Let me introduce you to a product that you have probably seen a lot in SL : the Vixen Training Set !
This set is a complete set of cuffs for the arms and the legs, four collars, a tight armbinder with a metal bar, a yoke, a spreader, chains and straps for the heels. All in one package.
Please note that this product is not new, it was actually created and released in March 2011, but it got a complete overhaul in May 2017, turning it from sculpties to mesh and from baked lighting to materials. You can find the original blog post here. (*)
This set used to be named "Vixen Leather Training Set" but although it can still do three shines of leather, it can also do latex, rubber, PVC, plastic (transparent or not), fabric and brushed steel so the "leather" part could be dropped. You might notice that the box still contains the name "leather" but don't mind that, it will change over time.
For one, the collar is actually 4 collars in 1. The same object has four different appearances : a simple strap collar looking very much like the cuffs but with sequins, a classy version for everyday use with sequins too, a medium posture collar and a high posture collar. See for yourself :
High posture, the head can't move at all
The cuffs also have a few surprises. Beyond the usual bondage (chaining the hands in front, behind the back or along the body), they come with two interesting pieces of equipment : a u-binder and a yoke. The u-binder binds the arms behind the back in a U, very useful for workout and ponyplay, while the yoke locks itself directly on the collar (the "Reshape" plugin allows you to resize the yoke to your shape). Told you this set was meant for training !
Hands to collar
As for the legs... it gets even better. You have the usual loose chaining of the ankles to slow the sub down, two hogties (the same ones as in the Restrained Elegance Shackles), and not one but three spreader bars. Standing, sitting, laying down and hogtie, all with the legs spread widely apart. Like the yoke, the "Reshape" plugin allows you to resize the spreader bar without having to edit it by hand. Did I tell you this set was meant for training ? Hehe.
Textures and materials
Of course black might not be your color of choice... Fret not, you can customize the cuffs and collars entirely. You can choose whether to use materials, in which case they will look realistic with a dynamic shine that moves with the camera, or not to use materials, meaning you can use any of the static textures (another name for "baked lighting", meaning the light is directly "painted" onto the texture, it was the old way of rendering shine in SL before materials). See for yourself :
Black leather and blood trim, with the local lights shining over its surface
The same from another angle
White leather with gold metal, notice the shadows on the surface making it look more realistic
Clear plastic ! Yay !
Black latex, of course
The collar is not forgotten either, here is an example of the "dirty leather" preset
Locking the shoes
And last but not least, the legs cuffs come with a little plus : the ability to lock high heels on with a small strap that goes under the sole. For long sessions of, uh, training, y'know. Of course since the set uses the RLV, the shoes are really locked on when the strap is applied. More so, since every heel is different, the "LockShoes" plugin embedded in the legs cuffs allows you to actually rotate and stretch the straps as you see fit.
So if you combine everything, you get a quite devious set of sober but elegant restraints that is guaranteed to keep your little vixen squirming. Or perfectly still, if so is your choice.
This set costs L$1200, is modify, no-copy and transfer, and can be found in any of the RealRestraint vendors in-world, for example in Pak. It is not available on the Marketplace.
The rest of this blog post talks about how to use your Vixen set, how to resize it and how to change the text on the Classy collar. I don't go much into detail because I don't want to bore you, and you will probably want to experiment yourself anyway.
How to see materials
In order to see your cuffs shine, you need to activate Advanced Lighting Model in your viewer's Graphics Preferences, if not already done.
To activate ALM, open your Preferences, go to "Graphics" and tick the "Advanced Lighting Model" checkbox, if not already done :
If doing so cripples your FPS (Frames Per Second, the speed at which your viewer renders your view in SL), just deactivate the dynamic shadows like this :
Of course there need to be local lights around, at the very least some sun. If you are in an area without any local lights, the cuffs won't shine, obviously.
If your viewer is not able to render materials, or if you don't want to activate ALM for whatever reason, you can always make the cuffs and collar show baked lighting instead of materials. The best way to do this is to select one of the presets beginning with "static", which both sets the textures and removes the materials.
You can even do both, selecting the materials you want and the static texture you want.
How to change texture and shine
To change the appearance of your cuffs and collar, you use the VixenTex plugin. Please be aware that this set is three products in one : arms cuffs, legs cuffs and collars, so you need to do this once per sub-set if you want to make the appearance homogeneous (but then again, you might not want that, it is your choice). Click on a cuff or on the collar, go to "Plugins", then browse until you find "VixenTex", and select it. There will be a full tutorial and explanation on how this plugin works, but for now here are a few pointers, then you'll probably want to experiment yourself.
Firstly, you may want to try out some presets by going to the "Presets" menu. You can customize your cuffs and collar with a lot of control, but that also means to spend time doing it, and you might not want that so presets are a good way to speed things up. Here are how those presets look :
Here are the RGB values of all the colors (or should I say tints) used in the VixenTex plugin :
- Ivory : 247 242 223
- Copper : 120 51 15
- Gold : 252 194 0
- Black : 13 13 13
- Gunmetal : 66 56 51
- Steel : 128 128 128
- Slate : 112 128 143
- Silver : 191 191 191
- White : 255 255 255
- Blood : 117 10 10
- Red : 191 0 0
- Light red : 255 64 64
- Orange : 224 117 33
- Yellow : 252 219 20
- Light yellow : 255 245 176
- Dark green : 5 51 15
- Green : 8 120 38
- Lime : 89 242 128
- Navy : 20 41 66
- Blue : 26 94 217
- Azure : 94 176 255
- Indigo : 112 0 255
- Amethyst : 153 102 204
- Plum : 143 69 133
- Purple : 191 0 128
- Flesh pink : 204 138 128
- Princess pink : 245 194 194
Those colors are the same as the ones used in other RealRestraint products such as the Highbinder, the Deluxe Straps, the Basic Straps, the Deluxe Gag, the Pretty Mummy, the Body Harness and even the products in the Maison De La Marquise line, the latex catsuits, socks & gloves, and bodysuits. That way you can stay assorted.
Some of the colors used in the presets are not in the "Tints" menu, let me write the RGB values below so you can use them yourself with the "Custom" button in that menu if you wish :
- Old leather used in "Dirty Leather" and "Institutional" : 100 71 53
- Gold used in "White gold" : 219 182 134
- Padlock used by the Deluxe Straps : 228 169 85
- Khaki used in "Battlefield" : 66 74 59
- Blue jeans used in "Dirty Jeans" : 28 51 77
- Ivory : 247 242 223
Once you have selected a preset, you might want to customize further. You can do this through the "Sections", "Surfaces", "Patterns", "Tints" and "Materials" menus. "Sections" are like prims, for example only the wrists, or the wrists and elbows, or only the elbows, or the bars, etc. "Surfaces" are parts of those sections, for example only the main strap, or only the trim, or only the metal, etc. By the way, if you wonder about these bizarre terms, I assure you they make sense. See the "PS" at the very end of this post to get a better explanation.
Once you have selected the sections and surfaces you want to modify, choosing a tint, pattern and material will have an immediate effect. The tint is the color, the pattern is the texture you choose, the material is what it is made of and how it shines in the light.
One word about patterns. They are the very textures applied on the cuffs and collar, but they are not all applied the same way. Some textures such as the "static" ones (the ones with baked shine in them) have a shadow map, which means some grey and black areas to emphasize the relief and shadows, making the cuffs look more realistic, like this :
White "Clean" pattern
White "Dirty" pattern
But if you don't want shadows at all (because let's face it, it is the viewer's responsibility to render Ambient Occlusion, which is the other word for these shadows), you can use the "Plain" pattern, which is nothing else than a plain white texture :
White "Plain" pattern, there are no shadows but the viewer
does generate some faint ones at runtime
does generate some faint ones at runtime
Patterns are textures, but they also influence the opacity. The Vixen set has three opacities : completely opaque such as demonstrated above, transparent (called "Transparent", how original) and almost invisible (called "Clear", not to be mistaken with "Clean" which is opaque) :
The "Static" patterns are the baked lighting ones, you have several colors at your disposal, plus rough leather and black latex :
Static rough (formerly named "Hide" but renamed because of confusion)
Note : the shadows near the eyelets look a bit blocky on these pictures but that's because of my viewer, there must be a graphics setting somewhere that filters them according to the distance, seen from closer they look more defined :
Full disclosure, the "Static white" texture (or rather textures, there are many of them, two per cuff and collar) is exactly the same as the "Clean" pattern in the "Patterns" menu of the VixenTex plugin. Likewise, the "Static rough" texture is the "Dirty" pattern with two brown tints (one for the base, another for the light). So you can easily reproduce the same effects with materials.
And then you have all the remaining patterns which are the reason why it is called "pattern" in the first place : simple textures that are repeated to give a pattern to the cuffs and collar, such as camo, cow, little hearts and others :
Skulls ("Yarrrr !")
Red hearts (notice the shine that is red too because the original texture is white and black, I had to tint it light red, which tints the shine red as well)
Sorry, this section was a lot longer than anticipated, but customization is a big feature in this set so it had to be demonstrated in detail.
How to change the text on the Classy collar
One of the four collars is able to display custom text over up to 32 characters, as a texture, this is the one that shows on the second lock, the "Classy" one. To do this, simply go to the "Text" plugin, which allows you to change the text, the font and color of the classy collar. The text does not display on "Simple", "Post. Med" or "Post. High", only on "Classy".
It is originally showing your own first name in an "ivory" color, but you have several choices on the menu, including a way to enter any text you want. The text will be centered but the Classy collar actually has two sides, since the padlock is in the middle, so you may want to display a short text on each side, rather than a long one that will be cut in the middle. In other words, you may specify to repeat your text twice automatically if it is short enough. To do this, simply add a star ("*") after your text to repeat it twice and center it twice.
For example, if you simply enter "Prisoner" in the "Text" menu of the Text plugin after pressing on "CUSTOM", this is what will happen :
"Pris", then sequins and padlock, then "oner"
But if you enter "Prisoner*", with the trailing star, then you get this :
... on each side.
The other menus in the Text plugin let you choose the font and color, it's pretty straightforward.
And if you want to go further, having several fonts and/or several colors on the same text, you can specify an interval thanks to the "Interval" menu. This menu lets you specify at which character to start and at which one to end, and whether you move both limits when moving one of them or not ("linked" and "unlinked" modes respectively). When you choose a color or a font, the change is applied only to the characters inside this interval. You can literally set one different color per character like that, if you like.
How to resize
Resizing this set is easier than before, because the main parts are mesh instead of sculpties.
First press Ctrl Alt T to highlight invisible objects in red, then select the part you want to move with the "Edit Linked" checkbox ticked on your Edit window.
Select the object...
Check "Edit linked", select the cuff, and resize it
as if it were a normal prim
Please be aware of the four 8-letter parts that go with the Classy collar, and that are individual parts, they need to move with the Classy collar or the text won't look good. A good way to do this is to move the whole collar object locked in "Classy" until it fits, then to select all the collars EXCEPT Classy individually, it's much easier. Each collar behaves like an individual prim with regards to resizing and positioning, so that will be much easier than the sculpty version.
Those two parts, as well as the two on the other side,
must be moved along with the Classy collar
(show but not selected here)
Also please notice the invisible prims that serves as leash and chain points, they need to be moved as well (not necessarily rotated or resized, they're just points) so the particle chains touch the mesh rings more or less well. It's easy but it has to be done.
I'm talking about these prims, the big cross being
the leash target while the two pies are for
the Lockguard chains.
Have fun !
(*) I had some fun reproducing the exact same poses for this post as the ones I was using to demonstrate six years ago. I was still using my system shape and body at the time, as well as N-core and Skifija high heels (if I remember well), and that Graves bikini was not lost either. And now, six years later with my still trusty and useful Amacci ponytail but this time with a Maitreya mesh body, hands and feet, a Lelutka Simone Bento head, H@S Miss S heels and of course, new Vixens with materials, you can tell SL has improved a lot over time and now easily competes with the best looking modern video games !
PS : You might wonder why VixenTex uses the terms "sections", "surfaces", "tints" and "patterns" instead of "prims", "submeshes", "colors" and "textures" respectively, but this is because the terms I chose make more sense. Let me explain. The cuffs are partly mesh and a single mesh is not a prim, even though it is often called that way in the context of a complex object, so "section" works better than "prims". As mesh objects, they have several "submeshes" but come on, who uses that word except 3D designers ? In SL they would be called "faces" and behave the same way, but a "face" in 3D design is a triangle, so that doesn't work either, "surface" is better. "Tint" is more exact than "color" because you actually tint a texture that might not be white in the first place, so what you get is a mix, not necessarily the "color" you selected. It is the color you selected only if the underlying texture is white. And "pattern" is better than "texture" because it may be repeated on the surface, that depends on the pattern you choose.
PPS : I normally make the metal shine with materials by using 100 for the shine, 30 for the environment, a white specular color and a steel grey diffuse color. But in the case of the Vixens I cannot do this, since they predate materials by years. Switching from Medium or High shine to materials would mean some users would not see their metal shine at all anymore, breaking the product for them. Probably I will switch the metal to materials over time but not yet.