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Pennymade Second Life Promotional Screenshots

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We've all seen the images Linden Lab uses to promote Second Life via their advertisements, the marketplace and the Second Life website. When I'm not running around SL I do graphic design for a living, so I decided, just for a bit of fun, I'd take some screenshots around SL and pet together a handful of my own SL promotional screenshots.

My goal was to make the screenshots as true to SL as possible, while showing off the upper end of what's possible. To that end I tried to limit image editing as much of as possible.The one bit of editing I couldn't get around for any of these was brightening the images a little as SL seems to take screenshots that are darker than what you see when you're actually logged in.

I also added my own touched up version of the SL logo. I didn't want the logo to be too "in your face", but more like a watermark. Visible, but not intrusive as far as the overall image goes.I was going for desktop wallpaper style promotional images like you'd find distributed by videogame publishers.


 This first image is of my own avatar in the sim Verdigris. I did cheat a little with the blur effect. I added that in Photoshop. I kept it in only because that effect is possible using the mesh beta viewer. I just didn't want to take the time to switch viewers when I could do the exact same effect in a fraction of the time.



These next two are of Sveid Heidenstam in the sim Doomed Ship. Neither of these screenshots were edited beyond a bit of brightening.These were also taken on the stock release viewer, not the mesh beta. Any fuzzy/blurriness is due entirely to the windlight settings used and the glow used in the environment.


This one I kinda cheated on, too. Not to add effects, but to try and reduce some. I LOVE Insilico, but one problem is in some spots they went a teeny bit overboard with the glow and turning off shadows somehow makes it worse. So I did some Photoshop tricks to try and reduce the glow so I could use the environment for this image. Anyways, this is Sera Pronovost at the hospital in Insilico! (There's also a couple other people behind her, but you can't really see them.)


And finally, the one I made tonight which inspired me to make this thread, Myself again, this time in the sim Cap Estel, a great African style sim. I cheated a bit here. There's only one bird flying around but I took multiple screenshots so I could fake a group of birds overhead. That's all I did, tho, beyond brightening the image and adding the logo. This one was also taken with the mesh beta to get the depth of field blur.


 Anyways, there's my little collection of SL promo images.

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Hey Penny, thanks for sharing. I like your use of depth-of-field and bloom/glow, both popular shader effects in games. Which games are you really enjoying right now? I'm going to be playing Mass Effect 2's Arrival after work! ME2 has some of the most gorgeous "spacey" atmospheres I've seen.

When I'm in SL, I also sometimes like to simulate a similar look 'n' feel — your Camera Control HUD has helped with that. Gamers expect certain concepts when they come inworld.

There are also some debug settings to minimize and control how glow looks, I think most begin with "RenderGlow"...

One suggestion I have about using the official "Second Life" logo is to not collide the eye-in-hand with the words.

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Hi Torley!

I've been bouncing between a few games right now while putting off picking up Dead Space 2 due to financial constraints and lack of time. I'll get it eventually, I loved the first one lots! Once I get some back pay from one of my clients I'll probably pick it up.

 If you like my camera HUD you should definitely check out the in-viewer camera settings I put together. Once I figured out both sets of camera settings you need to adjust I was finally able to get my scripted attachment's camera placement right in the viewer itself. Since scripted attachments lose camera behaviour features and subtly alter movement controls I've found the in-viewer fix to be much better.

 For the Insilico image I did try to adjust the glow settings via the debug panel first. However, I found that in order to reduce the overpowering glow of the background elements enough I would lose the desired glow of the foreground elements. That is why I resorted to Photoshop trickery. I actually did reduce the glow via the debug for one screenshot, and another screenshot was taken with the glow strong enough for the foreground elements to look right. I then combined the two images. This was a little tricky as the animation used for the character pose was not static,

Regarding the logo, for actual promo materials I'd probably go with just the "hand" logo or just the text. Overlapping them like that was a quick attempt at trying to make a more compact, aestehtically interesting logo without changing anything too drastically. I think you might be right, tho, it is maybe a bit too busy, especially with both elements being translucent. Although that might be taken care of by making the text less translucent and the hand more translucent. Perhaps starting with the text at 100% opacity and the hand somewhere around 50% opacity, merging them and then reducing the end result to the opacity level I went with for these images. That way you don't have the hand showing through the letters where they overlap.

 Might be fun to play around with some ideas and see what works best when I have some free time. When I have the chance I may post the results to this thread and see what people think.

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Amazing photo's, Penny!

Thanks for sharing, I can't wait for more!
And cool you mention the places as well, I am not a good photographer in SL but I love to explore the grid, write about it and make pics to illustrate my blogposts, now I am all inspired to make better pics!


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  • 1 month later...

I never did get around to toying with the SL logo like I'd hoped. Wound up getting caught up in my offline life a lot lately.

But I did manage to get 3DSM to play nice with my ATi card, at least enough to get some sculpt work done (tho it's butchering my baked textures now). Anyways, been making lots of new stuff lately and here's the latest.


Mew Beach Outpost.jpgCan't wait to get the texturing and scripting completed for it!

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Here's another one, just the tank at night.


penny_tank_wip.jpgI did play with the previous one a bit in Photoshop, forgot I was going to keep this my "untouched screenshots thread" when I posted that before going to sleep, but this one is, like the first screenshots I posted, untouched. Any effects are features in the mesh beta/development viewers combined with good windlight settings and standard camera fixes you can make to any stock viewer.


 As a side note, the environment is only about 1500 prims spread across a quarter of a sim. The tank itself only accounts for about 26 of those prims.

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