Do you credit your poses yet?

Because, why wouldn’t you? Before you put on the ‘But Asthenia, pose crediting is superhard and sometimes I just forget and I am just too pretty okay’-record, please read this post because it might make pose crediting easier for you!

As I stated before, poses are very, VERY important for our blogposts. We also talked about the importance of crediting a while back. So, with Pose fair opening yesterday, I feel it’s a good opportunity to ramble again… I mean kindly remind everyone about the importance of pose crediting.

As you may or may not know, I am a huge fan of Tillie’s posestand. I have been using it for as long as I have been SL blogging (so that’s 5+ years darlings) and I am superexcited to show a new feature that got added in version 5 (released at Pose fair).

Say you want to blog an outfit and take 3 cute shots of your adorable self in said outfit. A bit like this:
Do you credit your poses yet (1)

Tillie’s hud allows me to save the poses I used for the post in a temporary set. I simply click the little disk when I find a pose that I will use in my post. I just flip through and save whatever pose I want. Later I can access my saved poses through the QS button.
Do you credit your poses yet (2)

With a simple chat command (set list) I then get a list of all the poses in the active set (in this case, the temporary set for blogging). Afterwards you simply clear this temporary set by clicking the little skull thingy and you are all set for your next post!
Do you credit your poses yet (3)

Pose stand – Tillie [Pose fair: 19th April - 3rd May]
Poses: Careless.pose 2, monday.pose 2, monday.pose 4 – Fri.day [Pose fair: 19th April - 3rd May]
Hair: Melita – Truth
Skin: Sylvia – Glam affair
Mesh lashes V.01 – Beetlebones
Necklace: Trinity – G Field
Dress: Boatneckdress – Coco [The seasons story: 10th April - 30th April]
Feet: Medium feet – Slink
Shoes: Lizzie.slippers – Fri.day

SL Profile Tips Part I

RAWR!

That means hello in dinosaur language!, now that we know each other, lets get down to business.

I’m going to be posting a series of articles to give you hints and tips of how to do some of the stuff I do in my profile pictures, some of it you might already know, but in the heart of making this as friendly and easily for anyone, I’m going to try to go through most of it, even when I know posting everything would take a long time, but if there’s ever a subject you struggle with, let me know and i’ll expand on it!

Image

The above image is an example of the editing I’ll try to explain here, in a brief description (left to right):

  1. Base SL picture: That’s a no edit sl picture, the base so you can compare
  2. Stage 2: it takes a long time to get there, and i’ll spend most time in this to walk you from 1 to 2, most everything you see here is done with painting
  3. Last two are with adjustment layers, i’ll show you some of these and how they can enhance (and sometimes break) your picture, 4 is the first, and then 3 is lowering the effect, it’s usually a matter of preferences on them.

Right so lets start with the basics, you’ll want to take a High res picture, pick a nice pose, and either a good background or a green screen, I won’t get into those much here since I do believe there are other posts that cover that. In short, get the least amount of things to fix in sl, it will save you hours in PS. That being said, any picture can be good, so long as the base is solid, which is why I’ll be doing this with the following Pile Up, I didn’t take this picture or chose the settings or shadows, but I’m going to try to recreate some of it’s effects, that way if you can’t take a high res pic in sl or you have a bad one, you can see if you can save it.

Profile_001

There’s going to be some notes in all pictures, it’s what i wrote along the way, some might be helpful and some utterly random, click to enlarge in all if you want.

First order of business! Liquify, I show some of the common areas you need to look, i know most already do this so it’s no news, but one thing that i do want to mention is that i always duplicate layers, and keep the saved in case i forget or miss something, I have it there to fix quickly and not have to redo the whole thing. Oh and when you crop your pic at the start, try to envision a 4:3 ratio, follow photography rules of making 3 by 3 squares in your mind and placing your picture avoiding the center, it creates a better image usually, or it’s easier to do this way, but always go with what looks best in yours.

Profile_002

 

So I made this quick tutorial once of how to get rid of green screens, but in case you get edges like above, or in case you don’t have that tool in ps, or just because you don’t want to find it again, here’s another way:

  1. You need to get rid of the whole green around, just leave the bits you can’t select
  2. Pick a color from the hair, something neutral or closer to the color of the edge of it
  3. Draw a halo around the hair in a new layer (v. important!)
  4. Hold your ‘alt’ key and click between both layers, you’ll see a white and black circle in your mouse when you hoover over the correct place, this will create a clipping mask, welcome to the mask world, you’ll be using them often.
  5. You can change the blending mode to color, or use a normal one, whichever works best, blonde’s and blacks are hardest, red, brown are easiest, anything else i don’t even remember! (I use color blending mode for this example)

Profile_003

 

Here’s a look on my layers so you don’t get lost, yo can see the clipping mask with the arrow down and how the hair looks after i do that, also how i duplicate and create layers for everything. I have all layers saved so if at any point you want me to go into detail tell me and i’ll post a mini picture to describe it.

004

Next very important thing, smudge or smooth the sl weirdness, the better your quality ad zoom the least you’ll have to fix here, basically try to get rid of anything that looks pixelated, you can put back the details yourself but you need a clean base to work with. The smudge tool is that little thing that looks like a finger in your tools, if you have a good computer you can get away with a huge size, but for me 100 is usually where PS starts lagging, find your computer limit and smudge away, I use intensity of 32% usually, lower if you want it smoother, higher if you want to do something similar to liquify.

005

 

You can see what I smudged in the last pic, one huge thing is, if you have sl lines, and you did a green screen, don’t use the method where you select the whole line and fill it with content-aware that will mess up the transparency, you can smudge these lines easily imho. Here’s your first decision:

Smooth skin or not?

This is going to affect heavily on how you do other things later on and how your picture will look, you can go the in between and kinda do kinda not do, its up to you…

Smoothing: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8059/8166055590_d020387a49.jpg ; I decided against it on this tutorial, simply because it is less effort to smooth it, so i’ll go with the more complicated part here, but for now this is it for part I, I’ll post part II in a couple days, so you don’t get annoyed of me!.

Next up is going to be mouth, eyes, nose, and eyebrows, take a look at some pictures in flickr and try to see what they do, deviantart is always good as well!.

Let me know if you have any comments or questions, and I’ll take those in consideration for the next post too.

Oh yeah, Happy Valentines!

Photo Drama: Layering Windlights

Lighting and shadows are one of the things that add visual drama to a photograph, and I’m going to cover an easy tutorial on how to get optimal drama on a photograph with minimum post editing. Before I begin, I want to point out that I am a Photoshop 4 user, but this tutorial will essentially work with most digital editing software. Alright, let’s begin.

The first thing you’re going to want to do is pick two windlights. One that has a very dramatic effect of lights and shadows and then one that maybe doesn’t have shadows at all. For the latter, I prefer Strawberry Singh’s ‘Closeups’ or ‘Original’. I also like Luna Jubilee’s ‘Bright and Sparkly’ as well as Nam’s ‘Optimal Skin and Prim’ windlights.

For this example, I’ve used Phototools‘ Black and White # 11 and Strawberry Singh’s Original. The Phototools’ Black and White # 11 is available on the latest version of Phoenix Firestorm (they might be available on other 3rd party viewers, but I don’t use anything else but Firestorm and SL Beta Viewer.) For Strawberry Singh’s ‘Original’ you must download it from her blog. However, ‘Closeups’ is available on Firestorm and the Linden Viewer.

From the above picture, you can see my two images on the ‘Layers’ tab. Please note that I have layered the dramatic photo over the plain photo. I’m going to work mostly from the ‘Layers’ tab on the side bar. I’m not sure how this translates to other photo editing software.

What I’ve done is decreased the opacity of the dramatic photo over the other photo, which allows the better lit and cleaner shot to come through, but leaving the dramatic light effects. I’ve also pointed to the layer options. I’ve not given this layer any special effect and left it on ‘normal’, but if you’re a Photoshop user, try the different effects. Multiply, Overlay, and Screen are some of my favorites.

For a little added clarity on the face, I go to my eraser tool, make sure the brush opacity is decreased, and erase the face. Using a soft brush is the best. I like to use a very low opacity with a round, soft brush and just center it directly over the face. Now my face shines much more, becoming the focal point of this photograph.

This is essentially it for this tutorial. Obviously I encourage photographers to go much further with the post editing. There are countless ways of making this photograph even more dramatic with darker shadows and brighter highlights, but that’s a matter of personal preferences. If you have Firestorm or a viewer with a wide variety of windlights, play with this tutorial! It’s a lot of fun.

Here is my finished product. It’s been edited to be SFW here, but you can see my marvelous Lola breasts on my flickr photo here. I posted a smaller, more simple version of this tutorial on my personal blog “It’s a Wonderful SecondLife” with the credits if you want to know more about what I’m wearing.

Have fun!

Keliah Angelis