Check Out These Second Life Screenshots Inspired by Popular Video Game Franchises

Serenity Semple MonHun
Janine "Iris Ophelia" Hawkins' ongoing review of gaming and virtual world style

The Bare@Rose Flickr group is one of my absolute favorite Second Life fashion groups to peruse on Flickr, simply because the sheer variety of what they sell means that the images submitted to the group are all over the map. There are concept-heavy shots with severe looking models and contrast dialed up to 11, stills of cutesy anime cosplay avatars bounding through pastel fields, and everything in between. Imagine my delight when I took a peek earlier today and spotted not one but two video game-inspired snapshots at the top of the pile. And even though they're both situating Bare@Rose gear in familiar video game backdrops, they couldn't be more different.

Above is Serenity Semple's take on Monster Hunter, a series that generally involves players teaming up to take down massive monsters and harvest ingredients for crafting. It also often involves cooking meat to prepare for battle, though doing it in the middle of a fight is bad form. Serenity arranged shots of avatars alongside familiar MonHun UI elements and scenery, even using the perspective she would have while playing.

Then there's leptitbutton's take on Metal Gear Solid...

Continue reading "Check Out These Second Life Screenshots Inspired by Popular Video Game Franchises" »

Iris Wants to Know: What Was Subject of Your Last Second Life Inventory Purge?

SLINK mesh hands
Janine "Iris Ophelia" Hawkins' ongoing review of gaming and virtual world style

This weekend I read a Plurk from Second Life user Fanny Willis, who proudly announced that she was deleting ever single pair of prim nails in her inventory. Why? Although plenty of people still wear (and sell) mesh/prim nail enhancements for SL avatars, if you've fully embraced mesh hands you'll know that most now have their own applier systems to handle your manicure. If you do wear your mesh hands all the time it's hard to imagine going back to prim nails for that reason, and so they're an easy candidate for a little spring cleaning.

Most of us have probably done similar purges on our inventories. Finding a whole category of items that have been rendered obsolete is a great way to clean up without having to paw through hundreds (or thousands) of individual items. For me, my last big inventory purge was all my pre-sculpty shoes. Believe it or not I was still holding on to just about every pair, but as good as some of them looked back then they could never hold up to what we wear now. At this point, I could even safely bin all of my pre-mesh sculpty prim shoes too. So all but one or two pairs (souvenirs, you could say) went straight in the trash.

So that's what I want to know: Have you ever binned an entire category of obsolete items from your inventory, and if so what were they? Share your most dramatic fashion purges in the comments below, and maybe you'll even inspire a few virtual pack-rats to clean up their act.

Continue reading "Iris Wants to Know: What Was Subject of Your Last Second Life Inventory Purge?" »

SL Flickr Streams of the Day: Cool, Contemporary Fashion With Diverse Avatars

Second Life African American fashion avatar

Second Life fashion blogs tend to reflect the real life demographic background of the bloggers, which is a major reason why the avatar fashion models tend to be white and the fashions tend to be more aspirational and fantastic, rather than street-level. Here's a couple Flickr streams that do great job depicting multi-ethnic avatars in contemporary styles -- the kind I see every day here in Silverlake, Los Angeles (with the facial hair to boot!)-- beautifully presented with great use of filters and dynamic lighting.

Continue reading "SL Flickr Streams of the Day: Cool, Contemporary Fashion With Diverse Avatars" »

Second Life Fashion Bloggers Are Scrambling to Show off LeLutka's Upcoming Release (and I Can See Why)

Nana Minuet LeLutka Aria
Janine "Iris Ophelia" Hawkins' ongoing review of gaming and virtual world style

Over the past few days Second Life fashion bloggers have been scrambling to show off the new line of mesh heads that LeLutka will be releasing on April first. Aria, Ever and Leda (as the three available faces are called) have a high fashion look with fairly compressed features and expressions ranging from soft to stern. Apparently these mesh heads are all designed to work only in tandem with mesh bodies, which means that for a lot of us they'll be off the table for now. For others they're all the more appealing, seeming to guarantee an even more seamlessly augmented avatar.

So far no blogger has captured the expressions and elegance of each of these upcoming faces quite as well as Nana Minuet, who put together a post highlighting the upcoming release yesterday. Her shot of Aria, shown above, is easily my favorite of the lot. It's so bright and clean that you could almost expect to find it in a magazine with a perfume sample or some ad copy streaming down the side, rambling about jojoba or CC creams. And that's not a slight against her work. Her pics are vivid and polished, and easily picked out from a crowd.

You can visit Nana's blog to check out the rest in the set, though she doesn't have much to say about any of the heads in question. For that Strawberry Singh's blog post about Aria, Ever and Leda should be your next stop. As for reviews, well, so far most of the bloggers are sticking to the technical details. Expect stronger opinions to emerge after release.

Continue reading "Second Life Fashion Bloggers Are Scrambling to Show off LeLutka's Upcoming Release (and I Can See Why)" »

Watch it This Weekend: Virtual Fashion Designer Maylee Oh Works Her 3D Modelling Magic on Twitch

Mayleemouse Twitch
Janine "Iris Ophelia" Hawkins' ongoing review of gaming and virtual world style

In spite of streaming service Twitch.tv's relative hostility towards Second Life, they do still seem okay hosting developers and artists who are streaming their process while they work on game-related assets. I hope that never changes, because I love the idea of going to the same site to watch people making games (and things for games) as I do to watch people play them. For the time being there are still plenty of Second Life content creators using Twitch to share their creation process too, including designer Maylee Oh -- and she's been particularly busy there this week.

Maylee, who runs the adorable virtual fashion brand The Secret Store, has been streaming the process of modelling her latest design with particular voracity over the past few days. Through her Twitch archives, you can watch her manipulate basic shapes into a beautifully gathered top like magic. Complicated, incredibly technical magic. In the later streams she experiments with some more complex tools and techniques, so if you're a 3D modelling beginner you may want to avoid skipping straight to the end.

The downside to watching Maylee's archives instead of catching her live is that some sections of the video are muted because of the music she was listening to at the time. Then of course there's the fact that Twitch archives have a very limited life span, so you'd be wise to watch them while you can.

You can check out Maylee Oh on Twitch here.

Continue reading "Watch it This Weekend: Virtual Fashion Designer Maylee Oh Works Her 3D Modelling Magic on Twitch" »

Give Yourself a Very Unique Makeover With Avatars from Second Life Fashion Brand Tesla

 
Janine "Iris Ophelia" Hawkins' ongoing review of gaming and virtual world style

Tesla Spray Avatar

Virtual fashion designer Tesla Miles has been having a bit of fun with her brand lately. Though she's most well known for creating high-quality mesh clothing and shoes, she's also been producing a series of rather offbeat avatars including a "Thing" style hand that walks on its first two digits, an anthropomorphic pile of poop and her most recent creation, the spray can avatar shown here.

According to Tesla, the spray can avatar works with your existing animations and as demonstrated in the video it shoots a fine particle mist on command. Additionally, if you have the artistic skills to make or otherwise acquire a replacement label, you can slap it directly over the one included for a touch of personalization.

You can pick up the spray can for a rather reasonable L$149 on the Second Life Marketplace, and browse Tesla's full (and cartoonishly NSFW) shop for plenty more unique alternatives to your everyday avatar. She also offers more than a few freebies there, including this itty bitty duck av in time for Easter.

Continue reading "Give Yourself a Very Unique Makeover With Avatars from Second Life Fashion Brand Tesla" »

Find Your Niche: The Absolute Best Advice for Second Life Fashion Bloggers

Sub-niches-of-second-life-fashion-blogs
Janine "Iris Ophelia" Hawkins' ongoing review of gaming and virtual world style

Canary Beck has posted a very interesting piece over on the [SL] Blogger Support site about the importance of blogging within a niche, particularly when it comes to Second Life fashion. As its name implies, [SL] Blogger Support is a group designed to help Second Life bloggers support each other with inspiration, knowledge and resources to make virtual world blogging a little easier. While there's a wealth of helpful info on their site, Canary's piece is an absolute must-read for anyone starting to dip their toes into blogging. Really, it will make your life so much easier.

But there's one thing that Canary left out. One more reason why finding the right niche for your blog is crucial. 

Continue reading "Find Your Niche: The Absolute Best Advice for Second Life Fashion Bloggers" »

It's Easier Than Ever to Commission a Distinctive Avatar Portrait from Popular SL Artist Nylon Pinkney

Nylon Pinkney Commissions
Janine "Iris Ophelia" Hawkins' ongoing review of gaming and virtual world style

If you haven't been waiting for a chance to get your portrait painted by Nylon Pinkney, then you probably haven't been paying attention to this offbeat Second Life designer's artistic output (which I cover fairly regularly here on NWN). Then again, maybe you're as big a fan of her work as I am and you've just been trying to work up the nerve to shoot her an IM or an email. In that case, I've got some very good news for you.

Nylon, who brands her RL art under the name Elleinadart, has made it even easier to commission her work. You can drop by her website to check out all the details, including portrait options and pricing, and fill out a form to submit your request on the spot. Even better, you can pay for your glossy digital portrait with either Paypal or L$, depending on which is more convenient.

If you've been out of the loop, in addition to being one of Second Life's most enduring and recognizable designers (not to mention Drew Carey's favorite), Nylon was the subject of a recent episode of mixed-reality mini-documentary series The Drax Files: World Makers. Her work is even gracing the cover of upcoming book Anna the Powerful

If you'd like to commission a portrait of your virtual (or real) self, just head over to Nylon's commission info page and scroll to the bottom to find the request form. Or, if you're stuck on the fence, check out more of her artwork on Tumblr.

Continue reading "It's Easier Than Ever to Commission a Distinctive Avatar Portrait from Popular SL Artist Nylon Pinkney" »

Familiar Faces: Popular Second Life Skin Maker Tuli Asturias Relaunches her Store at Skin Fair 2015

Tuli Asturias Skin Fair 2015
Janine "Iris Ophelia" Hawkins' ongoing review of gaming and virtual world style

Skin Fair 2015 is open as of today, and it's a great place to go if you're looking for a new avatar face... Or a new face for your avatar face, what with the proliferation of mesh heads in Second Life fashion and all. Along with most of the usual suspects, it's a pleasant surprise to see designer Tuli Asturias back in the mix as well. After a brief hiatus, it seems like the popular designer is back with new skins and appliers of the same gorgeous quality.

In case you're not familiar, Tuli Asturias was a well established designer in SL for quite some time. While she initially specialized in clothing and accessories, after a few years she made a sharp swerve towards skin, eye, and shape creation. She saw tremendous success in this area because, to be perfectly frank, her skins were absolutely gorgeous. As a long-time customer, it looked like she'd really found her niche. Her skins were elegant, highly-detailed, and worlds away from the oversized red lips, smoky eyes and orange-glo tans that are still a little too common today.

Suffice it to say it's good to see her back.

You can check out what Tuli's offering at Skin Fair 2015 on her Flickr, or grab a map and drop by the event [Teleport link] for yourself. 

Continue reading "Familiar Faces: Popular Second Life Skin Maker Tuli Asturias Relaunches her Store at Skin Fair 2015" »

Iris Wants to Know: Where's Your Gacha Budget Going During the Latest Round of The Arcade?

Erratic_0314-1024x1024Janine "Iris Ophelia" Hawkins' ongoing review of gaming and virtual world style

The first round of The Arcade for 2015 opened its doors last week, and if you're fortunate enough to squeeze your way in through the massive crowds you'll be greeted with just as many unique treasures as ever. In case you need a refresher, The Arcade is one of Second Life's most popular shopping events, where designers stuff their gacha machines with sets of limited items and shoppers pay a pittance for a random chance at any of them. It's not everyone's cup of tea, but most virtual fashion and decor enthusiasts wouldn't miss it for the world.

I'm having a particularly tough time picking out which gacha lineup I like best this time around. Although I'm head-over-heels in love with the Downton-worthy ensemble that you can piece together from Erratic's gacha, a few other sets have caught my eye too. Anc Ltd.'s decor items are downright dreamy for example, while 8f8's Arcade items are like a Barbie's Tuscan Dreamhouse kit (some assembly required).

It's all a little overwhelming. That's why I want to know: Which gacha is at the top of your list for this round of The Arcade? Take a look at everything that's on offer in the official event catalogue, then leave your picks in the comments below!

Continue reading "Iris Wants to Know: Where's Your Gacha Budget Going During the Latest Round of The Arcade?" »