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IMVU to Second Life - Male Avi help


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Ok so after years on imvu I decided to try SL and see how good it was. To fully appreciate it I need to sort myself a decent avi and this is wear I am struggling at present. I have done a bit of reading and research and am slowly getting to grips. It is so much more complicated than IMVU in every way. But i'm hoping its worth the effort. I am prepared to throw some money at it within reason and want to get my avi looking as realistic as possible (the whole thing I love about SL is the realism of the avis the textures etc). 

So I'm currently thinking -

Male Mesh Body (Signature Gianni? over Slink as I want it muscled)

Male Mesh Head (although I read somewhere don't get a mesh head as you will look identical to everyone else - thoughts?) - if i go mesh then Catwa Bento looking favourite or do i go with Signature Gianni head to match the body or doesnt that matter.

I'm after a black avi (Tredente/Stanley Bento style)or a muscled hipster look (Volkstone Eric style look)

Eyes I've been told to try - L'etre - Suicidal Unborn - Mesange

Shapes I've been told - Speakeasy - [indigo] - strong men - aetherian shapes - Tredente - RM store - ascendant

Tattoos - speakeasy - identity - letis tattoo

Skins - straydog - VYC - Derme - Avenge - amias

ANY TIPS, ADVICE, ASSISTANCE is all very gratefully received. Also keen to meet friendly folks who need more friends! I'm a Virtual World addict.

HELP ME SEE HOW MUCH BETTER SL IS THAN IMVU - CHEERS!

Vinny

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well first of all hi and you seem to  be quite well informed !!

@Skell Dagger has started a new series on his blog  and he´ll be able to rate the quality of the suggestions you´ve been given. From what I see they seem to be "safe". The most important is thing is DEMO DEMO DEMO... grab the demos, make sure the shapes are modifiable... and have fun exploring. YES it will take some time (groups like menstuff will help) but it is so much fun.

Oh and we want pics of course^^

for friends - well there´s clubbing or more chatty groups (some RP Sims have quite chatty OOC groups - Crack Den or World of Soap to name 2 - both have beautiful sims, too) like the Forum Cartel group I have linked in my signature - which also has a hangout parcel^^

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Welcome to SL, Vinny! The first thing that anyone will tell you is to try demos FIRST. SL creators have rapidly expanded with demands while making mesh heads and bodies to rig directly to your avatar appearance/shape sliders. It is very possible to make a mesh head and body match what your ideal shape/image would be, but it is important to make sure that you grab a body and head that meshes to your system body so that you can modify it. These are typically referred to as 'Bento'.

If you do some searching along the forums, a couple of great resources are Mesh Body Addicts and the Skin Addiction Blog. Mesh Body Addicts has a comparison chart for the bodies and heads, including the pros and cons of each, with their own individual "reports" of what to expect with each body. It also has a comparison for skins and what is offered. If you see "Omega" mentioned - the Omega is a newish tool that allows appliers meant for certain bodies and heads to apply to OTHER ones that they weren't specifically meant for, but again - it is always encouraged to demo those first, as shapes/skins/bodies/heads are the most costly items you'll purchase in order to customize yourself. The Skin Addiction blog is.. well, a blog of skins and new releases, although not ALL of SL skin creators are on it, so it's always good to shop around!

The Skinnery might be another good skin store to follow, as Uma does a fantastic job of making skins, and recently released a BEAUTIFUL dark skin for women - I'm hoping to see more pop out as far as male skins, but she is one of my favorite skin creators. Men are slightly harder to outfit for, but I'm sure you'll do wonderfully!

Additionally, Seraphim is another great resource to discover upcoming shopping events, and The Builder's Brewery is a great place to start if you'd like to dive into anything related to building/scripting/creating. They are a quiet bunch because most are creating while they're logged into SL, but very friendly! 

*Edited to add that as far as mesh bodies go - you may want to do some research as to what clothing creators are doing as far as support for mesh bodies. I know there is plenty out there for Slink, but as I am not a male myself, I haven't done much research as to how much clothing out there is rigged for the Gianni body. We might need to hear from the men in the crowd for that answer!

*wipes her brow and buries her face in her morning coffee*

Edited by norajulian
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1 hour ago, Virtualnsanity said:

Male Mesh Head (although I read somewhere don't get a mesh head as you will look identical to everyone else - thoughts?) - if i go mesh then Catwa Bento looking favourite or do i go with Signature Gianni head to match the body or doesnt that matter.

That is not true (at least for bento heads). Bento heads are customizable with shape sliders, so while I do have one of the most popular female bento heads, I have my own unique look. Of course, there's going to be similar characteristics (my head, the catwa catya, is slightly ducklipped) but well, comparing to RL, how many women are slightly ducklipped ? Does that make them any less unique ? x)

I would highly suggest taking time to customize your own shape. Shape makers tend to overprice their shape, and some of them have no idea about proportions and such. Just start with the default shape that came with your body and adjust it to your liking ^^ This will be an ongoing process (I still touch-up mine even after almost 8 years) but it is worth it. :)

Edited by Mei Avril
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I need to learn about sliders and how they work. The whole avi making experience is so much more complicated than imvu. But then the results can be amazing. I wish the whole shopping/trying things on/customisation interface was simpler. But i'll get there. (Buries head in the forums and blogs again.)

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I don't have a male meshbody so I can't really help directly. But when I talk with my male friends, they like Adam, Gianni or Jake (follow nora's links to read the reviews).

One thing to be careful about : the shape. I suggest you check that you can edit the shape (copy/modify permissions). The demos are usually nomod but the item description should tell and if not, then think twice.

For the eyes, I would suggest you look for noscript or deletable scripts ones.

1 hour ago, Virtualnsanity said:

Male Mesh Head (although I read somewhere don't get a mesh head as you will look identical to everyone else - thoughts?) - if i go mesh then Catwa Bento looking favourite or do i go with Signature Gianni head to match the body or doesnt that matter.

A good meshbody should be compatible with mesh heads from other brands (and vice versa). Most creators are trying to do this.

 

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5 minutes ago, Morgan Rosenstar said:

I don't have a male meshbody so I can't really help directly. But when I talk with my male friends, they like Adam, Gianni or Jake (follow nora's links to read the reviews).

One thing to be careful about : the shape. I suggest you check that you can edit the shape (copy/modify permissions). The demos are usually nomod but the item description should tell and if not, then think twice.

For the eyes, I would suggest you look for noscript or deletable scripts ones.

A good meshbody should be compatible with mesh heads from other brands (and vice versa). Most creators are trying to do this.

 

Thanks Morgan ??

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10 minutes ago, Virtualnsanity said:

I wish the whole shopping/trying things on/customisation interface was simpler.

When I was on imvu, I was using the derivation tree. Each time I could find a chest or pants that I liked, I would go and check what other items were derived from the original mesh and shopped from the results. We don't have this here. We have to check what we can wear with this and that on our own and usually demo everything because even if you see the Belleza logo on a male mesh clothing, there's still a chance that it doesn't fit correctly.

But on the other hand, we don't need to register as a creator to edit something. We can even buy fullperm items as a simple customer and play to texture it the way we want.

So while the marketplace is much more a jungle here, on the other hand it can't really be simplified because it would remove the option for the creators to decide what they want to sell and how.

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Not much I can add to the great advice so far! I do want to say "Thank you!" for coming in with a list of what you have been looking at and details for what you are interested in.

More often than not it's usually "What is the best?" and "Why is this so difficult?"

So gold star for you, sir, and welcome!

gold-metal-star.jpg

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5 hours ago, Virtualnsanity said:

Ok so after years on imvu I decided to try SL and see how good it was. To fully appreciate it I need to sort myself a decent avi and this is wear I am struggling at present. I have done a bit of reading and research and am slowly getting to grips. It is so much more complicated than IMVU in every way. But i'm hoping its worth the effort. I am prepared to throw some money at it within reason and want to get my avi looking as realistic as possible (the whole thing I love about SL is the realism of the avis the textures etc). 

So I'm currently thinking -

Male Mesh Body (Signature Gianni? over Slink as I want it muscled)....

 

.... I will set Belleza Jake over Signature Gianni, because I really prefer the HUD. The body is quite nice and muscular, I think. In my opinion, the only reason to choose Signature Gianni, is that you can have a single arm tattoo on it. SL skin template has only one arm! Imagine that. It's ancient. Signature can turn off the tattoo layer on each arm individually.

The Lelutka Male head Andrea (yes Andrea is a male name in some countries) look very good. If I didn't have Catwa mesh heads for all my males, I think I'd pick LeLutka.

Here also, look at the HUD and the facial animations and compare the two. Stray Dog already have three skins out for this head, also Tableau Vivant and Clef de Peau. More skins are sure to come.

I will say Catwa and Lelutka is equal in quality, i is more a question of whose facial expressions do you prefer.

Jump over to the blogger Strawberry Singh for videos if you prefer video reviews.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Ns0iC_gNj0&list=PL-kRkWUM2Q4ng_See2n-14PW0RxU_CPrq

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5VWHJvNXg4o&list=PL-kRkWUM2Q4n_V_NXBg7g0sgCRw6kjCNz&index=38

Her blog: https://strawberrysingh.com/

Also a blog dedicated to mesh bodies and heads: http://meshbodyaddicts.com/

 

 

 

 

Edited by Marianne Little
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Welcome to SL. Nice to see someone come in having done their homework! You've been given some great recommendations so far, so I'll mainly second them and add a few extras.

Going by the style of look you've said you want to achieve, I'd definitely recommend Signature Gianni as the body to go for. It's one of the most popular, well-supported bodies when it comes to fitted mesh clothing, as well as for skin appliers, so you'll find a lot of items created especially for it.

You'll get various recommendations for Bento mesh heads. My personal preference is for Catwa, which have just updated to v3.0 with motion capture animations that are fantastic to look at. Again, given your preferred look, I'd suggest demoing Catwa's Daniel and Stanley heads, and trying them with as many demo shapes and skin appliers as you can. (Be aware that any demo shape that's sold as being created for a specific mesh head will have a very distorted body, to prevent people from just using the demo instead of paying for the full version.) I've just written a beginner's guide to Catwa's Bento mesh heads, just for male avatars (focusing on things like tinting facial hair, and explaining how the layering system works), so if you opt for Catwa then that will help you out.

I can't recommend Stray Dog's skins highly enough. Gac Akina has created a huge range of skins in varying ethnicities, and his work is fantastic. To the list that you already have I'll also add Nivaro and Aeros as other places to pick up skin demos.

I'll also add Avi-Glam to your list of eyes to try out (my current favourite eye store), and DAPPA and Isuka to the list of tattoo appliers. Additionally, if you're interested in facial hair, try Volkstone, Beusame, CDC Creations, and Body Mod.

There are four monthly events in SL that cater exclusively for male avatars: The Mens Dept (TMD), Men Only Monthly (MOM), Man Cave, and Hipster Mens Event. Each of those links will take you to the events' pages on the Seraphim blog. Once each new round opens, the blog will have a new post containing a gallery of all items available, plus teleport links to get you there. And once a year (usually around the middle of the year, May to June-ish) there's Menswear Fashion Week. All of these are great places to pick up new items, and the monthly events are where you'll often get new release skins at discount prices, so they're worth a look.

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Cheers Skell. Really appreciate all the info and advice. As a noob do you think i should stick with system avi etc and go for something along the lines of your rock look while i find my feet? Or do i just wait, try and demo the 3 main mesh bodies and a load of mesh heads and just take the plunge and go straight into mesh? 

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15 hours ago, Skell Dagger said:

I can't recommend Stray Dog's skins highly enough. Gac Akina has created a huge range of skins in varying ethnicities, and his work is fantastic.

I'll also add Avi-Glam to your list of eyes to try out (my current favourite eye store)

I have to agree Stray Dog's faces are so nice. I just wish he had a decent body skin to match them. With the one he has I find the crookedness of the muscles and spine a problem. But that's me. On one of my outfits I use one of his faces and tint match a Avi-glam skin. not ideal at the neck, but what can one do.

Avi-Glam eyes are the best, especially putting them on the catwa addon eyes, so the pupils open and close (assuming one's hair won't interfere)

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His rockstar avie is totally awesome, I support this idea. ;)

You don't dress the LL avatar and a mesh avatar the same way so I don't really think that doing one will help with the other. But you don't need to rush things either so yes, you can start with the default avatar, get a good grip on the inventory, marketplace and other things until you feel comfortable to jump to full mesh avatar.

Take your time, compare, try to find what are the usual problems that users encounter with these meshbodies, are they big turn offs for you or not? Build progressively your project and jump when you'll know which choice will be the best for you.

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53 minutes ago, Virtualnsanity said:

Letkula new male head gets quite good reviews vs catwa - something about the HUD being nicer? Simpler? For a noob lol? 

Do you use makeup? The Catwa heads are great in all the different makeups you can use. Or, as an roleplayer, if you need scars, facial tattoos, blood splatters, war paint...

LeLutka have fewer layers. What I always change is eyebrows, beards (optional) hairbases and possibly a tattoo. I am not sure I can add all these to the LeLutka at once. I prefer their animations, but that is me.

There are lots of free demos for beards, hairbases, eyebrows and other things on the Marketplace.

My advice: Get one of the male Bento heads from Catwa, and then several demos. Try to change beards, eyebrows and all other things you need for your face.

Skell has this blog post: http://www.virtualbloke.com/archives/2830

 

Edited by Marianne Little
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58 minutes ago, Marianne Little said:

Do you use makeup? The Catwa heads are great in all the different makeups you can use. Or, as an roleplayer, if you need scars, facial tattoos, blood splatters, war paint...

LeLutka have fewer layers. What I always change is eyebrows, beards (optional) hairbases and possibly a tattoo. I am not sure I can add all these to the LeLutka at once. I prefer their animations, but that is me.

There are lots of free demos for beards, hairbases, eyebrows and other things on the Marketplace.

My advice: Get one of the male Bento heads from Catwa, and then several demos. Try to change beards, eyebrows and all other things you need for your face.

Skell has this blog post: http://www.virtualbloke.com/archives/2830

 

God i am struggling like mad at the moment to do anything. I went to gizma and joined VIP just for now and grabbed a few freebies but when i go into inventory nothing new is showing to try and wear. So currently i cant even figure how to try on or change outfits. A basic crash course or video tutorial needed. Help.

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16 minutes ago, Virtualnsanity said:

God i am struggling like mad at the moment to do anything. I went to gizma and joined VIP just for now and grabbed a few freebies but when i go into inventory nothing new is showing to try and wear. So currently i cant even figure how to try on or change outfits. A basic crash course or video tutorial needed. Help.

There's a newly received item section at the bottom of your inventory, you need to drag it across.

While SL does beat IMVU in every possible way from size to graphics and ToS; IMVU does win on inventory management.

It had me stoked when I moved over too, also when you are trying to wear something, right click "Add" and not "wear"

Edited by iamyourneighbour
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2 hours ago, Marianne Little said:

Do you use makeup? The Catwa heads are great in all the different makeups you can use. Or, as an roleplayer, if you need scars, facial tattoos, blood splatters, war paint...

LeLutka have fewer layers. What I always change is eyebrows, beards (optional) hairbases and possibly a tattoo. I am not sure I can add all these to the LeLutka at once. I prefer their animations, but that is me.

There are lots of free demos for beards, hairbases, eyebrows and other things on the Marketplace.

My advice: Get one of the male Bento heads from Catwa, and then several demos. Try to change beards, eyebrows and all other things you need for your face.

Skell has this blog post: http://www.virtualbloke.com/archives/2830

 

Ok so i just read all through Skell's virtualbloke blog on the catwa bento v.3 head for noobs. OMFG lol. I am not even up to noob level yet. I have sooooo much to learn. Its kinda daunting. Am i ever going to learn enough to enjoy this place properly or am i better just spending all the time it will take on enjoying imvu? Decisions decisions. Thanks again. 

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1 hour ago, Virtualnsanity said:

Ok so i just read all through Skell's virtualbloke blog on the catwa bento v.3 head for noobs. OMFG lol. I am not even up to noob level yet. I have sooooo much to learn. Its kinda daunting. Am i ever going to learn enough to enjoy this place properly or am i better just spending all the time it will take on enjoying imvu? Decisions decisions. Thanks again. 

Look at my rez date. Skell is better than me. ;) I am semi-noobish to him.

So... you try a Lelutka head. Demo it. http://lelutka.com/blog/bento-head-info-male/

OR just have fun in SL without this mesh body and head stuff. Explore. Visit places. Take a ballon ride. Dance.

You ARE great with a 500 L skin, mesh hair, some casual mesh clothes and a suit if you like formal dancing. . When you buy clothes, you want to look for packs with many clothing options. So you can use the mesh body options later if you buy one.

Take a look at the shopping events Skell listed in his first reply. Join 7 Deadly Skins Group and use one of their Group gift skins or an affordable skin. Something to wear while you think about mesh heads and bodies.

Edited by Marianne Little
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This guide to a great male avatar is a few years old, but you can still look over it just to get a bit "avatar basic fashion". http://www.canarybeck.com/2015/03/30/the-2-hour-mens-second-life-makeover-style-guide/

It is amusing to read, too. And Friday, maybe wine time?

At this stage, go for a cheap skin from 7 Deadly Skins. You will need the Money for a mesh body applier later, when you decide what to buy.

I would skip the Slink hands and feet too, at this stage. If you buy a mesh body later, you will get hands and feet with bodies like Signature Gianni or others. The male slink is not muscled enough for you, I think.

I would add Exile and Truth to the hair stores.

Anatomic attachment, only if you plan to visit places where you will need it. Male pants and swim shorts have a built in "bulge". No need to have anything under.

If you don't have Bento hands yet, I would still recommend that you buy an animation override (AO) for Bento hands.

The blog post is a few years old, so she don't mention Bento for the AO. Very important to remember.

Edited by Marianne Little
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