The Light Masters – A Beginners Windlight Tutorial

The problem I find with most tutorials is that they are guides to enhance a skill you already have. It’s difficult to ever find a tutorial that assumes you don’t know how anything works, or what to do. So for SL10B this year, I decided my contribution would be the sort of tutorial I’m always trying to find – a tutorial for people like me who haven’t a CLUE how to do something.

For many people, there’s tweaks and adjustments that make them and their avatar unique. Some of the best bloggers though, are those who control their light and force the grid to do their bidding without the aid of PS or other tools.

You have to start somewhere, and making something simple is always the best way. So what I’m going to do is teach you the way I learned. Who knows, maybe you’ll be a new Strawberry Singh or Gogolita when you get good enough at it. Cajsa’s a pro, but this is beginner stuff. This is how to do it if you really really don’t even know where to start.

The very first thing I do, I choose EDIT SKY PRESET from the WORLD menu, and pick one that is close to what I want to do. There is no reason to reinvent the wheel when someone has already started making that rock round. I am wanting to create a windlight preset that works well for skin blogging. I want bright, but not TOO bright, and a lumiscent glow that doesn’t look crazy.

I started with the basic 12pm setting.

My next step is to erase the name, and start tweaking the blue horizon and blue density in the ATMOSPHERE TAB. I’m wanting to blog a skin, so watch how the light interacts on your avatar as you m ake these changes. Use the menu to the right to adjust your colors whether or slightly or radically.

The next tab, and this is a huge one for skin shots, is the LIGHTING tab.

Again, there are a lots of options on this page. Tweak your sun/moon color – watch your avatar. Your ambient tones also – make tweaks and watch the way your light plays across the AV. Move the sun and moon position and it’s east angle – all the while – observe the changes. Is this what you want? Making mistakes is the best way to learn this. I’ve made some terrible windlights.

My next step for this type of Windlight is to type in a name and hit SAVE.

Let’s see how I did. My goal was to create a unique windlight for Gidge to blog skins.

It might not revolutionize skin blogging, but it’s mine.  That’s kind of awesome.

Sometimes you want to shoot outside and need a different look than all those 1000s of presets you downloaded. Or, maybe again you just want something that’s your own. I followed all of the steps above, but first I went and looked out across the ocean and made adjustments. Starting with atmosphere, then lighting, then – CLOUDS.

Clouds are where it’s AT sometimes when making windlights for outdoors.

Controlling your light means you control so much of your photo’s essence, it’s an important skill to learn, even if you’re never an expert like Berry or Gogo, it’s kinda cool to know how it works anyway!

Now go experiment and have fun!


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