Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Coming of Mesh (or mess-h, or meh-sh, depending on how you look at it)

It has been quite some time since I've blogged anything thats been happening with Rustica, so much so that it is hard to know where to begin! It has been a hard year in SL for so many people I know, for all of us it seems. In my last post I spoke about my experiments over in Bluemars, which has since gone completely off the radar in pursuit of developing an app for iOS mobile devices. Since November I have been back in SL, as many of you know, continuing to develop several large sets of furniture, several new houses and working on a variety of large events and expos as well as several appearances and articles with prim perfect.

My time in Bluemars, while not what I hoped or expected, was extremely beneficial as both a way to learn and prepare for the eventual release of mesh in SL, and as a wonderful form of "art therapy" for me, which was much needed at the time. Zen is your hands in the dirt, as the saying goes, and Bluemars was an excellent garden to experience new tools, new technology and return to designing just for the sake of design. It was an amazing experience, the cryengine helping me take my designs to very new places.

In returning from that therapy, I realized I needed to get back to the joy and simplicity of designing which brought me to SL in the first place. I also realized that after 4 years I wanted very much to take a break from doing furniture and houses. In February of this year I decided to do something which I had wanted to do since I started my first shop on the mainland; To design a mens and womens line of clothing and accessories. (In fact, I almost chose that market instead of furnishings!) In sorting out how I could go about this, I realized that it would be best to separate this new product line from Rustica completely, rather than incorporate it into the castle and existing products. Thus I created a completely new line, and a new retail location which will be far above the castle on the Rustica sim. The mens label is called bastard and the womens label is called bitch; you can find the blog for them here:

The Runway

Rest assured I have not stopped producing items for Rustica. Indeed, I have several large projects already in progress. This is simply a much needed change of pace, something to refresh my work and recharge my creativity. Designing houses is often a very lengthy process, and I wanted to try something that allows me to create at a faster rate and see results in a more timely manner. This will, hopefully, be good for all my work and reflect in any items I design. It has already had a profound effect on me. This new store, the new market, and the inclusion of a new type of tool (mesh) is a radical departure for me, and already has had an excellent impact on me personally as a creative individual.

Item vendor spotlights

As you can see from the pictures of the new store, it is a radical departure from the experience one has as a visitor to Rustica, almost to the point of being an opposite; The castle encourages you to explore, to wander the many rooms, floors and tunnels. The clothing store, however, is a graphic and minimalist environment designed to allow for a low-lag, quick-rezzing visit where you are presented with space and depth, almost no store at all. It uses light and shadow to define the space, rather than heavy architectural sculpts and textures. The focus is on easily accessing the items you want to find in a visually dynamic space.

The center/landing point

The introduction of mesh has had a profound impact on the types of items I want to present. Though I have been part of the mesh beta program since prior to my experiments in Bluemars, I have been primarily focused on learning how to use it for the last several months. I had intended to introduce a variety of mesh clothing items in the new store. Unfortunately, due to the limitations of mesh as a worn object for the initial release, I will only be producing a limited amount of mesh clothing. It is impossible, because of the lack of adjustment
capability, to provide a product which I feel confident in supplying to my customers; It requires you to adjust YOUR shape to IT, rather than it being able to conform to your existing shape. At a later date LL has mentioned the possibility of including some type of deformer system to allow for customization of purchased mesh clothing and avatars, but it will not be included in the initial release. If you are interested in this problem at all, please consider adding your vote to the JIRA which I created requesting a mesh deformer. It has much more information on this problem, and your vote can help!

Bitch is on one side...

...bastard is on the other.

I want to say thank you to the many friends and customers who continue to support us; Without you, I could not have come to this point and could not do what I do. This has been a very hard year with so many closings, so many leaving SL. Rustica, however, is still here, still growing and there is much to come in the coming months. I am very optimistic about the future of SL, my personal future in it, and the many interesting things which are coming to SL this year, including the possibility of a tablet-based connection! Onward and Upward!