Grid Expectations

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Return of a classic favorite: LAQ Glow Lacie

Well, I meant to blog about the re-release of the Lacie skins at LAQ as Glow skins a while ago now, but life has been rather hectic over the past week.  (Just thinking about how crazy things were is making me tired again!)  Better late than never, though, right?  🙂

The Lacie skins are available in four skintones, and each skintone comes with eight makeups.  You get two versions of each makeup:  bald, and hairbase for wearing with certain hairstyles.  There’s a lot of pretty details on Lacie, but the part I love about this particular skin most are her eyes:  she has deep set eyes that are framed by nicely done brows that aren’t too thick or too thin, but just right.

Anyway, enough talk… let’s just get on to the pics 😀

LAQ Glow Lacie milky

Glow Lacie milky makeups

LAQ Glow Lacie fair

LAQ Glow Lacie fair makeups

LAQ Glow Lacie peach

LAQ Glow Lacie peach makeups

LAQ Glow Lacie nougat

LAQ Glow Lacie nougat makeups

You can click on the images above to see (much) larger versions of them on my flickr stream. Visit the Laqroki sim (Laqroki 154, 67, 23) to try demos of the skins.

On a side note, I never thought I’d see the day where I’d drop over 1k on a single pair of shoes in SL. Ever. But omg, I did! I splurged on a pair of Maitreya Gold shoes and I am 100% free of buyer’s remorse. These shoes boast prim toes/feet and the designers included skin presets/notes so that you can match them to most major designer skins. They’re fabulous so I *had* to show them in one of my pics 😀 ❤

Other credits… >> in the milky tone image
Hair – LAQ Claudia
Top – fri.day basic cami
Shorts – fri.day denim shorts

>> in the fair tone image:
Hair – Exile Voodoo
Dress – LeeZu freebie
Shoes – Maitreya Gold Salience

>> in the peach tone image:
Hair – 69 Q.B.
Jacket – Aoharu Black short jean jacket
Bikini – Last Call Yelena gold bikini
Tattoo – Aitui Fuse
Jeans – Gearshift Maverick jeans

>> in the nougat tone image:
Hair – LAQ Imani
Top – Last Call Tatienne lacy shirt
Bag – =E.M.A.=

August 25, 2009 Posted by | Fashion, Skin | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

LAQ Glow Jessica skins

Mallory Cowen of LAQ (a.k.a. Laqroki) has released her latest installment in the Glow Skins series. Say hello to the beautiful Jessica 🙂 Glow Jessica skins come in four different skintones. For each skintone, you get a pack of eight makeups. For each makeup, you get two brow color options, blonde and brown.

And now, on to the pics! I’ll refrain from writing too much, and will just let the pics do the talking. Larger versions of these images are on my flickrstream, and there will be NSFW pics after the cut:

Glow Jessica milky tone

Glow Jessica milky makeups

Glow Jessica fair tone

Glow Jessica fair makeups

Glow Jessica peach tone

Glow Jessica peach makeups

Glow Jessica nougat tone

Glow Jessica nougat makeups

I’ll admit, the most important thing for me in a skin is the face and so that’s almost always what I focus on, but the skins in the Glow line deserve a look from head to toe.  NSFW pics to follow after the cut…

Continue reading

August 13, 2009 Posted by | Fashion, Skin | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

FINALLY… beautiful sculpted skates for SL!

I’ve been looking for nice-looking roller skates in SL for a long time, like really nicely textured and sculpted ones, and I’ve even sent notecards to a couple of shoe designers who weren’t interested in making any ;__;  I know I’ve asked pestered Gogo several times over the past year or so if she knows of any nice roller skates, but the conversation would always end the same way:  we’d both agree that no one had yet made any traditional roller skates that were also good-looking sculpts.

Almost a week ago, however, Gogo IM’d me to ask if I’d seen the new skates ad from Pixel Mode. She passed me a copy of the ad and then I pretty much just said something stupid like AHHHH  YAYYY back to her. Here’s why:

Seriously, how can you look at that and not think, MUST HAVE!? 😀 So, I ran over to Pixel Mode, stared at the vendor in admiration for a while (Tya Fallingbridge made this cool discotheque-ish set-up for it) and then paid my L$450 for the most beautiful sculpted roller skates I’ve seen yet in SL.

The shape of the boots, wheels, toe stops, and laces are really nicely done. The tongue part of the boots kind of extend upward and the laces are left undone. When you click the skates, a blue dropdown menu lets you change the colors of the sheels, toe stopper, and laces.

As the ad states, your purchase includes two pairs of skates; one white and one black. For each pair, there are actually three skates included: one for your left foot, and two for your right foot. One of the right-footed shoes is scripted with a skating animation, while the other one isn’t scripted at all so that you can use another AO with your skates.

You are definitely going to want to use a different skating animation HUD, or AO, or whatever, because the one simple skating animation included isn’t that great; I wasn’t thrilled with the way it made my arm completely cut into my av’s torso:

i don't like this skating animation

The skates are No Modify, which means you cannot drop a different skating animation into the shoe.  This being the case, you pretty much have to use a separate HUD/AO.  I did a bit of shopping around to see what other skating HUD and AO choices are out there; the only one I could find was the L$650 rollerblade AO sold at Sine Wave. You can call me cheap if you like, but I’d already spent L$450 on the skates and didn’t feel like dropping another L$650 to have a decent skating animation.

So, what to do?  Well, I’ve had Skoopf skates since 2007, though. (Heck, who doesn’t have Skoopf skates?!) It’s easy enough to use the script and animations from your Skoopfs to create your own makeshift skating HUD to go with your Pixel Mode Roxy Rollers.  If you’re not familiar with how to go about doing this, here are some quick and super-easy steps, complete with pictures 🙂  This will take maybe two minutes to do, and your result will be like this:

Click on the images to see bigger versions of them on my flickr stream.

1.  Drag your right-side Skoopf skate from your inventory, to the ground.  You want the right side because this is the one that carries all the scripts and animations.  Right-click the skate and select Open from the wheel menu, and select Copy To Inventory.

Makeshift Skate HUD 01

2.  You should now have a folder in your inventory called Skoopf Ultra Roller Skates (Right), or something like that.  You can go ahead and delete that right-footed Skoopf skate you had rezzed earlier, and don’t worry about losing it because it should be a copyable object.

3.  Now rez a cube prim, and rename it to whatever you want your HUD to be called; I chose to name mine Melanie’s Skate HUD and textured it with one of my favorite pics.  Drag all of the items from that Skoopf Ultra Roller Skates (Right) folder into the Contents tab of your cube prim.  Be sure to double check and make sure all of the scripts, animations, and notecard have made it into the cube.

Makeshift Skate HUD 02

4.  Right-click > Take the cube you’ve created.  It will now appear in your inventory, in your Objects folder.  Go ahead and move your HUD into the same folder as your Roxy skates to make it easier to find later.  Now right-click the HUD object in your inventory, select Attach To HUD from the contextual menu that appears, and then select Top Left to attach the HUD to the upper left corner of your client.  (Or you can attach it elsewhere, whatever your preference is.)

Makeshift Skate HUD 03

5.  Your client screen should now look something like this:

Makeshift Skate HUD 04

6.  You can reposition and resize the HUD to better fit into that spot by right-clicking the HUD and then using the prim-editing interface.  After moving and resizing my HUD, this is what it looks like on my client:

Makeshift Skate HUD 05

Now you’re all set!  And since your HUD is made of a single cube prim, you can make it as tiny and unobtrusive as you want (I personally hate having a lot of HUDs cluttering up my view).  Click your HUD once and the blue dropdown should appear that will let you turn it on, and now you’ve got all those Skoopf skating tricks ready to be used.

If you don’t own any Skoopf skates and would like to use the scripts and anims for your Roxy Roller skates, you can pick up a pair at the little vendor in front of Caroline’s Jewelry, which is right across the way from my store.  If I recall correctly, they’re L$75.

There is a completely free alternative, too.  TP in to Abranimations, and you should see a freebie board near the landing point.  One of the freebie items is a pair of roller skates. These Abranimations freebie skates work in such a way that you must use the included HUD in conjunction with the skates, though, so you will need to attach two objects instead of just one. Overall, I personally prefer the Skoopf script/anims. ^_^

Now all we need is for Pixel Mode to make some nice, traditional-looking ice skates for us… 😀

Other credits…
Hair – Truth Linda
Tank top – Mon Amie group gift
Shorts – Maitreya (older item, might not be available anymore)
Socks – Lulu
Sculpted Noobs – Art Laxness Noob Pack (zombie noob is a mod made by a friend)

July 17, 2009 Posted by | Fashion, Machinima, Shoes | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

loreena and michael

My friend Brianna recently released a new skin named Loreena at her store, Le Pinceau. I think this time around, my favorite makeup is #03, with it’s bright pink lipstick and silvery, slightly smoky eyes. I thought the makeup on #00 was interesting; well, I suppose “makeup” is the wrong word since it’s a mostly nude look but she has sort of a flesh-toned lipliner on.

Clicking on the image will take you to a larger version on my flickr:

le pinceau loreena

Their 75% off sale is still going on, too, so if you’ve been curious about their new store now’s the time to take a look!

While I’m on the subject of skins, L’oring or Lazolli skins (or both? I am a little confused as to what the official name of the brand is, honestly) has a Michael Jackson skin that is probably the best one I’ve seen on the grid thus far. I never really paid much attention to the skin other than to think “wow good likeness” in passing.

Last night, though, while cruising around I saw the avatar name MichaelJackson —— pop up on my Mysti radar. Out of curiosity, I sought him out and said hi, and admired the likeness he’d achieved thus far. (I’m usually really shy about approaching people, but I guess the faux celebrity thing was too interesting for me to just pass by ^_^)  I recalled the L’oring (or Lazolli! lol) skin, so I asked him if he wanted to check it out. We headed to L’oring/Lazolli and this is how it looked on his av:

skin shopping with michael jackson av

😀 He tried on the shape demo that was offered at the store, but we both agreed his shape was a lot better. Then we did the Thriller dance, haha. A friend of mine recently gave me an attachment that plays a Thriller soundbyte while animating your avatar with the dance from the Thriller music video… it’s fun. If you want a copy of it to share with your friends, let me know and I’ll toss one to you! Just IM me, my name is Melanie774 Kidd. Here’s a quick vid of the attachment at work:

P.s.  RIP, Michael Jackson.

Other credits…
In my pic with MJ (sorry, I don’t know where he got his stuff):
My hair – Exile Rayne
My skin – Laqroki Claudia
Tube top – Tres blah (this is pretty old, not sure if it’s still available)
Shorts – Aoharu

In my video:
Tank Top – Mon Amie group freebie
Shorts – Maitreya (also pretty old and not sure if it’s available)
Socks – Lulu
Roller Skates – Pixel Mode

July 16, 2009 Posted by | Fashion, Machinima, Skin | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

bare rose’s silent heart

I haven’t been to Bare Rose in a long time because, frankly, my old laptop did NOT like that sim.  I’m happy to report that’s changed 😀

I went there to go pick up some cargo pants I saw on a friend, by my attention was quickly diverted by all the playful cyberpunk, goth, and fantasy outfits.  You know, as much as I love the great textures on mainstream clothes that we can find in SL, sometimes it gets boring and I want to play with looks I’d not wear in RL.  I forgot just how MUCH Bare Rose offers, and in so many colors, for so little L$!  I’m not sure that there’s any outfits there that costs more than L$200, so it’s easy to get carried away in there if you’re not careful.

I picked up an outfit called Silent Heart and I looooooove it, I don’t want to take it off:

silent heart 01 silent heart 02

There are a lot of prims and it’s all No Copy, so be sure to hop on a posestand and take your time with editing them to fit. Here’s what’s under the flowing prim skirt:

silent heart 03 silent heart 04

The outfit actually does not come with the fishnet parts and nipple tape.  The nipple tape is from some old store that has been closed for a long time, now, but I believe that Dark Eden has some, as well as Juicy.  The fishnet comes from an outfit called Belted that I got from Winter Moon quite a while back, too, so I’m not sure if that’s still available.  I wore the outfit without those items in the last pic; be prepared to have at least some of your nipples bared if you choose to wear the outfit without anything underneath.

silent heart

I think the mouth covering mask is one of my favorite parts, hehe.  The sculpted part around the collar also emphasizes your avi’s neck; it looked great paired up with my new Grazia hair in the night color from Truth.

Silent Heart was less than L$200, and for your money you get the outfit in black, red, and pink.  ^_^

Credits:
Hair – Stringer Mausoleum
Skin & Boots – Laqroki
Eyes – The Body Politik
Piercings – Mela’s (my store :p )

July 6, 2009 Posted by | Fashion | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Penelope at Le Pinceau

One of my friends Brianna Stenvaag and her partner Mogan Bezner are the designers behind the store Le Pinceau, and they recently released a new skin named Penelope. Prior to this Brianna has released an asian skin called Mei Mei that’s really cute, as well as another skin named Frida, but I think Penelope is my favorite from her so far!

Here is Penelope in Light Tan; this skin comes with seven fresh looking makeups.  Maybe it was because I was in a bit of a retro mood after picking up one of the new high-waisted hawaiian print bikinis from Artilleri, but my favorite Penelope makeup of the moment is 5, with it’s bright red bombshell lipstick and light dusting of pale blue eyeshadow.  You can click the images to view larger versions on my flickr page:

le pinceau penelope

Brianna and Mogan also offer some very beautiful eyes; I always admire them on Brianna whenever I see her.  They’ve got a whole bunch of colors and so I’ve decided to show just my favorites here, but there’s a lot more you can choose from when you visit the shop.

LP eyes blue 2

LP eyes blue 1 LP eyes lavendar 2 LP eyes turquoise 2 LP eyes honey 2 LP eyes green 1 LP eyes grey 2

You can check out La Pinceau on the Lost Sailor sim:  Lost 20Sailor 156, 102, 29

Credits for skin image:
Hair – Laqroki Fallen
Hair flower – G-field hibiscus

July 5, 2009 Posted by | Fashion, Skin | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Laqroki knee high boots

Note:  All images are straight out of SL, except for cropping.  I loooooooove Windlight!!!!!

Winter DiPrima of Laqroki recently released some new knee-high boots, and I’m loving the look of them!  I’ve had them for a few days and I’m already getting some pretty good mileage out of them.

Empress & Hierophant

I realize the picture above isn’t the greatest for showing off the boots, but I couldn’t not show this because the beige ones go really nicely with the Last Call Dominica outfit and it’s signature Last Call decolletage. Yay for equestrienne sexiness!

But okay, here are some pics that are more close-up, and as always, you can click the images for larger versions on my flickr page:

LAQ knee high boots silver LAQ knee high boots back

LAQ knee high boots

These boots are a little different from most other boots I’ve seen in SL, because the boot itself is in one piece (not one prim! lol sorry), so you don’t have that odd joint issue at the ankle, which I think may have been necessary given the placement of the buckle and strap on this design. As far as texturing and shape goes, I think these pictures speak for themselves; they look beautiful and realistic.

LAQ knee high boots colors

The boots are sold with Copy/Mod permissions, which is really awesome for getting a good perfect fit. I did a little bit of editing to fit the boots to my shape, and I think it took me maybe 2 or three minutes to do both sides. I actually forgot to show one more color in the shot above; in addition to silver, black, red, white, and beige, the boots also come in brown.

These boots are located in Laqroki’s Apparel department.

Credits:

Skin – Yabusaka metallic skin (old freebie)
Glasses – PrimOptic
Outfit – Bare Rose
Guns – C-Tech Redemption

July 3, 2009 Posted by | Fashion, Shoes | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

subtle facial expressions

(Note:  you can click on all of the images for this post to bring up larger versions on my flickr page.)

About 99.9% of the time, I run my avatar around with a neutral expression on her face. When I’m taking snapshots, I’ll sometimes hit the Emote function in my MystiTool to get her to crack a big smile or some other fun facial animation:

SL facial animations

You can take the whole facial animation thing a step further with London Spengler’s Pandora FACE 2.0, which basically allows you to play two SL facial expressions at the same time, making for all sorts of possible combinations.

As much as I adore the facial animations that are available in SL, sometimes they’re a tad cartoonish for my purposes.  Just the other day, as I was setting up a picture of my av at a beach sim (Mori Pwani sim, my Plurk friend Lissa Pinion has now got me hooked on playing on the waves there) I realized I wanted my avatar to have a subtle, Mona Lisa-ish smile to go along with the looking-over-her-shoulder-at-the-camera pose.  To accomplish that, I decided to create variations on my avatar’s face shape and these are some of the results I got:

subtle expressions via slidersWhile working on editing my shape, I recalled talking with an SL photographer about a year ago on the subject of getting more facial expressions beyond the ones already built into SL.  Perhaps editing my face shape seemed like an obvious answer to me because I work with shapes a lot for my store, but it was something that had not occurred to him to try.

So, I figured I’d write about it on my blog, and share what sliders I edited to create my subtle facial expressions.  ^_^

To create my avatar’s melancholy expression, these are the sliders I edited:

Shape…
Eyes > Eye Opening:  slightly wider
Eyes > Outer Eye Corner: slightly more down
Mouth > Lip Width:  slightly narrower
Mouth > Mouth Corner:  corner down

Your eyebrows are also an important part of creating a facial expression.   (To edit your eyebrow shape, you must go into Edit Appearance > Hair > Eyebrows.)   These are the slider adjustments I made for my melancholy emote:

System Hair…
Eyebrows > Eyebrow Height:  slightly higher
Eyebrows > Eyebrow Points:  smoother

For my avatar’s stern expression, these are the slider edits I made:

Shape…
Eyes >   Eye Opening:  slightly narrower
Mouth > Lip Width:  slightly narrower
Mouth > Lip Ratio:  slightly more lower lip
Mouth > Mouth Corner:  slightly more corner down

System Hair…
Eyebrows > Eyebrow Height:  lower (i.e., I went from 77 to 92)
Eyebrows > Eyebrow Arc:  slightly less arced

For my avatar’s subtle grin, I made these slider adjustments:

Shape…
Eyes > Eye Opening:  slightly narrower
Mouth > Lip Width:  slightly narrower
Mouth > Mouth Corner:  slightly more corner up
Mouth > Lip Ratio:  slightly more lower lip
Chin > Jaw Jut:  very slightly more underbite

System Hair…
no changes

Those are only three examples, but that should give you a pretty good idea of what sliders you’d want to touch when editing your own shape for creating more subtle expressions.  (As a side note, it is for reasons like this that I stopped selling No Modify shapes in my shop.  Modify shapes ftw!)

While I was working on my shape edits, I was conversing with Gogo.  I asked her, “If you could order up new facial animations from Linden Lab, what would you ask for?”  A couple of the things that ended up on our list of emotes we’d like to see were a slight parting of the lips, and a pout.  I learned from our discussion that one way to accomplish the slight parting of lips effect is to enable Slow Motion animations in the Advanced menu, then hit the smile emote and try to catch your avatar in a snapshot right as the animation starts.  This can end up involving a lot of repeat attempts as you try to capture the right moment of the animation.

The SL client now has a lip sync function built in for Voice users, so this gives us even more options now.  ^_^  Using Voice, lip sync, and my edited expression shapes, here are some of the results I came up with:

shape plus lipsync

My favorites are the pouts with the slightly parted lips, hehe.  My friend Vivi told me that lip sync should be on by default for people using the 1.23 official viewer.  If you’re using an older viewer, you will need to go into your Advanced menu to turn that function on:

enable lip sync

Okay, so how exactly did I use Voice/lip sync to get those shots? Simple:  after enabling the lip sync function and wearing my newly edited expression shapes/brows, I put Weezer on my WinAmp player and parked the microphone next to the speaker, lol.   The music over the mic caused my avatar’s speech animations to start up, and I was able to capture quite a few interesting results.  That’s pretty much it!  Perhaps one day some clever scripter will be able to come up with a HUD that takes advantage of all the possible mouth animations that lip sync utilizes, making this even more easy to accomplish…

P.s.  On an entirely unrelated note, I am really digging this new Anna hair that I’ve bought from LeLutka.  It kind of reminds me of the way your hair will look after you’ve spent the day at the beach ❤

Credits:
Skin – Laqroki Kira
Hair – LeLutka Anna
Eyes – Exodi Twilight Anger
Hair flower – G-Field Hibiscus crystal pink

July 3, 2009 Posted by | Fashion, Photography | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments