I am proud to announce the complete rework of the Restrained Elegance set, converting it to mesh using materials !
Until now the collar looked like this :
Now it look like this :
It wasn't looking bad before, but this set has met a lot of success so it was high time it got an upgrade, don't you think ?
If you remember, the Restrained Elegance set was designed from the original real life cuffs set named "Heaven's Hell" by SM-Factory, with a written permission from Hans from SM-Factory to use the design and Hywel from RestrainedElegance to use the name, because it is on RestrainedElegance that you see those cuffs used the most. The design I came up with in SL wasn't bad for the time, but since then I actually acquired a full set of Heaven's Hell made to measure... you can guess where this is going.
I used calipers to reproduce the cuffs and the collar in SL, so your product will now be exactly the same as the RL one. If you own the same set in RL, or if you look closely at the pictures on the website, you'll notice that the front "pyramid" may have different shapes. My cuffs have a pointy pyramid, but some pictures show that piece flat on the front.
I even recorded sounds of me locking, unlocking, inserting and taking keys so you get the real thing. The little jingle you hear in those sounds is the key ring provided by SM-Factory.
Of course, since the shape is now exact, the materials have to be exact as well and I spent a considerable amount of time making sure of that. And by materials I mean there is not just steel. You have over thirty materials at your disposal, some of them being tintable to give you a plethora of options. Some of them, like steel, have a strong baked lighting on top of the dynamic shine, because we can't make mirrors in SL, so that's the only way to simulate reflective surfaces. Others have a lot less baked lighting but still a little to avoid looking plain.
How to update
Before going further, if you are eager to update your set, simply go to one of these locations :
My Little Shop
Roper's Dark Playground
Once there, click on the updater and follow the instructions. You absolutely need to choose "REPLACE" on the menu instead of "UPDATE" since the objects are completely different. If you do not get a "REPLACE" option, contact me (Marine Kelley) to get a manual replacement.
I forgot to say, this update is of course free.
Without further ado, let's see what materials you'll get, keeping in mind that the main part, the padlock and the details (the front "pyramid" and the rings) can be textured and tinted independently. I'm also showing the collar from different angles so you see the reflections are dynamic. And of course, the cuffs have the same materials, not just the collar, even though only the collar is displayed in these pictures.
Brass, which is the material used by the padlock by default
Aluminium, notice the dents on the edges
Steel new, this is the default material (the padlock is brass by default)
Steel used, a little more damaged than the one before
Steel alloy, like steel new but with much less baked lighting to make it easier to tint
Steel with a BDSM pattern
Steel with a celtic pattern
Steel with a flower pattern (well it's leaves, really)
Steel with a roman or greek pattern
Steel with runes
Steel with skulls
Steel with studs
Hexagonal pattern, very fashionable, very shiny too
Galvanized iron, cheap look but sturdy, good for prisons
Old, very old iron
Ruined iron, completely corroded and covered with dust
Old statue bronze, at least it's not covered in pigeon poop
Painted clean, tinted green with 10% saturation to make it look military (but you can tint it the color you want as it is white by default)
Plastic clean, tinted blue with 80% saturation (like paint this material is white by default), notice the little wear that shows that this is just a rubber coating, the underlying cuff is made of black steel
Plastic worn with more edge damage
Plastic distressed, this one has seen better days !
Legacy shine low, tinted "steel" (which is 50% grey) (*)
Legacy shine medium, this is the exact same shine as the old version of the Elegance set (*)
Legacy shine high, very metallic (*)
(*) The legacy shine refers to the way SL renders a shiny surface without using materials. The "Legacy" materials are there for those among you who can't or don't want to see materials on their cuffs. After all, you probably bought the Restrained Elegance set at a time when materials in SL were not even an idea, and if your computer cannot render materials, your set would be broken by this update if not for these "Legacy" materials.
So that's all the built-in materials in the new Restrained Elegance set. You've seen that the surfaces can also be tinted on top of it, but you can also adjust the tint by choosing a custom saturation and a custom luminosity. This is handy because most of the built-in colors (which are the same ones as the MdlM Latex catsuits so you can make them assorted) are fully saturated, but in the real world most colors are at least slightly desaturated to look more natural so you can do the same here.
All this customization is done through the new EleganceTex plugin, which is accessible both by the sub and by the keyholder, but the keyholder can choose to deny access to the sub if she wants.
Through this plugin you can :
* Change the materials like shown above
* Choose a tint to replace the possible built-in tint of the chosen material (like Aluminium which is grey)
* Choose the surface to change the material or tint of
* Adjust the saturation and luminosity
* Dull down the shine (you can't make it brighter since this modifies the shine color, not the glossiness) with the "Shine factor" button
* Deny access to the sub with the "Deny" button
* Choose to apply manually or automatically with the "Live" button
* Reset the tint, saturation and luminosity with the "Defaults" button
* Reset the materials back to "Steel new" and "Brass" for the padlock with the "Reset" button
Changing the tint
Some materials come pre-tinted, like "Steel alloy" which is grey by default whereas its texture is actually white. When you tint a surface, its built-in tint is replaced by the one you chose. Be aware though that some other materials do not have a built-in tint yet have a definite color, like Gold or Copper. Those materials have non-white textures so tinting them may lead to surprises. It's best to shade them instead, i.e. diminish the luminosity or choose a grey tint, which is the same thing.
When you have chosen your tint, you may want to adjust its saturation and/or luminosity. This is done independently and if you change the tint later, the saturation and luminosity stay the same. Using the saturation and luminosity are a good way to make a tint look more natural (like above in the pictures with the desaturated green and blue tints) without having to calculate a custom tint and to enter it manually in with the "CUSTOM" button in the "Tints" sub-menu.
The materials that you shouldn't tint but can safely darken are the following ones :
* Gold, but you can tint it princess pink to make pink gold, such a thing exists and it will even shine orangeish
* Silver because it is naturally medium grey
* Brass because it is naturally brown
* Copper because it is naturally dark brown
* Steel (and its patterns) because it is very metallic, so its baked lighting texture is strong, contrasted and colorful
* Iron rusty, Iron old and Iron ruined because rust is supposed to be reddish
* Corroded and Statue fore the same reason
All the other materials can be safely tinted and they will look good.
The cuffs and the collar are made of metal, that is a given. This means a lot of things when it comes to rendering, in particular how the shine changes when the surface is tinted. Unlike plastics which shine the same color as the lights around them, metals actually tint the reflected light. In fact, the more conductive a material, the more it tints the light it reflects. The human eye is good at telling a metal from a plastic posing as metal, and this is how it manages that.
This means that when you tint your cuffs, the reflected shine is tinted as well. Most of the materials are bare metal so the tint is strong, like here on this steel alloy collar tinted blue :
Notice the shine is blueish there. If it were white instead of blue like the metal, it would look like this :
It looks... I don't know. More polished, maybe, like there is a layer of varnish over the metal. It doesn't look bad, but it does not look the way we would expect from a metal surface, so the shine changes color with the tint you choose instead of staying white.
This leads to interesting results, because some metals have a natural blueish shine, like iron and aluminium, making them shine cold. If you tint an aluminium collar red, it looks like this :
It is not obvious at first glance, but the shine is actually halfway between red and purple, making it look cold, like metal. It really adds to the feel of the surface.
Some materials are halfway between plastic and metal, like the "Paint" materials. Their paint reflects the shine with a slight tint to it depending on the tint you choose, but is not as conductive as bare metal. As for "Plastic" materials, they don't tint the shine at all.
Another interesting thing to note is that darkening a metal does not make it less shiny, so what the shine loses in saturation (because the closer the color is to black or white, the less saturated it is), it gains in luminosity. That way a grey steel will shine as bright as the same steel tinted pure black.
"Steel new" material, Luminosity 100%
The same "Steel new" material, Luminosity 0%, notice the shine stays the same
I've mentioned above that some materials don't react well to tinting, that's the case of "Gold" for example. If you tint your gold collar blue, it becomes green because the texture is yellow (but not plain yellow, which is why I couldn't make the texture white and tint it yellow automatically).
A better idea is to shade it by choosing a lower luminosity, let's say 10%. You can obtain black gold this way :
Classy, isn't it ?
I have redone the particle chains to make them look better, as the old ones looked too blocky and too big for this set of refined cuffs :
The Engrave plugin, which is used to show a classy word on the side of the cuffs, has been redone to make it easier to use and more flexible. I have also removed the restriction that prevents the wearer from using it when she has the keys, and the forced time to spend in cuffs before you could change the engraving again. Now the keyholder can always use that plugin whenever she likes without restriction. More over, the collar too now contains this plugin so you can get rid of the manual text and show an engraving instead if you so wish.
The plugin now lets you choose the text (it is invisible by default), its color (the choices are the same as in EleganceTex), but also the saturation and luminosity so you can make the color match that of the metal underneath. And if you want, you can make the text glow :
It is easy to make your own textures for the Engrave plugin, which lets you choose a custom UUID (the ID of a texture item in your inventory). To do this, download the following UV map :
Use it in any graphics software like Gimp, Photoshop, Inkscape or Illustrator, write what you want inside the yellow area, which does not take the whole texture so it stays aligned vertically and covers the area between the top and bottom pattern, if any.
The font I used to make the engravings was Scriptina, it's free and very pretty. I added an emboss to it to make the letters look like they are engraved into the metal. Once done, hide the yellow part, export your image as PNG, upload it to SL (it costs L$10) and copy its UUID by right-clicking on the texture in your inventory and selecting "Copy Asset UUID". Then you can enter it with the "CUSTOM" button in the "Text" sub-menu.
Text on the collar
The Text plugin in the Elegance collar has been replaced with the one used in the Vixen collar, which works better than the original Text plugin. That plugin lets you choose the text, enter one yourself, change the color and font, and even choose several colors and fonts in the same text.
Currently the only way to hide the text completely is to click on "CUSTOM" in the "Text" sub-menu and to validate without entering any text, this simply clears the text. I might change that in the future and add a "Visible" button like I did in Engrave, but for now this is the way to do it.
Please note that since the collar now has an Engrave plugin, it is possible to show both the engraving and the text at the same time, but you will usually want to use one or the other.
Another thing that is present in other RealRestraint products but that is new to the Restrained Elegance set is the Style plugin. With it you can choose to hide and show the front parts of the collar and/or cuffs, like in real life. The front "pyramid" is not actually welded to the metal cuff, it can be removed, as well as the ring, giving the cuff or collar a sleeker look :
Of course, if there are chains going to or from the ring, it will show itself. If you lock the collar on "Lock", hide the ring and leash it, the chain won't appear (but the leash will still be effective, the chain is there but just invisible).
You can also use the Style plugin to completely hide the whole set if you want, which hides the cuffs and the chains but does not remove the restrictions.
The button to hide the ring is labeled "no rings", plural, because each cuff and collar actually has three rings, each one showing a different angle (well the collar has six, see below), but only one shows at a time depending on the lock. That way, the chains and rings look a lot more natural.
There's also a little dependency between the arms cuffs and the collar. When you are locked in "hands to collar" (that's the 7th lock, located in the second page of the main menu of the arms cuffs), the collar's ring change to the oblique one. Likewise, if you choose the "overhead" lock (5th lock of the arms cuffs), the horizontal back ring will show on the collar, with a new piece to hold it in place. And if you choose "reverse prayer" (8th lock on the arms cuffs), the back piece will show as well but to hold the vertical back ring.
Finally, you can freely detach the elbow cuffs even when locked on "Lock" (not in other locks), that way you can choose between a complete look and a light look when simply wearing the cuffs as decorations.
The Spy box
As you already know, the Elegance collar contains the Spy plugin, and when it is activated a small plastic box appears behind the collar, with a LED that lights up when the chat listener is active :
There was as much attention to the detail and quality put into this box as in the rest of the product.
Easter was not long ago so why not hide an Easter egg into those cuffs ? In fact, let's play a game.
The first person who finds the Easter egg and tells me what it is, what it means and where it comes from, wins L$2000 worth of products from RealRestraint, Marine's Goodies or Maison De La Marquise, either for them or for their friends. There is a clue somewhere in this very blog post. Happy hunting !
That's all, enjoy your new Elegance cuffs !