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

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Talented Creators of SL (9) : Never You Mind Harleywan Haggwood

by Yolanda Hirvi

Harleywan Haggwood is a young builder and designer who has created his dream in Second Life. His store/home/playground Never You Mind -island is a wonderful example of passion for building in SL. It has not made for making money or for fame in SL . It has made because of it just had to come out..out of Harleywan's imagination. Landscaping is not easy, but Harleywood's island looks perfect to me. Even though he claims it is still in progress. I tried to catch it's feel in the sim with snapshots, but with my skills it just cannot be done. You just have to go and see it for your self. It is rustic, rural, worn out, but very romantic. Along the rustic buildings he has created not-so-usual vehicles like a ridable kite, balloons and sailable bath tubs. He has also made rambling robots and old toys. Sounds like fun? I had a change to spend a morning with Harleywood talking about him and his work in SL.

Y: How did you come to SL and how did you end up to become a builder and a store owner?
I was first introduced to Sl about a year and a half ago by my friends SkyeRider Varriale, TatianaDokuchic Varriale and Marin Mielziner. It took me a while to actually come in world and after a few weeks I discovered that i was getting hooked.
My building skills have all been self taught with little pushes in the right direction by friends. I like learning that way and practically everything I've made has been a big, big trial and error thing. After some initial truly horrendous attempts and making some simple things, I got hold of a couple of full perm objects and pulled them apart to see how they were contructed and how things fit together, and things sort of just took off from there. I always test out stuff I make on my friends Tat, Bebe, Zac and Skye and rely on them for feed back, criticism and suggestions ( some of which I completely ignore), but I really do value all of their opinions. Skye and Tatiana are seasoned and extraordinary builders, and even though the look of my rustic things and my building style are completely different to what they both make, they are always more than happy to tell me what they think ,good or bad and I appreciate the honesty.....though I sometimes might not agree :).

I love old rustic stuff, whether it be Country, Steampunk, Urban or just plain used looking :)... and if it has a tinge of humour about it...even better. I opened my 'Never You Mind' world on a 4096 plot roughly about 8 months ago. First off it was just so I could have a go at making things. Its moved around a little bit as I've required more space, and I'm more than happy with the place it is now on a homestead sim that I rent.

Y:What do you like the best in Second Life?
H: Thats a hard question. there really isnt any one thing i like best in Second Life. I love building stuff, but I also like meeting new people and discovering new things. I guess if I had to narrow it down it would be... oh hell I do
nt know , I guess i like everything...except griefers!

Y: People like interactive stuff. Also I find them fun. I bought your kite. I think it is very brilliant idea, and I have had fun time flying with it. Making those does require some scripting skills.
Thanks! I like making stuff that does stuff. :) The kite turned out pretty good I think.... and it drove me up the wall for a few hours trying to get the flight script to work properly. The kite actually statred out as an idea just to have a kite you could attach and carry around that moved in the wind... and it got a bit out of control. I thought wouldnt it be funny if you actually flew really flew it :). Most of the scripts that I use in my stuff are scripts that I have bought and then edited to suit my needs, and I have absolutely no programming skills whatsoever except for little titbits i pick up from here and there. Scripting really does my head in, but very slowly I've been learning the language with mixed... sometimes hilarious... but mostly just bang my head against the keyboard results.

Y: 'Never You Mind' is very carefully landscaped. It seems to be more than just a store to you. Does 'Never You Mind' exist in any form in RL?
H: Ive wanted to own my own island for ages and when someone offered me too much money for my old mainland I decided i may as well look for one. This is all from my imagination. I did grow up on a farm in Australia though, so i supose theres a lot of influence from there. It is my home away from real life home, as well as my store ... and its also my playground.

Y: Who are your 'idols' as creators in Second Life?
H:Wow there are so many! Everyday I find a new place that blows me away with creativity and imagination that makes up peoples objects, clothes and worlds. It would be unfair to mention any one or two people because there are just way too many and the list just keeps on growing every day.

Y: If there will be other virtual worlds competing Second Life that have own economy, would you be interested expanding to the other worlds? Or leave SL ?
H: No! Not at all Im having way too much fun here at the moment.

Our time is up with Harleywan and he has to dash to RL work. I stay to wander around for awhile. I wonder what his next realease will be...Darn, I forgot to ask..

Nerver You Mind :