Materials and awesome hats

I’ve been hard at work for a few days getting an update ready for the Peplum Dress. If you’ve read some of the previous posts you’ll know that I’ve been keeping the Materials update to the SL client in mind for this build.

Well, the release of the Materials project kinda caught me on the hop – I wasn’t expecting it quite this soon! Still, challenges are there to be risen to.

In a day or two I should be able to release the update for the Peplum Dress. The new package will include two versions of the dress; one much like before with some small enhancements and a new set that have diffuse, normal and specular maps applied to them. Which one you’ll want to wear is going to depend on how up to date your friends’ viewers and graphics cards are, but at least you’ll be able to be one of the first out there to be wearing cool materials-project leather 🙂

In unrelated news I’ve been listening to / watching Jesus Christ Superstar while working and had an attack of awesome hats. It’s an old affliction that recurs from time to time. In the case of the 1973 film Caiaphas, one of the main baddies, wears a hat so glorious that I usually end up rooting for him over frickin’ Jesus – that’s just how good a hat it is.

CaiaphasHat1

That Caiaphas – venal and jealous of power, but lookin good while he did it

Tell me that’s not an awesome hat; I dare you.

Peplum Dress : The release!

Yes, the Peplum Dress has finally fought its way out of my inventory and onto the marketplace 🙂

PepDress GroupNotice

It has the usual HUD functions for texture, tint and shine. As an extra you can also control the visibility of the skirt so that the rest of the dress can be worn as a separate top.

If you visit one of my in-world vendors you’ll also notice that they’ve had a bit of a facelift! I’m updating the Kcreations branding to be more like the look of this blog and my main store. When the materials project makes it into the release viewer it’s going to look cooler still:

Vendor vs Materials

As you can see from the image on the right when materials kicks in the chains on the backdrop have a normal and specular map to make them pop out of the surface and give them some shine.

So, two new things to enjoy today 😉

Peplum Dress Progress 03

I took another little detour today into the materials project system, now in Beta test. I’m trying to ensure that the Peplum Dress is “materials ready” when the project makes its way into the release viewer and 3rd party ones like Firestorm.

I’ve been trying to create an effective leather material for the dress; something that will mimic the baked textures that I’ve made (and that I showed in the previous post) in real time.

So far what I’ve got combines a normal map and a specular map to give something that’s not entirely unlike leather.

PeplumDress Materials

The dress in the picture isn’t using a baked diffuse texture to simulate shine – all of the surface detail there is done in real time. The actual surface of the dress is just a flat black.

Materials support isn’t going to be in the initial release of the dress – it’s something that will come along later in an update – but I thought it was a good idea to get an early start on it while I’m still messing around with the textures 🙂

Peplum Dress Progress 02

Things have been going a little slowly lately – some issues in real life and some issues with SecondLife have been taking up some of my building time.

But building has been going on and it’s time for a quick update on the progress of the Peplum Dress.

I’ve been playing around with it quite a lot – mainly with the collar. It’s been through several styles; buttoned, zipped, even laced. The textures have been through even more iterations and I’m still not sure I’m entirely happy with what I’ve ended up with. That always seems to be the way, though, so at some point you just have to get something out of the door and see what other people think!

Right now I’ve settled on the mesh and textures, the models are rigged and I’m doing some in-world testing to see how it works out.

PeplumDress InWorld

So far, thrown together with some short leather gloves and Bax Cohen boots, I think it looks pretty cool 🙂

From here on out it’s all of the production chores – churning out textures, making the HUD and getting all the scripts to work. Last time around with the Maid Dress I did a lot of work streamlining the scripts in both the HUD and the dress, so hopefully this time it’ll be an easier process (fingers crossed!).

With any luck the next time you hear about this it’ll be the release announcement 😉