Photoshopping…across the metaverse..

There was a great post up on the Designing Nicky Ree Satin Shine Flickr group today, and it got me thinking. Basically, what constitutes ‘heavy’ photoshopping. I have three entries in that contest, so I had a good think about what constitutes ‘heavy’ and what constitutes ‘acceptable’.  Then, I went back and pulled up the originals of my pictures and looked at exactly what I did.  And so, in the interests of transparency and in a spirit of fun, here is exactly what I did. I think its acceptable in all three, though I can imagine that purists may argue that at least one of them is heavy. I put an example of what I consider ‘heavy’ at the bottom.

First, though, it’s important to note a couple of things.  Inworld, you can shoot in a studio, with whatever backdrop, lighting, effects, fuzziness, filters etc, that you like. You can also shoot out of a studio using all the same things.  You can also use large transparent prim panels with the glow set to different levels to create soft pretty effects. You can fiddle with the sliders til your eyes can’t tell the difference any more, and you can get all sorts of gizmo’s and lights to attach to yourself.

Next, you really need an excellent video card, and I am lucky enough to have a RADEON HD4850, in a computer with lots of grunt. You can also shoot in large size. So when I take ‘some’ snapshots, they are at 6000 by 3550, ultra setting, they’re around 60mb and my SL crashes every three shots. But its at that point ‘untouched’.

If you’re me, you’re not so good at a lot of the inworld stuff, but photoshopping is a skill. I really did enjoy going back and looking at what I did and deciding if it constituted heavy or light. My vote on my three are:  almost none, not much, and a fair bit. But heavy – well, that is what I did to my RFL entry. And I’ll explain that one at the end.

Picture One was actually an accident. I was doing some shots at Brideswell Hall for Primperfect, I knew about the DNR contest and had already picked up the Champagne gown, and when I was playing with lighting inside the airship, was so in love with one set of colours I whipped the dress on, lined up a couple of poses and clicked away. It was shot in smaller size though 3360 x 1988 and High setting.  This is the result:twis-not-working-1-original



The only thing I’ve done to this today is make it small enough not to blow up this blog.  I then did the following – Cropped to around 1800 x 1800, then put some blurring on those jagged skirt lines, and under the arm because the quality of the picture wasn’t so good.  Then I reduced it to 1024, adjusted the hue and saturation to make it nice and pale, the levels to make it brighter, and saved it. The frames around them go without saying.

This was the result:
dnr1_600The next photo was taken upstairs in my house. The original is here:  nicky-ree-black_006_original
It was shot at 6000 x 3550, ultra setting, and came in at around 60mb. I then cropped it down to around 2000, and:
outlined the lips with the magnetic tool, picked inverse, and fiddled with the hue and saturation levels till it was nice and sepia-toned. Then, I used blur on the waistline and hem to make it less jaggy, darkened the hemline, and added a shadow around it. Then I adjust the levels on the lips to nice and red, reduced it to 1024 and Bob’s Your Uncle as we say here.
The result:
nicky-ree-black_sepia2-copyThe last one is the most ‘untouched’. I shot this in a studio with some fuzzy lighting at the bottom, and a red and black pulsating background.  Again, at 6000 x 3550.
copy-of-nicky-ree-red-originalWith this one, I basically reduced it, added shadow along the arm line, and that was really about it.  Here is the result.
copy-of-nicky-ree-red_finalNow lastly, here is my RFL mixed fashion shot. This is what I would call ‘heavy’. I shot the picture of the outfit in a studio against a white background, then used a tool called “Fluid Mask 3” to cut out the entire image cleanly. I went to the Clothing Fair and shot some piccies at the Entertainment sim in different lights, then cropped them, and fiddled around with just about everything until it was all green and mysterious looking. I then adjusted the size on the picture of the outfit, dropped it in, and then adjusted THAT level until the tones matched. Next I added shadows and depth and blurring in various places. Next, I cropped it again, and then I applied three layers of filtering with gaussian blur and screen merging in the layers until it glowed.  It took about an hour and is definitely heavy. Which was allowed for that contest.  So, my definitions are what they are…. and I’m always happy to tell anyone what it is I did if they ask – I have no secrets about what I did to things. But I love the end results when they’re really beautiful, like art.

5 Responses to “Photoshopping…across the metaverse..”

  1. I can’t be bothered going back and editing the post, but I wanted to add… on my Flickr is an entry for the original RFL photo contest which was to be completely untouched. Check it out in full size, its a good example of the quality you can get with just size and a good video card.

  2. Just wanted to say how much I really appreciated and enjoyed this read! Good on ya, have a fab day! =D

  3. Gosh, you’re welcome! I really enjoyed ‘revisiting’ the different shots and seeing how they differed – I was then quite surprised over the black and red one – I remember at the time thinking “hmmmm… surely this can’t be all I have to do!”.

  4. Thank you for that interesting post. I learned a lot….

  5. I’m really glad, and I’d like to thank you for raising the question. I think sometimes we just post-process without stopping to think about it, so I’m glad that today I did get to think about it and will continue to think about it in the future when I’m submitting things.

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