A new irregular feature! Of things which are irregular!

Since I seem to come up with these left and right. This feature’s named: What’s Wrong With This Picture?

See, in Second Life, we can create all sorts of photographic environments. And sometimes they’re beautiful in how they mimic the real world. Other times… not so much.  So what’s wrong with this picture as an emulation of real life?  Image

Info on what’s wrong here after the cut! Don’t read yet, look at the first photo and see if you can spot the error.  Scrolling down will just SHOW YOU the error and that’s boring, isn’t it?  So take a stab at identifying the error before you read what I spotted.

No really, take a moment to find it!

OK, so in case you didn’t spot it, look closely at where things are brightest, and where things are shadowed.  And please forgive my AWESOME PHOTOSHOP SKILLZ.


So yeah. The ambient shading is all over to the left, as if the sunlight is coming from the right-hand side of the frame… yet the shadow on the obelisk aims over to the right hand side of the frame.  How’d I screw THAT one up?

Answer is: I was using a skydome.  I got it in my head that I’d set one up and use it as a garden space and take Awesome Fun Landscapey Pictures for Happy Fun Times.  Because I miss playing with landscaping in SL. But i hadn’t counted on how a skydome deals with sunlight and wound up with the light shining through from the left- and then illuminating the right-hand side of the dome.  Here’s a pic from a bit further back, for context: Image
So, there’s something I hadn’t thought about.  The prim dome’s transparent from the outside- all light comes in- but not from the inside, so one side gets illuminated by the sun over on the left, and the other side is shadowed, even though things inside the dome cast a shadow from left to right.  The above’s a rough reconstruction of what pulling back would’ve looked like, as I took the photo yesterday and only noticed the glitch in post-production.

So the sun is behind the camera’s perspective, and over to the left.  Like… call it 7:30 o’clock.
I may attempt to fix this and share the results later. But I figured that it was worth sharing the ‘oops’, so y’all could learn from it.
So how would I fix this? I have no idea, offhand.  Maybe a transparent prim over on the left set to give off light, illuminating that side to get things looking a little more even… or skipping on shadows entirely.  Or using a windlight setting with the sun/moon below the horizon and lighting with ‘spotlights’ (abovementioned transparent light-emitting prims)?  Something else?  If you have suggestions, please don’t hesitate to share them!  And this goes for photographers from real life, too: even if you’re unfamiliar with the medium that Second Life offers, you might well have thoughts on how to deal with this particular conundrum that would point me at Second Life solutions.

So I’m not sure how to fix it offhand, but there is definitely something to learn here. Woo hoo, that’s our something new for the day!  I’ll likely be sharing my flubs with Second Life photography as we go: I’ve already got another one in mind.  So keep your eyes open for ‘What’s Wrong With This Picture?’!

2 thoughts on “A new irregular feature! Of things which are irregular!

  1. Rather than mess about with the positioning of the skydome or windlight settings, I would simply take the photo into an editing program (paintshop, photoshop). Using a clone brush, clone some nearby ground over the exisiting obelisk shadow so that it ends up with no shadow at all. Then take a subtle paintbrush (like camelhair, chalk or similar) and paint in a new shadow the opposite side roughly. Blur that a bit with the appropriate brush/plugin effect and hey ho, it looks natural. A bit of effort but a lot less effort than having to make do with windlight settings that do not create the right atmosphere for your original photo. I paint in shadows all the time as often I don’t have the bandwidth for anything more than precise avatar details.

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