Archive for ‘Tutorials’

July 21, 2011

Touching Reflection (or: how I learned to stop worrying and love pose-making)

Touching Reflection

(Today I’m going do something a bit lengthier than my usual: I’m going to explain how I made this picture. I’m sure it will be nothing new to the SL veterans among us, but it may be of use to someone.)

There’s an exceptionally well-made sci-fi themed skybox available at Stank. A friend bought it, showed me, and watched in bemusement as I almost had kittens over the aesthetics and features. One of those features (but I really suggest you look for yourself; it’s also a very low price) is a large window that looks out on the stars. Cleverly, the maker has created a simulated reflection of the room outside the window. It’s hugely effective, and made me wish my avatar could be reflected in it too.

Well, with the wonders of modern technology… So I decided to save some pennies and make my own window-touching pose in QAvimator. Poses are not technically difficult to make, but getting something natural and beautiful is another matter. (I can only aspire to the heights of a pose maker such as Del May.) Two great things about QAvimator are that a) there’s a function that makes it very easy to mirror a pose, and b) you can add previously saved poses to your scene, and therefore preview the whole thing before taking it in-world.
QAvimator screenshot

N.B. Another way of saving pennies is to upload everything to the beta grid (if you don’t know how, see this) to make sure it looks good before you shell out your 10L$ in SL-proper.

Once I was happy with the poses, I had to create a poseball set. Again, not difficult: here is a free poseball script (I used the lower one, Dae’s version) which I dropped into a ball along with one of my poses. Duplicate ball, change out the pose in the duplicate for the mirrored one, and adjust the positions of each ball to make the hands almost-but-not-quite touching. Link balls. Profit!

There is a slight snagette if you want to take a picture of yourself, however. Once you’ve set your poseballs up across a window (one on each side), hopped on one and taken your first picture, you will find that standing up and sitting on the other ball will cause your camera to move, thus ruining any attempt at compositing the pictures in your image editor. “But Laverne!” I hear you cry. “How can I avoid this calamity?” Rest easy, for the solution is simple: a script that will temporarily lock your camera position.

I found two such scripts, one costing 1L$ and handily packaged inside a hud, and the other a raw script, but entirely free. I’ve only tested the HUD at this time. (If you use the HUD, be sure and read the instructions, and don’t forget to press ESC at the appropriate time. It turns out to be vital, just as it turns out that I am crap at reading instructions.)

So, with the camera locked, you can get on each poseball in turn and take your pictures, and you’ll end up with something like this:
Raw shots

From there, it’s a case of merging the images and editing the resulting picture to your liking. I hope this has been helpful to someone! If you’d like a copy of the pose, please drop me an IM or a notecard (I’m Laverne Unit or Laverne Donat in-world; both should work) and I’ll get it to you as soon as I can.

Skin: Curio – Cupid – Crave 1 in Moonbeam (Light)
Eyes: Insufferable Dastard – Shine eyes v2 – Light blue-green/Basic + Eye Effects – Prim Glow 3
Eyebrows: Curio – Sweetheart brows (black)
Lashes: Celestial Studios – Deviant (discontinued)
Lipstick: KOSH – Glossy Lips (mango)
Eyeshadow: Candy Doll @ Kozmetika – Smokey Eyes dollarbie (discontinued)
Hair: elikatira – Again (white, tinted)
Top: Bare Rose – Mercenary Lady, grey shirt
Top (harness): Kyoot – Addicted to Dopamine harness
Top (belt): PixelDolls – Adventuress belt (black)
Leggings: Sweetest Goodbye – Leggings 2 (group gift)
Harness & Gloves: Bare Rose – Phi Harness (black)
Boots: Kojima Industries – K-103 Hardsuit Stealth
Pose: my own