Archive for May, 2010

Dark SF Textures – Set 2

Monday, May 31st, 2010

This is my second set of textures with a dark science-fiction theme (think ‘Quake’, or similar games). Lots of metal plates and piping, and a few lights and control boxes thrown in. All the textures are 512 x 512, and you can view them all at the Texture Gallery.

To buy this set, either visit the main store in-world, or the XstreetSL page:

XstreetSL Page

Main Store

A Not-So-Brief Guide to SLurls

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

This started out as ‘A Brief Guide…’, but I found that there was more to say about them than I thought!

If you are familiar with SecondLife, you will certainly have come across SLurls. In-world, they appear as hyperlinks (you can see them as such in chat or in notices, amongst other places). They look like normal web addresses, like this:

When you click on them in-world, instead of launching a browser they will display a landmark, from which you can teleport to the location.

So far, not very interesting. Where things get a little more interesting is when you come across an SLurl on a normal web-page, outside of Second Life. If you click on one of these, you will end up on a web-page that shows the Second Life world map, highlighting the location that the SLurl points at:

What happens when you click on the ‘Teleport’ button depends on whether you have Second Life installed, and (if it’s installed), whether it is running at the time.

If Second Life is already running, a landmark for the location will be displayed for you in the Viewer.

If you have Second Life installed, but it is not currently running, it will be launched, and when you log-in you will be taken directly to the location indicated by the SLurl (although the exact details of what happens will depend on the browser you are using, and possibly the Second Life Viewer as well).

One thing to note is that SLurls work like landmarks, in that if the location has a fixed teleport point, you will be taken there, rather than to the exact location specified in the SLurl.

This is all quite straight-forward, even if it takes several paragraphs to explain. But what if you want to create your own SLurls?

There are three ways to do this. Let’s take the simplest one first. In Second Life, visit the location that you want the SLurl to point to, open up the World Map, and click the ‘Copy SLurl’ button that you should find somewhere near the bottom of the right-hand side.

This will copy the SLurl to the clipboard — you can open up a text or document editor, and simply paste it in.

If you are using Viewer 2, you will also find a ‘Copy SLurl’ option on any landmarks that are stored in your inventory. Right-click the landmark to open the menu that has this option:

Speaking of Viewer 2, it uses a different style of SLurl, and takes you to a different web-page (if you click on an SLurl outside Second Life), but you still get a world map with a teleport button. The main difference is that the web-page is in Viewer 2 style.

If you are interested, here are examples of the old and the new versions:

Old version:

New version:

Ok, so much for the easiest way of creating SLurls. The second way is slightly more complicated, but adds some very nice features.

Before you begin, you’ll need to know the details of the location that you want the SLurl to point to. To do this, visit the location in Second Life, then open up the world map and take a note of the region name, and the x, y, and z values for the location.

Now visit the SLurl website, simply by using your favourite browser to go to (or if you prefer the old version). On this page you will see a ‘Build your own SLurls’ link, near the top right. This will take you to a new page with various edit boxes on it.

Fill in the Region name, and the x, y, and z boxes, with the values you noted earlier.

For now, leave the other boxes empty, and click the ‘Generate’ button. Your SLurl will appear in the edit box at the bottom. Test it by clicking the ‘Go’ button. You should be taken to a new page showing the World Map for the location which you entered.

Returning to the Build SLurl page, select the generated SLurl, copy it, and paste to wherever you want to use it.

This SLurl will be exactly the same as the one generated by the World Map inside Second Life. However, you can improve on this by filling in the other edit boxes on the Build SLurl page.

The Window Title is the simplest. If you enter some text here and generate an SLurl, when you visit the World Map using it you will see the title appear on the ‘pop-up’ marker for the location.

The Window Message works in a very similar way, adding some descriptive text to the pop-up.

The Window Image is more complicated. For this to work, you need to be able to specify the web address of a picture. If you have your own web-site, you can upload a picture to your site, then fill in the address for it here.

Generate the SLurl again, and click ‘Go’, and now you should see your picture in place of the default picture. As far as I can tell, any size of picture will be accepted (within reason!).

Using the Picture and Description together can be a good advertising tool if you are a Second Life merchant. Here’s an example of what I could do to advertise one of my prefabs:

View the Medieval Farmhouse in-world

I mentioned that there were three ways to create an SLurl, but so far I’ve only shown you two ways. The third way is to construct one manually. This would be a whole post in its own right, but if you are familiar with URLs it isn’t too difficult to roll your own SLurl.

I won’t go into details, but here is a quick breakdown, using the Version 2 format, and taking my ‘Medieval Farmhouse’ SLurl as an example (see the link above):

The basic template is this:[address]&title=[title]&msg=[description]

The first part is the basic URL:

This is followed by the Region name and the x, y, z values:


There are then three optional parameters: img, title, and msg (the description):




As you can see, the ‘msg’ parameter can easily get messy, because you have to replace any special characters.

And finally … the Teleport button on the World Map page conceals another URL, but in a different format, like this: secondlife://Ling/193/113/54. It is possible to link directly to a location using this format. This will by-pass the
World Map, and (assuming that Second Life is installed) go straight to Second Life. It probably isn’t a good idea to use this, because it is not exactly user-friendly, and if the user doesn’t have Second Life installed, instead of ending up on the World Map page (which will lead them to more information about Second Life) it will simply display an error. On the other hand, for Second Life users it gives more direct access (I can imagine it being used to create a web-page of useful landmarks, for example).

Texture Galleries

Sunday, May 16th, 2010

It’s always been difficult to provide a good way of letting people preview a texture set before they buy it. I put samples of the textures on the Xstreet pages, but these only show a few textures, and tend to load slowly (possibly because of the amount of traffic that the Xstreet servers are dealing with). I have vendors in-world which display all the textures, but this being Second Life it can take quite a while for them to rez, so going through an entire set can be tedious.

Well, I now have an alternative, in the form of Texture Galleries on this web site. You should see a list of the Galleries down the left-hand side of this page. Each gallery will display a set of thumbnails. Hover your mouse over any thumbnail, and the full-size image will be displayed. Click the thumbnail to be taken directly to the Xstreet page for that texture set.


Going Places

Saturday, May 15th, 2010

I am moving Templar Creations to a new host this weekend. The address will still remain exactly the same, and in fact if all goes well you won’t notice any changes at all. I’m hoping that the transfer will be as seamless as possible, but if the site vanishes for a while, or doesn’t quite work properly, that will be the reason.

Medieval Textures and Farmhouse

Saturday, May 8th, 2010

Not one, but two new releases. They are closely related though — one is a set of Medieval Village textures, and the other is a Medieval Farmhouse which makes use of some of those textures.

The Medieval Village texture set consists of 34 textures, including both transparent and non-transparent versions of the four textures which incorporate windows. (The Farmhouse uses the non-transparent versions, in case you were wondering).

Note: These are the same textures that were freebies in the recent TextureMania hunt. The only difference is that the thatch texture has been replaced, and the transparent windows have been added.

The farmhouse is a small prefab, only 22 prims, and covering 16m x 16m, so it should fit comfortably even inside a small 512m parcel (unless it is a very oddly shaped parcel).

A few samples:

As usual, they are available in-world at the main store, and on-line on the Xstreet website:

Templar Creations Main Store (look outside for the Medieval Farmhouse)

XStreet – Medieval Village Textures
XStreet – Medieval Farmhouse

Exhibition Hall Textures – Set 1

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

I recently completed a small commission project, building an exhibition hall for the Geneva Motor Show:

I created a number of textures specifically for this, and I’ve taken these and improved them a bit (I think!), added some additional ones, and am now releasing them as a new texture set.

Here’s a few samples, and an example of them in use:

As usual, you’ll find them on XStreet, and in-world at the Main Store:

XStreet Page

Templar Creations Main Store