It’s been a busy month…

First was Generation 4 MLP coming to a close after nine years, which prompted me to throw a bit of a party in SL. And with that I got enthused to rekindle Roanoak and embarked on another damn fool idealistic crusade — with ponies.

Said crusade has 21 registered characters played by 19 players and has been pretty busy — and we’re only two weeks into it!

Anyway, it’s been nice to let The Empress run around again, and that has caused another spate of commissioned artwork:

Aurora facing down one of the rifts that define her little corner of the world.

I was able to get TurnipBerry to do another supremely epic piece for me, and that instigated a ton of questions about Aurora, Roanoak, SL, and everything else. And some of the questions led to needing a reference for Aurora — which has never been done…

Until now…

When Aurora was originally built in SL, there were some serious limitations to the available avatars… Even things like wings were super simplistic and the ‘feathers’ were just four straight lines on a flat color. You see, textures were limited to basic flat colors and something as simple as a gradient was really, really hard – if not impossible because of sculpts not having good UVs. And everything was made of sculpts to get that easy cell-shade outline, so pretty much everyone was solid colors. Which is okay, the show was also mostly solid colors too so it worked out.

Since then, everything that has been done since Aurora was built in early 2011, art-wise, has been based on my initial avatar that I was never truly happy with. In the stories, Aurora has always been a bit closer to the new reference because I’m big on details and have an entire cosmology that determines what she should look like…

I was fortunate that TurnipBerry was willing to listen to me rattle on about character details, and then add her own touches (like the countershading which is really nice) to create a reference for future works.

Which leads to updating Aurora in SecondLife:


The “Grand Old Mare” of my setting now sporting her new easier to photo colors and markings.

Folks in SL will undoubtedly do a double-take when Aurora shows up – after all, Aurora has looked pretty much the same for almost a decade… But I figure Aurora is just getting a jump on Gen5. 😀