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!