Photoshop for SL Screenshots Tutorial, Part 2: Making Your Avatar Figure Flawless With the Liquify Tool
Iris Ophelia's ongoing review of virtual world and MMO fashion
Last week I wrote about a few key areas around the SL avatar head where a little liquifying in Photoshop can go a long way. Unfortunately we all know that avatar bodies are far from perfect too, so today I want to share a few more tips for how to get a more natural-looking body using a Second Life snapshot at that little Liquify brush.
Here's a breakdown of what I did to the picture above:
- Like I mentioned last time, take a minute or two to smooth out any sharp corners or geometric angles around the neck and shoulders. Our eyes tend to travel from the face down across this area, so the smoother the better!
- Breasts in SL are not the most subtle or natural looking part of the avatar by a long way, so I love using liquify to add the look of a little weight/fullness to the bottom of the breast. You can also use the liquify brush to bring the area in a little closer to the ribcage so you can make the shading on the underside of the breasts of your skin look a little less artificial/painted on. If you want to add a little oomph, use a bigger brush and liquify's "Bloat" mode to give yourself a bit of an... enhancement. Protip: You can use these same techniques on your rear for a bootylicious backside, taking care to make sure that the shaping you're doing with liquify matched the shading on your skin for the best results.
- Bent elbows almost always demand liquifying. The inside tends to shear sharply, and the outside will always have a couple unwelcome points. Soften these areas up! Much like elbows, knees almost always benefit from some liquify-love as well. Remove sharp dips and flat edges and, if you're picky like I am, fill in the dip in the thigh above the knee a bit (you won't regret it.)
- Wrists, hands, ankles, and feet are four of the greatest tragedies of the Second Life avatar, and I am not a miracle worker. I've smoothed down the most jagged areas and added a little bit more shape and meat to the palm of the hand and the soles of the feet, but I'm not confident enough to mess with them much more than that. If you aren't either, consider a nice pair of prim hands/feet for your pictures instead.
- You should also pay attention to the gaps under the armpits, the sharp angle of the shoulder blades, and that truly bizarre geometry around the inner thighs and crotch. Though not shown in my picture, the same rules apply: fill in weird dips, smooth out crazy angles, and lower the brush strength if you're struggling to keep things subtle-looking. With practice and patience, your liquified pics will be picture perfect in no time!
Iris Ophelia (Janine Hawkins IRL) has been featured in the New York Times and has spoken about SL-based design at the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan and with pop culture/fashion maven Johanna Blakley.