The trick to getting my skin color so I can match my Stiletto Moody foot color to my skin color is to use a tool in the SLV2 menu. (Develop [Ctrl-Shift-D] -> Show Info -> Show Color Under Cursor.) The Show Color tool will give you the actual color of the combined texture and tint. Those RGB values can be typed into Moody’s controls and the skins will match. This tool works for most color matching cases.
Part of the trick in using the Show Color tool is to get a color that is neither in shadow or highlight. That takes a little practice. One only needs to get close as most HUD’s have an easy way to lighten or darken the skin.
I’m not sure all viewers have the Show Color tool. Also, there is a gotcha in Show Color, one cannot move the cursor outside the SL Viewer window. For designers that can be a problem. However, you can get a free color sampler. Check these out: Free & Pay-For Color Pickers I like Peacock Color Picker 2.0.0. Also, with Photoshop one can use its color picker/eyedropper by clicking within the PS window and then dragging anywhere on screen.
One of the simplest color matching systems is the Color Balls that come with many items. These are just a prim sphere used with the basic SL tools. Image #7 shows one attached as a HUD. (NOTICE: My images show me wearing my N-Core shoes. The color ball is from Cheeky Shoes.) The ball has a script that moves the color from the ball to the target item. You can try them out with a pair of Cheeky Shoes. They are only L$25 a pair. The shoes are not the best but they are great for the price. The straps degrade as LoD kicks in (as your camera moves away they deform).
The trick in using color balls to match color is the Show Color or Peacock Color Picker. One just needs to get the RGB color values then type them into the SL Color Picker. Then you have your color match.
This is the process N-Core seems to use. One picks a base color that is as close as possible but on the light side. Then add a little color and brighten and darken to get a near-perfect match.
The challenge with this process is one needs some color sense to know whether adding blue or green would make a better color match. Fortunately, there is a trick to reduce the need for a good color sense. Use the Show Color tool to get the RGB values. Subtract each value from 255. A skin color of 77-47-33 would give you 178-208-222.
Use the reset button in N-Core to see all the RGB values in an N-Core style color matcher to 255. Pick the nearest lighter skin color. Use the Brightness control to darken the skin. Get the values down to about 222. This may have you on the dark side, which is ok. Next use the +/- buttons to dial in the numbers (178-208-222 from above). Once they are in the skin is probably too dark. Use the Brightness control to adjust that. You should be able to get a very close match. Getting the numbers in is just to get the proportions of RGB close.
Sean Gorham has a more detailed math approach over on SL Universe.
Stiletto Moody makes skins. So, they have a tool to match their feet to the skins they make. Others like the Xcite! (Xcite! post) people need to match as many skins as possible. So, some use a database of skins. One just tells the color matching tool which skin they are wearing and it looks up the colors and sets the right color.
In some cases, the idea is to sell a skin too. In others, like Xcite!, it is just to make the product as easy to use as possible. My Nomine skin is almost 3 years old now. I have yet to see it in any database of skins. So, while matching by skin name is a good idea, your skin may not be in the database.
Windlight & Clothes – Skins
If you are adjusting a dress you bought, the process is very similar to skin matching, but usually without the color shift problem. That is because all the parts of the dress are made by the same person.
To adjust a dress panel/attachment right-click the panel/attachment and select edit. In some dresses, as shown in Image #6, there are two or more panels. You can adjust their color separately if you want. In the build dialog select Edit linked then pick the part to adjust by left-clicking. One can use Select Face to get even more control of which part will be changed. Using Select Face one could shade the front and back sides differently, but that is usually overkill.
Once the part you want to adjust is selected, select the Texture tab and click the color selector to open the color selection palette. Many dresses will often already have a gray selected. If not, select the light gray in the predefined colors. Use the slider at the right to lighten and darken until you have a good color match. OK your way out.
When you change a free-standing prim or an attachment on an av, the change is being recorded for an instance of the item. The changes do NOT affect the copy in inventory.
You can ‘Take’ or detach the prim to force an immediate save of the change to the inventory item. The viewer will not change the item in inventory until it is detached. The viewer has no way to know if this is going to be a new inventory item (saved as…) or and update to the item in inventory. So, no change is made to inventory.
Saving Color Matches
Most color matching HUD’s have some means to save a color. Be sure you save your color before taking the HUD off.
As you change stockings, you will likely need to save several different colors. N-Core saves 3 and Stiletto 4. With Cheeky you can copy the color balls and save one copy for each color. Rather than wear the color ball as a HUD, rez it on the ground (Image #8). This has the benefit of letting you see shading on the color ball, which I think makes color matching easier. Then when you Take it back to inventory, it retains the color. Naming it some like White Stocking Color or whatever reduces confusion.
It is also possible to save copies of the feet/shoes for use with specific stockings. Make a copy of the feet/shoes before you put them on. Then adjust the color.