Thursday, September 28, 2006

My new store is woefully primmy. It's already over 1,000 prims, and it's not quite done yet. (Though all I have left to do is the front, and the lighting, and I'm not quite sure how I'm going to do either of those yet.) The ktris render numbers are pretty awful; most stores have better rendering numbers (except, oddly enough, Panache). I'm pretty nervous about it, even though I plan on keeping the number of texture pixels way, way down.

On the other hand, it looks really, really good. And I have a gorgeous and insane staircase. See?

No, those aren't the final textures or colors. I tint my prims bright, clashing colors when I build, to help me quickly see flicker or bits that are poking out. And those swirly bits (tubes, not tori) don't go all the way up the railings; they peter out as they go. It's an ungainly compromise: it doesn't look nearly as good as it would with all swirls, and it's a good deal laggier than it would be without any swirls at all.

I refuse to switch to a texture railing, though. There are a lot of ugly things in SL I can tolerate -- alpha flicker, legs going through skirts, necklaces that dip under the avatar's skin in places -- but texture windows and railings aren't among them. Aside from all the problems with alpha channels, they just look so thin.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Wound up taking a bit of a break there, but now I'm back.

My new store build is coming along nicely, but the prim count is ungodly. I'm estimating it will be around 800-1000 when I'm done, mostly boxes and cylinders. It looks really, really good, though, so I'm hesitant to start taking down decorative prims. It doesn't seem too laggy, either, but I'll have to check the rendering and fps I'm getting. Sometimes it's hard for me to tell what's slowness from in world things and what's slowness from my computer sucking.

I've also decided that I'm going to be adding mouseover descriptions to my new product photos, saying what the model's wearing. It's not as good as putting the details on the picture, but there's only so much you can cram into 2^16 pixels.

Friday, September 15, 2006

New item today: Starry Night. It's a casual choker with entirely handpainted beads. The metal stars and little moon inside the beads change color when you click on the choker; they go from silver, to gold, to copper, and back again.

Available in four metals (black, silver, copper, and gold), and in a multipack.

(Skin: Ingenue 1 in Rose Light, Tete a Pied; hair: Feminine in black, ETD; shirt: Easy Tank in black, Iki)

Thursday, September 14, 2006

It seems the nonbordered product photos won. So the Miriel Everyday line will have no borders on the product photos, and the Miriel line will have borders. More elaborate borders, though, not those dinky little things. (Now the big problem facing me is how many columns my store should have.) Thanks to those of you that gave your input. :)

Releases have slowed as I work on the rebranding, and they'll stay slow for a while. I do have something I should get out within the next few days, though. (I'd have released it earlier, but the product photos were a problem. Tete a Pied's wonderful Peach skins have solved that, though!)

Oh, yes, and I've got a special offer for everyone in my update group, Miriel's Latest. All this week, I'm giving away one free jewelry item of your choice, with optional minor custom retexturing. I posted a notice about it, with a notecard attached; see the card for more details, including what exactly I mean by "minor retexturing."

Monday, September 04, 2006

Still struggling with product photos for the remodel. If you don't mind, tell me which one of these you prefer?


I'm not sure whether the border on the first is too much, particularly for a line of items that is designed to be more casual and mainstream. On the other hand, I also worry that the second is too modern, and "fashiony" rather than "artsy." (The other product line I'm doing, for items that are less casual and mainstream, will definitely be getting bordeers.) The product box will be going in a prim frame, too.

I suppose I should also say what I'm aiming for, too. Aesthetically, I'm going for an Art Nouveau look inside the store. I'm trying to present my stuff as artistic and a bit retro -- usually elegant, sometimes a bit out there -- and Art Nouveau, besides being a style I use in some of those things, also encompasses those qualities. Art Nouveau things can range from the elegant and mainsteam (e.g., Mucha's paintings) to things like this (NOT WORK SAFE) room, which is still elegant but hardly "normal" -- and I'd like for my products to be seen as doing the same. (I would, of course, also like for my products to actually do the same.)

I can't and don't want to compete with people who are making things that look like fashionable RL clothing, so I'm going to be trying to position my things more as art than fashion, if that makes sense. Not that I'm setting out to make stuff that's ugly (well, I do have a gloriously rusty outfit I want to make at some point), but nobody's going to be going down an RL catwalk (let alone an RL street) dressed in anything resembling Queen of Heaven, you know?

Anyway, I'm trying to do all this branding stuff properly, and that means obsessing over considering carefully small things like the presence of borders on product photos.

Friday, September 01, 2006

I've got a new set of earrings made and textured. All I have to do now is pack them up, do the product photos, put them onto SLB and SLX, cram them into a vendor, and that'll be it. Okay, that's probably a day or two worth of work right there, but it's managable.

Or would be, if I weren't sloooowly in the process of rebranding. It's all behind the scenes stuff now (struggling with a logo, making no copy/trans versions of things, revising some products and deciding to do away with others, redoing product photos, etc.), but I'm really reluctant to make new product photos because I know I'll just have to redo them. I die a little inside at the thought of making two sets of product photos for these earrings.

(Texturing has really been causing a bottleneck for me lately. I've got this great choker that's got all the prims in place, but I have to make the bead textures. Gaah. And I'm redoing the textures for a collaboration I did, because my clothes drawing skills have improved in the meantime. And I've got some shoes that are, again, done except for the textures. And I've got an Edwardian dress I need to get back to work on.)

I'm also rethinking how I'll do SLX and SLB things, once my remodel is finished. Yes, they bring in some sales, but they require a lot of work. Once I'm rebranded, in fact, they'll require their very own product photos. I may go the way Elika has chosen and just upload fatpacks.