Thursday, December 14, 2006


Day 32

So here are some pictures of the jewelry I've made so far. I'm still not finished with the necklace chain generator, but I'm getting closer (I now have placement on the perimeter of the cylinder and one rotation; I just need two more all three rotations).

Above is the first really intricate piece I made, it's an attempt to reproduce my grandmother's locket in-world. The necklace chain was made by hand, and took almost as long as the locket itself. As with all my jewelry, it's scripted: you can change the color of the metal and the gemstone textures, turn bling on and off, and a couple of other minor things. It's "actual size", the locket itself is about 5cm tall and 4cm wide.

This is a matching circlet, bracelet and armband; I was playing around with torturing a torus and the design suggested itself to me. Like with the locket, you can change the colors — either individually or all pieces at once.

This is a pretty simple brooch. I mainly made it to showcase a set of gemstone textures I made. The problem with the usual gemstone textures is that they don't look good when wrapped around a sphere, spheres need to be textured with a Mercator-like projection for minimal distortion. I rendered a spherical faceted gem in POV-Ray with an orthographic camera, then used The GIMP to perform a reverse polar mapping on it. That gave me the top hemisphere, so I just cloned the layer, rotated it 180 degrees and moved it down so that its top edge was touching the bottom edge of the original layer. Flatten, save and upload, et voilà! A spherical gem texture that looks good on a sphere! I also made it in multiple colors:

I made nine gem colors in all: amethyst, blue topaz, citrine, diamond, emerald, garnet, ruby, sapphire and topaz.

This cross, which hopefully will have a necklace chain sometime before the end of the century, is a reproduction of a piece from the Cheapside Hoard, a treasure trove of jewelry from around 1600, dug up in the early 1900s. There are plenty of things I want to make from the Hoard. Above is a rectangular-cut amethyst texture I made; below are garnet and blue topaz (shown with the metal set to gold and silver, respectively). Actually, I created two textures for each color: one for the gem oriented horizontally, and one for vertical orientation. Alas, the distortion caused by tapering the box robbed a lot of the detail from the sides of the gems, but it's still not too bad. There's no bling on this piece, because I found it was just so tiny the bling particles overwhelmed it. But sometimes subtle is much nicer than flashy.

The little finial gemstones are almost too small, as I mentioned in my previous post; I lost quite a few attempts while making them. Create a sphere and set its dimple to B=0.98 and E=1.00, then change it to a cylinder. Taper it to x=0.95 and y=0.95, and then set the size to x=0.010, y=0.010, z=0.010, and you have an incredibly tiny conical frustum. The rectangular and diamond-shaped pieces were made small (or excessively tiny!) in a similar fashion; dimple a sphere (I think I used B=0.75,E=1), change it into a box, then taper and resize to taste.

Just for a little sense of scale, here's a table showing the different pieces of jewelry I've made so far. The sword isn't really jewelry, but I'm proud of it too. Most nights, the Technical User Interfacing (or TUi) school holds challenge build competitions: you show up, and when the competition starts, they tell you what the topic is. You have 45 minutes to create it entirely from scratch (you can use textures and scripts from your inventory, but that's it — all the prims in your build have to be created, textured, and positioned right there). The topic for that night, obviously, was "swords". I decided I wanted something ladylike — no point in making something I couldn't use! — so I Googled for images of swords and found a beautiful swept-hilt rapier.

I was working right up to the time limit. I didn't win (well, I thought mine looked the best!) but it was fun, and challenging, and I made something I probably wouldn't have otherwise. Unfortunately, those contests are usually held at 10PM Pacific time, so if I participate on a work night I only get about four hours' sleep.

1 comment:

Martha said...

Wow you did these yourself? They are beautiful, that first necklace is my favorite! I have been looking for something to go with my tungsten rings and the first 2 would be perfect. Are you going to sell these? Possibly reproduce them and put them on the market? I hope so you should not waste such a talent I would pay good money for this beautiful creation.