The SL Marketplace: Some Lessons Learned

5 Apr

Having finally finished my Bow Shoe in 20 colorways and set it up in my shop for sale, I realized I could no longer put off the inevitable. I had to figure out how to list things on the SL Marketplace. That led to a 4 hour ordeal of figuring out how the marketplace works and fighting an overloaded system as right now people are frantically trying to convert their Marketplace listings from magic boxes to the new system.

Lesson 1:

Do NOT try to Send 25 folders from your Merchant Outbox to the Marketplace in one fell swoop. You will get failures. Early in the morning I was able to send the folders 5-6 at a time without an issue. I am assuming it was not as busy then. By 8 AM SLT I was reduced to moving them one folder at a time and even then I was getting a failure 2 of 4 tries.

Allow time after you hit send in your Merchant Outbox for the Items to appear in your Merchant Home under Unassociated Items. Don’t forget to refresh the page so you can see them. Like any newbie to this stuff I resent my stuff multiple times because I forgot to refresh the page and then I had to delete out all the duplicates, which was it’s own mess to do.

Lesson 2:

If you have a DEMO item do the listing for that first. That way you can link directly to the demo from your full version listing.

Lesson 3:

Once you have completed your first listing, you can use the quick fill button in the upper right corner of the Edit Item Listing page to automatically use that original item to fill in its info on subsequent similar items. For Example: The information from my Sky Bow Shoe was used to fill in all 19 other bow shoes. All I had to do was change the item name and check a few radio button up top that for some reason do not autofill. HUGE HUGE HUGE time saver.

Lesson 4:

USE the related items. For example on the Sky bow shoe I added the Demo, the Sky Colorblocked Bow Shoe, and the Fatpacks for both. Call it free advertising for your other products.

Lesson 5:

This is more of a Tip than a lesson. Sometimes if you get duplicate listings the delete function is either super slow or fails entirely. One solution is to use the “Return to my Inventory” option on the Actions dropdown next to the item. That seemed to work much more reliably for me than delete. The downside of it though is you will have to clean out your Received Items folder in world as that is where the returned folder goes.

All in all it wasn’t too horrible an experience. It takes time and can be pretty frustrating when the marketplace is busy but it was not particularly difficult to get all my shoes listed. Best advice from me is do this chore when you have the time and patience to handle something that might well take hours without interruptions.

Hopefully this helps someone avoid the mistakes I made.

The Shoe is Shaping Up

20 Mar

ShoeRevised for Blog

After taking some time to let my hands recover from the madness of trying to get a shoe ready for the benefit I was finally able to get back to work refining the Bow Shoe.

While working on the shoe for Mabb’s benefit I really wasn’t happy with how the texturing came out. In particular I lost a great deal of detail when the texture uploaded and was applied to the shoe. Instead of a rich suede it looked more like a felt. Also the stitching just wasn’t up to snuff.

Accordingly this week I split the single material UV I used for Mabb’s shoe into 3 materials and 3 UV’s which allowed me to make the texturable area larger on each UV permitting a much finer grain on the suede as can be seen in this snapshot.

I also found a marvelous tutorial online for doing stitching using paths in photoshop. That tutorial can be found here:

http://digitalscrapbookplace.com/university/tutorials/ps_stitching.shtml

The final problem tackled this week was getting an ankle lock script/animation working so that when the avatar moves the leg doesn’t cut through the strap of the shoe. I found the script on the wiki at http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/AnkleLock¬† unfortunately I could not get the animation on that page to upload properly to Second Life. I ended up breaking out my old copy of Poser and making my own animation.

So a busy week but big progress has been made.

My WIP Shoe Has Been Detoured by Tragedy

11 Mar

Last week the SLU community was rocked by the news that the real life woman behind the Mabb Dilweg avatar had passed away suddenly. Although I did not know her beyond reading her postings on SLU, I did have great respect for her and found her to be a witty intelligent and marvelous person.

The SLU community has pulled together with a yardsale where 100% of the proceeds go to a fund to try and help her SL partner to travel to Australia to be with Mabb’s family during this horrible time.

Second Life Maps | Apocalips Shinano

Accordingly I decided that I needed to contribute so I worked for the better part of 2 days straight on my shoe and created a version that will only be sold at that yard sale and then never again.

Image

I did the theme Mardi Gras for this event because from everything I read about Mabb that was posted by people who knew her far better she was fun loving and perfectly capable of making a party anywhere she was.

Here in Louisiana we mourn until after the funeral. Then we party to celebrate the life well lived. Mabb certainly lived her life well and touched many lives.

RIP Mabb Dilweg

Welcome and a Shoe in progress

28 Feb

Welcome to my first Blog. I am hoping in the weeks ahead to document my journey into Mesh content creation for Second Life. I hope to be able to document my progress both in the technical aspects of blender and as a business person within Second Life.

To start I would like to show you a shoe I have been working onImage

The basic modeling is nearly finished though I am not 100% happy with the bow yet. The colors shown are just place holder colors to help me see the various parts of the shoe. I am actively working on unwrapping to get a good UV map and the fun of texturing will begin.