Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Mar Dwi speaks about art



How to make photos look decent in SL

For starters -

SL will only save textures in dimensions of base2 numbers - ie 128, 256, 512, 1024 - whether you save them in world or upload them from your PC.

The default snapshot saves your entire screen (eg 800x600) as 512x512 regardless of your display dimensions.

Any graphics you upload will be squished down to the nearest base2 number (if it's 1023x511 SL will still take it down to 512x256).

Instead of snapshots, "choose save to disk" and you will get a bitmap (.bmp) at 800x600 (or whatever your screen resolution is - i'll stick with this for an easy example) on your PC.


What you then do depends what you want to do with the picture in SL.

*If you want to make a photo to give out as a texture,

-crop it to a square or 2x1 rectangle

-resize a square to 512x512 or 256x256, etc
-resize a 2x1 to 512x256, 1024x512

Then upload and it will appear normally proportioned on screen in SL


*If you want to frame a picture in world

- crop it to whatever looks good
- resize up or down to the nearest base2 number (so an 800x600 you could take to 512x512 or 1024x512** - it doesn't greatly matter cos you'll be stretching it when you frame it.


**There is special place in hell for those who use a 1024x1024 texture on, say, a door knob. 512x512 is more than enough for most things - just think how many pixels an image will actually be taking up on someone's screen - many ppl's monitors can't even show a 1024x1024 fully.

Once it's uploaded, make a single prim cube

- edit the dimensions of the facing side to the exact proportions that you cropped the pic to before you resized it. (eg for 800x600 you make your prim face 8x6, or 4x3 etc. Don't worry how big it is yet)
- Drag your texture onto that side and it will look perfect.

- Resize your prim by dragging the corner (not a side!) to make it smaller or larger. Don't move a side cos this will change your proportions again.
If you find it won't let you make it as small as you want, it's because the smallest side is hitting 0.01 and can't go any lower. Increase this and you can stretch it smaller again.

In the texture tab, set the picture side to "full bright". Then it will still show at night.

If you want to colour the prim, colour the whole thing, and then "select texture" on your picture side only and change it to white.

---

Oh and if you want a pic to not look mangled in profiles, crop to approx 4x3 (Profile) and 5x3 (Picks)***. Again do this before resizing to 512 etc.

***and whatever genius decided to make those two different proportions will be spending eternity with the oversized uploaders.

Enjoy!
Zanara :)
______________
Zanara Zenovka
May 08

Guide to selling art in Second Life


1. Introduction
As a gallery owner in Second Life I often get questions from artists who want to sell their art in SL. In this guide I will try to answer the most frequent questions.

1.1 About me
I am Mar Dwi. I am the creator of the Second Life Art Community Centre and I am a RL and SL photographer. I have got almost one year experience in the SL art scene. Starting with a tiny 15 m2 gallery I have expanded to the 3000 m2 museum I own now (the SLACC􀀂 , SLACC weblog: http://slartcommunitycentre.blogspot.com ). I give workshops about recreating RL art in SL and about SL photography and as teacher and as owner of the SLACC I have been asked many questions about selling art in SL.
I haven’t seen it all but I have seen a lot. With this guide I hope to share my knowledge with you.

1.2 About you
I have made a few assumptions about you. Based on these assumptions I will or will not explain certain things in this guide.
You are an artists and you would like to show and/or sell your art in Second Life.
You know how to recreate RL art in SL (if not, IM me to ask when I give my next course).
You haven’t got a lot of experience with selling and/or showing your art in SL.

1.3 Distribution of this guide
You may use this guide for your own education and understanding of SL. You give this guide to other people but you may NOT sell this guide or parts of this guide. If you want to have a kiosk where people can get a free copy of this guide on your land, IM Mar Dwi.
If you have questions about these rights and conditions, IM Mar Dwi.
When you appreciate my efforts to make SL easier for you, feel free to give a donation to the Second Life Art Community Centre 􀀁 or to me personally.


2. Why sell your art in SL?
Before uploading your art and selling it you have to ask yourself one important question: Why do I want to do this? Selling and showing your art in SL will take time and it may cost money too.
Do you want to sell RL art by building a network of ‘fans’ in SL? Would you like to earn some pocket money? Do you want people to see your art and give feedback? Do you want to provoke or start a debate with your art? Anything is possible, nothing is wrong or right, just make sure you know what you want to do.
Also ask yourself how much money you are willing to pay or lose to show or sell your art in Second Life. As in real life, the art business isn’t always a profitable business.

3. Finding a gallery
There are four possible types of places where you can show and or sell your art.
1. You can start your own gallery
2. You can rent a space in a big gallery or museum
3. You can show and sell your art in a gallery or museum where the owner takes a commission.
4. You can show and or sell your art in a gallery where you don’t have to pay the owner anything. (e.g. at the Gaori art centre)

3.1 How to start your own gallery
• Use the land search to find a nice piece of land and buy it or rent it. When buying or renting estate land make sure that the estate covenant allows art galleries. When in doubt, contact the estate owner.
• Build a gallery or buy a prefab building (www.slexchange.com might be of help to find a prefab building).
• Put your art on the floor, wall or ceiling
• Get your gallery listed on the list of galleries in SL. To do so, go to http://slexchange.com/modules.php?name=Marketplace&file=item&ItemID=422216 and get a free kiosk. Drop it at your gallery and follow the instructions you will be given. If this doesn't work, check out Sasun Steinbecks profile pics for more information and help.
• Attract people to your gallery. Create events and give parties. Use your immagination and friends network.

3.2 How to rent a space in a big gallery or museum
• Use the gallery tour HUD or the search engine to find a big gallery or museum. (If you don’t have the gallery tour HUD yet, visit the Second Life Art Community Centre (http://slurl.com/secondlife/Lilac%20Island/38/31/22 􀀀 and click the big easel which says ‘galleries of Second Life’ at the north side of the building. Search your inventory for ‘tour HUD’ and wear it. TP somewhere else and the HUD will become active (scripts don’t work at the SLACC). You can also visit http://sl-artgalleries.blogspot.com and visit galleries by clicking the links there.
• Search for an information sign and/or rental box and ‘touch’ it. You will now receive information which tells you how to rent a gallery or who to ask for more information. If there is no such sign, edit one of the walls or open the ‘about land’ menu to find out who the owner of the gallery is. IM him or her to ask for more information.
• Make sure that the prim limit and rent price are in line with your needs and possibilities (check chapter 2)
• Rent a gallery and put your art on the floor, wall or ceiling. If this isn’t possible, IM the curator or owner so he/she can add you to the land group
• Attract people to your gallery. Create events and give parties. Use your immagination and friends network.

3.3 How to get your art in a commission gallery
• Use the gallery tour HUD or the search engine to find a big gallery or museum. (If you don’t have the gallery tour HUD yet, visit the Second Life Art Community Centre (http://slurl.com/secondlife/Lilac%20Island/38/31/22 􀀀 and click the big easel which says ‘galleries of Second Life’ at the north side of the building. Search your inventory for ‘tour HUD’ and wear it. TP somewhere else and the HUD will become active (scripts don’t work at the SLACC). You can also visit http://sl-artgalleries.blogspot.com and visit galleries by clicking the links there.
• Search for an information sign about the gallery and ‘touch’ it. If there is no such sign, edit one of the walls or open the ‘about land’ menu to find out who the owner of the gallery is. IM him or her to ask for more information.
• Make sure you understand all conditions for showing and selling your art at this gallery. Often you’ll have to give the owner a full permission copy of your art. This means that he/she can do anything he likes with your art. Also resell it without your permission. You’ll have to trust the gallery owner. When in doubt, search another gallery.
• Attract people to your gallery. Create events and give parties. Use your immagination and friends network.


3.4 How to get your art in a ‘free gallery’
• Use the gallery tour HUD or the search engine to find a big gallery or museum. (If you don’t have the gallery tour HUD yet, visit the Second Life Art Community Centre (http://slurl.com/secondlife/Lilac%20Island/38/31/22 􀀀 and click the big easel which says ‘galleries of Second Life’ at the north side of the building. Search your inventory for ‘tour HUD’ and wear it. TP somewhere else and the HUD will become active (scripts don’t work at the SLACC). You can also visit http://sl-artgalleries.blogspot.com and visit galleries by clicking the links there.
• Search for an information sign about the gallery and ‘touch’ it. If there is no such sign, edit one of the walls or open the ‘about land’ menu to find out who the owner of the gallery is. IM him or her to ask for more information.
• In most free galleries you can rez your art yourself. However, often you are not allowed to sell your art. Make sure you understand all conditions before showing your art at a ‘free gallery’
• Attract people to your gallery. Create events and give parties. Use your immagination and friends network.


4. Selling art
Now you have a place to show and/or sell your art but you’re not selling anything yet. Selling your art requires you to take action. Invite people to your gallery, talk with them and make them like you and your art.

4.1 No visitors, no sales
When nobody visits your gallery, you won’t sell anything. Therefore you have to find ways to get people to visit your gallery. You have to use your creativity to find your own way of doing this. I will tell you the most important tricks I learned.
• Give parties. With every gallery opening, change of exhibition, birthday or anything you can think of, invite all your friends and send invitations to art groups. Make sure you are present when all these people show up.
• Join the Art & Artists Network! Group. This is the most important marketing tool for art in SL. Send a notice with a landmark to this group every time you organise an event at your gallery.
• Get your gallery listed at Sasun Steinbeck’s gallery list. See chapter 3.1 for more details.
• Change the art in your exhibition often. When people notice there is something new to see every two weeks, they’ll come back more often.
• Open more than one gallery. Many artists have one main gallery on their own land and rent small galleries in museums to attract people to their main gallery.
• Create events in all your galleries. Give parties or courses, talk about your art, organise a building competition. Use your imagination and come up with something special.

4.2 Second Life’s economy
Even when you master all skills required to sell art, you might not be able to sell art. The general economy of Second Life has great influence on all sub-markets, also the art market. When you’ve tried it all but still haven’t sold anything. Check the economy pages on the Second Life website. Maybe it’s just a bad time for business.
http://secondlife.com/whatis/economy_stats.php
http://secondlife.com/whatis/economy-graphs.php
http://secondlife.com/whatis/economy-market.php
http://blog.secondlife.com/category/economy/


Plug
I wrote this guide in my own time and I spread it for free, just like I give all my courses for free. When you appreciate my efforts to help you and other artists to discover the art scene in SL feel free make a donation to me or the Second Life Art Community Centre􀀃.
When you have comments on or questions about this guide you’re welcome to IM me.
I wish you all the best with your virtual art business and I hope you’ll enjoy it!

Mar Dwi

[2:54] Mar Dwi: Welcome Rober1236
[2:55] Connecting to in-world Voice Chat...
[2:55] You: Hi
[2:55] Connected
[2:55] Mar Dwi: Hello Korgi, welcome
[2:56] Korgi Lerwick: Hi Mar
[2:56] Mar Dwi: Hi Squishypaint, welcome
[2:56] Squishypaint Aabye: hi Mar
[2:58] Mar Dwi: Since we'll have to wait a few minutes untill everyone is here I suggest I'll start by asking those who are here allready what you'd like to learn.
[2:59] Mar Dwi: Let's start with Rober1236, is there something in particular you'd like me to talk about today?
[2:59] You: Oh I am just curious
[2:59] You: I blog about SL really and go to a lot of events so I am more of a reporter
[2:59] Squishypaint Aabye: i think we got the upload and framing thing down pat... was curious too....lol
[2:59] Korgi Lerwick: I think that covers us too
[2:59] You: is it okay if I upload the text from this to my blog?
[2:59] Squishypaint Aabye: and check the gallery
[2:59] Interested in renting a gallery? Touch this sign: Thank you for requesting this information
[3:00] Mar Dwi: yes, it's okay to upload the text to your blog
[3:00] Interested in renting a gallery? Touch this sign: Thank you for requesting this information
[3:00] Mar Dwi: most of the things I cover in my lectures I have also written in a guide. I'll give all of you a copy
[3:00] Elena Furse is Offline
[3:01] Mar Dwi: so, most of you are just curious. Anyone who has specific questions allready or shall I just talk about the things I usually discuss during a lecture?
[3:03] Korgi Lerwick: W edon't mean to be rude but we must go .... we have other things we need to attend to :)
[3:03] Squishypaint Aabye: cya
[3:03] Mar Dwi: k
[3:03] Mar Dwi: have a nice day
[3:04] Mar Dwi: I usually talk about file type and size, uploading textures, framing textures and finding a gallery
[3:04] Cavin McGinnis: can you tell the right file format that sud be used to upload
[3:05] Mar Dwi: you can choose for .bmp, .jpg and .tga. However, SL converts all of them to jpeg2000
[3:05] Mar Dwi: if you don't need see through textures, I suggest you'd use .jpg
[3:05] Cavin McGinnis: what about .png images??? they seem to be visible even thru walls
[3:05] You: and see through?
[3:07] Mar Dwi: see through textures are used to make clothes, plants and complicated shapes (cars e.g.)
[3:07] You: But which file formate does see through?
[3:07] Mar Dwi: I guess artists can find a use for it too but most people just want to upload square textures. Copies of paintings and photographs e.g.
[3:07] You: gif on th eweb
[3:08] Cavin McGinnis: gif is not supported by SL if i am not wrong
[3:08] Mar Dwi: 32 bit .tga allows you to use an 'alpha layer'. With this layer you can mask parts of the texture that become see through in SL
[3:08] Mar Dwi: Hi Artist, welcome
[3:09] Mar Dwi: I also advise not to upload textures larger than 1024x512 or 512x1024 pixels
[3:09] artist Loon: hi
[3:10] Mar Dwi: the maximum size for textures in SL is 1024x1024 pixels but if you use these in a gallery like this (we've got about 300 textures) it generates a lot of lag
[3:10] Mar Dwi: Hardly anyone can see the diference between 1024x512 and 1024x1024 pixels but the diference in lag is huge
[3:10] Mar Dwi: In most cases you won't need more than 512x512 pixels anyway.
[3:11] Mar Dwi: For clothing it's diferent but most other kinds of art can do with less than 1024x1024 pixels
[3:11] Mar Dwi: I'll make some space for you to sit artist
[3:12] Mar Dwi: Does anyone of you have trouble with framing art?
[3:12] artist Loon: thx u
[3:12] Mar Dwi: putting a texture on a prim
[3:13] Mar Dwi: if not I'll talk about an 'advanced' way of framing. Creating a frame with picture from one prim
[3:13] Mar Dwi: it works like this
[3:14] Cavin McGinnis: tappering?
[3:14] Mar Dwi: remember, you can copy and save the local chat
[3:14] Mar Dwi: yes, tappering and using diferent colours and textures for diferent sides of the prim
[3:14] Mar Dwi: rotate the prim 90 degrees
[3:14] Cavin McGinnis: okie, i used to do that to my arts earlier
[3:15] Mar Dwi: make the prim almost flat
[3:15] Mar Dwi: The dimensions now are x: 2.000 y: 1.500 Z:0.086
[3:15] Mar Dwi: taper x and taper y 0.05
[3:16] Mar Dwi: I'll make the prim even more flat
[3:16] Mar Dwi: texture: blank
[3:16] Mar Dwi: texture color: black
[3:17] Mar Dwi: now select 'select texutre' and select the front side of the prim
[3:17] Mar Dwi: color white
[3:17] Mar Dwi: drag a texture to the white side
[3:17] Mar Dwi: some how I always manage to get the picture upside down :s
[3:17] Mar Dwi: select 'position' and rotate the prim
[3:18] Mar Dwi: select full bright and adjust the dimensions of the prim to match the dimensions of the original texture
[3:19] Mar Dwi: questions?
[3:20] Mar Dwi: if you like you can take a copy of this prim to study or use yourself
[3:20] Mar Dwi: it's full perm
[3:20] Cavin McGinnis: ok thx
[3:21] Mar Dwi: Once you've created art in SL you'll probably want to show it somewhere
[3:21] Mar Dwi: so you'll start looking for a gallery or start your own
[3:22] Mar Dwi: I did both and ended up managing this place :)
[3:22] Mar Dwi: Sasun Steinbeck made a really nice tool to help you find galleries
[3:22] Mar Dwi: it's a HUD that guides you to all galleries in SL
[3:23] Mar Dwi: when you touch the easel next to the wishing well you'll receive a copy
[3:23] Galleries of SL Kiosk: Thank you! Your gallery list will be delivered to you soon!
[3:23] Galleries of SL Kiosk: Thank you! Your gallery list will be delivered to you soon!
[3:23] Mar Dwi: You can also find the list at http://sl-artgalleries.blogspot.com
[3:24] Mar Dwi: Before renting a gallery, make sure to read the rules. Also talk with the owner.
[3:25] Mar Dwi: There is a huge diversity of systems for running museums in SL, not all will suit you
[3:25] Mar Dwi: before showing your ar there, think about why you want to do this
[3:25] Mar Dwi: Do you want to make money? Do you want to reach a new audience, Do you want to make profit or is it okay to put some RL money into it?
[3:26] Mar Dwi: The answers to these questions will help you finding museums you like
[3:26] Mar Dwi: and promoting your art
[3:27] Mar Dwi: That was the fastest lecture I ever gave :) Any questions?
[3:28] Cavin McGinnis: thx
[3:29] Mar Dwi gave you Zanara's Quick Guide to SL Photography, Uploading and Framing.
[3:29] artist Loon: thx u mar
[3:29] Mar Dwi: yw
[3:29] Mar Dwi gave you Guide to selling art in Second Life v1.2.
[3:29] artist Loon: byee all
[3:30] Mar Dwi: have a nice day artist!
[3:30] Cavin McGinnis: thx cya dar
[3:31] artandsoul Constantine: hello
[3:31] artandsoul Constantine: are you here?
[3:31] Mar Dwi: Hi artandsoul

Rober1236 Jua the Cyber Trekker of Second Life
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