Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Dark, practical clothing: Florence

I was talking about the Brigid set with Alarah Weatherwax, and she asked if I could make her an outfit for her character. She was playing a healer, and needed something designed to be a practical - most clothing in SL is flamboyant or dramatic, and not really suitable for the character she had in mind. She also specified dark colours.

So I thought about it, and came up with the features of the outfit I thought she'd want. A single colour, a subtle or non-existant texture, long sleeves close to the body, a long skirt close to the body (she wanted a skirt, not pants: fantasy-medieval female). I added in princess line seams, to give a subtle quality to the outfit. Also, buttons and buttonholes. I chose a round neckline, but when I showed Alarah the preview outfit, she asked for a high collar.

I made the colour a dark charcoal, rather than a black - if I used black, the outfit would look flat, because SL would have no chance to shade the outfit. Using the dark gray, SL lighting can still provide shadows on the clothes.

The seams are actually slightly lighter on this outfit, because the gray of the main garment is so dark that the 'rise' of the seam dimple is what would show, rather than the 'pit'.

This is the garment that has princess line seams, which were really difficult to get just right. It was a process of 'guess the placement, make a jpg, test it, go back and try again'.

The image is of a failure. One of many!

(And no, the seam 'dimples' aren't that bright in the final garment.)

Matching the seam at the waist was made much easier by Robin's and Chip's templates; I owe them a debt of gratitude. But again, it's a try-test-tryagain process.

The mandarin collar has a gap for the centre front, which I painted in pixel by pixel to get it absolutely right.

The buttons have highlights and shadows, and the buttons have buttonholes beside them.

I then went back to my notes from NCI's lessons board, and learned how to make a flexiskirt. The Florence set has a matching optional flexiskirt - and the 'how to make it' is very simple: crib from the NCI lesson, and adjust slightly. The adjustments, again, are simple artistic choice.

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