Monday, March 7, 2016

Version 6 surrounds released with several innovations

It's time for a big new release: I've added nine completely new scenes to my collection of full sim surrounds.

Pathagonia, with waterfalls

I've regarded it a challenge to improve my work in as many ways as possible, and it's for you to judge if I've succeeded. Here is a list of all technical changes:
  • All textures have normal maps, which means shadows are sharper and lighting is much better, and 3D details are visible that wouldn't be visible without them;
  • All textures match perfectly with the land forms. Waterlines are horizontal, like they are in the physical world;
  • Waterfalls have a natural shape, have a low-lag type of animation, and have normal maps to make them look 3D;

Tropical Paradise, with waterfalls
  • All landscapes have baked texture sets for four seasons (except the Tropical Paradise, which has four scenes instead of seasons). Switching from one to the other is easy by using the HUD;
  • There are more off-sim trees than ever before, as a result of using a billboard technique. As many as 42 trees are shown by one single mega prim. The trees have normal maps as well, which makes them appear fully 3D. The trees are alpha masked, which means they do not cause alpha sorting problems ("alpha glitch"). Pine trees for all seasons, palm trees... They're all there and can be chosen by HUD;
  • 31 Matching terrain textures are included, for all seasons: perfect to make your sim terrain match the surroundings;
  • These landscapes do not blank out the world map: a technique is used to prevent that from happening.
Gorges du Veron, winter scene

Besides these innovations, other succesful changes introduced with the version 5 landscapes have also been applied:
  • An advanced menu lets you remove all scripts after deploy;
  • They do not obstruct any kind of sitting animation (unscripted sit, multi-sit), nor will they cause spikes of lag on your sim.
Unfortunately, normal maps can only be seen when Advanced Lighting is switched on (Graphics section of your Preferences).

For now, this new set of surrounds is only available for single island regions. You can find them here in my store. Free demos are available, make sure to use them before purchasing a real one! You can get them all in one buy as well.

1 comment:

  1. I can't wait to check the new surrounds out when I get home. These look amazing!