The Checklist

Talk to any Second Life® photographer or blogger and they will confess to committing multiple mistakes. Anyone who says otherwise is either annoyingly perfect or blindingly unobservant. Just the other day I had to reshoot my entire blog post because I left the camera set to show the User Interface – an elementary error that could have been prevented with a simple checklist. I notice simple errors in others’ photos as well. A prim is missing from a gown or is only partially rezzed, so the full beauty of the gown is lost. An earring floats in space. Hands are eaten by body parts. Mistakes happen to all of us. However, I am the type of person that likes to problem solve so after having to reshoot my entire blog post, I thought about making a checklist that might help me avoid making these sorts of mistakes. I asked for help on plurk and got lots of suggestions for the checklist – and of course, readers are encouraged to add their own items. So here it is:

Check Your Pose:
Check your pose from multiple angles. There are so many poses that if the pose causes intersections, just keep looking until you find one that works with what you are wearing.

  • Are you hands in your skirt?
  • Are your feet touching the ground or are you floating above/below it?
  • Are your ribs eating the pattern of the top?
  • Are you legs sticking out of your prim skirt?
  • Does the pose send your prim nails flying?
  • Are your eyes focused properly?
  • Are you wearing an alpha texture and standing in front of an alpha texture? Make sure they don’t make parts of your clothing or hair disappear.
  • Can minor adjustments make the pose work? You can make small shape adjustments or use Avimote to make a pose work.

The Clothing & Prims
Make sure everything is rezzed and fitted. Use rebake if necessary. You might even need to relog, but it’s essential that your clothes and skin are fully rezzed. Fuzzy is not lovely. Also take the time to check the fit. Not all avatars are the same size, so prims may  need adjustment. There are links to many tutorials on the bottom of my sidebar in case you want additional help.

  • Have you properly fitted all prim attachments?
  • Are you wearing both right and left jacket cuffs and shoulder pieces? Sometimes adding accessories and jewelry, prims are detached without our noticing.
  • Is your hair in your shoulders/breasts/chest? You can change your pose or you can use the Hide Edited option to derender individual hair prims.
  • Are there gaps around your hair at hairline? Does it need to be resized?
  • Are your layers worn properly? Tattoo under the shirt, wearing the entire shirt including bottom?
  • Are all textures and prims rezzed completely?
  • Are you wearing the correct shape? Skirt shape with system skirts and NOT with pants.
  • Are the prim feet/hands tinted for your windlight settings
  • Are there stray alpha layers that should not be on?
  • Is the hair base visible and is it the right color?
  • Are there bits and pieces on full bright that should be turned off?
  • Do you have prim nails on both hands?
  • Did you fit your earrings for the closeup?
  • Did you check the photo from the store to verify that things fit and are sized as intended?
  • Did you write down the clothing details before removing clothes?

The Camera
There’s nothing more frustrating than doing all the work to select a perfect pose, fit all the prims and get your windlight settings perfect and then leave Second Life to discover your pictures are unusable. Check your camera settings and check one of the pics you have saved to disk so your hard work is not wasted.

  • Do you have it set to the right resolution?
  • Did you check your graphic settings?
  • Is anti-aliasing on?
  • Did you use Ctl-0 (zero) to shoot your close-ups?
  • While focusing on the face, are you making sure that the rest of your body and clothing is rezzed?
  • Do you have the camera set to show the interface or HUD?
  • Did you look at one of the saved pics before breaking down any set, poses or settings?
  • If your viewer has a mosaic bug with your video card and there is water in the picture, have you set your photo size to no larger than the screen size?

In addition to this checklist, there are many great tutorials to help you be a better photographer and/or blogger. There’s a section of my blogroll called Tutorials, you can find many good resources there.

18 thoughts on “The Checklist

  1. Rosie Shark

    This is great Casja! Very informative and with helpful links and tutorials. Thanks! *bookmarks*

  2. Pingback: The Checklist (via It’s Only Fashion) « Around the Grid

  3. Caliburn Susanto

    Forgot one (I think). Avatars don’t appear in their correct proportions unless you zoom in on them a bit. Especially in close-ups.

    Before shooting, hold down the CTRL key and tap “0” (zero) two or three times to zoom in and change the perspective. Then use the Ctrl-Alt-Arrow keys to re-position the camera for the shot. Greatly improves the body proportions in photos.

  4. Pingback: Useful Checklist for Second Life Fashion Photographers | SecondZine

  5. Torley

    If you have dual monitors, use your secondary to open the folder you’re taking snapshots to so you can preview them as they’re snapped. I learned this the hard way after thinking I was done with a session, only to get TOTALLY BLACK SNAPSHOTS… arghhhh.

    I also like Picasa a lot for browsing through shots — it’s very fluid and previews faster than Windows explorer. Also, its face detection is a lot of fun!

    And if you find a specific workflow for a specific project (whether it’s product photos or modeling sprees), always, ALWAYS document it so you can recreate conditions later. I’ve so often found my present self thanking my past self for remembering to take notes, which includes the WindLight settings you used for a shot. Ten seconds now can save ten minutes or even hours in the future!

    Thank you for sharing this resource! 😀

  6. pxlcreations

    i also use a small script to FIX my camera in the position soin cas ei need to shot multiple picture in the same position (makeups for example)if for soem reason i lost my camera pos by double pressing ESC it return in the memorized previous position and i can restart to shot again 🙂

    the tool is called camera push-pin or something….

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