When I found the windlight settings in my viewer for Second Life, it was like finding a secret yummy candy stash tucked away as a surprise. The Firestorm Viewer is chock full of bells and whistles for picture taking. When I started taking pictures I had not found that candy stash yet nor was I very good at Photoshop either. But hey we all start somewhere right? Most of the time I was finding ways in Photoshop to fix SL mistakes in my pictures like body parts inside other body… never mind that sounds like I don’t want to go there. LMAO. What I mean is.. I was fixing mistakes like strands of hair inside the body and animation glitches where things were positioned wrong. Also with the original classic avatars I found that I was fixing edges a lot in photoshop. I would smooth around the shoulders, chin, nose and lips… etc etc and please don’t forget the original hands or like I called them “Jazz Hands” and the ankles and feet. Since we now have all this new mesh the edges are smoother and there is much less hassle fixing mistakes. But, it’s not a perfect world since there are new issues now with mesh like the animations bug with ankles where they bend far too far while you are in an animation. Sometimes the shoulders with a mesh body will be a bit odd with animations too so I am careful how I pose and set up for a picture.
With all these new changes in the past few years I can’t begin to tell you how much mesh has done for photographers. I have come to realize that the reason I learned what I have is because I started before all the mesh and had to fix things the harder way with photoshop. Now I feel spoiled with my artwork since I have less to fix. (wipes my forehead) Needless to say my old computer could never handle the Advanced Lighting Model and would crash on me every time I clicked it and that function is very important to taking nice pictures since it smooths out the graphics a lot and creates a more real look with the lighting and atmosphere. I am so thankful to my new Mac I have 🙂
Windlights create mood. Sure you can use the ones that are there already because they are amazing but you can use windlights made by others as well. I use the environment settings all the time and make my own WLs as I set up a photo shoot. That way I can artistically create the mood and feel of my setting and have total control over the lighting. Here is a link to my windlights post for your use. Magick Thoughts Windlights
One of my favorite WLs is Magical Garden because of the purple hues and bright tones that enhance the avatar and textures. I used that WL for this picture as well as a few PS tricks of my own to get this effect of pink on the snow. As you can see Magickal Garden has a wonderful purple undertone that works for the whole image.
In the next image I have used my WL called Magickal Warm Winter Dusk. I wanted to capture the warm beauty of the trees and sky to enhance the autumn feel of the Nocturn Trumpet Dress. It must be very early winter since the sky looks warm as the snow is falling. This WL gives the picture an over all light orange beige tint just like dusk will do.
I think creating windlights is an art form all its own and really sets artwork apart from the rest. As for myself, finding that candy stash was one of the more fun things to happen to my photography.
The new mesh world in SL has 99% pros than cons for sure and it keeps getting more realistic all the time. I think the key to wonderful lighting in SL for artwork and snapshots is understanding windlights, advanced lighting model, the photo-tools window, navigating sun and moon projection as well as using a projector. I use the Lumipro and it has skyrocketed the professionalism of my work by far! You don’t always need shadows and the Lumipro helps with the lighting of the models in different ways with gobos and color.
Second Life is an endless creative outlet and photography is one of the most popular hobbies people take up… This type of art I do with photography and Paris METRO Couture has helped me with some real life issues of my own as well. It is a wonderful pass time that helps my mind and soul to the point that I am a happier person and more mentally healthy too.
What does SL do for you?
Narnia. I used my own custom WL called Magickal Narnias Evening.
~MANY HUGS, AmandaMagick~
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