Friday, September 2, 2011

Something to roll your eyes at.

This started as me just posting a simple copy/paste of a chat log for a friend who happened to be curious about what happened. After all, sharing logs in SL itself is against the mighty Terms of Use, and as we all know, nobody would ever violate that.

This blog doesn't get a lot of traffic, it's largely unadvertised and only a few circles of people visit, but that's perfectly fine with me, I never intended for it to be anything more. The primary reason this blog was made was for me to have a place to put tutorials for people who ask me how to do something. For that, it works quite well, but it also makes for a decent place for me to rant when I feel the need.

Now, this post isn't entirely about the guy in the chat log, but it did happen to stir me enough to rant on a long time annoyance of mine and many other women. I've replaced his name in the logs so that this comes off as less of a personal attack on some idiot guy and more like the rant that it is. To get to the meat of this post, skip past log below.

This was completely out of nowhere, enjoy :P.

Chat Log:

[19:29] JustAnother DumbGuy: so I have something that I need to confront you about
[19:29] Vaelissa Cortes: I hope it's nothing too big, I don't really need more drama at the moment.
[19:30] JustAnother DumbGuy: I'm not about to profess my undying love for you if thats what you're worried about
[19:30] Vaelissa Cortes: Not exactly!
[19:31] JustAnother DumbGuy: yeah
[19:32] JustAnother DumbGuy: It is drama. but in a very stress free way. I dont care either way,
[19:32] JustAnother DumbGuy: I'm basicly at this point 100% convinced that you're a guy
[19:33] JustAnother DumbGuy: I dont care. I have no motive to tell anyone or make a thing about it, I still want to be your friend.
[19:33] JustAnother DumbGuy: you can even deny it
[19:34] JustAnother DumbGuy: but the point is... I'm not stupid
[19:34] Vaelissa Cortes: Well, that's interesting, but it's also not the case at all. If that's what you want to think, so be it, you have no basis to go by since you hardly know me. It doesn't change the truth.
[19:34] JustAnother DumbGuy: k
[19:34] Vaelissa Cortes: So, have fun with that.
[19:34] JustAnother DumbGuy: then we can go on that
[19:34] JustAnother DumbGuy: you misunderstand me
[19:35] JustAnother DumbGuy: I wont have fun with any of it
[19:36] JustAnother DumbGuy: I guess you cant see it from my point of view
[19:36] JustAnother DumbGuy: thats fine
[19:36] Vaelissa Cortes: No, I don't. You haven't said much from your point of view.
[19:36] Vaelissa Cortes: We hardly speak, you know next to nothing about me, so I don't see the logic.
[19:37] JustAnother DumbGuy: no logic
[19:37] JustAnother DumbGuy: hunch
[19:37] Vaelissa Cortes: that makes even less sense :P
[19:37] JustAnother DumbGuy: I'm more ray stanz, less egon spengler
[19:38] JustAnother DumbGuy: it endeed does make less sense
[19:38] JustAnother DumbGuy: indeed
[19:38] JustAnother DumbGuy: *
[19:39] Vaelissa Cortes: I figured that was what you meant
[19:39] JustAnother DumbGuy: thanks
[19:39] JustAnother DumbGuy: anyway
[19:39] JustAnother DumbGuy: so talk to me
[19:39] Vaelissa Cortes: About what?
[19:40] JustAnother DumbGuy: about your opinion on world economics?
[19:40] Vaelissa Cortes: boring subject
[19:40] JustAnother DumbGuy: =/
[19:41] JustAnother DumbGuy: I was being facetioud
[19:41] JustAnother DumbGuy: s
[19:42] JustAnother DumbGuy: no desire to speak to me now?
[19:43] Vaelissa Cortes: If you have something interesting to say, go for it. Otherwise, I don't appreciate unfounded accusations completely out of the blue from somebody I considered a friend.
[19:44] JustAnother DumbGuy: I'm sorry that what I said ended up hurting you, I never meant to
[19:44] JustAnother DumbGuy: BUT
[19:44] JustAnother DumbGuy: I stand by what I said
[19:45] Vaelissa Cortes: I'm not hurt so much as surprised by what kind of person you're turning out to be.
[19:45] JustAnother DumbGuy: how so?
[19:46] JustAnother DumbGuy: I think that ive been 100% honest with you
[19:48] Vaelissa Cortes: Well, as I said, we don't talk but briefly once every few weeks tops, you know next to nothing about me except for the small fraction I choose to share here in SL, I keep to myself, don't flirt with you, don't want anything from you or try to take advantage of anyone. I log in to build and relax largely by myself, and now it comes across as if you've suddenly decided to start obsessing over me or something.
[19:51] Vaelissa Cortes: So it seems as if you're unnecessarily putting too much thought into something that's a such trivial matter for no reason other than to satisfy your own random obsession.
[19:52] JustAnother DumbGuy: obsessing over you?
[19:52] JustAnother DumbGuy: I think thats a bit much
[19:52] Vaelissa Cortes: perhaps that's too strong of a word, but something like that.
[19:52] JustAnother DumbGuy: no
[19:52] Vaelissa Cortes: more like a random focused curiosity perhaps.
[19:52] Vaelissa Cortes: it doesn't really matter
[19:53] JustAnother DumbGuy: whatever
[19:53] Vaelissa Cortes: Anyway
[19:54] JustAnother DumbGuy: point is, you're a guy. I dont even care at all. thats the fucked up part. I couldnt care any less
[19:54] Vaelissa Cortes: The fact is, I'm not, think what you will.
[19:54] JustAnother DumbGuy: and its like I'm evil for even suggesting it
[19:54] Vaelissa Cortes: It's damn insulting is what it is.
[19:55] JustAnother DumbGuy: is it?
[19:55] Vaelissa Cortes: Do you honestly not understand people?
[19:55] JustAnother DumbGuy: ask yourself if I do
[19:55] Vaelissa Cortes: I don't think you do.
[19:56] JustAnother DumbGuy: think that then
[19:56] JustAnother DumbGuy: because I love you still
[19:56] JustAnother DumbGuy: you're my friend
[19:56] Vaelissa Cortes: whatever
[19:56] JustAnother DumbGuy: k
[19:56] Vaelissa Cortes: friends don't insult friends like that
[19:56] JustAnother DumbGuy: how did I insult you?
[19:57] Vaelissa Cortes: scroll up, you accused me of being something I'm not with zero basis.
[19:57] JustAnother DumbGuy: subjective
[19:58] JustAnother DumbGuy: as far as my accusatory statements
[19:58] Vaelissa Cortes: hardly
[19:58] JustAnother DumbGuy: they arent hostile
[19:58] JustAnother DumbGuy: let me ask you something
[19:59] JustAnother DumbGuy: you know what
[19:59] JustAnother DumbGuy: nevermind
[19:59] JustAnother DumbGuy: beta state
[20:00] JustAnother DumbGuy: yer offensive
[20:00] JustAnother DumbGuy: and mad
[20:01] Vaelissa Cortes: I'm annoyed at somebody I thought was a calm, nonjudgemental person I could actually talk to coming off like yet another of the endless amounts of idiot men I have to deal with on a regular basis.
[20:03] JustAnother DumbGuy: thats where you fucked up then. I am a calm, nonjudgemental person YOU just freaked out
[20:03] JustAnother DumbGuy: so calm down
[20:04] Vaelissa Cortes: I'm being calm enough, try reading it in a calmer voice in your head or something. Apparently you don't understand women very well or understand how false accusations from friends can get on a person's bad side.
[20:04] JustAnother DumbGuy: I'm 34 and I get women just fine
[20:04] JustAnother DumbGuy: shall I wake up my GF and ask her ?
[20:05] Vaelissa Cortes: I don't really care, this conversation has dragged on too long.
[20:05] JustAnother DumbGuy: YOU
[20:05] JustAnother DumbGuy: are aiming your frustrations
[20:05] JustAnother DumbGuy: at me
[20:06] Vaelissa Cortes: I attempted to answer your "how so" question
[20:06] JustAnother DumbGuy: you apparently failed
[20:06] Vaelissa Cortes: Seems so, oh well
[20:06] JustAnother DumbGuy: so why this level of denial?
[20:07] JustAnother DumbGuy: this is like moon landing level of conspiracy theory shit
[20:07] Vaelissa Cortes: what denial? That I'm not a guy? I just tried to answer your "how so" question a bit too in-depth, I think.
[20:07] Vaelissa Cortes: It's really not hard to grasp though
[20:07] Vaelissa Cortes: I'm not going to argue with somebody on the internet who doesn't believe I am what I am. It's retarded, regardless of who it is.
[20:07] JustAnother DumbGuy: k lol
[20:08] Vaelissa Cortes: So goodbye, good luck with your business and what not.
[20:08] JustAnother DumbGuy: hey
[20:08] JustAnother DumbGuy: dont be like that. its not becomming of you
[20:08] JustAnother DumbGuy: is that how you want to be?
[20:09] JustAnother DumbGuy: seriously
[20:09] JustAnother DumbGuy: man or woman, are you a prick? or are you human?
[20:09] Vaelissa Cortes: As I said, I don't need more drama at the moment. You really need to sit back and think about what you're saying.
[20:10] JustAnother DumbGuy: I am thinking about it
[20:10] JustAnother DumbGuy: how man years has it been?
[20:10] Vaelissa Cortes: many?
[20:10] JustAnother DumbGuy: many*
[20:10] Vaelissa Cortes: I don't know, many I guess?
[20:10] JustAnother DumbGuy: look
[20:10] Vaelissa Cortes: and how many times have we actually spoken in those years? What? 10 times?
[20:10] JustAnother DumbGuy: stop taking it so seriously
[20:11] JustAnother DumbGuy: more
[20:11] JustAnother DumbGuy: see
[20:11] JustAnother DumbGuy: the part that truly amuses me
[20:12] JustAnother DumbGuy: this will all go away
[20:12] JustAnother DumbGuy: but you'll remember this
[20:12] JustAnother DumbGuy: and be all mad
[20:12] Vaelissa Cortes: It comes off as a personal attack, you don't know me or know how much I'm tired of this kind of bullshit from people, mostly all men, you don't know how much I despise men in general and how I just would like to be able to have a friend that doesn't care what I am and who doesn't see things that aren't there.
[20:13] Vaelissa Cortes: If you ever want to apologize, send an IM to Vaelia Nitely. In the meantime, I'm muting you, goodbye.

Really? Not becoming of me? It's funny how people I've rarely spoken to and have shared very little with think they know anything about what kind of person I am. I won't remember this and be mad, I don't stay mad for very long since I am the type to mute and move on. I will, however, think back on this and giggle with my friends over yet another idiot who made a fool of himself. As for the apology, I don't care either way.

Most of that conversation was spent wondering what his point was and why he suddenly decided to start that with me out of the blue. It was only near the end where I started actually getting upset, despite how earlier text was interpreted.

I don't think he understands that suddenly deciding I'm a guy doesn't make me one. He can keep thinking that all he likes though, I really am fine with that. I still have a body that says otherwise and the people who actually mean something to me know otherwise. Nothing any dumb ass on the internet says will ever change this.

Anyway, here's the main rant...

I honestly think that many men on SL, various MMOs and online in general are missing the part of their brain that lets them see what complete assholes they're being. They just don't seem capable of grasping it.

This sort of thing is nothing new to me, but I do find it unfortunate that it sometimes takes a while for that side of a person to come out, as was the case for the individual above. Let me stress that over the years, I've gotten a *lot* IMs from horny menfolk who are quick to call me a guy the moment they understand I have no interest in them. Or, often if I just don't feel like I need to validate myself for some random stranger I just met on the internet. It is an issue with Second Life in particular due to the types of people it attracts.

Still, the guy above has never really been the sort of pers...

[3:41] JustAnother DumbGuy: to be honest, I'm just as sexually motivated as any guy out there.
[3:41] JustAnother DumbGuy: and also to be honest, you sexually motivate me lol
[3:44] JustAnother DumbGuy: the problem that I see is that since I can remember, you fit exactly the type of woman that attracts me.

Oh, right, I had forgotten about all that.

...but back to the point I'm trying to make.

See, the thing is, proving I am who I am is the easy part, but my problem is I shouldn't feel like I have to do so. Women shouldn't have to feel forced to verify that they are who say they are, especially when they've never expressed any interest at all in being anything other than a normal friend. Gender should not matter. I tend to be rather private, so unless I'm comfortable around somebody, I'll only reveal the most basic of details. Who are they to make any sort of demands? What's in it for me? Getting to talk to a shallow, desperate and lonely guy? I'm not seeing the motivation.

Why should women exclusively have to submit themselves to the approval of random males, just so said male can feel comfortable having a conversation, regardless of its context? We certainly don't owe it to anyone.

Is it that these guys are just insecure? Do they all have the mentality of a homophobic little boy and want to feel comfortable about that feeling in their pants they get when they're around the opposite sex? Are they really that desperate to flirt? What makes them assume we would want to with them in the first place?

Can't women just log in, talk, play a game and have fun without being pestered by retards? That's really all I want to do. Automatically assuming everyone is male is insulting, women make up a significant portion of the population, you're bound to run into one of us sometime!

I've also noticed that the more knowledgeable a woman is about "geeky" topics, and the more intelligent she is in general, the more likely it is that her gender will come into question...and if, god forbid, a woman happens to be comfortable with her sexuality, it's an instant red flag.

Do so many guys just expect women to be both dumb and prudish? Times have changed, women have far more interests than they used to and know just as much or more than many men who share the same interests. The pathetic thing is, this intimidates many men; they don't want a woman to be smarter than them in any area. They need to feel like they have some sort of dominance, that they're somehow better. It's primitive and stupid.

That, "there are no women on the internet" thing got old a long time ago. Many guys seem to think it's a cute thing to say any time they see a woman online, but chances are she is tired of hearing this every time she meets a new group of people. Knock it off, you're not being original or funny, it's not cute and makes you look like an ass.

If a guy can prove he isn't an immature, insecure, homophobic little prick that doesn't focus on gender (you know, an actual man), I'll happily prove I'm female. In the meantime, women shouldn't have to validate themselves for anyone.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Adding a custom stamp to sculpt maps.

Sculpted prims have been around for quite a while now, and it is widely known that you can hide the sculpt map from view by applying a transparent layer mask to the sculpt texture itself. While doing this is an effective method to protect sculpt maps from prying eyes, simply making the sculpt texture invisible is also very boring.

Today I'm going to teach you how to spice it up a bit! This is something I've seen people ask about every now and then and thought a tutorial was long overdue.

First off, we'll need a sculpt. Here is one I quickly made in Blender for this tutorial...I don't know what it is suppose to be either.

Here is the actual sculpt map:

Now that we have something to work with, let's open it up in The Gimp. It will look like this:

Next comes the important part. Go to the "Layers, Channels, Paths etc." window and right click the layer with your sculpt map, if you don't have anything else in the image (which you shouldn't at this point), it will simply be the default "Background" layer.

The menu that pops up has a large selection of options, the one we want for this tutorial is half way down named "Add Layer Mask...".

Click this and a box will pop up with a few more options. The one we want this time is the second option on the list, which is "Black (full transparency)". Select this and click "Add".

Once you've done that, you'll notice that your image looks a bit different. If all has gone well, it will look like the image below.

Now, if you're happy with a boring blank sculpt map, right click the layer with the sculpt map texture and hit "Apply Layer Mask", then save the sculpt as a .tga file and you will be done! However, if you wish to make your protected sculpt map look a little more interesting, keep reading.

The next step is to make a new image with the same aspect ratio as your sculpt map. Ideally, it will be the same size too (64x64 in this case), but that is not necessary at this point. Next to the "Fill with" option, be sure "Trasparency" is selected, otherwise we won't get the effect we want.

Here, you can see the resulting blank 128x128 pixel image I have created.

Now comes the fun part! Set your foreground color to solid white, which has an RGB (Red, Green and Blue) value of 255, 255, 255 or an HTML notation of "ffffff".

Once this is done, you can be as creative with the image as you like, so long as you don't use any color other than solid white. If you want different shades, simply adjust the opacity of the layer.

Your sculpt stamp can be anything you want it to be, from something as simple as typing in your name and adding a logo in the background (which is what I do), to an elaborate custom drawn design, the choice is up to you. Just keep in mind that you don't want to add too much detail since the image will have to be scaled down in the end.

Here is what I came up with after a short while:

As you can see, it is a rather simple, yet effective design. Once you have something you are happy with, I strongly suggest saving the sculpt stamp as a .tga image so it can be easily copied for use with other sculpt maps later on. It may also be worth saving it as a project file (.xcf for The Gimp) in case you want to go back and make some changes to your stamp later on.

Since the sculpt map for this tutorial is a 64x64 image, I have scaled down the sculpt stamp to be 64x64 as well. If for some reason your sculpt map is a different size (for example, an oblong sculpt), scale your sculpt stamp accordingly.

Here is the stamp scaled down to 64x64:

Now that we have a completed sculpt stamp, it is time to add it to our sculpt map, but before that, there is one more step that may have to be done.

If you've used multiple layers to create your stamp, like I have, you will have to merge them together before exporting it directly from the Gimp project file. Otherwise, you can simply copy it from the previously saved .tga file without having to merge any layers.

Merging layers is easy, simply right click any of the layers in your sculpt stamp and select "Merge Visible Layers...", which is the next to last option in the list. If you've done things like rotate text, or have any layers which overlap the 64x64 work area, select "Clipped to image" in the pop up window, then click "Merge".

Once your sculpt stamp is ready, copy it by going to the "Edit" menu and selecting "Copy" or by hitting the CTRL + C keyboard shortcut. Now, go back to the window with your sculpt map and paste your stamp in by going to "Edit" and selecting "Paste" or with the CTRL + V keyboard shortcut.

If all went well, it should look like this:

We're almost done! The next step is to anchor the newly pasted layer, there are three ways we can do this. The first is by going to the "Layer" menu and selecting "Anchor Layer", the second is by going to the Layer window, right clicking the layer itself and selecting "Anchor Layer" and the last is my preferred method of just pressing the keyboard shortcut CTRL + H.

Great! All that is left is to right click on the layer and select "Apply Layer Mask", which is halfway down the list.

Now just save that as a .tga image and upload it to Second Life! Here's the resulting sculpt map in-world with its shiny new protective stamp:

Ta da! Wasn't that easy? Once you're used to the process, this can easily be done in just a few moments.

Here's a quick rundown:

Open the sculpt map texture, add layer mask.
Open the sculpt stamp, copy it.
Paste the sculpt stamp into your sculpt map.
Apply layer mask.
Save as .tga.

I hope this tutorial has helped a few of you!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Old news.

The post here was about an old topic of no current significance, it has been removed to clean things up a bit. If you wish to read the original post, please feel free to view the backup posted on a fan's tribute blog linked below.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Old news.

The post here was simply rant about some annoying things that had occurred, it has been removed to clean things up a bit. If one wishes to view the original post, please feel free to view the backup which was kindly provided by a commenter below.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Gimp Tutorial: Cutting an image from a solid color background.

This is something I've seen people ask about a lot, so I thought I would write up a tutorial on how to do it. The usual answer people give is to use the smart select tool, but there is a much better and easier way to get the desired result. So with that said, I present to you my first tutorial! Be sure to click the images for larger versions.

First you have to take your picture, I suggest starting with a high resolution snapshot since it makes working with finer details easier. You can find this option in Second Life under the Advanced (previously Client) menu. If you don't have this menu, hit Ctrl + Alt + D on a PC, or Opt + Ctrl + D on a Mac to show it and enable said feature. Now your snapshots will be much larger, just remember to turn this function off if you don't need it since the resulting screenshots also have a larger file size, which may be a concern for some of you.


If you are taking a screenshot of an avatar, you should also turn off foot shadows, which can be done by pressing Ctrl + Shift + F5.

Now, open your image in The Gimp and select the part you need. Once you've done that, hit Ctrl + C to copy it, then go to Edit > Paste As > New image.

After you've done that, select the Color Picker Tool and click the solid color you wish to remove, it will now appear as the foreground color in the main Gimp window. Click that and you will see the HTML notation of the color you just selected. Highlight that notation and press CTRL + C to copy it, since we'll need it.

Totally didn't crop the image.

The next step is to go to Layer > Transparency > Color to Alpha. You will see a box pop up with "From: *Color Box Here* to alpha. Click that color box and color picker window will pop up with another HTML notation field. This is where we paste (Ctrl + P) the color value we just copied.

If all went well, your image should look like this:

If it is not transparent, be sure your image is not on the "background" layer, since for some reason The Gimp doesn't let you make that transparent. If that is the case, just duplicate the layer, delete the Background and try again.

You image should now completely lack the color you selected. What we want to do now is add that color back to the proper bits. To do this, create a new layer named "Solid", and do File > Fill with FG color, which should still be your selected color.

Place this new "Solid" layer under your alphaed picture, it should now look just like it did before we started!

Go back to your picture layer and right click the image, click Layer > Transparency > Alpha to Selection. This will fill your image with the "marching ants" selection effect. Press Ctrl + I to invert that selection and go back to the "Solid" layer.

Now things will start taking shape, with the inverted selection on the "Solid" layer, press Ctrl + X to cut it away from the image. You will now have a neat looking semi transparent layer under your picture. Duplicate the "Solid" layer and name the new layer "Transparent".


Next, go to the "Solid" layer again, right click the image and do > Layer > Transparency > Alpha to Selection, then Ctrl + I to invert the selection.

Now go to Select > Grow, type in "1" and hit ok. Doing this helps remove any background color leaking out from the sides of the final image as well as remove some weird artifacts that would otherwise show up when we change the alpha threshold.

The next step is to to go to Layer > Transparency > Threshold Alpha. Set the Threshold to zero and click ok.



It's looking good, isn't it? We could use it just fine as it is, but we made that "Transparent" layer for two reasons. The first reason is that with the "solid" layer shrunk by one pixel, having another semi-transparent layer under the picture gives the edges a softer look.

The second reason is that it lets us preserve the transparency for things like hair or lace. Check the image below, do you see the solid color showing through on the hair? We are going to fix that!

Select the "Solid" layer and have the other two layers on top of it visible so you can better see what you're doing. Using the Free Select tool, zoom in and select the bits that should be transparent and cut them out with Ctrl + X as you go along.

That's much better!

Once you have cut away the bits that should be transparent from the "Solid" layer, merge all visible layers, save it as a .tga file and you're done!

Yay, done!

I hope this helps whoever may need it, good luck!