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How does your avatar look today ?

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2 hours ago, Eva Knoller said:

The coffee is from a gacha at Reign.

Aaaaaaah

I meant real coffee! 😀

/me goes to kitchen to load cafetière

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...and hearing about all the sisters showing up here lately, my sister finally found some time to get over for a visit - say hi to Taisiya :D

Snapshot_004_cr.thumb.jpg.64a17f3c03902f2f6f82e7a7b297ea44.jpg

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, s2Pandora said:

I have a hard time taking far-away screenshots of my avatar. The lost details bother me. =( If anybody has any tips for screenshots in general that they'd like to share, i'm all ears!(or eyes). I'd be much appreciative. ❤️ I know very little about taking screenshots of characters/avatars and have always been more of the scenic screenshot type of person.

SLScreenshotstand.thumb.png.01c82cc97c4fa55d30f8c4b6de12d0ca.png

There are a multitude of ways to approach photography in SL. There are also extended conversations between us regarding your question. I’d recommend going back 100 pages or so on this thread and you’ll get a lot of great tips there. Also, make note of those of us who’s  postings  you enjoy and either message us outside this forum or ask us directly here what we did or how we shot something. 

Because there is a ton to know on this subject and many friends here who are literally experts, I’ll just give you my quick 2 cents.

So, inworld, I’m choosing my look, wardrobe, finding sims or backgrounds to shoot (with or without other avi) usually I’m shooting by myself. There are extensive adjustments within Firestorm, such as graphics quality and depth of field adjustments that will give your final pictures very refined results. Then there are various lighting adjustments, specifically, Windlight presets to fool around with. And finally the Phototools within SL to discover.

My personal process is, once I have my outfit, background and poses decided upon, I then shoot (screenshots) on a 4K iMac using command, shift, 5 (new IOS trick). That allows me to specifically frame the shot percisously. I can shoot repeatedly with the exact framing in order to attempt to capture the look and feel I’m going for. After that... I select my shots from usually dozens (like the old school contact proofs) and import into Photoshop. I clean up, crop or adjust lighting and export as a .jpeg file because I find .png files to be way to large for the forum limitation of 4.33mg max file(s) size. (Approx... on the max file size).

Believe me, many people you see as consistent posters have become experts in SL photography and are better then myself at diving deep into all of the aspects of avi photography!  My attempt here was to share an overview of my process so you have my insight:)

Please please... keep posting- we love to see all your beautiful photos!!!’ 💕

~ Sara 💋

Edited by Saravendi
Misspelled .jpeg. ... really??? Ugh 😑
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12 minutes ago, Saravendi said:

Because there is a ton to know on this subject and many friends here who are literally experts, I’ll just give you my quick 2 cents.

I screen shoot (.png) everything on a 4K iMac. So, inworld, I’m choosing my wardrobe, finding sims or backgrounds to shoot (with or without other avi) usually I’m shooting myself. There are extensive adjustments within Firestorm, such as graphics and depth of field adjustments that will give your final pictures terrific results. Then various lighting adjustments, specifically, Windlight presets to fool around with. And finally the Photo tools within. 

What I do is, once I have my outfit, background and poses decided upon, I then shoot (screenshots) on a 4K iMac using command, shift, 5 (new IOS trick). That allows me to specifically frame the shot percisously. I can shoot repeatedly with the exact framing in order to attempt to capture the look and feel I’m going for. After that... I select my shots from usually dozens (like the old school contact proofs) and import into Photoshop. I clean up, crop or adjust lighting and export as a .jepg file because I find .png files to be way to large for the forum limitation.

   That's an interesting process. What I do, once I've picked my pose, outfit and scene, is to frame the shot with the in-viewer phototools; I set my zoom depending on whether I want a close-up or if I want the whole outfit and how much of the backdrop I want in the frame (usually between .3-.7 rads). I also adjust the lighting at this point to get it the way I want, primarily by using point lights and projector lights, and do one or several test shots to see the picture in high resolution and check that there's no clipping or alpha issues, and that my accessories look all right. Once I've framed the shot, I save the camera position so that I can go in and edit things and then snap back to position. Using Firestorm, I can get a shot in up to 6144 x 6144, though I tend to stick with rounded off numbers because I'm lazy, 6000 x 4500 for a 4:3 shot, or 4500 x 6000 to 3000 x 6000 for portrait shots, or occasionally 4000 x 6000 for a 2:3 shot.

   I upload my photos to Flickr and then just do an embedded link to the forums, saving me the 'trouble' of scaling it down manually. If I want to do a shot just for the forums I tend to take them at a much lower resolution (1024 x 768) as such shots are usually more about showing something specific. 

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3 hours ago, Saravendi said:

There are a multitude of ways to approach photography in SL. There are also extended conversations between us regarding your question. I’d recommend going back 100 pages or so on this thread and you’ll get a lot of great tips there. Also, make note of those of us who’s  postings  you enjoy and either message us outside this forum or ask us directly here what we did or how we shot something. 

.

.

.

~ Sara 💋

Oh Great!  I'm glad you only said "100" because now I'm going to spend the next few hours admiring the beautiful pixels and looking for everybody's secrets :D  BUT thank you. There are so many pages that I wouldn't have though of going back that far any more than to the very beginning. I stumbled across Anya Omai's "Second Life Photography Walkthrough"  last night and was floored.  Sure I knew all the controls were there but had never pursued learning more about them and was hesitant to use them.  Next I'll need a new video board and my family will be extending like so many others here :D  ....and hopefully my pics will get better ;)

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3 hours ago, Saravendi said:

There are a multitude of ways to approach photography in SL. There are also extended conversations between us regarding your question. I’d recommend going back 100 pages or so on this thread and you’ll get a lot of great tips there. Also, make note of those of us who’s  postings  you enjoy and either message us outside this forum or ask us directly here what we did or how we shot something. 

Because there is a ton to know on this subject and many friends here who are literally experts, I’ll just give you my quick 2 cents.

So, inworld, I’m choosing my look, wardrobe, finding sims or backgrounds to shoot (with or without other avi) usually I’m shooting by myself. There are extensive adjustments within Firestorm, such as graphics quality and depth of field adjustments that will give your final pictures very refined results. Then there are various lighting adjustments, specifically, Windlight presets to fool around with. And finally the Phototools within SL is discover.

What I do is, once I have my outfit, background and poses decided upon, I then shoot (screenshots) on a 4K iMac using command, shift, 5 (new IOS trick). That allows me to specifically frame the shot percisously. I can shoot repeatedly with the exact framing in order to attempt to capture the look and feel I’m going for. After that... I select my shots from usually dozens (like the old school contact proofs) and import into Photoshop. I clean up, crop or adjust lighting and export as a .jpeg file because I find .png files to be way to large for the forum limitation of 4.33mg max file(s) size. (Approx... on the max file size).

Believe me, people you see as consistent posters are mostly experts and much better then myself at diving deep into all of the aspects of avi photography, but my attempt was to share an overview of my process.

please keep posting- we love to see all your beautiful photos!!!’ 💕

~ Sara 💋

Thanks a lot! I had no idea where to even start, but now I know there are indeed fidgets I need to find. 😃 Hopefully I can get this down and share more with everybody~

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On 3/23/2019 at 1:45 AM, Saravendi said:

Laika, I love the lighting you always get! The warm skin tones are wonderful... are you using your own light sources? WL? 

Hi Sara thanks and only just got back to answering you. I spend more time going through windlight settings than anything else. I do use Orwars light thingy sorry forgot the name also. I become shockingly antisocial when I am looking for a shot usually unless of course Belinda talks to me lol then I just have to answer, she has that effect,.

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I was taking this photo and Ari loved the backdrop and she really wanted to be in the photo, so I let her lol. 

Late Night At The Club

 

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Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, s2Pandora said:

I have a hard time taking far-away screenshots of my avatar. The lost details bother me. =( If anybody has any tips for screenshots in general that they'd like to share, i'm all ears!(or eyes). I'd be much appreciative. ❤️ I know very little about taking screenshots of characters/avatars and have always been more of the scenic screenshot type of person.

I use a high resolution size (4000 x 2400), and the highest graphics settings that I can manage without crashing as soon as I click to take the screenshot. This keeps the detail even from a distance, and allows you to zoom in and crop wherever you like. 

Also, adjusting your windlight to have high ambient light and low sun/moon light will prevent your avatar from being lost in shadow against the sky. Unless you're using shadows, in which case you'll need more sun/moon to see them. But even then, the ambient light should be not too much below it.

Sometimes I do a bit of post-processing; I'll make a duplicate layer on top of the original, and crop out all the background from the top layer, leaving the avatar (and occasionally also any objects in the foreground).  For close-ups I'll use a heavily-feathered selection around the face. Then I raise the brightness and saturation just a little on that layer/area. I can also fake depth-of-field by slightly blurring the bottom layer.

I use Paintshop Pro because it's way cheaper than Photoshop, and way easier to use then GIMP.

Edited by Matty Luminos
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12 minutes ago, Matty Luminos said:

I use a high resolution size (4000 x 2400), and the highest graphics settings that I can manage without crashing as soon as I click to take the screenshot. This keeps the detail even from a distance, and allows you to zoom in and crop wherever you like. 

Also, adjusting your windlight to have high ambient light and low sun/moon light will prevent your avatar from being lost in shadow against the sky. Unless you're using shadows, in which case you'll need more sun/moon to see them. But even then, the ambient light should be not too much below it.

Sometimes I do a bit of post-processing; I'll make a duplicate layer on top of the original, and crop out all the background from the top layer, leaving the avatar (and occasionally also any objects in the foreground).  For close-ups I'll use a heavily-feathered selection around the face. Then I raise the brightness and saturation just a little on that layer/area. I can also fake depth-of-field by slightly blurring the bottom layer.

I use Paintshop Pro because it's way cheaper than Photoshop, and way easier to use then GIMP.

Thank you!

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Posted (edited)
22 hours ago, s2Pandora said:

I have a hard time taking far-away screenshots of my avatar. The lost details bother me. =( If anybody has any tips for screenshots in general that they'd like to share, i'm all ears!(or eyes). I'd be much appreciative. ❤️ I know very little about taking screenshots of characters/avatars and have always been more of the scenic screenshot type of person.

SLScreenshotstand.thumb.png.01c82cc97c4fa55d30f8c4b6de12d0ca.png

My own approach most resembles that of Orwar, with a bit of Matty thrown in too.

Rather than repeat what they've said with slight variations, I'll just throw in some fragmentary observations and suggestions.

1) Composition is for me the most challenging part. One rule of thumb (which, like all rules, should be broken sometimes) is to use the "Rule of Thirds" to set the focus of your picture's attention. This involves dividing the pic into thirds horizontally and vertically, and trying to place the picture's focus (for instance, your face) at one of the intersections of the horizontal and vertical grid. So, for instance, in the last picture i posted here, you can see that my face, and specifically my mouth, correspond with the upper right-hand intersection. It creates more interest in the picture, although, again, I think it can be overused (and I think I do overuse it).

894369686_RuleofThirds-Blank.thumb.jpg.afd58706224d63c063c86627bcfd8ff7.jpg

 

2) Depth of field and shadow can be really important, but be aware that if you are using a really high resolution picture, one that is significantly larger than your screen resolution (my pics are usually 4999px or 6000px wide), the expanded size will severely weaken the effect of DoF and shadow blur. I ramp both up significantly (esp. shadow blur, which I use all the time, and which I generally manually set at 12 or 16), knowing that the actual effect when it appears on the saved image will be much less pronounced that it appears in my viewer.

 

3) I don't use Windlight nearly as often or so well as I should, but one thing I sometimes do is set the scene to Ambient Dark in the presets. This effectively eliminates any ambient light, leaving just local lights working: it allows me more control over the precise lighting and shadow, using projectors and non-projector lights. Remember too that you can change the time of day in Windlight, and adjust the angle of the sun/moon, so that shadows are cast in different directions.

 

4) Two settings in Phototools that it's easy to forget, but that can make a difference, are under the "General" tab. LoD, or Level of Detail, adds, yes, more detail to objects, esp. mesh. I try to set it to 4 or so. And Anti-Aliasing, at the bottom, should also usually be set high (I have mine at 16x) so that rough edges on curves and circles are smoothed out a bit. Both of these can impact your computer performance though, so be careful!

 

There are lots of other things too, but that's probably enough from me for now! We really need a separate thread for this kind of thing in the Art, Music, and Photography forum.

Edited by Scylla Rhiadra
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Has anyone seen my wallet? Will you lend me L$ 2 for a candy bar? I promise to pay you back on Tuesday! 😁

 

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Posted (edited)
On 3/23/2019 at 6:13 PM, s2Pandora said:

I have a hard time taking far-away screenshots of my avatar. The lost details bother me. =( If anybody has any tips for screenshots in general that they'd like to share, i'm all ears!(or eyes). I'd be much appreciative. ❤️ I know very little about taking screenshots of characters/avatars and have always been more of the scenic screenshot type of person.

SLScreenshotstand.thumb.png.01c82cc97c4fa55d30f8c4b6de12d0ca.png

 

First, I like this shot quite a bit, the lighting is good, your eyes are looking at the camera and the pose is sweet. Cropping a bit tigher would pull the focus on your avatar instead of the scenery but in this instance I like the overall shot because it reads like you're on vacation, in which case the background matters.

My process is more intuitive than technical. I just read through several of the others and I'm like steps behind. I can't be bothered to spend too much time post processing so I've learned to streamline to the bare bones. 

I always  shoot at 4000x2000. Never change that. Always shoot at the highest graphics setting my laptop can handle which is luckily, the highest Firestorm has. My laptop does a great job, although my PC is better but that's upstairs and I just prefer being where the TV is in the room too :P.  Drives Ghosty nuts as he'd rather I was in the room with him. But I digress. I can easily shot at Ultra and log in an Alt at Ultra no problem.  LOD is 4000. Always use Windlight - various settings although I do have my preferences. Resolution is set to Life Like. Sometimes I use Depth Perception, sometimes not. Anti-aliasing at 16. Draw distance depends on what I'm trying to achieve - I bring it way down for portraits. I rarely mess with any of the other settings unless I'm changing cloud, water or sky appearance. I like turning the Gamma way down for portraits to black out the background. I always wear a facelight - still. Lelutka's has a nice soft glow, it's the only one I use. I use LumiPro lighting system for some shoots mostly portraits but not always. 

While shooting, I take a lot of variations when doing portraits; different facial expressions, switching eye angles, etc. Really important when using pets in the shots that move because you never know when they will move into just the right position that works. I change lighting around, move the camera. Try unusual angles too because sometimes something works that you never considered if you just throw the camera around somewhere unexpected. If it's an elaborate set up, I will be rezzing out objects as needed, repositioning, reconsidering, changing clothing whatever. I use the Lelutka Axis HUD to minimally change facial movements. I rarely use the built in filters. I prefer to shoot what is seen and if I need to color correct I do it on my own afterwards. 

Post processing is a joke for me. I only use Ribbet. I have never learned to use Photoshop well enough to trust myself with it. Considering all the RL photography I do one would think I'd have learned by now but nope.I'm only now just learning how to use the processing software for my RL Olympus PenF lol.  I have a good understanding of what everything does in it but IDK, the interface is just too bulky. Ribbet is simple, easy to maneuver through and and gets the job done especially now that they have completely revamped it.  I just want to have fun with my photos, not stress over the process, not get bogged down in details. Since I have a good natural sense of composition, color and subject - what I use to get the end result really doesn't seem to matter much. 

PS: If I have one actual piece of advice is light everything well. Biggest problem with most SL photos is poor lighting. It totally ruins a photo. I administer the Flickr group Explore Second Life and it's one of the main reasons I deny photographs. If I can't see what you shot, why am I going to visit? I'll pass over all photos that are underlit. Terrible terrible mistake (and yes, I mean you. And, you)

Edited by Elora Lunasea
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