Saturday, June 25, 2016


Second Life 13th Birthday.

The foreground build by Lilia Artis and me,
with the bright and delicious mega cake by Mikati Slade
extending into the background for miles and miles and miles.

     It's ENORMOUS, and filled with great curiosities. I've toured several times on the pod vehicles, as well as walking and flying around, and still have barely scratched the surface. There are art galleries, services, hunts, interviews, etc... a wide variety of exciting things to explore.
     Lilia Artis and I worked on a piece together. It's on the lower left corner of the sim "Captivate". Our theme is a variation of the Centaur Ball that we'd built for Fantasy Faire 2016. This being a build to celebrate the specialness of SL, we chose to highlight the warm experience we had when a good number of people gifted us with their arrival on our centaur sim as centaur avatars. I describe this in more detail in an earlier post about Fantasy Faire. It touched us very deeply, and we wanted to bring it back to some degree for the birthday celebration. Of course, we added new elements to it, and remodeled it extensively, so there was something fresh for the SL13B build.
     I highly recommend celebrating Second Life at its dedicated birthday sims.


Friday, June 17, 2016

MARINE GARDEN at Maze Gardens

The Marine Garden is not the first underwater garden at ACC Alpha sim. But it's
the most primmy! The other three submarine gardens have been
the unfortunate casualties of  widespread prim deletion,
to the end of needing those prims
for land development. 

     The old river running its course down the slope at Maze Gardens since 2010, had quite naturally ended in the sea. But not long after it appeared, the beginnings of the museum had begun. The base of the building, also started in early 2010, simply placed a low stone bridge over the river that now flowed under it. A wall blocked off the flow of the river, so once you walked under the bridge which supports the museum, you came to an anti dynamic end of the river: a little enclosed space without issue. For years I've wanted to address this area.

Standing at the new addition to the stairs, leading to the river.
The museum hugs this scene.

The Baroque Steps.
The flowing stairway extends itself right down to the river, where you can
now follow its flow into the ocean, and the Marine Garden.

     The past week or so, I've been remodeling many areas throughout the city of Accentaury. Maze Gardens sees the widening of its entry, a cypress tree lined allee, and hedges give more privacy at the plot called Centaur Garden. The stairs that introduced visitors into the terraced suite of gardens is now greatly expanded, sweeping down the gentle slope like a frozen lava flow. The stairway is entirely rounded to fit the surrounding architecture of the Topiary Fortress... that structure of retaining walls which supports Maze Gardens. The staircase is called Baroque Stairs. One of the key features of the Stairs is a small part which leads down to the river. It is the first indication of something worth wading into the water for. And this brings us back to the new Marine Garden.

Entering the first chamber of the Marine Garden with Fantasy Faire mural.

View within the Marine Garden. Advanced Lighting Model is turned on.

     Following the river under the old bridge which supports the Museum Court, we dip below the rushing surface ripples into the calm blue cast light of Linden water. An entry hall greets us with a ship mural of Poseidon's Abyss, the sim I'd build for Fantasy Faire 2015. Indeed, the floor itself is curved like the rounded hull of a ship... an abstract concept of ship wreck. Continuing on, we reach another tunnel, inside of which we get a view onto the main room filled with sea life and vegetation. It is very much a garden, as well as an art gallery. The double function by virtue of its location directly under the museum. In my opinion, ACC Alpha looks better without the ALM (Advanced Lighting Model) checked in preferences, but the Marine Garden is an exception. Last night I purchased a projector which beautifully covers the surfaces of the garden with animated light reflections... the kind you see in shallow waters or in a pool. If you are unfamiliar with ALM, it is simple to get there:
Open your Preferences (for me this is under my viewer's tab AVATAR). Then follow this path:
Graphics > General > then click the Advanced Lighting Model box. Wait about 10 or 15 seconds because your computer takes a breather as it registers the new setting... then you will see the checkmark appear in the box you ticked. Click the button "OK", and you are done. To get out of that setting, do the same proceedure, and uncheck the Advanced Lighting Model box, once the check disappears after a 10 or 15 second wait, then hit the OK button.

     There have been many additions applied to Maze Gardens recently, (as well as Equus fields near the Cabinet of Curiosities, by the way). Here is a map of Maze Gardens. They are also posted in various areas of the gardens.

The Marine Garden is not on the map because it's UNDER the Museum Court (A).
Just follow the river down, and you will naturally arrive there.

Update, June 18 2016:

     The largely abandoned garden under Paper Tower Court had suffered many of its prims being removed over time. But this space is not that far from the Marine Garden, so I decided to join them, and went about digging all day yesterday, to connect them. In order to get the prims needed for this remodel, about 50 prims were taken in at the Golden Corridor. Though that corridor has much less detail than its original look, the sparser plantings look clean and attractive still. With these available prims then, I was able to bring a garden effect to the large space below Paper Tower Court. The fantasy plantings are mostly by Elicio Ember of Cerridwyn's Cauldron, and the fantasy deer is the creation of Krystal Rabeni. Other of her deer are on land at Equus Fields (the fields that lead to the Cabinet of Curiosities).

Rejuvenated underwater garden beneath Paper Tower Court.
Krystal Rabeni's fantasy deer. Elicio Ember's plants and green slime river.