Hello everyone! My name is Apple, but I’m also known as Ossia Xevion, which is my legacy name.
I’ve been in this crazy Second Life world since 2009 on this avatar, but before this one I started back in 2004. I’ve been here for quite a bit, and I’ve learned so much cool stuff along the way, and I want to share that with you all.
Blogging when I started in 2010 was a lot different that the current blogging “culture” now. Back in 2010, we didn’t have much for lighting/shaders/etc. So either you tried your best on photos without shadows at all, or you did the time consuming painting them in. There also wasn’t much for bloggers back then, as there are now. It’s been great watching brands bloom seemingly out of nowhere, and seeing some of the old favorites stick around and grow with the times.
Now let’s get into those handy tips.
The first one is one, that I honestly didn’t learn about until 2013. And it’s how to get rid of that weird “fish eye” effect that happens when zooming in for photos. It’s a simple fix, and it’s CTRL 0. I tend to use that to get mostly zoomed in where you want, then use CTRL 9 to reset my cam, then I use my scroll wheel to fine tune the photo in the frame I’ve chosen.
Ctrl 9 = reset cam
Ctrl 0 = Zoom in w/o fish eye
Fine tune with scroll wheel
The next thing is something that I didn’t put much thought into until shadows and advanced lighting became a thing. And it’s proportions. When you are taking photos in Firestorm, you can choose to do your own custom size. I personally tend to use 4000×4000 for my photos, but if you want to save yourself the lag and make it a tad easier on your system, feel free to go down to 1200×1200. Don’t murder your computer system, just to get those lusted upon pixels. It’s really not worth it in the end. You can get just as much quality in my honest opinion from a smaller photo, as a larger one. As most people don’t tend to see photos in that 4k size or larger, once they are uploaded to flickr/your blog.
Advanced Menu Options
This next one is actually something that’s really small, and might seem silly, but it really does help a ton. In the Advanced menu, which you can access by typing CTRL ALT D while in Firestorm, select “Silent Screenshot” and also select “High Res Snapshot”. This will keep others and you from hearing when you take snapshots. And the High Res helps you achieve a nicer photo.
So, you know when you are taking photos in public areas, and there’s always that one annoying thing that’s set to full bright, or is just casting weird shadows, or doesn’t fit your photo. Derender it! This is by far one of the handiest tips I’ve shared with folks and they always seem to be in awe of this. To derender something that’s just sitting there, right click it, get the pie menu, then you can either derender temporary, or you can derender it permanently by selecting blacklist.
On that same line of derendering, is how to derender a mass amount of objects at once. Say someone has 47 of the ugliest trees you’ve ever seen rezzed out, or you just don’t want to see items by a certain person. On firestorm, go to the World menu, then towards the bottom select the “Area Search” option. This will give you a list of ALL of the items around you. Once you have that menu open, simply click the search button at the bottom, and be patient while it makes that list. To find items by a certain name, click that name column at the top and it will sort them out for you. You can also sort by distance, land impact, prims, and owner. To derender all items by a certain owner, sort that list so all of that owners items are listed together, then select the first one, hold shift, and scroll down as far as you can to the last one, then either select EDIT. If you select edit, wait till it shows them all selected in world, right click to get the pie menu then select Derender Temp or Blacklist from that menu.
If you derendered something permanently by mistake, or added it to your blacklist. Simply go to the Asset Blacklist option in the World menu. Then scroll through that list and remove the items you messed up on. You will need to relog to make those items show up to you in world again.
Saving graphics settings
Something I’ve gotten myself into the good habit of doing once they introduced the option, was saving my graphics settings. I’ve 4 simple ones that are fairly self explanatory, that have saved me so much time, and helped me take care of my computer and baby it along it’s journey through blogging and second life. The best part of these, once you have them set up, you can flip between them when you are actively taking photos, or just sitting around. It helps save your computers resources and keeps you from murdering your computer before it’s time.
-Potato (Lowest possible settings, no shadows, no advanced lighting, good for dual logging)
-Mid/High No Adv/Shadows (This is what I tend to run every day when I’m exploring in SL)
-Mid/High W/ Adv/Shadows (This is just if I want to see SL a tad fancier, gentle on my comp)
-Super Ultra Fance (This is with all the bells and whistles and is what I take my photos in)
You know when your hair sometimes will glitch with items around you, sometimes just taking that hair off, then putting back on will temporarily solve that. It’s not guaranteed to always work, I’ve just found that sometimes it does work for me.
So you got your photo lined up, but your eyes are just acting goofy and not lining up? Just grab a free copy of the Anypose Expression hud from Marketplace, or grab my favorite, the Fate Eye Poser.
I personally swear by Firestorm. As it has the most options for me personally. Though, if you’d like, a lot swear by Black Dragon.
So, you got your perfect shot and you are ready to edit that sucker. Please make sure you are always using LEGAL copies of the programs. Whether it be grabbing a free copy of Gimp, or using any other free available program. Just make sure it’s LEGAL. Adobe offers their photo editing programs for a very reasonable monthly fee. Remember, blogging is your passion, and it should be worth investing in.
My biggest suggestion to bloggers to save yourself a lot of time and hassle. Make sure you either note everything you wore/decorated with before your tear down the scene. Though, I’ve gotten into the habit of leaving myself in the pose and on the stand in the scene till I’m done editing the photo in photoshop. Just in case you notice something is just a tad off that you can’t edit in photoshop, it’s not hard to tab back in, tweak and get that perfect photo.
When you upload your photos to Flickr, PLEASE always make sure you are setting them to the correct adult/moderate level. Messing this up is the quickest way to get yourself reported and get your account suspended/removed or put in limbo.
Please don’t bump photos, it’s truly one of the tackiest things you can do as a blogger. If you are going to bump a photo, do it for a good reason and do it with care. But honestly, it’s your photo stream, do whatever you feel is right. Just know that possible brands you want to blog for, and your fans will notice if you make a constant habit of it.
That’s about it, if any of you have questions on anything, feel free to ask away!