TheTinkerAvatarHe often spends days straight sitting on a stool in his shop working on inventions…sensing how to fix things by meticulously examining them…and always seeking something just beyond his grasp. He’s quite secluded and introverted, especially since a recent experiment with molecules morphed him into the anamorphic form of a steampunk dog. Bing part man and part animal, he feels different from everyone else. One day while working on a pocket watch of unknown origin, the room exploded with steam and projected him into the distant future where he finds other anamorphic characters like him who bear a similarity to his friends…including Vicki Mouse…a reminder of one he loved from afar without hope for true love.


Here are notes on how the Tinker avatar was made:

Basically his outfit started with the Curious Chinchilla Black and White (male) avatar sold by Uchi Desmoulins.  I added the color and dog parts from Cougar -Chocolate mod and the face from the Siamese Cat for Chinchilla mod and Puppy Paws along with Floopy Dog Ears (because I thought they were just so cute).  Here are the complete list of items Tinker is wearing (but feel free to let your version be different to express your own Tinkerness):

  • [Symbiotic] Floppy Dog Ears Boxed
    • [Symbiotic] Floppy Dog Ear (Left)
    • [Symbiotic] Floppy Dog Ear (Right)
    • (NOTE: modified inside and outside parts of ears to make dark brown [HEX 100800] on outside and lighter brown [HEX 281400] on inside)
  • Cougar – Chocolate
    • Cougar Shape – Male
    • Cougar Skin – Male
    • Cougar Tail – Rigged Mesh
    • (used texture for paw color modification)
  • Chinchilla – Black and White: for items
    • Head (modified with texture from Siamese Cat for Chinchilla)
    • Flappy Jaw (modified with texture from Siamese Cat for Chinchilla)
    • Chinchilla HUD
    • NO HAIR
    • Round Eye (left)
    • Round Eye (right)
  • Siamese Cat for Chinchilla: for items
    • Puppy Paws Alpha
    • (used textures from this for head and jaw)
  • XNT
    • XNT~ Madstone Boots, Shoebase
    • XNT~ Madstones – Tall Foot Hider (for shorter pants)-Right
    • XNT~ Madstones – Tall Foot Hider (for shorter pants)-Left
    • XNT~ Madstone Boots, Black w/FrostPlaid Spats/Left
    • XNT~ Madstone Boots, Black w/FrostPlaid Spats/Right
  • BlakOpal Steampunk Formal Suit Vest-Shirt
  • XNT~ Impressionista Sculpted Cravat
  • Top Hat Black (from Curio Obscura’s Free Top Hats) and I also used Curio Obscura’s Crash Into The Ground effect to add some to the character when he falls from the sky
  • Lord Parker Pocketwatch c/m by Reghan
  • ~JD~ MTF GearBelt “MultiTool”
  • Steampunk Googles (free) from GARRY on OpenSim Creations (link) and also available from Katmelie in the Pirate Chicken Airship near Tinker’s Place.  I added a glow of .06 and streched them to fix around the hat.
  • Used a facelight to bring Tinker out of the shadows a bit:
    • Colors face light special by Jerome Sicling
  • VISTA ANIMATIONS CASUAL 2 MALE AO V09 with ZHAO-II by Ziggy Puff, mod by Marcus Gray, Johann Ehrler & Moeka Kohime


Here is a view of the Steampunkables sim as things progress with development on the LEA23 sim in the virtual world of Second Life.



The Tinker in Color

Technology and his Steampunkables friends have changed a lot in Steam Center when the “The Tinker” is accidentally transported to the year 2525.

Story of “The Tinker”

Tinker-Color-DrawingOnce upon a time that never was, I sat on a stool in my shop and was…well tinkering…for that is what I do.  Reaching inside a box of unfinished inventions, my hand found something that shimmered in the dim light.  I often worked on things into the wee hours of the night only to put them back into the box again.  For one can never be quite sure what things might one day become.   Well to make a long story short (or is it the other way around)…I was looking at this pocket watch and trying to remember where it came from.  It looked oddly familiar and yet unfamiliar at the same time.  So I went to working to fix it…for a tinker’s job is never done. And that is when something incredible happened…BOOOOOOOM!!!!!!

Smoke filled the room after the explosion and my head was spinning (more often than usual) as my eyes struggled to focus.  As I started to slowly see things around me, I hoped this wasn’t another life-altering accident (like that time I literally drank the hair of the dog that bit me just to end up with fur).  Many of the townspeople looked at me strangely after that thinking I might be playing with black magic or something.  But back to my story…as the room became visible again, I saw a world that was quite different from the one that I remembered.  For all kinds of devices were about that I had never seen.  I slowly explored this strange new world filled with technology and characters that bear a close resemblance to the human friends I knew from before but in a future world where they were animal like Steampunkables in a Steam Center of the future.  I looked down upon the watch wondering how such a little thing as that could take me into the year 2525…and if I would ever be able to return to a time and place that I called home again.

123D Catch

I digitized the clay model of the Tinker to start a path to bring this Steampunkable character into Second Life.  Shown below is the process I used:


  1. Using the iPhone app 123D Catch, I took 31 photos of the clay model I designed.  I started with a high angle and slowly moved around the model to take pictures in a circle till I completely shot from all sides (about 15 photos) and then went closer to ground level shooting around the model on a second pass.  Finally I used my last few photos (since it warned me when I was down to last 10 photos) to get some closeup detail shots.
  2. It took me about 3 tries to get this right.  The videos on Autodesk’s tutorials for the app are quite useful (http://www.123dapp.com/catch/learn).
  3. I switched from the iPhone version to open the saved render with the 123D Catch web version (http://apps.123dapp.com/catch), where I was able to isolate faces and peal away some of the base to isolate the 3D model.
  4. Next I exported out the model to OBJ format to use in other applications.  Autodesk warns you that OBJ export is normally only for premium members (which runs $99 per year), but they are letting you do them for free right now (but not sure how long that is for).
  5. I opened the model in Maya 2014 (the student version is free) and started to cleanup the geometry and fill in the holes.
  6. I dropped a corner insert picture into the screenshot to also show you the complexity of the 3D geometry.  It is very complex with 57, 392 triangles. I will try out a few things over the next week to see what cleans up geometry best.  Sculptris (which is free) has both reduced brush & reduce selected options for simplifying models — but I will need to watch things or I may lose too much detail.

Modeling The Tinker

SteampupHere is a photo of the digitized version in Maya.  Click here for full details on how I did this using AutoDesk 123D Catch.  Ironically, the digital version was made using technology on a timepiece device (smart phone).  You can see the color version of the 3D model on Autodesk 123D Catch at: http://www.123dapp.com/FullPreview/Index.cfm/ID/1623864 Note that it only took a few minutes after class to take the pictures for the digital version. Amazing what smart phones can do these days.

On July 31st, I worked with clay for the first time sculpting the character.  Shown below are image(s) as this development evolves from day to day with baking of the model expected to be done on Aug 4th and acyclic painting applied in the following week.


The first character being developed is “The Tinker” who likes to fiddle with and invent things.  He is more of an accidental inventor of sorts.  He has somehow been projected into a future world of Steam Center as he comes to realize through his exploration in the year 2525.  As he explores these strange lands, The Tinker will meet other Steampunkables characters in a land of Technology and Steampunk.

Initial Clay Model

The TInker on Day 1

The model is made with Super Sculpey, armature construction wire (1/8 and 1/16 gauge), and aluminum foil.  The Steampunk hat and goggles will be modeled separately and are shown in front of the clay model of “The Tinker.”  What is shown above took between 1-2 hours to model.  I will continue to share as I progress on modeling this throughout the week.

Character Study Bone Development

Development of “The TInker” starter with basic ink drawing and evolved with character bone development to flesh out the characteristics and expressions to get a deeper sense of this character.  That was over a period of about one and a half weeks.  Here is a final character sheet on the Tinker.

Fliesen The Tinker 2


My inspiration for the Tinker character comes in part from my Yorkshire Terrier named “Hershey”



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