Torn Away by Tera

If you enjoy my blog here at Style Oven, you may have noticed that I don’t post as much as I used to.  My best friend in real life has actually gotten me hooked on a really fun mmorpg named Tera, and now, any free time I have away from shooting or designing has been spent unwinding in this vast, impressive, fantasy world.

The game is visually stunning.  These screenshots I’ve presented here really don’t do it justice.  Time and time again, my friend, Mhyja, and I were amazed at the environments that would unfold before us.  Bluehole studios really did do an amazing job with texturing and overall atmosphere.  It’s easy to get lost for hours in this game just wandering around on your mount and exploring.

Combat is actually very fun as well.  This, in all honesty, is my first MMO but since I’ve started I’ve tried playing the games Aion and Scarlet Blade as well.  I keep going back to Tera because Tera really makes me feel challenged.  The PVP system is so exciting when it’s a fair fight.  You really need to think quick or else die quick.

I was around before the game went F2P so I’ve seen a few things go not so well too.  Sadly, many of the exciting vanity items have gone to RNG chance boxes which means you usually pump a lot of cash in just to get what you want (not that SL users aren’t used to buying vanity gear).   You can earn gold in game, however, and buy off the broker so it’s not totally impossible to get things through grinding and not through RL green.

Overall, the game is really entertaining and an excellent experience, especially if you share it with friends.  Customer service could be much, much better but the game itself is entertaining and at times very challenging.  If you haven’t already, give Tera a try.  It’s a free to play adventure that will entertain for hours!

Ascending towards the Light

I have a few big sets built and ready to roll, but for some reason I didn’t feel like shooting anything style related tonight.  So that means we’re going exploring! ^^  I found this gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous art exhibit to photograph called “THE TOWER” by Rebeca Bashly.  From what I gather, the exhibit shows fears and phobias in a metaphorical, surreal manner.  As I first journeyed through the exhibit, I kept my windlight setting pretty basic, dark, and dull.  The exhibit really made me reflect on my past and some of the darker moments that I and those people whom I love have faced.  It was rather impactful.

But it made me long for a silver lining.  I’m tired of so many sad endings, lost second chances, and endless regrets.  I know so many people who live carrying baggage that they should really just leave beside the winding road.  Honestly, I’m carrying a few things I should toss to the roadside as well.

Altering the windlight settings for the exhibit really gave it a new meaning for me.  What I had seen before as dark and foreboding, now looked hopeful.  Each of Rebeca’s characters took on a new life in my eyes and I was able to see their fears and anxieties as something they would escape…something they would each overcome.

We all have struggles and hardships in our lives that can weigh us down in darkness.  It’s sometimes easier to think that surrendering is our best chance at anything even reminiscent of peace. That’s not how it has to be though.  If we just take a step back, tweak our windlight settings, and open our minds, we all have the ability to see that glow, no matter how faint it may be, piercing through a bit of the darkness that surrounds us.  Follow it, and both you and the glow will grow stronger.

Who knows? After a while, maybe we’ll even be able to smile in that darkness because we know the light is still there waiting.  We just have to find the courage to make the ascent.

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Take a Taxi to “THE TOWER”

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/LEA6/139/143/21

In the Right Light (NSFW Beyond the Cut)

Two of my best friends in SL, Coralizity and Mhyja Questi (the creative powerhouse behind BunnyStar), agreed to participate in a very sexy, themed shoot portraying Renaissance-inspired lovlies!  We had a blast and together we experimented with different windlight settings, calling them out over the telephone when we found something we liked.  What we experienced together was a fantastic journey though the many moods of Second Life lighting and how those windlight settings can really alter way your images are perceived.

WARNING: BEYOND THE CUT THIS BLOG ENTRY IS NSFW.

YOU WILL SEE SEXUAL THEMES & NUDITY. 18+ ONLY.

(Style card information is also located beyond the cut.)

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Alien: Crossover

I’m on an alien kick lately so hopefully you all appreciate a good extraterrestrial now and again ^^  Aliens have always been my biggest fear.  There’s something about a hostile intelligent being that isn’t quite human but still seems familiar  that terrifies me.  I used to pull the blankets over my head as a child thinking that the thin fibers would serve as an impenetrable hideout during their midnight invasions.

Everything I’m wearing is mesh.  Everything. Well, that killer gun by Utilizator isn’t but I honestly consider that a prop more than anything else.  My body, outfit, head, and hair are all mesh though!

The mesh face is new and by the creator LOGO.  I have grown pretty fond of it!  It doesn’t look like my usual characters but I think that’s a good thing.  It’s nice to have a change of pace.  The face is sculpted into one shape but the creator gave a really detailed HUD that allows you to change eyeshadow, eye color, brow color, blush, eye lashes, nose shading/texture, and even facial expressions!  At the bottom of this entry you’ll see multiple snaps of the expressions side by side.  It’s exciting to have a sculpted lip with teeth showing that doesn’t look terrible from the side.  Love that!

The only issue I have with the mesh face is that when I’m taking photographs I like to up all of my graphics and max out everything.  I personally find that this face looks best without atmospheric shaders on.  Once I flip everything on the nose tends to look wider and the nostrils look a bit jagged.  I’ve tried tons of different windlight settings to attempt to get the best results.  If you do want to shoot using the mesh face, I find that “Places Astryls Wild” without atmospheric shaders on looks fantastic.  It has a bit of a retro cartoon vibe.  The face looks like an old school pin up babe and she’s stunning ^^  (The side-by-side expressions screenshots at the end of this post have atmospheric shaders turned off.)

The mesh body/outfit is a mesh avatar set by FlexE.  The option I’m using is the clothed avatar without the head.  That way I could use the mesh head by LOGO.  It also works with the standard SL avatar head.  While I am really, really happy with the quality of this piece, I am a little sad it didn’t come with a no head option on the nude version.  I bought the avatar in world so at first I thought I was maybe just missing the headless option.  I checked online, however, and the creator, hhefestos, explains in their marketplace listing that this is because there is no way to custom match the body to the avatar’s head, but I would have loved to give it a try.  It’s one of my dreams to have a fabulous mesh body to use with my usual avatar head (or even a fabulous mesh one).  Nevertheless, I am very pleased with both my FlexE purchase and my purchase from LOGO.  It’s so exciting to see new mesh creations from talented designers and creators!

*Another photo, a video, and the style card are just beyond the cut:

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