Last week (July 11th, 2011) I revisited the amazing beautiful sim named "Horizon Dream - LOOKING GLASS" that is owned by my good friends Marcus Inkpen and Sharni Azalee whom are the creators of all the amazing builds and textures on this sim. This sim has always been a SL Photographer's heaven but over the past couple months they have overhauled and enhanced all parts of the sim. That is why I revisited it since the last photoshoot I did where I created "Glow On Grunge Street".
There is so much to photograph, but in my tour of the sim I found one themed section based on an old run down medieval manner / farm yard. The main home with a tower was so amazingly textured and designed and had a beautiful overgrown yard meadow grass landscape. I wanted to do something with it. It looked eerie, spooky, lonely, HAUNTING. So I took a couple photos of it from very low angles to accent the tall grasses as if they had overgrown this rundown home.
I cut out the sky background from the SL photo & the showing parts of the surrounding trees that was in the photo (removing the sky from around the tall grasses was a major pain). Then spent time smoothing the edges of the SL building. I then spent a lot of time experimenting with the look / texture of building to get the right coloring and effect. This took a lot of time and back and forth and playing with many different PS filters.
I decided to go for a pastels / water-color type of look and theme to the whole artwork. Blotchy, sketchy, blurry, scratchy look. Try to really give it a "painting" look and not like a common SL Photo. As such, for the house I used a duplicate of the photo with two different flilters - one to provide edge enhancements to the other that blurred the building ( and the grasses).
Then to give the scene a "haunting" theme, I needed to focus on a sky/clouds that would make you feel a bit creeped out and nervous. So an impending darkening storm cloud behind the home was the idea. I have several cloud photos I took for textures so I played with a mixture of two cloud layers. This took for ever! Nothing was feeling right. I finally found a blending of two that I liked. I also filtered them to give them the same pastel blotchy look. The contrasting black/blues to the browns of the home/land makes the home stand out more.
To finish it off, I had to replace the smoke coming from the home in the photo with my own recreated smoke. I added two real life photos of dead trees I took and had in my texture inventory and made them frame borders of the scene. To give the perspective that my camera was right near to them I blurred them both out heavily. Finally, I added a crackled glass texture of mine over the entire artwork to give it an old weathered artwork look. As if the art was as old ad the scenery.
After two days of working on this one and leaving it several times because I was not satisfied, it now has reached a point that I feel ITS DONE!
Look at the art and place yourself at the scene and be welcomed to ..... the Haunting Tower.
If you are an SecondLife Resident, come see this artwork in Toy's Art Gallery - along with his 50 other works!