Sunday, April 6, 2014

Alato Mask

After the Luminous Masquerade I had some people asking whether or not I was going to sell the mask I gave out as a party favor.  I usually don't, to keep the masks unique, but I really liked the shape so I decided to revisit it and turn it into a simpler, classic and versatile mask.


Alato means "winged" in Italian, but of course when I read it I keep reading "a lot o'" mask, heh.  However, the name suits the shape.  The points coming down the cheeks are flattering on both men and women, and I went for a soft, gritty metallic look with the texture, with muted colors. 


This is actually the first mask I've made utilizing the specular and normal maps,  and I love the detail and effect they add.  My items from now on will be using them, so that's something to look forward to!

Out now at the store
On the marketplace: Alato Mask: 185L



Thursday, March 20, 2014

Mardi Gras Masquerade 2014 (Aftermath)

If you didn't manage to make it on Saturday, I forgive you.  After being gone for so long I was kind of surprised anybody came at all.  But I was happy to be in good company with so many old friends and some new faces!

Freyja Nemeth and Ran Garrigus

Darlingmonster Ember
Cayenne Republic rocking two amazing outfits

 Of course I played some of my favorite swing and big band songs and we all danced and chatted the night away.  And after dancing and admiring the beautiful costumes, the king and queen of Mardi Gras were chosen for this year: Panarroway and Ravenna Soothsayer. 


 Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to grab a picture of them together in their prizes, so the event mask will have to be a surprise!  Don't worry, I'm working on it. I need to work my magic and finish up some details before I'm willing to share. 



Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Civetta Musica

Happy Mardi Gras!  Or Pancake Tuesday, however you want to look at it.  Today I had pancakes while wearing a mask so there's no reason you can't celebrate both.  Today is the actual day of Mardi Gras but of course I'll be celebrating with you guys on the 15th

To ease back into working after my absence (which I do owe you an explanation for and will probably write something up later) while not having a huge project with potential to run away with me, I browsed through my inspiration folder and found a simple and elegant mask in the musica tradition of Venetian mask making.

There's a tradition in Venice of making some masks with old sheet music.  Very often it's Italian opera, perhaps because it's romantic.  Personally, I think it's because if you're making masks out of paper anyway you might as well make it pretty paper.  But in any case, it was high time that I made my own "musica" mask.

  I love the baroque look of so many detailed curls and swirls, here I used some PS brushes turned alpha by the talented Coy Dreamer, whose work I also used in my Volto Altezza and Altezzoso masks.  But, I also love the three-dimensional look of my usual curlicues and sculpted filigree that I think I've become known for.  With this mask, I tried to marry the two so they could blend together to compliment and enhance each other.  Plus, it lets me add stones! 

Twelve different stone colors

Six different mask colors

Happy Mardi Gras!  Maybe I'll see you wearing it at my masquerade.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Mardi Gras Masquerade 2014

With winter starting to decline, animals start to come out of their holes and so, too, am I.  Let's get through the remaining cold with a party, yes?

Mardi Gras is this Tuesday, but I hope you'll forgive a bit of flexibility when it comes to the date.


You're invited to the Illusions seventh annual Mardi Gras masquerade.  It should be my eighth, but regretfully last year I didn't hold one.  We'll just have to make up for it this year!

As with all of my masquerades, there will be a vote to decide the King and Queen of Carnivale and the winners will receive a pair of new, unreleased event masks and 1500L gift cards!  Even if you're not planning on trying for the costume contest, at least come for the free mask: the one shown in the invite will be available for all of the attendees.  Oh, and of course come for the music!

The theme is more formal, so think Venice rather than Rio, but beyond that let your imagination soar.  If you're not sure where to begin, purple, green and gold are a good start!

This year rather than having rules around prim limits etc, since mesh kind of throws those out the window, I'll just say please keep your script usage as low as you can, 100kb or less is ideal.  You can find your script info under Place Profile→About Land→Script Info→My avatar.

I'm looking forward to dancing the night away with you, come join me!

Illusions Mardi Gras Masquerade
March 15th, 4pm SLT
Held at the Illusions Event Hall on Carnivale
Costume contest winners will be announced at 6pm SLT

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Eikthirnir

I love animal skulls. I think they have a very grisly appeal, with interesting lines, places for the eye to explore and complexity without being overwhelming.  One of my projects to practice mesh was to create a deer skull because of the complexity of the shape and simply how impractical it would have been to do nicely in sculpts. 



It lay around unfinished for a while, until my Halloween masquerade started to loom on my calendar.  It seemed like the perfect time to take it out, dust it off and finish it properly.  After I did the high definition version and settled on a final shape, I wanted to add a little something more.  Since my masquerade was themed for glowing in the dark, I had to add something that glowed!  I spent some time carefully decorating it and the antlers with some kickass tribal paint:



Eikthirnir (Eik├żyrnir) is the name of the stag that lived on top of Valhalla in Norse mythology, eating the leaves of Yggsdrasil.  It means "old thorny" and from its antlers all river waters were said to spring.  Maybe it's not the perfect name for a deer skull mask, but I've already used all of the cool genus names on antlers.  In any case, my paint designs don't feel completely out of place in my vision of an ancient Nordic deer skull.  The skull and the antlers are actually two separate pieces, so if you want you can simply wear the mask and match it with any of my other antlers (they might not meet up perfectly with the skull but that's where modifying is so helpful.

Eikthirnir comes in nine different skull colors, and the paint is a separate, tintable layer.  For my masquerade, I made it white and glowing, but you have complete freedom with it.  You can turn the transparency up to 100% if you like and just have the skull alone, or embrace it with a dramatic black that goes with everything.



If you're enamored with the antlers but the mask isn't necessarily for you, who would I be to deny you options?  These are one of my favorite pairs of antlers as of now, and again if you're not a fan of the paint, you can just turn it transparent.  I've been loving wearing these around.


The antlers include the same color palette of the Rusa antlers, with twelve colors including grayscales and a variety of natural-ish colors.  They look great with or without the paint and can scale down to tiny sizes if you have a teeny faun you want to be adorable.


Out now at the store

On the marketplace:  
Eikthirnir Antlers: 325L
Eikthirnir Mask and Antlers: 600L

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Luminous Masque 2013 (Aftermath)

The sun has dawned once more and the creatures of the dark have retreated.  Another marvelous masquerade has passed and I'm so thankful to those of you who came to join me and dance with me.





The company of dancers was a spectacle to behold, lighting up the darkened dance floor with their lambent lights.  Two dancers had to be chosen as the most effulgent of them all however, and so the vote was held.


After a very tense and close vote the winners of the costume contest were the radiant Kaelis Ember and effervescent Ran Garrigus.  The prize that you see them wearing is a new mask I've been working on, the skull of a deer adorned with luminous paint.  Normally I do a male and female version of the mask but that would involve one version not having antlers, and I just couldn't force myself to make that sacrifice!


My outfit for the masquerade, with modified pieces by Deviance, Ni.Ju, 
Schadenfreude, Gauze and ChaoticSpire
Don't worry, the mask will be for sale shortly, it needs to have some finishing touches put on and scripted before I'll be putting it out, but that won't be long!

It's been a hard year for me due to a lot of real life turmoil, but being able to escape for a while and enjoy the creativity and originality of your avatars and the joy of your company really did light up the dark.  Thank you so much for coming and I hope that if you missed this one, you might be able to make it to the next one. 

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Luminous Masque 2013

I've been in a dark place for a while now.  But if I'm in a dark place, I might as well make the most of it, right?

Light up the darkness with me this year at my Luminous Masque.  Everything that glows, illuminates, luminesces or incandesces is to be found and celebrated at the Illusions event hall on November 2nd, at 4pm SLT.


 Show the glow, and play with the contrast of light and dark.  Those who are the most radiant or effulgent will of course be rewarded with the promise of prizes, including goodies that I might bestow upon my favorite costumes and of course, the grand prize for the lucky pair who are voted the King and Queen of Lights.  A 1500L angel card and a new, unreleased mask made especially for the masquerade await you if you manage to claim the title!

Masks are of course required for a masquerade, but if you're short on Lindens fear not, the mask shown in the invitation will be provided as a free party favor for all attendees.  Despite surely wanting to look truly effervescent, when assembling your outfit please:

Check your Avatar Scripts

This info can be found in Place Profile->About Land->Script Info->My avatar. Check the list to see if there's any scripts you're wearing that you could delete from copiable items or remove, such as HUD's, resizers, invisiprims (switch to alphas!) etc. Your total script memory total should be as low as you can get it, under 100kb would be ideal.

Keep your prim count low

I just ask that you leave the extra fluttery petticoat layer at home, and not wear the 256 prim wings with your alpha flexi hair made of 180+ prims. Remember, you're going to be on a sim with a lot of other avatars.



It will be wonderful to see you again, or perhaps to meet you for the first time.  Perhaps together we can light up the dark.

Illusions Luminous Masquerade
November 2nd, 4pm SLT
Held at the Illusions Event Hall on Carnivale
Costume contest winners will be announced at 6pm SLT

Friday, September 20, 2013

Dreamcatcher Rusa Antlers

Ariel Lunark is a very patient person.  As I've slowed my progress in getting through my commissions, she's been very understanding in the delay.  Every project has been a struggle for me lately, and so having someone be kind enough to let me take the time I need is invaluable.

She commissioned a project that had occurred to me, but that I simply hadn't and probably wouldn't get around to.  I loved the idea, and she pushed me to take it in directions I might not have.


Dreamcatcher antlers are something I thought of when I did my Dreamcatcher Nivicola Horns, but I was ready to move on to different projects at the time and it never was a priority.  Ariel originally commissioned me to make a dream catcher for the Capreolinae antlers, but I had misgivings.  I gave it a go and they didn't look right at all, the prongs were getting in the way and the arch of the center wasn't right.  So I ended up making an entirely new set of antlers, similar to the Capreolinae but simpler, and of course made out of mesh.  Mesh is just perfect for antlers, and it's lovely to be able to make seamless angles without worrying about sculpts and textures lining up.  And of course, since the new antlers were made with a dream catcher in mind, it came together far better.

Where the cords hang down, I made sure to make them flexi as they add a nice movement along with the gently waving feathers as your AO moves.  The cords, beads, feathers and of course antlers themselves are all scripted with my usual menu system.  The cords and beads come in twelve and eleven colors respectively, the feathers in six, and the antlers come in twelve new colors.  I decided to play around with them a little in a way I haven't done for the other antlers.





The base of antlers is very often a very different texture from the rest of them, and to reflect that I made them darker and rougher.  To play with this contrast, I made a version of each texture with lighter tipped prongs and darker tipped prongs.  I expanded the natural colors too, for more variety.

If you're a purist at heart, you can of course buy the antlers separately and enjoy them without all that tangled cord dangling in your face!




Out now at the store

On the marketplace:  
Rusa Antlers: 325L
Dreamcatcher Rusa Antlers: 550L

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Apsara Wings

When Deoridhe Quandry approached me with her commission, it was one that I took a special delight in.  I've been looking forward to doing it since she first suggested it and it was a lot of fun to do.  You see, Deoridhe is a fairy, and she wanted a pair of mesh fairy wings.  My first thought was "really?", but then I realized it made perfect sense.  While flexi wings might have great movement, they don't have the same customization or opportunity for detail.  Mesh wings would actually be really fun to do...

She gave me creative control, and I'm just such a sucker for curlicues and flourishes.




Deoridhe suggested the name "Apsara", inspired by the Hindu divine spirits of air and dance.  The membrane I painted in Zbrush, just putting some light and shadow and a bit of shine on there, and then I overlaid a scaley texture to hopefully evoke that delicate insect feel. I love the living, silky feel it evokes, with just the right amount of shimmer.  I also took care to do a little trick that lets the mesh shrink down to tiny or petite size, so since they're modifiable you can easily fit these to your petite avatar.

There are twelve colors for the wing membrane, and my usual six metal colors for the curls.  They're unrigged and modifiable, so you can make the membrane somewhat transparent or glow or tint them.  The curls are separate, so you can even set the membrane entirely transparent and just wear the curls!



My friends Surreal and Chandra roped me into the Taste the Rainbow Hunt , so I made a special color of the wings with it in mind.  It's a rainbow themed hunt (obviously), so this color of the wings will be out in the hunt gift.  Since it turned out so well, I couldn't resist putting it in the sale version as well.



This is, of course, before I saw that Surreal had made rainbow wings her gift as well.  It's funny how sometimes things synchronize like that.  Not sure who came up with the idea first, so I guess you'll just have options!

Out now at the store

On the marketplace: 275L




Friday, July 5, 2013

Olokun Helm

Now that I'm finished with the Mystic Chains, I can finally shake off some of that frustration and get back to working through commissions.  Next one up is one designed by Darlingmonster Ember, who sent me a sketch of a concept she had in mind, and let me run with it.  She described a dark Mer helmet, a sort of unseelie headdress with tendrils and scales.

When she said Mer, my mind went to iridescence and the colors of abalone.  I wanted the tendrils to be a part of the helm, and while I tried the stone in the center, it didn't seem right with a half-mask. I added my own flare to it, giving it a polished, armor-like definition. 

Darlingmonster suggested we name it Olokun, for the West African goddess of the deep sea.  She's associated with the underworld, as the ruler of the sea floor where all dead sea creatures eventually lie, and rebirth and renewal, for those dead sea creatures become food for others.  She's depicted as a beautiful, black mermaid, and is known as the guardian of secrets.  For what was originally dreamt of as a mer helm, it seemed the perfect name.

In addition to the iridescent peacock colors shown in the picture, it also includes my usual palette of metal colors: copper, bronze, gold, and sterling, antiqued and tarnished silver.  You can also set the tendrils or the helm itself to be invisible, so if you'd like to simplify it you're free to do so.  There's also made a male version fit for classically masculine features, with a thicker brow and harsher cheekbones.  It's made to be worn with "half shaved" styles of hair,  such as Wasabi Pills' "Morgan" style, or no hair at all. 

Out now at the store: 150L
On the marketplace: 175L