Media SL Contest – Behind the Scenes

Image submitted for the Media SL contest
This way!

This was the first contest I participated in on flickr.  The prize for fist place, 20000L would make up for a significant chunk of what I spent since going down this path.   …Lumipro, new head, body, skin and the works for Christi. Additionally, after spending so much time trying demos for Christi I had become much more comfortable with tossing unwanted bodies and heads out the window and staring over that when I realized that Christi would be embarrassed to be seen with Aedan, it was necessary to get him a new skin also.  This lead to (in my mind, anyway) a reason to toss Aedan’s current skin which I had so carefully selected only a couple of years ago when trying to choose something that would more accurately fit my RL age. In the end, the desire to have Aedan and Christi working as a team won out.

Anyway, back to the contest!

A dispute about which way to go when the Media SL sign appeared was the concept from the beginning. A desert scene seemed perfect. Placing the sign so that it would be seen in a realistic manner dictated the intersection with a forced turn. Finding the backdrop was relatively easy though it is huge. To make it useable I had to cut it into 6 pieces…or so I thought.  In hind sight, since so little of it was in the shot, I could have made it vertically shorter and shown much more of it in the photo.  It would have made for a much more interesting background. Windlight was used to move the sun to the correct angle to match the shadows in the backdrop  and I attempted to bring the light down a bit though looking at the result, it could have been reduced more.

The fact of the matter is that this was very much a learning experience and every moment was worth it even if I win nothing. When I couldn’t get the shot I wanted in the beginning without exposing the edge of the backdrop, rather than rethink the shot, I decided to use a green screen and add the background in gimp. Four hours later I was still removing green pixels from everything from hair to brush branches. When I began seeing other ‘issues’ that would have to be manually fixed it became evident that I could spend another week on this image and still hope that nobody noticed the technical shortcomings.  That is when I finally decided to start from scratch and created a scene that did not need to go behond the edges of the green screen. There was still some touch up required with the biggest pain being some of the bushes that were set to bright even though they were near white. Those I disabled and set them to colors picked from their vicinity.  After all of that I noticed that Christi’s height wasn’t set correctly because her platform heels weren’t projecting any shadow.

When all was said and done and I had an image that I felt I could work with for the contest submission, I determined to get a shot of the entire set before I boxed it up.  Somewhere in there came the idea to also get a pic of Christi in the car.  Something went wrong there. Before I knew it I had several pics of her and I in the car but none of the entire set. I had just boxed everything up all without a photo of the set.  Too late.

Better luck next time!  ..hopefully that won’t be my motto after this contest ends but hey! that’s fine too!

Since there was no story involved with this post and it really is a ‘behind the scenes’ post, I won’t add the additional page this time. The image was taken on a platform above my lot and the rest you already know…even though Christi wasn’t supposed to be out of the closet yet…

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