Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Provocative New Transportation/Tour in Accentaury.

     Have you ever boarded a ship which travels counter clockwise in the air… then to the seabed… and beyond? Now you can ride a most unusual new mode of transportation in Accentaury. Click the ship when you see it – look somewhere in the proximity of the Paper Observatory (the giant domed building which floats above the center of the ACC Alpha sim).  It may take a minute or two before it emerges from the sea. You cannot miss its large size. There are three chairs on the deck, but it doesn’t matter where you click to sit, any part of the ship will place you into the animation on one of the chairs.
The ship rises toward the Paper Observatory which hovers over Accentaury.

     HOW TO RIDE:     Simply right click anywhere on the ship, choose SIT HERE from the pie menu, and you’re on your way. Next, hit your ESC (Escape) key on the keyboard, and the camera takes over for a good avatar perspective. And if you wish to ensure your view to be facing forward during the ride, when you right click on the ship, click on the ship while your view is facing forward, and this establishes the angle you will experience during the tour. Hit the ESC key as explained above, and your camera does all the work, all you need do is sit back and enjoy the short ride. [Usually you will face forward by default, but sometimes it does a side view… which is also interesting. You have some degree of control by choosing the camera angle before right clicking the ship].

     WHAT YOU WILL SEE:     Certainly you’ve been on Second Life transports and tours that take you around the sims, on land, in the air, and even above and below the sea. But have you been on one that also dips you below the sim, below the lowest seabed of the sim? It’s murky blue down there, and you’ll see it for a brief time on the ride. Hold your breath! You will also see the sim of Sparquerry off in the distance, and like magic you will traverse solid walls, and glide up to the Paper Observatory in a rather surprising kind of entrance.

It's murky UNDERNEATH a sim. This is below the lowest seabed level.

By contrast, here I reemerge above the seabed, enjoying the refreshing cold waters
of the deep sea.

Flying up from the sea, high into the sky is the entry to the Paper Observatory.

     MUNICIPAL TRANSPORTATION:     Not only does this ride give you a tour of sorts, and a good dunking into the ocean, but it will also deliver you right inside the Paper Observatory. No matter where the ship is when you click to STAND, you will be disembarked instantaneously onto the floor of the Paper Observatory. Nearby is a teleporter disc on the ground. You can left click that for a menu of 9 other stops available for transport in the Accentaury city. This time, you will travel much quicker and by space ship. This is the teleporting system that has been in use here since 2010. It’s old and reliable. The spaceship follows you like a puppy for a half minute after escorting you to your chosen destination. Then it flies up into the sky for a fond farewell until your next teleporting click.

The teleporter inside the Paper Observatory allows you to access 9 other
destinations on the ACC Alpha sim. Left click for the menu of locations.
Click the location you wish to visit, then right click to sit on the ball that appears
above the teleporter. You're on your way. A quick way to see many of the sites.

     Enjoy your stay in Accentaury on the ACC Alpha sim.


Thursday, May 19, 2016

Ancient Sea of Domes at Plateau of Man Park

Skyline at Plateau of Man Park, over the rooftop of House of Accentaury.
The floating disc in the sky is the remains of the top of the Paper Tower
which used to dominate ACC Alpha.

     After having refurnished parts of the Camel Pavilion which gives onto the Plateau of Man Park, I also trimmed some of the bushes, cleaning up the look all around that area. The trees actually show better when there is less density of the lower shrubs. The park is still quite lush on this mesa overlooking Accentaury. I decided to do a little photo series of the skyline based on the plentiful domes found in this section of the city, and how they play among the trees which reveal them through their gentle lacy leaves like silk veils. The photos are all taken in the natural sim light, without any manipulation in Photoshop. I like the soft atmosphere the region lighting gives.

Looking toward the Camel Pavilion and House of Accentaury.

Same view as above, but showing the grounds of the park. The building to the right
houses a fountain in a pond where a mother duck and her duckling swim.
Beyond the park in the far distance is the top of a tower at Darkrodin's Notebook.


Wednesday, May 18, 2016


View onto the cliff side dwellings of Medusa Locks.
Lots of activities have recently been at work in this neighborhood.

     Almost invariably, every time I finish a large installation, such as Fantasy Faire, either ACC Alpha, or Sparquerry will get lots of attention, usually in the form of some remodeling here or there. It's not only because I enjoy building that I do this, but each installation I make in world, new things are learned, and I am propelled to upgrade some of my older builds.

The old vase in the newly retextured hallway at Medusa Locks

     For years, I had been bothered by the messy trail called Black Forest Lock, around the book bindery. In that tiny space, it was impossible to widen the trail, however, to simplify the windy road into a more straight forward line solved the problem. While I was at it, cleaning the upper portion of Black Forest Lock was also a major undertaking. The old vase on pedestal remains on its same spot, but the 'closet' was removed as well as the new primchords textures added to lighten up the area.
     The book bindery also got a fresh coat of textures, and simplification.

The book bindery gets a face lift. Also on Medusa Locks.

     The beautiful work of artists Silas Merlin, and Eliza Wierwight played key roles in some of the recent remodels. Silas is a very talented pastel artist and sculptor, who brings his real life art into SL. He observes the festivals in Bretagne, France, where the locals dress in traditional costumes. Silas then captures them in his own compositions and delivers us remarkable drawings. The sense of light, and color and line are masterful. When remodeling the Pen Temple at the base of Medusa Locks, I began filling the room with these artworks. In addition, I had been purchasing furnishings and plants from Eliza Wierwight's Banyan House. She is the creator of Patron, in case you aren't familiar with her work, I highly suggest you look up her profile and fly over to Banyan House to see one of SL's wonders. The quality of Eliza's artistic creations are flawless, and I was grateful so many of the pieces are for sale so as to incorporate some really comfortable settings at ACC Alpha. The Camel Pavilion also got a new set of furnishings thanks to my shopping fun at Banyan House.

New furnishings by Eliza Wierwight at the Camel Pavilion at Caravan Terminus.

Silas Merlin's pastel paintings on the walls of the Pen Temple at Medusa Locks.
Patron furnishings by Eliza Wierwight.

More paintings by Silas Merlin, and furnishings by Eliza Wierwight.

     Silas Merlin just finished "Mademoiselle Rose" based on the painting by the French artist Delacroix. Silas made a 3D sculpture after the painting, and provided the background on a separate prim which carries the texture of the painting's background, so you have a kind of diorama set up. You have to see it to believe how well done it is. For Mademoiselle Rose, I felt the best place to set her up was in the old glass studio at Medusa Locks.

Silas Merlin's 3D statue based on the painting "Mademoiselle Rose" by Delacroix.
The painting is in the forefront on the easel, and the statue is to the right of this,
and can be viewed at all angles.

     In case you are wondering, these are all public places, so please just walk in. They are intended for visitors to see.


Saturday, May 7, 2016

Another great year at Fantasy Faire

Saying good-bye to the Fairelands. This scene at the Golden Delta, built by Alia Baroque.

This scene is looking onto Fairelands Junction, built by Saiyge Lotus.


     Fantasy Faire in Second Life is only open a little less than two weeks. It's a magnificent place to visit, this year with 14 sims to explore, to shop, to be entertained, to participate in workshops, and to do it all in the framework of fantasy. I only show two sims above, but I loved them all. In the last days, when I finally had some time to explore, I found true wonders all over, and sat back in many of them to relax into the exquisite views. I sorely miss the Faire when it leaves, and now it has in fact gone until it shows an entirely new face next year. I was able to make two films about Sapphire Mirror Lake, the sim I was given to develop with Lilia Artis' much appreciated assistance and contribution of her own builds. We had so much fun working on the project both before it opened and during the faire, always tons to do. Wonderful things happen all throughout it's run. I wrote in the film description about an astounding gift Lilia and I received from some pretty special people at the Faire. Here's the text:
The centaurs return to Sapphire Mirror Lake.
     At the tail end of Fantasy Faire 2016, Alia Baroque organized a surprise on a grand scale for Lilia Artis and me, with the participation of many people involved in Fantasy Faire. Sapphire Mirror Lake is said to have been built by a centaur civilization in the distant past. Many people nowadays believe that they exist only in myth. But a miracle occurred. While at Sapphire Mirror Lake, both Lilia and I were directed to face the sim to our west, without knowing why. I thought someone might be planning to take our picture, the idea delighted me, and I hoped my feet were still attached. Instead, down the facing slope of Serenity, came a herd of centaurs, satyrs, horses and unicorns, humans, fairies, and all manner of marvelous creatures! The impact was powerful, both Lilia and I were moved to the core, and when I got my wits back, I started filming. By a stroke of luck, the group spontaneously moved from the sandy banks to the dance hall. The film about the May Day Ball had been nearly completed, but when I saw this new development, the centaurs and the May Day Ball simply had to be merged into the one film you see here. The story was expanded: the centaurs return! There is magic at Fantasy Faire. If anyone still ponders the existence of centaurs, I hope this video will put all doubts to rest.


     Here are the two films I made about Sapphire Mirror Lake. Please click the titles to be taken to the film:

1. "Sapphire Mirror Lake"

2. "Annual Ball, Fantasy Faire 2016"

In addition, I wanted to add a paragraph Sonya Marmurek wrote on the Fantasy Faire website which you can read HERE in its entirety. She summed up the kinds of people present at the faire beautifully. In Sonya's words:

[...] Alia Baroque said in his interview: Fantasy Faire is the people.
There are bold centaurs, beautiful unicorns, twerking dragons, prancing dinkies in lobster-suits, frolicking fauns, graceful fae, glittering petites, towering giants, angels and demons to balance each other out… there are goats and ponies and a giant fox, there are even humans, of all things!

There are roleplayers, creators, dancers, bloggers, photographers, DJs, authors, speakers, coders, sound technicians, actors, artists, world builders, organizers, sponsors, musicians, particle performers… there are visitors from all the communities across Second Life.
In the Fairelands the Tiny Police can riverdance on the toes of a giant towering over the tallest of buildings, artists can be transformed to centaurs, Relayers can visit lands built for the hope risen from imagination, DJs can spin on a deck of a ship carried by a dragon, dancers can hold a stage of a whole world created to celebrate them, roleplayers can weave their stories with a new flow of visitors to partake in their lives, storytellers can share their words in an environment grown out of inspiration, photographers can despair at the beauty eleven days is never enough to capture… in the Fairelands anything is possible. In the Fairelands we come together: many communities, many tribes, all joined for those brief magical days.
We are all Faire Folk. For eleven days this is our land, our shared continent where all can come together, meet and talk and dance and experience the magic. Fantasy Faire is the people.
Thank you.
[This is an excerpt from Sonya Marmurek's post]


Thursday, April 21, 2016

Fantasy Faire 2016 Opens Today

View of a procession at one of the sea temples on Sapphire Mirror Lake.
For reflections, make sure your preference settings in Graphics is set for "everything" for water.

     This year, the Fairelands extends over a territory of 14 sims. I created the one for Arts and Performance which is called "Sapphire Mirror Lake", and was very fortunate to have the assistance of Lilia Artis, as we both worked on various aspects of the sim development.

Some costume details. All photos are taken with the sim windlight. 

     Each day, performance groups will present their acts on the main stage of the sim. Please check for information on the Fantasy Faire schedule of events HERE.

     Under the mirror lake is a large underwater build. Make sure to descend the entrance stairways to get there. They will deliver you to a long gallery hall of artworks, and through glass walls, an good view onto a lost centaur civilization.

Walking along the gallery hall. To the right are paintings, to the left are glass
walls looking onto a watery civilization.

     I plan to add more info and pictures on this post over the 10 days remaining for the Faire. More to come.


Friday, April 1, 2016


Bridge of Quests on the Sparquerry sim.
Ziki Questi pays close attention to all aspects of her artwork.
On the reverse side of each work is a canvas backing with information.

    Recently, Ziki Questi added new works onto the Bridge of Quests at Sparquerry. The bridge was built for a RL art festival where several SL sims (including Sparquerry) were accessed onto a computer and projected onto the wall at the museum. That exhibit was called Currents 2012, which was shown during June 2012 at the Santa Fe International New Media Festival. I asked Ziki at the time if she would line the bridge with her work. It was in one of the parts of the exhibit which represented optimism, and she brought in works that lifted one's spirits. These beautiful works remained for years on the spot, until recently she had the idea to replace them with pictures she's taken of my own exhibits, so it would fit the style of the sim like a custom glove. She didn't say it in those words, but it's what she has accomplished. Ziki has a marvelous eye for composition. I'm always surprised how her personal interpretation of what she sees takes on such a unique balance. She has brought this wonderful gift to the sim, and it's there for visitors to see at any time. She made a post about this on her blog.


Thursday, March 31, 2016


Maze Gardens looking toward Entry to Caravan Terminus atop the hill.
Photo courtesy: Lilia Artis

About a month ago, I had the idea to weave the train tracks in Maze Gardens around a giant figure coming out of the garden walls. Once that was achieved, the fountain area above that section of the garden seemed to call out for a miniature castle, which in turn announces the full scale entrance to Caravan Terminus beyond. One installation leads to the next, so the eye is always traveling.