Thursday, August 5, 2010

Midnight Moon

i thought i'd try shooting my dollie in a dark setting. unfortunately without any in-scene lit objects, to illuminate moi et le background, punching up the atmospheric settings to midnight made things a wee bit too dark. as the SIM owners blessed its visitors with build permissions i put a few prims down with some lighting features that i tweaked to provide some fill lighting. putting one light with bumped up fall-off under the ground and another default light feature at eye level (both out of the shot's frame) seemed to illuminate the subject adequately.

next, as with all Windlight tweaks, i surprised myself with just how well the background was lit by sliding the Sun/Moon Position ever so gently to give some subtle definition to the lighthouse build. one thing you might not know, and something i just recently learned, is that you can select the slider's indicator and then increment it with the left/right arrow keys instead of the gross adjustments afforded by using your mouse.

since the generic Midnight settings put the sun on the other side of the shooting plane we are essentially simulating the effect of moon light on the scene. fiddling with the East Angle i brought the moon (180 degrees opposed the Sun) into the shot. as all you Windlight obsessed photogs out there must know by now, i simply applied a little more Sun/Moon Position to raise the moon to the top of the frame for the maximum dramatic effect. (wish we could tweak the size of the moon, since it appears slightly larger than life.)

now comes the tricky part.

the lighthouse in the above image was around a hundred meters away and on the other side of a bay of water. you can see in the accompanying thumbnail how the background would appear in a normal view mode. i've put the mini-map in the shot to show the system's approximation of the camera's field of view. the shaded area shows the angle from the camera's point (here Alt-clicked on moi). it seems to be around 120 degrees and were it a real world camera it'd be simulating a wide-angle lens.

pulling the lighthouse towards the subject requires a telephoto angle without significantly changing the field of view, ie keeping all the significant elements within the frame. stepping through a number of Ctrl-0 increments collapses the plane of vision resulting in far away objects appearing closer. watch the camera angle in the mini-map as you do this. it can get ridiculously narrow and at that point far away objects can overwhelm the foreground subject. for this particular shot the camera angle was around 75 degrees. it gets pretty hairy controlling the camera with a high level of zoom. using the camera tools can help in certain situations or moving the mouse around wildly usually puts things into perspective (haha).

hope you enjoy experimenting.

not supplying any slurls in this post as the designer's shops aren't around anymore (cept for Shylah's and nuria's who you all know anyway)
skin: Kaori Lerner Mood Kaori Dark Coral freebie -fullperm
top: nuria Augapfel N-Core Satin shirt -copy
pants: Lizzi Klaar JOEL Pants -transfer
hair: Shylah Honey Damselfly Axelle -copy

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