Close-ups: Capturing the Detail

This is too close!

This is too close!

Second Life is full of beautiful people and beautiful things!  Skins and clothing often deserve more attention than normal.  When shopping for clothes and skins, look for detail…close-up detail.  If you zoom in and nothing is there or it’s unsurprisingly blurry, there’s more shopping to do!

Most likely you will need to have some advanced settings activated to capture detailed objects and avatars.  Here are the settings I use when I need high definition on my photos:

resolution-high1  resolution-high2


The factors that you should consider when you want to do a close-up are:

  • Your graphics card capabilities
  • SL Graphics Settings
  • The quality of the avatar skin
  • The quality and detail of the clothing/objects

Choose Skins and Clothing with High Detail

closeup-sharpentoolHere we see our model in the photo on the left with a detailed sweater, hair, and skin.  The background is not too busy and won’t distract from the photo if it gets in the shot.  On the right we have an excellent close-up.  The detail in the skin was increased with the sharpen tool: 
closeups-highdetail1-distance  closeups-highdetail1

Use the Sharpen Tool

The sharpen tool can be a good method of bringing out detail.  This skin was already detailed, but as you can see below using the sharpen tool on the skin and eyebrows and eye gives a more detailed and realistic photo finish:
closeups-highdetail1b  closeups-highdetail1c

Low Detail Settings and Skins

Here is an example of the same skin on the left with lower resolution settings.    The prim hair is not smooth, but more pixellated, and our lines are more jagged.  Here are the settings used in this photo:


As you can see in the photo on the right where another skin was used on the model, the skin itself will make a huge difference when detail is needed.

closeups-lowdetail-light  closeups-skin2b

Adding Shadows

What’s missing from the photo on the left?  SL does not produce shadows under the avatars neck.  Some skins may have this option but not this one.  On the right I added a shadow by using the Dodge tool.  I also bumped up the sharpness using the sharpening tool.
closeups-necklace1b  closeups-necklace1c

Focusing In

The model is wearing a gorgeous necklace.  We wanted to make sure that anyone viewing this photo didn’t miss it!  So I copied the layer and added a slight gaussian blur.  Then I used the eraser tool to cut out the necklace on that layer which revealed the original layer.  This gives an awesome effect as you can see on the right: 
closeups-necklace2b  closeups-necklace2

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