Genre‘s theme this round is Celebration, celebrating the birthday of this cool theme event. This time designers were not required to follow the theme, but I like themes because they give me a creative focus and a platform upon which to stretch my skills.

Spyralle Star Paper Party Lanterns (mesh) - Set 1

Spyralle Star Paper Party Lanterns (mesh) – Set 1

For about as long as I’ve been creating in Second Life I’ve been making lights, lamps, lanterns. I keep coming back to it. Last year I put a lot of effort into recreating some of my prim lighting in mesh. This year I started with new forms from scratch – these three-dimensional geometric stars, inspired by the folded paper star lights I collect (too many of!) in the material world.

Spyralle Star Paper Party Lanterns (mesh) - Set 2

Spyralle Star Paper Party Lanterns (mesh) – Set 2

Set 1 contains single-fold forms, 6-pointed and 8-pointed. The lanterns in Set 2 have a reverse fold creating a star within a star, again, 6 and 8 pointed. Each lantern has a loop at the top, and each set comes with a separate mesh rope you can use to hang up your lanterns. You can link the lanterns and the rope and reduce your land impact.  I do try to limit scripts, so these don’t have on-off scripts. You can edit them and turn off the light feature if you don’t want them to cast light. Your viewer will only “see” six light source besides sun and moon, anyway. I made the ropes in the form of a catenary, which is technical name of the type of curve you get when suspend a cable from both ends. I had to research this when I was making lines of small banners for a project a while back. I used the idea again for last year’s Burn2 build. Because people have asked about the banners, I boxed three of the lines and offered them for 10 lindens at Genre as kind of a Genre birthday present.

Banner Lines from Spyralle

Banner Lines from Spyralle

The banners are really simple. Each one is just a single flexy prim. But they’re easy to put up and take down, very low impact. Why not be simple? For the lanterns, the challenge – believe it or not! – was to find and make enough fractal images with the right order of symmetry to work with the lantern forms. With thousands of images on file, you’d think I could just pick out 16 or so, no trouble. But, no. Something looks great as a square, you put it on a star, and suddenly everything you liked about it is missing. Subtracting from a pattern can change it drastically. It was problem solving time. I dusted off my masking skills and created star-shaped masking layers in Ultra Fractal so I could see what I was getting right away before rendering dozens and dozens of images and trying them out in-world.  I hoped to do five-pointed and 12-pointed stars too, but those will have to wait for the next celebration. The current round of Genre goes through February 11.

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