Sunday, September 15, 2013



Yesterday, I awoke with a new idea for my virtual city. Since I’d sculpted a miniature group of buildings in the Plateau of Man Park the day before, I wanted to carry on the theme of more miniature groupings. This comes naturally to me. I grew up building miniature cities in the yard, and when later in life, I had no yard, I would draw cities on long rolls of paper, or sculpt ceramic buildings for aquariums. So why not do the same in Second Life?


It didn’t take me long to decide where to put this next mini city. The Medusa Locks neighborhood in the cliffs provides all sorts of ancient nooks and crannies for the unexpected. The area is riddled with convoluted paths, boring into the walls of the hillside as if planned by an earthworm. These short tunnels and little rooms effect a porous shell around the inner Library of Darkrodin, which is the large space at the core inside the hill. The area around an outdoor ramp linking two levels of the Locks seemed an ideal site. With a virtual trowel at hand (Prim Generator), and a large bristled paintbrush (Photoshop), I set to work.


The frog was taken from one of my past exhibits called Second Libations. She was a puppeteer in that show, and remains so in the Locks. Her fellow puppeteers were photographed so I did not have to use large numbers of prims in the construction of this sculpture. The strings from the handheld handle do not attach to people or animals however. The characters in this story are the buildings. The puppeteer manipulates the city itself, its structures, its roads, its vegetation.


As mentioned above, I used to build ceramic cities for gardens. I used a photo of one city I built in RL, and adjusted it in Photoshop. It is the city image you see on the background wall of the installation. To bring more depth to the flat texture, I used Prim Generator to make some buildings come out at us in 3D.


In the center of the above photo, you will see a couple glowing areas in the seawall.
The one most central is the Frog Puppeteer. You cannot miss her, she is to the left
of a ship which juts out from this seawall.

If you’d like to visit the location, it is in the city of Accentaury (the ACC Alpha sim). This is visible from the ocean while looking toward the Medusa Locks neighborhood. It is easy to find… a complex seawall of buildings topped with a domed structure as seen in the photo. The Frog Puppeteer is fairly central, and situated near the ship that protrudes from the seawall.