SL Photography & Lighting

SL Photography

Best resource for Second Life photography can be found on SL Wiki written by Torley Linden.

We also suggest you join lively photographic community on Flickr. Many well known SL photographers are members of Flickr and share tips and tricks on taking and processing photos. You can also join Second Life groups where you can share your work and gain feedback from other members.

You do not need photo studio to take photos in Second Life. If you have basic building skills and can create lighting that is pretty much all that you need – and oh yes Photoshop!

Touching up photos is one of the musts of SL photography. Some of the techniques that are commonly used are:

– adjusting brightness & contrast

– use of color, filters, borders and type

– smoothing out jagged edges on avatar bodies and face (sides of nose, ankles, shoulders, breasts, elbows) as well as correcting clothing imperfections caused by poses.

– working with layers and lighting

– use of gaussian blur for atmosphere and focus


With arrival of Windlight our skies have changed and so has the way our avatars appear under it’s light. You can play with Windlight settings endlessly to achieve desired effect, you can also use your own lighting to add drama to the scene.

Torley Linden also has collection of presets that you can use, available here.

Most people prefer to play with lighting in post processing applications and they needs simple light that is free of excessive shadows and eliminates the need for face light in Second Life.

If this is you – here are the steps for setting up lighting preset that is similar to lighting we had before arrival of additional light options (Windlight).

Please follow all the steps. It requires a bit of effort but results will be worth it.
Remember to save the setting for future use.
Step 1)
go to Edit > Preferences > graphics
– click on the small check box that says custom (to the right of the quality and performance selection bar)
– uncheck the atmospheric shaders and click OK
Setp 2)
Go to World > Environmental settings >  envoronmental editor
– click the advanced sky button
– click on the middle tab that says lighting
– click the new button to create a new setting (save it something so you can find it again easily from the sky preset menu)
– then make sure all the settings a set to match this picture (enlarge it so you can see numbers)

Please follow all the steps listed here. Make sure to save the setting for future use and name it something meaningful to you.

Go to Edit > Preferences > Graphics

Click on the small check box that says CUSTOM and uncheck the atmospheric shaders then click OK.

Go to World > Environmental settings >  Environmental editor

Click on Advanced Sky button > Click on the middle tab that says Lighting

Click the new button to create a new setting and name it.

Then copy each number from image below and click SAVE.

Perfect light

To revert back to those settings as these will reset each time you log in just go to World > Environmental settings >  Environmental Editor > Click on Advanced Sky and select your saved settings from the sky presets menu then close the box.