Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Tropics environment available for 1/4 sim corner parcels

The tropical full sim surrounding environment that I released in December 2012 proves to be very popular. By now, there must be hundreds of them out there on the grid. To use this full sim surround, however, you need to own or rent a complete island. That makes it unusable for many residents.




Today I release a version of the Tropics that you can use on a 1/4 region. It has eight different scenes inside (volcanoes, mangrove islands etc), all in three editions with dedicated textures making 24 setups to choose from.



This item will only be available in the Gold edition, which means that it's copiable and that its appearence can be changed by means of a HUD. Moreover, you can remove unnecessary scripts and sitting on any object on the sim will not be blocked  in any way.

The new Tropics environment is available here, and it's very attractively priced. You can get a demo to try it before you buy the real one.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Using rich materials in stead of plain textures

Linden Lab is collaborating with others on a project to enable the use of richer looking materials in Second Life. Read more about the materials project in today's featured blog post. Be sure to watch this video where Torley Linden explains about using materials to enrich textures. At exactly 1:00 you will see a shot of the Grand Canyon surround!

Flat surface textures can be improved significantly by adding normal maps and specular maps. I have improved the rock and sand textures on the mesh cliffs and caves environment at ground level on my island by using this new technology. And I must say: the results are very, very promising indeed. Here are two pictures:




You can see what the richer textures look like by installing the latest second life viewer and teleporting to landscapes Unlimited. In order to see the materials you have to enable the Advanced Lighting Model in the Advanced section of the Graphics settings (Preferences menu, CTRL+P).

Some environment settings have a more profound effect on the materials than others, so I advise you to select a few different ones from the list in your viewer. For the pictures above I have used a slightly altered version of the Coastal Afternoon setting.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Grand Canyon surround and On-Sim Mesh environment now available

The Grand Canyon off-sim environment and the on-sim Cliffs & Beaches mesh environment are now available on Landscapes Unlimited and on the Marketplace (off-sim surround (including a demo) and on-sim mesh). In my in-world store, there is also a pack of both environments available against a 40% discount.