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Monthly Archives: April 2013

copyofacopy2

I figured I should make a post regarding the new SLOCCA listings, since my store is listed as a place with 100% original content.  While I’m on the subject, I’d also like to talk about the recently rehashed conversation of how people feel about designers using templates.

The Quick And Dirty

I’m listed as a store with 100% original content with the new organization SLOCCA, which is dedicated to listing merchants who sell original designs.  Obviously, this doesn’t cover everything I’ve ever made.  As of right now, mesh clothing I sell is typically done with the help of template mesh I buy on the marketplace.  However, the skins I have created and sold so far, as well as my makeup, and texture clothing, are all 100% original.  My doll heads are also original mesh, but the cute little cat avatars I sell are not.  Everything is a mixture, but the art I brand them with is my own.

In the future, you will be seeing a mixture of mesh creations from me, that are both my own creations, and some I’ve outsourced (for example, a vehicle I’ll be selling soon was done with the help of templates, and some overhaul of design and extra mesh objects added into it).

So if I can make mesh stuff, why am I using a mixed source of products?  Read on.

Should You Buy Unoriginal Mesh, Or What?

I don’t have a problem using templates, and I don’t particularly care if anyone turns their nose up at that.  See the zombie shirt in the blog picture?  I drew that zombie.  I sell it on Redbubble as a real shirt, as well as in Second Life.  It provides a bit of income for me and that’s cool.  I have no issue whatsoever taking my designs, and sticking them on a premade shirt that suits my personal tastes.

My current roadblock in making clothing is time.  Right now, I don’t have the time to learn weight painting, and I don’t want to spend days tearing my hair out over it, when I can just get a nicely done template and use that instead.

The doll heads I made, for example, took months, on and off between everything I’ve got going on outside of the grid, to get just right.  If I create mesh, it’s going to be of decent quality.  Until then, if I can’t make it very well, then I’m using a template.

My paintings, as well, are original, but sold on high-quality mesh canvases.  So.. let’s see.  Paintings I spent a ton of time creating in real life, versus the mesh template they’re sold on in-grid.  Are they worth less than original mesh?  Hell no.

This Isn’t The Way The Real World Works

Where I come from, everybody shops at the thrift store.  We basically brag if we bought something from Value World (you can keep your Goodwill, Macklemore).  I have friends who sell secondhand clothing that’s been altered, dyed, and printed on, and they sell all the same.  In fact, because the shirts are all thrift, it makes their operation seem even cooler.

The idea behind a community where merchants can locally outsource labor and the need for goods, forms an economy where supporting one another and networking is encouraged, rather than becoming the one-man operation where you hoard all your resources and compete with everyone.  I understand SL’s economy is vastly different from the way real-world boutiques work, but I think some of that feeling could explain why it might be hard for small stores to break in that provide original textures for their clothing and products.  Who has time to learn Blender?  Not everyone.  it isn’t everyone’s talent, either.  Inevitably, you’ll need to outsource something to make your operation work.

“But I’m Sick Of Wearing The Same Shirt.”

That’s a valid opinion, and presents a good problem.  Why is everyone in fear of showcasing the same mesh template shirt/skirt/whatever on their blog?  If you turn that question around, it’s actually an opportunity.

It means there’s a market for mesh templates, and more people need to jump on that market and make some money.  If there were more people taking advantage of the mesh template market, you’d probably see so many different shirts in different stores, that you wouldn’t be able to tell what is what anymore.

The only way to move forward and make mesh templates more welcoming, then, is to introduce new mesh template designers to the marketplace, and make designers more aware of them.

This was a pretty long and rambly-ish entry, but I hope I touched on some points for people to think about.

I’m happy SLOCCA is here, but I’m also confident enough of a designer to know where I stand in my level of craftsmanship.  Hopefully, people will use the SLOCCA website in the correct way, and not use it as a medium to insult others who outsource their projects.

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For those who like my art, I was introduced to plein air pastel sketches this past week–and by “introduced”, I mean “forced to do it for an assignment because I usually avoid plein air sketching with a passion”.

Outdoor sketching for me usually doesn’t happen, because it’s highly problematic to stand around with your materials, trying to get a good view of a building.  I’ve done it before (the Bronx Bar painting at my store is a plein air), but vermin flying in your face can be a real distraction. I’d rather paint inside.

Oil pastels are a lot faster than guerilla painting, though, so I may try this again during the summer. If I do, you’ll see the work appear at my store.

Updated

 

Let’s pretty up this blog with some positive.

Some quick things for my store:

  • New art wall, because some people wanted me to bring my art back.  New work added, will also update the old stuff and put it on mesh canvases.
  • Skin Fair items have been added to the store.  The dolls are discounted to make way for a “doll wall” coming shortly.
  • I will switch out my Free*Style items soon and place old items here.
  • I need to “embiggen” the petite mesh shirt designs still, so regular avs can wear them too.
  • If you have a request for this to-do list, please post it. I often forget things!

Thank you.

This note was sent from the owner of Underdogs this morning, after my post was both amended and two other offending items were added.  I thought this was over and done with, but the tone of the note moves me to post and address it:

So i get woken up with my designer freaking out for what u did on that post making us seem like we do that stuff on purpose.Its hard to find free designs nowadays she probly mistaken with that one I hate selling things that are copyrighted myself but how am i supposed to know these things? Instead of throwing us under the bridge and trying to ruin our reputation really hurts me and all the hard work i have put into my store to support my team and including my rl. You couldve just said hey that shirt is copyrighted i would gladly remove it. I am really hurt that you would do that I dont even know you. The designer that did that shirt took hours and hours tryin to make sure the shirts she pulled out were non copyrighted but instead of shooting bombs at us u can tell us but no. You had to do that to us. I am removing that shirt imediately, I dont appreciate what you did not sure if you are trying to get at us either way i dont want any trouble or drama like this for my store. I didnt open a store to have ppl like u tryin to ruin us. So i will personally ask you to please tell me next time instead of telling ur sl friends. You have no idea how hard it is for us why do u think we mostly sell clothing with no designs on it? cause we dont like the copyrighting stuff either, so please cut us a break. That shirt is being removed right now.. We dont deserve this kinda hate we work hard. Im sorry you feel the way you do but you think we did it on purpose but thats the last thing we would ever do. So i hope you can understand us. I am not asking you to remove that post or anything but Just please stop next time come to me tell me whats up. Instead of disrespecting me.

Ruining the reputation of someone who didn’t care they were stealing in the first place. Nice!

Here’s my thing:  it’s disrespect what you’re doing.  Pretty sure you knew a shirt had copyrighted info on it when you saw the words HBO or the Breaking Bad character’s face on the design, right?

What really appalls me is when someone does something like this, and then instead of being called out for it, they want the whistle-blower to settle it with them quietly.  Well, no, you were quite adamant in wanting to sell the original product.  Had I been an advocate in buying it instead of wanting it taken down, would you then want me to tell all of your friends?

I’m also surprised at the victimizing here.  Suddenly I am a bully for revealing this, instead of illustrating a point at how many knew these shirts had stolen IP, but didn’t care and bought them anyway.

*As of this posting, neither design has been pulled from the Marketplace.

Edit: What a twist!  This design has been traced aaaall the way back to this legit vector design source.  Fabulous!  I apologize for this particular design mistakenly being labeled as ripped.  However–this store still deals out other designs that I know no one could have possibly given them license to sell.  The post and the message remains.lolrip

Is it seriously that hard to go pay some SL artist for a design, or offer to split profits with them?  I found this gem replurked by another designer, and decided to do some digging.  That design looked awfully professional…

And it turns out it’s a recolored design from Skreened.  Seriously?  You didn’t even try that hard.

Even as I pointed this out, the responses for this design were still all along the lines of “Dude lol imma buy dat” and “OMG AWESUM!!!”

Do artists in SL even need to make an effort to stay original in their designs, or what?  It kind of seems like the general public doesn’t care when designs are not original for clothing.

At the same time, we like original mesh templates, and will turn up our nose if we find a designer using a legitimately-purchased template from someone like, I dunno.  Meli Imako.

So–ripped art okay, legit-purchased mesh templates not okay?  What’s going on here, SL?  You can’t have your cake and eat it too.

spiceforcefive

So, this happened:

Which is great.  I hope LL will somehow enable makeup tattoo layers to somehow have the same properties (even though if that happened, I’d probably have to go back and update all of my tat layers to reflect the change).

You know what would be funny, though?  If the materials feature were taken to a level in creating clothing that looked like this:

Or this:

Or this.

Or hey why not this since we’re at it

In allowing mesh with specular maps and materials, SL will now be mired in holographic everything (not actually holographic, but if you textured the mesh a certain way, it would look like it).

Now excuse me, while I save up some money for some clogs.

Sim On A Stick

So the Neva Sim’s open house got me thinking–why don’t I have an island, again? Oh, right, money. SL tier costs a ton. I live on Juicybomb and I love it there, but sometimes I want an island I can decorate freely, and not pay anything for upkeep.

If you’re like me, you should look into Simonastick. Simonastick is a grid program you can run on your computer. I have no idea about setting it up so others can connect to it, but if you’re the type of person who enjoys decorating models of things, then you’d probably be happy with their one, four, nine, or sixteen region packages. You get 15,000 prims per sim, so there’s plenty to play with.  This is all on your own computer, no lag, no upload fees to worry about.

There’s just one thing–you have to create everything within it.

I figured as I edit mine, I should put screenshots and stuff up, so anyone who has never owned a sim before can see what it takes to set everything up:

1. Edit your avatar.
If you don’t create skins or clothing like I do, this might be hard. Look on the SL Marketplace for full perm clothing files you can upload to other grids, or learn how to make some on your own. If you feel like skipping this step, then create a full-body alpha. Tada! Now you’re invisible.

If you do find something on SL’s marketplace that is full-perm, read the TOS carefully. Some people may not want their work uploaded to other grids, regardless of if they are private or not. Although no one might catch you uploading their things to your grid, it’s still not very nice. Would you want someone to do that to you?

2. Clip off the ends of your sim.
I personally dislike sims that end abruptly. Why not convert them into an island? Fly around and lower the terrain on all ends, so you can easily tell where the boundaries are, and don’t get an error message when you bump into an endpoint. While you’re at it, try playing around with creating islands–circle around certain sections of land, and you will have little islands you can put foliage, trees, and houses on later.

3. Hey, it’s looking awfully square in here.
Your sim still looks like a square. It’s time to give it a shape.

Landmass is a random thing. The lines of it are all squiggly, so if you want a natural-looking sim, you should emulate that shape. Run/fly along your sim, and lower the terrain again, this time letting your mouse wander along the edges until nothing is even.

Snapshot_001

See the square-ness of the sim? You don’t want that.

4. Give it some rivers.
Cut through the land again, lowering the terrain throughout the sim with a long, wandering line. Or short. Or give it lakes. I don’t care.

The point is to give it more interest with a break in the terrain. Although no one may be visiting your sim, it just looks more natural this way.

5. Time for some mountains.. or not.
Now that we have your land shape out of the way, let’s talk about giving it some altitude. Do you want mountains? Raise your terrain gently, slowly building up the hills you have until they are at the altitude you would like. Jagged landmass doesn’t look good, so take your time.

Snapshot_002

This is what happens when you don’t take your time. Use the raise tool to create mountains, then smooth them out, then raise, and then smooth.. etc

You’re going to be working on your land for a while, before you get to the point where you’re happy. I recommend enjoying the action, instead of being impatient to reach the destination. Of course, I’m saying this after editing four regions–your process would be much faster if you only had one.

This is just the start. Next time, we’ll talk about landscaping with land impact objects.

Landscaping Music:

Sugar Girls

Sweet Fashion from Sweet Girls

Lazy Designers

Not actually lazy, just busy.

Whiskey Shots

photos and words by Whiskey Monday

Bluebird's Song

an excuse for me to shop & indulge in vanity photos