Showing posts with label Second Life. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Second Life. Show all posts
Lusus

Create a Desktop Wallpaper using A 360 Degree Panoramic Second Life Image


In previous SL-Inspiration tutorials we've covered how to use Second Life images to create desktop wallpapers, both as a gallery of images and an animated wallpaper. Another subject we've covered in depth is how to create 360 degree panoramic images in Second Life, the hud you'll need to buy from the Marketplace, and the choice of software needed to stitch the images together. In this tutorial these two elements are brought together to create a desktop wallpaper using a 360 degree panoramic image created in Second Life.
 
The image below is an example of a 360 degree image that can be used as a desktop wallpaper. It shows an interior from the very photogeneic location called Eterea, which sadly appears to no longer exist. 
 
To fully view the image Drag it with your cursor, and click the square icon to the right of the image to view fullscreen.


As already indicated, there are a few things you'll need to create a 360 degree wallpaper, such as having a working knowledge of the tutorials mentioned above. You'll also need to sign up for, and install Steam, and then grab a copy of Wallpaper Engine, which runs on that platform. Although Wallpaper Engine isn't free, the cost is very low (around £3.00, or about $4.00), which is easily affordable, and worth every penny.

The last thing you'll need is a 360 degree panorama uploaded to a platform such as Momento360. This platform is used here mainly because its easy to use, doesn't have an intrusive watermark, and not least because its free.

Creating the Desktop Wallpaper using A 360 Degree Panoramic Image 

Creating the 360 degree wallpaper is very simple. Wallpaper Engine essentially embeds the panorama from a website and displays it as a wallpaper. Following from this, the first steps are to get a link for the panorama and create an embed code.


1/ Go to the Momento360 page (or similar site) that displays the panorama. If you don't have one yet the one here can be used


2/ Click on the connected three dots icon shown above and the drop down menu will appear. Click on Share or embed a link.


3/ This window will now appear. Click the Copy button to copy the link.

Shortening The Link

 

This step isn't entirely necassary but Memento360 tends to produce cumbersome links, so using a link shortener makes them easier to work with. Here TinyUrl is used, but you can use whichever link shortener you prefer.

1/ Paste the link copied from Momento360 in the space provided, then hit the Make TinyURL button.



2/ In the next window that appears hit the Copy button. You now have the shortened Url.

Creating The Embed Code

To anyone who knows a little about HTML markup this is a very simple step. For those that are less sure what to do, follow these easy steps.
 
 <iframe src="[URL OF 360 DEGREE PANORAMA]" style="border: 0px none marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="1080" scrolling="no" width="1920"></iframe>
1/ Open Wordpad or a similar app. Copy the above markup and paste it.
 

2/  Replace [URL OF 360 DEGREE PANORAMA] including brackets, with the shortened link we just created. The width and height settings can be changed to the resolution of your screen, although the wallpaper should display well as it is.


3/ In Wordpad select File > Save As. Name the file and give it a html extension, as shown above. Hit Save.
 

4/ Open the folder where you saved the file, and it should look something like above, probably displaying the logo of your default web browser.


5/ Double click on the file and the 360 degree panorama should open in your browser. 

We're now ready to create the wallpaper. 

If you don't have Wallpaper Engine yet, now would be a good time to get it.

Creating The 360 degree panoramic Wallpaper With Wallpaper Engine

1/ If there is a Wallpaper Engine icon on your desktop, double click it to start the app. Otherwise open Steam, then open Wallpaper Engine. Steam can be closed once Wallpaper Engine is running.


2/ When Wallpaper Engine has opened, its icon will probably be hidden on the taskbar. Click the up arrow icon (highlighted in red, above) to the bottom right of the taskbar, then click on the Wallpaper Engine icon.

From the drop down menu select Create Wallpaper.



3/ This window will appear. Open the folder containing the html file created in Wordpad. Drag the file onto the blue Create Wallpaper rectangle.
 
Wallpaper Engine has a quirk that means if there are any other files in the same folder as the html file, all the files will be added to the wallpaper. As we don't want this, it is best to put the html file in a folder by itself before dragging it.


4/ This window will appear. The wallpaper can now be given a name. When you're ready click OK.


5/ This window will now show the 360 degree panorama. 
 
Sometimes Wallpaper Engine will pause at this point. If this happens close the window. Then look at the Wallpaper Engine menu (the one we opened earlier), and under Recent Wallpapers, see if your wallpaper is listed. 
 
Alternatively, select  Browse Workshop, then in the window that opens select Installed. If your wallpaper is listed (no doubt without a thumbnail), then its been created. 

Unfortunately if the wallpaper can't be found you'll have to create the wallpaper again.


6/ Now select File > Save. The preview window will go blank when using the menu options. Its nothing to be concerned about. Now close this window.


7/ If the desktop isn't displaying the 360 degree wallpaper, click on the Wallpaper Engine icon in the taskbar, and from the drop down menu select Recent Wallpaper. Click on the name of the wallpaper you just created from the list it displays.

The wallpaper can now be dragged and viewed just like any 360 degree panorama.


8/ If the 360 panorama has been embedded from Memento360, there will probably be scrollbars visible. Click the icon to the right of the screen (highlighted in red, above), and these scrollbars will disappear.

Wallpaper Engine Settings

1/ To change the settings of the wallpaper, from the Wallpaper Engine drop down menu select Settings.
 
 

2/
In the window that opens, settings such as FPS and Post-processing can be tweaked.


3/ If your PC is high end then changing Post-processing to Ultra will really make the wallpaper pop. 
 
When you're ready, hit OK.

Sharing The 360 Degree Panoramic Wallpaper

Wallpaper Engine has a slightly perplexing system for sharing wallpapers, and even when the steps for sharing are followed, the wallpapers don't always seem to show in the Workshop.

However, there are ways around this. Shared wallpapers are given a page on the creator's Steam Workshop, where subscribers can download the content, (presumably in this instance this would be the wallpaper file). For anyone interested here are the 360 degree panoramas I've created using Wallpaper Engine.

Another option is to simply share the html files created in Wordpad and let friends create their own wallpapers with them. With this in mind, I've zipped three html files ready to be used as wallpapers. (Please keep in mind however, that these html files or wallpapers must not be sold or included in any package without my prior consent, and they must not be passed off as your own work. They can be shared with others, but it must be made clear that SL-Inspiration is the original creator).
 

Adding Wallpapers to The Workshop 

As already indicated, the Wallpaper Engine Workshop is where wallpapers are freely shared. They also appear on individuals' Workshop space. If you're feeling generous and community minded, the following steps will show how to add your own wallpapers to the Workshop.


1/ Click on the Wallpaper Engine icon in the taskbar, and from the drop down menu select Browse Workshop


2/ This window will appear. Click on Installed, then select the wallpaper you've created. To the right, click on Open in Editor.


3/ Sometimes at this stage, Wallpaper Engine will stall, but don't let it alarm you. Just close the windows and repeat the steps above.


4/ From the top menu select Workshop > Share Wallpaper on Workshop.


5/ Information about the wallpaper will need to be added in the window that opens. A thumbnail image will also need to be uploaded.
 

6/ When you're ready hit Publish.


7/ This window will appear showing a progress bar. When the wallpaper is published, it can be viewed in the Workshop.


And here is the wallpaper appearing in my Workshop, with options to the lower right for further editing.

There may seem a lot of steps here for something that could be considered a little niche, but having a working 360 degree panorama as a desktop wallpaper is quite impressive. If you have a 360 degree panorama, give it a try, or alternatively use one of the files available on this page.
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Lusus

Displaying Second Life Desktop Wallpapers With The Free Awsome Wallpaper App

 

In a number of previous tutorials we've shown how to use images created in Second Life as desktop wallpapers. Probably the most versatile app mentioned was Wallpaper Engine which, although very versatile some may not like due to its small price tag. 
 
Ignoring the issue of the paltry cost of Wallpaper Engine, possibly the most off putting thing for potential users is the need to be signed up to, and have Steam installed before the app can be opened. (Steam is excellent and I recommend installing it, but it can be a little inconvenient if all you want to do is create wallpapers from Second Life images). 
 
For these reasons an easier alternative for displaying Second Life desktop wallpapers is Awesome Wallpaper, which is free to download and use.

Creating Desktop Wallpapers With Awesome Wallpaper

Awesome Wallpaper can display a number of different kinds of desktop wallpapers, but the two we'll focus on here are wallpapers consisting of a gallery of images and animated desktop wallpapers. The process for creating both is very similar.
 

 1/ download the Awesome Wallpaper app from the website, (the link is above).


2/ Unzip the downloaded file. 


3/ To run Awesome Wallpaper, open the unzipped folder and double click on the icon highlighted above.

 
 4/ Right click on the ^ icon to the right of the computer's Taskbar, then right click on the Awesome Wallpaper icon. The menu above will appear. Click on Settings.
 

5/ This window will now appear. There is a tab for each type of desktop wallpaper, as well as a General tab. 


6/ To create a gallery wallpaper (i.e, a slideshow) you'll first need a folder containing all the images you want to use. Click the Gallery tab.


7/ To navigate to the folder containing the images, click the grey button to the right of 'Folder with images'. Select the folder and click OK in the navigation pane.


8/ Enter a number in the 'Interval between images' box for the time delay between images. Here 0 has been added so one image will immediatelly follow another.

In the 'Show image (sec)' box enter the length of time each image will be displayed. Here 180 seconds (or three minutes) has been entered.

When you're ready hit OK.


9/ Select the General tab again.


10/ From the Wallpaper Type drop down list select Gallery. Now hit OK. The images in the selected folder will now display in turn on your desktop.

Creating An Animated Desktop Wallpaper With Awesome Wallpaper

Creating an animated desktop wallpaper is very similar to creating a gallery, except instead of using a collection of images an MP4 file is used.
 

 1/ Select the Video tab, then navigate to where the MP4 is located. Select it then hit OK.
 

 2/ Select the General tab, and from the Wallpaper Type drop down list select Video. Now hit OK. The video will now be your animated desktop wallpaper.
 

SL-Inspiration Wallpaper Examples

Creating desktop wallpapers is a good way to share Second Life images, and may provide an opportunity for some people to sell their work. It can also be a unique way for store holders, club owners and any Second Life enterprise to project themselves to clients and patrons.
 
As a starting point here are some desktop wallpapers created by SL-Inspiration. Click the tabs below to view and download each wallpaper. There is a payment option for each download, which is used at the discretion of each person.

This first download is a set of 2048 x 1080px images to be used in a gallery. feel free to add your own images to the gallery.
 



 
This example is an animated desktop wallpaper inspired by Cammino e Vivi Capovolto. Click the button below to view the video and to download.



 
This animated wallpaper is called Clockwork Bird. The location in Second Life can be visited here. As with all the animated desktop wallpapers here, the movement is subtle so it does not become a distraction. Click the button below to view the video and to download. 
 



This last wallpaper is also an animated example, and shows a flying whale created by Sasaya (sasaya.kayo), the owner of HappyMood Forest. Click below to view the video and to download.

 
We hope you enjoy not only using the wallpapers available here, but also feel inspired to create your own. There is so much originality and creativity in Second Life that we're sure many residents will generate some unique ideas for desktop wallpapers.
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Lusus

Tiptoes Christmas Little Planet

 

This year's festive jigsaw puzzle is a little different in that its a small planet scene. The image was taken at Dreamers, which offers a great Christmas scene to help immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the season. The location description says,

Bundle up the little ones for a family trip full of winter activities, an advent calendar by Tiptoes, and visit Santa to send a letter to the North Pole!

This jigsaw puzzle is available to download and keep, so you can solve it in your own time, or you can play it below on this page. The downloadable version however is a little more difficult. 

 

Grab the jigsaw puzzle from Gumroad. Just scroll a little, then add zero for price, and hit the 'I want this' button.

 


To view the  puzzle here full screen click the icon to the lower right. There are also icons to the lower left that will show a ghost image of the puzzle as well as a thumbnail.

 

If you like this jigsaw puzzle, then we have more for you here on Gumroad. All are free.

 

 Enjoy solving this festive jigsaw puzzle, and have a Merry Christmas and a Happy new Year!





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Lusus

How To Sharpen A Second Life Photograph With The High pass Filter In Gimp


 

Its always been my experience that raw snapshots taken in Second Life are not as focused as they could be. They tend to be slightly undefined. Taking snapshots with the Black Dragon viewer makes a difference, but can be very impactful on PC resources. Whichever viewer you use, knowing how to sharpen a Second Life photograph is essential, as its one of those select tools that can help make your images pop.

 

The image used for this tutorial was taken at Frogmore, a very picturesque sim where all Second Life photographers will find something to inspire them. The destination guide describes it very well:

 

Frogmore is a natural, photogenic, and fully immersive experience inspired by historic Cornwall, England, bordered by the Celtic Sea and the English Channel. Frogmore is rated Moderate and open to the public; please join the free group for rezz rights and enjoy the lavish experience of the Cornish Riviera.

 

Sharpening A Second Life photgraph With The High Pass Filter In Gimp

There are a number of ways to sharpen a Second Life Photograph in Gimp (some of which will be covered in later tutorials), but this technique works well and is quick and easy.
 


1/ Open the image in Gimp.


2/ Click on the icon to the bottom right of Gimp (highlighted in red above), to duplicate the image.


3/ The two image layers can be seen to the right.


4/ This step isn't strictly necessary, but it will stop the high pass filter from highlighting colours. With the top layer active, select Colors > Desaturate > Desaturate.
 
 
This image is here so it will be the thumbnail
on the homepage. Blogger is rubbish.


 

5/ This window will open. The Mode drop down menu offers different desaturation types. Here Lightness (HSL) has been selected.

 


6/ The desaturated image will look something like the above.

 


7/ With the desaturated image still the active layer, select Filters > Enhance > High Pass...

 


8/ The top layer will look something like the above, and the High Pass window will be open.


 

9/ Set a value for the Dev option. Here 15 has been selected. A little intuition is needed here because a few things will affect how much or how little high pass to use. Image size is one factor that may influence this. 



10/ The level of detail shown in this high pass layer looks about right.

 

 

11/ Click on the Mode drop down button to the right, highlighted above in red.

 


12/ From the drop down list select a blend mode. The section beginning with Overlay and ending with Hard Mix are the blends that work well with the high pass filter. 



13/ Here, hard light is the blend thats been selected.

 


 

14/ Your image should now be much sharper, although it can be tweaked a little more. If you want to sharpen the image even further the high pass filter layer can be duplicated, the blend mode can be changed, and the opacity adjusted. 

 

To see the difference the high pass filter can make, below is the before and after. Click to enlarge if you need to.


Before....


After.


The effect may not be too dramatic here, but this is a very flexible method for sharpening images, and you're free to play around and experiment. 

 

We hope you've found this tutorial useful. If so bookmark, like us on Facebook, and generally subscribe.

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