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Kalynn Carnell

Applying floor shadows to objects. How?

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I'm not sure if this is a building or a texturing question, but I am wondering how one would go about adding those floor shadows to a piece of furniture.  It just seems to make the piece more real to me, and now that I am about to build some new furniture, I really want it to have that finished look.  Any suggestions?  Btw, I use CS3 for graphics and textures, and I've been building in SL for a while.  I'm just back after a prolonged vacation in the real world. :smileywink:

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A floor shadow is just an extra prim that is textured so that it grades from a midtone gray at about 50% alpha at the middle to 100% alpha at the edges.  You ought to be able to make one in a minute or less with Photoshop or GIMP, or you can find freebie ones all over SL.

ETA:  In fact, here's one now >>> "21b98d3c-617c-8165-d1bb67ec9dfb". Just apply it to your prim with a script and you'll have a shadow prim.

 

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If you try to edit furniture that has a shadow on it (yes even if you don't have edit rights to it), you will see a flat prim at ground level with a texture on it. If you look through marketplace, you will find some shadow textures for cheap or even free.

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and when you add that floor shadow make sure that the opacity of the shadow is less than 50%... in fact I'd aim as far below that as you can manage.

why?

because the viewer can handle shadows, and those with them on will often have conflicting shadows with the faked ones... but the code for shadows renders an pixel with less than 50% opacity as invisible.... which means you can make you fake shadow disappear, and not conflict with real ones ;)

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You can of course create your own texture for that or you can simply buy a shadowing texture place it on a prim and fit it to your item thats it at all.

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A somewhat heavy-duty alternative that can look really nice is to paint shadows into your floor texture in photoshop (along with shadows and lighting for the room in general). You can also have them rendered using a third party 3D tool.

 

Of course, this only applies to furniture that won't be leaving the house. :smileywink:

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Thanks everyone!  That was kinda what I thought, I just wasn't sure on the opacity of the shadow.  I'll see if I can find one in world, just to save on uploading costs.  :smileytongue:

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HI Aimee, can you link some video tutorials on making shadow in ps and some 3d tools like maya or blender?

Idk how do they shadow the whole house with fixed fixtures and furnishings. 

Thanks!

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I can't think of any tutorials off the top of my head, but I can give you a quickie step-by-step right here.

 

Let's say you have a table in the middle of the room with a hardwood floor. In photoshop start with your hardwood floor texture. You're not going to be able to tile your floor in Second Life, so if you need to repeat a texture, do it in photoshop so that in Second Life your repeats can be set to u and v = 1. Next, on a separate layer, draw a black box where the table is going to be. Then go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and blur the box until it look right. If you're trying to simulate harsh light from a single source, then don't blur it much. If you want to simulate soft light from multiple sources, then blur it more. Next, in your layers, set the Opacity for the shadow layer to roughly 30% (eyeball it, whatever looks good.) Upload and apply the texture to the floor.

 

You may find it helpful to create an alignment grid texture in SL. Basically a grid with numbered lines so you can apply it to your floor in SL and see where the table will appear on top of your texture in Photoshop.

 

Here is another trick. Let's say you want to create a shadow for something really complicated in Second Life. Maybe a sculpted statue of Venus de Milo. Here is what you do. In second life, create a thin prim with solid color (preferably a color very different than your statue, maybe bright green) and slide that prim under your statue. Now alt zoom your camera above your statue looking down upon it (ideally, place your camera where your spotlight is supposed to be). You should be looking at your statue from above with a green prim background underneath it. Now take a screenshot of what you see and import it into Photoshop. OK, now use the wand tool (W) to select all the green parts and delete them so all you have left is a picture of your statue on an alpha background (you may have to use the erase tool to clean up odds and ends around the edges, you want to see NOTHING but your statue.) Now inverse your selection using CTRL-SHIFT-i (so you're only selecting your statue) and paint it all BLACK.

What you should now have is a black silhouette of your statue as seen from above with an alpha background. Just like with the table, use Gaussian Blur to make your statue shadow a little fuzzy, and use Opacity so it's a little invisible (again, eyeball to your liking.) Now you can take that statue shadow and place it on a floor texture, or just import it directly into second life and apply it to a prim under the statue. You'll have a really detailed shadow without having to go through the trouble of drawing it!

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OH! One more thing. If you use shadows on your builds, get used to using tints. For example, the underside of a sofa should be tinted almost black (because it's DARK under your sofa!) The more directly a prim surface faces light, the lighter the tint. Second Life will do this automatically for you (as long as you don't set it to Full Bright) but I find SL is too subtle. Tinting it yourself helps create a great illusion of depth.

 

Hope this helps!

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OK so I whipped up some photos to make sure you understand what I'm saying. In this first object, the subject is standing on top of a bright blue prim. Later, in photoshop, I removed the prim (as well as any other features in the image that didn't belong there) leaving nothing but my avatar. Next, in Photoshop, I painted the outline of the diver all black, and then made it a bit more transparent.Now take it into Second Life and place it under your subject (and tell them to promise they will never move from that spot!

 

Texture 1.pngUntitled-2.pngUntitled-3.pngUntitled-4.jpg

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Or use a shadow-enabled viewer :) looks better anyway.

Seriously though... be gentle with prim shadows, they do indeed often conflict in crass ways with shadow-enabled viewers.

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Jenni, I would prefer to use shadows and all the wonderful lighting that SL has to offer, but the truth is, I don't have the graphic capabilities to do so.  So, its prim shadows on my furniture for me, until I can get a monster computer that will allow me to turn those graphic settings to the ultra setting.  Believe me, I long for that day.  LOL

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Hi, I am having problems with creating Prim Shadow for my store. I drew a square and blurred it to opacity of 48%. When I bring it inworld, it looks very nice, until I look sideways, because I get get my box very thin, there is a lining of black. You know like how shadow will be on 6 sides of the box (since its a square). How can I get rid of that ugly lining?? Thanks

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CashMoney Crazyboi wrote:

Hi, I am having problems with creating Prim Shadow for my store. I drew a square and blurred it to opacity of 48%. When I bring it inworld, it looks very nice, until I look sideways, because I get get my box very thin, there is a lining of black. You know like how shadow will be on 6 sides of the box (since its a square). How can I get rid of that ugly lining?? Thanks

Apply the shadow texture just to one face of the cube.  Apply a completely transparent texture to the other five faces.

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