Now that you have your photograph – you might want to upload it to SL – so you can show it off on your profile – or maybe display it in your home. You need to know about file types and file sizes.
SL supports three different file types : jpg, png or tga. The different files have different uses and in some cases some are better than others.
- jpg : Great for photographs or textures in SL. In general JPG files can be resized a lot without nasty pixelation or jaggies. I would recommend that you do the resizing in GIMP or similar – and not in SL – stretching images in SL is not the best feature.. JPG files don’t support transparencies (which you might want to use in some places in SL – buildings, clothing etc) – if you need transparency – use TGA. Also because of how JPG files are compressed, they are not good for diagrams – use PNG or TGA for these.
- PNG : These are good files for retaining details (such as in diagrams), but not as good for photographs, especially if you planning to resize them. at a later date. PNG files don’t support transparency either.
- TGA : Like PNG files they are uncompressed, but they support Transparency (i.e. you can make them see-through. This is useful with clothing and building textures (windows for instance), and would be cool with some types of picture.
Now that you have chosen your file type – what size should you use. You need to remember two key facts :
- SL limits image uploads to a maximum of 2048 pixels in each direction. Any file bigger than this will be rejected – files are then resized to 1024 on its largest size.
- SL will resize any picture to the nearest power of two – i.e. 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512, 1024 , so a 27 x 62 picture is resized to 32 x 64, which means that it will be distorted.
It is critical that you are aware of the re-sizing the SL does – and how it might distort your picture for you. I would suggest you plan your picture sizes before you upload into SL, and then – if you are unsure use the Temporary upload feature to see whether the uploaded image is right in world.
When i upload pictures in SL :
- Edit them in GIMP (add signatures, borders etc).
- Scale them in GIMP so that the biggest dimension is 2048 pixels – typically this makes a picture 2048 x 1453.
- Upload them in SL – it is resized to 1024 x 1024.
- Display it on a prim or frame which honours the original aspect ratio – 1.4 to 1.0 in the case of a 2048 x 1453.
Have fun – and get uploading. Don’t forget to contact me and tell me about the pictures you have taken.