the torch

Inspiring You ~ Part II

In the last part I talked about my favorite photographers in Virtual Worlds. And I also said that I would give you a few tips. Few of my photographs can be seen in my flicker account. I have been reading through a lot of articles to edit the photographs. The good thing about learning to edit is, not only can you do it with your virtual world pictures but also your real life pictures.

Few months back, I had written articles about how to take a good shot in Second Life and also tried a little bit of editing. At that time however, I seemed to be a noob. You may look through the articles here to get a reasonably good shot will explain the technical aspects of windlight settings, graphics settings and the advance settings.

I have already suggested that being good at photoshop or gimp is good for editing purpose. So, what if you want to do a quick editing online. For this purpose I use Pixlr and Picmonkey. They are almost free editing tools. Pixlr is very similar to photoshop. The only difference I have come across is it does not have a pen tool. I use Pixlr for cutting the picture and then the Picmonkey to add effects.

What tips I follow?

Since I mostly edit the pictures so that I can offer the customers a custom or a thematic background. Here are a few tips I follow while taking a snapshot:

  •  Take pictures in white background. That way it is easier to cut the images.
  • While you take pictures change the graphics in the preference window to Ultra High to get a better quality.
  • Remember your angle. Make sure you are avoiding all visible glitches as much as you can.
  • Take the snapshot of the best position according to you. Before taking a picture, you must have an idea of what you are wanting to capture. Is the face for important or the background? Are you capturing an emotion or a pose? Make sure your camera looks from your eyes.
  • Make a folder for all your snapshots so that once the final edit is done you can delete the others.
  • When you save the snapshot, make sure it is at least 1600 X 1200 pixels in size or larger.
The following are the tips to edit:
  • Cut the picture from its background in Pixlr editor using Eraser tool (E).

Use the navigator window to zoom in and zoom out. Increase or decrease the brush size according to the area you have to erase. After erasing if you see any glitches, don’t worry We can edit it further in Picmonkey.

  • For the above picture I want something elegant in the background. At the same time I want the whole image bright like in a ball room.

A background picture size can be same as the snapshot or bigger. HD quality pictures are better.If the background picture and the snapshot picture quality lighting does not match, then edit each of them in picmonkey. To find out, go to Pixlr, then go to Layer and click on “Open image as Layer” from the drop down menu. In the small window called “Layers” adjust   which layer comes beneath etc.

As you can see, the snapshot looks dull in front. Hence, I will edit the snapshot first in picmonkey and adjust the exposure.

 Well, looks better than before may be a little too brighter. This can be adjusted later.

  • The next step is to edit and add effects in picmonkey

Open the background in picmonkey editer. Then add the snapshot as an overlay {looks like a butterfly sign}. Do not merge the overlays until you are sure with the final picture. Look through the various affects and add which seems correct to the theme and to your eye. When you click the overlay you get a small window, click on the eraser tab to erase any glitches.

  • The last step is to add shadows

The shadow will be opposite to the light. Also if there are too many lights in the room, the shadow will be fade. We will add the shadow in Pixlr, by adding a new transparent layer and painting the shadow on it with a brush. The color will be black. You can change the opacity of the layer as shown in the picture.

However, for this particular picture, as you can see the shadows are on the floor just beneath the object. Hence, our final picture looks like this.

What have I done?

In the effects category in Picmonkey Editor, I have added a spotlight, focal soften and focal zoom. Then I have merged the overlay and adjusted the exposure.  A little crop with a frame and shadow has taken the photograph to a new level.

Why I did this?

I have added these effects in correlation to my theme. The theme is “A couple  is standing by the door. All that matters is to be in each other arms. When they are together the world spins around.”

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the torch

s|He|~ Part 2

It was early in the morning and the sun shone brightly. I whispered to myself, “Today is the day to execute my plan.”

My Plan:  Living the life of a MAN for the next 24 hours.

This year to celebrate Man Week, I chose the not so taken route. Although, it was a great idea, I found it difficult to execute all together. I have never played a man before. So, I had decided that for one half I will be a gentleman and the other half I will be a Casanova. I went out for an adventure. It was a great plan. But only a plan.

I got a free avatar and complete outfit from the JStyle Store. The group is free to join and they release at least one new outfit as group gift each week. The group gift contains the full avatar and the complete outfit. Teleporter

As a female, I have always loved beautiful gardens and forests. So, I decided to land in a city. The first that came up in the search was London City with traffic over 7,000.


As soon as I landed, there were two ladies, one offered a friendship as soon as I landed and the other said hi. Good so far. I just never ever thought of pick up lines until now. I asked the most unusual pick up line “Are you waiting for someone?” I regretted it immensely when I did not get an answer. After a long time, when a few other girls started hitting on me. She replied cordially, “No”. A gasp of relief. Am sure its not the pick up line that worked. Well, my next question was, “Do you come here often?” She said, “I am a beginner”. Being a gentleman that I wanted to portray myself as, I said, “Please excuse me if I am being a little inquisitive”. To that there was another moment of silence. The silence grew to be a minute and my answer came with a silent ‘no, am not interested.’

Sat there on a bicycle for some time with London City gazing behind me. Wondering if I am playing to cautious. Well, I don’t want to hurt anyone. So, its good. Another one came along first to interview me for her homework. She tried to know all about my RL. My story was simple, am a business man from London, living alone, unmarried, my parents and sister are my family and am looking for a soul mate. The interview turned its course when she started counselling me and that I should not be alone. She was sweet and caring. Just where almost all SL relationships start, i.e., being fake. Anyways, its the adventure we are looking for. This one was better. She accepted me as a friend, and a gentleman. Although it was almost a yes, she wanted it slow. Probably, I would have done the same. Its just that I got only few hours more to play the part. Continue reading

the torch

s | HE | ~ Part 1

The Man Week is soon coming up. Starting from the 7th to the 11th of April, 2014. This time I was told to come up with something in relation to man and 3D world. Which gave me an idea to write about creating an avatar and roam around the sim to experience life of a Man. To do so I had to create an avatar in Second Life. The challenge I took was to create one with minimum Linden Dollars and at the same time not compromising on the quality.


The following are the links to Market Place to buy skin, shape, hair, clothes, shoes, accessories. All the items are in the range of L$0 to L$10.


Skin L$1


Shape L$6 L$1 L$5 L$1 Continue reading

mantra to prevent cancer

Why I Relay and why should You?

With the RFL Fever going on, this time I will take a leap towards another direction and talk about Cancer.  You all know about cancer and RFL.  I have written articles in the past, if you wish to read type, “RFL or Cancer” in the search box on this site. Whenever I talk about cancer, people ask me a few common questions.


What is Cancer?

Cancer - An abnormal  growth of cells in a certain body part.

Types of Cancer - Cancer can affect any part of the body, i.e, bladder, brain, breast, cervical etc. Types of Cancer also includes Colorectal Cancer, Lung Cancer, Melanoma, Ovarian Cancer, Pancreatic Cancer, Prostrate Cancer, Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma etc. and other list of cancer types.

Symptoms - Unusual Lump in body, persistent sore or ulcer, persistent cough or hoarseness, change in mole of skin, change in bowel habits, unexplained pain, weight loss, sweats at night, tiredness or fatigue, rash or unusual textures on skin, abdominal pain, abnormal bleeding, difficulty in swallowing, difficulty in urine.


Why I relay?

During the last few days, I was away to visit my uncle (mother’s elder brother), stage IV cancer. He has been given chemotherapy for about a year. The environment in our family is gloomy since the time the therapy stopped. Which means that it is just a matter of few months. At the same time my first cousin sister (uncle’s daughter) was expecting.  After the baby was born, the environment changed.

The baby brought a positive energy among everyone. My uncle started spending more time with the baby. In the last few days he was standing up and walking again, doing his own chores.


My point is death is inevitable. We all have to face it one day with or without pain. But, the time when someone close to you is slipping away in front of your eyes and you can not do anything about it, is the worst feeling ever in human life. The days when we were just sitting by the bed and hope fluttered away. When the heart tore apart yet the tears didn’t roll down. When each member of the family used to escape to washroom to cry in deep sorrow.

Death at that time was not coming for just the patient but to the whole family.

With the baby born, her smile, her cry everything about the baby changed the atmosphere. There was a hint of smile in everyone’s face. Smiles and laughter recovered my uncle. There was hope in the heart.


What is the Mantra?

Mantra for Family

Find reasons to keep encouraging the affected to live. Only hope can bring life.


Mantra for Survival

Since the older generations we have been hearing from our grand parents that

Had we lived by the mantra, the ratio of survivors could have been more.

Do you Relay? If yes, why do you Relay? Share your stories in the comments section.


SL Go app

Second Life on the Go ~ “SL Go” app

The days of being a couch potato have ended. No more high end graphics drive needed. Access your world even when you are away from the desktop. With the help of OnLive, you can now get full advantage of cloud gaming. A touchscreen based interactive application, called SL GO, is now available for your Android devices. The app is currently available for United States, Canada and United Kingdom.

View the video

What would I see?

  • Ultra high quality graphics, full shaders and shadows with advance lighting models.
  • Speeds over 50 FPS (frames per second) with a 512 meter draw distance
  • Objects and textures rez quickly when logging in or teleporting.
  • A player can immerse oneself in combat sessions, events etc. that are wide spread across the sim.
  • Access to edit menus, inventory, preference setting etc. just like through the desktop.

10th Relay Season has begun

Everyone is excited for the Relay Season to arrive. The Relay for Life of Second Life is going to have its major events starting this March up until the Wrap up Party in August. The RFL of SL is in its 10th Year of fundraising for the Relay for Life (American Cancer Society).

What happens in Relay for Life?

This is one of the biggest events that happens in Second Life. There are shows, events, parties, shopping, games, etc. that take place. The designers, builders and creators come together to put forth a mega event. All the proceeds go to Relay For Life organization. The total funds raised and the details can be viewed in the Totals Page.

What is special this Year?

This is the 10th consecutive year for Relay. This calls for mega celebrations. The Events this Year are categorized into Mega Events and Special Events.

Upcoming Event:

The Kick-Off Journey


March 7th, 2014 at noon SLT until March 9th, 2014 at 10:30 pm SLT.


American Cancer Society (ACS) Island

How can I contribute to Relay for Life in Second Life?

Apart from being an active participant in the season, you may help in three other ways: Continue reading


Behind the scenes: inVerse Graphics

inVerse Graphics creates 3D designs for the metaverse. It s about melting art, tradition with futuristic designs. Taking guidance from nature, inVerse creates houses and 3D buildings for Second Life metaverse residents. Their unique selling proposition is to have high detailed textures with low prims and low impact on land. The creations elaborate a mix of modern and traditional lines imparting value and meaning.

Their creativity is not limited to metaverse. they develop trademarks brand signs, websites for clients outside the purview of metaverse. Developing new brand logos and improving existing ones helps their customers have an impressive visual identity.

Please tell us when and how did inVerse Graphics start? Continue reading

Hunting Season in Valentine Month

The valentine month, or the ‘lovey-dovey’ month, has come again. It is the time that we love to buy gifts for our valentines or dress up in our special new outfits to impress them. This February, 2014, Second Life and InWorldz have a lot of hunts where you can participate and win many cool things.

List of Hunts with Valentines Theme at

Second Life are as follows:

  • Carrie’s Lingerie Crazy Heart Hunt (31st Jan to 14th Feb, 2014)

Organizers: Carrie Bridger

Aim: Find 6 crazy hearts to win Valentine Haley or Valentine Lounge set. Continue reading


Easy to Understand ~ KITS

I have never used Kits. To answer the question, “What are Kits?” asked by one of the readers, I bought a few Kits from the market place.

Kits are a collection of items. Builders either make their own items or buy these building kits to build their new creations. Mostly building kits are full perm and the creators do not wish the buyers to sell these products “as is.

Well, I started playing around with the few kits that I got from market place, and it took some time for me to learn. I would like to thank the reader for asking the question, because I learned to make a HUD, using this Kit. (I had once wanted to hire a scripter to make a Hud, for which the scripter charged me L$6000!)

To all those who are new, I would suggest buying the cheaper ones to work with. Then when you have a firm hand in it you may get the higher priced ones.

Things to remember when purchasing a KIT

  •  If you are purchasing a Kit to build something for your personal use, make sure it has copy and modify permissions.
  • If you are purchasing a Kit to build something to assist one or more of your creations and you would like to resell, make sure it has full permissions.
  • There are many creators offering DEMO items on the market place. These items are to try out only. So, if you are looking for a kit that is cheap, make sure it is not a DEMO item.
  • Always read the reviews before buying to get an idea about the product.

*These were the mistakes that I made in my initial days. I hope you learn from my mistakes. 

 Are Kits only used for Building?

 No. Here are a few examples.



Easy to Understand~ HUDs

One of our dear readers asked the most interesting question:

 “What are huds and kits?”

 It’s been a week since I have been working around to explain huds and kits. So, this time I will be talking about HUD or Head Up Display or Heads Up Display


The most simple way to understand a HUD is that it is something like “Google Glasses” in a Virtual World. The viewer is the world that you see through your eyes. The HUD just makes your life easier.

Why is it used?

 If you play inside virtual worlds, you would know that there are some things like the skin, shape, a few jewelry items that are your favorites and portray your personality. You would never want to remove them. And there are some things like the clothing: pants, shirt, jacket, skirt, hair (colors) etc. that you wish you would not have to take off and find a new color/pattern to wear everyday. That is when the texturing HUD helps us, i.e., for customers as well as for the builders. 

What are the uses?

 There are various kinds of HUDs specific to their own function. Among the whole lot, a few are:

  • Texturing for clothes,shoes and hair
  • Teleporting
  • Combat System
  • Using automotive
  • Role Plays
  • Access to Community
  • Turn pages of Book or Magazine
  • Assist Party Greeters or Organizers
  • Play sound or gesture in local or private chat
  • Play animation

I never knew I had so many HUDs in my Inventory. Word of Caution: Never wear too many or else be ready to face lag.

The possibilities are innumerable. The above are the broad aspects. Knowingly or unknowingly we wear many HUDs. Like the Bloodlines HUD, Gor HUD, Xcite HUD, Life Sim HUD etc. These days with the introduction of mesh, designers sell their products with texture HUDs. 

What is a HUD?

It is an object that has X, Y and Z axis in the virtual world. But when it is worn by an avatar, it seems like a flat 2D object which can be moved around the screen on X and Y axis and is visible to only that particular person. It is a script that allows the user to function easily without having to search through their overflowing Inventory.

How to use a HUD?

For a user, it’s nothing like Rocket Science. Normally, HUDs come with Notecards which explain how to use stuff. However, they are self explanatory. To choose a texture, click on the colors and wait a few moments for it to render (appear). Similarly, to choose a gesture, page, size, height, location, etc., just click on your choice to select and let the magic happen.

Can everyone create HUD?

 Yes, you can with little bit of scripting or programming knowledge. So, what if you do not have this knowledge?  You can either hire a script writer or refer to the LSL script Library for help. The best possible place to look for a script writer is to post it in communities. A script writer may charge around L$6,000 for a simple book HUD (full permissions, i.e., copy, modify, transfer).

How can I create a HUD?

If you are a script writer it’s pretty easy. However, I assume since you are reading this you are not a Pro. I would personally suggest you to refer to LSL Library as I already recommended. Then join the Builders Brewery Group in Second Life.  The members there are impromptu and very helpful. Better still, take classes. Builders Brewery offers free classes. There are other building communities like the Hippo who also provide the same services. Tutorials can be found on YouTube. And do not forget a little more research always helps to get the finishing touch.

A few links to help:

I hope this article was helpful. I have tried my best to explain the concept of HUD in the simplest, best possible way. Your views and add-on’s are most welcome. You will see more about kits next week on Wednesday, 22nd Jan, 2014.