I recently saw a video about getting Firestorm Viewer’s shadows to look as good as Black Dragon’s shadows. Huh? What?
The thing they were doing is getting hair shadows to render well on the avatar face. The video (4 min) I found has horrible audio. Luca The Guide, the author, was ill the day she made the video. So, I can’t complain too much. I don’t even try to make video tutorials when I am sick.
The video did get me looking and comparing Black Dragon and Firestorm. I launched Black Dragon (BD) and took a couple of pictures, see below. Then Launched Firestorm (FS) and took a couple.
With both, I used the same projector attached to the Center of Gravity attachment point aimed at my nose and in front and above my head. Both viewers were set to use the default environment in the Bellisseria region. Both viewers were using their default shadow settings.
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.
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.
Getting poses is sometimes hard. In some cases, one has to make their own. I suspect Madd Flair did some manual posing to get this shot. Or it could be built into the coaster, I have not checked. However, it looks very posed, unusual for built-in poses.
I doubt the image is taken from the Black Dragon viewer. Would be nice if they said. However, Black Dragon gives a ‘prettier’ render by default, thus my doubt.
From the How’s your avatar look today? thread Scylla Rhiadra spun off the thread Making Avatars Look Good in Black Dragon! Share Your Hints and Advice! (Link) This thread explains how people get those perfectly posed shots you have been wondering about.
NiranV the author of Black Dragon has been posting in the thread, so there is some good information and ‘how-to’.
Environment Project is progressing and nearing completion. Thursday Feb 14,
2019 Rider Linden updated us on where they were in development. (Ref) He is expecting the project to move
to RC status very soon™. It is now
available to test in its ‘project status’ in the Blue Steel and Le Tigre
channels of the main Second Life™ grid. So, it may be time to start playing
with the feature.
Also, with this feature comes a new item, EEP-Windlight
settings, that can be sold on the market place and traded among users. If you
have a talent for making sunsets, this may be your niche.
You can get a copy of the Enhanced Environment Project viewer in the Second Life™ Alternate
Viewers. As I write we are on version 18.104.22.1684123 of this project viewer. It installs in its
own directory. So, it won’t break or affect any of your other installed
viewers. Updates to this viewer are mandatory. Meaning when a new version of
the Project or RC viewer is released you have to install the update to continue
NOTICE: If you click SLURLs to open your viewer and login into the SLURL’s region, installing any viewer will change which viewer Windows uses. Windows uses the last viewer installed. There are tools and tutorials that will help you tell Windows which viewer you prefer for those clicks. See SLURL Proxy.
If you have a Flickr account, you know how popular photography is in Second Life. So, photo-how-to’s are popular too. Then there are the peeps with a bit of exhibitionist in their blood posting in, How does your avatar look today?
Hamlet is featuring videos by Cassie Middles (Flickr URL). The video shows how to use Cynefin’sProjection Lighting Kit (L$650) (Video below). Mixed in is how to use your Windlight settings and adjust the sun to get the lighting you want.
Cassie also made a video showing how to use the resulting image and improve it. Below. Continue reading →
Flickr has a ton of Second Life™ images. Today: 2,901,249 images. Some are pretty bad, others REALLY kinky, and some amazingly gorgeous. For the people interested in SL Photography William Weaver has made 12 video tutorials. They are about using the Firestorm Viewer’s Photo and Camera Tools and controlling Windlight.
There is a well thought out design for these tools. The tutorial shown here shows how to take advantage of the tools and use them efficiently. Subsequent tutorials show how to use the various aspects of SL lighting to create great images.