Friday, May 29, 2009

Making The Shot Part 1

Many people seem to have found their niche in Second Life be they merchants, artists, builders, socialites, griefers, or whatnot. I am not among them. Instead I try my hand at many things and quickly get bored when I feel even a modicum of mastery at the task. In this respect, my Second Life is very much like my First Life (FL).

But one activity inFL that I stuck with for quite some time was photography. Sitting in my basement is a large collection of cameras, lenses, tools, and such rapidly becoming obsolete and possibly unusable. Based on praise and even a few awards, my mastery of the art was fairly high. Then I stopped.

Skipping past a long story to the present, I've often thought of resuming the craft inSL despite the lack of having high-end post-process tools and lately I've been practicing. Below is a raw (though resized) image from today's work.

This is a relatively straight picture but because it was inSL it took a bit more work than pointing a camera and clicking. For he sky inFL, for example, you'd have to wait for the right conditions, snap madly while everything is right, pray for the best, and still spend some time in Photoshop (or the like) if you wanted odd colors. Thanks to Mescaline Tammas's efforts, I simply "dialed in" the SL sky I wanted, in this case the Verdigris preset (Web). Getting the clouds where I wanted was still up to chance. There is no way to freeze exactly what I wanted, but they can be fixed in post. Of course I used the Ultra settings in Edit > Preferences > Graphics for the best looking water and texture details.

Another advantage of working inSL is model control. For this shot I didn't use any special animation, pose, or expression. Aside from cobbling together some great kit from various vendors the model is pretty stock. The main control was telling myself to "hold," though doing so was as simple as right-clicking on an attached prim and choosing Edit when everything was right, then moving the camera. Here is how it looked to me on screen:

You can see that I used the attached shield as my edit point. Then I Ctrl-Alt-Moused around for the camera view. It seems there is a way to simulate telephoto compression (Web) inSL, but as it wasn't necessary for this shot I didn't bother trying to figure out how I accidentally do it sometimes.

Next? I don't have Photoshop, but I have the "lite" version and I have GIMP and Acorn so I might do some post, maybe softening the image a bit and doing something to separate the figure from the background. But this is a start and I might make a decent photographer inSL yet. Since the World has more photographers than you can shake a prim at so one more won't make a difference. Maybe.


Flix Saiman said...

a quick tutorial i made to show how to make the Mirror Effect

Uccello Poultry said...

Very cool. I've done some similar mirroring, but not with SL images. The shadow is new to me, though. Thanks :)

Uccello Poultry said...

Looking back on this ...

Wow. Typos. Sorry.

Yes, clouds can be frozen. World > Envrionment Settings > Environment Editor > Advanced Sky > Clouds > XY locks