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

 

Bloom 2018 – New release!

Prism Events’ Bloom event begins April 15 and runs thru to the 30th –

From the creators of Tannenbaum and Salem, Prism Events brings you Bloom.

Rich in flora, fauna and foliage, Bloom warmly welcomes spring with over 100 vendors and 2 ways to shop!

Stroll through Bloom’s Springtime Market and connect with artisans across the grid, selling seasonal goods. Or try your luck in the Gacha Grove!

Bloom opens on April 15th and promises to be a wonderful shopping experience, sure to put a spring in your step!

and just to give you a sneak peek, I thought I’d let you know about this new release ahead of time!

Bloom 2018 - New release! Bloom 2018 - New release! Bloom 2018 - New release!

These are slightly oversized armchairs intended for both singles and couples seating.  They are 4LI each and feature 7 single animations and 4 couples animations. They are mod, copy, no transfer. Best viewed with Advanced Lighting turned on!

Check these and many other new spring-themed items out at Bloom, starting on Sunday!

Fresh Cut Roses

Right in time for Valentines Day, these fresh-cut roses are now available in-store and on Marketplace and they are great for both buying for yourself or gifting to others!

Mod, copy, no transfer. To gift, left-click the vendor and choose the ‘gift’ option (or buy on Marketplace).


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!

New Flowers this week at Organica!

This week, we turn to Spring! Sorta.

New Flowers this week at Organica!

It’s still pretty solidly winter here in Canada, so I figured we could use some flowers to brighten things up.

This week, you can pick up one or more gerbera varieties in store or on the Marketplace!

2LI at packaged size, these flowering plants feature vibrant colours and detailed materials – perfect for any outdoor garden! Pick ’em up now seperately or as a fatpack!


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!

New Furniture and Decor at Organica this week!

Today, I thought I’d share a new thing I’ve been working on, on top of a few other things that I can’t discuss quite yet.

I’ve always loved older furniture and one of my prized finds this year was a Duncan Phyfe drop-leaf table. It’s sort of hard to pick these up any more. Most are at least 75 years old at this point and they only come available every once in a while in Toronto, even though the occurrence of downsizing and estate sales seems quite high.

I managed to bring home one for a good price this past fall and it’s been both a beautiful yet unobtrusive addition to my kitchen, mostly in that it is so flexible in the way of footprint.

In any case, I decided to put together something with similar functionality, and here is the result.

New Furniture and Decor at Organica this week!

For the moment, this table will come as three static versions, with movable drawers, all in one package. Ideally, I would like to take this in to an Animesh format in the future, so that a single scripted object would be all that is necessary to rez. We’ll see how well this works in practice in the following few weeks, provided available time.

New Furniture and Decor at Organica this week!

This current version is mod, copy, no trans, 5LI ea and available in 8 colours. It will be eligible for free updates if/when an Animesh version is made available.

New Furniture and Decor at Organica this week!

 

Additionally, there are a few light decor items being released this week as well, including some vase and table accent pieces, as well as some original inkwash artwork by Florence Chan (me).

New Furniture and Decor at Organica this week!

Each are mod/copy/no transfer.

Everything mentioned above is now available in-store or on the Marketplace!

Background environment is Scarlet Creative’s Mountain Lodge gacha rare, by Charlotte Bartlett.


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!

Willow Tree Process (Part 4) – Rigging and animating

A small amount of downtime over the past couple of days has given me the opportunity to move forward with my Animesh Willow experiment.

At this point, I have to mention that this is all it is – an experiment. In the course of playing with animating a tree, I ran in to a number of hurdles which I’ll have to consider whether I want to get around before any possible release. (I’ll go in to these a little later).

From the hint that animesh might be a thing, I’d been thinking about using it for more efficient modelling of animated vegetation. Willows are the most obvious candidate for me, since I’ve long avoided creating more.

Original solutions for willows have historically included flexiprims and while these may still prove useful, I wanted to see what I could come up with that wouldn’t be so taxing on the viewer. The opportunity to create something that isn’t so heavily dependant on SL wind is also promising.

My willow tree armature required  some significant modification of the default Bento avatar armature.

Willow Tree Process (Part 4) - Rigging and animating

Currently, Avastar allows a user to select and move bone joints for either the blue/purple SL armature or green Control Bones in edit mode, then to align them to their counterparts. This is what I did and (so far) I haven’t needed to adjust any of the parenting for this rig.

I opted not to make use of the lower limbs (for now) because doing so can present some orientation issues due to how bones are parented. If i need to in the future, I may put in more time to figure this out, but in this particular use case, I chose to just use the bones from torso up, arms, hands, wings, neck and head (no face), simply because these would handle the geometry sufficiently.

The result is, in a very general sense, positive.

Willow Tree Process (Part 4) - Rigging and animating

For the most part, the trunk was parented to bones which are logically closer to the middle of the skeleton. So it got torso, chest, collarbones, upper, lower arm, neck, head, etc. Most of the fingers got assigned to equidistant areas around the trunk for foliage.

In hindsight, I would probably rig and model concurrently. Because there was a significant amount of foliage geometry mixed together, selecting appropriate foliage and assigning it to its nearest bone was a bit tedious. Doing this a bit at a time to ensure proper movement would have been the better way to go.

Willow Tree Process (Part 4) - Rigging and animating

Fortunately, Avastar offers a means of checking for unweighted verts, so this process was made a bit easier as a result.

Weighting was undertaken mostly using the weight painting brush, but occasionally I would also hold down Ctrl while making my brush strokes to create a gradient of weights for my selected vertices.

Because there were so many vertices in relatively close proximity, I selected the bones I wanted in weight-painting mode, then hit ‘V’ to show vertices. I then selected the vertices I wanted to paint (rather than painting on everything)  and brushed on only the areas highlighted by the selected vertices.

Animating the tree:

Once all of the vertices in the geometry were assigned, it was time to try some basic animation. So far, I’ve just put together a basic sway animation as a test case, but I may continue to create a variety of other animations the tree can play on command.

Willow Tree Process (Part 4) - Rigging and animating

In order to create an animation, I split off a window pane in Blender and switch it to ‘Dope Sheet’ view. This gives me a frame-by-frame listing of bones for which location and/or rotation* has changed, over time (in frames). There are other more detailed and useful views you can use for animation, but this is the most basic view you’ll need right away.

(* Scale changes are ignored by SL, both on the armature and animation side.)

The Dopesheet operates mostly from left to right, although it does list off bones which have been weighted, on the left hand side as ‘channels’. When a bone is selected in 3D view, the appropriate channel will highlight in the Dopesheet view. On the flipside, you can also left-click the name of the bone in Dopesheet view to select the bone in 3D view.

To animate, we need to ‘keyframe’ a set of changes in rotation and/or location and have Blender interpolate these transitions from keyframe to keyframe. In this case, the chief translations we need to make will be rotational.

Willow Tree Process (Part 4) - Rigging and animating

To begin, I select every bone in the armature and keyframe the current rotation as a keyframe (Hotkey I, select ‘Rotation’). This will be my starting frame.

Next, we need to create the second position for the appropriate bones. Since I am only moving the hanging foliage, I select the appropriate bones (mostly just finger bones) and rotate them in the general direction I want.

Willow Tree Process (Part 4) - Rigging and animating

Then, since I just want to test and loop motion between these two keyframes, I select all of the points from the first keyframe, duplicate them and move them to where I want my end frame to go, allowing the animation to seamlessly move from the last frame to the first when it loops.

Willow Tree Process (Part 4) - Rigging and animating

 

Next, we need to define our export settings to convert these keyframes to a full blown animation that can be used in Second Life.

Willow Tree Process (Part 4) - Rigging and animating

Of note: Normally, frames per second (FPS) is set around 24. This particular animation has been slowed down significantly such that only two frames play per second, for a much more subtle effect. This can be played with depending on application – sometimes I will tinker with this to speed up or slow down walk-loops for avatars.

By default, I export .ANIM files instead of .BVH files – I don’t play much with the system morphs that come with .BVH and in this case, such morphs (system avatar-based facial expressions, hand gestures) are not applicable to this sort of content.

Once I have defined the start and end frame for the animation as well as the start and end frame for the loop (not always the same!), I click ‘Export: AvatarAction’ and save it with an appropriate file name.

In-world, I enable my willow as an ‘Animated Mesh’ object and drop the animation in to the mesh. Some additional scripts are needed to make use of this animation – some sample scripts to get you started can be found on the Animesh regions on ADITI grid currently. Hopefully we’ll see some more sample scripts on the wiki soon too.

The result:

Willow Tree Process (Part 4) - Rigging and animating

Current downsides:

  • Animesh currently can’t be resized. They make use of the armature, where the size is defined upon upload. It may be necessary to create several different sizes for variety and, depending on application, special attention to scaled animations may be necessary as well.
  • Transparent textures placed upon Animesh-enabled geometry currently do not cast a correct shadow.
  • Base 200LI – this is likely to change for the better. Vir Linden has always maintained that the current 200LI base is boilerplate and mainly intended to be more restrictive than the ultimate release. Once I have a better idea of base cost, I’ll have a better idea of whether I’d like to move ahead with further LOD optimization and more detailed animations.

So for now, this willow will be on my backburner until we have more info from the weekly content creation meetings (Thursdays at 1PM SLT, Animesh 4 region on ADITI grid).

In any case, I wish you all a very Happy New Year!

I’ve had the fortune of being able to pick up more work in the past year and also the opportunity to present my thoughts and new releases with you lately here on the blog – I’m really looking forward to keeping the ball rolling in the coming year and hope to have more to share with you soon!


If you found this or any other of my articles helpful, please consider becoming a Patron! Doing so supports further articles of this kind and my content creation in general.  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.

 

New Azalea Bonsai at Organica

A new set of bonsai are now available at Organica!

 

These flowering trees will brighten up any household or garden. 8LI at packaged size, they have individually articulated flowers and foliage for great closeup detail, all the while maintaining efficient geometry to promote viewer performance. For best results, view with Advanced Lighting Model (Materials).

Eight varieties are available separately as well as a fatpack. Mod, copy, no transfer.

Each variety is available for purchase here at the Organica shop as well as here on Marketplace.

Home and Garden Expo 2017

Organica has a spot at this year’s Home and Garden Expo!

Home and Garden Expo 2017

This new 8 piece writing desk set includes corkboard, books, pencils, fountain pens, blotter, notebook and ink, along with a classic wood writing desk that’s great for any home!

Pieces range from 1-2 LI each and the set is mod, copy, no transfer.

 

Home and Garden Expo 2017 Home and Garden Expo 2017

Among many other RFL donation items, these two new hens and chick items are great for both indoor and outdoor use! 3-4LI each, they are mod, copy, no transfer and 100% of proceeds from the following items will go to the Relay for Life!

Visit Organica at Relay for Life at Hope 6!

Candy Fair 2016

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Organica will be participating in this year’s Candy Faire and brings a few new exclusives – as well as a new treat-themed racing car! Read on for more details…

 

candyparasols-8up-vendor-512

These parasols are non-rigged, materials-optimized and can either be worn as attachments (a Bento-ready animation is included) or rezzed on the ground for display. Each is 2LI and available individually or as part of the fatpack. 8 colours are offered in the fatpack and 2 mystery colours are offered as Trick or Treat gifts at the Faire. Mod, copy, no transfer.

candyswirl-halloween-vendor-768 candyswirl-table-vendor-768

These circular tables are 2 LI each and great for a shop or at home! Two packs are available (Classic and Halloween edition) and each pack includes four colour options. Mod, copy, no transfer, materials optimized.

racervendor-1024

Lastly, drop by the Gacha Graveyard ( http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Destiny%20Dreams/122/116/25 ) for a chance to play Organica’s gacha machine, which features these cupcake racers! Made in collaboration with NeoBokrug Elytis of Desolate Studios, each racer comes with an optional bobble-head and use of the WoO racing system (full info here: http://www.akimeta.com/organica/?page_id=2043 ) Each car is 11LI and materials optimized. They are Transfer-only with option to exchange and will rez with one permanent trait, which effects driving in a unique way. Play the gacha machine or trade with friends to get a vehicle with the stats you want – there are six traits to collect!

Traits Acceleration Agility Speed
Scurry 4 3 2
Dart 4 2 3
Scamper 3 4 2
Hotfoot 2 4 3
Marathon 3 2 4
Hasty 2 3 4

 

Please note: Due to the nature of transfer-only items as well as the volatile nature of vehicles & region crossings, we highly recommend locking in your vehicle for a copy-only version once you are happy with what you’ve got. Your transfer-only vehicle may be exchanged for a copy-only vehicle at the main store. There is a special, separate exchanger for vehicles. Please check the note-card included with your purchase for the location, up to date as of Ocotober 16, 2016.

Organica can be found at Candy Faire at booth 29 – located here at: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Destiny%20Dreams/31/108/47 from October 17 thru 31st!

New tree, ground tiles, garden walls this week at Organica!

Three new items are available this week from Organica!

FicusAlcove1-vendor

This new Ficus tree is materials enabled, mod copy, 17LI and offers all original animations! It is the perfect centerpiece to your backyard or garden.

CobbleMossTile-vendor

This is a simple, tilable mesh built solely for flat surface use. It’s great for adding variety to a courtyard, creating pathways & more! 1 LI each, Mod, copy, no transfer, materials enabled.

GWS-Vendor-768

This wall set includes four pieces that’ll help you create your own private Asian-inspired garden! Ranges from 1-3 LI, mod, copy, no transfer, materials enabled.

All of these are now available at the main store (SLURL here)