Sunday, October 11, 2009

HiQ photography in SL, Part 3: Edit in Photoshop

If you have read part 1 and 2 and then done some experimentation you do now have a lot of photos in your snapshot folder. If you followed my advise you have selected a few golden ones of them and move those to the folder named selected. For this workshop I will use one of my images from The lost garden of Apollo and first I will use Photoshop CS3 for demonstrating the workflow. But Photoshop is very expensive so I will soon show how all this can be done in the Open Source (and free of cost) tool called The Gimp.

1. Open the file in photoshop.

2. Never make a photo bigger without special tools for that, because it will degrade horrible. There are plugins for Photoshot to do that because it needs to interpolate the new pixels, but these tools are rather expensive. So best is only to keep pictures at the original size or to make them smaller.

3. Start with crop. Hold down the shift-key and drag with the mouse to get an even square if you plan to post at flickr, because square photos looks best there.

If you plan to use them in your profile... have a look at this page for details:

Look under Textures for the correct proportions for picks and profile. There is video for showing how to do that in photoshop. Look at the video a bit down on that page.

4. Set the levels if the importent part are too dark. Ctrl-L (CMD-L on Mac) opens the Levels tool. Often there is no info staples at the rightmost part like in this image. The photo is badly exposed in photo language. If so drag the rightmost handle to the left until it touches the staples of black.


I hope you see the difference between those two images. I happens quite often that SL photos gets this way and are wrongly exposed in my opinion. Now you know the trick to fix that...  ;-)

Sometimes you have staples to the right but it still looks to dark, then you can try to move the middle handle to get it to look right.

5. I think it is almost always necessary to increase saturation in the images from SL.
Ctrl-U (CMD-U on the Mac) opens the Saturation tool. For me it is often +15 increase or so.

As you see I have a Swedish version of Photoshop, but I think you will be able to find the right spot in your version of Photoshop despite that.

6. Make the final size. I normally choose 800 pixel at the longest size, that works good on Flickr and blog sites. If it is already smaller then that's so... just leave it. Never make a photo bigger without special tools. Use the shortcuts CMD-ALT-S on Mac (I think it is Ctrl-alt-S on PC).

Now be sure that the link tool (marked by the arrow here) is turned on so that the proportions dont gets changed. Then enter 800 in the field with the highest number).

7. Sharpen it. This is always the final step and must be done after the photo is in its final size. I have a plugin for this. It is called Photokit sharpener but it is a bit expensive. For my RL photos i need this but for SL the built-in unsharp mask is good enough.

Settings: Amount=300 - 400 (if you get white borders like sugar crust at hight contrast areas, then lower to 300),  Radius= 0,3, Treshold= 0...... thats it

8. Save as: PNG (Only use JPG if you have to make them smaller).

Voila! You are done....


  1. Tack för alla tips, jag Markör Redan Att jag tar bilder bättre!

  2. Kul!!! Vänta tills jag är klar... då kan du ta jobb som fotograf här... ;-)

  3. Använder du photoshop, gimp eller nåt annat program för redigering av bilderna?