This is quite a steep learning curve…

I am now up to my eyeballs in designing outfits for alpha.tribe. And it is really not very easy.

The skins are based upon a template, so thanks to the generosity of Eloh Eliot, that part has been OK up until now. (I do have a project in the works though, where I believe I will really be up against the wall with the skin layer as well :-\). The Eliot skins have beautifully detailed features as well as subtle shadows and highlights, onto which I have been superimposing my own tattoos. And then I play around with the make-up colors and the skin color and Bob’s your uncle pretty much.

When it comes to the garments it is a different proposition altogether. Needless to say, I have been educated through enraptured observation of the output of the likes of June Dion; the mistress of the perfect hem and seam, the utterly aligned texture, where everything is wonderfully crisp and sharp, the colors well defined, the shadows and highlights perfect. Of course I am not presumptuous enough to aspire to that level of quality – at least not without months of hard graft. But I do want to have a modicum of the finesse, which the high caliber clothes designers of SL display in their work, in mine as well.

So, I keep wandering back and forth between AvPainter, Photoshop, and Second Life trying out and trying out and trying out. And I hate to admit this but nothing that I have made so far even comes close to the quality that I would ultimately like to see in my clothes as well. It isn’t about ideas here, those I have. It is entirely about craftsmanship.

Point in case: This one here. From a distance it looks more or less acceptable I suppose. Now zoom in. What do you see? Very bad distortion on the upper ends of the boots for one thing. How do the “pros” get this to work I wonder? Where their textures do not become distorted upon the avatar’s geometry? Second boo boo? Well, the texture on the prim collar is way too small in comparison to what is right next to it. I did fix that after I saw it in this photo though… Next? Well, the texture on the inner side of the skirt segments is not aligning to the hem, is it? It is off by just a tad, but that was certainly enough to make me run back in and re-align it. I am thankful to be able to say it is now aligned. Phew… So, some of the errors I could fix but the boot tops keep me befuddled still…

And yes. While we are speaking of boots:

These are all perm boots which I purchased at XStreet-SL. The actual designer is called SusieQ Inglewood. So, all I did was add the “spurs” and re-texture them. I think it took me the better part of a day to get this far and looking at them I can see that I still have a ways to go… Big time. I guess if I had had a solid texture it would have been easier, but the ensemble calls for a pattern.

Although it does frustrate me I am enjoying the learning process. I have never really worked with anything this highly detailed before. And it feels really really good to be challenged. To acquire a new skill. More than a skill really – an attribute. Patience, I believe it is called…

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