Virtual Bloke
Lost in Inventory

Lost In Inventory: Te-Te-Textures!

C’mon… just sing it to the tune of Bowie’s Changes ;-)

This is the next post in what has clearly decided to be a new series for the blog. My humungous inventory has evidently become sentient and taken on both a life and a mind of its own. So here I am: the poor hapless avatar blogging his attempts to wrangle said inventory into some semblance of order. And what’s something that I have a veritable crapton of, tucked away in (and overflowing from) hundreds of folders?

TEXTURES

By god, do I have textures. Thousands upon thousands of the little buggers. You see, back in the day—before I got seriously into the SL fashion thing (and before mesh came along and I was too bloody lazy to teach myself Blender, but we won’t talk about that, okay?)—I used to Make Stuff™ and consequently I spent a lot of money on full permission textures to use in my builds.

I have so many bloody textures that boxing them all up would be a quick win in the inventory count reduction stakes, but here’s the thing: I still use them. Well, some of them. I still want access to them, because I like to use them to texture the simple backdrops that I create for my blog and Flickr images. And if they’re boxed up that means it’ll be a pain in the arse to have to rez the box, open it, double-click each texture therein to view it, etc etc.

Enter the texture organiser. And yes, of course I have several. The one I have been using for many years is the KinEx Texture and Sculpt Organiser V2, created by Kindred Skytower.

The KinEx Texture and Sculpt Organiser V2. Image by Kindred Skytower.

It’s served me well over the years, and I have multiple copies of it: some of them expanded and some not. I don’t just use them for textures; I also have one for all of my snapshots, so I can keep thirteen years of them tidied away but still viewable if I want to look at them. The KinEx can be rezzed or worn as a HUD, so it’s ideal for that kind of thing, buuuuut… it’s prim-heavy. First rez, without any expansions, it has a land impact of 51. And that’s fine; I have plenty of spare room for that. But while it’s great for holding multiple categories and sets of textures (and it’s still the best sculpt viewer) it wasn’t what I needed for my current inventory sorting caper.

I set out to find the perfect texture archival system for myself, based on my needs. Those needs were:

  • Textures to be boxed up so they’re no longer individually in my inventory
  • Textures to be viewable on a ‘per set’ basis in an organiser
  • The organiser to be wearable as a HUD, with the ability to take out a texture while the HUD is worn

And, my sartorial darlings, I’ve found the perfect thing: The Tekscha Texture Organiser & Viewer by Panacea Pangaea of Pan’s Boutique.

The Tekscha Texture Organiser & Viewer. Image by Panacea Pangaea of Pan’s Boutique.

This little thing is absolutely perfect for what I need. It’s simple to use, and can be worn as a HUD. When rezzed it has a land impact of just 5. A single click on any texture in the main window will show that texture on its own (and another single click will send you back to the main set of textures). There’s a button to show the texture in tiled format. A double-click on the single texture will bring up a menu where you can take a copy of that texture.

So here’s what I’ve been doing with it:

  • I rez out one prim and rename it to .box –
  • I rez out one Tekscha organiser behind the prim and rename it to .hud –

Why the period at the start of each? That puts it to the top of the folder once it’s in my inventory, because if there are any contact sheet images for the texture set I’ll be keeping those in the folder for even quicker reference.

  • I then select both the prim and the organiser and shift-drag (hold down the shift key and move my mouse to the side, pulling on the edit arrow) fresh copies until I have several of them.

Now, because I’m a persnickety git, I like to have my folders named a specific way. Sure, this means I spend extra time on that, but like anything that you do a lot, you soon get it down to a fine (and very quick) art. So I rename all of the folders for a particular texture creator how I like them to be. I then Right-click > Rename the first one so that the text is highlighted. Then CTRL +C to copy. Right-click the rezzed prim, into the Object Name field and CTRL + V to paste (after the .box – part of the name), then rename the .hud – in the same way.

So now I have:

.box – Texture Store Name – Texture Set Name
.hud – Texture Store Name – Texture Set Name

All I have to do now is drag the textures into the prim’s contents, then drag them into the organiser’s contents, too.

Dragging the textures into the Content tab of the rezzed-out Tekscha HUD

A quick tip: Sometimes SL can be slow to refresh the items inside a rezzed object. Firestorm gives you that handy little ‘refresh’ button on the Content tab, but what I like to do is move everything in the folder—except the last item—into the rezzed object, then wait for it to reload the contents. Lastly, I drag the final item across. That just makes sure everything’s in there.

If you’re having trouble seeing when the contents refresh, here’s another tip to use once the Content tab has enough items in it to be showing a scrollbar: drag across the next set of items, then quickly pull the scrollbar to the bottom. When the Content tab refreshes, the scrollbar will move up to the top again.

So here is a full set of all the available old Linden textures on my build platform. Each set is packed into its own organiser, as well as into an archive prim (for safekeeping, just in case anything happens to break the scripts in the organiser).

Archived freely-available Linden textures: Linden Homes (Tahoe Springs, Meadowbrook, Elderglen, and Shareta Osumai), plus Bay City, Nautilus, and Nova Albion

A closer view of three of the sets:

All that’s left to do is take them into inventory:

Yes, it’s a bit like Where’s Wally/Waldo, because the first organiser that I took into inventory automatically went into the original Tekscha folder instead of into the Objects folder. Can you spot which one? ;-)

Then pull them into the actual folders, and lastly delete all of the original individual textures. Look how tidy that is!

All of the Linden textures, neatly organised. The asterisk after the folder names is my way of denoting “This set has been archived”, which is helpful if I stop partway through archiving a large folder of textures.

Note that there are a few additional bits in those folders. I’ve archived the objects in separate prims, and I use that Bay City bench at my home location, so I want that readily available. And—since the Tekscha organiser is a bit picky about textures that aren’t full permission—there’s one ‘no modify’ texture still in one folder, alongside a couple of notecards that I’ve kept for reference.

Here’s the Elderglen Linden Home organiser, worn as a HUD. The hovertext at the top can be enabled or disabled by clicking the Owner Options button on the top left. Incidentally, that Owner Options button can also be used to turn the organiser into a texture vendor, so you can sell textures that you’ve created.

The Elderglen Linden Home free textures in the Tekscha organiser, worn as a HUD

A single click on one of the textures will fill the HUD with that texture. A double-click on that full texture will open the menu, from which you can perform various actions, including pulling a copy of that texture into your inventory to use:

And this will never not be satisfying, right?

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