use the maps.  You can’t make a “water prim” this way, but you can give your in-world water a look that you desire for photography purposes or machinima!

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A Station Among the Stars

I’ve been experimenting with an interesting set of goodies I discovered on the Marketplace — interlocking modules that let you construct your own custom space station or starbase, with almost idiot-proof simplicity and a lot of room for fun and creativity.  Market by Exosphere, the modules are fully mod/copy, and cover many of the situations you’d find in an RPG space opera, with more planned for the future.  You could also put together a nice, if perhaps a little lived-in-looking, spacegoing homestead for yourself.  Since the modules are mod-allowed, then if you’re good with texturing, you could redress the interiors to something less “worn.”  (As an aside, seeing this starbase does make me wonder what the insides of the RL International Space Station look and smell like after over 15 years of occupancy.)

Starbase 1

This is an exterior view of the work/test/construction platform put together by one of the owners of Exosphere, Brenda Hoisin, which she was kind enough to let me wander around in, as well as led me on a few tours of.  As you can see, Brenda’s station is complex and rambling; but it doesn’t have to be this way.  You can make yours as simple as you wish for your needs with just a few basic modules and connectors.  This one has most of the currently available modules attached, and so has many up-and-down access ways to get from level to level.  For even faster access to crucial areas, you could add in a teleporter system.  (I have noticed that you cannot do double-click teleports anywhere on board, which I find interesting.)

The following photo-rich article will seem like a bit of a catalogue, but I reserve that for Brenda and her (I believe) senior partner in the business, Eco Chronowire, at their blog/product site.  You can find the entire current line at their Marketplace store; there is no in-world store at the moment.  This is more of a travelogue, I hope, around a product line that I find very intriguing.  It is rather plugging their wares, but it’s worth it if you’re interested in the spacegoing life for yourself in Second Life.

Turn the page to get started

Closing the Doors

You may recall my talking recently about replacing the stairway in my house.  I mentioned in there that the elevator I put in instead of the stairs still needed a shaft to make it look complete.


Well, the work is now done, and it’s not a bad piece of work, aside maybe from joint lines that I haven’t noticed yet.  I took a cube — of course, you must always take a cube! — and hollowed it out, then sliced off one side, creating an instant basic shaft construct with an open front.  Stretching it up through the floor, so that it went from living-room floor to office ceiling, was not difficult; but it was critical to make sure that the shaft fit around the elevator.  Not for looks; the script on this elevator detects blockages, and the walls of the car catching on the walls of the shaft would not be good.

Next came the doors.  I picked up a copiable, scripted door I liked from Dats Door and Texture Store (“Dats,” get it? [shaking head]) and rezzed it up on each floor, then swung the door to make it open out in the correct direction — trickier than it seemed! — and grafted it into the front of the shaft.  Again, I had to make sure there was no point of impact between the door and any part of the elevator, so I stretched out the shaft slightly toward the front to give some needed airspace.  I implanted the doors, and stretched them so that they would fit the width of the shaft, and not be so tall that they would show the top of the car through the glass in the doors.  For looks, I capped off the airspace above the doors with another prim on each floor, and the result is a very realistic elevator shaft with an antique car on the inside!


One last step was a bit of a bother.  You see the clear glass floor section of the upper floor here.  Before, it stretched all the way to the elevator.  Adding on the door, though, I developed a rather familiar and annoying invisiprim texture glitch where it looked like the door, when it opened, was poking through the floor.  So I shrank the section backward, and now there’s a black landing floor to fill up the space.  I’m hoping that’s the last modification I’ll need to make to that poor floor; it’s shrunk a bit in the past month or so….  (Sigh)


A Few Changes

A change
(A change will do you good)
Will do you good
(A change will do you good)
I think a change
(A change will do you good)
Will do you good
(A change will do you good)

Sheryl Crow, “A Change Will Do You Good”

Home changes_003

Here I am (shot through my second-floor window), working on the next great piece of fashion editorial while at my ease.  As I take a break for a bit, I look around the house I’ve inhabited for some months now, and grin at the changes I’ve finished making to it, and to the ease of my life living in it.

New House 3 blog

And they’re mostly centered around this room, the first room you encounter when you enter the house.  I originally published this back in June, when I’d finished setting up the place (though by no means finished decorating it — in fact, that hasn’t happened yet), and you can see the big square fireplace in the center of the area, with a free-floating spiral staircase behind it to the second floor.  These two elements were my biggest bugaboos about an otherwise beautiful house, and something I resolved to work on as time and budget allowed.

Read on to see what I did about it….

Winter Time In Full

I mentioned what was going down the other day, without including a picture — because, well, it was still in the building.  Here’s the finished product.

The texturing wizard is JD Lemur, and he’s available for hire for other projects.  This didn’t require giving him manager privileges, believe it or not — but it did take a hell of a lot of prims, including icing over the river between my main “island” and the small piece of ground I have across the river.  After that, JD’s friend (and my neighbor), Jessie Kleiner, did the final landscaping  I left a few green things around, mostly across the river, but there’s that one green tree you see over on the right; that’s one of the four oak trees that haven’t “dropped their leaves.”  I’m down to 70 open prims for the duration; it’s worth the investment, though.

The prim level is going to go lower in the near future, as I’m building a cavern to house the Holy Family for this year’s Posada progress toward the Anglican Cathedral in Second Life.  Watch this space around December 3-4 for my annual rundown on the visitation.

Contact Sheet 28 — Lost Worlds

Contact Sheet is an irregular column of selected photographs and portraits from Residents of Second Life and other virtual worlds. All rights to featured images are reserved to the artists under appropriate copyright laws. Click on the links as necessary to go to the required blog, Flickr or Koinup page. Please go to these artists’ pages in any case to leave comments, (as well as comments here), if you have an account on the appropriate service.

Suggestions are appreciated; please send descriptions and links to me by in-world IM, notecard, E-mail to, or leave a comment below.

NOTICE: Some of the photos/links may contain nudity. Viewer discretion advised.


Lost Worlds are sims or builds that have disappeared from Second Life for one reason or another — often because the owner/builder can’t afford tier.  Sometimes the owner just loses interest and tears the build down.  Other times it’s only a temporary site or exhibit, as in artworks or the temporary sims done for various fairs.  But for whatever reason, they are gone, with nothing left for us but the photos taken of them.

Let’s take a retrospective of some places that are now gone….  If you know who built some of these places, because it isn’t always clear to me who did them, please leave a comment below for all of us.


Hitomi Mokusei has documented many lost places, especially the builds of AM Radio, in a Flickr group I’m a member of.  She took this shot of gargoyle fountains near a bridge at night in Sanctum Sanctorum back in 2007.  The builder appears to be Baron Grayson.


Raul Crimson showed us the Unicorn Gardens in Deizha.  You almost expect to see a maiden here feeding them.


emvee cuba was a very popular location, made to resemble some streets in old Havana.  Petr Vanbeeck gave us this shot of a fruit stand near the waterfront.


Stephen Venkman worked this shot up as an experiment, if I follow him correctly.  The original was taken in La Reve.


Getting back to AM Radio, Brie Pinazzo gave us this shot of the train in The Far Away, perhaps AM’s most remembered build.  This engine mired in a wheatfield was always interesting, and the secret it held never failed to amuse.


Torley Linden stepped aside from his eternal fascination with watermelon-colored things (Sorry, Torley; had to get that in [grin]) to take this picture of the Grand Staircase in the Opéra Populaire in Intemptesta Nox.  The builders chose to “burn it down” not long after I became a Resident, and so I never got to see this lovely place.

Copyright (C) 2007 by Torley Linden


And, finally, “ZERO-to-ZERO” gives us a pair of contrasts from the great corridors of White Taj and Black Taj:


Until next time and next theme, I am y’r ob’d’nt servant….

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