Friday, January 18, 2008

Greetings from Planet Mongo! - Sneak peek at Lumiere Noir's new sim

"Howdy, howdy!" That's the signature 'hello' you can expect to hear from Lumiere Noir, creator of the Ivory Tower Library of Primitives (teleport directly from here), and the man most responsible for enabling all of you Second Life peeps to learn how to build. The set of choppers standing on the stairs there is me, and I'm just being a show-off, 'cause not only did he give me this snappy avatar - which he made some time ago and calls a "very old thing" - but last week he also invited NPIRLers to a super special 24-hour preview of his new island... Planet Mongo!

I realize my avatar is out of place on this Flash-Gordon inspired sim, but I somehow doubt Alex Raymond (he created the FG character for the original comic strip) would have minded. Like Lumiere, Mr. Raymond loved fast vehicles and drove around in this little Bandini sports number and like Lumiere, he was also known for pioneering a technique, manifested in his soft feathering pen style to produce one of the campiest, glitziest sci-fi stories ever. There've been about a bazillion versions of Flash Gordon since those depression-era days, and now we have the newest... conceived and hand-built by one of the most venerated creators on the grid.

His strength is a legend, his skill conquers all. On with his power we never will fall. Lothar. Defenders of the Earth!
As some of you know, I don't build - I just look at builds - and one of the first things I do when I rez at a new construction is look up. At the ceilings. A truly great builder generally can't resist making a detailed ceiling - prim count be damned. And nowhere else on the grid have I seen finer ceilings than at Planet Mongo. Just look at this chandelier!

The shimmering layers rotate, producing an elegant, mesmerizing effect. It turns out that Lumiere loves making ceilings, but "a lot of the time people never look, though," he said. Still, it's evident that building is a creative outlet for him, and he does it for himself, as well as taking pleasure in sharing it with others. "Paolo Portoghesi is my biggest hero. He brings the organic into modern architecture, and uses so many beautiful geometrical forms. He really reaches back into antiquity... the Roman and Greek forms, and makes them modern. When I saw this I freaked. This is the kind of building I'm doing now."

Decorative mouldings and architectural ornamentation abound here, as can be seen in yet another ceiling.

Like me, Lumiere is rapt about glow rendering, now possible because it has been added to the Second Life client viewer. He's used it to great effect throughout. "I've been drinking a lot of art deco," he said. The architecture and style of the 30's is a fave period for him... which also happens to be when Alexander Raymond introduced Flash Gordon.

"It's very minimal, but on a big scale," said Lumiere. "I like to keep it simple. Less lag and more unified." He's planning a big ballroom, which he will call UFOria.

Not surprisingly, Lumiere is an avid science fiction reader... "especially what other ages thought the future would be like. I'm a huge fan of kitsch." He reads Stanislaw Lem, who wrote Solaris, and Cordwainer Smith.

Planet Mongo - which will also serve as a retail location - is slated to officially open to the public in approximately two weeks. In the meantime, you can still enjoy the architecture and much more. Teleport directly from here.


Suzanne Graves said...

Thank you again Bettina...
You are making my travel list for tonite :)))