"Welcome to 'Vestiges'. Follow the paths, let them guide you through fractals or doors."
You start in a topaz landscape, smoke rising up in front of you and simple instructions ringing in your virtual ears. The first moment of levitation on the path is unnerving even in Second Life, where we can fly; there's something about thinking you're walking on flat ground and actually walking on an incline which gives your stomach a lurch. Surrounding you are a wide variety of fractals transformed into buildings, vistas, and environments mixed in with simpler patterns. Each room is a jewel-toned box with walls made up of many flats in order to increase the resolution and detail of the fractals, and to allow for narrow doors anywhere in that wall. Where the path isn't obvious, directions are given in local text, but usually large stones, openings in rocks, and actual doors in the walls will guide you forward. Each room is a sharp contrast with the prior, and the overall effect is like stepping through a library of books, each one with a different tone and palette from the last.
Often it looked like there should be a horizon on all sides, but the corners break that illusion; now and then the effect works, particularly when the entire room is crisp and square. Now and then rooms have uneven edges and naturalistic rockfalls which disguise the seams, making the effect almost overwhelming. Mists of matching hues also smooth over some of the rough edges or add mysterious and creepy aspects to relatively simple rooms. The size of everything is enormous, which gives it a sense of scale but also leaves one lost within a sea of texture and color, and the quality of texturing varies widely as well even within a single room. The fractals are so vivid and have such depth of contrast that gentle textures seem somehow lost beside them. Sharper, more defined edges might have given the effect of these fractals being captured somehow, or of the rooms being all of a piece.
The fractal images are breathtaking, though - hyper real, with sharp, bright lines and incredible depths, and presenting them as landscapes to walk into, through, and across is wonderful. I love the moments of surprise or delight - a hallway made up of transparent layers of the same symbol, a floor covered in squares of carefully contained chaos, or light cutting a door in what looks like another landscape. Leaping from theme to theme, the fractals change mood and hue erratically, the few rooms that are thematically bound stand out within general chaos. One is left feeling isolated, dominated by creations that are at once pure and precise while also being disturbingly naturalistic and engulfing.I would have loved a bit more organization, a sense of a journey rather than a series of leaps, but I went through the entire experience twice and enjoyed it thoroughly each time. Anyone who loves colors, powerful images, or the sense of movement through space should check out Gem Preiz's first fractal adventure, and I look forward to seeing the second one in March!
( More pictures here. )
Skin: Izzie's, Irene
Hair: Doe, Bryn (OMGacha)
Eyes: .:Soul:., Roomee
Eyelashes 1: SLink, Mesh Lashes
Eyelashes 2: Flugeln Brise, 05-A
Ears: .:Soul:., High Elf
Earrings: -SECRETS-, Kitty Ear Stretcher (OMGacha)
Necklace: Kibitz, MSG Necklaces (OMGacha)
Wings: .::Supernatural::., Veronica Wings (OMGacha)
Hands: SLink, Hands
Nails: Dark Passions, Koffin Nails - Spring Time Tartan (OMGacha)
Outfit: .::Supernatural::., Veronica Dress + Mask (OMGacha)
Shoes: 1313, Nova Wedges (OMGacha)
Pose: Fashiowl, Ballet4 (OMGacha)
Windlight Settings: Sim Default
Photographed by Deoridhe Quandry
Post processing: Cropping