The worst thing about events is that they close and I always feel that I have not seen enough, highlighted enough or done enough to share the great variety of creations at the event. That’s certainly true of Chic2 which closes today and of SL9B. The entertainment ends today but the exhibits will remain until the 27th. You should definitely go exploring and if you’re a freebie hunter, this is prime territory for freebies. Today I am wearing Tare, a new dress released by MiaMai with a summery pop art print in several colors. I chose orange because I picked up some orange shoes at Collabor88 that I wanted to wear.
But first take a look at this gorgeous tree from New Trails. It’s only 100 lindens at the moment – part of the Spruce Up Your Space event. It’s at New Trail right by the landing point. And then there are those logs on the floor with the moss and bracken. They also come with big mushrooms, but I edited them out since they were more fantasy than I wanted for this. It’s from Gallimaufry and free at their SL9B just two parcels down from the Blogger Carnival. There are six poses in the log, but they were laying down and sitting poses that didn’t work with this skirt and the handbag.
Here I am standing right in front of a striking kinetic sculpture of light and magic just down the street from our Blogger Carnival. I spent a few hours wandering around a few of the sims last night, barely scratching the surface, but there was so much to see. I dressed for exploring in this loose, casual top from Tea Time with leggings from Maitreya.
I signed up to DJ at SL9B and drew the 6 AM slot. My set was this morning and was a lot of fun. I featured music of community liberation and resistance from around the world, trying to craft a set to suit this years SL9B theme of community. Gogo gave me some smart advice, reminding me not to wear mesh in case there were folks attending without mesh viewers, so I dug out this gorgeous old dress from MichaMi and added hot pick shoes from Baiastice is spice it up with color.
Photoshop is wonderful software and I have loved it for many years. I just recycled by floppies from the early version I bought for my MacSE when I moved last year. I really didn’t need them to prove anything to upgrade any longer since there’s no place to insert floppies any more. Upgrading from version to version, the price of the software does not slap you in the face like it does if you are buying it for the first time. For the kind of editing I do for my blog, there’s just no justification for spending that kind of money – particularly when there are so many alternatives that are free.
Applications you download
GIMP. GIMP is the granddaddy of the free alternatives. It’s open-source and the word GIMP stands for SNU Image Manipulation Program, it’s very name signaling its open-source street cred. It’s available for Windows, Linux and Mac. It has tons of bells and whistles and there are users who swear it’s even better than Photoshop. If you tried GIMP a few years back, its user-face is easier and more user-friendly than it used to be.
GimpPhoto: Based on GIMP with a more PhotoShop like user interface. For Windows and Linux.
Photoscape: This is a Windows only program. Sasy Scarborough at Sasypants.com swears by it and has done a great tutorial on using it, including a movie.
Paint.NET is another Windows only program. It was supposed to just be a replacement for MS Paint, but it’s grown beyond that old program into a decent photo editing application.
ChocoFlop: This is a Mac only program that takes advantage of Mac’s architecture to allow fast, non-destructive photo-editing. It’s no longer being updated and developed, but is still available and totally free.
Pixelmator: A super cheap ($14.99) alternative to PhotoShop for Macs only. Seriously, for $14.99 you get content-aware fill. What more can you ask for?
CinePaint: Actually it’s designed for making animated films, but has great image-editing capabilities and it’s free. Mac software.
Pixia and Phierha: For Windows users. Created to make anime/manga illustrations, it’s a powerful image editor. Phierha is an newer version of Pixia with more features and a redesigned interface.
Inkscape: Inkscape is more accurately an alternative to Illustrator, but has a lot of good tools for editing. For Linus, Windows and Mac.
PhotoPlus: has standard image editing tools plus drawing brushes. Windows only.
Mac Preview: Preview is not just for peeking at your photos before deciding which to keep and which to toss. You can crop, edit, add text and do manage basic photo-editing tasks with the free app that comes already loaded with your Mac.
PhotoFiltre: Windows only. If you want maximum flexibility to add lots of filters, this image-editing program is very focused on allowing you to add filters. There are more than 100 filters with this program.
ToyCamera AnalogColor: Even people with PhotoShop will want this little app though it’s not free. (¥1,050 or $13.35.) It’s super easy, full of effects and they work so fast that you can lose yourself in trying them out. For Mac and PC.
ToyCamera AnalogColor is well-named because it’s so much fun to play with it.
PicMonkey: Gidge and Gogo love this one. It has an easy collage-making interface and tons of special effects you can use on your photos. PicMonkey is so free you don’t even have to give them your email address. No registration required!
Splashup: Integrates seamlessly with Picasa, Flickr, Facebook, Photobucket, SmugMug and their own photo-hosting at SplashUp. Lets you edit several photos at once and feels like an application.
Photoshop Express: Yes, an alternative to Photoshop is Photoshop! This is a web-based version of Photoshop with some useful tools like dodge and burn and fun effects like color pop that lets you make a black and white picture with one pop of color.
G-Plus Creative Kit: If you have G-Plus and upload your photos there, you can edit them using their creative kit. It’s super-easy and there are lots of fun effects and basic editing options. Making a duotone has never been easier.
Aviary – the new photo editor that directly links to Flickr. Works on your mobile phone and with Facebook. Very easy to use.
FotoFlexer: In addition to lots of retouching tools, effects and other basic tools, this lets you work with layers, curves and liquify. It also integrates with most common photo-hosting sites.
LunaPic: If you are in love with effects, this might be your favorite. Works with Facebook, Picasa, Flickr and Photobucket.
Photo-kako.com: The interface is a little confusing, probably due to non-native English speakers doing the translation. However, there are so many toys to play with in adding fancy effects and filters to your photos, you won’t mind experimenting.
Pixlr.com: Super easy with fun effects that you can run through one after another. It’s also entertaining to use the Pixlr-Matic retro effects. The work window looks like a developer tray and when you move your cursor the developing fluid ripples under the cursor. Who knew editing could be such fun!
Big Huge Labs: Helping you do cool stuff with your digital photos since 2005. Make your own movie poster or magazine cover. Try out fun effects. It’s a great place to play.
Splashup integrates seamlessly with many photo hosting sites.
This and other tutorials are all featured at the Blogger Carnival at SL9B. With tutorials from eight bloggers, the Blogger Carnival will have lots of tips and in-world sets for your to practice your new skills. It opens Monday, June 18th. Blogger Carnival at SL9B
What with Snow White, Snow White and Snow White, it’s about time we had some mirrors in Second Life. It seemed a logical next step after the reflections in the previous tutorial, though I was more in the market for a homey little mirror rather than some grand baroque masterpiece with a talking head. Though, that makes me wonder if there were a talking head on a prim just under the water…
Way back in January, I saw a fantastic tutorial by Graphic Dix for Modavia Fashion Marketing on using Second Life’s water in an innovative way to capture reflections. We’ve all stood on the bank of a river or waded into the ocean and admired our reflections, but he took it to a new level.
I wanted to do something similar and experimented a little bit and ended up going in a slightly different and, perhaps, easier direction, though achieving the same effect. I began by finding a texture, in this case some mossy pavers from Zooboing Creations. I made a copy of the texture and using a big soft-edge eraser, I erased part of it, leaving it open alpha areas.
It might seem intuitive that if you’re a blogger you know what you’re looking for in poses but I know as a new blogger, I certainly didn’t know. So for part of our SL9B celebration, I’m offering up poses 101, what you’re looking for as a consumer.
I do make poses, and while I’ve been doing it almost two years I’m nowhere near a veteran. But for the sake of diplomacy, I’m only using poses I’ve made to demonstrate the good and the bad of static poses. Continue reading →
As Cajsa and I feverishly work on our SL9B exhibit, I took a break to snap another pic on our parcel because I just finished up my half of that work and was kind of excited.
I’m not going to spill the beans on our parcel’s theme but I think that the great big blogger family of SL will find it fun and interesting if nothing else.
The reason we have a parcel, is as Cajsa put it “Gidge had a whim.” That’s true. It was one of those messages I kept seeing on log in so HEY YAY FOR MARKETING I GUESS IT WORKED, and I was thinking, that’d be kinda cool, participate – be part of the community. In my mind, I had something very simple planned. I said “Hey CAJSA SIGN US UP.” And she did, we got accepted and she flailed “OMG NOW WHAT?” I had no idea.
Cajsa, on the other hand does nothing half way, and what went from my whim has turned into a full on project that’s just amazing.
Second Life’s 9th birthday celebration opens on June 18th, just a week away. Gidge and I, along with some of our friends are working our pixel fingers to the bone preparing all sorts of fun tutorials about SL photography and blogging. Just to give you a preview of what’s to come, the pictures in this post are all unedited, raw shots direct from Second Life. The only thing that has been done is that they have been cropped.