New releases from Wilds of Organica at Fantasy Faire 2018!

Fantasy Faire is probably one of the most long-standing events still held yearly within Second Life. It’s moved in lockstep with the Relay for Life movement since at least 2009 and I can count myself fortunate to be a part of it for many many years.

There are relatively few events which are offered at the same scale for the wide spectrum of fantasy and scifi genres and I’m happy to say that, for the most part, I’ve had positive experiences – at least enough which keep me coming back year after year.

This year, I’ve chosen to release Corgi avatars on the virtual world! More details are available here, but I’ll just say that five coats are available to start, including a special RFL Pearl Lavender exclusive.

New releases from Wilds of Organica at Fantasy Faire 2018!

Additionally, I have decided to release a new line of coats for the kittens – Point furs! These are coats where the majority of the coat is a pale, creamy colour and the snout, ears, paws and tail gradiate towards a darker colour. There is also a brand new Point-themed RFL purple coat, PLUS the old Cheshire RFL coat has finally been updated to bento as well (if you already have one of these previous to update, please contact me directly for a free update)!

These new coated kitties have been released with the updated bento kitten avatar (1.2) so you can expect to see tail and facial movement in response to Bento animations, just like the update that was applied to all of the other kitties earlier this year.

Both of these new items can now be found at my booth at Fantasy Faire for the duration of the event (thru April 29) along with many other WoO items. If you missed the chance at picking up the two free Fisheye avatars last year, this is your chance! Additionally, this is a great opportunity to pick up various editions of wings, ears & tails,  and masks – in the process helping to end the fight against cancer. All items in official RFL vendors will donate 100% of their proceeds to the American Cancer Society.


It’s been a bit of a week for me – April is typically busy for me because it’s the convergence of multiple events. At the very least, Fantasy Faire and planning for Home & Garden Expo. This year, Bloom has also been a factor, and in previous years I also had the privilege of being a part of The Arcade.

Adding to that the fact that most of my WoO releases are full avatars requiring a lot of out-of-the-ordinary setups and this is a recipe for a lot of stress!

Nonetheless, I wouldn’t be doing any of it if it wasn’t stimulating to me and I didn’t learn anything from it.

Athenaeum Arcana is a vast library, shattered by a gargantuan presence, put together by Elizabeth Jarvinen (polysail). Elizabeth has made an immersive space, making use of repeated assets to minimize load times and seamless Materials (diffuse, bump and shiny maps) to help give the region subtle but important and immersive detail that draws a visitor in.

New releases from Wilds of Organica at Fantasy Faire 2018!

Setting up at Fantasy Faire this year went off with minimal issue. Thanks to having been given a mock-up of my store space beforehand, I was able to roughly figure what I wanted where, although by the end of setting up, this had changed a moderate degree.

I did take a fair amount of time to juggle and rearrange, mostly because it’s not always easy to have a shop space fit just right at first try, even if a mock-up has been offered. Environment, eye-lines, figuring out what kind of eye-catches are available on-site – these are things that aren’t always present in a mock-up and may not even be ready at such time that they are delivered.

In addition to this, I spent a fair amount of time setting up RFL vendors, although I must express immense gratitude to whomever revamped the vendor situation this year.

In previous years, vendors connected to a website and required multiple variables to be set web-side before functioning in-world. This year, it seems all the team authentication got handled up-front, and they seem to have done away with any sort of web-side editing. Instead, the system is as easy as dropping the reward item in, clicking to add a price, then dragging the vendor texture to the appropriate prim.

I’ve only had a chance to skim through the other Fantasy Faire regions so far, but certainly intend to explore in greater detail when I get a chance later. Perhaps I’ll see you around?

Fantasy Faire runs from April 16 thru 29! Visit Wilds of Organica on Athenaeum Arcana region!


Looking forward, keep your eyes forward to April 25, when all Organica, Wilds of Organica and Akimeta products on Organica region will be marked down 25%!

Full details to follow.


If you enjoy what I’m doing here or think someone else might also find it of use, please feel free to share this blog with them. If you’d like to keep up to date with posts, the RSS for this blog is here, I can also be found on Twitter and Plurk. The Discord server is here.

If you really like my stuff, perhaps consider donating to my Patreon? Your continued support helps to produce weekly content (written, modelled, animated or otherwise) and helps to keep original content creation in Second Life!

Thanks for your support!

 

Vendor Changes, Gift Card and Loyalty Credit, and SALE!

By now, some of you may have heard that a fairly major vendor service is closing its doors. On April 11, DavidThomas Scorbal announced, to existing E2V customers, that the service would be closing on May 31.

Organica, Wilds of Organica, Kitheres, and Akimeta have all been running on this system for years and it’s with significant reluctance that I undertake any move to another system. Nonetheless, in order to continue offering perks such as gift cards and loyalty points, this is something that I’ll need to do.

What does this mean for Gift-card and Loyalty point-holders?

First off, ALL gift card holders MUST expend their credits by May 5. I cannot guarantee that any remaining credit under the E2V system will transfer to the new vendor system, although I will ascertain who has what upon close.

Secondly, as of current accounting, Organica and Wilds of Organica customers have amassed a non-trivial amount of store credit from the Loyalty program. Several hundred of you have at least L$100 or more! Please come use up your credits before they expire(Also May 5)! Again, I cannot guarantee that any of these store credits will transfer to the new system, so drop by soon!

You can check your remaining credit by visiting the shop and clicking on this kiosk graphic on-site:

Vendor Changes, Gift Card and Loyalty Credit,  and SALE!

To apply store credit to a purchase, *left* click the vendor you’d like to purchase from, then choose ‘Use Credit’ and follow the instructions from there.

Additionally:

The need to switch over to a new system is also a great opportunity for me to take some time to shelve old material and to revisit the store layout, which I have been meaning to do for the better part of a year.

What this means to you is that, starting from April 25th thru May 5 2018, ALL items being sold from Organica, Wilds of Organica and Akimeta (excluding gacha vendors) will be on sale at a 25% discount, to help prepare for an extensive shutdown and switch-over to the new vendor system.

Once the sale concludes, the sim will be temporarily closed to help finalize the vendor switch-over. Purchases can still be made on the Marketplace as normal.

Yes, this means some items will be retired from active sale. While they’ll still be available on the Marketplace (and Yes, I’ll still be able to rez things upon request for viewing), this will be your last opportunity to check out everything rezzed in one place. There will also be some selected old material, which at this point is currently MP-only, that will be removed from the Marketplace entirely.

I’ll send out an updated sale notice as we near the event! Please keep your eyes and ears open either via this blog or the in-world subscribers or via the Wilds of Organica group.

Upcoming Events:

Bloom – April 16 thru 30 – Check out my new release for this event!

Fantasy Faire – April 19-29 – Blog post coming soon!

Home & Garden Expo – May 19

 

Corgi Updates!

Greetings!

I’m recovering from a couple of setbacks this week. I have been recovering from a bit of a cold – the weather here is warming up slightly, which always means more colds and flu floating around.  That said, I figured I’d update you of my progress on the corgi.

Corgi Updates! Corgi Updates!

Animation has been progressing well. Our corgi can now walk, run, jump, swim, crouch, sneak, and has some limited ground sits. I’ll be working on some object sits soon. At this time, I’d say the animations are around 70% done, although I’d like to do some more specific animations that will also take advantage of sounds and keystrokes via SL’s gesture assets.

Corgi Updates!

Textures have also been dialed in a bit from previous posts, with the help of Substance Painter (which underwent a major UI change recently). It’s been interesting to make use of their texture resize feature, which allows for quicker brush stroke application at lower resolutions but which preserves the type of brush stroke if you need to flip up to higher resolutions, allowing for the higher detail to be preserved as one sizes up.

Predictably, all of this brush stroke recording does become a bit memory intensive, so I predict that some export to Photoshop at some point will be necessary for me as I begin to work in some of the other coats I want to work on.

Fantasy Faire arrives soon (next month – runs April 19-29) so moving forward, I’d like to tie this up and revisit the wyvern for use as an avatar before addressing some other Fantasy Faire exclusive editions for certain items. Additionally, you can look forward to some Organica content soon at Bloom (also next month – Runs April 15-30).

It’s still unknown as to whether Animesh will be made available on the main grid by Fantasy Faire – In all likelihood, I doubt it. Linden Lab has always been reticent to put out a specific deadline for releases like this and as of the most recent meeting, true testing for final LI accounting and poly-count limits has not yet concluded.

It’s for that reason that I’ll be mostly concentrating on avatar-related releases for this year’s Fantasy Faire – and if the opportunity for Animesh arrives subsequent to that, I’ll deal with Animesh kits as the need arises.

With that said, what kind of animations and functionality would you like to see out of a pet corgi?

Leave comments below or message me directly in-world at Aki Shichiroji.

See you next week!


If you enjoy what I’m doing here or think someone else might also find it of use, please feel free to share this blog with them. If you’d like to keep up to date with posts, the RSS for this blog is here, I can also be found on Twitter and Plurk. The Discord server is here.

If you really like my stuff, perhaps consider donating to my Patreon? Your continued support helps to produce weekly content (written, modelled, animated or otherwise) and helps to keep original content creation in Second Life!

Thanks for your support!

Corgi Week 3: Weighting the Avatar

To adequately modify weighting for the avatar, there are a few methods of particular relevance:

Automatic Weights

This is a shortcut – one which attempts to assign the mesh to the bones that are closest to that particular area on the mesh. Automatic weighting is achieved by right-clicking the mesh, THEN the armature in Object mode, then Parenting the former to the latter by selecting ‘Ctrl + P’. This brings up the ‘Armature Deform’ menu, from which  ‘Automatic Weights’ should be chosen.

It is important to note here that with human avatars, it’s usually possible to use it to predict which parts of the mesh should be associated with which bones. The same cannot necessarily be said for avatars that depend upon a modified skeleton (like this Corgi). Sometimes Bone Heat works, sometimes it doesn’t. In any case, there will always be some degree of tweaking required afterward, so tools such as ‘Automatic Weights’ should be considered a useful tool in most cases, but not a magic bullet. This is why the following two methods are also very important to learn.

Manual assignation:

To accomplish either of the following two methods, the mesh needs to be parented to the armature. This can either be done by choosing ‘With Empty Groups’ from the Armature Deform menu (which we got to by selecting the mesh, then the armature – both in object mode – then hitting hotkeys Control + P) OR selecting the mesh and adding an Armature modifier, taking care to point the ‘Object’ field in that modifier to the appropriate armature.

Corgi Week 3: Weighting the Avatar

Once this is done, the mesh can be weighted using the first, second or both of the following methods:Corgi Week 3: Weighting the Avatar

A) Assignment as an Edit Mode property – by selecting a single vertex or a whole group of them in Edit mode, you can affect their bone weighting by choosing the (above) indicated menu in the Edit properties tab, adjusting the associated weight and then hitting either ‘Apply’ or ‘Remove’. Vertices associated with a given bone can also be selected or deselected in this same menu.

Corgi Week 3: Weighting the Avatar

B) Weight Painting – This is a weighting method which allows you to visualize the degree to which verts are weighted to a particular bone through the use of colour. It allows you to use a digital brush to add, subtract, draw, lighten, darken, blur or otherwise affect bone influence, which in this mode is represented by a gradient of colour, ranging from blue (no influence) to yellow(middling influence) to red (full influence).

There are pros and cons to using each of these methods and almost 100% of the time, I use the second method *after* having used the first, in order to make it look more natural.

The weighting process with the cute, fuzzy and not-at-all skinny corgi has been, inevitably, a bit different (and long-winded) compared to weighting the sleek & non-squishy Drider avatar covered not too long ago.

I’ve always found this to be the case – coming to a happy medium between influence from multiple bones in a soft mass is a very organic process that depends heavily upon an understanding of what you want to move, and where.  Don’t be discouraged if this doesn’t work out right away. Understanding a lot of this comes with experience & experimentation.

Whereas you can (for the most part) assign heavy influence of a rigid mass to a single bone, rigging to ensure smooth movement along a curvy mass often requires more of a gradiated transition – sometimes extending well past the immediate location of the bone.

Corgi Week 3: Weighting the Avatar

For example, you could weight mesh along a tail rigidly, but when it comes time to move it, the mesh will be overly faceted and easily visible from afar as being unnatural.

Corgi Week 3: Weighting the Avatar
Adding geometry judiciously at this stage is a good way of adding a more natural look. This is also a great opportunity to smooth out weights along

It’s at this stage that I have added more geometry to critical areas, such as joints and the tail.

Maintaining a low poly-count to start with is very helpful in reducing additional work when it comes to correcting delicate bone weights, but it’s also in these cases where adding intervening geometry is appropriate, and this is why, despite having used a Subsurface division modifier to visualize, I have not applied such modifiers permanently to my mesh. Being able to easily select and divide up edge loops and rings manually allows me the greatest ability to create more natural shapes while maintaining clean edge-flow.

The weighting and animation processes are inevitably intertwined. In the next little while, I’ll not only be animating but correcting vertices with stray weights as well. I will often be animating, find that a certain movement affects the mesh in some negative way, and as a result find that I need to go back to editing weights to prevent any significant negative outcomes.

It’s also during this process that any final joint position tweaks should be made. As was mentioned in the previous post, it’s important to ensure any such position changes are carried out between *both* the Control bones (green) and the Deform bones (blue, purple, red). Failing to do so can cause some unpredictable results upon export.

Corgi Week 3: Weighting the Avatar
(which happened here some time ago while working on the Yeti)

So far, I’ve explained the concept of these weighting methods and discussed a few pitfalls, but I’d like to delve a little deeper next week with some video content, demonstrating the use of these Weighting tools in greater detail. If you’re looking to learn about weighting with Blender & Avastar and have any particular questions for me to work in to these videos, please leave a comment here or drop by my Discord server for a chat within the next couple of days! (Latest March 4, please!)


If you enjoy what I’m doing here or think someone else might also find it of use, please feel free to share this blog with them. If you’d like to keep up to date with posts, the RSS for this blog is here, I can also be found on Twitter and Plurk. The Discord server is here.

If you really like my stuff, perhaps consider donating to my Patreon? Your continued support helps to produce weekly content (written, modelled, animated or otherwise) and helps to keep original content creation in Second Life!

Thanks for your support!

Kitten Avatar Update + New Coat Announcement!

Today, I’m glad to announce that the Kitten avatars are undergoing a long-awaited update, which includes additional Bento functionality plus a brand new animation override. This updated avatar is now available in shop, along with one completely new line – the Bicolour coat pattern!

If you already have one (or more) of either the Tabby or Cheshire avatars and purchased it off the Marketplace, you can expect an automatic delivery for each within the next twenty-four hours. A limited number of recent in-store purchases will also receive this automatic update. If you do not receive your update by Jan 17 2018 (EDT), please see below before contacting me by IM:

If you purchased in-store prior to Christmas and do not recieve an update automatically, please come to the main shop and rez your update token (found in your original Kitten package). There may be a delay but you should still get your update that way. If it times out, please contact me (Aki Shichiroji) directly by IM.

Kitten Avatar Update + New Coat Announcement!

This new bicolour pattern is very much intended to reference the ‘tuxedo’ look that many bi-colour cats have. Five colours are available in this line and these new kittens will include Bento functionality, just like the updated originals!

Changes (2018/01/15):

– Facial and tail Bento support
– New Animation Overrider HUD featuring advanced facial animations specifically for this avatar
– Update system now also uses the blue circle exchanger system (Read the included notecard for full details).

Known issue: RFL Purple Cheshire has not been addressed in this update but will be within the week. Please stay tuned for further info.

Relevant inquiries:
Will the applier system used for several other recent releases also be used for the kitten avatar?
– While the possibility is not closed to this, the logistics are non-trivial. The Applier system will not be applied to the kitten avatars at this time.

Will dev-kits and/or clothing be made available for these avatars?
– Both are being taken in to consideration at this time and both are very likely. Again, the logistics of packaging and managing a growing number of coats for this avatar are something that I need to become accustomed to before I will have time to address either. Please IM me to let me know of your interest!

Will animesh support be provided with this avatar?
– It’s a bit early to comment, but animesh for this avatar is quite likely. In all likelihood, Animesh support will involve a customized kit that can be dropped in, but given that these details are rather abstract, the final execution may be somewhat different. There are also some non-mesh and non-rigged components which would need to be converted for use with Animesh should a conversion occur, so I would need to account for the additional time cost for this work.

Stay tuned to the Subscriber Kiosk or the in-world group notices for further news about this or other releases from Wilds of Organica! Join the Subscriber kiosk ( here ) or the in-world group ( here )!

Thank you for your ongoing support!


If you like what you see but don’t think it’s quite right for you, perhaps consider donating to my Patreon? Your continued support helps to produce weekly content (written, modelled, animated or otherwise) and helps to keep original content creation in Second Life!

Two More Candy Fair 2017 Releases!

As promised, a number of other new items are now also available this week (thru Dec 1!) at Candy Fair!

Alongside the Cat Ears & Tails, there will also be the following:

Two More Candy Fair 2017 Releases! Two More Candy Fair 2017 Releases!

Much like the Cat Ears & Tails, these Bento attachments come with the short ear & long tail AO, which is intended for layering over existing human AO animations. They come with lifetime updates and are optimized for use with viewers which use the Advanced Lighting Model. They are mod, copy, no transfer , with some no-mod scripts.

Two More Candy Fair 2017 Releases! Two More Candy Fair 2017 Releases!

This Candy Fair edition of webbed wings is much like the original release, in that it includes both small and large mesh, as well as AO, for various body shapes. They come with lifetime updates and are optimized for use with viewers which use the Advanced Lighting Model. These, too, are mod, copy, no transfer, with some no-mod scripts.

You can pick up the Cat Ears & Tail, Mouse Ears & Tail & Candy Fair Edition Webbed Wings at Candy Fair here until December 1! (Some previous years’ Candy Fair gacha releases are also available again at the Gacha Gardens there too!)

See you there!

Coming Soon at Candy Faire

A few new items are in the works for Wilds of Organica’s debut at Candy Faire (previous years it was Organica Specialty Landscaping & Decor) – What I can talk about so far includes this new Ear and Tail release for those who appreciate the feline persuasion!Coming Soon at Candy FaireThese Bento-enabled and animated attachments take advantage of advanced materials to produce a realistic fluffy and furry texture.

Eight treat-themed colours are available and these attachments come with an AO HUD for layering over top normal human animations! (Please note – does not come with its own human anims).

Coming Soon at Candy Faire Coming Soon at Candy Faire
Coming Soon at Candy Faire Coming Soon at Candy Faire
Coming Soon at Candy Faire Coming Soon at Candy Faire
Coming Soon at Candy Faire Coming Soon at Candy Faire

Other items are also in the works, time permitting, but this is what I can talk about so far.

Candy Faire opens on November 17 and runs thru December 1st! This and other products will be exclusively available there during the event! (They’ll hit the main store and Marketplace afterward) Further info on this next week!

 


Did you know I have a Patreon account? If you enjoy this content, please consider becoming a Patron! It helps me create more like it and offers a variety of rewards. Alternatively, if you like the sorts of things that I make for Second Life, drop by my Marketplace listing or my in-world stores and check out what I have to offer!

Unless otherwise noted, I (Aki Shichiroji) and this blog are not sponsored in any way. My thoughts are my own and not indicative of endorsement by any associated or discussed product/service/company.

Drider 1.01 Updates

An update is now available to the Drider avatar as the result of feedback accumulated over the past week!

After a considerable amount of time spent testing various mesh body demos (both male and female), I was able to ascertain that the vast majority of mesh avatars fit the initial mesh body shape with minimal issue, assuming default male or female body shapes were used. A small number of mesh bodies did not fit this norm (or did  not have sufficient alpha granularity). For these, a special version of the avatar mesh was made, featuring a wider and slightly deeper hip area.

There have been additional resources added to the main documentation, including a full list of bodies tested, whether they are compatible and, if so, what the appropriate alpha settings would be.

Additionally, after some feedback regarding attachment points, I was able to go back in to the avatar file and reposition a fair number of attachment points. Attachment points for the front legs should now all match up to their appropriate bones. Wing attachment points now match up with the second set of legs (lowest joint). Hind attachment points now match up with the third set of legs (lowest joint). Tail base and Tail tip were found to not be movable, so tail base fits the top of the right hind leg and tail tip moves to the top of the left hind leg.

Additional testing involved the most ideal attachment point for adding things to the abdomen – For this purpose, I recommend Pelvis. Spine is affected by the position of the torso, groin doesn’t play well with the bones being used for the spider thorax & abdomen.

Please note: One attachment point will give you up to five attachment slots to use at that one point. To use multiple attachments per point, simply ‘add’ instead of ‘wear’.

All vendors and marketplace listings have since been updated – to check if your package is up to date, please check the description field of your avatar’s box. If it predates 2017/10/21, please exchange your avatar at the Wilds of Organica Avatar Exchanger, which is currently located here (but which you can always find a SLURL for in Aki Shichiroji’s profile (under Picks> Gacha Exchange Policy and exchanger location).

Lastly – there have been some inquiries about a dev kit for the drider avatar. There are plans for this, but it is not available at this time. Interested parties should keep an eye on this blog, join the in-world group or the Discord server for announcements regarding applications and availability.

The Driders Are Here!

Just in time for Halloween, the Driders have made it to Wilds of Organica!

This avatar is a lower body, Bento-rigged attachment designed for use with both male and female shapes! Six coats are available and each package includes the avatar body mesh, an alpha layer, and animation overrider. The avatar is mod, copy, no trans, with some no-mod scripts for updates.

Full, most up-to-date documentation can be found here!

Please note! This avatar uses hind, wing, and tail bones! It may be incompatible with other Bento-enabled products – please try a demo first, as I cannot give refunds (other than for duplicate purchases).

Available in store or on the Marketplace!

 

Work in Progress: Drider Week 4

This week has been a little crazy in meat-space; after taking care of some familial obligations and picking up some supplies, some long needed house-painting took place on Monday. A little later in the week, I was able to put in a couple more sessions working on this staff sculpt for HelpfulNerd, who’s printing, painting and finishing this for one of his clients’ costumes! 

Work in Progress: Drider Week 4 Work in Progress: Drider Week 4

In particular, I’ve really been enjoying ZBrush 4R8’s new live boolean functionality! It takes a little bit of figuring out, but once you get the hang of working with positive and negative shapes, you’ll probably find that it’s quite flexible and like playing with invisible clay.

That doesn’t mean progress has stopped with the Drider, though, and I’m happy to show some sneak peeks of the looks that’ll be available:

Work in Progress: Drider Week 4

Moving forward, I’ll be seeking out testers, tying up necessary animations, packaging and doing some more detailed photography for promotional reasons. We are getting very close to release and I’m super excited!

Finally, here’s a quick snapshot of some #inktober – related artwork I put together a couple days ago. It still needs a few tweaks, but I’m glad I was able to rattle off something topical for this event!

Work in Progress: Drider Week 4


Support my content creation in SL and other virtual worlds by becoming a patron on Patreon! Along with keeping up with new releases, you can keep up with personal and work project writeups, see sneak-peeks of upcoming content,  be informed once new videos are up, access to Patreon-exclusive content, giveaways and more! Check out my Patreon page, here: (link)