A blog relating to Jeepers Shoes for Men in Second Life by Eponymous Trenchmouth.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

How I texture. Part 2

This article explains how to create a seamless texture on a complex object.

Suppose for argument's sake you had created a beautiful vase. It is made up of just 4 prims. From the bottom up they are a ring, a sphere, and two tori.

You have chosen the tiled zebra texture from your library inventory to cover the entire object. But after linking the four prims and applying the zebra texture, it appears far from the seamless whole you sought. The base and the uppermost ring are scrunched up, while the neck is long and skinny.

The reason that the texture does not flow continuously at the same scale over the entire vase is obvious when the Alignment Grid texture is applied. It can be seen that the squares are all different shapes and sizes and some are rotated and even reversed

In order to create a seamless texture over the whole object, you must first manipulate the grid texture on the individual prim surfaces.

On the bottom prim, rotate the texture grid 90 degrees and then adjust the repeat and vertical offset until the grid numbers flow seamlessly into the sphere.

Turning to the torus above the sphere, adjust the repeats and vertical offsets until the grid numbers flow seamlessly out of the sphere.

The upper torus that forms the neck of the vase, has been hollowed out and cut to produce the desired shape, but this has resulted in the alignment grid being reversed. Flip the texture, then adjust the repeats and vertical offsets until the grid numbers flow seamlessly out of the lower torus

Adjust the alignment texture around the ring at the top of the vase.

The alignment grid can even be made to flow into the interior of the vase.

The alignment grid on each face of the vase has now been adjusted.

When the zebra skin is applied to the entire object, it will be seen that the texture now flows seamlessly and at roughly the same scale over the entire object. Compare this view with the earlier version.

Monday, December 3, 2007

8 Things

I've been tagged by Ben Vanguard. Thanks a lot Ben!

Here are the rules:

1. Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
2. People who are tagged need to write a post on their own blog (about their eight things) and post these rules.
3. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
4. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

8 things about Eponymous Trenchmouth.

1. I have a 21 year-old daughter named Alice.
2. I was born in London, but now live in San Francisco.
3. I was ship's carpenter of La Contessa at Burning Man 2002 http://www.core77.com/reactor/burning_man.html.
4. Every time I take a nice hot shower I thank God I'm not living on the streets. How do those poor people manage, not having access to a hot shower on demand? IMHO, a hot shower is one of the most important indicators of a civilized society. The ability to supply and remove hot water demonstrates a high level of technology and knowledge. Mankind survived for centuries very nicely indeed, without electricity or petroleum and oil products. A hot shower is the commodity I'd keep until last, as we slide, ever deeper, into the whirlpool of global warming. Pray the tipping point is still ahead of us.
5. I believe that the "official" version of 9/11 is full of holes http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Ray_Griffin.
6. I have a nasty feeling that most shoppers (as opposed to store owners), have a low opinion of merchants in Second Life. It never fails to amaze me how mean some merchants can be. They act as though they have a limited and finite number of products to sell, and replacing some noob's missing purchases, is somehow reducing their inventory! Give the shopper a break, it's not like it's actually gonna "cost" you anything. I only hear from customers maybe four or five times a week, so it hasn't become a chore. If they're in the Transaction History, I replace the missing items, no questions asked. It makes sense for three reasons: (A) You feel better about yourself for being a nice guy not an asshole. (B) Like I said, if they've paid, they get a replacement, and it doesn't cost me a penny. And I should mention that my shoes are Transfer OK. So theoretically, the customer could have given the shoes to his or her friend. But I choose to believe in the virtue of my fellow man, despite much evidence to the contrary. (C) If your merchandise is worthy, the satisfied customer will return to you, and will recommend you to their friends, thereby generating even more sales. Is this difficult to understand?
7. My favorite author is Patrick O'Brian, from whose series of historical novels about the British navy in the early 1800s, the movie "Master and Commander" was adapted.
8. I hate chain letters. And this is kinda like a chain letter. I hate receiving them, and I sure as shit ain't about to pass one along.

And while I'm at it, at this special time of year, I'd like to wish you all a very warm "Bah Humbug".

Friday, November 23, 2007

Giving and receiving

A couple of weeks ago I did something I've been meaning to do for a long time. I have a stall at Luna Oaks that I won in a Linden lottery. I never sell much there, because the only people who visit the sim are noobs, who generally don't have much money and no experience of what the world has to offer. I mean, imagine yourself getting off a ship in a strange port in a foreign country: you're not gonna make any purchases at the tourist shop inside the gate, you're gonna want to explore the world, check out what the world has to offer. So anyways, this store had a very boring display of my shoes. I'd packed in 9 different styles in 4 colors each - I hate stores like that - wall to ceiling vendors. Buy, buy, buy. So the other week I changed it. I decided to make this a 50% off store for the noobs. I put 8 men's shoes and 8 women's shoes on display and today I made my first sale and, I hope, made someone happy.

Yesterday I get this nice IM: [1:18] Cord Heckroth: I just wanted to drop you a note. I bought a pair your Oslo shoes. I am *SO* not an clothes guy but I flippin' LOVE these shoes! Thank you!

Today he writes me again: [0:28] Cord Heckroth: ..street map of Oslo in the lining... such.. detail

And this one: [3:20] Heaven Lacey: Hi. Can i just say its my first time in your store, my hubby raves about this place, and to stop him yapping i thought I come and check it out, anyway thankyou so much for doing the Ughs, I cant afford uggs in RL but at least I can here. Thanks so much lol Heaven :)

This is why I love Second Life.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

A Chronology of Shoes & Notable Moments

11/29/05 ~ I arrive in Second Life.

02/19/06 ~ Jeepers Creepers (men's) ~ My first shoe was the Jeepers Creepers All-Black Buckle, and its still one of the most popular. I was inspired by Feri Beckenbauer's Doc Martins, the first shoes I bought. I examined them closely, trying to figure out how he made them.

03/17/06 ~ Jeepers Creepers (women's) ~ in response to many requests, I released a women's version. Because I couldn't shrink the original men's shoe, I had to scale down each individual prim by the same percentage, and then re-position them in the same relationship.

04/02/06 ~ OttO ~ Inspired by Joe Stravinsky's stunning shoes. The high-heeled version was later joined by a medium- and low-heeled versions. My inability to create my own textures held this exciting design back. I always intended to re-texture and resize these shoes, but it hasn't happened yet.

07/04/06 ~ Wellies ~ a simple two-part shape. Later reissued with patterns, prim eyes and other bits and pieces, but in my opinion, the unadorned welly boot is the best.

08/12/06 ~ Sold my 1000th shoe!

08/13/06 ~ Trashville (men's and women's boots) ~ This time I built the women's boots first and simply stretched them to create the men's.

09/16/06 ~ Clogs (women's) ~ These were essentially the same as the men's Clogs but were withdrawn prior to a re-introduction that never happened.

10/01/06 ~ Betty ~ an inspired shape that proved very popular.

10/18/06 ~ Second Life hits 1,000,000 registered users.

11/29/06 ~ On vacation in Thailand for the month of December. Ah bliss! Complete absence of Christmas schmaltz. Though getting online is no problem and I can check my e-mail and IMs, this is not the place for concentrated creativity.

12/27/06 ~ Clogs (men's) ~ I tried to simply scale-up the men's shoe from the women's but there was something not quite right about the shape, and I had to redo a lot of it. Later on, I revised and re-textured these and got to put the price up as a consequence.

12/29/06 ~ Hawkes & Healey ~ this traditional Oxford style shoe was ages in the making. The shape is straightforward enough, but I had the hardest time with the textures. A black shoe with a shine is a very hard thing to get right.

01/01/07 ~ Ugh/Sherpa ~ pure plagiarism. So blatant that I changed the name to Sherpa. After I decided I could live with the shame of plagiarism, I changed the name back to Ugh. (The name reflects my feelings about this style of footwear). For more on the subject of ugly shoes, read "Gallery of Horrors" by Manolo the Shoe Blogger. http://shoeblogs.com/horrors.html

01/011/07 ~ Janine ~ I've always liked ankle boots.

01/21/07 ~ Groks ~ a total knock-off. Disgraceful behavior. Ashamed again! But there's knock-offs in every High Street. Still waiting for "cease and desist" letter.

01/28/07 ~ Lisa Llanfair buys 9 pairs of Clogs, 1 pair of Groks, 2 pairs of Jeepers Creepers, 3 pairs of Ughs and 22 pairs of Wellies.

02/04/07 ~ Coco Nico buys 4 pairs of H&H Oxfords, 12 pairs of Clogs, 6 pairs of Groks, 6 pairs of OttO and 4 pairs of UGHs.

02/05/07 ~ Lunar/Luna/Zero-G ~ a futuristic metallic women's boot. Never really took off.

02/25/07 - 10/26/08 ~ Rigger (men's work boots) ~ two styles of boot in the shoebox: One, a normal boot version with a separate leg, and the other as though the leg was rolled down to form a cuff or collar around the ankle.

03/04/07 ~ Twill ~ Initially released as women's Rigger, but since this boot was not a female version of the men's, the name was quickly changed. The name was inspired by a lovely canvas twill texture I found.

03/18/07 - 12-01-08~ RadioActive ~ Lots of lovely hazard warning labels. I wanted these boots to leave glowing "radioactive" footprints, but I wasn't impressed with the results. The slowly pulsating glow was left in, but only really shows up at night.

03/21/07 ~ Hi-Rigger/ Uptown/Hi-Top/Combat/ Sci-Fi (formerly Zero-G). A collection of designs that I'd never released.

04/29/07 ~ Strike! (men's and women's) ~ This bowling shoe was a real breakthrough. For the first time I abandoned the 3-prim sole and replicated a RL sole, both in plan view (which resulted in dramatically different left and right builds) but also in the curvature when viewed from the side. This resulted in a realistic 15-prim sole.

05/13/07 ~ Veronika ~ designed to complement Betty, it never really caught on, mainly because the sole was much too clunky. It was about this time that I realized that I didn't really understand women's shoes.

05/27/07 ~ Giddyap (women's) ~ a Riding Boot spin-off from the Zero-G build, in response to having a stable across the hill from my main store. For fun, I added a riding crop which, when worn and clicked upon, would result in a smacking animation and a whimpered "oooohhh". Available in both men's and women's voices, depending on the object of your attention. This is the last women's shoe I made.

06/10/07 ~ Giddyap (men's) ~ sure enough, guys wanted a Riding Boot too. They also got the whips.

07/12/07 - 01/06/09 ~ Rebel ~ this men's shoe was another breakthrough. In addition to the multi-prim sole, I developed the sliced-bread style of shoe building. Unlike previous releases, all four of the original designs were slightly different.

09/09/07 ~ Scratch ~ based on the Strike! chassis, this shoe was inspired with a texture I found and modified to create a scratched/canvas appearance.

09/23/07 ~ Quixote ~ a much more realistic looking boot with a slightly "worn" appearance. This is the first (but so far the only version) of a series of men's boots. I intend to use the same shape but with different textures and add-ons to create a variety of styles: buckles, laces, zippers, straps, emblems, etc. Many people tell me they never use the leg, preferring to wear just the boot portion, under jeans.

10/14/07 ~ Carl Perkins ~ this design first appeared as one of the Rebel series but I felt it was a strong enough design to be released in 6 different color suedes.

11/02/07 ~ Oslo ~ an ankle boot version of Henry Morgan - one of the Rebel series. I've always wanted to do an elastic-sided boot. A shoe this height does not require a separate "leg" portion, and when worn with jeans, does not show any socks (or lack thereof).

11/23/07 ~ Ho! ~ Talk about crass commercialism! I made these boots on Buy Nothing Day - the day after Thanksgiving, which signals the beginning of the month of Christmas. Last year, I went to Thailand for the entire month of December, and it was the best Christmas I've ever had. To make these bi-sexual boots really annoying, I added an optional sleigh bells sound effect.

11/25/07 ~ Ugh ~ The men's Ho! boots came out so quickly, I thought I ought to do some men's Ughs for winter. Six masculine colors.

12/16/07 ~ SOMA ~ I wanted to do a slighter taller boot than the Oslo, without getting into the separate "leg" portion. These work pretty well except in a few "broken ankle" poses, where the top of the shoe pokes through the pants. I spent about 3 weeks working on this design. The shape came fairly quickly, but I worked on the textures right up until the photo shoot, before I was satisfied. FYI, I created and uploaded around 150 tga textures while working on these shoes. Sometimes the change is just to get a stitch in the right place, or a shadow line aligned. I also took loads of snapshots of the shoes, overlaid with the alignment grid, and more during the photoshoot.

12/29/07 ~ Shanghai ~ I wanted to try something different with this shoe. I knew I wanted to make a two-tone dress shoe, but instead of using two different leathers, I chose a dimpled leather and a heavy silk brocade. This shoe has an upturned "snout" at the front, and is fastened with a wooden peg through three iron loops. To top it off, each shoe is decorated with a Chinese coin (held in place with a Chinese button knot), and the sole is incised with a Chinese dragon.

01/29/08 ~ Kippers ~ Maybe it was the wet January, but I often found myself wearing an old comfortable cozy pair of slippers in the evenings, so I decided to make some in SL. Even though the shape was based on another shoe, I ended up re-designing the whole thing. When it came to the textures, I had so much fun! Finally I whittled the choice down to 6 variations and since Valentine's Day was around the corner, did 50% off the red quilted ones.

03/01/08 ~ Dublin ~ Well what started out as a quick repeat of an earlier shape turned into a start from scratch exercise. And I'm glad I did: this shoe has (IMHO) the most realistic shape so far. I began with the brown version then added other textures, including the patterned "black cherry" that Ben Vanguard has been begging me for, ever since I used a similar texture as the lining of my Shanghai shoes.

04/19/08 ~ Toltec ~ The other weekend I went camping. A friend was telling me about the history of the conquest of Mexico, and that night I had a dream about shoes. Toltec is the result. I showed them to my good friend Raven Pennyfeather and she was inspired to create an amazing outfit "Castenada".

05/25/08 ~ Sebastian ~ The medieval retro look of Toltec warranted a second, modern look. Now who would wear high-heeled bright yellow shoes I wondered? Why, a rock star! More conservative colors followed... Like the Toltec, these shoes have a built-in sculpty "ankle" that models the upper part of the foot. The ankle has the same texture as the included socks, so that the foot appears to enter the shoe naturally.

06/25/08 ~ Finz, Mavericks & Reef Riders ~ I've had a few guys ask me to make my Grocs in men's sizes. I've found that scaling up women's shoes to men's sizes doesn't work, the proportions are all wrong, so I had no choice but to start from scratch. I worked first on the Mavericks, named for a really big wave in Northern California. Beginning with the sole and heel shape, I added a full upper and since these were intended to be beach shoes, I included perforations for drainage on top and around the edge. I copied the simple buckle from some diving goggles. I found some textures that give a nice translucent effect, and added some ripples and waves. For the Reef Riders, I removed the heel and replaced it with the same buckle strap. The Finz got stripped down even more. All three shoes are offered in half a dozen translucent colors.

08/25/08 ~ Havana ~ While on a three week visit to Thailand, I was inspired to produce some men's leather sandals. Simple leather straps wrap around the foot and ankle to create an airy shoe. I used a Resizer on this shoe, which gives the user maximum ability to size the shoe according to the proportions of their avatar. Because these shoes allow the foot to be seen inside, it is important to size the foot to match the shoe, rather than setting the foot size to 0.

10/18/08 ~ aXion ~ Autumn is here and my thoughts turn to winter boots with the rugged aXion line of hiking boots. Whether you're exploring the urban or rural environment, these sheepskin-lined, fur-cuffed sturdy boots will get you where you need to go. Available in muted black, blue, brown, gray, olive and sand.

10/25/08 ~ Rigger Redux ~ I've finally made a start on updating my older shoes. The Rigger work boots are still popular but the shape needed a major facelift. I based the shape on the aXion boot, but with a rolled-down cuff. Available in a traditional work boot, two camo versions and three leather colors: black, brown and black cherry (shown).

12/01/08 ~ RadioActive Redux ~ The first version of the RadioActive boot had about 4 prims; this one is based on the Quixote shape. Instead of a solid black sole, I used a translucent jelly (the same color as the shoes - red, black, yellow and silver), and embedded black graphite lugs into it, to create a 3d version. The boots are decorated with Hazard Warning symbols on a long-grain asbestos impregnated twill fabric. I also included a choice of 2 legs, an old school one and a sculptie version. But the best thing about this boot has to be the optional flaming radioactive footprint animation. Many thanks to Darek Deluca for his scripting that transformed a cartoony boot into something sublime.

12/01/08 ~ Ho! ~ Just in time for Christmas, the Dept. of Shameless Commerce has released an Elven Green version of the Santa Red Ho! boots.

01/03/09 ~ Red Diamonds by Luciano de Vincenzi ~ The first shoe of the New Year! I was all set to release this shoe a week ago, then I scrapped the original shape and started over. This loafer is the result. For the first style I chose a formal dress shoe, with three crimson diamonds on the instep and a black silk bow on the tongue.

01/06/09 ~ Henry Morgan by Luciano de Vincenzi ~ This is an updated version of the eponymous Rebel shoe, introduced in July '07. Very popular with the period costume set and now with a ReSizer.

09/19/09 ~ KiX ~ My original idea for this particular shoe had a pastel-colored canvas upper, with contrasting leather trim. This became Miami (see below). However, the first texture I tried was the black/gray version shown here. That's when I realized that the design had more than one style going for it. Kix became a sort of "crossover" shoe, part sneaker, part loafer. Available in black, blue, green and red, these shoes have a flexible non-slip sole tinted to match the leather/GoreTex (R) two-tone uppers.

09/19/09 ~ Miami ~ A summer shoe. Ideal for the beach and the boulevard. Pastel canvas in cream, sage, pale blue and peach, with leather detailing. Wear with shorts or slacks; socks optional.

10/21/09 ~ Vader's (I) ~ My first sculpty shoe. In the interests of full disclosure, I must declare that the sculpty shape used in these shoes is not mine, unlike the hand-drawn textures, which are all my own work. I'm in the process of learning to create sculpties, because ultimately it will give me the ability to create shoes that aren't possible with prims alone. Unfortunately there is a steep learning curve to negotiate before I can create my own sculpties, so in the meantime I used an excellent pre-made shape.

10/23/09 ~ Vader's (II) ~ After the first four Vader's (in black, khaki, gray and red canvas), I got busy with some more detailed ones. The second batch (all-black, cream, cocoa and russet) have individual soles and leather detailing.

11/6/09 ~ Trashville ~ Old time residents may remember the first Trashville boots released back in August '06. I withdrew them a year ago because they looked clunky and out-of-date. Today, the Trashville brand reappears. I bought a pre-made sculpty shape boot, added a sculpty leg and some prim straps and buckles, and created new textures. There are two classic styles "Engineer" and "Harness", and two colors, black and brown. Simple.

1/13/10 ~ Colbert ~ is constructed on the same last as the earlier Sebastian and Toltec stacked-heel shoes. But there the resemblance ends. Colbert is suave, sophisticated and has a high gloss shine. Available in black, chocolate brown, copper (a delightfully sunny golden brown), and cordovan (a rich shade of burgundy blended with a dull rose).

1/13/10 ~ Franken ~ Another dress shoe from the ostensible English shoemaker Green & Son, the putative creators of Sebastian, Toltec and Colbert. Franken doesn't disappoint. This shoe is constructed entirely from virgin black suede, and has a very distinctive 3 row lacing with cutaway facing. Running down the length of the shoe is a sinuous center seam. Clearly a shoe to be reckoned with.

1/13/10 ~ Stewart ~ Yet another dress shoe from Green & Son, this one is a simple though stylish loafer, in an alluring combination of high polish black leather and jet black suede, that conjures up images of galoshes, sloshing through puddles. This is unlikely to happen to this shoe. This shoe will only come out for the most special occasions, expecting to dance the night away. Don't disappoint it!

3/15/10 ~ Krox ~ UniSex beach shoes with ReColor! Part sneaker, part 'Croc", all color. These were intended as the replacement for my Groks, Finz, Mavericks and Reef Riders. Available in four "blank" textures that are transformed by the ability to ReColor individual parts of the shoe: the sole, toe, upper, heel, straps and logo.

3/28/10 ~ Kool Kats ~ two-tone Retro suede shoes. I own an old pair of Hush Puppies similar to these. I replaced the HP logo on the buckle with the Kool Kats logo with its inspiring motto "Kool Kats Abide". So sayeth the Dude.

9/10/10 ~ DB Desert Boots ~ It's been six months since I released my last shoe. I took an extended break from SL, in large part because my landlord added a new sim next to mine, with a very ugly development that totally spoiled the tranquility of my oceanside store. I found this strangely upsetting, and since my concerns were ignored, I withdrew from SL. Recently I was invited to take part in the 4th Make Him Over Hunt for men, so I decided the time had come for me to get back in the game. I did so with these desert boots, inspired by an RL purchase. I found a great rough suede texture for these rather plain shoes, that compensated for the lack of decorative stitching, brogueing and gimping. I couldn't resist adding a leather-trimmed edge around the top of the heel, extending down the facing.