370 - Eggs and bunnies and peeps (360°)

Where's Dim Sum? #370 - Eggs and bunnies and peeps (360°)

Dim Sum joins the peeps who wanna be bunnies. At least for Easter.

For non-US folks, "peeps" are marshmallow candies shaped like chicks that supposedly (I guess) hatched from the Easter eggs. So they're usually sold around Easter. However, "peeps" is also a slang word for "people", "often used to refer informally to the group of people who are someone's friends, colleagues, followers, family members, etc." (Merriam-Webster) ... et alts (Opal's addendum to Merriam-Webster's definition).

Merci beaucoup to Wolfgang who helped me with this shoot!

For his birthday earlier this year, I created a greeting card with the same floral letters on a white background and my different alts posing on and around them. So I figured I'd do the same with this greeting.

Happy Easter!
Happy Eostara!
Happy Spring!

The birch forest was created by Alex Bader (Studio Skye).
The bunnies and the floral letters were created by Sasaya Kayo (HPMD).
The eggs were created by Carizma Rodex (ValemMesh).
The bunny outfits were created by Seniha88 (Seniha).
Dim Sum's ears were created by Hani Vendetta (;semicolon;).

models: V, C, E, B, L, L, K
location: Pleiades (private sim)

Technical notes

windlight: personal (See settings image.)
water: n/a

I prepared the windlight before bringing the avatars in, and I didn't realize that the shadows were harsh on the avatars' faces. But I was running out of time, so, ... oh, well, ... one has to make compromises sometimes. :)



369 - Crystal Mountain in the moonlight (360°)

Where's Dim Sum? #369 - Crystal Mountain in the moonlight 360°

Dim Sum catches the shimmer of salmon scales under the moonlight. There is something romantically tragic in the upstream struggle toward ... death!

This location is just upstream from #368.
  • The "Skye Enchanted Tree Tunnel" and "Skye River Set" were created by Alex Bader (Studio Skye).
  • The bears, salmon, and fallow deer were created by JianSL (Jian Pets).

location: Pleiades (private sim)

Technical notes

windlight: Ghost (modified)
water: n/a


368 - River tunnel (360°)

Where's Dim Sum? #368 - River tunnel 360°

Dim Sum listens to the bubbling brook. What?!? It's a river?!?

Oh, what a joy to find out that the newest Firestorm has the 360° feature!

I had been meaning to install the Linden Lab browser to try it out, but I never found the time. Nor the inclination, to be honest. ;)

I might have a new reason to do more Dim Sum pictures now! I'm still not sure about having the time though.

Unfortunately, the 360° feature ignores the depth of field (DOF) and the View Angle settings. So composition is limited to the windlight you choose/modify/create and the position of your camera.

The size of the resulting image is also limited to 4096x2048 and the format can only be JPG, which is lossy so it's not a good idea to edit it. But this is a raw-image project anyway. :)

The "Skye Enchanted Tree Tunnel" and "Skye River Set" were created by Alex Bader (Studio Skye).

location: Pleiades (private sim)

Technical notes

windlight: Whirly Gloomy Day (modified)
water: n/a


367 - Shady

Where's Dim Sum? #367 - Shade

Opal and Dim Sum find a shady spot to read and nap.

It's been almost three years since my last Dim Sum post! To be honest, this is not even a typical Dim Sum exploration.

This is Sanctuary Ridge, my home in Aglia in the mainland. The very first 512sqm parcel I ever bought during my first week in SL in 2006, almost 14 years ago. (Wow! I'm that ancient.) And, yes, what you see is only 512sqm.

To the right is actually a narrow "Maintenance" parcel owned by Governor Linden as part of the railroad system. The Linden trees have always hung overhead my parcel. When I initially bought the parcel, that was part of the appeal, but, after mesh trees were introduced, I wasn't so sure anymore.

The last time I decorated the parcel, I made the mistake of raising the ground, so I was always walking through the branches. This time, I lowered the land as low as possible again. However, because it's on a hillside, I couldn't terraform the entire parcel to be the same level. But I think it worked out well.

The Linden trees blend well with the mesh trees and shrubbery and they make the parcel feel more secluded. So I like them again. :)

The "Skye Zen Garden" and "Skye Epic Waterfall" (the waterfall itself is hidden by the rocks in this pic) are building kits created by Alex Bader (Studio Skye).
The mesh trees are by Sasaya Kayo (HPMD).

model: Opal Lei
location: Sanctuary Ridge, Aglia

Technical notes

windlight: Annan Adored Light Explosion II (modified)
water: n/a


366 - The return of the cat

Where's Dim Sum? #366 - The Return of the Cat

Dim Sum reemerges after a very long nap.

I can't stay away. It's not the photography itself. It still requires more time than I can afford. And I'm not really learning anything new anymore.

What I miss is the solitude, the silence, the ambiance of a place. I turn off my brain. I just be.

I revel in the gentle movement of colors in the water. I am in awe with the complex shadows of trees and cattails.

This is a reality where I can move the sun, conjure the clouds, and make annoying people disappear. Oh, how heady power can be! And I need that power in my life right now.

The "CR Jetty 4 Tall" was created by Cube Republic.
The "[we're CLOSED] row boat white" was created by Wendy Xeno ([we're CLOSED]).

location: Luane's Winter World

Technical notes

windlight: Phototools- Absinthe Light (modified)
water: Glassy


Dim Sum meets the characters of SL13B

Dim Sum comes out of retirement to explore the SL13B sims.

A couple of months ago, I was looking through the SL Community Celebration site to check out this year's theme, since we were discussing the application at the International Spaceflight Museum planning meetings.

Naturally, I got distracted by the call for volunteer machinimatographers. To be honest, I wasn't looking forward to doing a build for the ISM, because I end up doing most of the work and I'm all out of ideas. And I did say in my 365 post-mortem that I want to get back to doing more machinima.

Well, the ISM didn't get a parcel in the first round, so that was a bit of a relief. Then last week, I got an email from Harper Beresford, asking if I was interested in doing 30-second teasers for the event. So, per her instructions, I contacted Doc Gascoigne to get early access to the sims, and I requested access for Dim Sum too.

I asked Doc a few questions to figure out what they had in mind, but he just told me to visit the sims and see what inspires me. I was free to do what I wanted, as long as it was PG.

So, I spent Thursday night scouting the sims and noting SLURLs of interesting builds. And when I was done with my list, I realized that I could group them into categories.

The log reindeer was the first one I noticed. It seemed to want attention, like a puppy dog peering from the edge of the pool. I imagined that it was asking if I wanted it to ferry me across the pool of water. I decided against using words in the video though, because SL is very international, so I wanted the video to tell a story with just images. (The second video will have spoken words though.)

I was too exhausted and cranky on Friday night, so I went to bed at 6:30pm. I spent most of Saturday coding a camera tool that still won't work properly. By late Saturday afternoon, I decided to just go out and film using hacks. By midnight, I was already editing. I went to bed at 4am Sunday morning.

So this first video is about the animal characters in SL13B. There are 13 scenes excluding the intro, which only has Dim Sum in it. I had to add that intro because I realized that a large percentage of people who would see this video would not know about Dim Sum. And she was the anchor — the running thread — throughout the video. So she had to be introduced. Not all scenes have her in it. I had to severely shorten the clips. Then, I had to speed them up to squeeze them more. I still couldn't them it under 30 seconds. The final version is 1 minute and 4 seconds long.

As I write this post, Harper had already blogged about it in the SL13B website.  :)

Machinima posted in:

location: SL13B sims

Technical notes

windlight: Fine Day (modified)
water: Glassy


Postmortem - End of the milky cat's way

Where's Dim Sum? - End of the milky cat's way (Postmortem)

On 2013 January 19, almost three years ago, Dim Sum's journey started. Today, I finished the last set that includes #365.

First, I want to thank everyone we've met on this journey:

  • Who chose to follow us on Flickr and Google+. 
  • Who clicked the stars or +1 to fave images or blog posts.
  • Who encouraged me with their compliments and other comments.
  • Who played along and searched for Dim Sum in the images.
  • Who crafted awesome (and often witty!) 6-word captions.
  • Who patiently sat so I could include them in the picture.
  • Who graciously allowed photographers and machinimatographers in their beautiful sims.
  • Who invited images to Flickr groups or added them to galleries.
And everyone else who have been involved in this project, in any way.

Many many many thanks!

A long time ago, Avon sponsored the 3Day Breast Cancer Walks. To join the walk, you had to raise about US$1,000. Then you had to train so that you could walk 60 miles in three days. Sixty miles is very long. Twenty miles a day is very long. Training for almost a year to build up muscles to be able to walk 20 miles a day is very long. But at the end of the 60 miles, you have such a high that you pledge to do it again the following year. You get a heady sense of achievement, of strength, of a new realization of what you can do, what you can endure. And you realize you are stronger than you thought you were.

This 365 project is like that.

Challenges stretch your self-concept and break down your self-imposed barriers. In a sense, Dim Sum's journey has done the same for me.

There have been times when I had to choose between Dim Sum and much needed sleep. There have been times when I've actually hated Dim Sum because I really didn't want to do this anymore. There have been times when I regretted having to push back old and new projects because I needed to finish this first.

However, there have also been numerous times when I missed Dim Sum, when I feel a vague homesickness for a "place". It's not as simple as yearning for a specific sim. It's a yearning for an ambiance. An ambiance that's created by windlight and shadows and DoF. It is that yearning that kept me logging Dim Sum in.

Is this the end of Dim Sum? No. First, I will always feel that yearning, that homesickness, so I will continue to explore sims. Second, like the characters of a novel, Dim Sum has become "real," not just to me but to many people.

Time is a scarcer resource now than ever before, due to RL commitments and requirements. I have also neglected other projects (stereoscopy, machinima), I have more product ideas I'd like to implement and sell, and I started a new service provider directory that I need to build up and promote.

I strove for realism and depth in Dim Sum's images. I learned how to use windlight, shadows, and DoF to achieve that without post-processing. That skill would help me create better machinima. But I think I've hit the boundary of what's possible with 2D images without post-processing. Or I've already done the best I could, given the no-processing restriction.

When we get new capabilities and new features that drastically improve realism, I'll do more experiments. For now, it's time to go back to stereoscopy and machinima. And you'll likely see the white cat in those too. :)

370 - Eggs and bunnies and peeps (360°)

Dim Sum joins the peeps who wanna be bunnies. At least for Easter. For non-US folks, "peeps" are marshmallow candies shaped l...