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Welcome! This is Trilby Minotaur's blog about art and fashion in the virtual world of Second Life.



Friday, April 21, 2017

Avatar Blindness

Avatar blindness: we get something just right and think we look fabulous, when we actually don't. This is especially true for non mesh system avatars. I'm not saying there are no truly beautiful system avatars, there are. It's just that system avatars have some inherent issues.

Here's what I mean by avatar blindness:


This is me in 2008. I thought I looked great, and very cool with the beret. I liked the deep crease in the eye shadow, thought it gave depth to my eyes. The eyes look dead to me now, with no reflections. Back then it was almost impossible to get blonde eyebrows on a skin, and there were no tattoo layers. Also notice the nose, how you can see the seam where it joins the face.

A little later, I looked like this:


I must admit, I still like this look, and this photo. Skins have gotten better. Eyes are reflective. There are blonde eyebrows. The lips look more natural. Before, I'd made my own shape. This shape came with a skin I tried and made me say 'Ahhh' when I put it on. Then I modified it a bit. The nose seam is still there though, and system hands look terrible. The texture is just too small to get any detail and make system hands look good. The same goes for feet. Here's a photo of a system foot:


Even with a nice skin and shape, system avatars have some problems. There were sculpted nails, sculpted feet, and then mesh hands and feet aimed at system avatars. They helped but it was time consuming and tedious trying to make the skin match.

So now there are mesh heads, mesh bodies, and mesh eyes. You can even change your shape with bento mesh. That's one of the best things about system avatars. You could mod the shape all you wanted. Early mesh did not respond to the sliders, but bento mesh does.

Let's look at a Bento head:


No nose seams! It's animated too, and you can choose the animations it plays. You can change skins, modify the shape, and change the ears. My pupils dilate, and I can change the eye texture easily. Just add a hud and click the one you want.

Here's a close up of the nose. Can you tell that seam really bothered me?   :)


And a three quarter view of the head:


Here's a mesh foot. It came with this body.


There's lots of detail, and nice texture. The nails even reflect.

Here are the mesh hands that came with the body:


They look nice, you can change the shape and texture of the nails, and they are animated. I wore the Vista Pro Hands until Maitreya's update which added Bento hands. I like both sets of hands, but the Maitreya goes on with the body, and uses the same skins that the body uses. That helps me get dressed fast. After all, there's a big, wide, virtual world out there to explore.

What do you think? Does the mesh look better, or do I have avatar blindness?

Credits:

There are many mesh heads and bodies, which have different features. I'm wearing my current favorites, the Maitreya Lara body, and the Catwa Catya mesh head.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Magic and love!

I'm posing at Totally Top Shelf today. Their theme is Magic March. I do feel as if I time travelled into a medieval village, to the market where the magical beings shop. Here you can find glowing eyes, crystal balls, and lots of outfits, including the dress I'm wearing.


It's decorated with moons and stars and a silver studded belt, and comes in several colors. I paired it with these fantastic moon boots from the current Steam Hunt, and sparkling celestial jewelry. Details follow in the credits.

I've blogged before about the free Oracul animation pack. This morning, I went to Kuso, and found it had been updated. As if all this wasn't exciting enough, in the Oracul package was something called Kuso Phone V. I put it on to see what it was, and it's a typing AO. It's wonderful. Here's a photo of what it does:


It gives you a cute pink phone with a heart on the back. The phone only appears when you type in local chat. There are two animation included with it. One is the typing or dialing animation in the above photo. The second animation is a talking on the phone animation (below). Both animations have a talking animation that runs at the same time. Particle hearts come out while you use the phone! I just love it.


 I know you'll want to run over and grab one now, so I'll stop talking and give you the credits. :D

Credits:

Phone typer is from Kuso/Oracul (Go in the side that says AX. Click on the blue arrow on the pillar by the door)
Onyx Morgana Dress from Oubliette is now at Totally Top Shelf
Steamy Moon Boots are from Rainy Fae Creations and are prize #070 in Steam XII
Galatea Collection jewelry is from J&W Jewelers
Pichi.Hair is from Nani and is now at Whimsical in a gacha
As usual, I'm wearing the Maitreya mesh body
Vista pro hands
Catwa mesh head, Catya
Catwa mesh eyes with applier from Avi-Glam
Skin from Lara Hurley
Candy Lipstick from Insol
Caledon Tartan nail appliers are here

Windlight: Naminaeko Fairies Sleeping

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

More Art!

My adventures as part of the Art Study Group continued last Monday. We saw two exhibits about computers. The first one is called 'Laptop', and is a giant laptop that you can tour on a segway. Here are some photos:


 
This exhibit was fun, and quite involved as you travel around the mother board, go around the hard drive, etc. 

The second show was called, 'Big Data Goes to Bonestedt'. It was a bit darker, more about disconnecting from real life. Fragments of people and voices surround you. Some of the voices reminded me of NASA moon walk recordings, which added to the feeling of isolation. 



You could ride on some of the spheres, and leave behind a trail of your distorted profile picture. Occasionally, your profile might cross someone else's, but most of the time you just go around in a figurative circle. The large figures were tossing a heart made of light from hand to hand. There's a lot of bright and shiny stuff around to play with, but the people are fragmented. In the bottom photo, you can see class members and get a sense of scale.

Credits:


 You can see the details of my outfit on my flickr page

Windlight: Naminaeko series

Friday, January 20, 2017

Harp Nouveau

I've been wanting to do something with the gorgeous scroll head harp from DRD for a long time. It's just hard to get the harp and the harpist in the same frame. Then Virtual Diva had a sale, and I got their Ole pose pack, among other things. The poses seemed to work well with the harp, and with an art nouveau theme.


Another inspiration for this photo shoot is the kimono jacket I'm wearing. I was trying out a new bento AO, and the woman next to me was wearing this jacket. It perfectly suits my bohemian taste. I love to add shawls, scarves, anything with fringe. This jacket has color change fringe. It seemed like the perfect thing to throw on over one's ball gown on a chilly morning.


This wonderful flower crown was in a gacha at Shiny Shabby. It reminded me of a Mucha painting, so I got it in several colors. The long hair reminded me of Mucha too. Here's an example in case you're not familiar with this artist:


He also did the famous Job cigarette paper ad in 1898.


Here's another hairstyle for that Mucha look:


This hair is from Nani, and it's quite long. I also took off the kimono jacket so you could see the gown and jewelry. The gown is mesh, and the train is flexi. It also has appliers for the bit of sheer netting on the chest and back. The necklace and earrings have a hud to change the metal color.

Credits:

Floral crown by Lode. Now at Shiny Shabby
The first hair is Ocean Hair from Letituier. Now at The Secret Affair
Gown is Nouveau from Siss Boom
Kimono jacket is from Addams
Necklace/earring set is Dreamcatcher from Bowtique
Bangles are from Sahova, but may not be available anymore
The second hair is Nehelenia from Nani
Harp is from The Victorian Musicroom collection from DRD
Poses from Virtual Diva
As usual, I'm wearing the Maitreya mesh body
Vista pro hands
Catwa mesh head, Catya
Skin by Insol


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Lichtbringer


I'm in an art study group that meets Monday nights at 6:00 PM, SLT. Last week we went to an installation called Lichtbringer at LEA2. The LEA sims are awarded to artists who submit a proposal and pass a review. They then have a sim and 6 months to create their environment. You land here and will see some textured spheres to teleport with. There's also a free cinematic camera to pick up. When you wear it, your view is long and narrow like in a movie theater. Explore a bit where you land, and you'll find other gifts. They recommend setting your graphics to ultra, and it's really worth it, if your computer can handle it, even for a few minutes.

There are 8 environments to experience. Some are quite psychedelic. You can see in the photo above how the light is projecting on my avatar. I'm in the pictures to give you a sense of scale, and also I'm trying out some Pre-Raphaelite poses. The next photo is at SpaceRocks. It's an environment with giant physical rocks tumbling about. You can sit on some of them and dance around in the chaos.


Here's another shot:


This next photo was taken at Holodeck, where you can do tai chi, among other things.


Here's another view. Notice how the light has changed. Everything is constantly changing. And there's a lot more to see.


Credits:

Lichtbringer information
Lichtbringer landmark
Dress: Noemi from Luas
Hair: Sweetheart hair from Kotte
Necklace and crown from Les Sucreries de Fairy at Cosmopolitan
Waterhouse poses from Alchemy Immortals
Catwa's Catya head
Maitreya body
Vista pro hands
Art Study Group meets here. All are welcome.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Mesh heads are Clones!

I hear that a lot, 'Mesh heads look like clones'. Granted, each one has its own look and some are more versatile than others. Still, even before bento, there were so many heads out there and so many skins and makeups for them that they didn't really look that much alike. Now, with bento, you can change the shape of your head almost the same as you can a system skin.

Here's the Catya mesh head from Catwa in it's default skin and shape:


Here it is after I changed the shape:


I made the mouth and eyes a little bigger, shaped the nose, tweaked it here and there. Here's that shape wearing 9 skins:


Everything is the same except for the skins. If I can look this many ways on one shape, so can everyone else who has the head. Change the shape, hair, clothes, makeup, and skin tones. How many looks are possible? How many looks are possible with a system head? It doesn't matter to me at all if you wear a mesh head or a system head. There's room for everything in our wonderful world of SL. All I ask is that you think before you tell me I'm a clone because I choose to wear a mesh head.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Landscape With Owl


It's cold and snowy for me both in Real Life and in Caledon Moors. Snow is still fun this early in the season, and this lovely setting made by Luna Bliss captures the mood well. Like most avatars, I'm collecting Advent gifts. This outfit is from !Go! I'm wearing Valentine pants from Day 2 and Dagna Frill Sweater from Day 12. Most of !Go!'s Advent offerings have been mix and match. The textures are lovely. Look at the sheen on the lace in photo below:


To complete the look, I added Xmas Owl Scarf, a gift from MoonAmore+Cureless. My beret was a gacha prize from offbeat called 'I Believe'. It has an eye in a triangle patch, which I love. :) My Jewelry is from PurpleMoon's Advent Calendar, Day 10. My hair is Mara from little bones. It's available at the current Winter Solstice Event. It comes with hairpins to hold the waves and an animation hud for taking them off or arranging the hair. My boots are from G Field.


These wonderful John Lennon glasses are an Advent gift from Yasum, Day 12. You get several versions with different metal and lens options. My nails are from Nailed It, and came from the KittyCats Advent. My eyebrow applier is Ice Queen from #adored. It came from the Winter Solstice event.

Credits:

Usual Catwa head with Maitreya Body and Vista Pro hands
Wind light: *Starley* Settings 2 and Torley Foggy Fogvari