Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Eyeballs in the sky

I have decided, with some trepidation, to update my image a tiny bit - specifically, by getting some new eyes.

Now, I operated for quite a while wearing only freebies, and operated pretty darned well, in my own opinion at least.  It's only fairly recently that I took the plunge and bought a set of skins, instead of wearing a set of (very good, by the way) freebies that I found at Tuty's & Mr. S.  (They don't seem to do that set any more, which is a darned shame.  At one point, Tuty's was my default place for sending new people off to get decent free skins and a pretty nice freebie AO.  They even had free skins in a range of ethnicities, which has always been a sore point with me - LL please take note: when the Nordic blondes tell you your virtual world is too whitebread, it is time to listen.)

But anyway.  I have, mostly, been looking at SL through a set of "Eyes - Blue-grey" that I think I found at Hyles infohub when I was about a month old.  And, when I happened to be wandering around the Ashraya Project fashion sim, and I happened to see a display of eyes for sale, I thought, what the heck, and went for some.

New peepers in place, I asked Tali for an opinion on them.  One of Tali's many virtues is, when you ask her for her opinion on things like this, she will give it to you, honestly...

There are a number of problems with eyes in SL.  One of them is that they are, often, too small on your screen for you to notice details.  I've got some quite exotic and beautiful designs from some places (freebies, or from hunts, mostly), but when you've got them in and are looking at your avi from normal ranges, all you get is a vague impression of "something's odd about those eyes".  Details being too small to notice is not a problem restricted to eyes, of course.  It happens with jewelry quite a lot, too.  And this is why bling was invented, to draw one's attention to a fine-cut stone by creating a fugitive gleam of light.  Or, in most cases, to give the impression that the wearer's hand is the centre of a feeding frenzy of miniature comets.  Never mind.

Another problem is photo-realism.  You'd think, wouldn't you, that an actual photograph of an eyeball would look convincing, right?  The problem, though, is that the lighting conditions under which the photo is taken can differ a lot from those under which it's seen... and there seems an awful tendency, among some designers, to include spectacular and therefore overcomplicated reflections and silhouettes and whatnot in the design.  (The problem pre-dates SL by a generation or more; eyes were always a weak point in Gerry Anderson's puppet shows.... hmm, I have the remake of Captain Scarlet on DVD, maybe I could copy over the iris maps used for the CGI characters there?  No, maybe not - I don't want Destiny Angel's eyes, I'd be too worried about getting her bum as well.)

Anyway.  Latest sit-rep is, I found a pair which are OK in terms of detail and reflection, except they are a somewhat darker colour than the blue-grey I'm used to... Can I live with that?  Or will I have to engage in an unending quest for ocular perfection?  The eyes, after all, are (proverbially) the windows of the soul - do my soul's windows need a good cleaning?


  1. Eye textures are easy to make, and as a result, the SL markets of four or five years ago were overrun with eyes. Some of them were very, very nice too. Because of their ubiquity, there was something of a market shakeout. The eyes I wear (Celestial Studios Deep Series) are no longer available today.

    The best ever eye add on I've found is a set of subtle bling "contact lenses" called KiraRira Shining Eye. They add a delightful little sparkle.

  2. I suspect - based on my own efforts at creating eyes for tentacle monsters, mainly - that this is one of those things that is easy to do, but less easy to do *well*.... Anyway. I have found a pair which seems to suit - I will ask Tali what she thinks!

    (Tali, of course, has marvellous eyes, but they're not my colour. Or species.)