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Note: This is not a thread on whether or not there should be child avatars in Second Life. This issue is addressed within the Terms of Service and the Clarification to policy disallowing ageplay to a reasonable level. 

That out of the way...

For those who have crafted a kid avvie, what tips do you have for customizing the Second Life avatar mesh into a decent looking child?

 

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Male or Female

I know that most people start with the female shape because when shrinking the hight they do not get the the horrific spikey shoulder blades that male avatars have. I'm an exception since my AV is not much younger than 13 or 14. Any shorter then the male avatar shape is horrible.

Unfortunately with the female shape you then get the issue that breasts never are quite flat enough but some seem to manage to hide that with creative clothing.

Proportions

In illustration the age appearance can be defined by 'proportion' and there are some handy tip's that can also be applied to 3D avatars. Below is a simple diagram giving examples of how to work out how to proportion your Avatar starting with the size of the head.

prop2.jpg

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Umm, don't just shrink the avie as much as you can and think "done" :D  Pay attention to proportions, there are proportion guides on the web that cover the human body from child to adult. And when using a female base, setting breasts to 0 doesn't mean you don't need to pay attention to the other breast-related sliders. If you don't, clothing will often look messed up. Tweak, tweak, tweak.

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For myself.

First thing is skins: Aim for no makeup skins. I personally prefer the skins from Kick The Can, because they were modeled specifically for kids, (and therefore have no extra chest shading, etc.) but there are others out there as well. IMO< this and shape are keys to making for a convincing child avatar.

Shape: The SL avatar mesh will fight against you, especially for those trying to model boys. Shoulders only go o small, "package" only goes so small. Many boys actually opt for the female shape for this, which also has its issues with chest and butt. Expect to do a lot of fiddling.  Likewise, there can be some pretty nasty folds on the shoulders and tummy on either gender, and hands and feet will sometimes be out of proportion. Also, the avatar can only go so small, though some have created so-called "Toddler AOs" to provide a shorter AV in combination with some prim leg bits. I've never used them, though I have seen some decent uses of them.

Hair: Truth is pretty popular with kids, though you can usually use any designers hairs, as long as you can modify (shrink) them to fit. Also, try to avoid overly coiffed styles, really long hair, and styles that look particularly adult in nature.

Clothing: Unlike when I started in SL, there is a wide range of good SL kid clothing designers, including Larnia Kids, Chelsea's Childrens' Clothes (CCC), Inner Peace, Babydoll's Boutique, Kick The Can, etc. Bonus of getting from the kid designers is not having to fight excessive chest shading. Also can mean more "kid like" looks to the outfits. You can use adult clothing that you mod to shape, but be aware of issues like too low pants and way low necklines, prim skirts designed for wider hips, sculpted collars that are shaped for those with breasts, and the aforementioned chest shading. sales, hunts, and Fifty Linden Friday event are good times for checking out stores that might work for you. Likewise, if there is a "guys and girls" option on a top, I will often buy the guys one to avoid the shading and prim collar issues mentioned above.

AOs: I personally have little experience with them, but there are a few kid AOs on the market. One can also construct their own. I've used animations from Oracul, which tend to be pretty random and cute.

Jewelry: this is always a toughie. Many are simply to long to be worn well for a kid, and will end up off to one's naval. Resizing can be complex, and may not work due to size of the neck, shaping of the jewelry, etc. Likewise, a lot of the really flashy stuff ends up looking... odd.

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Definitely the skin is the single most important thing to get right, if the skin is horrible the shape will be horrible no matter what you do. Girl avis should NOT have makeup, they look like really creepy midgets. Boys should carefully select their skin too. Too many midgets on the grid already, need to get it right dangit! 

 

Then the shape, any avatar male or female younger than 20ish should use the female avatar mesh, it just makes it less creepy. Most boy avatars seem to get this part wrong and thus the reason most look like midgets with really messed up shoulder blades. 

 

And the clothes, for crying out loud buy clothes that are appropriate to the age you are trying to convey. 

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Marianne McCann wrote:

AOs: I personally have little experience with them, but there are a few kid AOs on the market. One can also construct their own. I've used animations from Oracul, which tend to be pretty random and cute.

 

 

We recently created a new Strike-A-Pose kids division....for kids poses and animations which can be loaded into AO's

 

 

.

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George Orellana wrote:

You can hide the breasts with a female mesh with no need for special clothing. All it needs is setting the sliders right and a properly made skin that has properly edited the location of where the male nipple appears. 

That's only half true. For example, the top shown here would not work no matter what ones' sliders are set to, due to the shading and "stretch." one doesn't *have* to buy strictly from kid designers (as I mentioned on the old forums, I wear from both kid and adult designers), but there are issues to watch for with some of the clothing designed for non-kid avvies. 

 

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Marianne McCann wrote:

 

That's only half true. For example,
would not work no matter what ones' sliders are set to, due to the shading and "stretch." one doesn't *have* to buy strictly from kid designers (as I mentioned on the old forums, I wear from both kid and adult designers), but there are issues to watch for with some of the clothing designed for non-kid avvies. 


I am not talking about clothing? I am talking about the shape and the skin. I was pointing out at the fact that the female mesh should be used for male avis younger than 20 and you can definately end up with an avatar that has no boobs at all if done right.

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Hi all!

I have no experience in Child Avatars but I got curious and asked my fashion buddies on Plurk about shapes.

I got two names,  Daisie Teardrop who is on the Marketplace:  https://marketplace.secondlife.com/stores/32907

and Loren Pfeffer.  Both are at this sim:  http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/San%20Leandros/151/131/41

 

Yes Oracul on the Kuso sim has AO's that include a child and teen version on each AO HUD.

https://marketplace.secondlife.com/stores/19619

 

As far as skins there are a lot of skin designers who are now making base skins due to the seperate makeup tattoo options.  I would suggest the Curio skins by Gala Phoenix, I think that skin would be appropriate and has freckled options.  

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It is not just child AV's, but any AV that wants to be shorter than amazon.. :) 

 

The skins are truly one of the most important items to start with - so many have the hard shading on the chest for those with watermellons there, and on anything smaller you end up looking like you had a accident with the tanning spray.

And while you are working on reducing proportion, the 'padding' or 'fat' setting is very important to gently adjust so that you can remove most of the sharp edges that happen as you reduce the mesh.

Of course you end up learning alot about editing prims so that you look proper in the clothes/outfits.  :)

 

Snapshot_037.png

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There's a tool I used when I created my 11y/o avatar that I found very useful. It's called Perfect Shape Helper 1.1 and is available for use at Jeremy's Painted On Clothes and More. (I wish it was available for purchase but it doesn't seem to be... maybe I should talk to the creator. I'd love to have one of my own)

From the notecard (These optimal proportions are based on the golden ratio or "phi".). And you type in local what age you want to be to get the right proportions... pretty cool IMHO.

I also found it incredibly useful, when using this device, to turn off the animation and unsit when you go into edit appearance mode (these are features in the Phoenix Viewer... I'm not sure if you can do it with other viewers).

If you have the Phoenix Viewer you can go to Preferences/Phoenix, click on the "Avatar" tab then uncheck "Show appearance tag and animation in appearance mode" and "Unsit avatar when entering appearance mode".

For an example, here's what I came up with using it...

Lil

Hope this helps... Dres

ETA... Btw the skin is Den-Dou.

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George Orellana wrote:

That looks really good Dresden, shows what I have been saying, making an accurate boy shape might take some work but is not impossible. 

Thanks... I certainly couldn't have done it without the help from that device. Even so, it took a while to do. Maybe I could have done it without it but it would have taken forever.

...Dres

 

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Marianne McCann wrote:

For those who have crafted a kid avvie, what tips do you have for customizing the Second Life avatar mesh into a
decent looking child?

 

 

*****

My real life experience suggests that there is no such thing as a "decent looking child"

**********

Tonight I had the chicken korma that I put in the slow cooker since this morning since I didn;t want to waste any time cooking when Villa are on the tele. I;ll put a couple of keema nans in the toaster to have with it.

**********

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George Orellana wrote:

I am not talking about clothing? I am talking about the shape and the skin. I was pointing out at the fact that the female mesh should be used for male avis younger than 20 and you can definately end up with an avatar that has no boobs at all if done right.


Point taken: I misread what you had said. :smileyhappy:

 

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Marianne McCann wrote:

 

Supperfan wrote:

My real life experience suggests that there is no such thing as a "decent looking child"

Point taken, Would you prefer "convincing looking?"

 

 

*****

I particularly hate those Lost In Space type of kids that have freckles and big glasses and buck teeth and act like they have an IQ of 200 while lisping. Is THAT what you call convincing?

**********

Tonight I had the chicken korma that has been in the slow cooker since this morning since I didn;t want to waste any time cooking when Villa are on the tele. I;ll put a couple of keema nans in the toaster to have with it.

**********

 

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