Photography in Second Life

How to start a Second Life Blog

As bloggers for years, we would like to share a few ideas and suggestions to take

Everything starts with the light – Photography in Second Life

As in real photography, shadow is at least as important as light
We use Firestom as a viewer for SL, the Linden Labs internal viewer one is definitely okay, but Firestorm offers so much more possibilities.
So the first step would be to set the graphics settings as high as possible to show shadows. Only with shadows good pictures succeed.

the more, the better. In any case, the shadows for sun and moon should be activated

The light system in the current Firestorm Viewer (current 6.4.12) was changed to EEP.
Environmental Enhancement Project, which replaces the „Windlight“.
It offers many advantages to the old light system, but above all it is much faster and much less complicated.
Light settings can now also be saved in the inventory. And thus also be passed on. In our Second Life Marketplace webshop we will gradually offer light settings that we love the most and like to use for pictures ourselves.

Where the light is – personal Lightning
In real photography, you would look at where the light is coming from and adjust accordingly.
Fortunately in SL you can rotate the light as you need it.
So first step on the photo tools, here we also see which light is activated for the sky, there we click on personal lighting

the new improved EEP lighting system in Firestorm allows us to make all the settings we need

In this new tool we see at a glance the whole light system. The colors of the environment, the horizon and the position of the sun.
The position of the sun is the most important thing for us at first. We want to have light shadows on our body and light on our face. So we turn the sun the way we need it.
We can also play with the light colors and see the effect directly in the picture. If there are clouds in the picture, we can set those too.

The pose is set, the camera angle is chosen, we turn the light as we like it

Where the shadows are – Shadow clarity
Hot tip about the shadows in SL
If they just don’t come into focus or are barely visible, it will be due to the shadow settings.
In the Phototools under the tab „light“ you will find „Shadow Resolution“ and „Shadow Clarity“. These two are the most important controls for clear shadows. The first tells how high resolution the shadows should be. But be careful with it, too high settings can slow down the PC a lot. The second slider draws the shadows sharp and always gives me an oooh and aaaah effect.

if the shadows do not become really clear, it is usually due to these two controls

In focus or what – Depth of Field
In the real world, there is the aperture in the lens. This ensures that we see parts of the image in focus and others out of focus. This effect is quite intentional. Especially in portrait photography, the background blurs behind the person we are photographing. This so-called bokeh (from Japanese blur) can be part of a good image. The so-called depth of field determines how many parts of the image we see in focus.
And in Second Life? There we have DoF (Depth of Field) in the photo tool the third tab (DoF/Glow) and there we can activate the depth of field. With the second slider (Field of View) we determine how much depth of field we get in the image.
Where we click with the mouse is now our focus. We can play with the slider and extreme settings can have interesting effects, but we should keep in mind what we want to see in the image.
With all effects activated, we can now determine our angle and image section.

the Dof slider provides more realism in our image

Ready for the picture
In real photography, the megapixels and resolutions of camera phones and digital cameras are constantly increasing. So why not take pictures in SL with a lot of megapixels?
Even if you run SL on a PC with a standard resolution of say 1920 x 1050 which is HD, we can take pictures in higher resolutions.
Yes, that surprised me a lot at first too and the limitation here is the power of the PC’s graphics card.
My pictures setting in the photo display looks something like this. So resolutions around 6000 x 4000 pixels. The more we have, the sharper our picture will be later.
If the local hard disk is selected as data storage, I can store images on it, which I call the raw images.

More pixels, more sharpness. The settings for the resolution can go far beyond what the monitor displays

Where the fun begins – Post-processing
The opinions are just as different as in real photography. Some always want to show exactly what the camera saw, others – and I count myself among them – see the image as a raw image and want to give it their own style.
In digital image creation, effects that exist in the real world are often added to make the image look as realistic as possible. These include lens flare, slight noise, color shifts, etc.
Adjustments to the contrast, exposure, or cropping of the image can also turn the raw image into a real diamond.

We have worked with many different image editing programs over the past few months. These include Photoshop, Luminar, Photoscape or Lightroom.
I’ve been working in Photoshop for a long time, but have to admit that each of these programs can create a new creativity.
All programs are available in a trial version that can help you decide which program is right for you. Photoscape is even available in the Microsoft Store in a completely free version, which is somewhat limited in scope, but shows the capabilities of this program very well.

More Post-processing – more creativity
In the next round, we’ll show what programs we prefer for editing and what our steps are. Of course, this varies from image to image, but it gives an insight into our work. Christina is a big fan of Photoscape and uses it to conjure up wonderfully dreamy images.

the finished image with editing. The personal taste decides

I am pleased about hints, suggestions, tips and also about complaints 🙂

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