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Greenie Emerald

How do I take a photo that isn't squished?

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The reason is that the SL software requires any texture or picture to be at a power of two on each deminsion (horizontal and vertical)  The powers of two are 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512, and 1024.  That's the pixels per inch.  The powers of 2 go to infinity but 1024 is the largest SL accepts (which is why I stopped there).  What that means is that your picture or texture must be at one of those powers of two both vertically and horizontally.........they do not have to be equal to each other.  I believe the smallest you can successfully upload is 8 on one or both sides but I might be wrong.......that's a pretty small image and probably not useful anyway.  If your image is a snapshop or screen capture it is probably at your computer monitor's resolution and aspect ratio.  The "standard" aspect ratio (which is fast becoming obsolete) is a 4 : 3 ratio (4 pixels wide to every 3 pixels high).  That will never be a power of two.  If your monitor is HD (or widescreen) the aspect ratio is 16 : 9.........again that will never be a power of two.  When you upload a picture and it is not at some power of two SL's software will resize it to the next lowest power of two  for any side that is not already that size.  Let's take a common "standard" monitor resolution (a 4 : 3 aspect ratio) of 1280 by 1024.......SL will resize that image to 1024 by 1024 on upload.  The image will be "squished" horizontally.  Do the same with a HD screenshot of, say, 1600 by 900 (my monitors' resolution).  SL will resize that image to 1024 by 512.........which squishes the image even more.  SL always resizes down to the next power of two.

 

There are a couple ways to "fix" the distortion.  The easiest is to simly crop your image to powers of two with and external image editing program.  Another way is to resize your image to powers of two before you upload..........the image will be distorted but it's distorted according to your terms and not the SL software.  Using the 1600 by 900 resolution example you could resize to 1024 by 1024 to avoid the bigger distortion induced by SL resizing.  To over come the distortion if you let SL resize or you resize externally you need to place your image on a prim and size the prim to the same aspect ratio as your screenshot.  To avoid any need for putting the image a prim and have no distortion you have to crop your image to one of the powers of two on each side.

 

As a note............SL does a really crappy job of resizing.  Do it yourself with an external image editing program for best results.  Hope I didn't thoroughly confuse.

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The reason is that the SL software requires any texture or picture to be at a power of two on each deminsion (horizontal and vertical)  The powers of two are 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512, and 1024.  That's the pixels per inch.  The powers of 2 go to infinity but 1024 is the largest SL accepts (which is why I stopped there).  What that means is that your picture or texture must be at one of those powers of two both vertically and horizontally.........they do not have to be equal to each other.  I believe the smallest you can successfully upload is 8 on one or both sides but I might be wrong.......that's a pretty small image and probably not useful anyway.  If your image is a snapshop or screen capture it is probably at your computer monitor's resolution and aspect ratio.  The "standard" aspect ratio (which is fast becoming obsolete) is a 4 : 3 ratio (4 pixels wide to every 3 pixels high).  That will never be a power of two.  If your monitor is HD (or widescreen) the aspect ratio is 16 : 9.........again that will never be a power of two.  When you upload a picture and it is not at some power of two SL's software will resize it to the next lowest power of two  for any side that is not already that size.  Let's take a common "standard" monitor resolution (a 4 : 3 aspect ratio) of 1280 by 1024.......SL will resize that image to 1024 by 1024 on upload.  The image will be "squished" horizontally.  Do the same with a HD screenshot of, say, 1600 by 900 (my monitors' resolution).  SL will resize that image to 1024 by 512.........which squishes the image even more.  SL always resizes down to the next power of two.

 

There are a couple ways to "fix" the distortion.  The easiest is to simly crop your image to powers of two with and external image editing program.  Another way is to resize your image to powers of two before you upload..........the image will be distorted but it's distorted according to your terms and not the SL software.  Using the 1600 by 900 resolution example you could resize to 1024 by 1024 to avoid the bigger distortion induced by SL resizing.  To over come the distortion if you let SL resize or you resize externally you need to place your image on a prim and size the prim to the same aspect ratio as your screenshot.  To avoid any need for putting the image a prim and have no distortion you have to crop your image to one of the powers of two on each side.

 

As a note............SL does a really crappy job of resizing.  Do it yourself with an external image editing program for best results.  Hope I didn't thoroughly confuse.

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Thanks! Silly me for thinking there could be a simple answer to a simple question about SL.

When you talk about resizing before uploading, do you mean using the custom size settings in the snapshot sidebar? Or is there some way of cropping it within SL, other than putting it on a prim?

My usual window size is 1680 x 998.

I apologize for being a dunce about this, it's really not my forte

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No, sorry that 1680 by  998 is a 16 : 9 aspect ratio.  That ratio will never be a power of two on both sides.

 

Let me try something that may help.  Open an imaging editing program with your snapshot (image).  It will probably be very close to the 1680 by 998 in size (slightly smaller since the UI of your viewer will be not shown..........actually it will be cropped out by the snapshot).  There should be a crop feature in your editing program.......choose that and define the size of the crop 1024 by 1024 pixels.  Then crop the portion you want to save for your upload.  Save that cropped portion with another name so you don't over write your original image.  Save as PNG (or if you have to save as JPG).  Next, open that saved image (not the original but the cropped one).  Your imaging software should have a resize feature.........select or click it.  Then resize your image to 512 by 512 pixels........save again with a name you have not used for either of the images you have saved already.  Then all you have to do it upload that 512 by 512 image to SL.  The SL software will not resize or distort your image........it will be as clean as your saved image format allows (JPG will dirty up the image a little due to the compressional loss that the format uses).

 

If you are looking for a very good basic imaging program that is free, Google Paint.NET.  It's quite a bit beyond most free imaging programs....it's quite powerful for what it's designed to do.  I'm afraid to point you to GIMP yet..............it's arguably as powerful as Photoshop (the recognized standard for graphic editing).  To do a really nice job you will have to learn some basic stuff about editing images..........layers, sizes, channels, and image formats.  It's not complicated but if you are as green as you appear to be it's going to take a little effort on your part.  But, I think you will find it fun........it certainly is for me.

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I was afraid it would come to this ... I have been putting off learning to use an imaging program and now you are leading me down the primrose path ... oh well, I suppose it can't take away any more of my time than SL itself ... or can it?

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Believe me..........it will enhance your Second Life.  And, a big bonus..............it will enhance so much more in your Real Life!!!

I always love to lead people astray like that.  Enjoy.

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Or… there is an easier way to remove the squish.

Since your window size is 1680 x 998 just divide 1680 by 998 to get 1.68 (close enough). Size a prim to 1m by 1.68m and splat the picture in the prim. It won’t be the absolute best resolution but it will have everything in the correct proportions.

If you want the best image render, you will have to resort to GIMP, Photoshop, or Paint.net (Free) to crop the image to 1x1 or 2x1 proportions, like 1680x840 which SL will then compress and crop to 1024x512. SL only stores images in certain sizes as Peggy says.

You can upload images larger than 1024 pixels but SL will resize them for storage and their resamping for image reduction is not that good. GIMP, Paint, and especially Photoshop are way better. So, resample and reduce your 1680x840 to 1024x512 before uploading. Put it on a prim 1m x 0.5m.

Once you have a prim the right proportions press Ctrl-Shift and use the white handles to resize it.

When viewing an image from inventory you can resize the window it appears in. If you do not want to do that you have to resize the image before you upload it.

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