Daisy daisy

It’s a while since I’ve posted something from one of my fav shoe stores, namely Baby Monkey.  I was over there looking at group gifts and on the member’s specials board was this lovely daisy print dress and matching platforms with both the dress and the shoes at L$10 each.  I had to grab them 🙂

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The dress and shoes both have HUDs for nine textures each, plus you can change the metal for the buckles on the shoes.  I really like this version, which fits my color range 🙂

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The dress comes in standard mesh sizes, plus fitmesh for (takes a deep breath) Belleza Venus, Freya, and Isis, Slink Physique and Hourglass, Maitreya, and TMP.  And the platforms have versions for Slink, Belleza, and TMP.

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A Darker Witch

Perhaps I just have a bit of an affinity for witches.   🙂

Today’s is a lovely special from your favourite steampunk supplier, Pixel Box.  Halloween Stuff Witch comes in four dark shades, and you know that I had to take a look at the green one!

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  • Pixel BoxHalloween Stuff – Witch Green (top, skirt, boots, hat, broom)
  • REIGN — Tattoo Choker Necklace (“Deathly” and “Spellbound”)
  • //elephante poses//Rose #2

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REIGN offers this beautiful little mesh choker in three varieties.   While the name is “Tattoo”, it’s not a tattoo, it is a lovely little bit of mesh!   I’ve shown both below — “Spellbound” with a pentacle charm, “Deathly” featuring the Deathly Hallows.  I can’t decide which I like best, but each comes in black, gold, and silver.  And best yet, all three metals for each of the two charms is included for one lovely little price!

And whatever you do, don’t blink.

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Unsurprisingly, Pixel Box also offers an accessory kit that will give this gothy beauty a steampunk bent.  It’s definitely worth checking out!

Mahalo!  A hui hou!

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Amelie

This is the second outfit I picked up from Ana Markova thanks to my wonderful Aeon 🙂

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This one is in standard mesh sizes and has specific fitmesh sizes for Maitreya and Slink Physique.  Yay!

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I want to highlight the creator of my skin again too.  Lumiya Rae of Lumae is just superb.  This is the freckled option of my normal Adore Peach Bare skin, the one I wear every day.  When I’m not being all formal and hiding freckles under makeup, I wear a freckle tattoo on my face to add some interest.  I’m not really the pale freckly one (that’s Aeon) so I generally wear a non-freckled skin.  But I was playing with this option of the skin for the face freckles the other day, and I thought I would show you a close-up so you can see just how good Lumae skins are.  I highly recommend them!

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Jade

Here is the third outfit I selected from Ana Markova.  Such wonderful work!

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This leather dress comes in standard sizes and a one-size-fits-all fitmesh version, which is the one I’m wearing here on Lara.  Goodness I love finding locations, and this dress, especially after I matched it with the necklace, started prompting me to find a location that suggested witches and magic.  I have a landmark folder that I store locations in for photos and I knew I had the perfect one in there!  And yes!  And as a bonus, everyone has rez rights there, so it’s easy to do a pose stand and lighting.  I love how some people are so trusting!  If you come across sims like this and take advantage of them for photos, make sure you clean up your objects before you leave, so that the owners will keep them set so people can rez in the future!

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The detailing and textures on this are excellent.  You can’t see it as it’s hidden by my hair, but there’s a zipper detail down the back of the dress that’s just amazing.  Another wonderful outfit from Ana!

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No tears shed here!

Solas and Bee at Silvan Moon Designs have a lovely gown in your choice of two colours at We Love Role Play.   Tears of Queen Liliana shows the kind of class that you’ve come to expect from SMD!
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Tears of Queen Liliana features a mesh gown, gloves and belt, with flexi wispy bits for sway.  And as with all of Silvan Moon Designs‘ new products, it comes in Belleza, Maitreya, and Slink fitmesh, as well as classic fitmesh and the five standard rigged sizes.  Solas wants to make sure that your fit is just right for you!

There’s a pink version, too, but you know how I feel about dusty pink.  😉

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Stop on by  We Love Role Play.  There are some amazing items out there, and Liliana is currently marked down 25%!

Mahalo!  A hui hou!

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Wolven

This is the October group gift from Paisley Daisy.  Very appropriate for Halloween!  Paisley Daisy is L$100 to join, but their group gifts are always fantastic!

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Standard sizes all in fitmesh, plus specific fitmesh sizes for Slink, Maitreya, and Belleza.  The pictures don’t really do the dress justice.  While it’s black, it’s also materials enabled and picks up light from the environment really well.  As I was walking around this sim to take these pictures, it went from black to grey to green to black.  Lovely effect 🙂

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And I’ve been wanting to show off this back drop necklace for ages and ages and this finally gives me the chance to do it 🙂  If I remember rightly, I picked this necklace up in a hunt over a year ago.  I love it but I never get to wear it.  So I can be an evil wolfen on the front and an angel on the back 🙂

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Season of the Witch

Okay, fair warning?  I have a couple of witches to show you over the next few days.  To start, let’s have some Donovan, because MUSIC!

So Witch Hazel is a amazing fun little costume from Blue Moon Enterprises.  Solas made this for the Fantasy Cream event last year (2015) , but she’s got it back in the shop right now!  WAIT!  Is that a cauldron under my skirts?
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  • Blue Moon Enterprises – Witch Hazel, gown, hat, and pendant, designed for 2015 Fantasy Cream, currently available in the shop!

Yes, that’s right – the skirt is open at the front to reveal a little Hallowe’en inspired scene featuring a bubbling cauldron and grinning Jack-o-lantern!  Is it silly? OMG yes!  Is it fun?  YES!

witchhazel_c003This one is perfect for that happy All Hallows’ Eve party!  It has every bit of the excellent mesh you’ve come to expect from Blue Moon, with a wonderful sense of humour!

Mahalo!  A hui hou!

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Lighting

I mentioned in a previous post that I love playing with lights for photography in SL.  I use projector lights nearly exclusively, and in combination with the Windlight settings and the Advanced Lighting Model and a good graphics card, you can get some stunning effects.  I’ve barely scratched the surface of what’s possible, but I thought I’d give you a look at how to get some basic lighting setups going to make your photos more realistic.

If you don’t know how to create a projector light, there’s an article about shadows and setting up projector lights in the Second Life Knowledge Base.  Read it to find out about lots of settings and tricks.

Firstly, Windlight.  I find myself using “Nam’s Optimal Skin and Prim” and “Nam’s Beach Scene” when I want shadows cast from the sun, and “Narcon’s Natural Midnight” when I don’t.  I’ve used some interesting unnatural ones for special effects such as fog, and another for a red sky for a demon shot), but those three are the “go to” ones for natural looking photography in my opinion.

Next, a big secret that no one seems to mention is that you have the option of taking photos using a capture size much larger than your display.  You’ll find the width and height settings in the camera window.  If your video system can handle it and you have the memory in your computer, I recommend you set it to about two to three times larger than your physical display.  This is the same reason that RL photographers use large format cameras: the more detail you capture, the better it will look for scaled down pictures you’ll put on the web.  Also when you (ahem) digitally retouch a huge picture like this and scale it down, your retouches will be better hidden, and you reduce jagged edges too!  What’s not to like, as long as your system can support it?  My display is 1920×1080, and I regularly shoot at 4301×2303 or above.

Finally, if your graphics card can handle it, you should turn up anti-aliasing as far as you can to help eliminate jagged edges.

Note that turning on shadows and high anti-aliasing settings may significantly slow your frame rate, so do all this just before you press the shutter release (I use the new graphics presets for just this purpose).

Let’s look at a scene lit with “Nam’s Optimal Skin and Prim” with the talent (that’s me *grin*) facing into the sun and no shadows.

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Note that the Advanced Lighting Model is on (you can tell by the bump texture on the floor) but we have shadows set to “None”.  By the way, all these settings I’m mentioning are in the “Graphics->General” tab in Firestorm’s preferences (with the exception of anti-aliasing, which is in “Graphics->Hardware Settings”).

Now, lets look at a lighting setup to get something interesting happening here…

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Here is a top view of the scene.  The black light on the stand is my main light, and the blue and red cylinder on the right is my fill light.  I’ll talk about settings for both of these at the end.

Lets switch on the main light which is just pure white…

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As you can see, projector lights are directional, so you have to think about positioning and rotating them to get what you want.  This lights my face and body, but I’m at the edge of the light, so directly to my right (the left of the picture) will be darker, and to my left will be lighter, gradually falling off as we get further away from the light.

For the fill light, I am using a very light yellow that makes my skin look good and makes my hair highlight well.  Lets switch it on; it’s much more subtle than the main light…

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You can hopefully see the difference on the left side of the photo now.  We’ve considerably lightened it.

Here’s a front view:

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The fill light is much more noticeable from the front view, and you can see I have it hitting the wall well to the right and filling the left of the picture.

And finally, we can switch on shadows and see were we are.  Note you must switch on “Sun/Moon + Projectors”.

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Great!  Look at that!  We have three sets of shadows happening, the sun and the two projector lights.  The really heavy shadow is from the sun, the lighter shadow to its right is from our main light, and the faint shadow to the left of the picture is from the fill light.

Note the shadow from the body and stand of the main light to the left of the picture.  This is being caused by the sun.   You have to manage this.  You can do tricks like setting the object to 40% transparent or greater (then it won’t cast shadows at all) or you just reposition your camera or crop the raw image to manage unwanted shadows.  I left that shadow in deliberately so I could mention all that 🙂  Also, if I was shooting this to make it look good, I’d switch to midnight so I’d just have the two shadows from the lights and nothing from the sun.  You can see that effect in the photos I did for this outfit yesterday 🙂

Here are the settings for the two lights.  The main light first (I haven’t bothered showing color as it’s white) and then the fill light.

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I tend to use all six of the settings to control the lights (intensity, radius, falloff, field of view, focus, and ambience).  You can see they are very different between the two lights.  Possibly the one that you’ll play with the most is focus.  Negative numbers are soft focus, and positive numbers are sharp.  But play with all of the settings to find out what they do.

And finally, what works in RL works in SL (mostly).  Reading an article about fashion lighting on the web can significantly help you light your scenes better.

Remember, have fun!

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Fierce

Recently, Aeon and I had our second wedding anniversary.  Rather than dithering over gifts (I made her one last year) we got each other gift cards to a couple of our favourite clothing stores.  Aeon gave me a card to Ana Markova Designs, whose stuff I just love (Aeon knows me well lol).

Here’s the first of three outfits I got, a truly eye catching design, I think you’ll agree!

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The dress is in standard rigged sizes, but I had no trouble wearing it on Lara with only one tiny issue at the neckline, which isn’t noticeable when you’re walking around in it.  One note here: the sleeves are designed to fit Slink or system hands only, so if you wear Maitreya hands, you may have to revert to system hands (shudder).

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And yes, I’ve gone blonde for this.  I spent a lot of time looking though my hairstyles as I wanted something short so as not to cover up the design of the dress.  I’ve sported this hairstyle before, but in my normal red.  And that’s what I started out in, but when I came to shoot the pictures, the contrast detracted from the dress design.  So blonde it is 🙂

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Filly

Here’s a nice pair of jeans and a fitmesh top from Artic Storm.

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The top is fitmesh in standard sizes, plus specific sizes for Maitreya, Slink, and Belleza.  The jeans are standard sizes in rigged mesh only.

The detail on the top is nice.

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And the labels, lacing on the pockets, belt, and studs all shows the care this creator takes with their textures.  Wonderful work!

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