Monday, June 23, 2014

Landscapes Unlimited goes Urban

Up to now, I've only created purely natural landscape items. The sheer beauty of nature inspired me. However, city sceneries can be very impressive too, and recently 'materials' in Second Life offer awesome possibilities to make the textures of buildings much richer than before. Besides, several people have been asking me about city surrounds. Two months ago I accepted the challenge, and this is what I came up with:
  • A full city sim surround (1,000 x 1,000 m), for single region islands,
  • A half city sim surround (1,000 x 500 m), for bigger islands,
  • A large city skybox surround (1,000 x 1,000 m), for large sky builds on island regions.
Modern City Full Sim Surround landscape

Modern City Half Sim Surround landscape

I have two more items on my to-do list: a medium-sized sky surround (250 x 250 m) and a sim edge environment (250 x 125 m), but they probably won't be ready before September.

The city landscapes come in three sets of metarials: one especially suitable for daytime settings, one for twilight settings and a third one for nighttime settings. You can pick the set that matches your build by using the HUD that you're no doubt already familiar with.

It is very important to switch on the Advanced Lighting Model in the Graphics settings (Preferences menu, CTRL-P). Otherwise the textures of the skyscrapers will look dull. Another tip: don't use default midday environment settings, the sun will shine from straight above your build, which is not very natural and will cause unwanted effects on the vertical highrises. However, several sunrise and sunset settings will give you spectacular colorful reflections in the windows, which is a lot more interesting to look at!

The city landscapes are only available in copyable form ("Gold edition").