Last Chance to Walk on the Wild Side!

Click! Click! Click! Win! Win! Win!

The LionSkins/PhotoStage Take a Walk on the Wild Side Contest ends at midnight SLT tonight! Get your wild on, and send us your best photo to win cool, fresh prizes!

Wild Side Contest Ends Today

Where’s your photo? We’re looking for images that convey something savage, mysterious, tantalizing, dangerous. See if you can capture the wild, untamed beauty of LionSkins.

Prizes for the winning photo:

  • 5000L cash
  • AMS PhotoTools Pro (includes PhotoStage, PhotoLite and PhotoStand II)
  • Photo featured in advertising material for LionSkins

Wild 03A

Details:

  • Images should be seductive, enticing, mysterious, and tasteful. Nothing lewd or pornographic, please.
  • Models must be wearing LionSkins.
  • Photos must be taken using the AMS PhotoStage studio. Your background must display one of the textures that come preloaded with the PhotoStage (including 15 exclusive textures by LeeZu Baxter of LeeZu!).
  • You may use the poses in the AMS PhotoStand II pose stand, or bring your own poses.
  • Photos may be lightly photoshopped, but the original image should remain clearly recognizable. Heavily photoshopped images will be disqualified.
  • Photos will be judged for effective use of poses, composition, colour, camera angle and lighting. The winning photo will capture the exceptional quality of LionSkins, as well as project a clear idea, mood or emotion about how one feels taking a walk on the wild side when wearing LionSkins.
  • Completed photos should be submitted with full perms to Devine Hunt, LionSkins Assistant Manager. Please note that by submitting a photo to the contest, you give LionSkins and/or Ananke Media Systems full rights to use the photo for display and/or advertising purposes.

CONTEST CLOSES TONIGHT AT MIDNIGHT! All photos must be received by 11:59 pm SLT on September 15, 2009.

Judges:

  • dancer dallagio – Manager / Customer Service Rep / PR / Legal / Marketing, Stiletto Moody Shoes
  • Frolic Mills – CEO, BOSL & CO
  • Barbara Nicholls – Chief Operating Officer, [LeeZu!]; Co-Owner & Manager, Spork; Store Manager, Courtisane Shoes and Boots
  • Jackson Vantelli – CEO, Q Media
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LionSkins and PhotoStage Announce New Contest

Take a Walk on the Wild Side

LionSkins and AMS PhotoStage have teamed up once more to offer a new Photo Contest! The theme: Take a Walk on the Wild Side

Wild 03A

We’re looking for photos that convey something savage, mysterious, tantalizing, dangerous. Go beyond the ordinary to find camera angles, poses, and looks that dazzle, startle or mesmerize the eye. See if you can capture the wild, untamed beauty of LionSkins.

Photos must be taken using the PhotoStage studio. Your background must display one of the PhotoStage textures, not just plain colours. You can use the PhotoStage upstairs at the LionSkins Main Store. Or set up your own PhotoStage and go wild whenever the mood strikes ,-)

Wild 02A

Prizes for the winning photo:

  • 5000L cash
  • AMS PhotoTools Pro (includes PhotoStage, PhotoLite and PhotoStand II)
  • Photo featured in advertising material for LionSkins

*Note: if your photo wins, and you purchased PhotoStage or PhotoTools Pro during the period of the contest (15 August to 15 September), you will receive a full refund (and upgrade to PhotoTools Pro if applicable).

Details:

  • Images should be seductive, enticing, mysterious, and tasteful. Nothing lewd or pornographic, please.
  • Models must be wearing LionSkins.
  • Photos must be taken using the AMS PhotoStage studio. Your background must display one of the textures that come preloaded with the PhotoStage (including 15 exclusive textures by LeeZu Baxter of LeeZu!).
  • You may use the poses in the AMS PhotoStand II pose stand, or bring your own poses.
  • Photos may be lightly photoshopped, but the original image should remain clearly recognizable. Heavily photoshopped images will be disqualified.
  • Photos will be judged for effective use of poses, composition, colour, camera angle and lighting. The winning photo will capture the exceptional quality of LionSkins, as well as project a clear idea, mood or emotion about how one feels taking a walk on the wild side when wearing LionSkins.
  • Completed photos should be submitted with full perms to Devine Hunt, LionSkins Assistant Manager. Please note that by submitting a photo to the contest, you give LionSkins and/or Ananke Media Systems full rights to use the photo for display and/or advertising purposes.

Contest closes on September 15th. All photos must be received by 11:59 pm SLT on September 15, 2009.

Judges:

  • dancer dallagio – Manager / Customer Service Rep / PR / Legal / Marketing, Stiletto Moody Shoes
  • Frolic Mills – CEO, BOSL & CO
  • Barbara Nicholls – Chief Operating Officer, [LeeZu!]; Co-Owner & Manager, Spork; Store Manager, Courtisane Shoes and Boots
  • Jackson Vantelli – CEO, Q Media

Introducing PhotoStand II

AMS announces new PhotoStand II with exlusive poses from :::sunflower poses:::

The much praised PhotoStage, PhotoLite and PhotoTools Pro from AMS (Ananke Media Systems) has just been updated with a fully redesigned pose stand, the PhotoStand II.

PhotoStand II Vendor Image 02 blog

Clean and simple in appearance, the PhotoStand II comes loaded with features that make it a breeze to find the perfect camera angle, including nifty spin controls that let you spin your model continuously in either direction, using three different speed settings.

To celebrate the release of the new PhotoStand II, Helianthus Mesmer of :::sunflower poses::: has created a set of eight exclusive poses.

Sunflower Poses 1 web

:::sunflower poses::: (above, l to r) ballroom queen, good and evil, it wasn’t me

Sunflower Poses 2 web

:::sunflower poses::: (above, l to r) i’m about to, about this size, reach out

Sunflower Poses 3 web

:::sunflower poses::: (above, l to r) wild is the wind, peace out

For all the details on PhotoStand II, please visit the AMS web page. To purchase, or check out the demo model of the new AMS PhotoStand II, please drop by any one of the AMS stores: the AMS Store in Lady Vale, the AMS PhotoStage Store at LeeZu! , or upstairs at LionSkins.

AMS PhotoStage and LeeZu! Textures 1

AMS Announces 15 New LeeZu! Textures with PhotoStage

Ananke Media Systems (AMS) has just released a new update to PhotoStage featuring 15 exlusive backdrop textures by LeeZu Baxter of LeeZu! For a taste of these gorgeous textures, here’s Serenity modelling Moonlight, the latest LeeZu! dress from the Noir collection, using the new LeeZu! Femme Fatal texture with three different colour enhancements.

femmefatal_002-512

Each of the 15 LeeZu! textures have been optimized for the PhotoStage backdrop by LeeZu Baxter herself.

femmefatal_001-512

By loading the texture into the PhotoStage backdrop and then using the colour controls, you can achieve a multitude of different looks.

femmefatal_003-512

The Femme Fatal is one of 15 gorgeous textures from LeeZu! now available with PhotoStage. You can see all the new textures at the AMS store in Lady Vale and the new AMS store in To The Nines, right next door to LeeZu!

femmefatal_004-512 

Femme Fatal Texture © 2009 LeeZu Baxter. All Rights Reserved.

Check back for more posts featuring all the new textures, coming soon! Credits after the cut … Continue reading

AMS Opens New Store @ LeeZu!

Ananke Media Systems (AMS), maker of the superb photographic studio PhotoStage, is delighted to announce the opening of a new AMS store at the prestigious To the Nines sim, right next door to LeeZu!

tt9_001-crop 

Just up the hill to the south of LeeZu! the spacious new AMS store carries the latest version of the AMS PhotoStage, 1.1.4, which features 15 new LeeZu! textures designed by LeeZu Baxter exclusively for PhotoStage. Check out the new textures in the demo backdrops available at the store.

tt9_004-crop 

The new AMS store also provides demo models of the AMS PhotoLite, a versatile on-location photographic toolkit, and the AMS PhotoStand, an elegant and sophisticated pose stand stuffed full of exclusive poses from Myllie Writer of Persona, Kali Mead and others.

 tt9_006-crop

Drop by the new AMS store soon to try out all these fine photographic tools from AMS, all optimized for Windlight and specially designed for photography in Second Life.

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Please visit the AMS website for more information on all the AMS products. You can also try out PhotoStage, PhotoLite and PhotoStand at the original AMS store in Lady Vale.

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

Making Eyes: controlling where your eyes look when photographing self-portraits

If you’ve ever tried to photograph a self-portrait in Second Life, you’ve probably encountered this problem: your avatar’s eyes just won’t look where you want them to look. You’ve found a killer pose, adjusted the lighting, and lined up your shot so that everything’s perfect – everything except the eyes! They’re either rolling into her skull, or dancing around like drunken party girls every time you move your mouse.

Here's an example: I want to model the new Suzana Pale 36 skin from LionSkins and I love how the Armidi Ginza hair looks with this skin, but how to keep the eyes from disappearing behind the bangs?

Professional SL photographers use a focus or gaze point to overcome this problem: models are asked to alt-click on a specific target, such as a coloured sphere, so that the direction their eyes are looking remains fixed. However, with self-portraits, this technique presents a problem. As soon as you alt-click on a gaze point, the camera instantly shifts to place that point at the centre of your screen. So now you’ve lost the original framing. But if you alt-click on your avie and use the mouse-drag technique to reframe your shot – zap! – there’s those shifty eyes again. A classic SL Catch-22!

So I've alt-clicked on a gaze point, and I think the eyes are good now - but the composition sucks!

Here's what I mean: I've alt-clicked on a gaze point, and I think the eyes are good now - except you can't see them anymore!

AMS PhotoStage and PhotoLite have some useful tools that will help solve this problem, allowing you to use gaze points effectively when doing self-portraits. Here’s how:

  1. Make sure your on-screen camera controls are open (View > Camera Controls)
  2. Rez a gaze point and position it where you want it. With the AMS PhotoStage and PhotoLite, this becomes a very easy process: once the gaze point is rezzed you simply use the Position Editor to place the gaze point precisely where you need it anywhere on the X Y Z axes.
  3. Compose your shot using the alt-click & drag technique to find the desired camera frame. This is just a preliminary framing, so be careful to note the camera position so you can return to it later.
  4. Cam or zoom out, find your gaze point and alt-click on it. You will lose the original camera frame of course – BUT, now your avie’s eyes will be fixed on the gaze point, and not bouncing around like ping pong balls.
  5. Use the on-screen Camera Controls and Keyboard Commands to reposition the camera on the model. I highly recommend using the Keyboard Commands for controlling the camera at this stage rather than relying on the on-screen Camera Controls alone. The Keyboard Commands tend to give you much more precise control over the camera’s pan, tilt, spin and zoom functions. The Zoom In (CTRL + 0) and Zoom Out (CTRL + 8 ) keystrokes are especially useful for framing close shots, since they allow you to move in much closer than the on-screen Camera Controls will permit. The Shift + Ctrl + Alt + arrow keys which pan the camera left, right, up and down are also extremely useful for self-portraiture. (I’ve listed the Keyboard Commands at the end of this post for any who may not be familiar with these highly useful tools.)
  6. If the direction of your avie’s gaze still needs adjusting, cam out again, adjust the position of the gaze point, and then reframe the camera. Once again, the AMS Position Editor greatly simplifies this procedure. You may need to go back and forth a few times to get things exactly the way you want. With practice and experience, you’ll soon learn how to place your gaze points accurately, then manipulate the keyboard and camera controls to get that perfect frame and beautiful eyes!

Voila - mission accomplished!

For more information on AMS products, please visit the AMS website, or stop by the AMS Demo Site or Metro Models store to try out the amazing PhotoStage and PhotoLite!

Camera Tools: Continue reading