SECONDLIFE PHOTOART - TUTORIAL
Removing "JAGGED ANGLE EDGES" from SL Photos using PS SMUDGE Tool
This is my 1st Tutorial ever (much less for this DA SL-PhotoArt group). I thought this would be a valuable tutorial for some of our group members that are new to SL Photography and photo art.THE PROBLEM IN SL PHOTOGRAPHY
When taking photos within SL you are technically take a snapshot or an advanced form of "screen capture" of 2D renderings of a 3D created view. The 2D views is obviously all digital and therefore made up of very small pixels. The higher the resolution of your capture, the more pixels are used to create the image.
The problem is that unless you take a very high resolution snapshot within SL (which you actually can to by custom setting your resolution - I use 4500x2385 for my snapshots in SL), you will very quickly see that any edges of objects that are not perfectly vertical or horizontal, will show an ugly pixelated jagged edge. This jagged edge looks like steps in the line that you follow and this ugly anomaly is most noticable when the agle of the line is just off the perfect horizontal or vertical axis.
The problem becomes less noticable when using very high resolution snapshots BUT its still there.
This is still an issue even with Digital photos in Real Life if you zoom in close enough to see it. But because SL runs at a much lower resolution to allow for animations to be possible, its extremely noticable to SL photos.
If you are wanting to create a realistic RL photo art from an raw SL photo - these jagged lines dramatically reduce the realism of the photo and its beauty.GENERAL SOLUTIONS TO REDUCING THESE "JAGGED EDGES"
There are several ways to remove these ugly jagged edges. You can use some or all of these methods to reduce them in SL photos:
1) Substantially increase the SL snapshot resolution. Again, I take snapshots at 4500x2385 but you can even go higher (you dont have to take snapshots at the limit of your monitor and that is why SL photography is not just screenshots as some non-SL DA artist think we are doing). The higher the resolution, the less pronounced the jagged edges - but not gone. WARNING... you better have a good computer when taking high res photos or you might crash when you take the photo - its real intense on your PC to take such high res photos - BUT WORTH IT.
2) The "BLUR" tool in PS to blur the jagged angles. This is sometimes effective for me and works in some situations but by blurring the jagged edge, you are also softening the line itself which you may not want.
3) The "CLONE" tool in PS to heal a bad jagged line. Although the CLONE tool is one of my fave tools in PS for SL Photo Art work, I find this tool only useful when the SL photo edge is so distorted that tools like Blur and Smudge would take too long to fix.
4) The "SMUDGE" TOOL in PS. This is the most effective tool I know in PS to directly address pixelated jagged angled lines in SL photos. The next section talks in detail of this method.THE PS "SMUDGE" TOOL TO FIX JAGGED ANGLED LINES
I will not give a detailed explanation of how to use the PS SMUDGE tool as there are incredible tutorials on how to use the SMUDGE TOOL. In fact here is a link to an excellent YOUTUBE video to show how to use the SMUDGE TOOL in CS2 but the tool is pretty much identical in all versions of PS...
"Photoshop Tutorial : How to Use a Smudge Tool in Adobe Photoshop CS2" : [link]
The smudge tool is best for this job because it basicly blends the zig-zag pixels of the two contrasting colors into one averged line. It will work because even though the SL photo was at a resolution that caused the jaggedness, there is a lot more resolution in the PS image to fill in the gaps. The youtube video does a great job illustrating this.
The key to using the SMUDGE tool to fix SL photo jagged lines is to set your smudge tool to a low enough strength to be able to drag along the jagged lines of your photo to fix the jaggedness BUT not so high that it quickly distorts your image. I use about 10% to 20% stength depending hpw bad the jagged lines are. If you want more accuracy, set strength low but then you will have to rub along the line many times to smooth the jagged edge.
Also, this is important!! Smudge along the line - follow the line as you smudge. DO NOT smudge across the line. You will see what happens if you smudge across the line - the color from one side of the line pushes into the the other color and deforms the line. Sometimes you will want this - often times you will... but most times not.
You must also be aware / careful when your smudge along a jagged line and this line intersects with another line. If you just follow along this line, then the other line will be damaged because of what I just mentioned in the previous paragraph.DEVIATION ILLUSTRATING HOW JAGGED LINES CAN BE FIXED WITH SMUDGE TOOL
The Deviation I have provided here shows these angled jagged lines that was even visible on a high resolution SL photo (when zoomed in) and how I was able to fix all the jagged edges just by using the SMUDGE TOOL.
I would strong advice all my fellow SL PHOTO ARTISTS that are new to SL photography and would like to advance the quality of the SL images, to practice this technique. It can be a bit time consuming at first until you get very familiar with the SMUDGE tool (and other tools I mentioned), but the results are amazing and will improve your photo art dramatically!