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Second Life: Photography Tutorial Part 1

A lot of people have asked me over the years how I take close up pictures and how I make the models eyes look so expressive.

Here’s are some things that I do when I take pictures.  I’ll start with my graphic settings for the pictures.

Graphic Preferences: (Click on any to enlarge)

I take my pictures in Ultra graphics.  If your computer cannot handle Ultra, try high or medium.  They will be at least better than low.

I save my pictures roughly around 6000 pixel width to 3000 / 4000 pixel height. After I am finished editing in photoshop, I will resize the picture to around 2000 pixels in width.  It’s better to save your picture as large as you can and then resize after editing.  I can try to explain this one all day but trust me, you will want to do this.

I use firestorm as my viewer. I find it’s better for taking pictures then the default SL viewer.

I use photo tools a lot.  The main thing I do is change the Depth of view -view angle.  I don’t turn Depth of Field on.  I just use the view angle on that tab.

DOF view angle combined with the free cam tool, you can use the mouse wheel to zoom in closer than you usually can.

See Part Two – Editing the face shape to make the eyes look more expressive

Second Life: Photography Tutorial Part 2

Photography tutorial part 2: How I make the eyes look so expressive.

Emotion in the eyes:

When it comes to capturing emotions in the eyes, I do a few tricks.  It’s not natural by any means.

1.       I do use mesh eyes. (Catwa eyes to be exact)  The hud that comes with the Catwa eyes allows you to move the eyes in different directions. This is helpful when you are posing to have the eyes stay in the position that you want them in.  You do not have to use Catwa eyes but it is handy to have that Hud with the eyes.

2.       Depending on what emotion I am trying to capture, I will move the mesh eyes up or down.  I find if I want to capture anger, hostility or even a sensual pose; I move the iris more towards the top of the eyelid. If I am looking for a soft, sad, depressed or even a more innocent expression; I move the iris closer to the bottom.  (See pictures below)

3.       I edit my face shape.  I have several shapes saved for pictures that I custom made myself.  With one shape, the outer corner of the eyes are intentionally turned downwards.  (Not a lot because I don’t want to make it super noticeable)  This gives the face a natural sadden appearance.  When you experience grief or are crying, the outer corners of your eyes will turn downwards.  When you are overjoyed or excited, those outer corners will turn up.  So based on the type of picture is the shape I use.

4.       Not all mesh eyes are created equal.  I think we all can tell the difference between noob eyes and high quality eyes.  I tend to use eyes that I know will photograph well.  There are a lot of good quality eyes that look great but for some reason just don’t photograph well. It’s just like real life when you think you look great and then somebody shows you a picture of yourself from a party and your eyes look like they belong in the black pits of hell.  After a lot of trial and error, I have found several people that make wonderful photographic worthy eyes.  (I have not tried all the eyes in Second Life – these are just my personal preference – use the eyes you personally like)

5.       Here are a list of eye makers to try out if you are struggling:  (Again, I use the Catwa Eye system with appliers from the designers below)

a.       A R T E

b.       Euphoric

c.       Go & See

d.       Song

e.       IKON (He doesn’t really update but his eyes are mesh and they come with a hud)

 

5.  Eyebrow shapes are seriously important to your picture.  The wrong eyebrow shape can really make your picture look like shit.   Here are two pictures using different eyebrow shapes: I think you can see the difference in facial expressions.

Will write up a tutorial for wind lights soon. So look for part three soon.

 

New Videos Tutorials

heartbreaker

I finally had some more time to make a couple of tutorial videos for you guys.  I hope you enjoy!

How to adjust mesh eyes with your mesh head:

Second Life Firestorm: Graphic preferences and saving graphic presets in firestorm.

alien

 

Credits:

Skin: Essences Catwa Appliers [Sophia]

Head: CATWA HEAD Dyana

Eyes: [Buzz] Serenity Eyes

Lashes: [LF] London Eyelashes for CATWA

Eye Makeup: Bossie. doll eyeshadow [catwa]

Body: Maitreya Mesh Body – Lara

Hair: Magika – 02 – Heartbeat

Shirt: 10. TRUTH Sunday Sweater [Donut]

Jeans: Maitreya * Faded * Slim BF Jeans & Belt

Shoes: AZOURY – Linaewen High heels Shoes [Brown]

Doll: *[BB] The Greys Alien Kitty Galactic Cream Female

Sunglasses: .{PSYCHO:Byts}. GAME GIRL – Geek Glasses

 

 

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