30 March 2014

More Mycenaean pottery (WIP)

I'm getting addicted to Mycenaean pottery. I like how stylised the designs are; they lend themselves very well to vector art. I've started another jar (not a stirrup one this time):

It's an early WIP. I've almost finished placing the patterns, but I need to roughen them up a bit. Maybe add some grass at the bottom... and something on the handles. I also haven't touched the rim and the bottom yet. The handles is actually a separate material at the moment, which is why there's a seam showing.

The opening is wide enough that I've had to solidify the jar -- i.e., there's a complete inside. It might end up having more land impact than the stirrup jar, although not by much; we'll see. I haven't taken it into SL yet.

On the minus side, I'm really annoyed that I can't seem to bake a texture map from Blender when using material nodes. It just bakes the diffuse colour... Unless I'm missing something, but I don't think so. Ah well, I'm getting there anyway.

23 March 2014

Fooling around with Inkscape

What I like about trying out a new software is that crazy phase of experimentation where I just press buttons with no idea of their function. I've created a lot of vector soup in Inkscape, following that method... and also something that looks a bit like a necklace:

Fun! I might use that filter again. It's still nowhere near as cute as the Kokeshi Doll I made, following this tutorial that I've already linked to in an earlier post -- it deserves another link because Awesomeness!.

My Kokeshi doll:

Try it. It's easier than it looks.

18 March 2014

Stirrup Jar: Octopus

This stirrup jar comes all the way from the Bronze Age.

The pattern, although heavily inspired by talented Mycenaean artists, is hand-drawn (hand-vectored-and-painted, technically!). The materials use custom specular and normal maps.

Featuring original mesh and textures, your Stirrup Jar also benefits from fine-tuned Level of Details and Physic shapes. What it means to you is that it'll look good up close and personal and from afar too, while still keeping a reasonable land impact.

- Includes two versions: one "new", and one antique.
- Land Impact 2
- Mesh + advanced materials

Get it in SL
Get it on the Marketplace

We hope you'll enjoy this Timetwist product!

Raindrop and Abyssin

12 March 2014

Vocabulary lessons

Oh Hello World. I'm done hibernating for a while, and I have a computer that works!

After this long break, I decided to start getting back into 3D modelling with an easy project: a vase. Sounds reasonable, right? So I grabbed some references of Mycenaean pottery, picked up one I liked, and started modelling it.

That was easy enough... but the texturing? Silly old me picked up a model starring an Octopus! Gaaaah! I first painted it directly on the surface of the jar in Blender, just to give me a rough idea, but I then had to clean it up... Vector sounded like the way to go.

Did I have a proper vector-editing programme? No, of course I didn't. So off to Inkscape I went. It's open-source. There's some nice tutorials for it (go to Inkscape kokeshi dolls for awesomeness), and if you already know the basics of Bezier curves, it's actually not that difficult to use.

Then I started adding details... Dear-y-me.

So, work-in-progress of what was meant to be a 1-hour project, and is turning into something a lot more involved than that:

That version is a couple of days old. I've since realised that there's a third bit poking out the top -- and that my jar is what's called a stirrup jar, i.e. two handles and a beak. I've added the beak, presto! It means a new UV map, but it's an improvement on the old one so I don't mind a bit.

The texturing is super-temporary, I've added some fish below the octopuses and scale patterns on the handles. I still need to populate the top of the jar.

I'm quite excited about it. I've learned a lot already... including, and that's not the least of it: how to spell Mycenaean and the plural of octopus.