Sunday, July 21, 2019

Recent Changes at ACC Alpha in 2019

The beach at Cranberry Dock has also been retextured, and the wind blew
the dunes into new formation.


The Playground once occupied this garden terrace. 
Now it is a relaxing spot to look onto views all around the gardens.


I haven't posted in a year not because nothing was happening, but because too much was happening and I fell behind. Several months ago, I began a project to clean up Accentaury. One of the first things I did several months ago after the end of Fantasy Faire 2019, was remove the playground because it was heavily scripted and very complex in appearance. I loved it, but took the big leap to make this part of Maze Gardens simple and green, so that when you look toward the museum from that space, you really see things much more clearly.



The Napping Sun. Fabrics and interior features sculpted in Blender.


The next major change to arrive on the sim was the Lighting Project. It's always been my desire to bake shadows into the buildings on the sim. Learning the Blender sculpting program allows this. The first interior to use this technique is the Napping Sun gallery. The process is to make a rough plywood dummy of the interior space, bring that into the Blender program, and build new walls onto the imported dummy. Then I discard the dummy and complete work on the shell I just made. When it returns back to Second Life, the exact dimensions and size are preserved.

Interior of the Ziki Pavilion. 

I also wanted to try another challenging space that had an irregular floor plan. One building in need of remodeling was the Ziki Pavilion at Venice Under Glass in the heart of ACC Alpha. This room was brought into shadow and light shortly after I'd finished the Napping Sun.

The purple platforms allow travelers to easily find their train.
Signs are in English and Primchords (the indigenous language of Accentaury).


Now coming into July, I had big plans. While on a trip, I drew out my ideas for removing the train tracks which dominated the square in front of the museum. Instead, I would bring those three lines under ground below the museum, and thereby clear up the square into a fresher look. The station would need to be large, so when I returned home I began work immediately July 1. This was one of the more complex digging projects because entry and departure tunnels had to be figured out for the simplest working system, and be clear to the user which platform to use. I wanted to give the rider a sense of arriving at a major destination, for in fact, the museum above is an expansive complex nearly a third of the sim large.

Accentaury Furniture. The interior is paper based.


The Centaurs' Beat dance club was replaced with the Accentaury Furniture shop. My friend Lilia Artis suggested I sculpt things that people could use to decorate their houses such as ceramics. Then I thought, what about still lives then? She liked that version of the concept, and so this is what is now being presented at the shop. Then I made a shell for the building in Blender with light and shadow and paper horses coming out of the wall. This continues the paper motif, after all, the shop is in the Paper Village district of Accentaury.

"Plantings" by Lilia Artis and Haveit Neox for the UWA.
The building they hold is Windham Tower at the UWA.


Many years ago, Lilia Artis and I did a collaborative piece for the UWA (University of Western Australia in Second Life). Lilia sculpted the female figure and I did the male figure. But both faces are textured with photos of the faces Lilia sculpted in terracotta in real life. This piece is one of my favorite works she and I made, and I finally decided to rezz it at the Menagerie Court in ACC Alpha even though it is nearly 200 Li. 

Accentaury School House. 


If you've traveled through Accentaury before, you may have noticed the use of a language written in a very different script. Some say it looks Chinese, some say Arabic, some say Hebrew. But it is the indigenous language of the ACC Alpha sim called Primchords. It is the language of the centaurs. The Library of Darkrodin, and its surrounding neighborhood is where one could find rare examples of this language. However, recently, it has bloomed across the whole sim, and signs are popping up in public spaces, such as the train stations and public institutions. Is there a Rosetta Stone for Primchords? The closest one may come to discovering more about it is in the Accentaury School House. Until mid July 2019, the space was a texture shop, which I speak more about below. The hints to the language show up on the blackboards as well as the student papers on the desks which have been corrected by the teacher. These centaurs are trying their best to learn English, and you can see their efforts on the homework assignment.

The new Sun Deck gallery and its stairs, perching atop the Napping Sun gallery. 
Now showing work by Art Oluja.



I made a little gallery on top of the Napping Sun building. It has a nice terrace which I call the sun deck. When Lilia saw the build, she asked how people would get up there. I said they could fly. But she suggested a stairwell would be practical, and could look interesting. I thought at first to hide it at the back of the building, but Lilia suggested in the front if I were to make the stairs look architecturally interesting. Off to Blender I went, and soon had access to the little gallery atop the Napping Sun. I wanted to show some of Art Oluja's work, and this was the incentive to build a new gallery. The views walking up the staircase are interesting, so this project worked out all the way around.


Accentaury Texture Shop. It is the bottom floor of the building in the
center of the photograph.


Lilia Artis thought it was a bad idea to move my little texture shop from the above school house building to the Museum shop, where I had a tiny corner. She likes the school, but insisted that I get a permanent space for my texture shop. She scoured the sim, and came upon an ideal spot at Paper Village. Right below the Parrot Troubadour café. But it was a low ceiling basement with prims from the café jutting in from above, and from the sides. It means doing a little bit of terraforming and reconstructing the lower walls of the building. Within a few hours, the space was ready to move in. The location is right at the Darkrodin Pier and below the café which Lilia furnished. So she and I share the same building which makes it especially nice.







XXX



Saturday, August 4, 2018

A glimpse of Haveit's real life

From the film "A Village Awakens"



Recently, I posted a film on vimeo about some of my real life work from the time before I found Second Life.


Please click HERE to watch the film.


Description posted on my vimeo page:

I love to build cities in gardens, or in the pixelated landscapes in Second Life® as my avatar Haveit Neox. This village is what I made for my garden. I sculpted it from both earthenware and high fire clays, which I decorated and glazed. The village is quite old and weathered naturally by the elements. I have awaited this for a long time, as a sense of history bathes the decomposing walls. The film captures the village after a long period of quiet. It has been sleeping under its cover of leaves since I discovered Second Life® in 2009. Only last week did I decide to clear some of the streets and plazas to make room for its awakening. I thank my friend Lilia Artis for coming up with the title for the film.
Filmed in my garden in the States, July 2018




XXX

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Last Week of Fantasy Faire 2018

The Faire usually ends the last day of April, but it has been extended until around May 6. I made a film about it which you can see by clicking HERE. 



Lilia Artis and I built the arts and entertainment sim, which we named The Story Well. If you read this post by May 7, you can visit our installation by clicking HERE. While at the Faire, there are 15 sims to discover, which I highly recommend visiting. After May 6 or 7, all the sims vanish. Fantasy Faire is an annual event which only stays up about two weeks, not nearly enough time to see everything, but a destination where you really can't go wrong with any of the choices you make to see.

STORY:

The Story Well
     There’s a little island in the middle of the vast sea. It emerges from the water like some verdant whale back of enormous dimension. Here, there are no cars, no electricity, not many conveniences… but there are walkways to follow, and other paths not so well defined, which are the preference of children. They make good use of the trees for their games. They also skip into the galleries of paintings, because everyone on the hill seems to love pictures, and there are no doors to prevent curious children from enjoying these. 
     Just in front of the Blue Palace which dominates the summit of the hill is a well. It is simple, but the people consider it magical. From it, each day, people fish up children’s drawings. Where these drawings come from, nobody knows. How they survive the currents is equally perplexing. Nevertheless, the pages arrive in a continuous flow, and from this resource, parents fashion tories to company the pictures, reading them to their sons and daughters.
     A particular sister and her brother have the curiosity of a cat. Every day these two children sneak to the well when no one is around, to peer down into its dark depths. Today, they can almost see something in the darkness, like stars in a misty night sky. “What do you see?” they ask each other. “I see thousands of fish jumping out of the ocean to attack a ship”, says one. “I see giant children surrounded by clouds of floating pages” says the other. “Where?!” says the brother. “Where do you see that?!” says the sister. They were both bending quite seriously over the edge of the well. All it would take was the gentlest of breezes to make them loose their balance and fall headlong down the well’s shaft. And this soft breeze is provided by a little bird in pursuit of a plump fly, whose path zigzags right past the children. Down they go, screaming in terror. An echo returns the voice in its watery amplitude, was if a thousand children are joining in. Suddenly, they come to a soft landing onto a flexible surface which gives in with their every move so that it is nearly impossible to remain standing. When their eyes adjust to the darkness, they can see the interior of a large cave with crumbling remnants of an ancient civilization, whose walls are covered with very active light bugs. The wobbly surface they landed on is a paper raft, a large drawing of a ship upon which they now ride. All around them in the water are more pages of children’s art. Looming close by, is the top of a spiral staircase, extending below the waves. More distant, is the grotto’s entrance leading out to sea. As the raft drifts on its way in the direction of the entrance, it will pass right next to the staircase. “I want to walk down those stairs to see where it goes”, says the boy. “But I want to see where this trail of drawings comes from”, says the girl. There was not much time to decide whose idea is better, so each child chooses their own desire. The boy jumps off the raft to the stairs. The girl remains on the floating page which takes her on a current of artworks floating atop the ocean. Looking back toward her island, it patiently becomes smaller. Looking ahead, she sees a never ending trail of pages seeming to be born of the eternal sky. Then the sister turns once again to face the tiny dot of her island. Her brother is somewhere there… below the sea which was as enormous as the sky itself. What will he find there? What will she find at the end of the trail of drawings? Their prospects seem to her as exciting - as they are lonely.


Written by Haveit Neox and Lilia Artis

Saturday, March 3, 2018

PARK PLANNING




Sitting comfortably at the highest elevation, toward the end of the crescent bridge


Anyone who knows the city of Accentaury on the ACC Alpha sim, may be familiar with the periodic remodeling of its existing structures and parks. Recently I’ve been watching films by architects who address the question of what makes a city enjoyable for its inhabitants. Naturally, I want to apply many of these concepts to areas where I feel improvements would make a difference for the visitors. Accentaury is an old city established in early 2010. Its historic layering makes applying new ideas an interesting challenge in such a complex setting.




The old carousel from 2010, never having been removed from its
present location, but what changes it has seen all around it for years!
THE CAROUSEL

My focus is now on opening several areas which could feel more inviting to the visitor. Public spaces should feel comfortable but also be a place where people congregate. Previously, the park benches at Plateau of Man faced interesting views, but they were distant from each other. I removed most of them, and brought in new benches in closer proximity around the carousel. This area has challenged me for eight years now. What was missing was the human scale. The old carousel was there to be ridden, but the area around it did not feel inviting enough. The placement of seating is key, as are the paths in a park. Before adjusting the landscaping a bit and adding the benches, I would have enjoyed walking through such a space were it in RL, but now with the changes, it is a place I would want to sit down and stay a while.




Looking onto the crescent bridge from Maze Gardens
THE CRESCENT BRIDGE

The same energy went into the crescent bridge at Maze Gardens. For years, a lone bench at the end of the walkway delivered the visitor to the cello statue, overlooking a dangerous precipice. It had a sense of adventure, but the path was quite Spartan. Rethinking the structure, I decide to increase the benches to three, and have two face the museum, and one face the ocean. They are flanked by plantings, and the path now bulges wider in front of them so passersby can continue on their way without encroaching on the space of seated visitors. The bulged terraces are ideal places to stand and look out at the view as well. People like being around others, and still enjoy having their own space. My hope is to increase the sense of comfort across the sim.

Aerial view of the remodeled pathway atop the crescent bridge



TRANSPORTATION and SPORT

This is one of the reasons that the transportation system was built. People tell me that it is easy to get lost on the ACC Alpha sim. They like the adventure, but they have no idea how much of the sim they have seen. Train lines make most of the sim accessible. When we think of rails, buses, and trams in Second Life, they usually are for show, and quite slow. You could walk here or there far quicker and more easily. However in Accentaury, the railway is practical since the sim does not have a predictable layout, thus making it so easy to get lost. Whether you actually click on a vehicle to ride, or just walk along the rail tracks, you will find your way around as if you’d dropped bread crumbs to mark your journey as did Hansel and Gretel. There are very few streets on the sim, so the train tracks are your best bet to keep on a path.

The train tracks have another function as of tonight. I just purchased a bicycle rezzer that either one person or two people can ride. You will need to develop skill to cycle around the ACC Alpha sim, as it has its share of unforgiving terrain. However, it can be done. I tested it tonight, and had a good deal of fun in the process. I recommend staying on the train tracks, as some areas are impossible to climb without them. It will be difficult enough to stay on the narrow tracks. Biking is now considered Accentaury's national sport! If you want to try it, as of today there are two places to find a bicycle. You can hop on a bike at the Museum, or at the Darkrodin pier by the Flea Market. If you want some practice first before tackling the difficult terrain, ride the bike at the museum, and peddle along the North Shore (east of the Museum's North wing). It is flat there for a little distance. It then becomes a dirt road with rolling bumps, but still easier than other parts of the sim. Once you get the hang of it, it's a good way to explore the sim with some added adrenaline. 


Following your path






XXX

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Cabinet of Curiosities Court

The exterior of the Cabinet of Curiosities.
I began the current remodel of the main interior room on Jan. 16th.


     The Cabinet of Curiosities was a copy of the house I made for myself at Sparquerry, and placed on the ACC Alpha sim in early 2010.  This old structure has seen many remodels, though the bones remain in place with some original walls and textures. The floorplan has been expanded over the years, but the old rooms remain fairly intact.  Had I traveled in time from 2010 to the present, and seen this new version of my old Sparcurian house, it would have been a shock, yet I would recognize the space.

   
     From private home, to a merchant establishment, to a cabinet of curiosities, the building now becomes the first seat of power at Accentaury: a royal court… a rather small but functional palace.

The interior: a red court sets a brighter space than the dark textures from the
past few years. A large well was excavated in the middle of the room which
reaches down to the water table. While digging, I found a lost plywood cone
I rezzed in June, 2010. I encased it in an outer shell without having moved or
altered it. Such archaeological finds on the sim are preserved.



     The Quing* of Accentaury has an important role to perform. That avatar is the representative of the sim, and must be a curious appearing and acting soul, and must be equally curious about the outside world. The throne, after all, stands within the walls of the Cabinet of Curiosities, and this relationship dictates the role.

On one side of the pit's rim, is an arcade with stools which face the throne
across the 'pond'.




*Quing – the mix of king and queen. Neither is dominant over the other. It is pronounced kweeng. There has yet to be a coronation, as I have not made a crown, nor decided which avatar(s) is best suited to the role for the present. If there is no coronation, and no avatar to fill the quingship, then an empty title will ironically fulfill the curious requirement. In that case, the present Quing of Accentaury is a collection of unrealized but imminent pixels. 



Notice the tail behind the second throne chair on the lower level. The 'pond'
can be seen below the thrones. Wearing the celery crown I made today.
Chairs and thrones by Silas Merlin.




UPDATE Jan 17 2018

     Silas Merlin made the chairs for an upcoming Gatcha that I added to the court. When I showed him a picture of the room in progress, he said the armchair didn’t come across as a throne. That night, he had made a regal variation of that armchair which serves as a perfect throne. He gave it to me as a gift and said if I wanted it to be uniquely at the court of Accentaury, he wouldn’t put it up for sale. In response to his generosity, I said that such a gorgeous chair should be made available to whoever would like it. It’s more than enough that I got the first one! When I saw Silas’ new chair collection, I instantly knew they correlated perfectly with my new project for the court. In fact, the reason the new space is red themed is due to the upholstery on the chairs. I took this shot at an angle so you can see a little of the side of the second throne… the chair has a tail. The back has wonderful detailing as well. Silas asked if I had a crown, to which I realized I didn’t have an appropriate one. So this morning, I hopped onto Zbrush after getting the idea to make a stylization of a bunch of celery stalks topped with their leaves. Being a vegan, I felt this was an ideal kind of crown.

Reworking some of the textures: I replaced yesterday's back wall with one I made
for THE PLANT, a past installation by Eupalinos Ugajin where he had invited
others to participate. I felt this texture blended well with the architecture of the court.

UPDATE Jan 18 2018

Shameless selfie. Still working on my outfit, buying clothing items that seem
to fit the style of the ACC Alpha sim. I made the towering 'celery' crown,
and painted orange strands at the base to make it appear some of my avatar's
red hair trails up into the crown, like little flames.


UPDATE: January 21, 2018

Silas Merlin magically transformed into a jester, sporting the hat he made a while
back for one of his statues. He rides a jester donkey I'd made for a past event, and
he nearly insisted I make a scepter for my Quing outfit, which I now hold in my
hand, and a copy I gave to Silas which he made glow blue. The scepter is topped
by the same donkey upon which Silas rides.
 We stand here in a neighboring sim hoping to get into the event where he is showing his newest
creation, a furnished belvedere. That's where I got the chairs in the above photos.









XXX

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

ELASTIC GARAGE at UTSA's ArtSpace

     This is one of the most personal exhibits I've made, with all the bittersweet references to childhood. I came rarely to see the installation, and wait till the last moment to film it, which I'm doing only the last few days of its existence. Because this is such a strong part of my past which is gone and which I miss so much, it was hard to bring myself to revisit the space. And now I have regrets.

Entrance to the exhibit


     I just finished the film this Halloween night, and it is now posted on vimeo:
     Click to see the film here.

   Description of the exhibit:

     “The Elastic Garage”
     Shown at ArtSpace, UTSA, University of Texas at San Antonio
     August - October, 2017. Opening: Aug 24 at 1 pm SLT.    

     Sometimes magic is elusive. In the dark, in a large crowded storage space with one hanging light bulb: the realm of shadows and highlights, everything is sculpted of wonder. A broken down car dreams of the morning sky. An old-fashioned white porcelain bathtub with rusted scars, broken furniture, a collection of rocks in little cloth bags hanging from a beam, yellowing slides and photos from the old days stowed in a corroded file cabinet where I saw my father naked -for the first time- in a fishing trip photo, a film of a long ago vacation when everyone was much younger than I suspected they ever could be, slides telling the story of how the Earth came to be, tools, ancient electronics, the air tempered with repeated phrases of Prokofiev that my mother is practicing on the piano in the distant living room, paints, a broken English screen with peopled scenes on it, the multi-colored bicycle my father painted for me, account for some of the treasures. All of these things are at my service in the secret hours when no one sees me enter here. When the garage door is open during the day, the whole space is deceptively flooded by light, but it still harbors reckless shadows ready to trip me at any moment. The dark spaces are dangerous with plentiful sharp objects and ideal nesting for waiting spiders. I am not supposed to be in this cavern of Ali Baba. Sweet and sour odors accompany the light from the luscious garden just steps away, under my feet.

     This was the garage of my childhood, where my visits were frequent in search of all manner of treasures to furnish the little cities I was building in the garden. Whatever I built from the material felt real, and authentic. The face I cut out of the decomposing, antique screen was, for me, the Mona Lisa. A city of twigs, broken brick and mud domes dripping with poster paint design was the passport to the most exciting places in the world. Contrast has its destined way of entering a child’s world. As my life began to crumble and change faster than anything or anyone could repair it, when daylight shared its chilled light with midnight, the garden and the resources of the garage remained, and refused to diminish their yield.

     Decades pass. I still carry the garage with me. Sometimes its size is elusive.
    
     My friend Lilia Artis gave me very valuable feedback as I was working on this exhibit. I have much to thank her for, and to the curator, constructivIST Solo for having so generously invited me to exhibit, and for tolerating my every question with a smile.
    
     Haveit Neox

     Aug 22, 2017






XXX

Friday, October 20, 2017

EXPANDED RAILWAY >>> Trans-sim Service






     While I was away during the month of September in exciting real life destinations, one of the things I love seeing are signs on the streets. Train station signs are particularly appealing as the vehicle slows down and the lettering announces where you are. So I decided to make a bunch of signs for ACC Alpha on arriving home in October, and expand the number of stations. There are presently three lines: Line 1 which services the city of Accentaury much like a metro rail. Line 2 which travels the distance to the neighboring sim of Sparquerry, and Line 3 which connects the lose end of Line 1 with the other lines, all three converging at the Museum which is a terminal. The nice thing about the setup is the dual function: a mode of transportation for commuters, as well as a relaxing way to tour the sims. There are little surprises along the way, such as an underwater dip in Accentaury, and the tall waves of golden wheat brushing past your face at Sparquerry, which is a far more rural setting than the urban nature of Accentaury.

     Each vehicle rezzed has seating for two, so it's an ideal way to tour the sim with a friend. Since you don't have to do any guiding of the vehicle, your hands are free to type away in conversation. You can ride indefinitely - at the end of each line the car stops for a second or two, and if you remain seated, it simply reverses direction and is on its way again until you stop it or stand up. Stopping and starting the car is as easy as toggling off or on with a click anywhere on the vehicle itself. See previous post for more info on this.

     Last night while working at the Museum train terminal and testing the tracks, I was delighted to see a visitor well ahead stopped on the tracks looking around. Soon afterwards, he was on his way deep into Sparquerry. This showed me that visitors can figure out the system. The creator of the SL Rail really made this user friendly. The scripting gives a smooth ride. I've been craving a well functioning ground transportation system for ACC Alpha since 2010, and now finally, it's here.





XXX