Bloom + Cloning yourself tutorial

Bloom

Left
Skin: Glam affair – Romy (Skin Fair)
Dress: Dead Dollz – Hasu (SAVIAD)
Necklace: Cae – Satine (Serafilms)
Eyeshadow: Zibska – Phine eyeshadow (Skin fair)
Lipstick: Buzzeri – Sweetheart lips (Skin fair)

Hooray! The SAVIAD Spring fair is open! If you like Haute Couture and florals then definitely check it out because it features a lot of SL’s incredible designers from Solidea Folies and Pure Poison to Les petites details and Dead Dollz. Speaking of Dead Dollz, these two gorgeously pastel dresses are available for the duration of the fair and are just perfect for your spring-time formal dos. Dead Dollz also has a super cute ‘hatrella’ (It’s an umbrella shaped like a hat!) gacha to match each dress, so you can step out without worrying about messing up your hair to those dastardly April showers!

I also thought this would be a great opportunity to show off some of the cosmetics you can grab from the skin fair (if you haven’t already spent all your money on skins right?). The blue eyeshadow on the left is Zibska’s Phine eyeshadow. You get all the colours you could ever want in the pack with Zibska cosmetics so you won’t be fumbling around in your inventory for an alternative because you forgot to buy a pink shade! The blue lipstick is Buzzeri’s Sweetheart lips in Oceana. With this pack, you get your chosen colour in multiple shades which will go with any skintone! The blush and shadow on the right is Zibska’s Luce blush and Enji eyeshadow and last but not least, the very diva-esque lipstick is from Nox and is, in fact, aptly named ‘drama lips’. Needless to say they do look very dramatic with the gold cupid’s bow!

Bloom

Right
Hair: Tableau vivant – Snow queen
Eyeshadow: Zibska – Enji eyeshadow (Skin fair)
Blush: Zibska – Luce blush (Skin fair)
Lipstick: Nox – Drama lips (Skin fair)
Necklace: Cae – Perula (TLC)
Dress: Dead Dollz – Sakura (SAVIAD)

We also have two new releases from Cae here! On the left we have ‘Satine’ which is available at this round of Serafilms (kinda like the seraphim social except films instead of books!) and on the right we have Perula which is available at The Liaison Collaborative! Each set has matching earrings you can buy separately or with the necklace and all come with Cae’s signature colour-change HUD!

I reached another follower milestone the other day so that means it’s time for another tutorial! This time I’ll be going over the much-requested, ‘cloning’ your avatar! Thank you all for your undying support, I know I say this a lot but it really means so much to me!

*X*

Location: Paradiso

Cloning your Avatar

So the aim of this tutorial is to create an image where it appears to have two or more people in it without having to call a friend over or boot up an alt account. It’s great for those of you who don’t have a lot of time but want to show off a couple outfits in a creative way or if you’re like me, you have a really rubbish laptop that can barely handle two avatars in a room! Yes you could probably save time by taking the second photo on a green screen, but this might not always be practical especially if you have crazy camera-angles and shadows that cast through the environment.

Do you speak Portuguese? This tutorial was translated by Antonietta Canucci!

Step 1 – Preparation

So to start off with, make sure you’ve saved an outfit for each look you want to be present in the photo, that way you can just replace the outfit, move a bit and snap another shot. You’ll also need to purchase Eve N Better’s Camera Assistant HUD this is an absolute necessity if you’re going to be taking photos in an area where you can’t rezz pose balls/pose stands (don’t worry, it’s only 10L$). This HUD will allow you to lock your camera in place so that you can move around and it won’t follow your avatar!

Step 2 – Say cheese!

You’ve found where you want to take your photo, you’ve made your outfits and you have your camera lock HUD on! Now lets take some photos! Of course this requires a lot of forward-thinking such as how you can frame it to fit two avatars, which parts will be overlapping or behind the second avatar and so on.

So once you have your first shot, lock your camera, change outfits and then move over to the position you want the second avatar to be at (it helps if you look for reference points). For example, I wanted the second avatar to hide that weird diamond poseball in the middle but also because it was nice and close to the first avatar. You want the only thing to change in this image is the position of the avatar and not the scene, others it’ll look messy when you stick them together and you’ll make more work for yourself (like I unfortunately did, oops!).

Step 3 – Cut and paste!

Once you have both of your images, it’s time to stick them together! Open up your favourite photo editing program, I’ll be using Photoshop CC for this tutorial but any program which will allow you to utilise layers will work too. Copy and paste the first image on top of the second image and lower the opacity of the top layer so that you can easily line them up. Don’t worry if you mess up the environment a little bit like I did, it’s still salvageable provided the images aren’t too far apart, but obviously you’ll have an easier time if your images are exactly the same.

Then just use the Square marquee tool to chop off the useless edges on the top image. Once you’ve done that you can start going in with the eraser tool and cutting out finer details such as where the avatars will overlap etc.

When that’s all done with, you should have one image where it appears there are two avatars present! Now you can just go on with your regular editing routine or leave it as-is if you like your raw shots!

Alternative Method

This method doesn’t require you to purchase the Camera Lock HUD but it does require land you can rezz on. Rez as many pose balls or stands for how many avatars you want present, take a seat and then focus your camera on something in the background, do not focus your camera on your avatar or your camera will follow you when you stand. As long as you keep the camera focused on the background and you don’t touch the movement keys, you can stand up and sit on the next pose stand without disturbing the camera!

So whichever method works for you, I hope you can try it out and create some cool images with lots of avatars!

Here are a couple examples to inspire you! This one I did with 4 avatars using the pose ball method. This one is two avatars using the camera lock method (see what I mean when I said if you did this on a greenscreen you’d be sacrificing shadows?).

For Firestorm users

Hey Firestorm users! Did you know you can ‘save’ your camera position? My good friend Monroe Jigsaw on Plurk pointed out that if you press ctl + alt + C in Firestorm viewer, it will bring up the Cameratools window. Set up your angles and then press the button that looks like an eye with an arrow pointing down. This will save your current camera position so that when you press the button next to it (the eye with the arrow pointing up) it will restore the angle and position you camera was at when you pressed it.

This is good if you’re like me and you crash between taking photos because it will still remember the angle even after you log back in after a crash! Helpful little tip huh?

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Xanthe’s Windlights

Xanthe's WindlightsHey everyone! I’d like to start off by saying thank you all so much for following, reading or even just visiting my blog. Blogging is my absolute passion and you guys really make all my efforts worthwhile. So as a gift for helping me to reach 400 Followers on Tumblr, I’ve made 6 custom Windlights for you to use freely!

They’re very light and airy and some are quite misty but you’re welcome to edit them as you please. I’ll outline a little bit below what I like to use them for, click the names to see how they look in a few of my photos!

Lavandare – A lavender coloured light with a bright sun. Great for outdoor or scenery but also makes for a dramatic studio light.

Windows – A purpley Windlight originally created to be shone through a window. A more intense colour than Lavandare.

Toasty – A misty Autumnal light, ideal for outdoors and makes use of warm sepia tones.

Hazy Daze – A very bright and misty Windlight to make your photos look like worn, pastel, vintage shots!

Cold Shoulder – Another very misty Windlight in chilly blue tones, looks gorgeous in snowy areas.

Flawlessness – A Windlight that displays your avatar in all it’s glory. Hides all the avatar creases and lines that come with the default setting and is ideal for use with tinting items. I often run around the grid in this windlight with nothing but Basic and Atmospheric shaders on. Shadows will not work with this light.

DOWNLOAD THEM HERE

Installing your Windlights

Installing your shiny new Windlights is as simple as unzipping the files and dragging the .XMLs into your chosen viewer’s ‘skies’ folder. To find the correct folder just search for the following;

Mac: ~/Library/Application Support/SecondLife/user_settings/windlight/skies

Windows Vista & 7: C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Roaming\SecondLife\user_settings\windlight\skies

Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\USERNAME\Application Data\SecondLife\user_settings\windlight\skies

Linux: ~/.secondlife/user_settings/windlight/skies/

If you’re using a 3rd party viewer like Firestorm for example, follow the same steps but click ‘Firestorm’ instead of ‘SecondLife’. You will need to install these windlights on all viewers you use.

Changing and editing your Windlights

To change your Windlights inworld, click World -> Environment editor -> Environment settings. Make sure that you have ‘Fixed sky’ and ‘Customize my environment’ ticked and the dropdown containing all your installed windlights will be available. Then it’s as simple as choosing your favourite!

To edit or create new Windlights, click sky presets -> Edit preset and choose the preset you would like to edit. Changing the name of an edited preset will save it as a copy so you don’t accidentally overwrite your preset and have to install it again.

The ‘Atmosphere’ tab is good for changing the colour of the sky and the fogginess. The ‘Lighting’ tab allows you to change the colour of the sun, the time of day it is and the angle at which the light will be directed and finally, the ‘Clouds’ tab will let you change the colour of the clouds and how much they move across the sky.

Just experiment! You might discover a combination that makes you see the whole grid in a new…well.. light!

My favourite Windlights

As for my graphics settings. I never go above mid (because I have a very slow computer…). For just exploring the grid I only have Basic and Atmospheric shaders on and for taking photos outdoors I only have Basic, Atmospheric, Bump & Shiny, Hardware skinning and Adv lighting. But if I’m in the studio then I can turn shadows on as well.

I hope this helps you and thank you all again! You guys are awesome

*X*

A helpful little guide to Loud Mouth’s mesh lips

mouth_001 copy

A helpful little guide to Loud Mouth’s mesh lips

Please note that this tutorial is outdated, the Loud Mouth has been updated. To update your loud mouth, go to the mainstore and touch the redelivery terminal. I will update this tutorial with the new information very soon

The other day I decided I was going to try on a demo for the mesh lips that Loud Mouth had created. I was a little dubious and wasn’t sure what I was expecting. I’d only heard talk of it on Plurk and never really saw any photos of the product. My friend Harmony showed me the lips she bought and whilst I was impressed by the shape, she’d told me she’d been having trouble getting a good colour match using the HUD. Off I went to the Loud Mouth mainstore and picked up a demo for the Alli parted lips. I did find the HUD a little fiddly at first but after a bit of experimenting, I cracked it.

On the wall of the store are several landmarks to skin shops that are making appliers for the mesh lips. So when I saw Glam Affair and Essences were up there I bought the lips without a moment’s hesitation.

I should mention before I start this little tutorial that I’m not an expert at all. I’m only making this because I found I had an easier time getting a perfect colour match than others did. So I hope that by reading this you’ll be able to master the art of the Loud Mouth HUD and that it might change your mind about buying the full product!

Step 1: Preparation

So you’ve just bought a pair of lips/bought the Demo. Well done! I know you’re eager to slap them on right away and see how they look but there are a couple things we need to take care of before that. Firstly, you’re going to want to choose a Windlight that does not have any shadows, weird coloured lighting, fog etc. For this tutorial, I used the AnaLu *Studio*5 preset in the default Firestorm Environment editor (but any ‘optimal avatar’ Windlight should work just as well) . This will make it easier for us to match the skin almost perfectly without the use of an applier. Also make sure that you have basic shaders and ambient shaders checked in your graphics settings.

The next thing we’re going to do is edit our shape. If you read the notecard included in the box, it will give you the recommended shape values to prevent the default avatar lips clipping through the mesh. They are as follows:

Lip Width – 6
Lip Fullness – 54
Lip Thickness – 0
Lip Ratio – 0
Mouth Position – 25
Mouth Corner – 27
Lip Cleft Depth – 45
Lip Cleft – 55
Shift Mouth – 50

Of course, some values may be changed later on when we get to the more advanced resizing and stuff.

The final thing we need to do before we start doing the tricky stuff is make a copy of your lips! This is extremely important, especially if you bought the full version already. The last thing we want to do is flub up our lips beyond repair!

Got all that done? Good, let’s move on then!

Step 2:  Do not fear the HUD

boxfresh

Okay, you can start putting your stuff on now.

In the pack you should have; the lips, an alpha, an instructional notecard, a developer’s kit, 1 set of teeth and a HUD (the DEMO only contains the lips, alpha and HUD). Start by Adding the components onto your avatar (right click -> Add). If you’ve done that, you should look like you have a milk-mustache!

This is what the lips look like fresh out of the box. We haven’t tinted them or resized them yet so don’t be discouraged just yet!

Now look at the HUD. It does look a bit scary right? I know you’re probably thinking “Oh my gosh, what are all these squares!? I’ve never seen a tinting HUD like this before!”

Don’t panic! I’ll show you which part does what and how you can switch between the modes you might be more familiar with!

hud This is the Loud Mouth HUD as it comes. I’ve broken it down into 7 sections. Some parts might be easier to recognise than others.

1- These three buttons switch between different sections of your lips. For this tutorial, we’ll only be using the first two buttons which will tint the skin and the actual lips themselves.

2- This is the colour chart as it comes. I won’t lie, I was a little confused by the layout too but don’t worry about it for now. We can change how the chart looks in step 3!

3- The magnifying glasses either side of the two bottom bars allow you to switch up how the chart is displayed. There are 3 different displays to choose from. The bars at the bottom will also control saturation and luminosity in the different modes.

4- Pretty self explanatory. Click to get a copy of the instruction notecard/a Landmark to the Loud mouth store.

5- Also self-explanatory. Use the + and – to resize your lips. The arrow will revert your changes back to the ‘factory settings’

6- In this walkthrough, we’ll mostly be relying on these colour sliders to get a perfect match. They’re exactly the same as any other RGB slider.

7- Here you can save the colour for future reference and pick preset colours. Again, the arrow will restore all the presets back to normal.

Now that we know our way around the HUD, we can move on to tinting our new lips!

Step 3: Making colours happen

You have two options in this section. A) You can use an applier if you have one for your skin B) You can tint your lips manually. If you have a skin applier, you can skip this step.

tinting First thing’s first, we need to find out the RGB values of our skin. So open any colour-reading application you have (on Mac you can use ‘Digital colour meter’). if you don’t have an application. Just take a screenshot, open it in any paint/photo editing program and use the colour dropper to pick the colour. You’re going to want to get as close to the loud mouth as possible to pick a colour so it helps a lot if you zoom right in.

Once you have your RGB values, make a note of them because you’ll be needing them in a second. For reference, I am using Essences Whisper skin in tone Geisha and the values are as follows;

R: 232

G: 202

B: 188

Next, we want to click the magnifying glass that has a blue centre. This will display a different colour chart and will enable us to use the RGB sliders for accurate tinting. Clicking the brown centered glass will bring up a different display but it’s not the one we want for this tutorial. Screen Shot 2013-10-06 at 15.34.22 copy

On the right are the two other modes the HUD can be viewed in. You’re going to want to click the  right magnifying glass to bring up the chart seen on the bottom.

Now this looks a little more friendly right? Also, see how we can use the RGB sliders now?

What we’re going to do now is use the RGB sliders to input the values we took note of just a second ago. The sliders are a little fussy so don’t worry about it too much if your values are 1 or 2 digits off, just slide the bars up and down until you get numbers that are as close to your skin as possible. It’s going to need a little more tweaking in order to match your skin exactly so just do that now even if it looks a little odd. We’ll fix it in just a minute.

too darkYou’ve input your values into the sliders but the skin around the mouth is still way off? This is were our Luminosity slider comes to the rescue. Click the slider beneath the chart until you have a perfect match to the surrounding skin. It helps if you make very tiny adjustments so that you get the most accurate result.

lipcolour

Now look at that! Perfect colour matching if I do say so myself. Now if you like you can change the actual lip colour by clicking the centre button and using the colour chart and luminosity slider to get a colour that you like.

I’ve found that the HUD works best for tinting natural lip colours. If you want it to appear as if you have lipstick on, you’ll get a much better result by using a lipstick applier.

So you’ve tinted your nice new lips, they match your skintone flawlessly and you have lips that rival even the finest glamour models! What now? Well in the next steps I’ll be talking about skin and lipstick appliers as well as advanced modding the lips. But if that doesn’t sound like something you need to know then feel free to skip ahead to my final thoughts on the product!

Step 4: Appliers and how they make your life 1,000,000x easier

You’re not having any of that tinting riff-raff malarkey above, you’ve gone and bought yourself appliers that match your skintone! They work the same way as any other appliers for any other product. Just add it, click it, detach it!

appliers

Unfortunately, I haven’t got a skin applier to show you all, but I did buy these great lipstick appliers from A.e.meth to show you how you can use those instead.

A.e.meth’s loud mouth lipstick appliers come in 7 colours and include one colour that is designed for tinting! I suggest that if you want that lipstick look then get these appliers as the shade made for tinting looks much better than just tinting the lips themselves.

These appliers work by colouring the actual lips, leaving the skin around them alone. But (correct me if I’m wrong) you can use a skin applier first to get an exact colour match and then use a lipstick applier on top to get a nice…well… lipstick!

Ooh look at those juicy lips!

Since the Loud Mouth is a very new product, a lot of the designers on the wall (at the time of posting) haven’t released their appliers yet but they are making them don’t worry! I recommend you check back regularly or join their respective groups to get notified of when the appliers will be released. Also, there currently is no way of removing an applier from the lips so it’s important to make regular copies. You can replace appliers with other ones, but there isn’t a way to remove the applier and revert it back to it’s original state.

Step 5: Advanced resizing for Dummies

Important! Before doing this step you must must must make a copy of your lips. Because it’s extremely easy to mess them up at this stage.

The resizing tool on the HUD is all well and good if your lips are too big or too small, but what do you do if your lips are too wide or too high? There’s no way to control height or width using the HUD! Well this is where you’ll need a little bit of basic modifying experience. I know some people dislike the shape of the lips but with this method you can very easily make powerful changes to them. Also note that this cannot be done in the Demo as the Demo is no modify.

modding

Right click your lips and select ‘edit’. Once you have the editing window up, click ‘select face’ and then ‘edit linked’. Now you’re going to want to click the outside of your lips where the skin is. Don’t click the lips themselves or nothing will change. Now tick the ‘stretch’ box and you should get the bounding box seen in the image. Now it’s just a case of using the X,Y and Z markers to make detailed changes such as  changing the width, height and even the depth and how far the lips protrude outwards.

Also important: Do not under any circumstances unlink any part of the mesh. Just don’t do it. Don’t.

Once you’ve done this, you can click the lips themselves and line that up too. I’m not sure what that does as it seems it doesn’t make a difference to how the appliers sit but I lined it back up anyway, just in case.

Just close the window when you’re done and boom! Your lips now fit your face better! You might need to change your shape so that the cleft lines up or whatever but other than that, you’re done!

beforeafter

I hope this tutorial helped you. If I’ve messed up on any information then please let me know nicely in the comments. Bear in mind this was all figured out through personal experimentation so some facts maybe inaccurate. But this is what worked for me so I’m sure it will work for others too!

Final thoughts

All in all I think that the Loud Mouth has potential to be a very good product. The default avatar mesh has many areas that need improving and products like these help enhance our avatars to make them more realistic and true to life. I really love the shape of these lips and after a little bit of tinkering I managed to get them to a stage that I thought best suited my face. I felt that the instruction notecard could be a little more detailed such as outlining what each part of the HUD did instead of me having to experiment with what did what.

But I cannot wait to see how this product evolves in the future. With top skin designers like The Sugar Garden, Essences and Glam Affair creating appliers for it, it’s sure to become a big hit as the mesh breasts and butts did. Of course it has it’s flaws but for a brand new product, I’d say it’s ticking all the right boxes.

*X*

All the photos (except the header image) in this post are raw. They have not been touched up at all. I simply added text and cropped them.

Also, no skin appliers were used to create a perfect match, all of the skin tinting in this tutorial (and in the header and throughout the rest of my blog) was achieved using the method above.

If you have any enquiries about stores making appliers please contact the creators themselves as I cannot help you. This is merely a guide to help those who struggled with tinting, I cannot tell you when appliers will be released (if ever).

Thank you

Outfit credits

Hair: Truth – Felicity

Skin: Essences – Whisper

Eyes: Ikon – Perspective

Coat: Zenith – Fur madam coat (TCF)

Glasses: Sleepy Eddy – Boston glasses (TCF)