I am far from being an expert or claim to be a great photographer in Secondlife but I wanted to share the tips & tricks I use regularly in the hope it will help others who also continually strive to improve their images. Secondlife is a very visual place and for the most part residents of SL are very highly visually driven. We respond and seek out imagery that elicits an emotional response within us.
This page will continually be updated with new information, for you to use as a resource, so please bookmark it for future reference. For any tools, apps, tutorials there will be links provided. If you have any issue with them not working, please let me know ❤️.
Please share your tips too! I love discovering and trying new things!
- A good Photo Editing Program. I use Photoshop CC. It has all the latest tools available and if you subscribe monthly you also get access to many tutorials and tools to help improve your work. Gimp is another great program I have used in the past. I have used Photoshop for close to 10 years and I am STILL Learning new things!
- Google Nik Tools. These are filters that you can use with Photoshop and even better, they’re FREE. Have a BIG play around with them and experiment until you find what works for you. I tend to layer my images using repeat Nik tools.
- Graphics Card. Get the best you possibly can for your money and make sure you plug your Monitor into your Graphics Port otherwise your images are not going to take advantage of the benefits of having it. I learnt this the hard way, but it didn’t take long to realise xD. I currently have GeForce GTX 970 which is a couple of years old now but I’m still happy with its performance.
- Monitor Size. I currently have 2x 27″ Monitors of average quality. As soon as I’m able to I’ll be upgrading those but definitely having two monitors helps immensely when I am taking photos and checking Photoshop at the same time. I think each monitor I have cost maybe $150-$199 each & one is about 6mths old, the other is 4-5 years old.
Now the fun stuff!! These are a list of Tutorials that I have found helped, specifically with taking photos in Secondlife. They will take some time to work through but are definitely well worth your time if you are serious about taking good quality photos in SL.
- William Weaver – is a well known photographer in SL and put together some great tutorials on his Youtube channel. I’ve just noticed he’s done some more recently so I’ll be watching those soon.
- Strawberry Singh – has done some great tutorials over the years, head over to her blog and check out the Tutorials tab. there are some good windlights as well.
- Anya Ohmai – Anya is an incredibly talented artist both in photography and mesh. She recently did some Youtube tutorials specifically about SL Photography and I have even incorporated some of her techniques when editing my mesh textures. If you don’t watch any other tutorials about SL Photography, make sure you watch Anya’s!
- Sasy Scarborough has done some awesome you-tube tutorials which are great, especially for blogging, make sure you check out her latest using Photoscape which is handy for doing review style blog posts (eg for skins/makeups etc).
- If you use Gimp, here’s some great tutorials worth checking out on you tube
Two very notable and incredibly talented Photographers have generously shared their Windlights, make sure you go check out their websites and download them!
- Doutzen Jouber – who I have fangirled for years and has only gotten better with time has some great windlights on her website.
- Satoumi Masakumi – another incredibly talented photographer who also makes poses and props and Backdrops inworld has recently updated her Windlights, be sure to grab these as well!
- Another Photographer who’s windlights a friend uses quite a bit are Jay Tedder Murs, you can get his here
- There are many other generous people who offer up their Windlights, its always worth checking them out and seeing how they perform with your system & tools. Everyone is going to have a different outcome because of the different Hardware & software we all use.
These are bits and pieces I’ve found ESSENTIAL:
- VR Studio. This was the very first piece of proper photography equipment I got for SL, gifted to me by a very good friend & since then I’ve gone on to re-purchase the whole studio when I changed accounts several years ago. From setting up pose libraries, to the HUD which allows you to control multiple posestands (including others) to the inbuilt lighting system and SO MUCH MORE! I honestly would be lost without this, its a necessity. Sasy Scarborough also has further information on her blog regarding this system.
- Animare. Probably the most used item I have when it comes to fixing up a pose to getting it just right. If you don’t have this as part of your photography routine, make sure you RUN over to marketplace and get a copy, its cheap and super easy to use!
- Lumipro. I only started using this system in 2017 and I love it. The tutorials are easy to follow and once you learn the basic principles of it its very simple to use, I find it is especially great for picking up the textural effects of Normal maps and the shiny Specularity that some creators add to their items (myself included). Of course if you watch the tutorials by William Weaver, you can recreate yourself what Lumipro does, I just find that it takes the time and hassle of playing around with rezzing out boxes and adjusting the settings. Especially when you are doing a location shot & are not on your platform/studio.
I hope this gives you a good start and when I think of something else I do, I’ll be sure to add it to this list & please if you have any tips that work well for you, let me know! When we share information we all improve as a result! ❤