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Bree Giffen

Best way to tell someone their shape is a little off

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I was taking pics of avatars recently and I see certain avatars that are a little off, mostly it's males with small hands or heads, but it could be a female too. Do you ever let people know? Or do you reserve your advice for friends? Wouldn't you want to know if your shape is weird?

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I am too nice to tell them right away. I sometimes tell them indirectly like jokingly will say something like "I think is funny when people's arms are too long, I wonder if they ever notice it" and hope they get a hint. There really isn't any good way to tell anybody their avi looks like crap without being an arse. LOL

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<vent>

Second Life™ males generally look way out of proportion. They make the arms too big, the torso too wide but not long enough, the legs too long in comparison with the torso and the hands and heads are usually tiny in comparison to the rest of their bodies. - The majority of avatars are too tall to show any realistic features. If you are the fit "stud" that you want to be in SL your hands should be just as large as your upper legs when stretched out, with the tips of your fingers pointing out past the thickness of your legs, unless you want girl hands. If you want to be a realistic "stud" then your legs need to be in proportion with your torso, you can't have 237149823742398 foot long legs and a 1inch torso - I usually suggest all men to set their torso height at 100 and edit the legs accordingly to make it look realistic. Another thing to keep in mind is the side of your arms in comparison to the size of your hands and your torso, think realism. Your neck and head also play a large part. If you have a tall avatar make sure you have a larger head so that it at least looks somewhat realistic. - Just my 0.02L$ worth. -As for the ladies, the same generally applies but since I've never spent a lot of time modding a female avatar I cannot give an honest opinion - Please guys - Look at yourselves! Your legs, your torso, your hands, your arms. I hate to be rude but 99% of other male avatars that I come across in Second Life are COMPLETELY out of proportion and quite frankly it really annoys me when they think they're hot studs when in actual fact Linden Lab's noob avatars are more in proportion to realism then they think they are.

</vent>

*Takes a deep breath*

In response to your question Bree: Some may consider it rude to be upfront with them about their appearance but on the contrary I think that it is constructive. I sure wouldn't want to walk around looking like a giraffe or a gorilla thinking that I'm the "bees-knees" without anyone to tell me that I actually look really unrealistic and to provide me with some friendly advice on how and where I can make improvements to my avatar.

It is of course important to make it clear that you are not insulting the person, you are there to help them if they are willing to have a listen at your advice. Personally I've never told anyone that I think they look out of proportion because it feels like a rude thing to do. But, now that I think about it, it's actually a very helpful thing to do to new Avatars and to those who are really an eyesore to everyone.

Instead of sitting in group chat gossiping about the gorilla noob with the tiny hands and huge feet let's IM that noob and offer a helping hand in avatar customization. That should make this whole virtual world a better looking place with less gossip. And please, this is not about appearance preference! Some will say that what is good looking for me may not be good looking for them. I'm not talking about looks or general appearance, I'm talking about realistic proportion.

I think that the best way to tell someone that their shape is a little out of proportion is to be honest, yet friendly about it. Perhaps: "Hello there, how are you?" - "Look, I really don't mean to be rude but I've noticed that your legs/torso/hands/arms is/are really out of proportion and I was wondering if I could give you some useful pointers to improve the realism of your avatar's appearance." - I'm not sure how well that would sink in with most people but if someone approaches me like this, I would not consider it rude. I would hear them out and thank them for the information, whether I'm going to actually listen to them or not. It's all about a friendly approach! :smileyhappy:

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Who's to say what is weird or off?  Just because it doesn't appeal to your sense of astethics doesn't mean it's off.  Like a lot of the female avatars who walk around with giant asses or breasts.  Personally, I don't find them appealing, but it's not my place to impose my personal preferences on them.  One person's "off" is another's "hot".  So unless someone asks me directly for my opinion, I keep my opinions to myself.

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I agree with this.  I'd quote, but for some reason it's not working.

I think what one person likes another may not,  but it's not my place to judge.

So, if I don't know someone - I'm not going to suggest they change their shape or even hint that there is something wrong with it.  On mine, I make the hands as small as I can, as well as the feet - because I like it that way.  If I could shrink my feet in real life, I'd do that too! 

Now,  if my best friend walks up with a watermelon shaped head,  I'm going to tell her - because I know she didn't' do it intentionally. 

 

:smileytongue:

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I never really tell it unless asked to, though I sometimes see people, that... I tend to face-palm myself a head ache... Though my own avatar is totally not proportionate either...

mina_pngtest_001.png

My head is too big due to the limitations of prim-eyes and I think my torso is too narrow. :P

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This topic made me think of a reasonably helpful sounding way to point out someone's really out of whack avatar proportions if they suffer from animation float or sinkitis.  Your advice could start with "Hey, I noticed you looked a wee bit out of place with that animation" (assuming that's true of course). 

Occasionally I get poked by someone who says they float or sink strangely with some of my animations and 98.6% of the time it comes down to the proportion problems David so eloquently described.  So the next time someone isn't quite lined up for their frisky activities or they're always positioned a little funny on furniture you can take the opportunity to sound concerned about their 'SL Experience' rather than their odd choice of dimensions (sneaky, but you get at the same problem). 

By the time they get their proportions improved the animation positioning benefits as well.  All bets are off with animations if you just have to be a giant or a child (Z Modifier in Phoenix is the best treatment in that case) but torso/legs is where lots of positioning trouble starts.

So now, in some cases, there's no need to offend the weirdly proportioned... you can simply blame the silly animators out there and inform the offender that to make marginal animations work better there are a couple numbers they can change on their shape and whaaalaaa two problems solved, no feelings hurt!

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Only one shape? I've been in SL a long time and I can't think of any reason why I would restrict myself to only one set of proportions. I have several sizes I created for my AV for fitting for various clothing and attachments or for specific photographs and even for special occasions or events.

 

I have a shorter AV on hand for example reserved for a friend of mine who likes me at a particular height to hug them ( you could use  this approach I guess to drop the hint to some one Offer them a hug or the like,lol.

I know the old saying " you can't please everyone" but you can suredly comprimise in SL. And after each shape tweak, simply go into appearance>>Make Outfit and make sure the shape is checked to be copied over into your outfit folder.

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Mmhmm... right, just blame it on the animation makers, those bastards... lol.

But seriously, I would never tell a complete stranger they look busted. A friend, maybe, depending on our relationship and what I know about them personally. Like if I know they have issues with things like that to begin with. Even so, I'd try to bring up the topic in some way without coming right out and saying, "Girl... you in danger".

Come to think of it, just sending some random person a link to this thread might get the point across in a backhanded sort of way.

...Dres

Btw, if I sent you a link to this thread, you need help, sweetie.wink-kiss.gif

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Oh Hunter you are sooooo teasing me with that absolutely wonderful strategy of "shape tweaks" for "various clothing"... Where do I vote for that concept for the someday to be released RL 2.0.  Imagine being able to "simply go into appearance>>Make Outfit" and your clothing closet drama would be a thing of the past... Shape Tweaks for RL 2.0... outfits that forever fit for sure... oh please... pretty please...

Sorry, this thread clearly distracted me in too many ways...

Thanks for the smiles... and hope... and wishes.

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Hehe, I don't dare to be so frank... Maybe a better approach is to start a conversation about the "What's your Digits?" group on Flickr? http://www.flickr.com/groups/digits/

Then you could discuss it, and just say things like: "Don't you think it looks better with longer arms, like that guy has? Oh look, his head is 70! You shouldn't think it is so big? It looks just the right size, yeah? What's your head size?"

One of my male alts is there, you would probably say he has too small hands too. Oh well, I mess a bit with the shapes all the time. :smileywink:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/27764102@N02/5638241488/in/photostream

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I mostly try to follow the rules of my anatomy lessons from art class when making shapes, in case of the famous small hands issue, or too large, also seen that commonly... Generally a hand, when slightly stretched, should be able to cover your face, with the bottom of the palm aligning with your chin and your fingertips slightly above the eyebrows.

In other words, use that awful game called Real Life as an example for proportions! :)

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Why do people have to look  in "normal proportions" in a fantasy world?...We have animals, aliens, robots, dragons, things that have no name...What in SL is normal? :D

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I wouldn't say anything.   How do we know they won't figure it out for themselves and make the necessary tweaks? 

Funnily enough, it's taken me nearly 2 years to notice that my own avie has a thick waist. For about 2 seconds i considered rectifying it and then decided not to.  Perfection is over-rated. 

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Just tell them and tell them why. Especially if they're newer residents. A lot of those poor noobs are running around on purchased shaped made by "merchants" who have 'anatomy comprehension impairment disability syndrome' ( :D )

The noobs often know they look inhuman, but figure that's just SL's brand of cartoon. And eventually if you don't catch them, they buy into this distortion as the 'SL standard'.

So just tell dem 'girl; you is wack.' Followed by suggestions on how to fix it.

 

 

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No, I don't tell people. A person's avatar is highly personal to them, and it would only hurt their feelings.

If someone made a point of asking for my opinion I would try to find out what sort of avatar they want in the end, and offer them some landmarks of places to look for the pieces.

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i dont want to look realistic, i look realistic enough in real life, Second Life offers me a world where i can defy physics and anatomy, why not let my imagination free to create a shape without real world constrains? fantasy shapes are interesting, they enhance certain parts to add a dramatic touch to the avatar, beyond what is possible, to express ourselves as some form of art, who is to say if thats the right thing to do with an avatar or not?

is not wrong to not look realistically proportionated, is a choice to participate in the impossible game of making our avatars look like real life, some dont want to play that game.

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I do get the fact that there are people who are coming up with unnatural shapes in order to stretch the boundaries of existence in SL, but there are people who are clearly trying to look like a normal person and maybe they have one body part a little too short or long. It's kind of an uncanny valley effect. If I see someone extremely tall and thin with a gigantic head I'm not going to suggest a normal shape.

I really have no problem with walking up to people and suggesting that they change a certain part of their shape. It's just a matter of starting up a conversation and eventually bringing up the subject. If they refuse, I just start talking about live music events or sailing. I'd have to say the only thing that really stops me from helping is that if I try to help a guy he's most likely going to try to take me dancing. Not that I don't like dancing but I was just trying to change the size of his hands!

I think the next time I see someone with small hands I will first set my hand shape to something large like 100. Then I will walk up to them and say hello. When they comment on my hands I will say, "Yes, I think you're right but I think yours are too small! Let's change our hand size together shall we?...Excellent, now we both have normal hands! Dancing? No thanks I've got to go sailing!"

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For me, whether or not I tell someone depends entirely on who it is, and the situation. If it's a friend, and I notice something's really off, in a way that I know that friend wouldn't generally intend, I will say something privately. They'd do the same for me.

My good friend and fellow designer once pulled me aside and had an "ass intervention," back when we shared a workshop. Many might be offended by it, but I was thankful. While I was using a "healthy" shape, especially for vintage clothing, it came off as fat in the product photos. She and a mutual friend then took my "me" shape (which I still use to this day) and reshaped it for modeling purposes. So I wear the model one for my OTP work, and my normal, healthy "me" one when I'm just running about as myself.

For my friends who want me to criticize, such as those who design as I do, I will usually be more inclined to say something earlier. In some cases, we may own businesses in the same genre, but we still want to help each other look our best.

Occasionally, very occasionally, I'll see a stranger who looks, well, strange. It's usually quite obvious that they hadn't meant to look that way. They're just really new to the sliders. One such example was a woman who walked into Berlin looking and acting in all other ways normal, but she looked like a blow-up doll. I took a feel for the situation (including checking how new her avatar was via her profile), and then I approached her privately, and asked very gently if that was her intention. She told me, no, but she was new and someone told her that this was the look everyone was going for, and gave her that shape. I could tell before the conversation even turned to that topic that she wasn't happy with how she looked. That afternoon turned out very well. We went shopping, got her a shape. I think we even got her a skin. I rarely butt in to that level, but it was clear early on that the woman was NOT happy with the shape she'd been given originally.

On the whole, I tend to keep my opinions to myself. But for friends who want me to offer criticism, or for strangers who express clear displeasure at the way they look and a desire to change it, I am happy to help. When people want to change something about themselves, but just don't know how, I really don't mind helping. I'd want someone to help me if I were new and didn't know where to start on the road to an avatar I enjoy.

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