144 - Tir Na Nog

Where's Dim Sum? #144 - Tir Na Nog

Dim Sum listens to the eerie sounds of children's voices from far away as she sits in a strange cave with a strange eye.

This is a bit sci-fi-y, but it made me curious. When I found it, only the center part was visible above water. A post gave instructions to run to the center and touch something to bring up the rest of the build. Then I set windlight to Midnight per the instructions. I still don't get the "story" though.  :\

Built by Morlita Quan and Noke Yuitza.

location: SL10B Magnificent

Technical notes

water: Phototools- Ship Light


143 - To forgive, divine

Where's Dim Sum? #143 - To forgive, divine

Dim Sum looks across the water at the white figure beneath the castle. She took one last look at the towering structure. Then she turned away. For the last time.

I took a break from SL10B to remember this day, to forgive, and to release the pain.

The castle was built by Alia Baroque.

location: Annon

Technical notes

windlight: Phototools- Lo Light 03 (modified)
water: Phototools- Ship Light


142 - Ganeesha's smartphone

Where's Dim Sum? #142 - Ganeesha's smartphone

Dim Sum wonders if she stumbled into the Cave of Arms.

Seriously, take a look at that thing where the arrow is pointing in the center of the picture. I bet that's Ganeesha's smartphone.

It's a little hard to take pictures inside a cave. And these sculptures are kinda interesting. There are many gods and goddesses with multiple arms and many more with animal heads. But Ganeesha with the elephant head is the only one I'm aware of in real-life mythology.

To Ganeesha's right (where Dim Sum is sitting) is a squid with many arms, to Ganeesha's left is a frog with many arms, and across the room is a dolphin with many arms. All sculptures were built by Toady Nakamura.

Unfortunately, the sculptures themselves have Full Bright turned on, which severely limits what you can do with lighting to make them look more 3D and more realistic.

Many thanks to Inara Pey for the inspiration to look for the hidden treasures in the turtle.

location: SL10B Spellbound

Technical notes

windlight: Fine Day (modified)


141 - Samson

Where's Dim Sum? #141 - Samson

Dim Sum finds a new hero and meows, "I'm rooting for you, mister."

This is one of several sculptures of Starax Statosky, who is (in my opinion) one of the best (if not THE best) prim sculptors in SL. Long before sculpts and mesh came along, he took basic prims and tortured and combined them into amazingly expressive sculptures, like this one.

Sure, the more recent sculptures with sculpts and mesh are less primmy and more realistic, but I still think that sculpting with basic prims is way more impressive.

location: SL10B Wonderous

I haven't done Strawberry's memes for a while, and this one seems easy, so here goes.

Technical notes

windlight: Alchemy Immortalis - Fog Lifting (modified)

Strawberry's memes - Proportions Challenge

Strawberry wants proportions. Well, ... okay....

Height (floor to shoulder): 0.36m
Length (nose tip to tail tip): 0.76m, approximate because her tail won't keep still
Head: Too big
Body: Huggable size

Do you try and keep your avatar’s body proportionate and similar to the “average” proportions pictured above?
Dim Sum believes she's perfect and she doesn't care about body proportions. Opal and her human alts tend to have slightly longer legs. A lover told me of this Paris cabaret called Crazy Horse, where the criteria for the performers is that the length from top of head to crotch must be equal to the length from crotch to floor. And that lover is a "leg man" so I keep my avies leggy for him.

What do you dislike the most about the SL avatar mesh?
The butt! Actually, the part from the waist to the thighs. Why is it that in order for your hips to look like the normal length in front, you end up with a long butt, like it's sagging?!? If you want a normal-looking butt, you look like you're getting a wedgie in front. And if your butt is even a little curvier than a flat board, your thighs look fat at a certain angle.

Does it bother you when you see other avatars that are not proportionate at all?
It's not the disproportion per se that bothers me; most bodies in RL are disproportionate and they come in different sizes, including my own RL body.

What makes me cringe is the extreme unnaturalness that seem to be more about unoriginal fashion slavery and less about aesthetic creativity. Like the pony riders whose waist-to-hip ratio makes them look like clothes hangers with thighs separated by a mile. Or the alien-looking stick figures with enormous round heads and small eyes, worn mostly by fashion models. (Thank goodness that one seems to have faded out of fashion.)

If it's one or two people with an extreme look, it's awesome because it's original and innovative and creative and artistic. If a slew of people wear the same extreme look, the unnaturalness stands out and then it's just plain ugly.

Even though this is a virtual world and people can be anything they want to be, do you feel when they are in human form, they should try to keep their proportions close to average?
No. In spite of the cringe effect, I still think that people should be able to express themselves any way they want. I actually think that there's less originality in SL nowadays than during the early years, when more people had creative and unique avies, humanoid or not. I prefer a very diverse SL. Even if I cringe once in a while.


140 - Starring in CatTV

Where's Dim Sum? #140 - Starring in CatTV

Dim Sum wonders when she'll finally get her break and have her own TV series.

This is the Catznip parcel. The cats are the same as my decoy, created by Seu Ahn (Shop Seu). The cat TV was created by Trinity Dejavu.

location: SL10B Magnificent

Technical notes

windlight: Coastal Afternoon (modified)


139 - Second Life Express

Where's Dim Sum? #139 - Second Life Express

Dim Sum hears the train conductor call out, "All aboard!" So she hops on the locomotive, so she'd get there before the rest of the passengers. Wherever "there" is.

I tried the materials version of the SL viewer and decided to go back to Firestorm. I don't care if the SL10B bear looks better in it; I missed the phototools.

This would have been a reasonably fast shoot had I not been so easily distracted.

The wonderfully detailed train was built by Donpatchy Dagostino.

location: SL10B Incredible

Technical notes

windlight: [TOR] SUNSET - Oriental delight 2 (barely modified, just moved the sun a bit)

138 - Moths and lanterns

Where's Dim Sum? #138 - White moths

Dim Sum watches the white moths go crazy around the lanterns and wonders what catnip they ate. Then she watches the humans contort their bodies down below and wonders what catnip they ate.

This oak tree is actually a stage, so there were people dancing under the tree. And it took me hours to do this pic! First, because I kept crashing. Second, because I couldn't decide on the windlight. Third, because they restarted the sim in the middle of my shoot. Fourth, people kept appearing in my frame. Fifth, because I couldn't decide on the windlight. (Yes, I know I said that already.)

location: SL10B Captivate

Technical notes

windlight: Phototools- Angles Light 01 (modified)


137 - Can we cut it already?

Where's Dim Sum? #137 - Can we cut it already?

Dim Sum stretches as she prepares for her triple somersault dive into the soft white whipped cream frosting below.

This is the top of the cake stage. These objects are HUGE!

location: SL10B Fascinate

Technical notes

windlight: [TOR] SUNSET - Damage down (modified)


136 - Turtles all the way down

Where's Dim Sum? #136 - Turtles all the way down

Dim Sum examines the strange markings on the statue and wonders if they were some code from some ancient race of humans who believed that the world was carried on the back of a giant turtle, which stood on another turtle, which stood on another turtle, ....

I had seen the turtle island in other Flickr images, even before the sims opened to the public. It is an amazing build by Flea Bussy.

The best builds are the ones that tell a story, especially the ones that hint at ancient mythology. Like this one. The old stories add something intangible and indescribable to the build. Like giving it roots. Or even giving it a soul.

location: SL10B Impressive

Technical notes

windlight: [TOR] SUNRISE - Barcelon 2 (modified)
water: Glassy

135 - A cat's cat

Where's Dim Sum? #135 - A cat's cat

Dim Sum meows at her anthropomorphic distant cousin in the crisp human suit, but he is a cat of few meows.

When I arrived at the Linden Teddy Bear sim, I saw Darl flying around and around fast, like he's being twirled around by an invisible lasso. Then after a while, he landed right near me and stood there quietly. So I had to ask if he could be in my picture.

This was a bit rushed, since I wasn't sure how long he could stay, so the windlight is one I had used before with only the east direction changed. But it took me a while anyway, because his AO moved too much.

I keep only a couple of photography guidelines in mind when I shoot: the rule of thirds and the triangles. I could have moved the camera a bit more for the rule of thirds, but this photo has an almost equilateral triangle with him in the middle. So I had to shoot before he moved again, which he did in the next instant.

Throughout my photoshoot, Sovereign Engineer had his/her cross-hairs on me, so s/he was probably taking pictures too. :)

model: Darl (thedarkest.fairey)
location: SL10B Bear Island

Technical notes

windlight: [TOR] DUSK - Siennarel (modified)


134 - Doppelganger

Where's Dim Sum? #134 - Doppelganger

Dim Sum sits next to her doppelgänger.

Sorry, I couldn't resist doing this. :D Dim Sum's doppelgänger/decoy was created by Seu Ahn (Shop Seu).

PS: Dim Sum's "unicorn horn" is actually the tip of her tail.

location: SL10B Stunning

Technical notes

windlight: Alchemy Immortalis - Foggy Morning (modified)
water: Glassy


133 - Fiery shoji

Where's Dim Sum? #133 - Fiery shoji

Dim Sum figures there's really no point going up to the highest floor. This is high enough.

Okay, next photo will be in the SL10B celebration. If you haven't tried the game yet, give it a try, and please let me know what you think. If you hit a bug, let me know too. That was kinda rushed, because I was cramming during the last few days before the deadline.

location: Azuchi

Technical notes

windlight: Phototools- Me Mine Light

132 - Pop the question

Where's Dim Sum? #132 - Pop the question

Dim Sum jumps up from her nap, after getting startled by all the POPping that Opal is doing.

Since June is the most POPular month for weddings, I thought this might be appropriate. :D  But it wasn't really planned. I just fell upon this part of the sim and my water was set to Glassy from yesterday, and I thought, "Oh, that looks like a diamond ring!" So there.

Anyway, SL10B starts today, so don't forget to POP on over at SL10B Stunning and try your hand at the first "Where's Dim Sum?" game. And if you're already a regular either here or in Flickr, you'd already know where to find Dim Sum.

And for POPs out there, ... Happy Father's Day! :D


PS: I got a translation of the sign from yesterday!

location: Azuchi

Technical notes

windlight: [TOR] SUNRISE - Island cusp (modified)
water: Glassy


131 - Bridges in the mist

Where's Dim Sum? #131 - Bridges in the mist

Dim Sum peacefully meditates about swatting the hummingbird that kept following her around.

I'm falling behind! Lots of stuff going on irl, both good and not so good. I'm gonna try to catch up in the next few days.

I would love to know what the characters on the bridge arches mean. It must be some beautiful quote or something; otherwise, it wouldn't be in a significant place like an arch. If you can translate it, please leave a comment. My curiosity would greatly appreciate it! :D

UPDATE: Mitia Messmer (owner of AMM Design and the co-owner of the sim) sent me an IM with a translation! In his words, "Kanji Proverb - One who walks by the river may end up wet." Thank you very much, Mitia! :D ... Now, how did they know that one day a cat would come by? ... Then he forbid Dim Sum from eating the hummingbird ... or the swans.... LOL.

location: Azuchi

Technical notes

windlight: Phototools- Thalia Light 02 (modified)
water: Glassy


130 - Cat litter

Where's Dim Sum? #130 - Cat litter

"It's not junk; it's cat litter! And I'm not Dim Sum; I'm just a decoy."

Introducing "Where's Dim Sum? The Game!"  :D

It was actually Hamlet Au's blog post about this project that inspired me to do this. I figured that since I don't know how to program for the Android (yet), why not start with LSL? But the project kept getting pushed aside for higher priority tasks. And this event was a good excuse to move it up the priority list. ;)

It's not quite ready for public distribution, however. A lot of the settings are hardcoded. To be honest, I started on this only a few days ago, because of RL commitments, although I've been designing it in my head for while now. So, I'm sure it still has a few bugs.

The sims won't be open to the public until June 16, so the SLURL below won't work until then, unless you're one of the exhibitors and you have access to the sims.

And, yes, I was a bit tricky with this pic. Dim Sum is really not there; that's a decoy, a sibling of the cats you've seen in several past photos. It was created by Seu Ahn (Shop Seu).

model: Opal Lei
location: SL10B Stunning

Technical notes

windlight: Places Cromac (modified)
water: Default


129 - Through the bamboo grove

Where's Dim Sum? #129 - Through the bamboo grove

Dim Sum listens to the chattering of the bamboo leaves as the supple trunks brushed against each other in the wind.

In my culture (Filipino), as in many Asian cultures, the bamboo ("kawayan") plays a prominent role in our lives and in our folk tales. A folk tale narrates how the first man (named "Malakas," meaning "strong") and the first woman (named "Maganda," meaning "beautiful") came out of a very large bamboo that split open. A folk dance ("tinikling") involves dancing in and out of a configuration of pairs of bamboo poles that are alternately opened and closed.

It used to be very difficult to find good bamboo plants in SL, but when I was setting up my talk show, I found the ones created by Nadine Reverie (3D Trees), which is what these are. You can get them in either Mod/Copy or Mod/Transfer. And you get several types in the same package.

Azuchi is an Asian-themed sim with a lot of very interesting nooks, including this one. So I'll be here until SL10B opens.

location: Azuchi

Technical notes

windlight: Phototools- Epi Vintage Light (modified)


128 - Howling lessons

Where's Dim Sum? #128 - Howling lessons

"Mmmmeeeeeeoooooooooooooooo! ... By the way, why are we howling at the moon?"

Nighttime is a bit tricky to do, especially if I want the moon in the picture. It doesn't make sense to project light from the foreground if the source of light is coming from the background. At the same time, I don't want to lose the texturing of the coyote's fur and the nearby trees.

Photography is really all about finding balance. Maybe in more ways than one. ;)

location: Taiga

Technical notes

windlight: [TOR] NIGHT- Northern lite (seriously modified)


127 - Nevermore

Where's Dim Sum? #127a - Nevermore

Where's Dim Sum? #127b - Nevermore

Dim Sum looks up at the top branches of the dead tree to see what was making that incessant caw-caw-caw noise.

The center tree is "Skye Raven Tree" by Alex Bader (Studio Skye). I thought the b&w version (a) was a great ambience for it because of the poem, but the silhouettes looked flat, and I couldn't find just the right settings to keep the ambience and still get some sense of 3D in the objects.The color version (b) is actually more zoomed in, and Dim Sum is in a different position.

location: Taiga

Technical notes

a) Phototools- B/W Light 13 (unchanged)
b) [TOR] BIG SUN - Variationz (modified)


126 - Raining aces

Where's Dim Sum? #126 - Raining aces

Dim Sum watches as four aces of spades fall to the floor.

This is such an adorable and gently humorous scene! The squirrel leaning on the table is dropping four aces of spades to the floor. The other squirrel holds two aces of spades, an ace of hearts, and a joker. And, as you can see, one of the moose is holding an ace of hearts. I trust the moose.

The scene is called "Stonewood Interiors - Poker Pals" created by Hailie Callisto. The building is called ">>Zacca<< Small House" by CROSS Jupiter, and it's the same house in the Cherry Blossom Kittycats Cafe, which was featured here and here and here.

location: Taiga

Technical notes

windlight: Places Cromac (modified)


125 - Elk in the taiga

Where's Dim Sum? #125 - Elk in the taiga

"How do you know where to go when you migrate?... You mean you don't use a GPS? ... I bet you don't stop and ask for directions either...."

This sim is actually a sandbox! And it's the prettiest sandbox I've ever seen!

No new techniques in this shoot. Other projects are sucking up my creative juices. :\

location: Taiga

Technical notes

windlight: Phototools- Angles Light 01 (modified)
water: Default


124 - Three o'clock shadows

Where's Dim Sum? #124 - Three o'clock shadows

Dim Sum is comfortable in the spotlight, but... shhh... she thinks she saw the silhouette of a mouse....

Playing with projectors again. This time, just using a simple round spotlight texture, a white-on-black radial gradient. I might make this "shadow clock" a part of my SL10B exhibit if I can fit it in. If not, I'll just give it away as a gift. We'll see.

I skipped Strawberry's meme last week, but I did this week's meme.

Technical notes

windlight: Annan Adored Darkness (modified)

Strawberry's memes - Acrostic Poem

Strawberry wants acrostic poems using our names. Her blog defines what an acrostic poem is, complete with links, so I won't repeat that here.

Well, I'll up the ante and write an acrostic limerick! :D  Well, kinda. A limerick has five lines, but Dim Sum's name has six letters. So, it's actually an acrostic quasi-limerick. :D

Did I ever tell you the story of a cat,
Inclined to take pictures wherever she sat?
   Make haste, get your glasses.
   Seek out where her a** is,
Until she runs off to chase down a rat.


123 - Crowned crane

Where's Dim Sum? #123 - Crowned crane

Dim Sum meows at the crowned cranes as they strutted by with a royal air about them.

This was a tricky shoot. I wanted the DOF focus on a crane, so my camera was locked on one of them and then I waited for the right moment. The cranes didn't take a repeatable path, so it pretty much random luck. The windlight is simple to focus on the colors on the crane. I could have made the environment a little whiter, but I didn't want it to be devoid of color either. The cranes were created by Vinnie Baxter (Animania).

location: Home & Garden Expo 2013

Technical notes

windlight: Places Mother
water: Default

122 - Tequila Sunrise


Dim Sum sits in the corner waiting for the cafe workers to accidentally drop some treats on the floor.

I think this parcel belongs to Prim Perfect. It's actually a cafe of sorts and you can get some free goodies (food) when you click on things. This one gave me juice.

location: Home & Garden Expo 2013

Technical notes

windlight: Fine Day (modified)


121 - Through the trees

Where's Dim Sum? #121 - Through the trees

Dim Sum chews on the fern leaves that tickled her.

No particular focus in this one. I just wanted to capture the ambience. This is still in the Studio Skye parcel.

It's a very busy weekend for me. Actually very busy until Tuesday with deadlines, and working on a couple of projects for the rest of June. But I'll try to do quick snapshots to keep this going, although I might be missing some days.

location: Home & Garden Expo 2013

Technical notes

windlight: AnaLutetia - STUDIO3 (modified)

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...