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Some Beach Advice


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I bought this nice plot of land. Unfortunatley, there was actually no land here. So I raised a free grass textured platform. I was wondering if I could get some ideas about how I can make this plot mostly grass but sand near the beach. I don't even know what words I should be looking for in the store. I would like a higher quality grass and a nice sandy beach. Are there actually people I can pay to do this as well? 





UPDATE: This is the final product, curtousy of Zepharine


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Is the platform modifiable? If so then you can add your own texture (that's the word you want, for the graphics applied to objects) that has any terrain you want. If you are good with graphics programs then you can do it yourself. Textures must be uploaded to SL in standard sizes, so make a new image that is 512 x 512 pixels, add some beach texture around the edges and grass or land wherever you want. Then save the image as a PNG (never a JPG for SL.) Go back into SL and upload your new image/texture (it costs 10L to upload images.) Then edit your object, tick "select face" and click on the surface you want to apply your texture to, click the Texture tab in the edit box and then click on the texture image you see there, choose the new one from your inventory, and voila!

You can buy textures in the marketplace but they will probably be all one thing: sand, grass, etc. For a custom texture as you describe you'd be better off making your own or having one made by a friend good with graphics. Doing your own is fun because you can add little details like shells or footprints in the sand, rocks in the grass, etc.

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https://marketplace.secondlife.com is the link to the web marketplace, search for "terrain textures" - maybe add grass or other terms to narrow it down. There's a million to choose from! But as I said, they'll be "all one thing" - all grass, all sand, etc. - not customized.

 

This texture pack is a really nice one with a big variety, including ones similar to your picture above: https://marketplace.secondlife.com/p/48-terrain-textures-for-sim-512x512-tga-full-perm/3156374

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Super basic quick tips: in the Windows menu of Photoshop select "Layers" so that the layer palette appears. Create your new image at 512 by 512 pixels, at 72dpi resolution. Then paste in your sand texture first, as the bottom layer. Next paste in your grass layer on top of the sand layer. Then use the eraser tool (tweak its settings to make it soft or reduce opacity, so you get a nice blurred edge when you erase) and then erase the grass layer around the edges, allowing the sand to show through.

 

Make sure you have the grass layer selected in the Layers palette when you erase (click on the layer you want to work on in the palette.)

 

When you've got an effect you like, go to the File menu and select "Save for web & devices." When that window opens up, select "PNG-24" from the drop-down menu on the upper right. Just below that, make sure Transparency is NOT checked (you'll have no transparent bits), and that Interlaced IS checked. Then save the image to your hard drive.

 

Besides buying textures, you can Google "seamless grass textures" for images to work with, but then you'll have to do more work resizing and scaling and such. If you get them from the marketplace they are ready to work with as is.

 

If you get frustrated let me know, I'm happy to help.

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One more tip once you're inworld, so you can test your new texture without paying the upload fee every time you tweak it: Once you're in the edit pane for your platform, and go to choose the new texture, it will open that new pane for you. You'll see options to click, Inventory or Local. Click Local, and a blank box opens on the right. Click "Add" and it will open your hard drive to select the texture you want to use. Once you select it, it appears in that blank box and you can choose it to apply, without uploading or paying for it. However, this will only be visible to you, and only until you log out - next time you log in you'll see your platform grey and without texture. But it allows you to test it out and see how it looks. Once you're satisfied, then you can upload the final version and pay the 10L. Then be sure to apply it from "Inventory" and not "Local" so that it's permanent and everyone can see it.

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That's pretty good for a first attempt! :D Scaling the textures smaller will make a big difference, the grass is huge in comparison to you. So before you paste the grass into your image, reduce it's size by at least half. When you paste it in, it'll only cover half as much area, so you'll have to repeat it and move the copies around to cover everything. Then merge those layers (select the layers you want to merge in the Layers palette, then choose "Merge Layers" in the Layer menu at the top.) Now you'll have a smaller scale of grass to work with. You can do the same with the sand if it needs to be smaller.

 

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You can make the sand edge more natural by using transparency in your image. So, in the Layers palette, make sure your sand layer is NOT the background of the image If it is the background, with a little lock showing, right-click (control-click on a Mac) and choose "layer from background" to turn it into a regular layer.

Next, erase along the sand edges until it's the way you want.

This time when you go to save it as a final PNG ("Save for web & devices"), DO check the Transparency box in the upper right. In the preview you should see the checkered background showing through around the edges.

The final step is when you apply the texture to your platform. In the edit pane, on the Texture tab, next to the little image of your texture, is an "Alpha mode" drop-down - choose "Alpha blending." This makes sure the transparent parts of your image are displayed as transparent inworld.

I'll be on a bit later and will check for your message.

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I'm about to sign on so I'll contact you inworld, but you've got the hang of it.

 

Seams happen when the texture you're repeating isn't "seamless" (doesn't match up at the edges). For now the easiest way to get rid of them is probably to merge the layers (see instructions in earlier post), and then use the Clone Stamp Tool. It looks like a rubber stamp in your tool palette. With it you can copy and repeat areas to paint over other areas. Select the tool, set a good size for it, and set its opacity to about 80% to prevent harsh edges when you use it. Then option-click (for Mac; I don't know the PC version; the cursor will turn to crosshairs) on the area you want to copy. Then regular click on the area you want to cover over, and it will "stamp" from the other area, covering over your seams.

 

Your sand scale is still too large, so follow the grass instructions from before to make it smaller.

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