Posts tagged ‘GOS’

July 10, 2011

One For the Boys

Hoodie:   SEY;   Buttoned Hoodie /A/Black
Jeans:  NSD;  Homme Jeans/Black
Tee:  Muism;   Deep V Tee/Black
Necklace:  Mandala;  Kimera Necklace /Black
Shoes:  GOS;   Desert Boots – Black Leather

When I tp’d Xan over to my place to start our evening with a hug and a kiss, I was super-impressed with the outfit he’d put together.  I had to delay the start of our evening so I could drag him to the rooftop studio and grab a couple quick pics.  And color me shocked – he even accessorized!

In my opinion, a guy can never go wrong with Sey or Mandala (especially when said guy usually doesn’t wear jewelry).  He’s always loved to shop, but now he’s starting to bring out his inner fashionisto.  I’m creating a new category, “For The Boys”, to feature men’s clothing that I want to give a nod to.

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April 13, 2011

Inner City

Skin:  Lara Hurley;  Leah, green gloss/pale
Hair:  Truth; Courtney, macaroon
Jacket:  Amerie;  S&S; Short Parka, pink
Shorts:  Fishy Strawberry;  Billy Denim shorts, black
Socks:  Twisted & Spoiled; Part of the Feisty in Black set
Boots:  GOS; Docs, 8 hole, pink, abused
***Disclaimer:  The boots pictured are actually a much lighter pink, not the darker pink I made them appear to match the hoodie***
Tattoo:  My Pinkie Skull;  Beauty Must Die, faded

 

I just love my new pink Docs!  I wanted to do a picture with them, but couldn’t seem to find anything in my inventory in a shade similar.  I wanted to get the picture done before SL started being naughty and crashing on me again, so I just threw on something in a darker pink and *made* the boots match through the magic of photo-shopping.  I know, bad girl.

 

A new friend of mine was curious about my Photoshop editing process and I wasn’t quite sure how to explain it and I’m really not the right person to attempt a blog tutorial.  But this will give anyone who’s curious a general idea of the steps I take.  One of the most important things to note is that there’s only so much you can do in Photoshop.  If you don’t start with a decent image, your finished product won’t be as good.  My personal favorite way to get a great starting image is NOT to use a facelight.  Use the preset WindLight settings (depending on which viewer your using):  Canimod, Exodi, or CalWL.  These will all result in a crisp, clear image as long as there aren’t any extra light sources in the vicinity.

 

The start of my process is the same for each one.  Firstly, I crop my image, removing any extraneous parts.  Then, if I’m using a green screen backdrop, I remove it and clean up any halo effects that may be left.  If you don’t know how to do this, there are already several good tutorials out there in blogs and on YouTube, just sharpen your Google skills and you’ll find plenty.  (I’m a trial and error type person, so I use the snapshot feature in the history panel frequently.  That way, I can always revert if I’ve done something I don’t like. )

 

Next step, I clean up the picture.  Using clone stamping, I fix any overt texturing errors, stray hairs sticking out of the body or prims that show awkwardly.  After that, I do probably THE most important step you’ll ever need to make smooth SL pictures:  Use the Liquify Tool!! With the avatar mesh in its current state, we all know about those jagged waists, necks and wrists, pointy elbows and knees and that strangeness of hexagonal boobs. Liquify can deal with all that and more and with practice will leave your pictures looking smooth and professional.  I’ll be honest, this tool scared the hell out of me when I first started using it, but Undo is your friend, experiment with brush size, do use the zoom feature, and practice, practice, practice.

 

At this point, each picture takes a different path.  I may use Dodge/Burn to bring out the highlights and shadows, add texturing or backdrops, create shadows behind the avatar, or start with any of the available adjustment layers (specifically:  curves, vibrance, hue/saturation).  Don’t be afraid to play with the layer blending styles, they can make a whole world of difference to the appearance of your image.  I also use the Filters menu quite a bit:  a little Gaussian blur, adding some noise or diffuse glow and unsharp masks.  It all depends on what that finished picture looks like in my mind and the steps I need to take to get it to that point.  Trying a feature, then reverting is the biggest portion of my editing process.  Finally, I go over any rough areas left with the smudge tool.

 

When I’m satisfied, I decide how I want to finish it.  Adding text, Beveled edges, colored matting, drop shadow or any of a number of options and finally, resizing.  You may want to resize in a couple different sizes, depending on whether the image will be used on the web or uploaded back into SL.  You may also want to save your picture in various formats:  JPEG, PNG, or TGA.

 

This layout shows the world of difference a few small editing steps can make to improve a raw shot straight out of SL.