Friday, August 29, 2008

I'm working on putting together some landscaping and foliage to sell. I'm starting with trees, because those are the biggest pain and I'd like to get them out of the way.

It's... not going so great so far.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

This week's new item from Miriel is actually two items: a pair of anime eyes in new colors. These eyes are stylized and extra large, and are entirely hand drawn.

L$50 for a single color. Copy/modify/no transfer or no copy/modify/transfer -- your choice. Eye demos are available, in the form of ten free eyes.

Get them at Miriel 135, 64.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Some Notes on ARC

I'm hearing a lot of talk about ARC in regards to Hair Fair, and it's a huge peeve of mine. ARC is not reliable. There are serious problems with the criteria it uses; it gives a ballpark figure only.

What's wrong with it? Well, you can read how it works here, but I see at least three problems with it:

1. It ignores polygon count. For those of you that don't know, more polygons means more for your computer to render, which means more lag. All prim attachments get 10 points, regardless of how many polygons they have. A box (very few polygons) generates the same ARC number as a sculptie or torus (lots and lots of polygons), despite the fact that the actual lag created by these prims is quite different.

2. It ignores texture size. The bigger a texture is, the more lag it creates, and big textures are quite a bit bigger than small ones. (A 1024 x 1024 texture, for instance, is as large as 16 256 x 256 ones.) Nonetheless, ARC gives 5 points for texture, regardless of size. A 1024 x 1024 image is significantly laggier than a 32 x 32 one, but both will rack up the same ARC number.

3. The accounting for size is a bit too crude. Attachments get one point per meter of size, per axis. While bigger prims do lead to more lag, I wish the scale were a bit more refined. A hundred prim hair and a hundred prim necklace are unlikely to generate the same amount of lag: those necklace prims are probably so teeny that they're quickly culled (i.e., not rendered at all) as you zoom out. I know that the jewelry I make tends to lag me less than the hair I make, even though it usually has more prims.

ARC is not entirely useless. Someone with a very low number is unlikely to be generating a lot of lag (above and beyond what all avatars generate, that is), and vice versa for someone with a very high number. But the numbers are very, very rough, to the point of -- in my opinion -- being misleading.

So stop quoting them, 'kay? It's making me twitch.

Oh, and one more note on Hair Fair: people and their attachments are, at this point, not entirely to blame for the lag. Oh, they're lagging you, but Hair Fair would be painfully slow even if they were all bald and naked. The sims themselves are slow right now, as they struggle to handle all the avatars. When I went yesterday, my frame rates were fine, and I still could barely move. That wasn't my computer having trouble rendering Blingy Lady #55 and her hair, it was the sim server faltering.

I'm sure you already know about this:

(You can read more here if you haven't.)

I just now donated something. (I am slow.) This is what I donated:

I don't know when it will be auctioned off (or if it'll get pushed back to another auction), but there you go. I made this item as a freebie for someone and I've given out a few copies, but it won't ever be for sale or widely distributed.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

In Blender 2.46, I can't figure out how to get alpha channels to work, something I could do in previous versions. (Obviously: I wouldn't have been able to make my trees if I couldn't.)

What is wrong with the people that write this program?

(One minute of fiddling later.)

Oh my god. Blender has a "use alpha" button in one of the texture menus. I've complained about it before, because it didn't work the way I thought it would. Guess what? It now works the way I originally expected it to, and I had to uncheck it to make things work. Blender is the monkey's paw of software.

Seriously, what the hell is wrong with the programmers? The labeling on the button hasn't changed in the slightest. Absent digging through the release notes, there's no indication that it now does something entirely different from what it did before.

This week's new item from Miriel is Classic, a versatile, tasteful sculpted necklace. As part of the Miriel Everyday line, it's priced to be affordable, at only L$60 for a single copy. And like all jewelry from Miriel, it's scripted so that you can turn shiny and full bright on and off.

Available in five metal colors (antique gold, antique silver, black, gold, and silver) and ten stones (amber, coral, jade, lapis lazuli, malachite, onyx, red jasper, sugilite, turquoise, and white jade).

L$60 for a single color. L$450 for all ten antique gold, antique silver, black, gold, or silver pieces. Copy/modify/no transfer or no copy/modify/transfer -- your choice. Demos are available for all colors.

Get it at Miriel 135, 64.

(This is what happens when I can't think of anything else to make.)

Friday, August 15, 2008

Jewelry Expo Flickr Contest!

Shelby Ziskey is helping me with promoting the expo, and she's doing an awesome job. One of the things she's suggested is a Flickr stream, and you can go here to read about it.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

This week's new item from Miriel is Bird of Paradise, a piece of head jewelry with pearls, gemstones, and carefully sculpted feathers. Like all jewelry from Miriel, it's scripted so that you can turn shiny and full bright on and off.

Available in three metal colors (black, gold, and silver), two pearl colors (black and white), and seven gemstones (amethyst, citrine, diamond, emerald, jet, ruby, and sapphire).

L$125 for a single color. L$1200 for all fourteen black, gold, or silver pieces. Copy/modify/no transfer or no copy/modify/transfer -- your choice. Demos are available for all colors.

Get it at Miriel 135, 64.

(For the curious, this was VERY loosely inspired by Jeanne's headdress here. I was originally going to have it be a single piece that wrapped around the back of the head, but thought that would cause issues with different head widths. The end result can probably more accurately be called a hairpin than a headdress, but eh.

Oh, and I had a bit of a disaster when I first put this out. Only after I had the vendors all set up did I realize that -- oops! -- I'd forgotten to make the alpha channels 100% transparent on the sculpt maps. Took me an hour and fifteen minutes to fix, and it would have taken much longer had I not known how to script.)

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Thank you to everyone who's said nice things about the sim. I've gotten a better response than I ever expected. :)

I'm puttering around on various projects now: a couple necklaces, some foliage for sale. (Yes, I'll be selling trees and grass and rocks and stuff.) I also have a burning, idiotic desire to redo my skybox workshop.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


I was going to make a big announcement about this, but somebody blabbed first. *shakes fist*

Anyway, click the picture for new shinies, an impossible puzzle, and lag.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Fine jewelry vendors are set up. Hair vendors are set up. (Then again, there are only two of the latter. All the other hairs I'd planned to sell, or been selling, no longer measure up.)

I'm working on the casual jewelry and eye vendors. They're not working at the moment, and I can't figure out why. It's probably some stupid typo I'll discover tomorrow, when I'm less tired. At least, I hope it is. I had a script once that just didn't work, even though it genuinely should have (and the trick I used to get it working again made no sense whatsoever), and I hope this won't be a repeat of that.

Oh, and I've finally found some ambient sounds that are working for me. Hopefully, the vendor will be willing to sell me copy/no trans versions, instead of the no copy ones he's got on display.

I've got a new piece of jewelry I made a few days ago, too. And I'm working on a long, delicate chain, though it's looking less nice than I'd like, thanks to the bumps and hollows on the avatar. If I follow them too closely, the chain looks lumpy. If I ignore them too much, there's way too much empty space between the avatar and the chain. There's no perfect middle ground, but I'm trying to find the happiest medium I can.