This release is a little unexpected; after all, for the past few weeks I’ve been talking of nothing but the horribly named “Dominatrix Formal” outfit.
I’ve got to a fairly advanced point with the DF outfit, far enough to have uploaded a test mesh with full textures to see how it plays in-world, but I’ve been spending a lot of time with it and I needed a little change of pace to keep me in the game.
Luckily a friend, coincidentally named Carmen, mentioned that she wanted a full-length skin tight dress so I decide to try another speed build and see how it turned out.
How did it turn out? Well, not speedy, for one thing. I made a mistake with the mesh build that required me to go back, fiddle around in Lightwave, and then re-upload everything. I also had an attack of dissatisfaction with the textures and decided to tweak them a little. This tweaking revealed a bug in my texture generator code that required even more time to fix. So what we have here is the slowest speed build in history.
In the end, though, I quite like what came out:
I’ve included two sets of textures with the release so you can strut around in latex or leather as the mood takes you. The above picture includes a purely gratuitous shot of my pink-latex-covered bottom. You’re welcome.
This build also raised the question of zips. I was going to leave the leather version with no obvious way of donning or removing it – a lot of the time I figure that I’m making fantasy gear in a virtual world and don’t actually have to worry about little things like how on Earth anyone would get into it. This time, for some reason, I decided that a zip down the back of the leather textures was vital.
In the past I’ve tended to acquire texture zippers from readily available stock imagery but, with the recent ludicrous ToS changes from SL and the general inconvenience of fiddling scaled bitmaps into the exact position I need, this time I decided to sort it out properly once and for all.
I took a little time in Illustrator to draw a basic zip runner and create a custom brush that looked like zipper teeth. With this I can lay out a zip on a texture in pure vector graphics and then export it at any resolution I need. A little touch up in Photoshop with some gradient fills blended over the top and it looks convincingly like a silver metal zip. I can even easily make zips that follow wandering curved paths, so look for more of this stuff in future!
All in all this has taken longer than I’d planned but it’s sorted out a few problems in my workflow, made me fix some bugs in my software and finally got me to create some vector assets that I’ve been badly needing for some time. Not a bad trade off, I think.
Work on the Dominatrix Formal outfit (seriously, if anyone has a better idea for a name let me know!) continues. After a test upload to the grid it’s back into the workshop for tweaks to the mesh and textures. Stay tuned.