Sunday, November 13, 2011

Projected Light

The other day I ran across "How to Light Second Life Photos the Graphic Dix Way" posted on New World Notes which directed me to a great tutorial on Second Life lighting (direct link here). I had long forgotten about the projected light function of the light prim feature and had get to a sandbox to try it again.

Adding graffiti via Projected Light emphasizes boobies (erm ... s'what the graffiti says)
Since the tutorial is so complete and you are going to read it anyway, I won't go into detail here about how to use projected light, but I would like to make a add a few points, not the least of which is that if you include avatars in the shot your subject(s) needs to have prim eyes. The Lighting and Shadows feature in the Graphics preferences renders texture-only eyes as milky white orbs and that is not attractive to most folks. Additionally, don't be discouraged if the texture picker box in the Edit pane looks X'd out as if you can't choose it. Go ahead and click. Don't like the texture you chose? Then try another one, but I found, however, you have to close the Edit pane for your change to take effect. Also keep in mind that the prim will no longer act as a radiated source so you'll have to rez others to light the rest of the build -- keeping in mind that they also light the projected image and may wash it out. Finally, a legitimate use for Facelights (assuming you don't have more than six light sources in view at the time as Second Life can only show that many at once). While you are on Features tab in the Edit pane, note the FOV function for later and the Focus function. The latter can give your projected image a blurring at the edges. Ambiance has no affect that I can detect. Lastly, if you are trying to project onto a prim that is set to Full Bright, give up. It won't work. Same with Glow.

Last point is about the mechanics of the source prim influence the size and shape of the final projection. Check out this info graphic:

Aside from the position of the prim along it's Z-Axis, rotation is key, too. If you don't rotate the prim at all, it will project on the floor. Setting the Y-Axis to 90 degrees projects the image to the west (thus 270 degrees would be eastward, and so on) and another 90 degrees on the Z-Axis makes text read left-to-right.

So those are my helpful tips. Now get out there and build! Feel free to post links to your pix in the Comments of this post. I'd love to see them.

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