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Quick and dirty lighting


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I like to play with photographs and making backdrops.  My partner was watching me one day as she has done many times before, and she mentioned I should make a little scene by scene shot of the setups I do.  And since we started talking about lighting in another thread I thought this would be a perfect time to do one.

[ETA] If you want to see the pictures full size so you can read the settings, you can find the originals under my prifile -- or just click this: http://community.secondlife.com/t5/image/gallerypage/user-id/179282

We start off with an empty section of my apartment ...

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Then res a box and stretch it out to from the back drop.

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I then res another box, flatten and stretch it and add a pavement texture as a floor for the scene.

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This is normal SL midday lighting and it is a bit harsh.

We can soften this up a lot with Windlight.  I am using one of Ana Luticea's presets below.

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For this one, I keep the sun where it is because it is blazing bright when in front of the model.  For other setting, like Barcelona for example, moving the sun towards the front gives a nice effect.  But with the dimmer settings here I will need to drop in a couple of lights. 

 

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Two simple prims.  The primary light is up, to the right and forward of the model.  This is a brighter light with just a touch of yellow.  The secondary light is off beside the hip and just in line or slightly behind the model.  It has a warming light and is set a little dimmer.

I also put out my focus prim when taking pictures of myself.  A rubber duck.  I click to focus on the duckie so my eyes point at it.  Then, when taking the snapshot, I use freeze frame to lock everything in place.  From there I shift my view to the model and can cam around and zoom without the eyes moving. 

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Once everything looks right, I texture the light sources to default transparent texture, run the pose I want to use (from inventory or a HUD if you have it)  and move the duckie where I need him.  Then take my shot.

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The snapshot is not bad.  The low, secondary light helps give a little depth to the shadows on that side, but the face is too far away and the left side (our left) is a hair too dark.  So I turn on my face light (since I am the model) which is already set to a small radius soft sepia light for the final shot.

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Now we can see the shadow on the left rolls across the cheek and gives a full, round look to the face.

I like to keep my photos "as is" as much as possible.  I would post this to a vanity thread without any post processing.  but then I am not very good with photoshop.  If I was, you could bet I would spend time touching up my pics :)

 

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If you are using V2, it is under World > Sun > Environment Editor which will pop up a small window.  (I am going by my failing memory so I may be off a bit on the menu path)On that, click the Advanced button to open what it colloquially called the windlight settings window.  You can change fog, sky colors and more, but what I am specifically after is on the Lighting tab.  You can set the color and intensity of the sun (or moon) and also the color and intensity of the ambient light.  There are two sliders on the bottom of this tab that are for the sun/moon position and the east/west angle.

At the top of that window is a drop down list that you can chose from various pre-made settings.   Things as simple as 6am and some fun stuff too.  You can get some of the more popular ones in a small xml file here:http://analutetia.com/2008/04/20/windlight-presets/
She even has a very detailed, click by click instructions on where to put the preset files.  These include some wild and wonderful setting made by Torley and others.

Phoenix and Imprudence have the presets already loaded and you can get to them from a button right on the bottom bar.  Kersitn's viewer has a button on the top, just left of the address bar that opens the Advanced environment editor right away.  Most people will probably only use the various presets and the list Phoenix has is perfect for them.  Kerstin's has more toys and tools for photographers and they will want a little more control so the included shortcut there opens the full editor.  I keep hoping for a keyboard shortcut to the editor that any version can use.

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