31 July 2008

Reviews: Azriahl Hax

Okay, when I'm not building, I am out exploring the live music scene in Second Life (or dancing up a storm at a clothing optional party ... o.O ... but that's a different story). So I thought I would take the time to comment on some of what I like. Besides then I can remember who I liked and why while trying to figure out who to book for my own club. Not that I ever get around to organizing parties, but the club is there, waiting for me to get motivated.

Our first victim is Azriahl Hax, who immediately gets kudos for performing as a smallish furry dwarfed by the mike that no one could bother to adjust. Being short myself, I really do notice these things.

He presents a very nice mix of contemporary covers mixed with idle chatter and disarmingly self-depreciating humor. He is talented and comfortable with what he does, and it shows. Oh, and his music is good too. Well, his playing of other people's music on his guitar while he sings along is good.

He just sent me an e-mail in response to this post to imply that some of the tunes may or may not have been his. Though the between song monologues is usually when I am sneaking out for a cup of tea or something. So I won't commit either way right now. Was good, either way. Ooooh, and he's got a website, check it!

Okay, not that exciting a review, but it's my first one, be nice while I ramp up to speed, and keep an eye out of Azriahl in Second Life.

27 July 2008

Builds 6: A Foggy Morning on the Sim

Okay, the environmental effects tools in the Second Life client are just loads of fun for taking pictures. Too bad the estate owner can actually set them as the default for the sim for special events ad the like.

Playing with the foggy preset provides a beautiful foggy morning casting itself over the land.

This by the way is my real home in SL, and the first think I ever tried to built. Not all that pretty, but very low prim and has some clever features (like the hidden door to the second floor). It is a simple traditional shinto shrine in form. Maybe some day I will rebuild it without all the mistakes and poorly aligned prims.

A foggy morning doesn't mean it won't be a wonderful evening.

For those who want to look at these builds in person, they are on Bagoombah and surrounding sims. It is an open sim but it is residential, so be nice and heed the sentry bots that some tenants like to annoy the rest of us with. They are a work in progress, so no guarantees on where the mountains wil be tomorrow.

23 July 2008

Builds 5: A Garden

The garden that is hiding behind the big white superstore in the previous shots. Admittedly, all the plants and some of the other itemss are purchased, but the architecture and landscaping is my own work. A nice waterfall dumps hot water from a crevice in the side of the volcanco it backs up on, providing a nice natural hot spring. The pool below the fall is artificial constructed through a low dam and even has a bottom made of rocks with a large sculpted boulder in the middle for reclining in the hot water.

I really should put a bath house in somewhere so people can change in appropriate onsen wear.

Yes, the little Siamurai is me. No that's not a typo, just a contraction.

20 July 2008

Builds 4: With Environmental Effects

Hey hey, here are some better shots with the environmental effects turned on.

An a much better shot of my house (okay, my artist loft, my house is on another island nearby) which gives a clear sense of why I offered to redo that big thing behind it.

17 July 2008

Builds 3: Sneak Peek

Okay a sneak peek of my current build. The color has already changed and some other bits have been redone. I promise to keep it under 1000 prims and sell it for less than ten times that, honest.

Yes, the big store in the background (not fully rezzed) is the build in the last post in its proper place.

And that little house in front of it and to the right is mine. Yep, that is why I felt compelled to offer to rebuild the thing. Huge but fits the landscape better than a uniform box. There is also a nice garden I put in behind it with a hot spring that I should get some pictures of.

14 July 2008

Builds 2: Hiro Plaza

Okay, my second real build was a "superstore" for a friend. I volunteered for this one because, well, what they had there before was a giant ugly box, and I had to stare out my window at it every morning as I dragged myself out of my virtual bed.

The goal was to have something monumental that fit on the same footprint as the older building, was larger, but actually looked smaller.

Here is the finished product, built in a sandbox that replicates the terrain of the destination sim.

View two, at a dramatic angle. Not the wonderfully floaty glass stairs. There were an accidental fit of inspiration.

Last view. The interior, still under construction, with the sunset framed in the torii, which was part of the deal in the redesign.

The product as installed is missing many things, like the glass display walls I designed that can be seen from the sides but not from the middle, giving a clear view of the open space from the viewing platform in the middle. And the gate went from a nice stone color to blood red, but still an improvement over what was there before.

09 July 2008

Builds 1

Okay, so some filler so my miniscule ... errrm ... devoted following doesn't feel abandoned.

Just kidding.

Thought I would post some things I have done in Second Life up here to share. Just 'cuz I can.

So my first presentation is my first real build. Sometime I will show you my first actual build, but this is the first one I did for someone else. It is based on a Dutch colonial office building in Mojiko, Japan, and was designed specifically to fit in a tight little cove. The trees and the boat were purchased, but everything else is mine, mine, mine. Oh, the vending machines are freebies made by others too. Come to think of it, I bought lots of little knick-knacks for it. A weather vane. A man-hole cover. Fish. Office furniture for the "rental office". Oh well. Need to dress these things properly.

Except for the interior wallpaper, the windows, and the mosaic tile on the inner platform, the textures involved creative use of freebies and/or stuff I made myself.

There is even a secret fort hidden away in it for when I want to hide. Okay, so easy to find since you can find my dot on the map, but ... well ... bump skeletons are wonderful things. As soon as av's learn to duck, I'm doomed.

It is a shade prim-heavy, but not terribly so. The staircase running up the mountain probably uses the most.

It was designed as a commercial center, though I have to admit, no one has moved into it. Then again, I also admit, we haven't put much effort into renting it out. Somewhere around none, in fact. Though we have held some nice parties on the roof. The space is available, but better hurry, I am working on filling up two shops already and about to start on a third. Only two large shops and 8 boutiques left to go. A preference for art, crafts, realism, echt, and Asian influenced work.

View 1

View 2

01 July 2008

Busy Busy Buzz Buzz Buzz

I haven't forgotten my blog, honest. Just wrestling with a full-time job, another full-time job (it was an accident, honest, I didn't intend to hoard them and deprive other people of jobs), and involvement in a theater production, and getting caught up building some steampunk related artifacts in Second Life (yep, you guessed it, I'm venting steampunk), and more book reviews than normal, and getting ready to start filling out applications for Ph.D. programs this Autumn. Run around. Run around. Scream. Run around.

Things begin to lighten up next month and then smooth out nicely come the end of August.

So it is not like I have forgotten my blog. More that I am actively ignoring it at the moment as a matter of life saving triage.