Monica Balut “Using the Environment Editor”

March 22, 2011

Using the Environment Editor

[16:01] Monica Balut: Someone last week asked about lighting. There are essentially two ways to affect the lighting on a subject. One is to have one or more objects nearby that emit light. This is what the lights in studios do. We can talk about that at a future workshop.
[16:02] Monica Balut: The other, and more versatile way, is to use the Environment Editor. This is what we will focus on t
[16:02] Monica Balut: Feel free to add your own comments as we go along.
[16:02] Monica Balut: Some people talk about using Windlight. Windlight was the name of the project that Linden Labs used a couple years ago to create a way to allow users to manipulate how the SL environment looks.
[16:03] Monica Balut: All of the Windlight features are found in the Environment Editor now. The Windlight name has stuck so people use the two terms synonymously: Environment Editor = Windlight.
[16:03] Monica Balut: Any changes you make in the environment editor are seen only by you. It produces entirely viewer side effects.
[16:03] Monica Balut: To see its effects, your graphics preferences should be set to High or Ultra.
[16:04] Monica Balut: By the way, to take the best photographs you should should set graphics to ultra if your video card can handle it. The shaders also should be enabled in your graphics preferences.
[16:04] Monica Balut: Lulu talked about all that last week
[16:04] Monica Balut: There are two major components to the environment editor, the Advance Sky Editor and the Advanced Water Editor.
[16:05] Monica Balut: The Advanced Sky Editor allows you to control how the atmosphere, lighting and clouds appear. The Advanced Water Editor similarly allows you to control the way water appears.
[16:05] Monica Balut: Today, I’ll focus mainly on the sky editor. I tend to use that most often. The water editor works much the same way.
[16:05] Monica Balut: Here are some pictures that I recently took with very little or no further editing beyond just using the settings in the Environment Editor.
[16:05] Monica Balut: The sunset was one of my first attempts. The other scenery pic I took for one of Shae’s Through Your Eyes classes.
[16:05] Anigma Eulenberg: and that’s on Ultra?
[16:06] Monica Balut: yeah it’s not nec’re to use ultra
[16:06] Monica Balut: but you’ll get better quality pics
[16:06] Anigma Eulenberg: ok
[16:06] Monica Balut: The final ones to the right are all of the same basic pic taken of me in the Hyde Park – London sim. My aim was to highlight the model with Big Ben in the background. They are just some examples of what you can do with the Environment Editor.
[16:07] Monica Balut: The only thing I did for a few of them was adjust the Sun / Moon Position in the Lighting tab so the light showed my face better with less shadows.
[16:07] Anigma Eulenberg: nice
[16:07] Monica Balut: The next step would be to take the one or two that I like the best and edit them further in my photo editor.
[16:07] Monica Balut: Much of what I’ll talk about here today and more can be found on the SL Wiki page:
[16:07] Monica Balut: Any questions so far before we begin playing with the editor?
[16:07] Anigma Eulenberg: no
[16:08] Monica Balut: Ok, let’s start playing with it. This is better done if we are outside in world some place
[16:08] Leena Bianco: none yet
[16:08] leggzz Brandi: no ty
[16:08] Monica Balut: Let’s all go someplace else now. Let me post the LM. Cosmo (82,100,22)
[16:08] Monica Balut: See you all there.
[16:09] Teleport completed from Manhattan City (11,68,44)
[16:09] The Untroubled Sound Greeter: Welcome to The Untroubled Sound. Enjoy your stay. Monica Balut
[16:09] Leena Bianco: wow nice place
[16:09] Anigma Eulenberg: yes
[16:09] Southern Cross Group Joiner @ The Untroubled Sound: Requesting an invitation to the group…
[16:09] Southern Cross Group Joiner @ The Untroubled Sound: Requesting an invitation to the group…
[16:09] Monica Balut: go over to where the red arrow is
[16:10] Annie Zorric: where are ewe at?
[16:10] Monica Balut: follow me to where the red arrow is
[16:11] Monica Balut shouts: I’m over here
[16:11] Monica Balut: Who did we lose?
[16:12] Annie Zorric: this is a lovely place
[16:12] Anigma Eulenberg: yeah I likeit
[16:12] Anigma Eulenberg: *like it
[16:12] Anigma Eulenberg: I’m already getting pic ideas 😉
[16:12] Monica Balut: I think we lost a few pple
[16:12] Anigma Eulenberg: uh oh
[16:13] Lulu Breuer: are we taking photos are just looking?
[16:13] Leena Bianco: they must be in flight. I do not see them on the map 🙂
[16:13] Annie Zorric: :-0)
[16:14] Annie Zorric: i am in low graphics
[16:14] Annie Zorric: for now
[16:14] Anigma Eulenberg: should we call for them in chat?
[16:14] Annie Zorric: is tough on my poor slow card
[16:14] Monica Balut: I just sent a chat notice
[16:14] Leena Bianco: do we know who we lost
[16:14] Anigma Eulenberg: no worries Annie, my laptop isn’t having it today either lol
[16:14] Anigma Eulenberg: hi SkyStarRose
[16:15] Annie Zorric: 🙂
[16:15] SkyStarRose Violet: hello 🙂
[16:15] Monica Balut: ok I hope everyone made it ok
[16:15] Monica Balut: Let’s continue talking about the Environment Editor
[16:15] Monica Balut: The Environment Editor is accessed from World -> Environment Settings -> Environment Editor in the v 1.23 based viewers (including Phoenix and Imprudence), and from World -> Sun -> Environment Editor in the v 2.0 based viewers. In fact, Impudence has buttons at the bottom of the screen that allow you to open it directly.
[16:16] Monica Balut: Anyone not have that up?
[16:16] Anigma Eulenberg: Phoenix does too 🙂
[16:16] Leena Bianco: got it
[16:16] Anigma Eulenberg: all clear here
[16:16] Annie Zorric: i have 2
[16:16] Monica Balut: Phoenix is a v 1 viewer
[16:16] Annie Zorric: on my extreme right lower corner
[16:16] SkyStarRose Violet: got it now too
[16:16] Lulu Breuer: one is water Annie
[16:16] Annie Zorric: in my PC screen and the one you say
[16:17] Monica Balut: Notice that the Environement editor has two buttons at the bottom for Advanced Sky and Advanced Water. In addition it has sliders that allow you to set the time of day (sun position), cloud cover and fog. I don’t generally use those sliders since you can produce all the effects in the Advanced Sky or Advanced Water editors.
[16:17] Monica Balut: Go ahead and open the Advanced Sky Editor. Notice you can also open that directly from the the main menu.
[16:18] Annie Zorric: yes
[16:18] Monica Balut: Yell out if you don’t follow any of this or you fall behind
[16:18] Monica Balut: Notice the 3 tabs: Atmosphere, Lighting and Clouds.
[16:18] Anigma Eulenberg: yes
[16:18] Monica Balut: Click on the various tabs and notice all the sliders in each tab. For the most part, using the Advanced Sky editor is just a matter of playing with the various sliders until you get an effect that you like.
[16:18] Leena Bianco: yep
[16:19] Monica Balut: The web page I mentioned above goes through what each of those sliders does. Take some time to play with the sliders now to get a feel for what they do. Check out the web page later if you want to study it in more depth.
[16:19] Monica Balut: Let’s take the next five minutes to just play around with the Advanced Sky Editor. Don’t worry, you can’t break anything. Click on the “New” button at the top and enter any name you want. Just avoid the “Save” button for now.
[16:19] Monica Balut: While you’re playing with that, feel free to shout out any questions you may have.
[16:19] Monica Balut: The main one to play with is the Lighting tab
[16:19] Monica Balut: That’s where most of the effects are found
[16:20] SkyStarRose Violet: ohh neat
[16:20] Annie Zorric: yes
[16:20] Monica Balut: Play with the sun/moon position
[16:20] Monica Balut: and east angle
[16:21] Monica Balut: That’s how I positioned the sun in the pic I took of the beach scene
[16:21] Annie Zorric: hummm great
[16:21] Anigma Eulenberg: cool
[16:21] SkyStarRose Violet: there presets too
[16:21] Monica Balut: You can change the color of the sun with the sliders on the left
[16:21] Monica Balut: and change the intensity of the ambient light
[16:22] Leena Bianco: What exactly is Scene Gamma doing except turning the atmosphere dark
[16:22] Monica Balut: Play with scene gamma too
[16:22] Monica Balut: Gamma sets the saturation of colors
[16:22] Monica Balut: It will tend to make the whole scene darker or brigther
[16:22] Leena Bianco: wow big difference when I go ultra
[16:23] Monica Balut: oh yeah you should be in a least high graphics for this
[16:23] Monica Balut: Welll get to the presets in a sec
[16:23] Annie Zorric: lovely
[16:24] Monica Balut: play with the other 2 tabs too
[16:24] Monica Balut: you can get all sorts of wild cloud effects
[16:24] Monica Balut: as well as atmospheric conditions
[16:25] Monica Balut: With most viewers, any setting you make will be lost between log ins
[16:25] Monica Balut: you’ll revert back to the defaults
[16:25] Annie Zorric: yes
[16:25] Annie Zorric: 😦
[16:26] Monica Balut: Phonix allows you to save the current settings and will come back in those settings
[16:26] Monica Balut: many viewers are moving in that direction
[16:26] Leena Bianco: oh time to switch…..
[16:26] Monica Balut: ok any questions about any of this?
[16:26] Anigma Eulenberg: none
[16:26] Leena Bianco: can you move the ambient buttons one at a time
[16:26] Monica Balut: I’ll let you read more about the settings on your own
[16:26] Leena Bianco: I can only move them together
[16:26] SkyStarRose Violet: you explained it very well
[16:27] Monica Balut: the intensity sliders will move all the others
[16:27] Monica Balut: but you can move the RBG independently
[16:27] Leena Bianco: k thx
[16:27] Monica Balut: I have to admit that I don’t play with the settings all that much. I tend to find a preset that I like and make minor changes to it.
[16:27] Anigma Eulenberg: ditto
[16:27] Monica Balut: So what are presets you may ask.
[16:27] Anigma Eulenberg: I’m too lazy to make my own lol
[16:27] Monica Balut: Suppose you play around with all the sliders and find a particular configuration that you like. The editor allows you to save it. (See the “Save” button at the top?) When you do that, you have created a preset.
[16:28] Monica Balut: People from all over SL have create all sorts of presets. Each viewer has some presets already loaded.
[16:28] Monica Balut: I rezzzed a box back at MW on the stage
[16:28] Annie Zorric: Skin designers work with this presets too
[16:29] Monica Balut: It has a bunch of places where you can get other presets
[16:29] Anigma Eulenberg: Caliyah seems to be the most popular one
[16:29] Monica Balut: See the box at the top left? That shows the preset that is currently loaded. When you first open up the editor after starting the viewer, it will likely show as “Default”.
[16:29] Monica Balut: in the Editor
[16:29] Monica Balut: Click on the small down arrow to the right in that box and you will see all the presets loaded in your viewer.
[16:29] Monica Balut: Different viewers have different presets loaded. The Emerald-based viewers, like Phoenix, Imprudence and Emergence have most of the one found on the web already loaded. Other viewers have varying amounts.
[16:30] Monica Balut: Try a few of those now
[16:30] Monica Balut: I use the avataropt alot
[16:31] Lulu Breuer: Nams are good too
[16:31] Monica Balut: Nice effect huh?
[16:31] Anigma EulenbergAnigma Eulenberg nods
[16:31] Monica Balut: Any questions about this?
[16:32] Annie Zorric: no
[16:32] Leena Bianco: no
[16:32] Anigma Eulenberg: no
[16:32] Monica Balut: Let me show you how to add more presets if you want to. There are two ways to add presets.
[16:32] Monica Balut: The hard way is to get a notecard where someone has listed all the settings of the sliders, click on the “New” button, manually set all the sliders yourself and then save it.
[16:33] Monica Balut: the box I rezzed on the stage back at MW has a number of notecards I collected that approach it that way.
[16:33] Monica Balut: go back and get that later
[16:33] Monica Balut: The other way to load presets is to find the preset files themselves and copy them to the correct place on your hard drive.
[16:33] Monica Balut: To do this, you have to be comfortable navigating through the various folders on your hard drive and know how to copy files from one place to another. Many of these come as zip packages that you have to unpack.
[16:34] Monica Balut: Open your web browser to:
[16:34] Monica Balut: If you follow the various links there, you can download all the presets that are included with the Emerald based viewers. The page also shows you where you have to install them on your computer.
[16:34] Monica Balut: Not all the viewers install to the … SecondLife … subfolder. Most viewers have their own subfolders these days.
[16:34] Monica Balut: So, for example, if you are using the Kirsten viewer in a Vista computer, look for C:\Users\YourId\AppData\Roaming\Kirstens S20\user_settings\windlight. Install the sky or water presets into the appropriate folder. Next time you open the viewer you will see the presets you installed.
[16:35] Monica Balut: These days most viewers come with a large set of presets already installed
[16:35] Monica Balut: Any questions about that?
[16:36] Annie Zorric: no
[16:36] Anigma Eulenberg: nope
[16:36] Leena Bianco: no
[16:36] Monica Balut: I haven’t talked much about the water presets, but the principles are the same.
[16:36] Monica Balut: Bring up the water editor and play with it a few minutes
[16:36] Monica Balut: you can get some real nice water effects
[16:37] Monica Balut: There are water presets as well
[16:38] Monica Balut: I used water presets in the pic of the beach scene I showed you as well as in the landscape pic
[16:38] Monica Balut: so by combining sky and water effects you can get almost any setting you want
[16:38] Lulu Breuer: with water you can put in another picture to tile and do some really cool stuff
[16:39] Monica Balut: you mean in your photo editor?
[16:39] Lulu Breuer: no here
[16:39] Monica Balut: expalin
[16:39] Lulu Breuer: if you open water editor there is a texture
[16:39] Lulu Breuer: you can change it
[16:40] Monica Balut: oh yeah
[16:40] Lulu Breuer: to anything
[16:40] Lulu Breuer: like a pic of your face lol
[16:40] Monica Balut: There is actually a way to create a mirror that way
[16:40] Lulu Breuer: or other water
[16:40] Lulu Breuer: yes
[16:40] Anigma Eulenberg: cool
[16:40] Monica Balut: Everone see what Lulu is referring to?
[16:40] Dearra Silbersztein: mirror?
[16:40] Monica Balut: in the Image tab
[16:41] Monica Balut: of the water editor
[16:41] Monica Balut: See the Normal Map
[16:41] Lulu Breuer: no the mirror is something else
[16:41] Monica Balut: if you change that texture you can produce other effects
[16:41] Anigma Eulenberg: wow that is trippy
[16:42] Monica Balut: there was an article I saw that gave you a diff texture
[16:42] Monica Balut: So again … play with all that
[16:42] Monica Balut: I will use the presets a lot when I’m taking snapshots at various sites in world. I sometimes use them when taking pics from a photo studio, but that often defeats the purpose of using the lights that come with the studio. I may or may not use a face or body light for the shot.
[16:43] Monica Balut: in world like this I often use my body light
[16:43] Monica Balut: it illumiates the whole body
[16:43] Monica Balut: not just the fact
[16:43] Monica Balut: face
[16:43] SkyStarRose Violet: so glad I came to this as I am brand new learning this stuff
[16:43] SkyStarRose Violet: I had never used this
[16:43] Monica Balut: I use that to complement the Windligt setting
[16:44] Leena Bianco: not heard of body light
[16:44] SkyStarRose Violet: body light but the other sky and ocean I had never used
[16:45] Leena Bianco: cool thanks
[16:45] Monica Balut: go to my shop
[16:45] Anigma Eulenberg: hi amethyst
[16:45] Monica Balut: I give it away as a gift
[16:45] Anigma Eulenberg: ty Monica
[16:45] amethys Inglewood: hello everyone 🙂
[16:45] Monica Balut: It’s not as fancy as some other face lights
[16:45] Monica Balut: but it does do the whole body
[16:45] Lulu Breuer: hiTy 🙂
[16:45] Monica Balut: Questions?
[16:45] Leena Bianco: Hi TyTy
[16:46] amethys Inglewood: Hey Lulu , hey ladies
[16:46] Monica Balut: Hi amethys
[16:46] Leena Bianco: None yet
[16:46] Monica Balut: I did a quick Google search and came up with the following tutorials on how to use the Environment Editor in SL photography and on taking pictures in general:
[16:46] Anigma Eulenberg: no
[16:46] Monica Balut: A general tutorial by Torley Linden on how to take snapshots in SL
[16:46] Monica Balut: A list of video tutorials available on the subject
[16:46] Monica Balut: General tutorials:

Gogo’s Updated Windlight tutorial

[16:47] Monica Balut: Let’s talk a little about shadows. Essentailly shadowing works essentially as you would expect. The sun, moon and lights will have shadows cast by objects blocking their litght.
[16:47] Monica Balut: Some viewers allow the effect, others do not. Each has a different way of enabling shadows and options if it’s allowed in the viewer.
[16:47] Monica Balut: If you can enable it in your viewer, shadows allows a whole other dimension to lighting and can be quite dramatic,
[16:47] Dearra Silbersztein: yay, finally shadows 🙂
[16:48] Monica Balut: Be cautioned though, that shadows puts a very large burden on your computer, and unless you have a very powerful computer it may not work well and may even crash your viewer. Shadows also do not play well with anitialiasing and anisotropic filtering enabled in the viewer. I’ve also had trouble at times taking pictures with shadows enabled.
[16:48] Anigma EulenbergAnigma Eulenberg sighs…someday I’ll upgrade to system that can handle shadows
[16:48] Monica Balut: At best, if you can use it, your FPS will slow down considerably.
[16:48] Annie Zorric: hahah
[16:48] Monica Balut: I wasn’t able to find how to enable shadows in the v2 SL viewer. Does anyone know how to do that?
[16:49] Anigma Eulenberg: pfft, my laptop goes into cardiac arrest if I try lol
[16:49] Anigma Eulenberg: oh Berry has a tutorial on her blog
[16:49] Anigma Eulenberg:
[16:49] Monica Balut: try disabling antialiasing and anisotropic filtering Anigma
[16:49] Dearra Silbersztein: yup
[16:49] Lulu Breuer: i did it
[16:49] Lulu Breuer: on viewer 2
[16:49] Anigma Eulenberg: but don’t you need those to remove jagged edges?
[16:50] Lulu Breuer: you have to do a bunchh of setting that i can’t remember
[16:50] Monica Balut: you have a choice of one or the other
[16:50] Lulu Breuer: i found a vidoe on you tube that showed how
[16:50] Anigma Eulenberg: lovely lol
[16:50] Lulu Breuer: i just googled it
[16:50] Dearra Silbersztein: I usually use Kirstens for something more than just playing SL. But when turn shadows all turns very blurry 😦
[16:50] Monica Balut: but If you set AA and AF in your video card directtly you may be able to have both
[16:50] Monica Balut: I use the Kirsten viewer, a v2 based viewer geared to photography. In Kirsten’s, shadows are easitly enabled right from the main graphics window.
[16:51] Anigma Eulenberg: tried that, doesn’t seem to make much difference tho
[16:51] Monica Balut: Pheonix and Imprudence also support shadows. Enabling it in those viewers is a bit more complicated. The setting is buried deep in the advance buttons of the preference window or in advanced tabs in the Phoenix tab. If someone using those viewers can point people to it, please do.
[16:51] Monica Balut: If your viewer has shadows, try playing with that. If you want to do that now, perhaps some of us can answer questions if you have any.
[16:51] Anigma Eulenberg: oh Phoenix has shadows under their Advance Graphics sub tab
[16:52] Anigma Eulenberg: it’s under the Phoenix tab in preferences
[16:52] Monica Balut: You have to be in ultra graphics to use shadow
[16:52] Annie Zorric: nice to know
[16:52] Anigma Eulenberg: yeah therein lies the issue, I need a serious graphics card upgrade to support that lol
[16:52] Monica Balut: Sometimes you have to disable and re-enable it for it to work
[16:53] Monica Balut: Yeah it will bring many cards to their knees
[16:53] Annie Zorric: i have a whimp card 😦
[16:53] Anigma Eulenberg: knees, comatose, it’s all good lol
[16:53] Anigma Eulenberg: awww don’t worry, mine is outdated too 🙂
[16:53] Monica Balut: I had troubel even in my powerhouse compture
[16:54] Monica Balut: until I disabled AA and AF in the viewer
[16:54] Monica Balut: So this is all I have to say about this today. Does anyone have other questions or comments?
[16:54] SkyStarRose Violet: ok what is the aa and af?
[16:54] Monica Balut: anti aliasing
[16:54] SkyStarRose Violet: ok thx
[16:54] Monica Balut: and anisotropic filtering
[16:54] Dearra Silbersztein: 🙂
[16:54] SkyStarRose Violet: so disable when using shadow?
[16:54] Monica Balut: yes
[16:55] SkyStarRose Violet: ok got it ty
[16:55] Monica Balut: and try enabling directly in your video card sorftware
[16:55] Monica Balut: That worked for me
[16:55] SkyStarRose Violet: ok will do
[16:55] Lulu Breuer: yeah i do it that way too
[16:55] Monica Balut: I can get both effects that way
[16:56] Monica Balut: Try to experiment with all this. The key is to play with it until you feel comfortable.
[16:56] Lulu Breuer: i crash if i try to do shadows with AA of AF
[16:56] Monica Balut: yeah me too
[16:56] Monica Balut: Many of us in the Tue photo group use these settings a lot when we do a Through your Eyes exercise that Shae had us do. In fact, we should think about doing one of those as just using the Environment Editor without furture editing with a photo editor.
[16:57] Monica Balut: At some point too, I could give a class on how to use artificail lights, perhaps making your own or using the lighting system in our photo studio. This can work nicely in conjunction with the Environment editor.
[16:57] Monica Balut: Lulu was going to talk about photography theory next week
[16:57] Monica Balut: or I could talke about artificail lighting
[16:58] Monica Balut: Wahat’s your preference folks?
[16:58] SkyStarRose Violet: either would be helpful
[16:58] Anigma Eulenberg: either one is good for me but probably lighting would go better to follow what we learned so far
[16:58] Monica Balut: How many want the Lulu show
[16:58] Monica Balut: and how many want the Monica show
[16:58] Monica Balut: LOL
[16:58] Anigma Eulenberg: hehehe
[16:58] SkyStarRose Violet: haha
[16:58] Lulu Breuer: hehe
[16:59] SkyStarRose Violet: well how bout 1 one week and one the next
[16:59] Lulu Breuer: no let put people on the spot monica
[16:59] Monica Balut: yeah but which first?
[16:59] Leena Bianco: will Lulu show allow me to begin playing with photoshop…lol I have a 30 day trial 🙂
[16:59] SkyStarRose Violet: ok lighting
[16:59] SkyStarRose Violet: 1st
[16:59] SkyStarRose Violet: then theory
[16:59] Anigma Eulenberg: yeah that sounds like a good order
[16:59] Monica Balut: no the photo editor is still a couple weeks off
[16:59] Leena Bianco: yeah I agree with Sky..the basics first
[16:59] SkyStarRose Violet: only because lighting goes with what we learned today
[16:59] Monica Balut: we are just starting with taking good pics
[17:00] Leena Bianco: kk then lighting
[17:00] Anigma Eulenberg: I don’t think theory will make sense if we don’t know how to light properly
[17:00] Monica Balut: Sounds like more for lighting
[17:00] Monica Balut: We’ll use our photostudion
[17:01] Anigma Eulenberg: awesome then you can show us how to make those lights tranparent for the shot lol
[17:01] Monica Balut: I’ll show you how to set up Windlight to take good studio pics using thel lights
[17:01] Monica Balut: then I’ll show you how to make your own lights
[17:01] Leena Bianco: nice
[17:01] Monica Balut: and use a gazer
[17:01] SkyStarRose Violet: yes I need that part too Ani
[17:01] Annie Zorric: 🙂
[17:02] Monica Balut: and the folowing week we’ll get into the theory
[17:02] SkyStarRose Violet: sounds like a plan
[17:02] Monica Balut: then we should be ready to play with photo editors


One thought on “Monica Balut “Using the Environment Editor”

    news said:
    June 4, 2012 at 12:43 am

    Just to let you know your website appears a little bit unusual in Safari on my pc with Linux .


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