Showing posts with label Tutorials. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tutorials. Show all posts

Adding Multiple Landmarks To A Second Life Image With Gimp

Happy Hippo Building School SL-Inspiration YouTube Channel Ivory Tower Library Of prims Linden Dept of Public Works Portal Park

This is an update to an older SL-Inspiration tutorial called Adding Multiple Slurls To A Second Life Map, and is intended to accompany the video tutorial on the SL-Inspiration YouTube Channel. The information here is added to support the video, and to show a working demonstration of how the landmarks added to the image work.

To try out a landmark, click on a section of the image above. Each section is clearly labelled with the name of the Second Life destination. If you are already logged into Second Life clicking on a landmark will open the Places Profile window for the destination. If you are not logged in, clicking on a landmark will open your viewer.

Try out the above landmarks then consider how something similar might work for visitors to your blog or website. How to set this up is shown in the video tutorial which you can see here, or you can view the video at the bottom of this page.

If you find the tutorial on YouTube useful, help us by liking it and subscribing to our brand new channel. Your support means a lot and will help us to keep producing video tutorials, as well as more posts here on the blog.

About The Landmarks

The information below describes the landmarks added to the image above and is taken from the Second Life destination guide.

Happy Hippo Building School

The Happy Hippo Building School is a long-term, well-respected and large school. The instructors provide a building course to take you from absolute beginner onward.

Ivory Tower Library of Primitives

This self-guided, self-paced, comprehensive building tutorial also includes a weapons testing area and safe sandboxes where you can try out your newly-acquired skills.

Linden Department of Public Works

Meauxle Bureaux is the home of the Linden Department of Public Works, a program focused on improvements related to the experience of living in and visiting the Linden Mainland. This intricate build was lovingly crafted by resident experts for all to enjoy, so come see the ultimate in shared creative spaces!

Portal Park

The Portal Park is your launching pad to several great experiences in Second Life. Start here for easy access portals that will teleport you to Winter Wonderland, The Cornfield, The Wilderness, Linden Realms and more!

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How To Add A Default Export Or Save Folder in Gimp

Gimp is a remarkable open source graphics tool but there is one feature that some users find frustrating and clumsy. Whenever you want to take an image out of Gimp it will open a default folder for the image to be exported or saved to. It can be tedious continually navigating away from this folder to the location you would prefer to export to, but there is a way around this. Follow this short tutorial and you will be able to add folders to the export window for quick  and easy access.

1/  When you have finished manipulating the image in Gimp select File > Export As (Shift+Ctrl+E) and the export window will open.

2/  Navigate to the folder you prefer to export images to and select it from the list in the middle of the export window (an example is highlighted in blue, above).

3/ Now click the '+' icon to the lower left of the export window to bookmark the folder highlighted in red).

Once you've hit the '+' icon the folder will be added to the left of the export window (highlighted in green, above). Although Gimp won't automatically open this folder the next time you want to export or save a file, it will now be easily available. All you'll need to do is click the folder to export to it.

This is a simple tip to make exporting images and saving Gimp files much easier and will hopefully save you time navigating to your preferred folders. If you export or save files to more than one folder, you can repeat this process for each folder you use, and they will all be listed to the left of the export window.
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How To Create A Falling Snow Effect With Gimp

At this time of year there are a lot of winter themed sims in Second Life, many with their own falling snow effects. However, there are still plenty with just snow covered ground. If you're a keen Second Life photographer and want to add your own falling snow to the scenes you capture, then follow this quick and simple Gimp tutorial to find out how.

1/ Start up Gimp and open the image you want to use. The image used here is 1024 X 790px and this influenced some of the numbers used in some of the settings, so bear this in mind and be prepared to be flexible when applying this effect.

2/ Create a transparent layer on top of the image layer and make sure its the active layer. Select the Rectangle Select Tool highlighted in the image above. Hold down the left mouse button and drag out a square in the transparent layer.

 3/ Towards the bottom of the Toolbox there is an option to size the square you just created, highlighted in the image above. Resize the square to 256 X 256px.

 4/ Now using the Bucket fill Tool fill the square with black.

 5/ Now select Filters > Noise > HSV Noise, and a window similar to the above will appear. Use the sliders to get the settings something like the above, then hit OK.

6/ From the Select menu click None, then in the Layers menu click Autocrop Layer. Again under the Layers menu select Scale Layer and a window similar to the above should open. Scale the black square up to the size of the image layer. Here I just used 1024px for both the width and height which works fine. After entering the scale of the layer hit Scale. You will probably now need to use the Move Tool from the Toolbox to align the scaled layer with the image layer.

7/ Now we want to give the snow a sense of falling, so select Filters > Blur > Motion Blur and choose settings similar to the above, although you may need to change them to suit your own image. When you're done hit OK.

8/ From the top of the  Layers Panel select Addition from the Mode drop down menu, which will clear the black from the snow layer, and your snow effect should look something like the above.

9/ We now want to give the falling snow some depth, so create another transparent layer and use the Rectangle Select Tool again to create another square. This time size it to 128 X 128px.  Now repeat steps 3 and 4 using the new layer.

10/ Select Filters > Noise > HSV Noise again, and add settings similar to those in the above image, although adapt them to suit your own image.

11/ Hit Select > None, then Layers > Autocrop Layer and then scale the new snow layer to the size of the image layer. Now add some motion blur to the layer, tweaking the settings so they're not exactly the same as the original ones used earlier.

12/ Align the new layer with the image layer, then select Addition again from the Mode drop down menu at the top of the Layers Panel.

12/ So that all of the snow isn't falling in exactly the same way you can rotate the second snow layer a little. From the Toolbox panel, select the Rotate Tool and a window similar to the above will open. This shows the settings used for the image here, but you may want to tweak them to suit your own image. When you're ready hit Rotate and you're done.

You've now completed this quick and easy way of adding a snow effect to your Second Life image, and no doubt you have quickly realised its easy to adapt the settings to get the effect you want for a particular image. Have fun with this and enjoy creating your wintery scenes.

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How To Remove The Background From An Image Using Gimp

In an earlier tutorial I explained one method of removing an image background using Gimp, and here I'll show an alternative way of achieving the same result. Although this is a quick and easy way of removing the background, the quality of the final result may depend a lot on the image you start with. For instance, it is best to start with a large picture and resize it later. As a guideline, the image I used for this tutorial was 3000 x 3000px. 

One more thing to keep in mind with this method is, you'll need to start with a background that has an even, uniform colour rather than something scenic. There is also a video version of this tutorial at the bottom of the page for those that find videos easier to follow. Now to get on with the tutorial

1/ Open Gimp and load the image you want to work with.

2/ From the Toolbox panel select the Colour picker (the eye dropper icon), then click on the background of the image. 

3/ Under the Toolbox icons there are two overlapping squares, one black, the other white. As you selected the background colour from your image, the upper square now will show that colour. Click on this upper square and a window similar to the above will open. Drag your cursor over the HTML colour notation and copy the six digit number. You can now click on OK.

4/ In the image window select Colors > Color to Alpha and a window similar to below will open.

The colour to alpha default is white so we want to change it to the background colour of the image. To do this click on the white area in the window, which will bring up another window, as below.

5/ In the HTML notation area of this window paste the number you copied earlier. The result should be the background from the image becomes transparent.

As you can see from the above image this process removes the selected colour from the entire image, and not just the background. However, we can re-add that colour to the subject.

Re-Adding Colour To The Subject

6/ The first step we now want to take is to give the subject a solid appearance. This will make the colours seem very wrong but right now thats not important. Make sure the layer is highlighted and hit the copy button  (the icon third from right at the bottom in the image above), several times. For this image I created a total of nine copies. 

7/ For the last two layers click on the eye icon to hide them. Now place your cursor over one of the visible layers and hit the right mouse button. From the drop down menu select Merge Visible Layers, (Its towards the bottom of the drop down menu). In the window that opens click the  Merge button. 

You should now have three layers, and in the image window a rather discoloured looking image.

8/ Ensure the Merged layer is the active layer. Right click on it and from the drop down menu select Alpha to Selection, (see image below).

9/ Now create a new layer by clicking on the first icon below the layers window and create a transparant layer. Make sure this new layer is now the active layer. The merged layer can now be deleted.

In the Toolbox panel you should see that the active colour is still the background colour we just removed from the image. Select the Bucket Fill tool highlighted above. Now click within the outline you'll see in the image window to fill it with the colour.

In this example I wanted the filled colour to be as solid as possible, so I created copies then merged them, following the same process we used earlier. We should now have three layers: the layer filled with the background colour, and two layers of the subject.

10/ Now make one of the hidden layers visible by clicking on its eye icon in the Layers Panel then move it above the filled layer by using the green arrows just below the layers area. Right click on the top layer and from the dropdown menu select Merge Down. You should now have two layers.

Removing Remnants Of  Background Colour From The Image

Once the background has been removed you may still see around the subject a slight outline of the original background colour, but the next few steps will fix that. The image should still have a selection around it (the dotted line) and we'll need this. If however you've already hit Select > None, just create another alpha to selection using the same method you did earlier.

11/ From the image window menu click on Select > Shrink.

12/ The small window that appears allows you to shrink the selection area by a given number of pixels. In this example one pixel should be enough, but this may be different for your image, so a little trial and error may be needed. After you've chosen the amount of pixels to shrink the selection by hit the OK button.

13/ Now go back to the Select menu and this time hit Invert from the drop down menu. This will mean that everything that was outside of the original selection is now selected. Hit the Delete key on your keyboard to delete the selection. Any unsightly outline to your subject containing the background colour has now been deleted.

Touching Up The Completed  Image

This is essentially all that is involved in removing the background from a Second Life image, but you may find there are still some areas that need touching up. In this example, looking closer at the hat feather shows that it still contains the green from the background. In the next few steps we'll see how this can be fixed.

The following images have been given a white background to make them clearer. When you follow these steps however, the background in the Gimp image window will have the checkerboard background that indicates transparency.

14/ From the Toolbox Panel select the Eraser tool, then in the image window zoom into the area you want to work on, in this instance its the feather. Carefully erase the feather trying to keep a clean outline to the hat.

15/  In the Layers Panel hide the layer with the erased feather by clicking its eye icon, then make the remaining layer visible and ensure it is now the active layer. From the Toolbox select the Paths tool as shown above.

16/  In the image window use the Path tool to create a path around the feather, clicking your left mouse button when you want to change direction, and finishing where the path began. From the bottom half  of the Toolbox Panel hit the Selection From Path button and the selection should turn into a line of what is known as marching ants, (it will essentially look the same as the dotted line from the earlier alpha to selection we made).

17/ From the image window menu hit Select > Invert and then hit the delete key. The area you originally selected should be all you see of the layer. You'll see the colour of the feather should be quite clear, but to give it more strength you can create a copy of the layer and merge them both.

18/ In the Layers Panel place the feathers layer below the subject layer then merge them.

Although this process may seem quite involved, this  is in fact a very quick and dirty way to remove a background from an image, although bear in mind the image will probably need working on afterwards.

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Machinima Basics

This tutorial is for those who have seen machinima created within Second life and would like to learn how to get started. It covers how to set up the Second Life viewer in preparation for starting to record, and then offers links to other (mostly free) resources to help you record and edit your movie.

What is Machinima?

Machinima is often associated with video games and refers to  video captured within a game. It also refers to video captured in virtual worlds such as Second Life where it often takes on a life of its own, and has become an art form in its own right

About The Slideshow

The slideshow tutorial is best watched fullscreen by clicking here. It can also be downloaded for future reference as a PDF file by clicking the cog wheel icon and selecting 'download as PDF'.

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Creating Glitch Art With Second Life Images

One of the current trends in digital art is the intentional corruption of image files to simulate interferences, or a broken image. Rather than throwing one's arms in the air in frustration at a corrupted file, glitch art embraces these errors and turns them into art. This is of course possible to do with images taken in Second Life, and if you'd like to turn your preciously refined snapshots into a different kind of art form thats all the rage, then follow this tutorial on creating glitch art with Second Life images.


To create your glitch art you will first need a snapshot saved as a BMP file and edited to your liking. Secondly you'll need to install Audacity, which can be downloaded for free by following the link. Although Audacity is an audio editing software it works well for opening BMP image files and using its features to add errors to the image.

I took the above image at The Great Fissure in Second Life, which I then cropped and tweaked a little in Gimp. Once you have downloaded Audacity follow the steps below. You can click on the pictures to see full size.

1/ Start up Audacity then select File > Import > Raw Data.

2/ Navigate to the BMP image you want to use then select Open. In the window that opens (see above), select U-Law from the first drop down menu and Little-endian from the second. Now click Import.

3/ The image will appear in Audacity as if its an audio file, and if you want you can press the play button to listen to it (it will probably sound terrible). Drag your cursor over part of the 'audio' wave (highlighted in red), avoiding the beginning as this contains important information that allows the file to be opened.

4/ Now click on the Effect menu and from the drop down list select one of the editing options. There is some trial and error here to find which of the Effects options creates distortions to the image that you like.

6/ In this example Change Pitch has been selected and in the opening window shown above I randomly played with the settings before hitting OK.

7/ Drag your cursor over another section of the 'wave' to select another part of the file, and then select another option from the Effects menu. In this example Wahwah was chosen. When you have tweaked the settings hit OK again.

8/ Select random parts of the file and then select other options from the Effects menu. Its probably best not to do this too many times to begin with, until you have an idea how the image will be affected. There will be some trial and error involved, although the whole process doesn't take too long, so creating new images from scratch if you need to isn't too time consuming.

9/ When you are ready, select File > Export and the window above will open. Name your file and give it a BMP extension, highlighted in red. Navigate to the folder where you want to save your image and click Save.

12/ If everything has gone to plan you should see a window as above. Click Yes.

13/ The above window will now appear. Click OK and your image will be saved to your PC.

This is how the image from Audacity looked when I saved it to my PC. Sometimes when you try to open the image in Window's image viewer it may not recognise the file. If this happens try opening it in Gimp or Paint and saving it again, maybe as a PNG file. Sometimes unfortunately you'll just have to start again.


Using Audacity is not the only way to create Glitch art. In fact there is an online resource at which can be used to further work on an image after exporting it from Audacity, or the website can be used by itself. The above image shows the Audacity image after being worked on further at Snorpey.

Using the website is quite intuitive. First you'll need a PNG or Jpeg image to upload (not a BMP file this time), and then its a matter of adjusting the four sliders above the image to get the result you want. There is also a Randomise button to experiment with.

Once you have finished editing the image hit the download button and then click on 'download bitmap file', to save it to your PC.

The above image shows the same subject edited entirely on  Snorkey without using Audacity. Although the website is very effective and easy to use, the end results are different to what Audacity produces, so it will be a personal choice what you use and whether you mix and match both approaches.You may also find Snorkey has a limit on uploaded file sizes.

Thats all there is to creating your own glitch art, so have fun experimenting with your Second Life snapshots and if you feel like it do share them with me online.
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