Friday, February 29, 2008

Evolution of a wing design

I do not do custom work and one of the reasons is that I rarely succeed in having a wing design finish the way I intended it to look when I started. Oh, sometimes sure, I sit down with the pen tablet and photoshop and bust out an awesome design without breaking into a sweat.

Usually tho, I go through many many steps before I get something good.

For example:
I started out with a basic outline in illustrator, brought that into photoshop, added some blur to the edges. Ok, this is a decent fairy wing. I intended to make something in white with points of light in it.
So . . . points of light, where do those go? Not sure. So I made some bevels and added sparkles. Everyone needs sparkles, right? Ok. . . this design was not working. I knew that. I asked some friend's advice and got some. But still, not working.
I decided to go in a completely different direction - using some overlays from butterfly textures and a gothic purple gradient, I came up with this. Yes!!! Now, this is something that has potential. But it needs something else . . . . something on top.

Yay, little feathers on top. Very dark fae. I have a hard time doing anything that doesn't have a gothic feel to it. Don't know why. I had to muck with the size. I'm still mucking with some very small details on the alpha channel (one or two pixels wide each). But almost done! Now to do these in more colors - the fun part!

I wish more designers would share their design process. I think it helps people to learn what goes into a design - then they will be willing to protect their favorite designer's creations even more than they already do.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Upgrades Again

Upgrades are now available to everyone now, not just group members. If you have Material Squirrel wings to upgrade, please stop by our store and touch upgrade sign number 1.

Photo by Elysium Eilde, featuring Moody Blues Butterfly wings.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

This and That

Photo by Elysium Eilde, featuring Autumn Rainbow and Jade Dragonfly wings.

The Dazzle Viewer - If you try to reposition your HUD (any HUD), it will snap back to the default position. The work around is to reposition the HUD in the regular client and then it stays there in the Dazzle client.

Yabusaka Loon is our featured sculpture this month at our sculpture space. He writes more about his setup and products in his blog (see previous link) and has pictures so go look there or better yet, go look at our main store on Winged Isle.

Elysium did a bunch of promo photos for me and they all rock. She has them in her flickr account, but I'll be featuring them here on my blog slowly but surely. Blog posts are just better with pictures and I rarely have time to take any but ad box shots. If you are looking for good photos, I recommend her. Just don't make her so busy that I can never hire her again, hehe.

I'm working on some new wings, but having trouble with them. And that's it.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Wing Upgrades

Photo by Elysium Eilde, featuring the Black and White Angel Wings

Wing Upgrades. Yes, we are now ready.

First, let me just say that I really appreciate everyone's patience on this. I have a lot of 4.0 wings out there, so we had to set up a system to make upgrades a bit easier on me. In the future, all upgrades will be completely automated. But this time, I am asking my customers to help me by doing a bit more work.

The upgrades signs are now up. And this is how it works:

1) You need to be a group member of the group - Material Squirrel. For now. In a week, I'll open it up to everyone but for this week, I am restricting it to my group as a group perk. (And yes, if you have a free group slot, you can join, get your upgrades and leave.)

2) Go to the Material Squirrel store and go over to the signs on the opposite side from the demon sculptie wings (SL URL at the bottom of this post too). Click on the Step 1 sign.

3) You will get a message giving you a number if you are standing close enough to the sign.

4) Wait until you get a notecard with further instructions.

5) When notified, you will need to give me a folder of the wings to upgrade. The notecard will have specifics on how to give me back the wings. Please do read it. If you give me the wings before you get notified, I will give them back to you. I really do need the process to be followed or it won't work on my end.

6) After I get your wings back, I will process your upgrade. You will receive another notification and you will need to go back to the Material Squirrel store. Click on the Step 2 sign to receive your new wings. If you have more than 10 wings being upgraded, click the Step 2 sign again (it processes 10 wings at a time).


And one more thing - the upgraded wings will be NO TRANSFER.


Sunday, February 10, 2008

Dragonfly Wings

I think I am incapable of making dragonfly wings that look like normal pretty dragonfly wings. Mine always have to be, well, very different. This is my second attempt at dragonfly wings - at least this time I got the shape right! I do like these wings - they are wonderful colors!

If anyone is looking for more realistic dragonfly wings, I am going to refer you (and anyone else who asks) to Jen Shikami of Seven's Selections. She has a very nice set of dragonfly wings that are far more realistic than my fantastical colored ones.

We finished the upgrades to version 4.2.1 at the store yesterday. I think we finally re-opened at midnight. Thanks to Alexis Stapovic for helping me and to everyone for their patience. I know Saturday is a stupid day to close, but it's one of the days that Ziggy is here to help me with our baby. I detailed the new version features in my last blog post. The size change I think is the best - and you can see this feature via the pose stands!

If you have existing Material Squirrel wings to upgrade, please give us another week. We are putting a process in place to make it a bit easier on me and ensure that a ton of wings don't get dumped (and then lost to the SL inventory monster) on me at once. Which will also ensure that people get all their wings. We are shooting for next weekend to have this system in place. And then we will begin giving people numbers - like a lunch counter (mmm, ham wings!). The best way to stay on top of this is to join my update group - Material Squirrel.