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Darkroom Photo Editor - Pixlr

I love plurk! There are so many amazing people on plurk and they are always sharing pictures, ideas, and just about anything you can imagine.  Today a link to a fun program was shared and I feel like Christmas came early!

Pixlr is a free web-based photo darkroom editor that adds old-fashion film darkroom processing effects, overlays, and boarders to images.  Its incredibly powerful, streamlined, and yet simply and fast to use.  Needless to say I. Am. In love!

Oh!  It gets better. Did I mention that it is also available to DOWNLOAD and use free on your computer, iphone, or android phone?  Oh yes!



And there is still more. (Do I sound like an infomercial yet?) There is also a free web-based graphics program you can use for regular photo editing.  Its much like GIMP or Photoshop.  The controls are almost exactly like Photoshop.  It too is insanely easy to use.  I forsee this program getting LOTS of use by me in the near and far future.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Greenscreen Removal Tutorial

For anything you want to do in Photoshop there are a dozen ways to do them. Greenscreen removal is no exception. If you're lucky enough to have a program like Mask Pro by On One, it will do the job nicely with just a few clicks. However, those programs can be expensive, and with just a few extra steps you can do the removal and clean up yourself. This is a method I picked up from a tutorial originally written by Ryker Beck on the old Rezzable website back in 2009 (thank you 1Angel for locating the source since my memory and HD wipe failed). However, this method continues to work well for me when I'm not using Mask Pro. If you have other methods you've found that work well for you please do share them in the comments area. I am by no means an expert in Photoshop. I'm self taught and am always looking for new/easier/better ways to do any given task.

"Greenscreen" is a generic term for any picture where the subject is photographed in front of a solid, bright/neon, primary color. Neon lime green tends to be the most commonly used, however a bright electric blue or hot pink (or any similar striking color) works as well. In Second Life the "Greenscreen" is created using a solid colored prim set to full bright as the background.

For this tutorial I am using an older greenscreen picture taken before my new graphics card, so many of the edges are not as clean as they would be with a higher end graphics card. However it still works for the purpose of this tutorial.

1. Start with your picture. You can see the solid green background, as well as a variety of colors and transparency levels in the image.

Duplicate the background layer. Select the top copy layer and then click on the eye on the original background layer to hide it.

2. Next from your menus at the top of your screen go to Select > Color Range > choose 'Selection'. Your cursor will turn into an eye dropper and just click anywhere on the background where the green would be. Check the Invert box, then ok. You'll notice the marching ants around your image.

3. Copy your selection using ctrl + c. Make a new layer, then paste your copied selection using ctrl + p onto the new Layer 1. At this point I also hide the background copy.

4. You'll notice on the new layer the semi-transparent areas still have green. Always start by working with the semi-transparent areas that have color, and then move to areas that are black and/or white.

5. Ctrl click on the Layer 1 thumbnail to select the entire image. You'll see the marching ants around the outline again. Create a new blank layer on top of Layer 1. Change the new layer (Layer 2) to Color. Go to your eyedropper tool and select a color from Layer 1 that is next to the green that you want to replace. In this case I have a few areas of red in the hair, tan, yellow, blue on the wings, and brown that still have a green edge to them. One by one I select each color sample from the base image, choose my paintbrush tool, a small soft brush and 100% opacity, and paint along the edge. You'll see the green gets covered up with the selected color.

6. After you've painted away the green in all the color zones (leaving only the semi-transparent areas that are either black or white) you can merge your top color layer 2 with the base layer 1. At this point you can use deselect to remove the marching ants outline.

7. Now we want to remove the green from the semi-transparent black and/or white areas. Go to Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation. From the drop down box select "Greens". Move your Saturation slider all the way to the left. If you are working with black, move the Lightness slider all the way to the left. If you are working with white, move the lightness slider all the way to the right. Click ok.

8. And there you have your image completely extracted from the Green Screen and ready for any other work you need to do on it in Photoshop. I always create a new layer below the final image and use the paint bucket tool to make it solid black or white to check my image and make sure all the green was removed and I didn't miss any spots.

Filters, Fashion, and Fall

The above picture was taken using the FilterCam HUD and a bit of post production work in Photoshop.  
Below you can see the raw picture, no Photoshop work aside from cropping.
All pictures in full size at my Flickr 

Thanks to the wonderful Codebastard Redgrave, loving "Codie", and her FilterCam2 HUD 
for purchase and use inside Second Life (or on the Marketplace), everyone has the ability 
to take amazing pictures even if you don't have or aren't very skilled (yet) in Photoshop. 

FilterCam2 is a HUD loaded with various textures.  
You attach it to the center HUD position on your screen and take pictures.      
Its just that easy.  
There are shaded effects, frames, keyholes, splatter effects, scope effects, 
and many more, close to 150.  
The HUD allows layering of effects up to 4 layers, so your creativity is endless.  FilterCam main version updates are included with the price of purchase, meaning free upgrades forever.  Expansion packs are purchased separately and are very reasonably priced.

Below, I have included several other pictures from today, 
both pre and post Photoshop production.  
Shopping list included below pictures.  Happy picture taking everyone!

Trypic Filter post production
Trypic Filter raw image

  Polaroid Filter raw image                                          Polaroid Filter post production

Happy Halloween everyone!

The outfit I'm wearing is by the amazing Annejoy Paine of aDiva.
The hair is from Battle Angel.
And the eyes, oh those amazing eyes, are from the recently featured 
FDM Alive Eyes by Aymeric Pelazzi, Silver Medium size, Light.

Shopping List:

Sweater: aDiva couture Tyler Sweater Blue
Jeans: aDiva couture Tyler Half Jeans Cuff L Leg
Boots: Maitreya Gold Shearling Boots
Socks: [ROCKBERRY] Knit Socks Blue/Socks

Skin: .ILLUSORY. Skin_Paige_Fair - Stained A1 (LBF)
Eyes: FDM-Alive-Silver-M-Light
Hair: Vera White Blonde *Battle Angel* JFFH
Lashes: Miamai_NoAlpha Lashes_N01
Freckles: L.Fauna EXTRA FRECKLES [Tan]
Ears: *Dreams* Tied with a Bow Snowy White Twitchy Ear (rebranded to Somnia)

Codebastard Redgrave FilterCam v2 + new expansion pack

New Trails 2 prim Autumn Trees
New Trails sculpted pumpkins and vines

Caught in the act

Sunflower Fae, originally uploaded by ~sierra sugar~.

Never before seen, this Sunflower Faerie was caught on camera planting a seed. Both the fae and photographer were equally surprised by their mutual discovery, causing that moment of startled indecision. Sadly only this single still image was captured. As soon as she realized she was spotted the fussy little fae buzzed around the camera holder furiously then flew off.

Most humans are clueless and don't realize that while the world is settling down for a relaxing evening, the fae are busy in hidden places making the world a beautiful place. So the next time you're sitting on your porch sipping your iced-cold tea and watching the sun set, see if your eyes can spot one of these busy little creatures at work. Just make sure you don't let them know you see, because as cute as they appear they aren't always so cuddly.

Pose: eMOTIONS by *SKC* - Planting Seeds

Top: *IW* Eireen Sunflower Top
Pants: *IW* Eireen Sunflower Pants
Belt: *IW* Eireen Sunflower Belt
Hat: *IW* Eireen Sunflower Hat
Skirts: *IW* Eireen Sunflower Skirt
Anklets: Evie's Closet - Ariel
Circlet: Evie's Closte - Ariel
Necklace: *GF* Sunflower Choker

Skin: .ILLUSORY. Skin_Paige_Light - Stained A1 (LBF)
Hair: Vera Blonde Angel *Battle Angel* JFFH
Eyes: poetic colors - cat eyes (white) - preview
Freckles: L.Fauna EXTRA FRECKLES [Tan]
Wilted Elf Ears: .ILLUSORY. Elven Ear - a1
Lashes: Miamai_NoAlpha Lashes_N01
Nails: [ Love Soul ] Prim nails+Ring*Sunflower*
Feet: [AL] Promo Bare Tip Toe Foot

In the Spotlight ad

In the Spotlight ad, originally uploaded by ~sierra sugar~.
"In the Spotlight" - new pose set out at eMOTIONS. 5 cute poses for the ones who enjoy being in the spotlight, and even those who do not.

Pose set includes:

Oh stop!
Too bright
TADA! Here I is!
Oh geeze
I'll be leaving nao.

Poses found at eMOTIONS mainstore on JJ Lanes. Can be purchased individually (copy only) or the full set of 5 (either copy OR trans)

The leaves are falling and so are the prices at eMOTIONS. As mentioned earlier, I'm cleaning up shop to make room for newness to come.

eMOTIONS Main Store:

-Everything 50% or more.
-PRO POSERS - if you are a part of this group, you get an additional 25% off from poses in the hippo vendors. Just wear your PRO POSER group tag.
-Many older poses for couples now boxed up (not in vendors) priced at 50L
-Lots of singles poses added to the dollarbie and lowbie vendors.
-"In the Spotlight" - Brand new girls pose set out now in vendor.
-Many items are now copy only in the store, but you can purchase as a gift from the -Marketplace (items on sale there too).

eMOTIONS @ Magic of Oz:

-All poses on Sale 1/2 off!!
-Exclusive poses only found at the Magic of Oz location.
-Special bunny cuddle pillows (menu driven) and cute bunny slippers only @ Magic of Oz location.

"A Gift for Everyone"

Still looking for all stores (not just poses or fashion) who will have +transfer items, gift cards, and gatchas for the holiday shopping season.

H2 Photography


Late nights in Second Life can bring about some interesting results. The other night I was standing on my land in SL AFK and windowed out responding to something on Plurk, not terribly uncommon of me. When I looked back at Second Life there was a strange man standing next to me on my property. Like most of you, coming back to SL and finding a stranger on your land can be somewhat disconcerting. But this was not some nosy, annoying newb, this was a well-put-together male Avatar just standing there quietly next to me, respectful would be the word I would use.

Meet Homer Hanly. The photographer and graphic artist behind H2 Photography in Second Life. Homer is a real life photographer and artist practicing and expanding his techniques in SL with the world of 3D Digital Artistry. Now here is where I blush and am ever so grateful. Homer was checking old LMs in his inventory and hopping around SL looking for scenic places to take pictures when he stumbled across my Caribbean Island Oasis and me, oblivious in AFK land. He watched and seemed to like the movements of my AO and the poses it created so decided to take some pictures. What he did with them is just simply amazing. Most of ya'll know I do most of my own photography for eMOTIONS and for fun. But I would (and plan to) hire Homer for a photo session for a personal collection. Check out his blog, Homer's Place and his Flickr! He's got a fun sense of humor and sometimes a daring voyeuristic style I think most of you will enjoy thoroughly.

Thank you, Homer for the wonderful pictures and the new found friendship. Thank you for the late night phantom chasing and Photoshop circles of confusion (my confusion creating not yours, lol).