Friday, October 17, 2008

How'd you learn to do that??

As both a builder and as a Second Life Mentor, I spend a lot of time helping people with projects. Funny thought… a Second Life mentor is a volunteer roll served out of pure altruistic mentality while as a builder... I like to get paid! Anyway, one thing I get asked a lot regardless of the capacity in which I work with people is, “How did you learn to do all this stuff?”

Well, lots of places of course! And I’m still learning… you should try to learn at least one new thin in SL every day. Trust me it’s not hard, most of the time the lessons find you. Sometimes the lessons come in the form of instruction from a friend, remember that time your best bud told you to how to press Ctrl + Alt + T to view transparencies and see who was wearing what junk at a club… lesson learned and noted… and it counts as your one thing learned that day. Or the time you examined an object to see how it was made… that moment the light bulb came on and you realized that you could use the same technique on some other project… great lesson learned that day!

Actually, a lot of building skills in Second Life are fairly basic… it is just a matter of learning how to apply the skills in different situations, kinda like having a box full of tools and learning how each tool is used an when to apply it. A fun way I have found to learn about the building tools at you disposal is with a little hands on training. There are all kinds of classes taught in Second Life and most of them are taught for free.

These classes are designed around the idea of making some fun, silly or sometimes even useful item in a classroom setting for the purpose of teach a basic skill. All the materials are usually provided along with a text chat lecture and the opportunity to ask questions. In my earlier days in SL, I took a great number of these classes. Some classes were better than others, but I usually managed to glean at least some little nugget of knowledge from each class and walked out with a skill I didn’t have going in. Gather up enough of these little nuggets and soon you will find that you know a hell of a lot.

Although I can't speak in an expert manner regarding every class or every instruction program on the grid, I did find that two organizations for instruction stood out to me. The TUi Neo programs (Technical User interface) and NCI programs (New Citizens Incorporated) offer a wide range of classes and topics. Although you can visit their sims, I have found the easiest way to find upcoming classes is through the Second Life Search tools. Just open up Search, click on the event tabs and then select education in the pull down menu. Here you can scroll through the list of upcoming classes and topics, read course descriptions and if any prerequisites are needed.

What is great, and this is the part I really love, is that you can either teleport to the class straight from the search window if the class is starting, or you can set SL to notify you when a future class is about to start. That means that if you see a topic your interested in on Wednesday at 2:00 pm SLT, just click notify me. Then next Wednesday, bout 5 min before class starts, you will get a friendly little blue menu box telling you that your class is about to begin. If you’re busy doing something else on Wednesday, just ignore the blue menu and go on with your day. But, if you’re bored… Hey, take the class and learn something new!

Other great resources for learning building skills are the Ivory Tower Library of Primitives and Torley Linden's Video Tutorials. I will follow up with more information on these recourses in future posts.

TUi Neo


Ivory Tower of Prmatives

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

What Happens in Vegas.....

Pictured: Chippendales Dancer - Trent Smirnov: Elvis - Baz Ceawlin; Vegas Show"boy"- Brady Rowell; Sexy Bicycle Card Joker - Ritch Nicholls; Chippendales Dancer - Baily Wisent

It's Vegas Baby! Or, at least it will be this Saturday.

I had a great time working with the Jake’s Boys on their weekly club poster again! Brady Rowell does custom photography for the posters each week and always does something totally original. Brady had me build the set for the photo shoot this week, so I may be a bit bias when I tell that this poster it great (‘cause I know there are a few out there that might be better) Hey, what does it really matter, it’s just the poster, right?

Wrong, just as in Real Life... visual images are such a major part of advertising in Second Life. You know, tell the proverbial 1,000 words with that single image. Brady has an amazing eye when in comes to color and composition of photographs and he had developed a signature look with some of the after effects he applies to his photos. Brady Rowell is now doing weekly poster for Jake’s club advertisements, and the majority of the work he does for these is worthy of hanging in an SL gallery. So, as part of this blog, I plan to share a weekly record of his artwork and any back story behind the photos.

Anyway, we now venture in to shameless plug portion of this blog... but how can I talk about a poster for a party and not talk about the party. That would be like telling someone about a party they aren’t invited too. I wouldn’t do that, everyone is welcome at Jakes! Plus, I expect this one to be off the charts fun!!! How could it not... It’s Vegas Baby!

What are the Vegas Party Details you ask?

Jake’s Club (temporary location)

Click here for the SLURL


9:00 SLT – Midnight

DJ Syriana Paine will be spinning her amazing tunes and taking requests

Costume Contest for Best Vegas Costume with a minimum L$1,000

(Baz clears throat... don’t be Elvis, I’m already doin’ that.. see the pic above)

And then of course, the after party… the costumes are stripped away and the fun really begins. But don’t worry… What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas!

Villa Naima

A friend took me exploring the other day and showed me a sim that is just too nice not to share! It is called Villa Naima, and although I guess there is a store there, I really didn't pay attention to the store or what was for sale. This is not the kind of sim where you want to stay inside a store while visiting.

I encourage anyone who reads this to check it out and explore.. truly amazing landscape and water effects like you have probably never seen in Second Life! As a Builder in Second Life, I truly appreciate texture and the detail on these textures and their use is well done! Bravo Villa Namia. Here is the SLURL:

Just one bit of caution, this sim runs heavy with lag. Unfortunately, this amazing work and high quality building here is done with lots of sculpted prims and is housed on an open space sim.... ugggh! Hopefully the sim will do well and can one day upgrade to a full sim so those with slower computing capabilities can also enjoy its splendor.

Villa Naima Pics