Oh Oberon, you so spooky!
A few days ago, I was thinking about how long I had been a part of the Second Life community. It’s been a really long time! Over 9 years! That is a long time to be a part of any virtual community.
It also got me thinking about how far the graphics have come! And that led naturally to the evolution of my Vedis Seid character. Below you will find a picture from one of her very first builds. This is not my first avatar, by far, but it is when Vedis became that black eyed beauty so many fell in love with.
2011? Yeah, that was a while ago, for sure. Layered clothing, and not much of it. She had already become a part of the Legacies 1981 sim in Secondlife at this point and was starting a very small brothel there. Legacies 1981 was a lovely little Victorian fantasy sim run by the amazingly innovative Trijin Bade. (His LARPs HUD was one of the few HUDs in Secondlife I can actually tolerate.)
Her story really blossomed in this sim and it is, hands down, one of the favorite stories I have told in Secondlife. She is one of the characters in the comic, though we will never know the fullness of her story there.
This character introduced me to some of the most wonderful of people, who helped shape my life in very real ways. Because of the importance of that I felt like I couldn’t truly leave her behind. So for the past few weeks I have been updating her, when I can.
Check out what she looks like now.
Oh, hello there.
Vedis has gotten an overhaul for sure! Mesh body (SLink Hourglass), ears (*~*Illusions*~* Fairy Elf Ears) and clothing (*Just BECAUSE* Venom Gown) makes a big difference. Those tentacles (Xoph’s Tentaculus Exoticus) are the same though I have changed the texture. The eyes (FATEeyes) I have had for several years now, but not back as far as the first picture. The horns are much more modest due to in character reasons. Maybe someday I’ll write that story out. If there is interest.
But the best part of her new look?
Her mesh head not only has facial expressions, but facial expressions that LOOK NORMAL. I have been waiting YEARS for that. The facial expressions with regular avatars are so limited it really made taking photos difficult if you were trying to express emotion with poses, rather than just fashion pictures.
Bento has added even greater benefit with the ability to curl fingers and have more realistic movement of tails and the like. I haven’t found a tail replacement for her yet, and sadly the tail she is known for looks horrible against this build. Even more than the tentacles they stick out like a sore thumb, so until I can find someone who can reproduce it with the Bento bones, I won’t use it.
Oh yeah, these photos look SO much better. Don’t you think?
I’m sure she has more stories to tell, she never could stay dead.
I finally got to get the photo-shoot for the next couple of comics done! I should have enough pictures for three pages at least.
Most of the timing issues were my fault, as I am unusually busy right now, so I am thankful that the model was willing to work with me on that.
So now I am pulling out the good photos, organizing them and getting them edited into a usable comic page!
The next page is coming soon!
When: Sunday, July 9th 2017
Where: Second Life
It has been over a thousand years since the Great Divide that split the continents and the creatures that lived upon them. The fae and humans have rebuilt their civilizations to the best of their ability on their long isolated landmasses.
Humans: Their numbers nearly decimated, it has been a struggle to regain the footing they lost during the downfall. Because of their relatively short life spans the fae have become subjects of myths and legends and most people have begun to focus on science to improve their life. The humans are now within the grip of an industrial revolution but they are beginning to realize their power sources are slowly killing them. Coal and oil has allowed them to build wild and strange machines but it is a dirty power source and the even the wealthiest people are beginning to suffer because of it’s slow creep of death and destruction across their lands.
Fae: Fae are long lived and powerful, though their memory is fickle. There are those who still remember human beings, though after a thousand years the details tend to blur. There are also many new fae who have never experienced the humans’ touch of mortality. They are a wary bunch, knowing there are creatures out there even more deadly than they are. They are creatures of magic so science has never taken root in their society. Why would they need it? Their magic does what ever they need it to do. If they cannot do the magic they need themselves, they certainly know of someone who can. Thus the Fae have tight knit networks of information. This is their true source of wealth. In a rigidly hierarchal society they can only move up in the ranks out of might or usefulness.
The Story: The humans need a better power source for the future of their survival so they begin to travel farther and farther from the ‘Civilized’ world. It isn’t until an intrepid group of Air Pirates are forced out into the vast expanse of the Great Waters as a last ditch effort to avoid certain doom that they discover the wondrous world of the fae, long thought lost. This is the story of the First Contact between human and fae after the 1000 year divide.
You have the choice of playing on the Fae side, or on the Human side. I will mark the professions that are chosen as they come in. First come first served.
Humans – Choose a profession:
Fae – Choose a power:
I will work with you to create your character before the game itself. Submit the form below and I will contact you directly.
Welcome to the first page of chapter 3! The crew is busy getting ready for their trip into town and it looks like they might have finally realized Elijah is missing!
That being said, I DID get a chance to work on the sim a bit more. Here are some teaser pictures of Vardala, the neo-victorian city back on Thessra. At this point I have just a few of the major landmarks laid out and some of the tenement houses lined up. No roads, no landscaping, no little details that make a city come alive.
But it’s a start, and it gives you a teaser to look forward to for when we get back to that part of the world.
What do you think?
Things are looking a bit rough here income wise. The future is uncertain, but you can help support this comic and keep it coming out on time every week by heading over to Patreon and donating. It is a once a month donation that will make all the difference!
We only have a little over $50 to go before the comic is self-supporting. We can do this! Be sure to share the comic with your friends and family. Let’s spread the word!
Some of the most fun, and time consuming, moments in the creation of this comic is the set up and photography sessions. I can spend several hours making sure the scene is just right so that I can get the photos I need.
Let me show you a bit of the work that goes into creating a comic page.
First, you have to have a world in which to set your stage. Recently I purchased half of a sim and have spent the last week or so building the world I need to have to fill all my needs. I am nowhere near done but Clio’s forest and the hovel that she lives in has been set up. While I am sure there will be some tweaking I won’t have to recreate it for each photography session.
Props and appearance of the avatar are also important. I have gone nearly all mesh in my build because it looks better in the photos. A few of my avatars are still not fully mesh, but many of the main ones are. The lines are smoother and they are more rounded. They also bend better, and while you still get some clipping, the clothing actually folds with the body rather than glides through the body like sculpted clothing did.
I should do a comparison between when I first started Second Life and the way it looks today. I’m sure many of you would get a kick out of it.
Poses and facial expressions can express more emotion than words can describe in many instances, and making sure that they are appropriate for each panel is key to making sure the reader gets the intent of that panel. I have several facial expression HUDs and mesh heads usually have some expressions built in too. I love the CATWA heads, their animators are great for photography because they allow you to animate the eyes and the lips separately or together. This makes things SO much easier for a perfectionist like me. This also usually takes the most time. Getting everyone set up and their faces emoting properly can take 15-30 minutes alone depending on the complexity of the scene and whether I’m using static poses or animations I have to wait to cycle.
Then with any good photography the lighting and angle of the shot will make or break all your hard work. Second Life has a lot of lighting options but usually I choose one that casts the right shadows and then edit the photos in Photoshop so that I can get the mood I want without having to flip through the several hundred lighting presets in the program itself.
I take a lot of photos each session, many of which will never be used, all searching for that perfect shot that I want to put into the comic. I love the feeling of “HA! Got it!” that you get when you know you have the one. It’s so rewarding!
You may have noticed that this is the first part of a number of posts. In the next post I’ll go over how I pick the perfect picture to use and some of what I do in Photoshop to make them a full fledged comic page.
Be seeing you!
I am still holding the first goal at $150 so that I can pay for this sim, but I can’t wait any longer to put it together.
That means I will be spending the next week or so building said scenes so that after the holidays I will be able to create the comic the way it was meant to be created.
I’M SO EXCITED!
I will be posting pictures of the progress here and on Patreon so stay tuned for some really amazing stuff!
That being said, because of this, there will be no comic this coming Tuesday as I build the set needed for the next page. Instead you will get flooded with in progress shots of the sim as I work on it.
Thanks for hanging in there with me!