In Second Life™ lots of people are all about looks. Few of those people know much about making a beautiful avatar. They just shape their avatar by eye. Those that are better at making shapes may end up selling shapes to the rest of us. The next step up from making shapes is sculpting heads and bodies.
I keep looking at people’s avatars and notice how some are just gorgeous. Some with incredible faces. What makes their face so pleasing?
One part of the beauty equation is proportions. Some time ago I made a tool for getting body shapes proportional. Mostly getting height and arm lengths right. Now I’ve made a guide for getting facial proportions correct. The video is the quick answer to what it is and how it works. About 3 minutes.
Before you run off to buy this tool and fix that ugly face of yours… well… you’re not that bad… you need to know this tool is just a guide to assist you in creating a face shape. It doesn’t make a shape. Also, it isn’t easy to use CORRECTLY. Read on or watch the video before you decide.
Be warned. The Guide is Copy-OK so there are NO REFUNDS.
Every so often I stumble onto something in Second Life™ I didn’t know about. Slink’s Deluxe Feet Auto Switcher is one of those things… and I’m a Slink fan.
Slink has five foot-positions in their main body HUD, Slink Physique (F) Utilities HUD (Redux) V4.0.0.
I’ve been putting on the HUD every time I needed to change foot positions. It can take a minute for the HUD to fully render. But the way I dress that usually isn’t a problem. I’m a top to bottom girl. By the time my dressing routine that I am picking out shoes the HUD has had plenty of time to rez.
When I change between existing outfits, going from a club to the beach, it can force me to wait on the HUD. However, there is a solution for the existing Outfit problem, the Foot Switcher. Makes the wait go away.
Adobe has released a new set of updates. For those of us in Second Life, there isn’t a lot to get excited about in this update. There is enough to be interesting.
I suspect the most useful update in Photoshop is to the Select Subject feature. Jesús thinks its better. The example used in the video… leaves me undecided. I’ll have to get some experience with it before I decide. I suspect he is right. And the Adobe examples do make it look better than Jesús’ example.
On to the updates…
Lens Blur – They have improved this feature too. I often use it. The viewer’s Depth of Field does some nice blurring on its own. While the viewer’s DoF is simple and more than adequate, Photoshop’s Lens Blur is awesome… and complex offering many controls.
If I think I want to blur a background, foreground, or combination of the two in a photo I’ll snap both a Color and Depth image. Then I use Lens Blur to get the look I want.
It will let you blur just background, just foreground, or some combination of both. One uses the Set Focal Point in the tool to select what is in focus. That selects a shade of gray in the depth map to consider in focus and progressively blurs other levels of gray as they go darker or lighter.
Watch this video to see a comparison between the old and new Select Subject and some other features.
Select Object– This is now a tool in the tool’s pallet. It is different than the Select Subject tool. Adobe explains the difference this way:
The Object Selection tool is useful when you only need to select one of the objects or part of an object within an image that contains multiple objects. While the Select Subject command is designed to select all the main subjects in the image.
I was annoyed that it was often hard to find Select Subject when working in an image. I had to select some specific selection tool to get access to Select Subject. The first thing I find when I go looking for this ‘Object’ tool is that I don’t have it. So, off to find out why. Adobe explains how to find it here.
In 2013 Strawberry Singh posted a couple of articles (here & here) about positioning and moving avatars when setting up snapshots. This was needed for those areas where you do NOT have rez rights. Over time viewer upgrades broke those processes.
Every so often I would check to see if the problems with those processes had been fixed. With Firestorm 6.3.9 (May 2020 release date) I can move the avatar again sort of with her process.
Strawberry explained the process for moving your avatar. (Ref)
Open the Develop menu. Top menu, press Ctrl-Alt-Q to reveal it.
Then enable Develop->Avatar->Character Tests->Allow select avatar.
Press Ctrl-3 to open the Build Panel.
Right-click the avatar. Move arrows appear. Move.
Here is a video showing how it used to work. If you have a mesh avatar, right-clicking the avatar likely is not going to work. Instead, you have to right-click on your name tag. Then it works.
Cassie Middles made a 12-minute video tutorial showing how to use it. It is sort of a “Poser” beginner’s tutorial. Not every feature of the Poser is covered. The important stuff regarding posing for pictures is the focus.
I think it is a nice video. The intro is a bit long but that seems to be a YouTube fad.
She skipped the save-a-pose features. They are intuitive so no biggie.
Before clicking MORE… the next page is not entirely safe for work.
The Linens have released Second Life Release 126.96.36.1991639 – Camera Presets. See the Release Notes for all the details.
It took me a second to figure out which camera they were talking about. Well, there is only one camera in the viewer. There are a number of ways to look at it. So…
Graphics Settings – these controls in Preferences->Graphics do control the camera. I suspect most of us think of these settings as controlling the render engine, which they do. But the render engine is the camera. So, most of the labels tend toward describing what we are doing with it.
This isn’t what changed.
Snapshot Panel – I tend to think of this as more the camera than Graphics Settings. This, also, is not what changed.
Camera Controls – This is the thing they changed. I almost never use it. I consider it the newbie thing. I use and Alt-LM-click-drag and Ctrl-ALT-LM-click-drag to control my “camera”. My last guess as to what changed was this.
This is a tutorial on how to use Black Dragon to capture DEPTH information for use in Photoshop (PS). The techniques can be used in GIMP and Paint.Net. The buttons are just in different places.
The reason you may be interested in using PS rather than a viewer’s built-in DoF is to get more control. Viewers tend to provide a perfect render of a scene. Our eyes pick up the texture and dust of real-life so a computer image usually doesn’t fit our experience of how the world looks. Making a photo-realistic is about adding the subtle noise of real life to an image.
This image raised some questions in the SL Forum thread How does your avatar look today? (About 1,300 pages) Mostly, I think, because I pointed out I did the Depth of Field out of focus thing using Photoshop with a Black Dragon Depth map.
Most viewers provide Depth Maps. You can create Windlight settings that will create a depth map too, but that is a PITA. It is easier to use a viewer that has the feature. So, Firestorm or Black Dragon or the Linden Default Viewer. I haven’t checked the others. I assume most have the feature.
As of April 13, 2020, we have last names… again. The Name Change feature has gone live. The Lindens say it is WAY more popular then even the most optimistic Lindens expected. At US$39.99 per change, I am surprised. But there is ten years of demand stacked up. So, I probably shouldn’t be.
The interesting bit of news in this regard is from the Third-Party Devs’ user group meeting. It was suggested that a Premium Member be allowed to change their alt’s name via their Premium account. It would be a PITA to have to take an alt to Premium, change the name, then revert to basic… and expensive.