Thursday, February 16, 2012

In and out of the box

Going to another grid is hard work. No wonder people stay put! It's all sitting in front of the screen, but man, this is exhausting, I'm getting square eyes!  Reaction Grid Thirza  came into existence  in '10, back when Caerleon had some art here. She's languished somewhat since then. It's Jokaydia Thirza who goes Hypergridding, occasionally passing through RG on the way to more exciting places. Seems unfair - maybe there are exciting places in RG, right? 
Erm... RG Thirza had a default noob skin best described as 'Woman vs. Eyeshadow' and the usual Walmart combo of jeans and tee favoured by the makers of basic outfits, and some random black hair. For sanity's sake, basics are a must. Only as I brought them into RG did it occur to me how much work all this is! But the alternative is trawling through endless boxes of drek from the Freebie shop, which is an unsatisfying and long job. The following are essentials:
Shape. Got a shop-bought shape in SL? you're going to want to get a piece of paper and note down all the names and numbers on all the sliders. Then, in your inventory, go to 'Create' and make a new shape, painstakingly copying the numbers. It's a lot of work, but then the shape belongs to you and you can export it onto your computer and import it to any grid you want.  OK I've lost some of you already...
Skin and eyes. Eyes are not too hard, either draw or paint; otherwise, google 'eye iris' and see if you can find something you like, to put on a white background. For personal use only, obviously. Another source (and not just of eyes) is Opensim Creations. For the skin, that's a little harder - but much less than it was a year ago. Several people have made their skins available to download, share, and modify for free. Eloh Eliot's skins from 2007 are still the best place to start, even if you're not a photoshop wizard, but simply want to play about with lip color. Ina Centaur's skins are detail rich, but have two disadvantages, they're saved in a weird type of file (not simple non-paranoiac psd or png), and the women are all homely. Some manly men there, though, so give it a glance, if that's how you roll.
Hair. Thirza's took 15 versions and about 3 months of on-again off-again frustration. Simple sculpty shoes plus foot alphas are also frustrating - but nobody in opensim seems to mind seeing bare feet. Clothes are way easier, but still time-consuming. Craft Grid's elegant shop is full of Josina Burgess and Nicola Reinerman creations, while osgrid has the Fabulous Ada Wong. Most grids are pretty dire, though. Come prepared. Linda Kellie's enormous collection of free and modifiable clothes will give you a jump start at making your own fashion, with wrinkle layers, cuffs, lacy bits and clothing textures. It's impossible to overstate what a star Linda is, in making all her clothing available and modifiable this way. Use Robin Wood or Chip Midnight's clothing templates in Photoshop or Gimp and get creative! It's way more relaxing than trying to follow the plot of NCIS.
Frillies A loop rezzer lets you build prim skirts. To export them from the grid where you make them, you'll need to be the creator of all the prims.  Imprudence Viewer has Export in the pie menu: rezz your object, then click through till you see it. 
If Export isn't lit up, it means you don't own all the prims. Importing is done via File at the top of your screen-  if you created all the textures that were on the original object, they too will be saved with the prims in your computer. 
Here's me importing a skirt into Reaction Grid, together with hair and texture. Of course, all uploads are FREEE !!!
Whoa that feels better ! it's time to take a turn about Reaction Grid!  It's still home to the excellent World's Fair, featured in an earlier post. What elseis here?
Some great RL paintings in the gallery on sim Arte, the Catholic University of Peru stronghold. 
 The Grid HQ is a fancy piece of modern architecture, too, and there's this Drive In, high in the sky.
It's early morning in the US, so it's no surprise that there are few people around. OK - make that nobody. For anyone used to SL on a weekly basis, all of opensim has that make-do-and-mend feel, but ReactionGrid feels more than most like a backwater where the shark has most definitely jumped. A cardboard world. These posters aren't helping...

At last I found some life. Six avatars hard at work on the Bedfordia sim. What I took to be a noob was getting to grips with a door script, hiding behind a hill. 

On the other side of the hills, the other five avatars beavered away at what seemed to be a Science Fair, but since none of them would give me the time of day, I can't be sure. No amount of standing around provoked them into comment.  
Torley's textures were all over the place like a rash. The workers walked, rather than working from cam, from one boxy build to the next. Be fair, it's a work in progress, but this is a long way from Second Life. Iron sharpens iron, and while it's true many parts of SL are prosaic and even badly built, the good bits, the innovative exuberance, the preconcept-defying adventurous bits, inspire creative flight. Which you need, if you're going to do science right, don't you agree?
The Bedfordia is a brave attempt at building by newcomers. But I hope these Bedfordians also take time to go and see what's out there. If they like straight lines and, lord know, i'm a fan, then they could start with Oberon Onmura's new build at the LEA where 15,000 pointy prims are set on a month-long collision course.
He's definitely outside the box.

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