Faux Shadows – Quick & Dirty Tutorial

SL-Stock Image Background-_003 & Faking It FINAL

This is a very quick tutorial I have cobbled together for those using stock images who want enhance their photos.  My method isn’t perfect, many imperfections can be seen where I didn’t finish off this or that, but if it weren’t for a before and after shot, your eyes would probably accept the final image. More advanced photo editors will spot areas that needed to be cleaned up and adjusted more.  But this is a start in the right direction for you to play around with your photos more and what you might do.

Faking It Quick & Dirty tips

I started out with a stock image I took earlier today on location.  I took a photo from another blog post of myself, prior to editing, and very, very roughly cut myself out.  Had I taken a specific shot for this tutorial and a blog post on it, I would have green screened, or taken more effort to emulate some of the tones of the lighting used in the stock image. But that’s not always neccessary, I just like to cut out the middle man as much as possible and do most of it inworld.  I made a copy of my stock image, and cut out the upper right hand corner’s leaves all the way to the tree itself.  I then removed much of the sky between the leaves as quickly as I could, and then enlarged it so it would take up my entire avatar.  I then made two copies, I played with the transparency, and multiplied them over my avatar.  I had to reduce the brightness of my avatar as it stuck out like a sore thumb, while to my eye I can tell the avatar was not part of the shot, I still need to keep it a bit brighter as I would be blogging the outfit, and it needs to be seen.  I could reduce the brightness much more to make it blend in and it becomes nearly a different photo. When doing this, keep in mind where your lighting is in your stock image and how it would effect your avatar when you take the avatar photo.  Try to mimic the same lighting in your studio.

Overlays

Always keep in mind what you want to show.  Don’t be afraid to cut out, or use overlay’s creatively.  For stock images, you can always go out on location and take your own, or use stock images from the Second Life Stock Images flickr group.  I have also prepared another image using some overlays from Insight Designs to show some effects.  I used, if I recall correctly, at least 2 0r 3 overlays from Insight Designs, above.  Here’s a link to the earlier blog post for that image, done completely different with no overlays. Here’s a link to another quick tutorial on using stock images and playing with brightness, and contrast in a couple of programs.  If you use any stock images from the group, please leave a note and a link on the stock image you used, so we can see what you did with it!  Oh, and if you want details on the first outfit, see the earlier blog post on it here.  If you have more tips, tricks, and links to more tutorials people might like, please leave a comment to share them.  I will be checking back regularly to moderate them so they post.

Another Fundraiser II

Three years ago, Eloh Eliot of Another Shop caused a grid wise stir when she released full perm skins.  Her reasoning was simple…to see what would happen.  Lots happened!  Out of her generosity, many people had access to layered psd’s.  Psd is a file extension name for Photoshop, meaning there is more than one item inside the file, on a layer.  These layers were lashes, eye-makeup, lips, shading, highlighting, all the elements that come together to create a skin.  For many people this was the first time they were able to see the process.  It was an informative tool, as well as resource.

Seizing this opportunity, and hoping to cement the foundations for proper use of this gift, Another Fundraiser was born.  Second Life residents were encouraged to create modded/modified skins.  The response was overwhelming.  In just a few short day, there were tons of skins already set out awaiting the opening. Residents were consuming tutorials as fast as they could to participate.  Everyone contributed to their skill level at the time, and everyone learned something.  Over the years, people who attempted to make some new makeups for this event, have gone on to show their skills with more makeup, more heavily modded skins, and eventually a fully developed skin with no traces of the old Eloh they started out with. A fresh new skin, fully their own.  Eloh Eliot’s risk, paid off in many people ‘leveling up’.

It was  three years ago to the day, of the posting of the charity receipts for Another Fundraiser, that Mina Jun of MinaJunk offered her full perm skins to the grid for modification, to benefit Red Cross.   The grid has changed a lot in 3 years.  We now have tatoo layers, allowing avatars to swap out tattoos, and makeups.  Another Fundraiser II is back to help victims of the March 11th 2011 Earthquake, and Tsunami by asking residents to try their hand again at modding skins.

Please read for information about Another Fundraiser II.

A collection of various tutorials that might answer some questions about working in Photoshop/gimp with layered files.  You can do this, it’s easy, just play around, emulate some tutorials, and see what happens….trust me anything you do will be better than my old Another Fundraiser skin mods. ;P   Using Mina Jun’s skins, Eloh Eliot’s layers, and Sezmra Svarog’s template, I am sure you can put together something someone will like.  Give it a try!

Eloh Eliot’s Another Blog
Eloh Eliot’s Skin Files (Worth looking through the layers to see the work involved.)
Tutorials by Eloh Eliot
Vint Falken’s Tutorials
Facial Hair Tutorial
Link to various Second Life Skin Tutorials (youtube)

There is a lot of information out there for you, hunt for it.  I suggest using your search browser to find skin resources.  Please double-check copy rights, licensing, and distribution information before using.  Just cause it’s on the internet, doesn’t mean it’s free.