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How do you take HQ pictures?


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So im coming back after a long break and used to do photography on SL for money, and make profile pictures for people. Not at a high level but just enough to make a bit of $L but now i see all these high quality pictures people are taking and im not even sure how, are there certain things on graphics that need to be on high? Any tutorials you guys can point me to or anything, cause even on high graphics and with windlight settings on singularity viewer my avatar sucks, have skins changed? xD 

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Since I don't usually read photography tutorials these days I don't have any suggestions unfortunately. However I am sure someone will chime in with some.

Your post is rather ambiguous. When did you leave SL? Have you done anything recently so we can get an idea of the work you do (sample)? What resolution are your shots? That would be a good place to start ...

Without knowing more I am just going to  give some general feedback for now. With the advent of mesh even the more novice photographer is taking better looking shots. Photos in general require a lot less post work then they did prior to mesh. At least IMO.

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One simple tip, higher resolution makes for better pictures, while there are lots of tricks you can use, and they are great, I would say the most important thing is make sure you are taking shots at a high resolution, this can be adjusted, make it as high as your computer will handle.

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There are several things you have to keep an eye on in order to get HQ snapshot... I will try to name few that I consider important - others might think different

  1. Graphics preferences need to be as high as your pc can handle (not all sliders have to be on max because if, for example, you are shooting inside some skybox and using projector lights then you don't need sky and ground on high, also draw distance can be low)
  2. Ambient occlusion turned on, avatar shadows complex, LOD and Avatars at max;
  3. Anti-aliasing is specific because it has impact on older and weaker graphics, I leave mine at 2;
  4. Texture bumpiness at "Finer" or "very fine" - see how your pc acts;
  5. If you are taking portrait photo and need to zoom in on an avatar, ALWAYS use Ctrl+0 (that is for zoom-in, for zoom-out use Ctrl+8, for resetting the camera use Ctrl+9);
  6. When taking the snapshot, choose "Save to disc" then make sure you have the "constrain proportions checked", go and change the size of the snapshot, click on "Current window" and change that to "Custom" now you will increase the numbers of the snapshot, here is where people find out at what sizes their pc crashes so you will start with lower numbers and go up... take several snapshots at different sizes, save them on your pc and check each... zoom in on that snapshot - for me there is a simple rule - if I can see the eyelashes clearly then the shot is big enough;
  7. Snapshots are saved as .png, never .jpeg. 
  8. Important is to have quality avatar - chose a good skin, if possible realistic one, make sure the clothing looks nice. Hairs are specific because of the alphas so if you are shooting near the water or have see-through clothing its best to avoid long hairs or set your angle so that the alpha textures don't interfere;
  9. Windlight is also really important and I would recommend for start chosing something natural and neutral - try some and see what you like. Main rule is that the sun needs to be set so that is doesn't make your colors to look washed out, you have to be able to see the details on bright areas, same is with the dark areas - don't make it so dark that you can't recognize the details.
  10. Last but not least important is the pose you are using because, even if you make everything perfect, unrealistic pose will ruin everything! 

There are many more things that you can try and I am sure others will add something too :) For start try to follow those few I named and post your photo here - don't forget to resize it before posting!

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Along with @Tamara Artis 's great list, if you need help with Windlight settings, I made a few video tutorials awhile back.  I know more NOW of course, happily we keep on learning.  But they are here: 

http://chicatphilsplace.blogspot.com/2009/09/windlight-settings.html

Wow, that pasted in link worked today. The devs are REALLY paying attention to what we want on the new forums. Big TY!

The last time I used Singularity (and it was awhile ago) I didn't think the graphics were as good as Firestorm. So that could also be part of the issue. Singularity is great for folks with lower powered computers though (or apparently for racing). Still that could be a part of your issue. 

The great photos you see are most likely taking on Ultra or one step down. Most FASHION (not for profile) folks also take giant photos and resize down (mine is set at over 6000 pixels wide). You don't need that for profile photos though.  So a super good computer helps :D.

Forgot to paste in my graphics screenshot: 

 

graphicspreferences.JPG

Edited by Chic Aeon
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