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.


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