Friday, October 30, 2015

There's a moon over the off-sim mountains tonight

With this moon and planet system you can add as many moons or planets to your place as you want. They are perfect as a backdrop for a romantic spot or to increase the immersion on sci-fi or fantasy builds. They are ideal for photo shoots, and can be used both at land level and on sky builds. You can get a demo here on the Marketplace or get a real one here. They will be discounted by 20% until Monday November 2.

The "3D moon" responds to windlight lighting as if it were 3 3D shape

The planets will be very far outside your sim boundaries, and are always behind any off-sim landscape that you may be using, like they would in reality. I'm pretty sure this is the only moon and planet system in Second Life that is able to place a moon or planet that far away!

The planet system uses materials. This means normal and specular maps will make them look like actual spheres instead of flat discs. The lighting of the planets will change with the position of your sun and moon (environment settings) like real planets would.

You should enable the Advanced Lighting Model in your viewer to see it. The textures are alpha masked (not partly transparent), and because of that do not cause alpha glitch problems, so that they do not falsely appear to be in front of trees or windows.

By menu you can:

  • Select any of 16 heavenly bodies (never thought I'd write about heavenly bodies here);
  • Select one of nine moon phases
  • Set its speed and direction of rotation around the sim, or make it stop moving;
  • Set its size, from huge to very small
  • Switch between natural lighting and full bright texture
  • Set glow intensity.

This version of the moon is especially suitable for daylight settings: it blends in with the sky.

Available moon phases

One system has three planets with rings (two sizes each, four prims land impact), the other has 15 moons and planets without rings (two prims land impact). All planets of our own solar system can be chosen (Mercury, Venus, Earth (2 choices) and our moon, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune and Uranus).

This item is made of mega prims with physics type set to None. This means it will not obstruct any sit animations and not cause any lag in combination with moving objects on your region, like horses and cars. Mega prims do go outside your region, and therefore owners of regions that are attached to yours with at least one full side have a problem with that. They will not influence other regions that only touch at the corners

This is the first of a series of decorative off-sim items.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Four new Solid Sky Landscapes

Four new Solid Sky Landscapes (see this blog post to learn more about this type of landscape and for an instruction video) are available in my store. Together with the previous six ones they are also available in a considerably discounted fatpack. You might use them to create additional levels in the air, perhaps even to rent out to others to earn back part of your tiers!

Solid Sky Landscapes are primarily meant for people who have a complete island region (full sim or homestead) at their disposal. The part that is within the region boundaries is solid mesh, so you can build and walk on it. The off-sim, surrounding part is made of matching sculpted mega prims. They are meant for use in the sky. Make sure to enable Advanced Lighting Model in your Graphics settings, especially animated water on all landscapes and sand ripples on the Sahara Oasis landscape will look a lot better that way.

This one is inspired by the Lijiang River near Guilin, in China. It's an incredible beautiful and unique landscape shaped by erosion of limestone (karst). Visit here.

This desert landscape has an on-sim oasis with animated, reflective water and carefully created normal maps (Advanced Lighting Model). The oasis just begs to be surrouded by palm trees and some bedouin tents or stone ruins, don't you think? Use one of the Sunset envrinoment settings (like "Desert Sunset") and be amazed! Visit here.

Finally put your own lander and flag on the Moon, or even create a roleplay base there! "Lunar Morning 7" is a perfect environment setting for it. Visit here.
This one comes in three baked textures (in one buy): this icy Winter version, a Spring version with green fields and snow on the moutain tops and a desert version with barren slopes and a meandering river in the valley. Visit here.

People that already have two or more of the earlier six landscapes can get in touch with me to get all remaining Solid Sky Landscapes for free. The fatpack will stay available in the future.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Solid Sky Landscapes are now available

All six brand new solid sky landscapes are now available in the Landscapes Unlimited store in Second Life. In this previous post you can read what makes these landscapes special.

You could already see the Peaky Islands and the Six Lakes solid landscapes, now you can also visit the Lonely Mountain, Kingdom of Islands and Crossing Ridges landscapes.

Lonely Mountain solid sky landscape

The Lonely Mountain is special in a sense that it puts you on top of a mountain instead of in a valley. It is surrounded by animated reflective water (enable Advanced Lighting model!) that you can look and dream about, but not go to. Go to the borders of the sim and look down to enjoy the spectacular views. I'm sure many of you will be inspired by it: this is not a common sight in Second Life, where most places are surrounded by mountains instead of on top of them. The mesh on-sim surface makes it easy to build your own mountain keep.

Lonely Mountain: a mountainous island floating in the sky

Kingdom of Islands solid sky landscape

The Kingdom of Islands is a collection of tropical islands and beaches. The solid on-sim part has beaches and a few higher areas. It's ideal to make your own tropical private place in the sky, high above your other activities at ground level.

Crossing Ridges solid sky landscape

Crossing Ridges is a mountainous landscape, with four valleys that meet each other in the middle, where you get to build your place.  Your sunsets and sunrises will be spectacular!

Sandy Shore solid sky landscape

There is one landscape that cannot be visited yet. It's the Sandy Shores landscape. It has green hills with some big, sheltered lakes that you can walk into.

Installing the Solid Sky landscapes may be a bit tricky. To help you with it I've made an instruction video.

You can get demos of all of them in my store. They are not available on the Marketplace yet, but they will be by the end of August. As an introductory offer these new landscapes will be discounted by 20% until July 19, 2015.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

NEW Solid Sky Landscapes: sim-wide solid mesh merging into a surrounding, off-sim sculpted landscape

After several months of work I've finally finished the first six landscapes of a completely new type. I call them Solid Sky Landscapes.

Peaky Islands Solid Sky Landcsape

These sky landscapes are perfect for easily creating an additional level high above ground level, with a naturally shaped solid surface that almost looks like regular sim land. You can use them on full sims and homesteads. They only have a land impact of 80-160 (depending on the configuration you choose) so land impact shouldn't be a problem!

The Six Lakes solid sky landscape...

...with the solid mesh part in the middle, highlighted for this picture by "glow"

Two solid sky landscapes are already on display, and all six of them will be available in my store this weekend or at the beginning of next week. Solid sky landscapes consist of two parts: a solid mesh part within and a sculpted mega prim part outside the sim borders. These are their properties:

The mesh on-sim part:
  • The mesh part within the boundaries of the region is made of 16 meshes (or a few more when slopes are very steep) that fit together without gaps or seams. These meshes all have baked textures with normal maps to emphasize the terrain shapes.
  • All meshes are solid and can be walked/built on to allow for lots of flexibility without the need of problematic "invisiprims". You can, for example, walk into the water when available.
  • The meshes along the borders of the sim have vertical walls to prevent you from falling through the mesh surface. Without these walls you would fall through, even if the meshes themselves would extend exactly to the sim borders. The meshes have to be exactly in the right position to work well. If they are placed, for example, one meter away from their "sweet spot" you would fall through the surface when close to the sim border. A rez box will help you to position them correctly.
  • Big meshes like these generally have a high land impact. These meshes however have been meticulously cleaned to lower impact. All meshes together typically have a land impact of only about 50-60.
  • The meshes almost seamlessly merge with the sculpted surrounding landscape. It is positioned slightly above it to prevent parts of the surround poking through.

The mesh on-sim part of the Peaky Islands solid sky landscape

The sculpted surrounding off-sim part:
  • The surrounding part is made of 16 sculpted mega prims. They also have baked textures with normal maps to emphasize topography. The land impact of the sculpted surrounding land (and water, when available) is about 32-40. 
  • All surrounding landscapes also have a matching tree part. This part has a land impact of about 50-60. It can be removed when needed. The tree part can be connected to a HUD (many of you are familiar with the principle) to switch to another tree type. The surrounding landscape itself, however, cannot be connected to a HUD, and the textures cannot be changed
  • The water textures contain animated normal maps, which means you will see reflective moving wave ripples if you enable the Advanced Lighting Model in your viewer. Together with baked under water textures this gives quite a realistic picture.
  • The surrounding landscape and trees do not interfere with any sit-animations.

The peaky Islands sky landscape: high-quality sky living!

In order to use this type of solid sky landscape you need to be have rez permission on the complete region. You cannot use it if you own, for example, half a region or a 1/4 region parcel, unless your land lord allows you to.

You can visit the Six Lakes landscape here. The Peaky Islands landscape is rezzed at my store. You can jump over the bariers of the store and explore!

I will post more information here when all of them are for sale. There will be demos that you can take with you too. I'd love to hear your thoughts about this new kind of landscape!

Friday, October 17, 2014

The Rocky Coast: a chain of islands to decorate your horizon

I've had this landscape in my inventory for a long time already, but I never had the time to finish it. Now it is available in my store. It comes in five versions: full sim surround, half sim surround, and three sizes of sky landscapes (1,000 x 1,000m, 250 x 250m and 125 x 125m).

The Rocky Coast consists of a couple of island groups with steep cliffs, boulders, some sheltered beaches and trees on top. They go very well together with the on-sim mesh Cliffs & Beaches landscape. It keeps the horizon visible for long stretches, so it won't obstruct your sunrise and sunset. This landscape, like all other recent landscapes, does not interact with the physics system, which means it does not obstruct any sit animations and does not cause movement lag.

I've used new materials too, so make sure to enable Advanced Lighting in your viewer to enjoy it to the max. The sky landscapes have animated reflective water when Advanced Lighting is on.

The sim surround landscape can be visited here, where it's surrounding the Cliffs & Beaches on-sim landscape. The medium sized sky landscape can be visited here. I've put a few sections of the mesh beach system in the middle, to show you how well they combine to make your perfect hideaway in the sky.