Benchma(r)king

May 15, 2008

As the “San Jose” informal meeting benches near their completion, we decided to make a test run last night and see how the sit targets work when the bench works under full load. First Ivanova rezzed our grumpy-as-evah green sidekick. Then I asked my friends Trinity and Zylina over. The seating arrangement worked out well, the spacing of the avatars was pleasant and not too cozy. We briefly discussed whether a 6th seat target should be included, but that would have been too tightly packed. We also did not get any script errors, which was nice too.

After that we ran the available designs by Trinity and Zylina, and they both were full of praise. Since I know them as honest friends, I think they meant it that way.

The image shows the San Jose in the new “Poppy” design, other available flavors include Anthracite, Cotton, Denim, Green, Ocean, Red, Royal, Suede and Velvet. More images on Flickr.

Colors

May 7, 2008

The Berlin’s are almost done, and the San Jose’s well under their way. Yesterday, Ivanova and myself made an almost two hour session finalizing – and naming – the designs.

The Berlin’s will be available in:

  • Aubergine
  • Burgundry
  • Cotton
  • Denim
  • Green
  • Holstein (Cowhide)
  • Ocean
  • Poppy
  • Red
  • Suede
  • Sunflower

The San Jose’s will be available in:

  • Anthracite
  • Cotton
  • Denim
  • Green
  • Ocean
  • Poppy
  • Red
  • Royal
  • Suede
  • Velvet

Level of detail

May 7, 2008

Just to demonstrate what level of detail Ivanova meant in her recent post, an exclusive preview of the upcoming “San Jose” informal meeting benches. The design in this prototype is named “Royal”.

Knowing when to say when

April 30, 2008

All artists experience a point where they either have to stop messing with a work, or risk ruining it. Knowing when to say “It’s done.” or “I can’t make this any better.” is never the same. It is different for each project. I have found it is easier sometimes to be making something for someone else and let them say when it is done. It takes a certain amount of energy expenditure to make the design decisions, if that makes any sense.
I have been working on a couch texture and I have gotten there I think. I took care of some realism detailing and now I am creating the color/pattern schemes. It will soon be ready for animation work. This will, of course, introduce a whole new slew of ‘when to say when’ moments. Bear with me. I’ll get you a place to sit down soon.

Obviously, the beta grid was not created to be a free for all, play money upload sim for testing our creations. I believe it was created as a server and viewer test environment.
But it is useful for testing the look and function of textures and sculpts when I don’t have a clear idea what they will do inworld. The upload window sculpt preview is really only useful for verification purposes “Yep, it’s a sculpt alright.”
We are making furniture for Second Life. We’ve made that clear. Unsurprisingly, in the beta grid I have seen names I have recognized from other SL furniture businesses.

Upload fees do add up after a while and the beta grid is a great place for our team to meet and critique design ideas and decide if they warrant further exploration. Granted, by that point the time to create a prototype sculpt has already been spent. But let’s face it, sculpting design ideas and texture creation were already play time for me anyway. There is a breaking point there somewhere that in rl would equate to billable hours, but I don’t know where it is.

Stay on target

April 17, 2008

Peter has to put some effort into keeping me on task. But I do feel compelled to explore, however briefly, new ideas.
There will be plenty of obvious things, things that make the difference between what people will like and what they will not. But after a certain point, there is no accounting for taste. Certainly the goal is to appeal to the widest audience possible, but it is my wish to make a little room for the eclectic.

“I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.” –Bill Cosby