Wednesday 23 April 2014

Inspiring you ~ Part II

In the last part I talked about my favorite photographers in Virtual Worlds. And I also said that I would give you a few tips. Few of my photographs can be seen in my flicker account. I have been reading through a lot of articles to edit the photographs. The good thing about learning to edit is, not only can you do it with your virtual world pictures but also your real life pictures.

Few months back, I had written articles about how to take a good shot in Second Life and also tried a little bit of editing. At that time however, I seemed to be a noob. You may look through the articles here How to get a reasonably good shot will explain the technical aspects of windlight settings, graphics settings and the advance settings.

I have already suggested that being good at photoshop or gimp is good for editing purpose. So, what if you want to do a quick editing online. For this purpose I use Pixlr and Picmonkey. They are almost free editing tools. Pixlr is very similar to photoshop. The only difference I have come across is it does not have a pen tool. I use Pixlr for cutting the picture and then the Picmonkey to add effects.

What tips I follow?

Since I mostly edit the pictures so that I can offer the customers a custom or a thematic background. Here are a few tips I follow while taking a snapshot:

  •  Take pictures in white background. That way it is easier to cut the images. 
  • While you take pictures change the graphics in the preference window to Ultra High to get a better quality.
  • Remember your angle. Make sure you are avoiding all visible glitches as much as you can.
  • Take the snapshot of the best position according to you. Before taking a picture, you must have an idea of what you are wanting to capture. Is the face for important or the background? Are you capturing an emotion or a pose? Make sure your camera looks from your eyes.
  • Make a folder for all your snapshots so that once the final edit is done you can delete the others. 
  • When you save the snapshot, make sure it is at least 1600 X 1200 pixels in size or larger.
The following are the tips to edit:
  • Cut the picture from its background in Pixlr editor using Eraser tool (E). 
Use the navigator window to zoom in and zoom out. Increase or decrease the brush size according to the area you have to erase. After erasing if you see any glitches, don't worry We can edit it further in Picmonkey.

  • For the above picture I want something elegant in the background. At the same time I want the whole image bright like in a ball room. 
A background picture size can be same as the snapshot or bigger. HD quality pictures are better.If the background picture and the snapshot picture quality lighting does not match, then edit each of them in picmonkey. To find out, go to Pixlr, then go to Layer and click on "Open image as Layer" from the drop down menu. In the small window called "Layers" adjust   which layer comes beneath etc.

As you can see, the snapshot looks dull in front. Hence, I will edit the snapshot first in picmonkey and adjust the exposure.

 Well, looks better than before may be a little too brighter. This can be adjusted later.

  • The next step is to edit and add effects in picmonkey
Open the background in picmonkey editer. Then add the snapshot as an overlay {looks like a butterfly sign}. Do not merge the overlays until you are sure with the final picture. Look through the various affects and add which seems correct to the theme and to your eye. When you click the overlay you get a small window, click on the eraser tab to erase any glitches.

  • The last step is to add shadows 
The shadow will be opposite to the light. Also if there are too many lights in the room, the shadow will be fade. We will add the shadow in Pixlr, by adding a new transparent layer and painting the shadow on it with a brush. The color will be black. You can change the opacity of the layer as shown in the picture.

However, for this particular picture, as you can see the shadows are on the floor just beneath the object. Hence, our final picture looks like this.

What have I done?

In the effects category in Picmonkey Editor, I have added a spotlight, focal soften and focal zoom. Then I have merged the overlay and adjusted the exposure.  A little crop with a frame and shadow has taken the photograph to a new level.

Why I did this?

I have added these effects in correlation to my theme. The theme is "A couple  is standing by the door. All that matters is to be in each other arms. When they are together the world spins around."

1 comment:

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