Category Archives: Announcements

Slinky, Sexy Leila, now at Slink!

Do I need to say more? I mean, I am going to say more. Holy WOW this set is sexy! Definitely the most slinky thing I have ever released at Slink, which is saying something. Leila comes in 8 beautiful metal options and for when you want to get close to someone special, there is a Naughty option right on the HUD! You can rez your HUD nearby to give someone else access to the Naughty bits.

The colours are available for separate purchase, or you can pick up the pack for 2.5x the single price! Well worth it πŸ™‚

Now available at the Slink Mainstore

Everything you need to know About Alpha Layers in Second Life – Part 1

This is a long post, grab yourself a cup of whatever you like to drink, and settle in for a read! πŸ™‚

The storied history of hiding the avatar in Second Life

Many moons ago, back in the olden days, we used to trudge uphill in the snow baref… wait, no, wrong story!

Back in the day when we only had the default SL avatar body, we worked around the fact that we couldn’t hide the avatar body with a variety of methods. First, we would just build bigger than the avatar body, and adjusted sliders and shoe bases to accomodate. The first real method of hiding the actual body that I remember was the Invisiprim, which used a little script that rendered the prim invisible, and any part of the avatar body it was worn on, also invisible.

Sydney With Invisiprims

Slink Sydney Overknee Boots with invisiprims

Invisiprims

The invisiprim could be a series of primitive shapes, cubes, cylinders etc, or a custom shape made in a 3d program which used a little R,G,B (red, green, blue) texture we called “sculpty”, or Sculpted Texture, to form the shape in 3d space when applied to a prim inworld. You can still find many sculpties, and invisiprims, in older shoe designs for example. They appear like big invisible blobs around your object when you select the item in edit mode. Some time ago, invisiprims were rendered obsolete, and they no longer work.

The nature of invisiprims was to obscure anything behind them that had an alpha channel, which is a property of a texture that makes it transparent or semi transparent.

Alpha Layers

Linden Lab introduced the Alpha Layer around 2012, which freed creators and consumers up from invisiprims in a big, substantial way. Now we could just wear a layer, instead of making big blobby prims to hide our avatar feet for shoes, or even our entire avatars for new bodies, animal avatars, tech avatars etc!

Alpha layers entirely replaced invisiprims with a much simpler to create and use system that could hide parts or all of the default avatar body with ease and didn’t cause transparent textures behind the avatar to disappear. They were especially useful once we had the ability to wear more than one.

Alpha texture example

An example of an alpha texture in Second Life. The checkerboard part is transparent

Creators got busy making alpha layers for their mesh clothing. Alpha layers could be painted onto a template in a painter program like Photoshop, and made to fit exactly with the clothing, so that no part of the avatar clipped outside, and the body was visible only where it was meant to be. It was a great solution. Rarely would you find a mesh outfit without a complementary alpha layer.

A year or 2 after the implementation of alpha layers, Linden Lab gave us the ability to create and wear fully functional mesh items that animated along with our avatar skeletons, and responded along with our appearance sliders! Game changer right? Yes and no. With this update, came complete mesh replacements for the SL avatar body, since we could finally change shapes with the avatar appearance sliders, however, the ability to just wear an alpha layer and have your body disappear was gone, along with the ability to just wear a skin, tattoo, makeup, etc.

So we creators had to come up with a solution. That solution was HUD controlled, scripted alpha cuts.

Early Slink Alpha HUD

An early HUD for the Slink Physique Mesh body. It has undergone a number of changes since this version

HUD Controlled Alpha Cuts

HUD controlled alpha cuts gave us the ability to turn on and off parts of our new, pretty mesh bodies, but with some significant drawbacks:

  • Each alpha cut area must be designated in the 3d program by the creator of the body, and must by design, follow the geometry of the body.
  • To be at all functional, the body must be cut into many many zones or “faces”.
  • SL creators are hard limited by the platform to 8 “faces” per single mesh.
  • 8 is obviously not enough zones to properly cater to all the varieties of clothing available in SL, so we had to break the bodies up into many, many pieces, each with 8 individual zones.
  • At final count, the Slink bodies were in 27 pieces, with 8 faces each, multiplied by 4, since we also wanted to provide layer options for tattoos, underwear and clothing.
  • Each layer had to respond to the HUD the same way so when you turned off part of your arm, the corresponding part of your tattoo would also turn off, and not come on again until you enabled it again on your HUD
  • To make any sense to the person scripting the body, the faces must never change in order. Otherwise when you think you are turning off your arm, you may be turning off your leg! This can lead to hours of pointless bug hunting. Ask me how I know πŸ™‚
  • 27 pieces, 8 faces each, multiplied by 4, needing to respond to the same HUD commands, quickly, without glitches if you turned on and off your layers separately is a mammoth, complicated and time consuming scripting task, not to mention managing the pieces to ensure no gaps, seams, texture mismatches or errors in face assignment in the 3d program.
  • We had to provide a solution to 3rd party creators so they could script their clothing to automatically turn off bits and pieces of your body when you wore it. More scripting!
  • The scripting of the alpha zones alone constituted more than half of the required scripting for the entire body.
  • Each mesh piece, face and script contributes to your overall avatar rendering cost, (another article) which is an important number for keeping SL manageable for everyone. Lower is better.

By the time all was said and done, the layers of mesh, body pieces, faces, textures and scripts added up to a substantial avatar rendering cost JUST for the body alone. And then you start adding clothing and hairstyles, shoes and jewellery and.. well you see where this is going.

Final Alpha Layout

The most recent Slink alpha HUD with so so many cuts!

AND even all of that still wasn’t enough. Every week I would receive requests for more alpha cuts. Cuts down the front and back of the legs. Cuts down the sides of the legs. More cuts for different shirt necklines. Cuts for open front jackets, low back dresses. Jeans with lacing up the sides, teeny weeny bikinis. I could seriously see a future where I did nothing else but manage alpha cuts for the rest of my SL life.

And then came …Bakes on Mesh…

 

 

Join me in the next article where I talk about Bakes on Mesh and how we now handle hiding our avatar bits!

β™₯ Siddean

 

Slink @ SL71b!

I am happy to announce that Slink is once again part of the Second Life Birthday celebrations for it’s 17th birthday!

TAXI to SLINK@SL17B

Slink has 2 new releases at our SL17b booth this go around, perfect for summer drinks in the shade with friends! All responsible social butterflies do it online these days, and this cute, slightly sexy little outfit is a perfect fit.

TAXI to SLINK@SL17B

She is called Skylar, and she is modeled here by our very own lovely Ayan. This pack includes all of the colours in the pallette below!

Slink Skylar Poster

Skylar Colours

And to compliment this sexy slinky little number, what better than a cool as a cucumber pair of pristine white tennis shoes!

TAXI to SLINK@SL17B

Leilani and Lan are the Womens and Mens versions of this unisex style! Like Skylar, all of the colours are included in the pack!

Lan and Leilani Colours

And lastly but not in the least, least, the gift! I have made a special pair of the Lan and Lelani tennis shoes in Slinky red just for this event! Happy birthday SL, I hope you have many more! πŸ™‚

Slink Lan & Leilani Gift

TAXI to SLINK@SL17B

 

Big Body Update @ Slink!

Greetings Slinkies!

Slink Demo for product

I have just popped into the redelivery terminals, for your unpacking pleasure, the latest update to the Slink body systems!

Taxi to Slink for your updates!

Everything Redux has been updated today! Slink Physique (Original, Hourglass and Male, and the Bundles), the Slink male and female feet, the Slink male and female hands and the Slink Visage heads.

There are a couple of important features added to this update. In particular:

  • A new neck fitting option has been added to the female Redux bodies and heads so that they can be seamless with the SL default avatar when your body fat slider is set to 0.
  • The Redux male body and heads have also been adjusted to be seamless with the SL default avatar at body fat size 0.
    • These things have the added advantage of being seamless with other brands mesh bodies and heads.
  • I have added a new ALPHA button to the Physique Utilities HUDs for Redux, which will send you a big megapack of alpha layers for every possible need!
  • I have added a number of chat commands that you can use to turn on and off bits and pieces without having to wear the HUD and clicky the buttons!
    • /15 fingernails on (or off) to enable or disable the fingernails
    • /15 toenails on (or off) to enable or disable the toenails
    • /15 stretch on (or off) to enable or disable the shirt stretch (female bodies only)
    • /15 nipples on (or off) to enable or disable the nipples (female bodies only)
    • /15 crotch on (or off) to enable or disable the smooth panty or smooth crotch
    • /15 butt on (or off) to enable or disable the smooth bottom section
  • I have reworked all of the skins that we include with Redux for men and women. There are more skintones with new faces, more options for fingertip and toetip corrective tattoos for non-slink skins, there are PG patches, eyebrows, and for men, beards, body hair and hairbases!
  • We have also fixed a few bugs along the way,
  • And completely rearranged how the body parts unpack to make it easier to understand what to use when and how:
    • Previously you would receive a number of folders, or click on several buttons on the unpacker HUD to receive your items however, that proved to be unwieldy and difficult to maintain, so I have simplified it right down to it’s essence.
    • Now when you wear the initial Slink unpacker HUD, it will send you one single folder with 2 unpackers inside it, plus a notecard detailing Classic and Redux so you can make an informed decision as to which body you need to unpack. Then simply wear the one you need. If you are wearing the Redux unpacker, you will be sent one single folder, and the essential items are right at the top of the folder ready for you to just wear! If you hit “decline” on the folder, you can just click the unpacker and it will send you another one!!
    • If you are a Redux bundle wearer, all of the individual body, hands and feet are included (in their own unpackers right at the bottom of the folder) along with your bundle item, but you do not need to unpack them unless you want to mix and match with other bodies. Just wear your bundle item, and it’s HUD and you’re good to go!

There is also a small update for those of you who still use the Classic body parts – we have made a change to a couple of the internal scripts. You may update if you wish, but it’s not essential!

Taxi to Slink for your updates!

You can find a full list of new version numbers and update notes here.

Slink – Homme & Miranda

Now available at the Slink Mainstore

 

We are pleased to announce 2 new Slinky releases at Skin Fair 2020.

Miranda is a new head to the Slink Visage range. She is sweet and youthful with a narrow chin and prominent dimples! Miranda is compatible with Slink Physique Original and Hourglass bodies. She is a Slink Redux (Bakes on Mesh) head and will work with system skins and makeup tattoo layers!Β  Fully working demo is available for Miranda at the Slink Skinfair Booth!Slink Miranda Head Poster

Homme is a male presenting chest Augment for the Slink Physique Original and Hourglass bodies. Homme comes in 2 versions – one that can use male skin placement, and one that can use female skin placement. Female skins that have cleavage dehancers or no breast shading will work best for the Fem Variant.

Simply wear your Slink Female body of choice, and then wear the most appropriate Homme attachment, and your chest will transform! Available in Redux (Bakes on Mesh) so it works with system skins and clothing. Available now at Skin Fair 2020

(PLEASE NOTE – Due to the UV changes – some textures may warp with this augment)

Slink Homme Chest Poster

 

The Slink Physique Classic (appliers) Body is STAYING!

Hey Slinkies,

As I’ve received the question a few times now, let me clear something up: We are not taking the Classic body parts away! Neither Original, nor Hourglass, nor Male, nor any of the separate hands and feet.

In the notecard I mention a date after which I had planned to take it out of the vendor (at which point the version in your inventory would continue to workΒ and anyone who bought the body could still get a Classic body upon request). I’ve decided to change this. In the next update, I’ll remove the date from the notecard and the Classic body will remain packed in with the Redux body far into the future.

I’m writing this blog now as the update is still a little while away and I didn’t want this to be unclear for folks.

To clarify the original date a little; when I wrote the notecard with Caine, we figured a year from release would be a long enough timeline for people to happily switch to BoM. It was never our intent to force people to do so, and again, the Classic version was to be still available upon request!

To restate this again – Classic isn’t going anywhere and will remain packed in with the Redux body for anyone who prefers to use Classic.

Classic will also continue to work for as long as you have it. We are not and CAN not remove it or make it stop working in any way.

If you have any questions about the Redux body, have a look at the FAQ as I’ve collated many common questions there. If there’s anything else, don’t hesitate to reach out in-world to Slink Resident!

Zoey Pumps @ Slink

I have just popped these on the wall in the ladies section at the Slink Mainstore today!

Zoey Pumps Poster

TAXI TO THE MAINSTORE

These pumps come in 3 heights – Flat, Kitten and Mid – and are able to be worn with the Slink Physique Original and Hourglass body BUNDLES, the Slink female Deluxe feet, and the Slink Female separate feet. If you wear them with the BUNDLE or DELUXE, the height will change when you switch your feet height via the Physique Utilities HUD.

The HUD that comes with Zoey contains 20 colours, able to be applied to 4 separate channels – the main shoe, the straps, the laces and the beads, as well as 3 sole colour options – Beige, Red and Black. You can customise these to every single outfit! She has a beautiful range of complementary colours and even a couple of metallic options! Simply select the colour you want from the buttons on the left, and then click on the shoe parts on the right to apply the selected colour.

Zoey HUD

TAXI TO THE MAINSTORE

 

New instore @ Slink this week

We have a couple of new releases in Slink this week! Read on, fellow Slinkies πŸ™‚

First up – I received a few requests from men for Male Dynamic compatible versions of the exxxxxxxxtra long nails that I released for women a week earlier, so here they are!

Designed for Slink Dynamic Male Hands – each set comes with 3 lengths controlled by a handy little HUD. Turn off the nails on your hands before wearing these πŸ™‚

And now – the single most requested item in my to-do list is finally here! BUTT PHYSICS!

I have just today placed on the wall at Slink 2 new augments for the Physique Female body system – the Hourglass Natural Bottom augment and the Original Natural Bottom augment. Naturally these are compatible with the bodies specified in their names and only compatible with Slink bodies. There is also a physics layer included to give you that sexy jiggle – modifiable so you can adjust the settings to your own liking. Redux (bakes on Mesh) only.

(NOTE – May not be compatible with mesh clothing that covers the bottom. In that case, just remove the augment!)

Slink Bottom Augment HG PosterSlink Bottom Augment ORIG Poster

Making an alpha texture? Yes you can!

Among all the Bakes on Mesh hype, we have realised that over the last few years one single important thing has been forgotten when SL’s talented creators have been making new mesh clothing – alpha layers. Alpha layers are now foundational to how we wear clothing in SL, as they were a mere 5 years ago, and for some, they always have been. Alpha layers allow us to arbitrarily hide parts of our Bakes on Mesh enabled bodies (Disclaimer – the body MUST be set-up correctly in order for alpha layers to work).

In Slink’s case, this is the recently updated Redux system. Anything Redux will automatically accept alpha layers, and provided they have a blur applied to them before exporting, you can use the cool alpha mask sliders to move the edges. Alpha layers are much simpler and more versatile to use than alpha cut zone HUD’s ever were. They are fast, they require no extra scripting in the body, and require nobody to setup an auto-alpha script before they sell their items. They are not prone to glitching and won’t accidentally turn off or on parts of your body when you don’t want them to! And – almost ANYONE can make one with a few clicks and a few $L. Of course, an alpha made specifically for the clothing by the creator is ideal, but not required when we can learn how to make them ourselves! πŸ™‚

To this end, I have made 2 tutorials for making alpha textures for use in Second Life. The first is for Photoshop, which is my image editing program of choice and I know exactly what I am doing in there.

The second is for G.I.M.P. which stands for Gnu Image Manipulation Program and I have exactly 30 minutes experience in at the time of publishing this video! It is however very interesting and much improved from the last time I looked at it several years ago and I think I will try and learn it in a bit more depth. G.I.M.P has one big, big advantage over Photoshop. It is open source – which for most means absolutely free and always will be absolutely free. Definitely worth checking out if you want to get into creating! Download G.I.M.P. HERE.

I apologise for the audio quality – it’s not as good as I’d like. Clearly I need to hook up my proper mic for the next one πŸ˜€

β™₯ Sidd

New Extra Long Nails @ Slink

4 new styles of addon nails in the Slink store today! Get your extra, extra, EXXXXTRA long nails on! They come in Square, Ballerina, Oval and Stiletto and each set has 3 lengths from long to super extra how-does-one-use-the-bathroom long!

Taxi to Slink Mainstore

Slink Addon Nails XL Ballerina

Compatible with Slink Dynamic Redux and Classic Female hands (both separate hands and bundles). Disable your built in nails via the Physique Utilities HUD or the Hands and Feet Utilities HUD before wearing these nails.

Taxi to Slink Mainstore

Slink Addon Nails XL Oval

You can use any Slink or Omega nail applier, and you can select separate nails via either Utilities HUD for different polishes just as if they were always part of the hands!

Taxi to Slink Mainstore

Slink Addon Nails XL Square

You will find these in the female body section, underneath the main Dynamic Hands vendor.

Taxi to Slink MainstoreSlink Addon Nails XL Stiletto

Taxi to Slink Mainstore