Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Talented creators Part 3: Owl Demina’s Owlery

by Lord Lisle
This series of posts are written because I am just a fan of these creators. I don’t gain anything by posting about them. I just like to point out the beauty there is in our Second Life.

You may know that I have something with owls.. Yes, of course I am a Harry Potter fan, but it was long before those stories were written that I became fascinated with these creatures.. Living in a wooded area with very little population, we have a couple of owls in the woods behind our home and I have seen one last year when I returned home from a visit in the darkest hours of the night..
Thus I was pleasantly surprised that Yolanda Hirvi told me that she had purchased an owl.
Anyhow, I went to the place where she had put the bird: the Metaversal Arts Shop ‘Den’, to be reached via a little corridor, near the wishing well, behind the steampunk room of Kheph. -Metaversal Arts Island - Antique, Cherish(156, 214, 60)-
To my surprise I found a very well sculptured nice little bird on the reading table, flicking its eyes and after being touched hooting along lively.

In the Metaversal Arts Den, fascinated by the little owl…

Having seated and admiring the bird for a little while, Yolanda kindly provided me the LandMark of the creator of this owl. A few mouseclicks brought me to The Owlery Zoo and Owl Shop, Bay Terrace (219, 202, 601) , in the ’Hall of Owls’ owned by Owl Demina.

Barred Owl (Stix varia)

I was very impressed in the way Owl Demina had presented his owls in beautiful floodlighted showcases, set up with a background of the natural habitat of each specimen. It was not very difficult to take a few nice pictures; this must really be credited to the great job of the creator of the Owlery.

Snowy Owl (Bubo scandiacus) Is this not the breed Harry Potter has?

Each breed of owl is for sale, either on a pole or (something I particularly fancied) sitting on your shoulder. Unfortunately my financial position in SL did not allow me to buy a Great hornet owl.. but who knows when I got my next monthly SL allowance…

Great Horned owl (Bubo viginianus)

I asked Owl Demina how he came to created these owls and whether he have possibly in RL has anything to do with them:
Owl Demina: When I first came to SL I searched high and low for a realistic owl. I did manage to find a wearbale snowy owl but it was nowhere as detailed as I would've liked it. Later I attempted to build my own static version, but it remained in my inventory for the longest time. Months later I would learn of some great animation scripts and brought my existing owl out and it started from there. In RL I am a graphic designer and I have a great fondness for owls. Much of my home has owl related prints and such, one of which is available in my Owlery. They are beautiful birds and I am so happy to find that so many others enjoy them as much as I do.

I could not resist in taking a free membership of Demina’s Owl Emporium Group and now may call myself Owl Enthusiast.
Please note that the illustrations of the owls in this BLog are NOT enhanced Photoshop pictures, but real snapshots directly taken in the Owlery!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Animating madness

by Maar Auer

Those of you who have once tried animating know it is a time consuming process. Animating for SL is much more than just that: it is nerve consuming.

Limb by limb, inch by inch, frame by frame - yes, but why, oh why does it always look like two clothes hangars having a wrestle? No matter how you try, it never seems natural - so you walk in your appartment measuring your own rl limbs, scratch your head and wonder: Do I really look that weird when I move?

That's the beginnings of SL animating madness for you. It continues, in so many ways... Like that thing with thighs. Especially, it seems, the right thigh. In Poser window everything is cool, calm, smooth as a lake on a summer morning. Import the animation into SL, and watch your right thigh declare itself an independent nation.

All the same, I've managed to sweat up a couple of dances. The first of them, a variation of a menuet, was officially released a few days ago. Keeping in mind how long time it takes just to finish a few frames of dance, you will get an idea of how lovely it feels to see people actually enjoying your-finally-more-or-less-well-behaving dances.

So do come and try it out! ;) Gentlemen bow, ladies curtsy - the ancient, golden days of grace and elegance are back! I've placed the menuet just next to the tp point in Metaversal Arts, by the fountain. And why not bring a friend along, or two, or three... Menuets work best when dancers are many. Besides, there's nothing like dancing the night away with a bunch of good friends, is there?

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Grand Opening was a Success!

by Darleez DeCuir

Thank you all our dear visitors of making the grand opening event a success! The event was opened with Atheene Dodonpa’s lovely performance, her singing and playing was admirable, at least according to the numerous applauses and encouraging feedback from the audience.

Atheene Dodonpa playing a rebec.

After Atheene’s performance Yolanda Hirvi announced the winners of the Metaversal Photo Contest, the winner photos were published earlier here in the blog, posted by Yolanda Hirvi. Here is the winner of the contest, Joni Vargas posing beside her winner photo, congrats Joni! :-)

Joni Vargas and her winner photo "The Last Ride".

In the opening, Maar Auer introduced her newest dancing animation – Menuets. One Menuets set is for six dancers, and as you can see, the audience danced enthusiastically through the night! The Menuet dance is available at the Metaversal Arts Shop yard, come by and try it on!

Menuets by Maar Auer is a brand new dance animation in SL.

The Metaversal Arts Shop is now officially open for all our old and new customers. The current merchants at the shop are Yolanda Hirvi with her antiques and old-world furniture, Maar Auer with musical instruments and animations, Crystaleen Laval with garden items, Kheph777 Enoch with steampunk creations, Fnordian Link with magic stuff, Pumpkin Tripsa with tremendous sculptures, and Vlad Bjorson with his beautiful FloraPrim flowers.

Winners of the Metaversal Photo Contest

by Yolanda Hirvi

By the deadline of the contest I received 24 photos. That was less than I expected but boy!; it was a hard decision! Most of the pics your are going to see in exhibiton later this spring. But here are the Top 3. I tryed to choose 3 different style of pics to the top 3, so there was many as good as these, but I could choose only 3.. How frustrating was that!
1st prize : Joni Vargas : Last Ride (location: Carnival of Doom)
This is a great pic! At first look you can't see what is actually happening in this picture. Take a second look and you will see it. This is like straight from my nightmares, haunting, mentally warped, and full of odd atmosphere. And no photoshopping was used with this! Way to go Joni!

2nd prize: Lupe Matova (location: Genesis City)
This one makes me into good mood and reminds me of my favourite tv-show Absolutely Fabulous. This pic looks to me like Lupe (as big fan of Beatles has jumped to the picture to pose with the Beatles before nobody notices . LOL. This wasnt photoshopped, just a good shot. :) Congrats Lupe!

3rd prize : Pippi Gustafson: In His Arms
According to this pic Pippi's favourite place is in his fiances (well I assume the guy in the pic is Pippi's fiance lol) arms, well isn't that sweet! This is very romantic and artistic too. Good job Pippi !

THANK YOU FOR ALL THE CONTESTANTS! I will contact rest of the contestants later about the photo exhibition.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Atheene Dodonpa Performs in the Grand Opening

Lady of Acifer Atheene Dodonpa is the leading Lady minstrel performing medieval music in SL. On 15th March, her performance can be admired in the Grand Opening of Metaversal Arts Shop at 1 PM SLT.
Lady of Acifer Atheene Dodonpa

Young Atheene started her performing career as a dancer in taverns and courts, but soon her musical talents were discovered by Lady Fabienne of Drachemond who asked her to perform for her guests singing and playing a variety of instruments. The rumour started to travel from region to region about this "girl with a voice of an angel" and thanks to the publicity Lady Fabienne had created for her, Atheene was soon called to perform both for nobility and lay people all over the world.

Lady Atheene accompanies her voice with several instruments: recorders and pipes, bells, rebec, symphonie, bowed psaltery, 5-stringed kantele and celtic harp. Her performances have already been a source of joy for hundreds of people in SL and she will continue to sing and tell the enchanting stories for the residents of all regions she is invited to also in the future, of course, God willing.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Metaversal Arts Shop Grand Opening!

Saturday March 15th 1 PM - 4 PM SLT

You and your friends are welcome to the Grand Opening of the NEW BIGGER Metaversal Arts Shop in Metaversal Arts Island, Cherish

Scheduled program:

1 PM The event is opened with live music by lovely and talented Lady of Acifer Atheene Dodonpa, the leading Lady minstrel performing medieval music in SL.

2 PM Yolanda Hirvi is announcing the winners of the Metaversal Arts Photo Contest.

2.15 - 4 PM Menuets! Introducing a new dance in SL - Menuet by Maar Auer.

2.30 - 4 PM Raffles! We are raffling TONS of stuff, the very same items are sold in the Metaversal Arts Shop.

Also gifts for everybody!!

The event is hosted by Yolanda Hirvi, Darleez DeCuir and Maar Auer.

The Metaversal Arts Shop, March 2008.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Friday, March 7, 2008

Aviation in Second Life... A follow-up, Part 2

by Lord Lisle
Return to the Cursed Island
After having not slept very well that night, determined to solve what is going on in that sim where I nearly crashed, I teleported very early in the morning to Minaki Aerodrome Rezzing Platform and rezzed my Spitfire airplane. I trust this plane much more than any other I own; it flies faster and is more stable (= better scripted) than that Sopwith Camel of the day before, so I was confident that I would not come into trouble again.

Take-off in the very early morning hours from Minaki Aerodrome, heading north towards Waikiti

Gaining altitude over Waikiti before heading to Tangiwai. Flying this plane is really magnificent compared to many other SL aircraft. The only disadvantage of this model is that it does not fit into the historical time slot set in the neo-Victorian, 19th-century Independent state of Caledon

Feeling confident whilst flying at a suitable altitude, I decided to fly direction Tangiwai, the sim where the ‘Cursed Island’ (as I later used to call it) is located

The first signs of trouble; rain was beating the little plane, darkness set in, but no trouble in manoeuvring yet

Carefully observing any signs of life in and around the dead volcano of Tangiwai. What’s been hidden in that dark cloud?

More clouds again, and then a sudden lost of visual contact, but fortunately still engine power

Alas.. spoken to fast…loss of control, I am at a too low altitude to bale out using my parachute. In the distance I notice a volcano crater filled with water, my plane seems to be attracted to that crater like a piece of iron to a magnet

Ditched in the ‘Devil’s Pool’ (as I named it now) crater of the Cursed Island’s dead volcano. Under water I opened the canopy and climbed out my wracked plane

Swimming in the gloomy water to get out of the Devil’s Pool, I heard splattering and gargling behind me! I was being followed and attacked by a lurking killer squid, assumingly the creation of the Cursed Island’s mad creator..

But a few well aimed punches between the monster’s eyes repels it temporary, giving me the chance to escape

Looking for help and at least to borrow some dry clothes I found a sinister building at the other side of the crater. Here myself at the entrance of the mad creator’s dwelling.. a REAL nasty place! Apart from a few empty packing crates, the house was apparently empty. Until I reached the first floor…

..where I founds this: an oil painting of the monster: a giant killer squid, hidden in one of the mad creator’s secret cult rooms..

Me, in a wet flying suit, angry, and desperately looking for a boat to leave this cursed place.
Well, can’t you blame me looking angry? Standing there, not knowing what to do, I suddenly heard a bell; I turned around and saw a ferry approaching through the bleak morning clouds…

On the haunted black ferry, back to civilisation…. No doubt to haul her victims to the island, the mad creator had organised a regular ferry service from the Cursed Island to Waikiti

Arrival at Waikiti Ferry landing place The ferry for the Minaki Aerodrome is still moored and at the background the ferry to Poliwai Park at Waiki Atoll is just approaching

After returning to the beautiful sunny resort of Waikiti, I found myself lying in a chair on the beach, drying my flying suit in the sun. Whilst nipping to a glass of Atashi’s wine, I thought about my recent adventure on the Cursed Island, the horrible weather, the loss of my valuable plane, the giant squid in the Devil’s Pool and of course the genial creator......

Was this all in my mind…and is SL a chimera? April, Sin, Yolanda, Fubar, Darleez, Atashi, Pail, Aianna.… are you too JUST pixels or are you real?
And IS Atashi Toshihiko, the creator of the giant killer pet squid and Cursed Island, but also the Governor of this fabulous cluster of 6 sims called Colonial Waikiti, REALLY mad? I don’t think so, she’s just having much fantasy and is a very good scripter and builder.

I should have known better as I already had been at the Waikiti Mall where I saw her wonderful creations like the Aero Putter and other oddities, the errr Macabre goodies in basement dungeon and not to forget my visit of undiscovered and dangerous caves at Poliwai Park in Waiki Atoll.
Again, VERY well done, ‘mad creator’ Atashi Toshihiko, Governor of Colonial Waikiti, chapeaux!

Useful SLURLs in Colonial Waikiti:
Waikiti Mall Waikiti (231, 166, 22)
Minaki Aerodrome Rezzing Platform Minaki (78, 37, 21)
Ferry landing placeWaikiti Waikiti (230, 48, 21)
Poliwai Park Waiki Atoll (92, 79, 21)
’Cursed Island’ of Tangiwai: no use giving a landing place..EVERYWHERE in this sim it is miserable and dangerous…. Visitor, beware for the killer squid! And DON’T take a ride on that train, you will be sorry!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Metaversal Photo Contest

by Yolanda Hirvi
Photo contest : My favourite place

Take a snapshot of your favourite place in SL. Try to capture the feel of the place in it. You can be romantic, funny or artistic. You can include people, pets etc in your pic. But please keep them PG. You may edit it with photoshop etc. if you want. Best 3 will be rewarded and about 20 pics will be chosen to the exhibition in Metaversal Arts next April.

Deadline: March 12th, winners will be announced March 15th

Rename the full perm snapshot : Contest Your Name

Drop the snapshot in my (Yolanda Hirvi) profile.

  • 1st prize : 1000 L

  • 2nd prize : 500L

  • 3rd prize : 250 L

The winners will be chosen by me because I am the Queen of Everything. Well at least the Queen of Cherish -sim. :D. I am just kidding. Mostly.

If you need more info feel free to email me yo.hirvi(at) or IM me if you see me online.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Aviation in Second Life…a follow up:

Some avi’s can’t stop telling that it is always splendid weather in Second Life, ’…it never rains and if you wish, the sun does always shine….’ Well, let me tell you this: there is a dark place in Second Life where the weather is always bad; rain, clouds and thunderstorms are frequent and navigation is impossible. In addition a weird and horrible green slimy creature is hunting for your avi flesh if you have the misfortune to get lost in the miserable grounds of that sim ….(NO, I am not telling you which sim, some younger daring avi’s may not believe me and in their inexperience they are NOT able to escape the monster living in the gloomy waters of that dead volcano). Curse the Frankenstein creator of that sim. May the monster she created gnaw her bones when she returns to feed her nasty pet…

A quiet evening patrol or how it started
Minaki Aerodrome Rezzing Platform, Minaki (78, 37, 21) is one of my favourite airfields. Well done Atashi Toshihiko, governor of Waikiti, ( ), lots of space around to fly, no nasty high buildings and a separate rezz platform.

Minaki Aerodrome is where this adventure started…I am just preparing for an evening patrol and decided to fly in my old, slow, but trustworthy British Sopwith Camel airplane. (Cheap little plane which flies like a brick, but I like the shape, the textures and nice roar of the engine). Little did I know what was going to happen the next hours…

Just leaving the airfield and cruising at medium altitude over Minaki, enjoying the last minutes of sunset. An experienced avi may note that I am using the Wind Light viewer

The darkness set in rapidly and I found myself alone flying over the waters of Waikiti

About 15 minutes later, having passed the sims of Waiki Atoll, Murulla and Berala, I approached Tangiwai. Suddenly the weather changed…rain…RAIN????

…and soon I was covered in a thick blanket of mist and cloud, something you may not expect in the Second Life air …

Much more rain, thunderflashes and thick black clouds which made navigation impossible. I rapidly was loosing height. Quickly I switched on my SL inter sim radio. Yes folks, I am the proud owner of a genuine Sin Trenton’s Inter-SIM radio for direct contact with your friends to give an emergency call, but unfortunately no one was stand by to reply my SOS
( )

Due to loss of engine power I was unable to climb. Suddenly I saw the contour of an assumingly dead volcano AND a glimpse of daylight!

Still loosing height I desperately tried to control my plane, which was behaving like a drifting toy balloon in that turbulent wind…

Almost touching the dark water with my wing tip, spinning around, in a split second I saw the reason for the turbulence and bad weather: the Second Life Maelstrom (You don’t know what that is? Read ‘A Descent Into the Maelstrom’ by Edgar Allan Poe

A last short jerk, trying to get away from the heavy winds, and hurray!, suddenly my engine got back its power and I manage to escape just before I got a victim of the sea

Trembling in my seat, sweat on my forehead; I flew back with throttle full open to Minaki Aerodrome at a low altitude in order to ditch rapidly when my plane engine would give troubles again. But I swore: I will be back! (This unwise decision, which was the cause of my most unfortunate encounter with the cursed Monster of the Dead Volcano, will be described in my next entry.