Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The one who loves Xmas in SL - Xmas greetings from Yolanda Hirvi

by Yolanda Hirvi

Yeah it is me...the one who had once had a dream about huge store filled with antiques. I am still here even though inworld store Metaversal Arts is closed and gone. I have my Oblonski stores alive in Caledon South End and Babbage Square. I do still build..more than ever actually. I work in SL helping Finnish education to build enviroments for virtual learning. It is very interesting task and has teached me a lot.

I am not a big fan of Xmas in RL. But for some odd reason I just love it in SL. And this is my third christmas in SL!

I wish you all the best holidays ever both in SL and RL.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Talented creators of SL (12) The Princess and the Pea and ‘Twas’ by Toxic Menges

By Lord Lisle

Machinima taken in SL are in many cases rather boring and often I click them away long before they have even ended. But once in a while one come across a pearl of creativity and labour of love. This was definitely the case when I saw (in awe) Toxic Menges interpretation of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale 'The Princess and the Pea' (watched on a big screen in Ukanipo, 27, 133, 30)
Apart from very well taken shots, I was particularly impressed by the clear and fine articulated narration of the tale, plus of course the well performed background music. Well done Toxic!

Fortunately for us we do not have to log in to Second Life to watch the Machinima (although it IS much more fun :-)) but we can simply view it on YouTube as shown below!

I could not resist in sending Toxic an IM in which I expressed my very favourite commentary, along with a few questions AND if she agreed that I linked the machinima to the Metaversal Arts Blog.
LL: Are you a creative person in rl and is your daily life or occupation related with media?
Toxic: Machinima and photography in SL are my only real creative outlets, I don't even own a camera (still or otherwise) in RL. My job is in the media, I work for a website as a community manager.
LL: Your voice is well articulated and clear, have you done reading for an audience previously?
Toxic: Not really, although I did a narration for a previous machinima (Mother Nature's Nightmares), I think it's something I need to work on, and become a little more animated.
LL: Do you have any well formulated plans for SL and can we expect more of your machinima in the future?
Toxic: I want to continue enjoying my time in SL, I love making machinima, and it has pushed me to learn a skillset I would never had had the chance to explore otherwise. I enjoy making films for people to enjoy - mostly I am a little selfish, and make them for myself and if others enjoy them that's good. I have to wait to see what arrives in my brain for my next machinima, there is something slowly forming, but it's not something I can force to arrive - but it may well be a take on another well known fairy tale :)

Toxic revealed that she owned the sim (partly rented) Twas 197, 97, 29 which was recently rebuilt and she thought that I might be interested in explore this. I got the advice to take an umbrella as the place is affected by rain and thunderstorms at times.
It was only the next day that I had time to go to 'Twas' but I was not disappointed in what I came across: a wonderful wood (yes, I DID needed my wellingtons and macintosh there, haha), lakes, waterfall, a cave with rare mushrooms, an old castle with a library in the top room, and literally on top of this two floating islands. This rather surrealistic touch reminded me a bit to famour sl creator AM Radio and rl Salvador Dali.... As a few images can tell so much more than a million words, I took the opportunity to take a few representative snapshots which I gladly have reproduced here. Oh yes, put your world environment setting to 'region default' for an optimal 'experience' :-)

A view of the main entrance of the old castle with the wishing well in the foreground

Midnight in Twas. The rain has stopped and a bleak moon is projecting its rays on the largest floating island and the castle

The floating islands are located just above the low hanging clouds. Mooring cables being anchored in the rocks below prevents them to drift away

Thank you so much for sharing this all with us Toxic! :-)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween 2009 or a party in Edufinland

By Lord Lisle

Invited to attend a Halloween party at the EduFinland sim I hasitated to attend as I really did not know what to expect. That attitude changed drastically when at the arrival I was overwhelmed by the number of party-guests, the music and above all the creation of the venue

The Halloween party venue was a huge converted pumpkin, tastfully decorated with attributes I never had seen before

A sneak view through one of the openings of the pumpkin..note the massive swarm of nasty bats

At my arrival the party was already in full swing, the place was well filled. Anyone had done their best to wear an appropriate outfit

Yolanda Hirvi as greeter and DJ spinning good music (yes, even numbers from my beloved Queen)

A selection of snaphots taken of the wonderfully dressed guests attending the Halloween party

Polonaise at the end of the well organised and most pleasant party. A big thank you to the organisers.

The Haunted House

By Lord Lisle

The creations and buildings of Yolanda Hirvi are as usual wonderful and well developed, but this time she surpassed herself with the Haunted House, situated in the Finland Edu cluster of Sims
Edufinland IV (94, 37, 471)
No description this time, I want you to find out yourself if you dare……beware it IS rather dark!

Side view of the Haunted House. Just visible is the ubiquitous house ghost. No, she does not bite, just ignore her...

Miauw, the Haunted House stray cat is watching any movement at the front door...

Ohhh dear, what has happened in the kitchen....., there is blood everywhere...

Beware when entering the hall, a pile of skuls may fall upon you!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Talented creators of SL (11): Ainee Kohime’s Sagrada Familia Cathedral and ‘The Chocolate Ghost’

By Lord Lisle

You may well ask: '..what has a Spanish cathedral to do with a ghost?''..... Well, read on dear follower of the Metaversal Blog and discover the remarkable talents of Ainee.

Travelling through Barcelona during a business trip several years ago, I was alerted to Gaudi’s amazing Sagrada Familia Cathedral, the vast spires of which dominate the city. Unfortunately I had not the time to have a closer look at the place, and never had the chance to come back.

Whilst taking snapshots of Trasgo Beaumont in his sculpting workshop some time ago (see one of my previous entries in this Blog) I noticed familiar looking buildings in the background. Having a closer look after the snapshot session I discovered to my astonishment an accurate Second Life recreation of the Sagrada Familia Cathedral. (Hermetic Palaces/79/94/42)

Gaudi’s cathedral as seen from a distance with a Casa Gaudi Villa and Gaudi’s Tower of Romance in the foreground. The Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família (official Catalan name: Templo Expiatorio de la Sagrada Familia; "Expiatory Temple of the Holy Family"), often simply called the Sagrada Família, is a massive, privately-funded Roman Catholic church that has been under construction in Barcelona, since 1882 and is not expected to be completed until at least 2026.

It did not took me long to find Ainee Kohime, the owner of the sim and creator of the cathedral. She guided me through the huge place and revealed interesting details such as Gaudi's Tomb in the Crypt, the Library, the Ballroom, the Park Guell dragons, and the seating inside the spires. Apart from this masterpiece, she has created numerous Gaudi inspired buildings, but also amazing thatched cottages and baroque villas, low-prim pavilions and palaces. Her most recent works in SL are a recreation of the Versailles Opera House, and of the Petit Trianon, on display in her island with many other treasures.

The Cathedral as seen from the South-East ((Nativity Façade) entrance

The majestic North (the Passion façade) entrance

The North-West (Glory façade) entrance, showing 8 of the 12 spires

A view from the West at roof level.

Another view from the West, the arrow pointing to the completely dwarfed out Avi of yours truly, having found a splendid position for taking snapshots. This shot indicate the huge size of the Cathedral.

Inside the Cathedral, just look at the amazing details of the columns and vaulting

View of the lower levels of the Cathedral

After exploring Ainee’s replica of the Sagrada Familia in Second Life, I have a slight feeling that when I eventually see the original place in RL I *might* be a bit disappointed: in SL I do not have the endure the constant excessive traffic noise, the building activities, building cranes blocking the view, and the inaccessibility of many of the locations, as I can travel freely around the spires in the balloon provided by Ainee. How amazing this Second Life can be…

Ainee laughs in agreement, and recalls how when she visited this cathedral, a winding trail of tourists wandered through the construction site. She stepped back suddenly to admire the vaulting, and a workman’s helmet fell 300 metres from the spire, smashing onto the exact spot where she had just been standing (fortunately, the workman was not inside it)! She declares that she must have been pushed by an Angel.
“As I was working in SL on the cathedral,” explains Ainee, “for three months I dreamed of it every night. As the drawings and plans were destroyed in the Spanish Civil war, it is very hard to discover what Gaudi’s intentions for the unfinished sections were. One useful drawing was found in his pocket after he was killed by a tram. But in my dreams, Gaudi seemed to show me what his vision of the completed structure would be: I finished one section as I thought he would have done it. To my astonishment, a few days later a new tourist photo of that section, completed that week, appeared on the web – and it was exactly as I had designed it! I felt I was communing with Gaudi’s spirit. Gaudi would have loved the medium of SL, and have spent his time torturing prims and twisting toruses… I especially enjoyed recreating in prims the new sculpture which has recently been added to the porticos, simple and graceful after Gaudi’s sketchy outlines. My favourite section? It must be the Tortoise which supports the door pillar in the Annunciation façade.”
Ainee acknowledges her sources: “Without Ariel Erlanger’s wonderful sculpted vaulting, and the very adaptable ‘Vengeance’ megaprims, this design would have been impossible, so I am a convert to the wonders of the megaprim in SL. The vast fountains by Klyks Klees were just as Gaudi had intended, but I bet there is not enough water in a Barcelona summer to power them in Real Life!”
Ainee adds that she is indebted to her Patron Mintz Tomorrow for his support and encouragement: “He is my dream client: he said I could use 3000 prims and the spire tips had to reach the clouds: other than that, he left me alone to work on the Cathedral! After almost two years of specialising in low-prim Architecture and Antique furnishings, this was a fabulously indulgent treat to make! I shall sadly have to demolish the Cathedral on my island soon, to make room for my next project, but Mintz has vowed to preserve his copy as an SL Masterpiece!”

-Ainee’s island is Hermetic Palaces/118/119/26 and

- Mintz’s Sagrada Familia is Meloloona/321/101/22

The Chocolate Ghost

Ainee is gifted writer in Real Life and writes as 'Julia Hawkes-Moore'; her novel 'Dancing in Circles' (Honno) can be ordered from Amazon. Her story ‘The Chocolate Ghost’ has been published (and translated into Czech) in several RL books and anthologies.

At the time of writing ‘The Chocolate Ghost’ has been transcripted into a SL THiNC Press book. The book can be read (yes, even a complementary copy can be taken if you wish) in the real Chocolate Ghost shop created in Second Life (Hermetic Palaces/21/215/25)

The Second Life Chocolate Ghost shop ….The chocolate girls decided that they should buy a shop. They had very little money, so they had to hunt around the market town of Saffron Walden for a long time before they found somewhere cheap and pretty enough to suit their purpose. In a narrow cobbled street just off the market square they found a tall, narrow house squeezed in between two strict Georgian red-brick ones. It was all tottery with carved oak beams, and glittering diamondy window-panes….

Inside the Second Life Chocolate Ghost shop ….the mysteries of jujubes, lozenges, liquorice laces and aniseed balls were there to be explored. Tigernuts, Spanish tobacco, bulls' eyes and sherbet suckers were bought by the pound, whilst jamboree bags and all their hidden surprises proved so popular….

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The JD MTF 'Heron' is not a toy...

By Lord Lisle

Very recently I aquired my first Sea-Plane, often referred to as Flying Boat, supplied by the Mechanical Toy Factory (MTF), SOL Solution Island 181/23/319

(A flying boat is a specialized form of aircraft that is designed to take off from and land on water, using its fuselage as a floating hull. Such aircraft are often stabilized on water by under wing floats -Wikipedia-)

Although sea-planes can be obtained at many other places in Second Life, my choice of the JD MTF Heron was based on previous experience with creations by Jenne and Mandy such as the JD MTF "Celerus" Steamboat, the Personal Copter and of course my much treasured Jenney Mandy'dson 1915 ed. sidecar equipped motorcycle from the early 20th century.

HUD of the Heron, showing full functional instruments: Banline indicator, Altimeter, Airspeed indicator, region display, compass, pitch warning indicator and function button with parachute dispenser, camera view and sound button

Important features of the remarkable JD MTF Heron are the carrying of up to three passengers (in the usual comfy MTF seats hehe) exceptional sculpts and details in an early 20th century style.
It is no wonder that during the few initial flights I was approached via my IM by several people informing where I had acquired this plane.
The craft has only 27 prims, copy permission, 8 menu driven colour schemes plus a high quality HUD (which has a unique banline indicator giving visual and sound warnings) and much more.
Needless to say that the Heron has good flying capacities, not very fast, but what would you expect from a flying boat?
I must congratulate Jenne Dibou (primworks/textures) and Mandy Marseille (scripts/sounds) of the Mechanical Toy Factory on another fine item in their long line of remarkable and always unique creations.

The MTF Heron taking off at sunset from the waters of the West side of Blake Sea for a photographic reconnaissance flight

Gathering more speed before getting airborne

Reaching Second Life cruise level at about 200 meter

Cruising over the Coast of Blake Sea through the evening clouds

Returned and moored after the evening flight, dwarfed out by the huge tri-engine Short Calcutta 1928 Flying Boat owned by Michel Linden. No, that plane cannot fly; it’s just a 170+ prim floating display. (To be seen at Ferry Terminal and Welcome Area, Barbarossa/177/31/21/)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Cirrus glider

By Lord Lisle

Since I picked up flying in Second Life I have flown quite a number of planes and flying contraptions, not only differing in appearance, but (more importantly) in their scripting. Very often a well build plane with fine textures, is horrible to fly, instable and the cause of a crash.
Very recently whilst boating in Blake Sea I came to the pier and adjacent workshop/store of Driff Beardmore (Roatan/130/60/21) where I noticed a demo of an interesting looking glider. Although I have a glider in my inventory, this particular plane is almost impossible to keep in the air due to poorly defined control layout, so I was suspicious that this plane might have the same deficiency.
After rezzing the demo, to my surprise the glider behaved exactly as I would like, smooth and stable, and being able to fly at a low speed (as a glider should do) it gives ample time to look around without constantly adjusting your controls. Given the fact that it has a standard camera mode, guest mode, locator beacon and copy/mod permission I bought one after I had flown back the demo model.
Taking off at St. Martin airstrip for a long flight over Blake Sea

For just 150 L$ this plane is a real bargain: looking at the details and perfect scripting this plane is to my opinion a labour of love of the constructor.
To illustrate its stability, yesterday I took off at St. Martin Airstrip (St Martin/68/181/21) (a narrow strip running along a sandbar) and flew via Blake Sea deep into Nautilus at least through 30 sims without a single crash. Of course I might have been lucky that particular day….

Soaring over the West part of Blake Sea

Monday, July 27, 2009

Talented creators of SL (10) Follow up: Trasgo Beaumont, the Sculptor or 3-D art Master

By Lord Lisle

When I happen to meet Trasgo again last week he surprised me in that he had taken up another form of art and was cheerfully chiselling away in his sculpture workshop. Like terraforming, SL sculpting is a different trade which apparently takes time and patience to master. Needless to tell you that Trasgo’s sculptures are well worth looking at and many copies of his works can be found in the gardens and homes of discerning owners.

Trasgo Beaumont at work in his sculptor workshop in Ainee's Hermetic Palaces (121, 154, 25) (at the landing point, head North for about 30 meters to reach his place)

Although Trasgo kept on working, putting the finishing strokes to his latest sculpture, he had no objection in answering some questions which had come up to me the other day I met him creating the painting with Yolanda Hirvi:

LL The appearance of your avi is stunning, just what we would expect from a Master of Arts…… Did you create this yourself?
Thank you very much (..and here Trasgo smiles broadly, carefully twisting his moustache pointing upward...) I maintained this appearance since a very long period: after wandering around as a newbie I experimented with skins, eyes and yes, my moustache and eventually created my own appearance which I never changed afterwards. I must point out that I had made this appearance (including moustache) before I decided to become an artist, it was probably my fate that I choose this before I knew what my SL future was going to be. And after all, could I really take another occupation with this look?

LL What painting do you consider as the most successful you have made?
This question is difficult to answer... I have a special affection to my 'Return of Spring' based in the work of Bouguereau, a portrait of Malone Sands, suggested by her and who I am very thankfully for it. For its special nature, I have fond memories of the group works: for example the painting with the Old Versailles Court, The Stairs of the Ambassador. This is my most extensive work made in three parts to enable it to be exhibit at the right resolution with the size that was commissioned of twenty meters wide. But I have made so many other portraits and works that I cannot forget, oh you put me in an awkward position if you make me choose - smile - and…could I ever forget my Dolce Far Niente - one of my RL favourite’s compositions from Godward - which I made for Yolanda Hirvi as you know. Ohh is very difficult! – smiles again -

Trasgo Beaumont sculpted work is on display in the garden section (the large glass room) in the Metaversal Arts main shop Cherish (161, 88, 60)

LL With a RL residence in Spain, you have the opportunity to view and admire many originals of famous paintings and other forms of art, including fascinating buildings. Did this influence indirectly the choice of becoming a Second Life artist?
Nobody escapes to the influence of the place of birth, where one grew up and lives and where you can directly enjoy this marvellous heritage. Churches, buildings and streets in the historical centre (where my house is) of the city where I live, Cádiz, remind you any time to this period.
SL offers us the opportunity to revive the best of these creative periods. My aim was to revive the experience and the look for the beauty of an old master of art.
Many people in SL share this view, this perfect feel of beauty, although through different ways - from customizing avatars, building, terraforming, creating furniture or scripted items and so on..: I like to be a kind of mirror (with an old style glass…) that could reflect all this beauty through my portraits!

LL: what is the basic difference between creating a building and a sculpture in Second Life?
Sculpting in SL has two sides I think - the technique, which depends on the software that you use, generally this is not easy to work with because although even if you know some 3-D software, you must adapt to the SL limits.

Making good sculptures is a real challenge and you never finish learning. Although applicable to any creation in SL, the main point is to keep your prims as less as possible; we know of some really very good sculptors - but you need almost the contents of prims of an entire sim to rezz one of their creations!
On the other side, and no less important, is the creation itself - what you design and expect of it, but before anything you must keep the main rule: make all the parts separately and join these in the right pose or shape ... This is not easy, but the satisfaction when you see that your RL sketch has 3-D form and you can 'touch' it ... is something amazing.

Loggia of the Muses Houlihan (47, 137, 72) is Trasgo’s country seat where most of his sculpture work can be admired

The next entry in this Blog, (a second follow-up), brings us to the world of fashion: Trasgo Beaumont, the Fashionable Dress Designer or Lord Lisle’s new dandy outfit

Friday, July 10, 2009

Talented creators of SL (10): Trasgo Beaumont, the painter, or a birthday present for Yolanda

By Lord Lisle

Not so very long ago Yolanda Hirvi celebrated her RL birthday (no, I am not revealing her age...), therefore Darleez DeCuir and I were desparately looking for a suitable present to memorate this occasion. Finally we came to the ultimate present: an oil painting of her avi, set in an existing old masterpainting of her own choice. There is only one Master of Art in SL who is brilliant in this work: the celebrated Trasgo Beaumont Esq. As we know that the schedule of many SL artists is usually filled, that they are picky in customers, their choice of outfit and accepting a commission only when they are fully happy with their customer, we took the chance and went to his studio in Languedoc Coeur.
In the reception room of Trasgo Beaumont's studio. Replica's of many of his previous commissions are collected here; more are on the upper floor galleries

We were lucky and happen to meet Mr Beaumont which was cleaning brushes in his workshop. Eventually he agreed in a commission of a painting based on Dolce Far Niente (Sweet Nothings) by John William Godward. Fortunately this painting had not been chosen earlier by a customer as the artist consequently refuses to do the same painting twice. A few days later Yolanda went to the sitting for this painting; Lord Lisle was allowed to take a few snapshots of this occasion. And, dear reader of the Metaversal Blog, when you ask me whether Yolanda enjoyed the painting? I can only say: By Jove she did!

The first sitting for the painting. Master of Arts Trasgo Beaumont is making preparations and Yolanda is taking her position as model

Yolanda Hirvi posing in the studio of Trasgo Beaumont, whilst the Master is concentrated in his new work

At this stage most of the work has been done and Mr Beaumont is carefully inspecting his latest creation

Finished! Trasgo Beaumont and his model Yolanda Hirvi in a relaxed mood after the work is completed

This is the final result of Trasgo Beaumont's work, the original can be inspected on the South wall of the Metaversal Arts Office and Theatre

When the painting was delivered and Trasgo and I celebrated the highly successful painting with a glass of Wallop in a local pub I took the liberty in asking to reveal us more of his SL career

LL: You are doing a wonderful job with you paintings, can you tell us please: are you an artist in ‘The Other World’ (as my friend Mykyl Nordwind would put it)?
Trasgo: Thank you for the kind words, but my RL occupation is rather dull compared to my SL activities. I am a marginal sketcher in RL, I like draw and play with colours, but nothing seriously

LL: But are you in one way connected to paintings, or an admirer of all sorts of arts?
Trasgo: Oh, by all means, I do love arts and in particular paintings and sculpture. My taste and interests are very broad and I like different styles and artists. I think that it is important to taste some of the artist’s soul he has put in his work; I do not really care about the technique, life of the artist, his family and so on. I often compare a painting with a good wine: you do not want to know about the harvest, chateau and colour as long as you really enjoy it.
Further more, my work in SL gives me an opportunity to learn more of the work of great painters, hitherto unknown to me. And due to the special commissions of my customers it enhance my passion in arts

LL: It was noticed that you take commissions for new paintings, but as a real Master of Arts you have set certain limits to the donor RL painting. Can you elucidate this?
Trasgo: I try to make exclusive work in SL - I think that like the real paintings is no good to repeat the same donor painting again and again and eventually ending up with hundred portraits based upon the same work but with different faces, all made by me. And like the real paintings, I prefer that only one copy exist, therefore only very exceptionally I produce a portrait with full perms. So my main rule is not make a work twice - based in the same RL painting - granted the exclusivity and originally of my works. My customers could be sure that they are the only owners of the true version in SL from that or this RL painting.
In my more recent works I'm trying to include more of SL, making in this way more original compositions. Based on poses or inspired by RL paintings, but using SL elements, furniture, clothes, landscapes... I want to put in my works more of SL, I think that all this beauty created by the whole of SL designers deserve to be immortalized too, and why not in my paintings?

LL When you decided to enter Second Life, did it took you long to become an artist? Most of us had a hard and steep learning time before even could make up their mind what to do…
Well, I started my life in SL, like many of us, sheer of curiosity in a world without apparent rules. I was amazed of the wide range of possibilities for creating almost anything as far as you can imagine, considering your time and patience to learn. After a few months aimlessly wandering around I got an idea that I might be able to create portraits, based on real life paintings. I made two portraits: one of myself and a second one from an unknown model. Both paintings, along with a portable easel which I created and worn as an attachment, were shown in selected places. Very soon I met people who were interested and I received my first commission for a portrait.

- .-. .- ... --. --- -... . .- ..- -- --- -. -

To be followed by:

Trasgo Beaumont, the sculptor