Wednesday, October 7, 2009

HiQ photography in SL, Part 1: Settings in SL

I have been posting my in world photos on Flickr for quite some time now. I have received a few questions about how I get the quality that my photos show, so I will share my settings and workflow in a few posts here. Hopefully it can be of some help for somebody out there struggling with this.

Most of the knowledge about the in world settings in the client can be found in Torley Lindens superb article on the Wiki  and in his instruction videos also on the Wiki.  (search for advanced snapshot)

This first post on the subject will show how to do the settings in the client inworld and I will later post about how I treat the photos before posting them.

Below you will find some snapshots on how to do the settings in the client. Dont worry if my screen looks a little bit different than yours. I am using the Emerald client instead of Linden labs default client, mainly because I really like the short command in it like "gth 701" = go to hight 701 meters or "tph" = teleport home.

1. Enable the advanced menu if you have not done so already.
Press Ctrl-Alt-D on PC or Opt-Ctrl-D on Mac.

2.  Turn on high resolution snapshot in the advanced menu (see image above). This saves the photos with 4 times higher resolution to your computer and gives you a lot more headroom for crop, sharpening and other adjustments in The Gimp or Photoshop for example

3. Open the graphics tab in the Preferences and set graphics settings to max (if your computer can handle it). See the red ring in the upper part in the image below. If you have problems with this try to lower the max drawing distance to lets say 128 meters. I normally use a Macbook Air and I can only use these setting in low lag Sims or when I have rezzed completely.

4. Change the hardware settings. In the image above you see a red ring in the lower part of the image. Click on the Hardware settings button to open the window below. Click in the Anistropic Filtering and change the Antialiasing to 16 times. Both these settings gives less jagged images and smother drawing at a distance. On my computer I can use these setting all the time in very low lag Sims, but normally i have to switch them on when I am about to take photos.

I have some very vague plans to implement a quick switch setting for these setting in my very own version of the Emerald or Slowglobe clients.... well the future will tell if that ever happend  ;-)