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Photostudios for dummies

Hey guys! Sorry for a long pause! I had the best winter vacation in years but then two very slow  weeks adjusting to my usual routine. ^-^

Today I wanna talk about photostudios. I’m sure I won’t be able to cover the topic entirely as photostudios are quite expensive things and I haven’t been able to work with all of them so if you have an experience with some of the studios not covered in here, please speak up in the comments area! ^-^

Photostudios in all their complexity and variety have four things in common : background screen loadable with various colors, backdrop images and textures, lightning equipment, multiple pose stand and usually some fancy HUD that controls functions and minimizes your setup time.

 Multiple posestand is a stand that allows you to load almost unlimited number of poses inside and browse through them in order by using stand operation buttons, chat commands or keyboard keys. They usually also have an ability to become invisible so that they won’t interfere with your scene. 

Photostudio effect is an animation of various particles such as light, snow, fog, fire, stars, rain and so on that you can switch on to create special effects for your studio shot.

Background screen is usually a single flat, wide and tall prim or a set of prims that you use as a background to all your studio shots. It usually comes with a script inside allowing you to load it with various backdrop images, patterns and colors that you can call in order by either clicking on background screen every time you need to change a backdrop or using a special HUD attached to it.

Photostudio HUD (heads up display) is a tool that attaches to your screen and allows you to control various functions of your photostudio such as backgrounds, light intensity, position and colors, particle effects, skybox, posestand and so on – all from one location.

So why do you really need a photostudio ? Well, for an SL model, designer, blogger and bunch of other SL folks it is essential sometimes to take pictures of various objects and subjects without in-world environment interfering with it or stealing a focus. That’s why we really need a background screen prim such as wall, box, hollow sphere and so on that will block ourselves or the objects we take pictures of from the rest of the world allowing us to create a special atmosphere for the shooting whether its just a simple clear picture of a person against white wall or a sophisticated art work with special effects, lighting and so on.

Studio picture

Besides many of us post process the photos we take in-world later in various softwares such as photoshop adding backgrounds, effects, distortions so we really need a background that we can easily cut ourselves out of. ^-^

Then we need a special light because most of the times setting your environment to sunset, daylight, night or sunrise isn’t enough to fulfill your artistic vision or even produce enough light for a clear picture. So we have to build an additional lighting system to light up the studio or even create various light effects. It can be done as easily as creating a background screen. All you have to do is rez several prims and apply light physics to them in your edit window. Positioning them around your object and applying light intensity and colors for an ideal shot every time can be a time consuming thing though. That’s why many studio makers take this task seriously creating sophisticated HUDs allowing you manage your lights without editing them one by one every time.

Another thing that is quite necessary when taking a picture is ability to fix your avatar’s position somewhere inside of a studio so that you can start taking pictures from various angles or look for that one special angle without your avatar following your camera or changing it’s position or rotation. For that posestand comes in handy. Posestand can not only fix your avatar’s position, it can also allow you to go through different poses without calling each one of them from your inventory menu. Some stands can even allow you to rotate your avatar without going into your edit window.

So, background screen, light equipment and a multiple posestand are basically what we are looking for when we need to take a studio picture. All the other stuff that comes along in a photostudio package exists to either simplify your setup and operation in case of HUD or give you some extra functionality in a form of particle effects, flexiprim fans, radio music,ability to build your studio in the air and so on. Some of the packages can also have free offers in a form of backdrops collections, free animations and pre-installed function setups for example a pre-installed night environment with black background, gloomy bluish light and falling stars as a particle effect. You should know that all the photostudios that are out there on the market have either one or all of these extra things because without them it won’t have much of a value being just a bunch of prims that anybody can build themselves. But because the photostudio does have these extra functions, it is quite a pricey commodity so anybody wishing to buy one should consider carefully before making a choice. In my short SL life I have purchased three photostudio packages and even though I found the one that I love and use now, I had to spent over 5000 LL for the experience.

Before going to my market research results I would like to address to the folks who are unable to spend much Lindens on a photostudio package. Cheer up, you can always build one yourself and rez it in a sandbox if you don’t own a land.

Let’s go through three basic steps :

Background screen – to build one, just rez a box on the ground and in your edit menu enter X 10.000, Y 0.0500, Z 10.000 making it flat, wide and tall. You can then click-Shift on it and drag it along one of the three arrows (X,Y,Z) to create a copy for the floor, ceiling or side walls. To give it a color of your choice select all of your prims or one by one and go to the texture tab in your edit menu selecting blank for pattern and color of your choice. If you want to have various background textures in your inventory and want to browse through them by just clicking on your screen prim you need to load these textures into your screen prim’s contents folder and then add this script as well.

 integer invCount;

integer invLoopCount;


state_entry(){invCount = llGetInventoryNumber(INVENTORY_TEXTURE);}

touch_start(integer total_number)

{llSetTexture(llGetInventoryName(INVENTORY_TEXTURE, invLoopCount), ALL_SIDES);


if (invLoopCount == invCount){invLoopCount = 0;}


The script will make your prim screen clickable allowing you to call your textures one by one in the order you loaded them.

Lights – create several prims such as box or sphere and give them a small size so that you won’t have troubles working around them. Then go to the Features tab in your edit menu and apply light physics to them. There you can also change the lights’ color. Then link them together into one object, name it “lights” and then position each one of them around your studio to create your preferable light atmosphere by checking the box “edit linked parts” in your edit menu. You can also make them transparent if they interfere with your scene by texturing them with invisible alpha 100% texture.

You can get it for free here : http://shop.onrez.com/item/452418

Multiple posestand – it doesn’t have to be an actual stand – it can be a simple poseball that will allow you to change your poses by clicking page up and page down on your keyboard. Every time you sit on it, it will became transparent but if you need to adjust its position or rotate it, you can type /1 show or /1 hide in your chat to make it visible or invisible.

You can get it for free here : http://shop.onrez.com/item/491658 

Here! You made your own photostudio! Name everything, put it in a folder called “My photostudio” and rez it every time you need to take a picture!

I would also like to mention that there are some free studios out there!

Here are the locations of some professional studios that you can use free of charge :

 Metro models Photostudio owned by Alaska Metropolitan (AMS photostage)


Alaska allows all Metro models to use this photostudio whenever she is not using it.  

I have just spoken to her and guess what! She has given me a free multipose stand to distribute among Runway kidz. She has used a freebie stand developed by Lion Valentino and retextured it. This is a full permission stand so please respect the people who created it free of charge for you to use and do not resell, change their names or permissions. 

Here you can get it for free : http://shop.onrez.com/item/491696 

AMS photostage display showcase


Here you can purchase the new powerful photostudio “Photostage” here and you can also use its displayed showcase for your modeling needs any time you want. Its stand is loaded with many high quality animations done by Animah and Juicy. 

JCNY photostudios (N30 photostudio and Elysium Eilde photobooth)


Here you can not only use state of the art N30 studio and photobooth created by IDA’s talented photographer Elysium Eilde for free but you can also inquire Ely’s services to create professional pictures. 

Still.art gallery photostudio studio (Photosphere)


This free to use photosphere at the moment has only male animations loaded into its stand. ^-^

 Photostudio in Silent (Photosphere official shop)


It’s actually an official photosphere shop where you can try out photosphere. However some of the functions are disabled.

 Photo orb and photo wall studios (Vapax arts)


It’s also shop where you can purchase these studios but they are displayed and free to use.

 Photodice studio (Ploreho)


This is the official shop of photodice studio but from there you can teleport to the demonstration skybox and though with limited functions you can use it freely.

Picture perfect photostudio (Picture Perfect studios)


Photostudio’s free to use display in its official shop.

Here are market’s most famous photostudios and their comparison table:

Photosphere by Saeya Nyanda

One of the most famous photostudios among SL models and designers. It has very easy to use HUD interface with many pre-installed light options and 40 free backdrop textures. Saeya also sells very high quality backdrop collections each for 300LL.

The only feature that is missing from this wonderful photostudio is an ability to lift it in the air. The studio is big and let’s face it not a nice addition to any interior so many photosphere owners create skyboxes and keep it there away from people’s eyes. It would be nice if this studio had an HUD controlled feature to skybox it and access it from the land at any time..

If you want to get a free skybox for your photosphere studio, you can get it at

Crystal gadgets : http://slurl.com/secondlife/Babeli/127/108/24


Sirena hair & fashion shop : http://slurl.com/secondlife/West%20Sunset/160/50/22


N30 deluxe and N30 basic by MadamG Zagato

N30 deluxe is a very powerful studio that has sophisticated light control system, various effects, multifunctional posestand that can also work with preps (sitting objects such as chairs and poles), flexifan that blows your flexiprims and even a radio music to keep you company.

The only thing I don’t like about this studio is it’s price and the fact that you need to purchase flexifan compatible script separately from the studio and put flexifan compatible script into the contents folder of every single flexiprim to be able to use flexifan. It’s very time consuming…

You can set studio’s ownership and lock it so no one except you will use it. You can also record various light combinations and access them later.

As any sophisticated gadget N30 has some learning curve but once you’re done with your study you will find it easy and fun to use.


They also sell a cheap, basic version of N30 studio but it has no HUD, only the ability to change the background and browse through multiple poses. As we already learned, we can build such studio ourselves so no need to spend even little Lindens. ^-^


Photodice by Gabriel Watanabe (Ploreho design)

This is the studio I am currently using because it is very simple and provide exactly what I need which is skybox capability and easy setup. It also comes in a very nice posestand and a background HUD. What is missing from this studio is light equipment. But if you are already familiar with Gabriel’s Luxace light control HUD you won’t need any additional light system. Photodice and Luxace is available as a bundle purchase and even together costs less than any other photostudio. It is a very good deal for such high quality product.


AMS photostage by Anna Tretiak (AMS systems)

A brand new studio by talented Anna – creator of famous Metro models runway HUD.

The whole functionality of the studio is controlled by one HUD box. It has sophisticated light and effect control system with the ability to record the settings.


Picture perfect studio by Sabrina Doolittle (Picture Perfect studios)

Picture perfect studio is basic photostudio with multi background and pose functions. The light comes as a separate purchase but the studio has free backdrops and animations in its package.


Photostudios comparison chart :

Photostudios comparison chart

That’s all for now! ^-^



Categories: Runway Kidz
  1. samarabarzane
    January 30, 2008 at 3:50 am

    Thank you so much for taking the time to write this — it is an AMAZING resource 🙂

  2. pearl6
    January 30, 2008 at 9:17 am


    I second Samara! All your posts are amazing. It takes alot of time and dedication to produce posts like this. These are posts to be savored and revisited – not skimmed through and forgotten. Thank you….. really appreciate all the effort that has gone into these.


  3. Anna Tretiak
    February 3, 2008 at 5:36 am

    Dendre, many thanks for the very informative post. I look forward to reading more of your reviews!

    — Anna

  4. wilfulsunflower
    February 17, 2008 at 10:50 am

    Thank you SO MUCH for posting this! I have been having so much trouble with lighting when I take my pictures on SL… this has been so helpful!

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