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

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

New -Zag suede shoes!!!

I was very pleased with the final shape of the Cairo summer shoes and decided to use the shape in a more contemporary and edgier shoe. Introducing -Zag (with a hyphen). For this shoe I modified the regular straight-across toe cap, and distorted it, making it asymmetrical. To enhance this jagged toecap, I added a large contrasting stitch. -Zag is available in Black suede with contrasting gray stitching, Blue suede with green stitching, Green suede with violet stitching, and Maroon suede with blue stitching.

New Cairo summer shoes!!!

This is the post I was going to write, until I got sidetracked into telling the whole story about my tussles with the Phoenix viewer (see previous article). Anyways, I wanted to make some summer shoes. I'm not a fan of sandals. Men's feet are best kept hidden; nobody wants to see toenails or clumps of wiry hair. But in the summer, feet need ventilation! This does not mean removing your socks. IMHO, wearing leather shoes without socks is a blight on fashion!  
I recently come across some nice wicker textures, and I wanted to try a woven panel in a classic Oxford shoe. Once again I ended up making a completely new shoe shape. I started with a brogued leather wingtip stretching way back, leather heel and ankle binding, and finally a large overlaid facing, rather like a golf shoe. This way, all vulnerable parts of the shoe are protected by leather. Everything else is perforated and allows cooling breezes to waft through your shoes, taking the heat off your feet.
Cairo summer shoes in four styles: Carob - deep dark plum colored leather with matching hessian cloth vamp and quarter; Pampas - coffee colored leather with straw colored woven cloth ; Thyme - golden brown leather with contrasting green hessian cloth; and Wicker - medium brown leather with wicker.

Unwanted highlights and shadows on curved surfaces.

One of the requirements for merchants at the Menswear Fashion Week 2012, is to have a new exclusive item to release at the show. I'd been working on this idea for men's summer Oxfords in a very old-fashioned style, yet totally nouveau and elegant.  Work on the textures going good, until I decided to update my old Phoenix viewer, to the latest viewer. Suddenly, these beautiful light-colored shoes looked strangely lumpy.    
Cairo in Phoenix
Cairo in Phoenix
What was going on? I tried every adjustment I could think of in the viewer itself (Edit> Preferences), all those variables, and I don't have a clue what half of them do). Then I made a simple object to test in both viewers. This loaf-shaped object consisted of 10 slices (like the highlighted slice). This is how the object appeared in the old Phoenix viewer. The individual slices cannot be discerned, and the object appears to be a smooth monolithic whole:-
Image 1. Phoenix viewer.
This next image is the same object as above, photographed under the same lighting conditions, on the same computer, video card, monitor, etc. As you can see, the upper half of the object, which consists of a series of half-discs, has unwanted shadows and highlights, which prevents it from being seen as a single smooth monolithic object.
Image 2. Phoenix and SL Viewer 2 v3.2.8
I wrote up a ticket in the Phoenix JIRA, (PHOE-3919, Faceted textures in After about six weeks of dialog, the ticket was moved over to the Fire project team. At their request, I also filed a ticket with Second Life (VWR-28603, Unwanted Highlights and Shadows on Curved Surfaces), which I think is a more accurate and descriptive title. 

At some point in viewer development, highlights and shadows were added to curved surfaces. This subtle effect only shows up under the following circumstances: the object must be white or light-colored, and it must be perpendicular to the light source. A vertical stack of discs viewed under noon daytime lighting will not be affected, because the light source is directly overhead. Whether some bright spark added this lighting effect as an  "enhancement", or whether some number got rounded up instead of down, I don't know. But anyone who looks at DEMOs of my shoes on the latest viewers, will think they look like shit. If you do, please add a comment to the JIRA Tickets (PHOE-3919 and VWR-28603). The more people complain, the sooner this subtle effect can be removed, and I can get back to making light-colored shoes.