Archive | May, 2013

Materials for Dummies

25 May

Oh, THIS is a nice tutorial for Materials – using xNormal, though I’ll probably stick with the normalmap plugin in GIMP for now. Because I have to agree, the xNormal interface is as if a million user interface designers cried out in terror, and were suddenly silenced.
Or, it’s as if young Anakin Skywalker was handed a LeapPad to design his pod racer on, and then pulled it out to tweak a design on the Death Star decades later.


Time for another quick look at the new SL Materials Project viewer and another item from my personal toolbox: xNormal.

I think it’s easy to get the impression that using normal maps and specular maps is going to be just for the high-end users of 3D packages but nothing could be further from the truth. It’s possible to get some nice effects from the materials system without even touching something like Lightwave or Blender.

In this post I’m going to create a set of maps that can be applied to a prim to give its surface a more interesting look than just a single flat texture could. The example I’m using is a numeric keypad such as you’d find on a security door or safe. It’s something that you wouldn’t normally want to build in a complete mesh because it’s really not all that three dimensional, but a flat texture…

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Resources: Old Book Illustrations A Wonderful Repository Of Antique Ornaments

23 May

Own The Internets

It’s hard to find a nice, antique-looking blog theme, whether to use on your own self-hosted blog, or on a hosted site like I’ve cobbled together a few bits over the years, but needed something better to adapt in GIMP as a text-separator. I ended up modifying one I had, and overlaying a nicer one on top of it from Old Book Illustrations. There are some wonderful antique ornaments there, and they even have a meme generator:

This site is dedicated to providing our visitors with a wide range of illustrations scanned from old books. Most of these vintage pictures are originally wood engravings or woodcuts, fewer are etchings or metal engravings; if you are looking for nineteenth century or victorian clipart, you might just find it here. You are welcome to use our pictures in your school or educational projects, as well as in your artwork or in your scrapbook; you can also use them to make CD sleeves, banners, websites, etc.

According to the copyright laws in many countries, all illustrations in our galleries belong to the public domain and as such, they are free to use for personal and commercial purpose. They are suitable, for instance, for graphic designers to use, without the need of any prior authorization. For more details, please see our terms of use.

A high resolution set (approximately 2000 px in width or height, depending on the format) containing ten pictures, is available for download as a zip file. Its content changes every now and then.

via Welcome to » Old Book Illustrations: pictures scanned from old books.