Friday, 23 September 2016

Virtual horse riding in Inworldz

Inworldz horse riding
Yaquina Bay Inworldz
 I have been meaning to try virtual horse riding ever since rejoining Inworldz, especially as many sims advertise bridleways open to visitors.

 Unlike many vehicles, horses are a 'wearable'. This means you don't need rezzing rights, and can ride anywhere you might walk, which makes this hobby very flexible.

I chose a John Mahogany creation from Shenandoah-Wildlife&Fisheries. I'm not sure why for an english woman, but the western equipped saddle version felt appealing.

Inworldz horse
Our home the Isle of Rum Inworldz
 This horse comes with the name Joker, but I'm calling him Erasmus! Virtual animals of all kinds are very popular in Inworldz, from leaping dolphins to fireside kitties, another way to spark your imagination. Especially, if like me, life in a real saddle feels a bit too bumpy these days.

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Inworldz photography, both challenging and fun

trees fairy inworldz
Connemara Inworldz
One of my favourite relaxing activities inworld is to hop from sim to sim looking for photo opportunities. It's interesting how some owner's designs are much easier to capture in 2D than others.

For instance I really love forested sims, with winding paths and surprises round each corner, but I find these particularly difficult to photograph. Some of this is due to technical limitations. It's hard to show small differences in depth, so a tree 10m away will blend into another which is much closer, and the resulting shot simply looks like a mass of leaves.

Advanced sky editor
One of the visual signs within real world scenes, which gives us clues about depth is colour saturation. More distant objects become bluer and less coloured as the light passes through the air in the atmosphere to reach the eye. This varies with weather and light levels, something which can be faked to a degree by tweaking the haze settings in the advanced sky editor. (find this under world/environment settings) but this has its limitations and doesn't work well for short distances.

The image at the head of this article was taken in a photo booth, which had a real world wrap around image to simulate a sunlit forest scene. Sun rays as shown here are not naturally possible within IW, but clever creators can fake this effect using semi-transparent animated cones, even swapping to a bluer moonlight tone for night-time.

All these differences make virtual photography an interesting challenge, and a fun and satisfying part of my Inworldz experience. Some days, when taking real life photos I miss being able to move the sun just a little to the left!