Weather! or Not? Deluxe Weatherbrella

deluxeweatherbrella

Weatherbrella, HUD and Animation Overrider

The Weather! Or Not? Deluxe Weatherbrella is something you find in SL that is truly one-of-a-kind. Created by Further Monday and Fang Roffo, the Deluxe Weatherbrella (as well as its sister product the Deluxe OMGothBrella, brings the weather you want anywhere you go. I’m not exactly sure what the market is for a product like this, but I would think photographers wanting to bring more realism (as well as possibly a bit more silliness) to their photoshoots might find this gadget useful. Personally, I had a lot of fun with it because it’s a silly toy that brings out the child in me and I spent a good 30 minutes just playing around with the different weather effects included.

Speaking of the weather, each Deluxe Weatherbrella includes 8 different particle effects: rainstorm, bubbles, hearts, snow, falling leaves, jumping frogs, purple rain and cats and dogs.

The Weatherbrella includes a HUD, which controls the different particle effects. Attached to the right is the Weatherbrella AO, which you can find for free at their shop.

Rainstorm effect

Clicking on the Weatherbrella gives you a color change option. I went with purple because everybody loves purple, right? I know I do.

The picture off to the right demonstrates my favorite effect, the rainstorm. Simple, straightforward, and makes me slightly homesick for my beloved Seattle. Still, it’s a great effect that shows the love that the creators have for delivering a product that is fun and easy to use.

If you would like to purchase this product, you can find it for $350L at the new Weather! or Not? store in Cape Victoria or on Xstreet.

Building in SL: Finding Megaprims

Building in Second Life® is a lot like sex. The act itself is the ultimate, but I love playing with the various toys and finding special materials, too. One controversial material for SL building is the Megaprim (AKA Huge Prim; Web), any “block” larger than the 10m3 that the system can generate. Claims of added lag, their use by Griefers and misuse by n00bies, and the need for good building skills makes them controversial. Since any plot of land can have just so many prims, skillful use of Megaprims to replace several individual pieces is very useful. However, I have yet to find a convenient way to to store and retrieve them.

So when my friend Peter Stindberg announced on Plurk and on his Blog about a new tool created by the genius Katharine Berry (Web) to search for Megaprims via the Web (here) and have them delivered to you in-world I was ecstatic! Normally I keep a folder of frequently used sizes but mostly I keep a barrel (really, a barrel) filled with boxes of Megaprims sorted by the Z dimension. I’ll probably keep the folder, but now I can skip rolling out the barrel, waiting for contents to load, dragging out the box I think I need …. you get the idea. With Kathrine’s site I just type in the dimensions I want and it will search for the nearest size available within the variables I specify. If you are a builder you need to try this then give Katharine a hug when you see her in-world.

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JPC Pose HUD Challenge

One of my first jobs on the Main Grid was to model shirts and accessories for my brother’s shop. He’d send along a box of stuff and trust whatever knowledge I had picked up on the Teen Grid about modeling. It was hit or miss at first as I hadn’t learned anything, though eventually I built simple studios and kept a variety of populated pose stands handy. Many years later I have modeled for Bare Rose, LapGirl, and others, and I’ve found the L$25 JPC Pose HUD (pictured above, right, click for full image) from Jhary Priestly (SLurl) very useful for when a pose stand can’t be used. It allows the user to add in multiple animations that can then be selected from a drop-down blue box and activated/deactivated on command. It also features an emoter for facial expressions. As long as you are in a script-enabled area, you can pose like a pro.

I have certainly gotten good value for my money, but I do have some gripes (yes, gripes about a L$25 gadget I’m not smart enough to make myself). First, is the menu system. It defaults to the first page every time it is activated. If you are looking through the poses and try one on the third page then want to try the very next one you have to cycle through pages one and two first. It would be nice to have a Cycle Next button on the HUD or at least let the menu remember which page was last used. A second gripe is the Emoter. I don’t use it because the expressions are not persistent. Your avie smiles or winks or whatever then the expression fades. I have a free Emoter that is not only persistent, but lets you combine expressions (often with horrifying “shove the kids out of the room” results). Lastly, the HUD needs to be clicked upon. Anyone who has modeled knows that it takes prayer, luck, and a JIRA to one’s eyes pointing in just the right direction. Moving the mouse makes them go astray again. Chat commands might solve this problem. Or someone teaching me how to lock my eye position.

Here is where I’ve “buried the lead” on this post. I challenge someone to find or make a better HUD for no more than twice the price of the JPC unit. Incorporate “fixes” for my gripes, maybe make the interface more attractive. Post a comment if you have a suggestion or a solution, please.

An Introduction

As one of the new people here at Rezpectable, I thought I should tell you a little bit about myself. My name is Michael Cela and I’m a gadget-o-holic. I’ve been collecting SL gadgets for as long as I’ve been in Second Life (4 years). I get a lot of ribbing from my partner because of my habit, but now thanks to Peter Stindberg, I’ll finally be able to put those gadgets I’ve collected to use! If you are a gadget developer and would like to see your gadget featured or reviewed, feel free to IM me in-world or drop me a notecard and I’ll be glad to chat with you!

I’ll have another post coming up this week featuring small bits about one of my favorite gadgets over the past few years that I still use to this day.

Abranimations Wildcat Photo Booth

Uccello in RW ShreddedAside from prim food and sculpty rocks, I tend to collect photobooths in my Second Life®. This shot was taken with a modified Abranimations Wildcat Photo Booth (L$300 in-world or on XStreetSL). So far I have yet to find or to make a single booth that suits all my needs thus my inventory is cluttered with at least a half-dozen “commercial” units and dozens of custom-builts. The Abranimations unit has some very nice features that make it stand out as a solid, general purpose solution.

Chief amongst these is a special HUD freely given to any user that allows for the in-world camera to “snap back” to a user set view. Some units I’ve seen have this, but only for the owner’s use. Of course, I could use something like the (mirada) smartCAM to do this and more , but if I didn’t already have it that would be an extra expense and not something everyone could use.

Booth overviewThe unit also includes a four-point lighting system, glow options for the static backdrop, and a multipose stand. A “screen” feature is included for a blindingly-white option so you can do separations in post-processing or if you just need a shadowless background. It is that simple. Fortunately, it is also modifiable so you can add your own poses and change the backdrop. The screen is a cube that makes editing the backdrop difficult, but not impossible. Odd proportions on that prim means that for a symmetrical  texture to appear without distortion the repeats have to carefully set. There is no provision to stock the prim with textures to display on touch, but adding a 3rd party script to do that shouldn’t be hard for an experienced builder.

Eventually I’m going to modify the structure to enlarge the backdrop and possibly add a curve to the floor/wall transition to allow greater freedom in choosing shot angles. Then again, I just might find another booth.

Dangerous Donuts

[s2] Donut LauncherThe combat potential of baked goods has been grossly neglected over the milennia. Countless times a hard and dry breadroll or ciabatta has saved a life during a melee fight. And also the French baguette gets underestimated in its clubbing capacities. Only the custard pie gets recognized as a means of combat, but lacks the insignia of a 21st century weapon in terms of range and fast reloading.

[s2] Donut Launcher 02 Enter the Donut Launcher by [s2], of Japanese designer sTwo Acker. Shooting a variety of deliciously glazed donuts (including my favourite chocoalte glazed one), this device brings bakery warfare to the next level. The plexiglass magazine holds 13 donuts, including special expanding donuts that grow to 10 times their size upon exiting the barrel.

Non-immersive technical facts: like all weapons the Donut Launcher only functions with mouselook enabled. Reload time is fairly fast – it is a fun weapon, and not intended for any accurate simulation. The donut projectiles are temporary, however rezzing needs to be allowed.

[s2] Donut Launcher SoM giftThe Donut Launcher is a free gift at [s2] when you sign up for their Subscribe-o-Matic. It gets delivered to you immeditaley after you join their update group – make sure you are not in “Busy” mode, otherwise it is lost. The [s2] shop in Nipponbashi is worth a visit in any case: lots of hilarious gadgets at the typical very low Japanese prices. Be sure the explore the full shop, especially the seemingly empty basements – there are a few gifts hidden there, and the build is quite nice.

Gadget: Donut Launcher (Subscribe-o-Matic signup gift)
Designer:
sTwo Acker
Shop: [s2] (Blog, SLURL)


Nissa’s Newsstand: Role Magazine May 2009

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Let Me Introduce Myself

My name is Nissa Nightfire, and I’m a magazine addict. I love the stories, the photographs, and the ads. I love the design of it all, and I especially love the editorial interpretations of life and culture in the fascinating world we call Second Life. My confession of addiction to Peter Stindberg happened to mesh with an idea he had floating around in his head — and a new Rezpectable column was spawned. Welcome to Nissa’s Newsstand, where we’ll connect you to some of the latest SL magazine offerings, including mainstream and niche publications. Our goal is to ultimately provide a complete overview of all SL magazines. To give me a heads-up on your own publication, please contact Nissa Nightfire in-world, or at nissa.nightfire@gmail.com.

Role Magazine : May 2009

Role Magazine May 2009I’m launching this column with one of the newer kids on the magazine block – Role Magazine, which just published its sixth issue. One of the things I truly enjoy about Role Magazine is its broad coverage of diverse aspects of Second Life. I always feel like a slightly more well-rounded resident after reading through this magazine.

Role Magazine’s May cover story discusses intellectual property (IP) rights, including trademark and copyright. Virtual IP law is relatively new, and still in early stages of development. Much of this development is playing out in SL, due to its very real economy. Stacie Pryor discusses the issues and challenges in enforcing IP rights in a virtual environment.

Role’s main fashion spread features bridal wear, while stylist Ana Lutetia provides advice for the many men (other than the groom) who find themselves attending wedding festivities. Other Role contributors bring you wedding advice, fashion mixes and designers, urban design for your home, a primer on buying land, art, travel, and the music scene.

Nissa’s Pick

My favorite piece from this edition of the magazine is the Music column, by Jura Shepherd. This month, the column doesn’t feature a particular artist, but talks about a group, The ORIGINALS, that raises awareness of artists who perform their original music in SL. I’m not entering the debate about the merits of performing covers versus performing original compositions — but I definitely applaud anything that encourages artists to share original music with SL residents, as that strikes me as part of the essence of Second Life at its best. I appreciate learning about this group, and hope to take in one of their showcases very soon!

What’s Inside

Cover Story: IP Rights – Protect Yourself
Hot Finds: Coco Designs
Mix & Match
Fashion Spread: Blushing Bridal Wear
Maculino: Your Best Friend’s Wedding
For Men: Winter Jefferson & Lawless McBride
Body & Mind: Relationships
Dear Felicity
House & Living: Urban Living in the SL World; Sugar Mill Poses: Where Dorks Rule!
Music: The Originals
Art: Lost World; Time Passes
Travel Guide: So Say We All!
Gadgets & “Know How”: The Land Game

  • Number of Article/Columns : 15
  • Number of Authors: 13
  • Pages: 78
  • Percentage of Ads: 30%

Get It

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