Photo Lighting in Windlight

PHOTO LIGHTING IN WINDLIGHT

In virtual photography as in real life photography, lighting is everything. To create stunning fashion photos in Second Life, you need to work the lighting.

Windlight allows great flexibility for adjusting the environment settings to control the appearance of the world, and the avatars who inhabit it. Caliah Lyon created some great settings which effectively eliminate the annoying shadows that appear in the default Windlight settings (see credits), especially around the nose and cheekbones of avatars. As the photo below shows, the settings produce a beautifully smooth and clean image.  

Image using Caliah Lyon's environment settings with no additional lighting

Image using Caliah Lyon's environment settings with no additional lighting.

While effective, the settings also tend to even out the lighting, generating a relatively flat image. For more visual interest, you need to use local light sources to give the image more dimension and contrast. Working with the AMS PhotoStage lighting system, I adjusted the colour and positioning of three light sources to enhance the image.The first image below uses a cool front light positioned at floor level in combination with two warm side lights.

Settings enhanced with cool front light and warm side lighting.

Settings enhanced with cool front light and warm side lighting.

 

You can see how the additional lighting lifts the model off the backdrop by giving more definition and dimension to her face and clothing. In the next photo, I shifted the colour of the front light to a soft white, while keeping both side lights warm.

Same settings with soft white front light and warm side lighting.

Same settings with soft white front light and warm side lighting.

For the final shot, I used a cool light on the right side, with a warm on the left, and the soft white light in front.

Soft front light with warm and cool side lighting.

Soft front light with warm and cool side lighting.

All these photos are posted directly as taken in Second Life, with no photoshopping (apart from cropping and resizing for posting to the web). The final shot below shows the placement and colours of the light sources on the PhotoStage, together with the yellow/black gaze point (used to control the direction the model’s eyes are looking).

Light set up for photograph 4 above.

Light set up for photograph 4 above.

The AMS PhotoStage provides precision control of the postioning and colours of six independent light sources using your choice of HUD, menu or chat commands. The highly sophisticated and unique lighting system allows you to frame your subject and maintain the camera’s position while adjusting the lights to achieve an optimum lighting. Visit the AMS Demo Site to try out the PhotoStage and, for on-location shooting, PhotoLite.

CREDITS: Continue reading

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