Category Archives: Second Life Musings

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! 🙂

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 😀

♥ Sidd

Slink Redux Body complexity questions

Avatar complexity is a hot topic in SL circles at the moment, with Bakes on Mesh giving us the opportunity to drastically reduce our complexity by removing scripts, applier textures and onion layers from our mesh body bits! Here at Slink, the rendering cost of our bodies is an important issue, as the lower we can make it, the more our customers can do with their avatars without worrying about pushing their complexity way up simply by wearing our body bits. Higher complexity avatars make SL more challenging for everyone.

To that end, we work very hard to optimise, reduce and rethink when we have the opportunity to, and Bakes on Mesh gave us that chance. This is why we didn’t simply add a Bakes on Mesh flag to our existing body parts, and instead spent a very long time making sure this version was as streamlined and efficient as possible, without compromising on the actual look, functionality and usability of the system. It is also why we won’t be adding alpha cuts back into the Redux system and instead ask wearers to use alpha layers.

I would like to present the avatar complexity cost as calculated by the Second Life Official viewer for all of the Slink Redux body updates. I also put on one of our new heads for good measure!

BASIC SYSTEM AVATAR

System

1: The system body. I am wearing a couple of HUDs but no body attachments. Base complexity is 2000

SLINK REDUX ORIGINAL BODY

Orig

2: The Slink Redux ORIGINAL Physique body. This body alone adds 2608 complexity to the base 2000.

SLINK REDUX ORIGINAL BUNDLE

Orig Bundle

3: The Slink Redux ORIGINAL Physique BUNDLE. This bundle includes 5 sets of feet and hands, plus animations, and adds 4270 to the base 2000 complexity

SLINK REDUX HOURGLASS BODY

HG

4: The Slink Redux HOURGLASS Physique body. This body alone adds 2862 complexity to the base 2000.

SLINK REDUX HOURGLASS BUNDLE

HG Bundle

5: The Slink Redux HOURGLASS Physique BUNDLE. This bundle includes 5 sets of feet and hands, plus animations, and adds 4398 to the base 2000 complexity

SLINK REDUX HOURGLASS BODY PLUS HANDS

HG Body hands

6: The Slink Redux HOURGLASS body plus left and right dynamic hands attachments. This adds more mesh geometry, more faces and more scripts. This set adds 5732 to the base 2000 complexity

SLINK REDUX HOURGLASS BODY PLUS HANDS & FEET

hg body hands and feet

7: The Slink Redux HOURGLASS body plus left and right dynamic hands attachments and the deluxe feet attachment. This adds even more mesh geometry, more faces and yet more scripts. This set adds 7702 to the base 2000 complexity

SLINK REDUX HOURGLASS BODY PLUS HANDS, FEET AND HEAD

head HG hands feet

7: The Slink Redux HOURGLASS body plus left and right dynamic hands attachments and the deluxe feet attachment PLUS one of the new Slink Visage heads – Amelia. This full set adds 10351 to the base 2000 complexity

SLINK REDUX HOURGLASS BUNDLE PLUS HEAD

Head HG Bundle

8: The ideal Slink body and head setup. Slink Redux HOURGLASS bundle, Slink Redux Amelia head. This full setup adds 7047 to the base 2000 complexity.

Final thoughts

The maximum complexity from a complete Slink body system including separate body, hands and feet, body and head is just over 12k.

Adding more layers to Redux does not affect complexity, which is the whole point of Bakes on Mesh. The new layer texture is baked into the layers underneath it, and then sent to the mesh body part so that the SL client can see it as one single texture.  Slink Redux (without materials) will always be rendering 3 1024 textures as head, torso and legs, as opposed to potentially upwards of 20 textures if all 4 layers are on and displaying 1024 textures on the previous version – the Physique Classic. With Redux, you can wear up to 60 or more layers without increasing your complexity by even a single digit.

If you have questions about this please feel free to message me inworld @ Siddean Munro, and I will be happy to answer them!

 

Look of the moment!

Small update to the Lourdes release, I have added a demo of this skirt, as well as booty options in each skirt for the more amply defined  bottoms out there!   All included in the packs of course!  So in each pack you will get the new and old skirts in both the normal and booty options for easy fitting 🙂

All now available in SLink!

I thought it as good a time as any to share with you my look of the moment!  Voila!

SLink LOTM

Hair:: Naughty Designs ( I don’t have a landmark, sorry, but you can find it in search!)

Skin:: Tuli

Shirt, eyes, miniskirt and socks:: SLink

The rainbow toesocks are a limited time group gift in the What’s new in SL group as part of opening week!  Check in my profile and join up to grab them! Only available while the notice exists in the history!

Attention all designers, bloggers, photographers, users of SL!

The latest SL standard client has addressed an important bug.  The bug where the avatar had a light grey tint instead of being proper white.  This means *please* untint your grey prim attachments, download and use the latest client and don’t stress about non matching prims anymore!!

Also, it seems more stable, I haven’t had any crashes since it was released, it doesn’t leave an orphaned process in the task list like the last one, and it has a bunch of nice bug fixes and stuff.

If I had one SL wish, it would be that global changes like this one (and sculpty stitch and mirror settings etc) would apply to ALL viewers currently in use.  Actually it would be that everyone used the same (stable) viewer with the same light settings, but that’s too much to ask for so I will settle for second best 🙂

Please, I urge you, go download it here!  SL Downloads

An addition to the Glamour Platforms Range

Hey all,

I have had a terrific response to the new SLink feet since yesterday and I want to thank everyone for your lovely compliments!  I had a few requests for the platforms in gold, so I have added them to the range.  Teleport to SLink to pick up these beauties.

feet-ad-leather-gold.png

Also, here’s a shot one of my lovely customers sent me this morning!  All that’s happened to it is cropping and adding of borders and text 🙂

feet-by-fiona.png

In the spirit of tolerance

I have just read Ivey Deschanel‘s post on tolerance in SL and I find myself agreeing with about everything she has said!  I had planned to do this eventually, but I thought now was the right time.  This is a brief look how far someone can come in just a year, with the right encouragement and support.  What you are seeing here is the evolution of SLink skins.  I am very proud of my skins, and the rest of my colletion, and how far I have come, but also very aware of the fact that I still have a very long way to go before I will be happy with my products, if ever.

tl;dr?

Encourage, don’t discourage new designers, you never know who they will become in a year or 2!! And laugh at yourself, you will have more fun that way!

slink-skin-evolution.png

Pre-release day posting!

I just had to share this!  The incredible Sasy Scarborough made this for me, I had no idea and I think it’s the hottest thing I’ve ever seen!  I love it, thank you so much Sasy!

Warning, you may need a cold shower after viewing this.  Technically it’s safe for work, but I guess that depends on where you work 😀

See it at Youtube

Playing with my new corvette!

I took this pic this evening – this catsuit will be available at SLink next weekend!!  In hopefully more colours and styles than black full zip! 🙂

Suit, boots, skin and glasss by SLink.

siddvette.png

Hair by Little Heaven, Corvette by Pro Street!  This shot is mildly post processed.

My Ruth

Alaska Metropolitan issued a challenge and normally I don’t do this sort of thing, but I have never thought Ruth ugly, just misunderstood!  She’s actually quite easy to get looking cute!  🙂

Here, Ruth wears one of my unreleased skins, the pale freckled version which really suits her shape.  The lashes are Vanity from Sin Skins, and she wears the delicious new Marie Heels from Tesla.  They are glorious and I love them to bits!!

The dress is the SLink Brocade Corset Dress with a delicate wrap to disguise those strong shoulders, and the hair is Slink’s Victoria.

I see a few people commenting about Ruth’s hands being too big, and indeed, I have been asked if Sidd’s hands are too big.  The answer is NO.  And this is one of my biggest pet peeves with so many avatars I see, both on the feeds and in world.  People, your hands are too small!!!  The hand, spread, should roughly equal the size of your face!!  Hold your hands up to your face in the mirror and see it for yourself!  Now go look at your avvie’s hands?  Are you a full-proportioned avatar with the hands of a child??  Small feet I can understand, given that shoes are made for 0 feet, but there is no excuse for small hands!

If you want to get stylised, fine, but this basic anatomy error really bothers me and I don’t really know why!  :/

/rant off

As it happens, even though her shoulders are a little broad, but hey I’ve known women like that, Ruth’s hands are just about the right size.  😀

ruth.png

Regarding IM’s.

So, I probably get 3 IM’s a day.  Certainly not many.  I’d hate to think what some of the big designers get daily, because mine have been capped the last couple of days.  I find this annoying, because of the aforementioned *3* a day…

If you have sent me an IM in the last day regarding anything to do with .. well anything, can you please send it to me via notecard, as chances are, I haven’t received your message, and I hate missing messages!  Bad for business 🙂

Thanks!  <3 Sidd.

Oh yeah, new boots coming soon.