Saturday, December 26, 2015

Photography tips #1 - Rule of thirds

Second Life photography is so much fun, and lots of people do it. Here is a way of taking real life photography tips and bringing it into Second Life.

One of the most simple ways of improving your images is to use the "rule of thirds". When you shoot a picture in SL, typically the object ends up dead center of the shot if you don't move your camera. That is not necessarily the best spot for an interesting image. Watch any movie, magazine, billboard, even the news on TV. Pretty much everywhere, this rule is applied in some form or another.

The rule of third grid looks like this:

When you're framing your shot, imagine four lines that is about 1/3 of the entire length or height in from either edge. Where those lines intersect, you have a focal point (red circle). A point where the eye almost automatically goes to right away when we look at an image. You can use this to your advantage and position your object, in one of those intersections. It can be in anyone of the four intersections, just pick one that looks good to you.
Fun fact: Most people will look at the top left intersection first, then the bottom left, then the top right and so on. You will quickly find out using this method, your images will look more pleasing to the eye.

The lines are also very helpful. In landscape shots for example, you want to the horizon line to run along one of the two horizontal lines in the grid - a third from either the top or the bottom.
The vertical lines can be used to line up a tall structure or a person in just the right spot.

Not the optimal position of the subject, even though the horizon is located along the right line.
If you know you are going to be editing the image in Photoshop or Gimp later, try to make sure to leave extra room for a crop if that's is your intentions. With the crop tool in Photoshop or Gimp you can easy put the object in the desired spot, however, having not done that at the time of shooting, you will now have eliminated a lot of good pixels. Something to think about :)

Last but not least,  - this is a more a guide than a rule. - Rules are there to be broken, and very often you will get an interesting result by doing just that. An example on that could be a shot where the back ground is 100% symmetric or perhaps there is a perfect reflection. But more often than not, using this guide, or rule, will give you a better image, and should result in more favs on Flickr.

Bonus tip: Both Gimp and Photoshop has the rule of third as a guide preset already built in. Here's how you turn them on when you're using the crop tool.


Select the crop tool, (C) - in the tool bar, click the mesh looking icon, and select the Rule of Third grid. Now drag from corner to corner to select the entire image. As soon as you let go of your mouse the grid will pop up and you can now adjust the handles on each side of the cropping window to place the image the way you like it.


Click the pen cutter like tool....?! (Shift+C) to select the crop tool. In the drop down list, chose Rule of Thirds guides. Now drag over the entire image and your grid will be drawn out. Now you can adjust the crop by using the handles in each corner to get the composition right.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Being casual

Ahh...the casual look. A pair of jeans, a t-shirt, some shoes or boots and perhaps a jacket. It's a look that a lot of guys in Second Life use. Im my opinion the casual look just got even better. I was at TMD - The Mens Department awhile back, where Cold Ash had a small display of one or perhaps two of their outfits. A quick visit to their main store, and I was sold on the out fit below. All 3 items are of course mesh and were purchased separately.

The jacket is the Ryder. It can be used with or without the T-shirt, and in the including HUD you will find 6 great leather textures in different colors for the jacket, and 6 muted colors for the T-shirt making it easy to find a good look.

(Click any picture for a larger view.)

The jeans are called Ocelot, a nice straight fit, very worn looking pair (but not ripped),. The HUD gives the choice of 6 tones from light blue to black
Last but not least to complete the look, I chose the Jericho desert boots. It's a short boot, and goes perfect with the jeans and other long pants. Again there is an option for picking a color to go with the rest of the outfit, this time 5 different tones ranging from Copper (light brownish) to Black.

Style card:


Picture location - Tempelhof

Saturday, December 19, 2015

At this time of year...

...most places in the northern hemisphere will at some point see the white stuff. Of course most sim designers in SL follows the seasons. One of those must see sim's is Calas Galadhorn "White Christmas" -a spectacular looking sim.  With a visit there to see the sights with a very good friend, I quickly realized I looked somewhat under-dressed. And we cant have our precious pixels catching a case of nippleitis - right?

I went looking for a nice dressy looking jacket, and found this Oasis Jacket in the G I O M E N inworld store. It looks great, perfect for a walk in the snow with a special friend. You can also find G I O M E N on the MP.

It features rich hi-res textures on the jacket and shirt. 10 Exchangeable textures for the jacket and 12 textures for the shirt, which all can be changed via the Oasis Jacket HUD giving several very nice looking combinations. It comes with one alpha for 5 mesh sizes from XS to XL. A Fitted mesh size and of course the texture exchange hud is also included.


Style card:


Picture location - Winter Moon