Monday, March 16, 2009

Talented creators of SL (8): Equine McMillan or an engineer at work

By Lord Lisle

In my previous entry in the Metaversal Arts Blog I revealed that the new premises of the Metaversal Arts Shop were created by Equine McMillan. The new building is not only tasteful, but offers a much more practical arrangement for visitors, customers and shopkeepers. I strongly advice readers to visit the new Metaversal Arts shop, and also to have a look at the range of new items on display.

Aerial view of the new Metaversal Arts Shop, another fine creation by Equine McMillan

Not very long after the opening of the new Metaversal Arts Shop, I noticed an interesting puffing, smoking and spinning object in the North-East side of the building. Getting closer, I saw a beautifully engineered AND most realistic/detailed three cylinder steam engine, build by Equine McMillen.

The steam engine with fireplace, boiler and alternator can be admired in the North-East side of Cherish (187, 228, 60)

I became interested to see whether Equine had created more similar objects and was not disappointed -after I had viewed the picks in his profile ;-) Here a snapshot of the Botanical House greenhouse heating system, Caledon On Sea (243, 204, 22). Again a mechanical and logical correct design

Halfway my quest to investigate his creations, I contacted Equine via IM and asked him to answer a few of my questions, which he willingly did:

LL: Can you recall your original motive to take an account on SL?
Well, this one is rather ironic actually. A friend of mine told me about SL about 2 years ago, and asked me to try it. I was extremely sceptical, thinking that this is a total waste of time. Since then I came to think of metaverses quite differently. I started enjoying my stay, interacting with various people, exploring, being creative, etc.

LL: Did it take long before you felt comfortable and confident to build here?
I quickly got in the hang of building, it was quite intuitive, and I really enjoyed creating things. At first I was just fooling around with prims, and textures. Actually among my first ideas was a skeleton clock (which I did build after about two months of stay in SL), and a steam engine. The latter took considerably longer to get right :).

LL: I noticed that you take commissions, would you reject a project which is against your personal taste and what are projects you particularly like?
To be honest, from experience, I'd say I can find "my taste" in almost any style I do. My real criteria is "doing it right". Whatever the task may be. If your aim is a flowing consistent style, you can pretty much make anything look good. My personal taste is less of an issue.
I've built minimalist type homes, also steampunk builds (more of the latter evidently), and some other looks and feels. I think a lot depends on how much you can sort of see things the way the customer does. To feel what his/her goal is. Sometimes that's quite a challenge of course.
About personal preferences...I'm not really sure! It's a bit like musical taste. I like the variety, there are songs I listen to more often, but depending on my mood I might be listening to something completely different.

LL: The Epona’s Gate suspension Bridge and Greystoke railway station in Caledon must have been a major undertakings, how many hours did you spend in creating these?
Hmm, honestly I have no idea! I never keep track of time while building :). That was a lengthy project for sure though. Throughout the build process I had to coordinate with various people to make sure they like what I'm doing, and putting on their land :). And here I want to thank Desmond Shang for the opportunity of course! He was very supportive, as were all the people I was in contact with there.
Overall that was a rather satisfying accomplishment, I enjoyed building it.

LL: From what I have seen so far, most of your creations are located in Caledon South (except the Metaversal Arts Shop of course). Are you keen to take commissions to build at other places, providing the surrounding premises are not ugly?
Yes most of them are in the southern region of Caledon, but actually I take commissions from any part of SL, and even if the surroundings are not really aesthetically pleasing, making it a bit better is something I'm quite willing to do :).
The reason for most of my builds being in Caledon, is that I lived there for quite a while, from my early days. And here again I would like to thank Viderian Vollmar, and Kamilah Hauptmann, Samantha Glume and all of Caledon for their support. My build talents were developed and nourished there.
Oh and by the way, I also built a couple of things on the mainland, but as rapidly changing those areas are, they weren’t there for long.

LL: As an electrical and radio engineer I am particularly interested in your steam engines and alternators and looking forward to see anything more in this field (yes I would love to see one of those white marble switchboards with fuses, meters, control lamps and switches, hint, hint..). Have you got any building plans of more steam and early electrical machines for the future?
By all means! I am a big fan of "fancy electrics". Until now I mostly took commissions, but I've decided to create a line of products to sell. Of course I don't want to "confine" myself into only one style. One thing is for sure: Engineering has, and will have a very strong influence on what I do in here. I prefer stuff that is, within the confines of SL, "logically correct", though I like to mix that logic with a healthy amount of fantasy. Sort of..."best of both (more more) worlds". My own home in SL though is strongly fantasy oriented. It's more of a sanctuary actually.

LL: When you tell your colleagues and friends about your activities in SL, are their reactions on the positive side?
It depends! Some of my closest friends have second lifes. Those who aren't familiar with it usually have a negative first reaction. After some explaining some of them change that opinion, some don't. It seems when I mention the possibility of earning real money, their ears perk ;). Some even get curious!

Raffles, home to Munro Imaginary Motors, makers of aircraft and airships both practical and fanciful. Her new airborne base in the Duchy of Loch Avie, Caledon Loch Avie (131, 163, 130) was build by Equine.

A long (150 meters) and majestic, low prim suspension bridge (called "Epona's Gate") connecting two duchies in Caledon and part of the new railroad extention was one of Equine's major builds. Conspirators of Caer Firnas, Steampunk Duchy of Caer Firnas Caledon Caer Firnas (85, 164, 44)

Duchy of Greystoke, Caledon Greystoke (138, 165, 43) Greystoke Station along the railroad extension built for Caledon. Most of the tracks are in air partly on the suspension bridge. Caledon Oxbridge University can be seen in the background.

Not very far off the Greystoke Station is Oxbridge University. The majestic clock in the tower was build by Equine, and look at the details! It contains a chime script which appropriately hits quarters, halfs, three quarters and the hour of course. Please do visit it a few minutes before the hour to hear it in action :-). Caledon Oxbridge Village, Caledon Oxbridge Village (13, 136, 21)

Whilst sitting on that clock in Caledon Oxbridge University, I was too busy taking snapshots and I did not notice two nasty flying creatures. Apparently kept by a nasty Dean to keep students IN the buildings and not, as I did, hanging around on the roofs and towers.... Before I knew what happened the most ugly and biggest of the creatures grabbed me in the crutch.

Having the camara still at hand, I managed to take these two snapshots before I was slammed to the ground, not very far off the Oxbridge University Building.....

After rezzing and still a bit dizzy from the wild ride, I looked around. By strange coincidence (was it really?...) I was dropped near Equine McMillan's L'Engle Tesseract Generator in Caledon Steam SkyCity (204, 26, 23) Although I had read in another BLog that the machine was considered as '..dangerous, deadly and evil..', I could not resist in taking a closer look at it.

The prime mover of the Tesseract Generator was at first sight a version of the ubiquitous McMillan two cylinder steam engine coupled to two huge alternators, hmm, interesting so far... A more closer view revealed that this machine is more detailed then the other ones I saw so far.

..... sit on the seat and pull the handle on the switchboard to generate a Tesseract...., said a note. .....(Do this at your own risk, of course :)....I jumped on the chair and pulled the handle. Actually, I should have been more careful after reading the second note, because the engine started running, the sliding door closed and I was pushed upwards in the tower ...

Arriving at the top of the tower, without being able to move, four arms came from the ceiling, forming a cage....

A split second later after the four arms had touched each other, the alternator down in the building made a loud high pitched sound and the inside of the cage bursted out in flames..

What happened next, you ask me? I'd rather not tell, but I want YOU to find out yourself, if you dare!

Thank you, Equine, for this experience!
Keep on with the good work ;-)

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The shape of things to come or the renovation of Cherish

By Lord Lisle

Although the Metaversal Arts Shop staff knew that Yolanda Hirvi was up to something, (well, isn't she always, hehe...) it still came as a shock to me when I arrived in Cherish today and found that the usual landing place had been changed and that there were no visitors and customers around...
It soon transpired that Yolanda took the opportunity of a quiet day to renovate the main shop buildings. As these works are a bit awkward for customers (let alone the dreadful sight of Yolanda hopping around in overalls, pfffff) it was decided to close the sim for the duration.

Yolanda (tagged as Bad Boss) shaping one of the cornerstones of the renovated Metaversal Arts Shop, a dreadful sight, is it not?

A sneak preview of the renovated Metaversal Arts Shop buildings, as seen from the Metaversal Arts Theatre. I am looking forward to the opening shortly! YOU too? I am not allowed to tell you that this magnificient piece of SL architecture is another creation by Equine McMillan...(don't tell that you got it from me, or else...)

Tango Pasión by Maar Auer

by Yolanda Hirvi

As most of you already know Maar Auer's work is always stunning. Metaversal Arts and Maar Auer are proud to present Tango Pasión; the steamiest dance animation for a couple ever seen in SL. This machinima made by Maar is pretty hot too. *Grins*

Animation and Machinima : Maar Auer
Dancers: Yolanda Hirvi and Lord Lisle
Location : Armada Breakaway
Music : Gotan Project