A female cyborg is under attack from a menacing alien!

A female cyborg is under attack from a menacing alien!

Dramadramadrama. What will our heroine do?

I’ve been dying to figure out a way to add some guts and drama to our AVs. Part of the problem is that we have a face that’s as placid as a Hindu cow. We can use Yadni’s emoter HUD that makes use of the built in facial animation to combine them, but the default expressions are very cartoonish–fine for when SL first started, and given the technical limitations, I can understand it. So what to do?

Steal ideas from comic books! And by the way, for people searching for terms like “steal second life clothing”? STOP IT. Sweet Mary, when you translate the linden costs into real life costs, a full outfit might cost you one or two dollars! Get a LIFE you cheap thiefs!

Sorry, /me steps off the soap box.

So, what do we do? We find ideas in comic books where the expressions are deliberately exaggerated. This one reminds me of the 1950’s detective comic books.

Photography Tip: A trick about photographing facial expressions. What looks stupid at one angle can look perfect in another. This facial expression, for example when viewed from the front or above gives our model ginormous doe eyes. Not quite what we’re looking for, but from below one does not see the full scope of the eye, and thus we have a slightly wide-eyed fearful look that is somewhat more realistic.

Photographer’s Find: Imperial Elegance Despair Poses

Hello… My name is Quite Oh, and I’m an animationaholic…

The voice of a hidden group pipe up in unison “Hello Quite!”

My story is simple. I’m a Second Life photographer, and I try to take pictures that go beyond “screenshots” to raise them to a level that can be referred to as “photography”. When I first started, I didn’t like the way my avatar walked or stood. Then someone introduced me to poses. That was the beginning of my downfall. Suddenly, I could move like a real person, and it felt good. But then as time moved on, I found that it just wasn’t enough, I needed more! The poses that were available were mostly glamour poses, modelling poses, but what I want to do is to take images that tell a story!  That’s when I started getting hard core. I started taking glamour poses and ratting and grunging up my AVs, putting them in the right environments, then started taking shots that excluded or included only parts of my avatar that came close to expressing what I wanted it to.

Today, I got another fix: I discovered that Imperial Elegance has a series of despair poses.

Despair! Oh Joy!

Imperial Elegance Despair Poses

Imperial Elegance Despaire Poses

Our facial expressions in Second Life are quite limited (Yadni’s Emoter Hud help) but lack in subtlety or nuance, that leaves us with body language. A good picture is not just a good picture because it’s “pretty” or technically correct, but because when you look at it, it triggers that inner sense of recognition and empathy. A good picture puts YOU in the picture. That’s why I was so delighted to find this series of poses. At L$50 they are definately well priced, and the whole series, consisting of 12 poses goes for L$500.  I consider this to be a good find.

The poses include three sits, one lie, 7 stands and one OMG I’m going to die collapse on the ground.

To boot, Sai Pennell, the creator and owner of the store is giving away a free animation overrider for females, which is yet another reason to visit the store. I support those who support newbies.

Yay Sai Pennell for creating emotional poses! Good Job!!! XD

Do you know of any more emotional poses? Please let me know!

Raising the bar on Second Life Photography

Second Life offer’s great opportunities to take really great pictures. One can take as much advantage of SL as we can in real life, all technical considerations aside. Yes, the 3D environment has it’s limitations, as does real life.  It also offers opportunities that real life doesn’t offer–when’s the last time you’ve taken a self-portrait on the fly from 15 feet up in the air?

There are technical hurdles. Our AVs break and bend and distort with poses. Sometimes there are anti-aliasing problems. The world acts unnaturally (I hate it when skirts flow though our AVs and furniture, same with hair!), but this can be as much a challenge as a limitation, and often, the easy way out (photoshop) does not have to be our first response to such things.

There are basically three types of images we can take in SL:

  1. Fun friendly snapshots. We don’t expect much of these, they’re meant to capture a fun moment.
  2. Commercial photography. OK, so, for a poster, I can understand why you would want a static pose. Cleaning up some joint cracks or anti-aliasing? Makes perfect sense.
  3. “Photography” photography. That’s where we try to emulate as much as is reasonably possible, what we would do in RL if we were all perfect, beautiful model-gorgeous creatures.

My peevs start as follows: Read the rest of this entry »