All sorts of oddities and curios.


Welcome to our little shop. The entrance is often obscured to many , perhaps even to those who do not yet have access, but our exhibit is open only at odd hours... All twenty four of them to be exact. This exhibit starts with the very beginning of Virtual VIKKI's history and works its way forward in time. All of the downloadable pictures have been gathered together and placed in the Twilight Gallery Gift Shop. An anthropomorphic virtual tourist trap is there ever was one. Now on with the collection of the bizarre and unusual exhibits to be found inside Virtual VIKKI's Twilight Gallery.

The image above was a recently created picture created just for this second exhibit of pictures of Virtual VIKKI. A larger version of it can be downloaded from the Gift Shop.

All the pictures in my scrapbook have hand made notes covering them. I hope that someday in the future that they might be sold at an auction and be taken home by some computer guru/rich person to hang on the wall of his five million dollar home!

But the story of Virtual VIKKI did not start off with her fully rendered. Vikki made her entrance to the world as a minor walk on character in a writers guide for a proposed video series I have been working on for some time (1989 actually) at the time I thought it might be fun to have a minor character who could walk by and occasionally show up at the door to ask to 'borrow a cup of sugar'. As time went on I became rather focused on her and devoted a bit of time to developing her character and making a few sketches in a notebook.

In January of 1994 I was overwhelmed by a demonstration of the program Animation Master for the Macintosh. (Animation Master is also available for Amiga, Silicon Graphics, IBM, etc.) After running into a couple of my friends, who I regularly see at ConFURence every year, on the floor of MacWorld I hit upon the idea of using this program to create the character in my proposed video series. After working very hard with Animation Master on my 8mb IIvx for a few weeks I was able to produce this image. In the background of the image you can see a screen shot of what the 'sculptor' module of this program looks like. On the right is a typical wire frame and on the left is what is called a 'quick render' which is anything but. I had rushed this quite a bit in order that I could have something to show to my friends when I went to ConFURence that year. There was not much time between buying the program at MacWorld, Jan 12 and finishing this picture, Jan 20 so the model was a bit rushed. In an earlier version I had even neglected to include a tail! My original idea was to do a movement study with several transparent arms, legs and tail positions. I was also going to create a nifty background picture with circles and lines representing joins and the way the body could pivot around them. It was rather ambitions and I was in a bit of a hurry to understand the program enough to create a finished product.
Animation Master has a very hard learning curve and a very poor tutorial and manual (written for 4 systems in one book!) which did not offer much help.
ConFURence was an absolute blast! Someone either loved (or hated) my color prints of this picture as they kept vanishing off the bulletin boards every time I put one up. I handed quite a few out at the fox special interest group and had a fantastic time. I got a lot of great advice on how to improve my model.
Upon returning home I started to work on new and improved surface maps to make the character look more realistic. By March of 1994 she looked liked she was, according to one viewer, "made out of wood". As shown in the picture to the right. Also her ears still looked awful and she was still a loose collection of parts. All the seams would show through and if you could get close enough to her the grain of her surface maps was truly awful. Animation master was not being too cooperative either, but I kept on working. My next picture was very similar to my first image as it too explored the range of movement in the same way, except now she was fully covered in fur rather than looking like a 'cartoon' fox. This picture used a copyrighted background drawn by another artist so I never released it.

The e-World Incident

Undaunted by minor setbacks I composed my first picture of Virtual VIKKI for release. I was still sort of working with a Michelangelo 'movement' theme in my pictures. and I composed my first picture and sent it off to PlanetBMUG and e-World. The following message was attached to the file.


Virtual VIKKI is an anthropomorphic fox woman
This package contains...
One Virtual VIKKI Icon (attached to a folder under System 7)
One Virtual VIKKI PPAT which you should be able to import into many desktop pattern programs. This PPAT is 256x256 in size and in thousands of colors. I have been told that it works fine with Before Dark.
One Virtual VIKKI Mac PICT file. You should be able to open it with Simple Text or TeachText. It is in Thousands of colors.
One Teach Text document (which you are reading now)

Virtual VIKKI is my first computer generated critter. I bought a program called Animation Master in Jan of this year and have been messing around with it for a while. Even though MacUser and MacWorld panned it (it does have a lousy manual) the company that created it has been supportive and fantastic to me. Even though I have had only one or two minor problems they have sent me no less that six free updates and the answers to all of my questions are just a 'free' phone call away. If you have an extremely fast Mac or a Power Mac I can recommend it. I have a IIvx and would not recommend it for any other 030 owners. I am planning to upgrade to the Power Mac version soon and I think it will enable me to do those things I have always wanted to do with Vikki but have never had the patience to do (like add fingers and clothes) not to mention the memory. I hope you like the pics. You can reach me at fox@snowcrest.net should you have any questions. Or you could post a message on alt.fan.furry and I might see it. Virtual VIKKI is ©1994 by Richard Hallock
After about 4 weeks after uploading the first Vikki file to e*World I finally found up what was holding it up.
Date: Wed, Nov 9, 1994 12:09 AM EST
From: ######### Subj: Vikki File
To: R.Hallock


Hi Richard,

I finally found out what was holding up your Vikki file from release into the library! We've resolved the issue (though it was a close call) and it should be released within the next 48 hours.

What I need to do, is let you know that eWorld has VERY strict standards about what is and isn't acceptable. Your picture was (bad pun coming) rather graphic. Our librarians each opened it, and sought a second opinion. Because of the "shuffle" among persons responsible for making the final decision, no one actually made ANY decision until tonight.

We accepted this graphic because it really wasn't all THAT explicit, but you do need to be aware that it waltzed very, very close to the AOS standards line. Had you put in nipples, it wouldn't have made it! :-)

Thanks for your patience, your understanding, and your quiet persistance. I really do apologize for the delay. We hope that our staffing assignments are now sorted out and this sort of thing won't happen again.

Thanks for sharing your picture. Even on my dinky monochrome monitor, I could appreciate its artistry!

--######## #########
SF, Fantasy and Horror Forum

At this point I was seriously considering reopening my account on America Online. Never in my wildest imagination, and I can imagine quite a lot, did I think that his picture would stir up discussion or, heaven forbid, controversy. For cryin' out loud she is a computer graphic that is covered in fur! Well they made Porky Pig wear clothes too, well a shirt anyhow!
Date: Wed, Nov 9, 1994 10:51 PM EST
From: ###########
Subj: Re: Vikki File
To: R.Hallock

:-)

Good point on Porky Pig!

Yeah, makes one think-- but I DO understand the standards. Since we have people of ALL ages here, and ANYONE can download a file, we can't very well have "just anything" available.

Glad you understand. One OTHER solution would be to enhance the fur. If she were more obviously furry, I doubt anyone on my staff would hesitate for a second. I can't vouch for the general public (but then who can?).

Looking forward to the next "installment."

--#############
They finally released it... The keywords (which they supplied!!) for the file were rather annoying.. RENDERED CAT MODEL SEXY Does she really look like a cat? The next week they started approving the 'sexy demonica' pics and comic! Arragh! That demon has nipples! Grr!


Well, I decided that Vikki should have some clothes and if she was to have them I ought to create a better body to put them on. The picture on the left labeled as the Goodyear pictures in my scrapbook because her tail looks rather odd. I spent quite a bit of time creating a body with better curves. About at this point I learned that the make this program work correctly all the pieces of the body that were to bend must be created in one large piece. Then cut up in a special way, then put back together in another module in a specific way. The new body, as a result, took even longer than I thought. Then I set about creating new and improved decals to cover the face. Once I had done this the decals on the rest of the body looked a bit funny so I had to remake them as well. This even included the decals for the eyes which up until this point had been been simple black ovals on a green circle.
At about this time I upgraded my machine to a Power Mac 7100 with 24mb of ram. and a new version of Animation Master. This new version would not accept any of my old 8 bit color surface pats, so I ended up creating 24bit color surface maps. So much for doing more with that extra ram! A bigger face surface map warranted an even better surface map for the body. Actually the body has a front, back, (arms have tops and bottoms as well) sides, both inside and outside on the legs, the bottom of the feet and four sections of the tail, not to mention numerous surface on the head. Actually when I added up all the files in the Vikki folder they take up about 12mb of disk space! Anyhow I finally got around to creating some clothes. I took a pair of jeans with me to where they had a color scanner. Everyone looked at me sort of funny when I started putting a pair of jeans on the scanner.
In retrospect I should have gone out and bough a pair of kids jeans as I ended up scanning seven different images just to get an accurate look at these 'adult sized' pants. At first the jeans didn't look too good. I had to glue together the various sections and then scale them down to a reasonable size. Because of the way Animation Master stretches pictures over an object the back pockets ended up being separate surface maps as well as did the Levis 'brown thing' label on the back. Later I added some seams surface maps on the sides of the jeans and then tore up the edges a bit. The next step was to create a shirt to cover up her new body. I decided on a T-shirt design but later changed my idea to a tight fitting tank top. The tank top covered only one section of the body and did not, as a result, need as many extra surface maps to complete it. I toyed around with some designs including a Funny Animal Liberation Front design but eventually settled on a tie-dye look. I was uploading some of my pics to Planet BMUG, the bulletin board of the Berkeley Macintosh Users Group, and so one of designs has the letters BMUG on it. I used a program called MandelAcid to create the fractal designs for the material. I created 3 shirts, one pink, one green, and one rainbow colored with the BMUG letters on it. The picture on the left was the second picture that I released. This file shows a really nifty view of her face and also shows off her new pants and shirt. This file was accepted by e-Wrold without incident! However I did have problems with Planet BMUG. The file I had sent had a small Quick Time move (showed her spinning in place) as well as this picture and a few ppats as well as custom icons. They made me re-upload it as three separate files so that it fit their sorting system better. I was really thrilled with the way this picture turned out. However when I cut apart the model and put it back together in the correct way some of the surface maps off of the arms would occasionally vanish and the reappear! This was a very frustrating problem which I still have not solved.
I was all set to go back to ConFURence in January of 1985 and show off all of the work that I had done to my character, but financial difficulty struck my life again and I was not able to go. I continued to work on the character through the winter and in March Kevin Standlee called me up and asked me if I wanted to work on Baycon's daily newsletter. Previously I had worked on many Silicon and Baycon newsletters and had even edited the daily newsletter for Baycon 10. I jumped at the chance. I called around and found out that Jeff Ferris was going to be throwing a furry party, well actually his publication "YARF: the Journal of Applied Anthropomorphic" was throwing the party and I asked if I could design the party flier. He said that would be great and I started work at once. I started working on the background in a new 3-D program I had received as a gift for Christmas. It was Ray Dream Designer and had one big advantage over Animation Master. It could do basic primitives like spheres and cubes (Animation Master at the time had no primitives or text functions) and text. I used it to design this typical hallway. The door was our from the year I edited the daily newsletter. I ended up changing the number for the final version so that people would not show up at room #208!
The people in the picture were from a previous ConFURence (#4 I think) in one of the special interest groups. The surface map pattern of the hallway was from a color picture of a real Red Lion hallway. Most of the picture I was very pleased with, however, I was really unhappy with the way the door frame turned out. When I added the picture of Vikki into the scene she, unfortunately, covered all of the people who could be seen through the doorway. For the convention I printed out about 30 of these in color and a bunch more in greyscale. The color ones were printed out with a HP 550 color printer. I received quite a few compliments about the flier from both furry and non furry fen. I was rather pleased with the outcome. I had designed an alternate furry party flier for Sunday night. This picture features a 3-D Vikki climbing out of a picture of herself in an artist sketch book. Behind her she left a wire frame of herself. In this picture she was also holding a pencil. To create this picture I once again used RDD to create a very quick and sloppy table to put all the items on. The books were recycled from the earlier flier design. It took quite a few tries to get the book in a good position for Vikki to climb out of and at the same time leave room for all the important party information while still showing off the "FURRY PARTY words on the opposite page. Making Vikki grip the pencil also took me a while. I was not at all pleased with the final design. Actually it looked like a steamroller had run her lower legs over and flattened them onto the art book.
I also toyed with the idea of a 'Back to the FURture" flier (the theme of ConFURence2) having Vikki sitting in the
Time Machine model I had been working on however as I was working on these designs I was informed that the party would only be one night, Saturday, and that other fliers were not needed. Well when the convention rolled around they party did indeed end up being held on two nights so a sharpie marker added that information in on all the fliers. I eventually did combine Vikki and my time machine model in an advertisement for this web site.



In March of '96 I transferred every image created of Vikki (well most of them anyhow) onto a video tape and narrated it. It also includes all the Quick Time animation tests and other unreleased pictures and projects. If you are interested in a copy e-mail me and I'll get back to you with how to get it. This new web site and it's related graphics represent the most recent project with Virtual VIKKI. I spent quite a bit of time designing the promotional pictures for Virtual VIKKI's Treehouse.

In June of 1996 I finally solved my mysterious problem with vanishing surface maps! As it turn out one of the tricks for applying them turned out to work well as long as you did not rearrange the pivot points. So ridiculing these parts with separate maps after the model had been completely assembled solved my problems. For the first time since I stared Designing Vikki on the computer back in 1994 I finally was able to pose her the way I wanted to.
About this time the CDA reared it's ugly head and remembering what censors did to Star Trek Menagerie episode I got a bit worried about Vikki's belly button which is plainly visible in most of her pictures so I created an anti-CDA picture to amuse myself and my online chat friends on #Furry. With the closing of the Twilight Gallery Giftshop in December of 1996 I have not provided a way to download my art easily. So if you want to download Virtual Vikki images try
YiffCo! YiffCo Can be found by clicking on the little button below. Once there you can find my art under the "Sort by Creator" section, Then look under "H" for Hallock. Keep in mind that YiffCo is a search engine of several FTP sites and not all the images may be avaliable at once. Currently there are over 40 of my pcitures online there in much higer resolutions. Within about 2 days of releaseing a new picture it shows up on YiffCo, so it is the must current collection of my art.

At this time someone on #Furry asked me when there would be a t-shirt with Virtual Vikki on it. I thought this, at least at first, to be an odd request. As time wore on, however, I decided that this was not such a bad idea. I started work on figuring out a design for the t-shirt. Since my seal was becoming popular on the net it was suggested that the seal would be a good t-shirt design. Upon checking in with the local t-shirt shop it turned out that they could transfer sheets up to 11x17 inches. This left a problem as the seal would only be about 10.5 inches in diameter leaving a lot of room for other odd bits. So I started work on expanding the seal concept. I knew that I wanted to have the Treehouse in the background so I started working in KPT Bryce creating a background and making a new tiny Treehouse to put in a tree. The result was this concept sketch (designed in Bryce, Animation Master and Ray Dream Designer and composited with Color*It) which while rough would give some of the people interested in the project some idea of what they would be getting in exchange for their hard earned cash. The local college campus turned out to have a 300dpi color laserprinter (whose output resolution looked more like 150-200dpi) which was just perfect for making my t-shirt output on. At the same time I found this out I also discovered that additional prints would be relatively inexpensive. So I decided to offer a poster as the t-shirts were looking more and more expensive every day. The race was on to finish the project before the end of the college term and the closing of the computer lab. With all of these factors I spent most of my free time trying to complete the project. The files were huge and my limited memory (24mb at the time) had a hard time opening and manipulating the files. The finished seal is quite huge and took up an area of 10.5 inches in diameter at 150dpi. Lots of touch up was required before the image was completed. Then it was on to the task of creating a piece to fill up the rest of the space. I toyed around with using the anti-CDA pic but decided against it. I toyed around with using an Egyptian motif but decided that it would not go with the seal.
Another discarded idea was to show the seal from the reverse side with boards and hammers and such holding up the ring and looking out at a camera crew including myself and my wife. This was discarded because it could not be done on the same scale and time was running out.
My wife suggested the idea of bribing a seal to 'get it's approval' and so the final idea was born. At first I tried to create a realistic seal with a drawing tablet but it just looked like a gray lump. So after a while I have in and fired up Animation Master. By this time version 3.0 was on my desk but I was hesitant about installing it after the switch to the Power Mac version had wiped out all my surface maps. Anyhow I modeled a crude seal, fish, and bucket and combined them with Vikki in one of my more unusual pictures. My wife added a lot of the final details. The final output file was about 1650x2250 pixels and took up a huge amount of space on a zip disk in 24 bit color. I had a brief problem deciding what sort of background to have but eventually decided on a simple white background.
Taking the poster to the Graphics lab in the basement of CSU, Chico was a bit of a bother. I ended up printing out a bunch of prints that were two dark (well they looked ok under the bright lights in the lab) and looked awful the next morning! I ended up going back and printing out another set of them the next day. So much for breaking even on the project! Anyhow I was much happier with the new and improved output. I ended up mailing eight copies of the poster out the door! I put one print in a frame and hung it on my wall. I was rather pleased with the final product. Did I mention how expensive the poster tubes were? Oh well... Now, as for those t-shirts... well they will be expensive.. but should you want one please
e-mail me to get on the t-shirt update mailing list. The shirts should be ready by early August, but will only be produced on a pre-order basis!

if you want to download Virtual Vikki images try
YiffCo! YiffCo Can be found by clicking on the little button below. Once there you can find my art under the "Sort by Creator" section, Then look under "H" for Hallock. Keep in mind that YiffCo is a search engine of several FTP sites and not all the images may be avaliable at once. Currently there are over 40 of my pcitures online there in much higer resolutions. Within about 2 days of releaseing a new picture it shows up on YiffCo, so it is the must current collection of my art.

Future projects?? Well perhaps when Furry Muck's wizards employ Apple's Quick Draw3-D... Until then check out my second art page
When Vikki Was Two.


Virtual VIKKI is ©1993, 2001 by Richard Hallock

Other Virtual Vikki (and related) Art Pages

My newest art page is
When Vikki Was Two.

Watch Vikki Go To The Movies !
here .

Visit Vikki’s Twilight Gallery Enter The Treehouse Check out the toys on the toyshelf!