I Chose You

Max moves in
Max moves in

Meet Max. Max is my first attempt to grant my RL Maine Coon a tenth life, be it in SecondLife.  This image was actually the logical conclusion to several areas of Photoshop that I’ve been concentrating on lately:  hair and skin. You might ask “skin?”  and no, it’s not obvious. In addition to that was the feeling that I needed to create something that I could also post to flickr since it’s been a few weeks.

The obvious first.  Max is a hairball. Truly he is though the light in this picture doesn’t illustrate that well. I blame that on the weather but there will be more of him in the future.  I’ll also be recreating the other two cats that I share a house with though neither of them has as much hair.

On the SL marketplace I located a full perms mesh cat.  It came with the texture template so this was an immediate challenge that displaced everything else I was working on. Even as I examined max closely to map all of his markings for creating the new texture, I knew I would have to add more hair once that was uploaded and applied. In the end, the time I spent on the texture was complete overkill because none of it is visible, other than the ‘hairless’ image below. It does however, serve as a guide when painting on the additional hair after downloading the photo from SL.

On the subject of hair, Aedan received additional hair in PS, also.

Collage of SL and RL Max
Collage of SL and RL Max

How did skin play into this you might ask?  It did because I was needing a break from skin after exploring how I would fix Robert’s skin problems.  Oh!  and because I wanted rain puddles on the car but failed to find an easy way to easily add hundreds or thousands of realistic looking puddles. I found lots of tutorials describing basically two ways of creating puddles but none addressed how tedious that would be to cover the top of a car just as rain started to fall.

Giving up on that, I went down a different path. After spending at least an hour googling to find a decent image of puddles that I could use but finding only varying colors that I couldn’t get to work, it dawned on me that my recent introduction to frequency separation, which is how I ultimately addressed Rober’s skin, might be the answer.

My search began again but this time looking at only puddles and ignoring the color. In the end, the one I settled on was actually close enough to use without separation. Setting the layer blend mode to softlight was sufficient.  Still, I might be pounding my head on the desk if I had no hope that frequency separation would work.

In hind sight, I always see something that I wish I had spent more time on but I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s sometimes best to say ‘good enough’ and move on. There will be another opportunity in the future.

Finally, as I mentioned in the original Flickr post, there are lots of cats, dogs, animals of all kinds that are abandoned for various reasons. If you want the companionship of another, non-human being, please save one from a shelter or rescue. Don’t contribute to the massive problem of unwanted pets by purchasing from a store or breeder.

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