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Scylla Rhiadra

What's a Good, Functional Height for a Female Avatar?

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So, I recently fixed my avatar's shape to make it "proportional" --i.e., 7.75 heads high, longer arms, etc.

For reasons I won't bore you with, I also gave myself a "realistic" height (about 1.7 metres), which, of course, makes me look a bit like a pre-teen in this world of giants.

I need to make another shape, also properly proportioned, that is large enough that 1) I don't look weirdly small next to object that have been designed for avatars a foot and a half taller than I am, and 2) poses and animations (such as, most obviously, couples dances) work well without too much or any adjustment.

What is our collective sense, these days, of a good, functional height for a woman in SL? I'd like to keep myself as short as is possible while still not looking entirely out of place, or having to dangle my feet a foot off the floor whenever I sit in a chair.

Ideas and suggestions?

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I don't get in here (this category) often but as it happens this is a subject I've spent a little time with. I'm 1.85 meters, or just a touch over 6 feet. I am certainly not tall, but I do find that I'm actually taller than a few women I see and not much shorter than most. A good friend who used to tower over me is now possibly a smidgen shorter than I am. I think it might be a trend and aside from the issues with buildings, furniture, vehicles, etc. (bless the 'ADJUST' feature) a welcome one.

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I don't worry about being short,  if anyone looks at my shape and thinks I look pre-teen well that is their problem. Usually though I just accept whatever height the shape I am using  gives me,   but i am  usually  quite a bit shorter  than the guys i meet,  even when you add  in the 12 inches or so added by my shoes.

 

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4 minutes ago, Dillon Levenque said:

I don't get in here (this category) often but as it happens this is a subject I've spent a little time with. I'm 1.85 meters, or just a touch over 6 feet. I am certainly not tall, but I do find that I'm actually taller than a few women I see and not much shorter than most. A good friend who used to tower over me is now possibly a smidgen shorter than I am. I think it might be a trend and aside from the issues with buildings, furniture, vehicles, etc. (bless the 'ADJUST' feature) a welcome one.

Thanks Dillon! Is that 1.85 metres, as measured with a prim? Or as indicated in the viewer?

It's good to know that maybe I don't need to stretch myself toooooooo much.

As for the "trend" towards more realistic height . . . well, maybe? I know that people were saying that back in 2011 as well. If what you say about 1.85 metres being within the "average" range is true, then maybe that's actually happened?

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12 minutes ago, Talligurl said:

I don't worry about being short,  if anyone looks at my shape and thinks I look pre-teen well that is their problem. Usually though I just accept whatever height the shape I am using  gives me,   but i am  usually  quite a bit shorter  than the guys i meet,  even when you add  in the 12 inches or so added by my shoes.

 

My avatar(s) have always been a bit on the short side (which is odd, because I'm a little on the tall side in RL), but I'll confess I don't remember ever being given a hard time about it (except jokingly by friends and dance partners). Apparently it does happen, though.

I tend not to wear really high heels (I mean, seriously, ouch, right?), so I can't take advantage of that. Mostly I just use the "adjust" feature where it exists, or my "hover" value to fix height disparity. And I mostly stick to one shape, generally in two versions ("small" and "normal"). Then I can easily and quickly switch back and forth as the situation seems to demand.

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11 minutes ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

I mean, seriously, ouch, right?

Well  in RL  yes, but in SL they are painless.

 

As for hovering to fix any hieght difference,  One  of my pet peeves (I should go  to that thread and post this) is feet that don't touch the ground properly. I would much rather have my partner tower over me than to have my feet in the air, or his feet stuck in the ground.

Edited by Talligurl
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3 minutes ago, Talligurl said:

Well  in RL  yes, but in SL they are painless.

I probably over-empathize with my avatar?

4 minutes ago, Talligurl said:

As for hovering to fix any hieght difference,  One  of my pet peeves (I should go  to that thread and post this) is feet that don't touch the ground properly. I would much rather have my partner tower over me than to have my feet in the air, or his feet stuck in the ground.

Yeah, I totally get that. It's definitely not my preference, but it's better than reaching for my dance partner's hands somewhere around his upper abdomen. The trick is to focus your cam view on the upper body, and ignore the fact that you're really doing a Peter Pan.

But if I make a somewhat larger avi just for these circs, it won't be as much of an issue anyway.

 

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49 minutes ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

Thanks Dillon! Is that 1.85 metres, as measured with a prim? Or as indicated in the viewer?

It's both, if I understand you correctly. My prim height measuring widget says 1.85, the very same number returned by the Shape Editor. I'd thought those used to vary, but maybe that got fixed while I was wandering. I have only done a rough check. I can walk through a 1.9 meter prim without the top of my head (quite) showing, so I'm fairly confident the numbers are correct.

The friend I mentioned is Naz Fride; she is my height or a tiny bit less now, but she was much taller before. This fuzzy pic is almost seven years old and you can see how much taller she was (and I was taller then than I am now). The liberties she appears to be taking with me are purely a result of the height difference, by the way.

naz.PNG

Edited by Dillon Levenque
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5 hours ago, Dillon Levenque said:

The liberties she appears to be taking with me are purely a result of the height difference, by the way.

I need more tall friends.

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I have kept my height at 1.78 meters for many years now (measured accurately with prim). That height suits me perfectly. It looks quite small among very tall avatars, but not as a child. My best male friend is 1.93 meters. When I put on high heel shoes then I'm almost the same height with him. That works perfectly. For example couple dances work best when the avatar heights don't have big difference.

One really great advantage from shorter height, especially for female avatars, is that then it's possible to make excellent and realistic body proportions. If female avatar is very tall then it is impossible to make the arms long enough to be proportionate with the body.

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I've been about 1.75m (5'8") prim height since sometime in early 2007.  Back then I was sometimes accused of being a "child avatar" which was silly since I didn't look anything like a child. 

It seems to me that there is a trend toward more realistic female avatars but men are remaining giants.  

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It really depends on what kind of communities you hang around at.

For example, my friends and the places I go to (primarily furries) tend to be fairly realistically sized on average, if not below the 185-170cm height. Giants are the rarest category and it's generally used as a deliberate style choice, rather than some kind of accidental "can't be too small or I won't look alpha" shape.

But I also think height is a red herring. You can have an avatar with an "adult height" but still look very questionable, depending on a lot of other factors. One of my male avatars for example is 187cm but is so cutesy that a lot of people would mistake it for a child/teen (or a girl..) without (or even with!) a size reference. You can have avatars much shorter than that and no one would bat an eye if designed right.

TLDR: Make the avatars you want and ignore the height police unless it is the owner/staff of the area you're in. If someone is bothered by your height alone, they're probably not the kind of person you'd want to be around anyway.

Edited by Wulfie Reanimator
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Edit Shape says 1.85 m tall.  I haven't totally become obsessive regarding realistic size and proportions - for proportions I think I'm probably not too far off, though I've never checked against one of the models for that.  

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10 hours ago, Dillon Levenque said:

It's both, if I understand you correctly. My prim height measuring widget says 1.85, the very same number returned by the Shape Editor. I'd thought those used to vary, but maybe that got fixed while I was wandering. I have only done a rough check. I can walk through a 1.9 meter prim without the top of my head (quite) showing, so I'm fairly confident the numbers are correct.

To judge from some of the responses I'm reading below yours, it sounds as though you may be right: there may actually have been a shift away from the super-tall female avatars. And maybe, on the basis from what I've seen elsewhere, that's true of the men as well. Interesting and, to my mind, generally good (although I'm not a zealot about this). But I wonder if the makers of animations, furnishings, and structures have clued into this yet?

 

10 hours ago, Dillon Levenque said:

The liberties she appears to be taking with me are purely a result of the height difference, by the way.

Uh huh . . .

Sure, Dillon. Sure.

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2 hours ago, Coby Foden said:

I have kept my height at 1.78 meters for many years now (measured accurately with prim). That height suits me perfectly. It looks quite small among very tall avatars, but not as a child. My best male friend is 1.93 meters. When I put on high heel shoes then I'm almost the same height with him. That works perfectly. For example couple dances work best when the avatar heights don't have big difference.

Thanks, Coby, that's a great reference point! My "small" shape (I've made a somewhat larger one now for occasions when it might be useful) is almost exactly 1.78 m (measured by prim) as well. Most of the males I know, however, seem to be somewhat taller than your friend. Although I haven't actually measured them (they get fidgety, and won't stand still long enough.)

 

2 hours ago, Coby Foden said:

One really great advantage from shorter height, especially for female avatars, is that then it's possible to make excellent and realistic body proportions. If female avatar is very tall then it is impossible to make the arms long enough to be proportionate with the body.

Yes, my new larger shape comes in at just under 1.93 m, and I had exactly that problem: with the arms slider maxed out at 100, my arms were still a couple of inches too short.

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1 hour ago, Amanda Dallin said:

I've been about 1.75m (5'8") prim height since sometime in early 2007.

Actually, I'm not sure how tall my old system avi was/is. Taller, I think, than I am now, but shorter than most of the women I used to hang with back ca. 2009-2011. I know that when I made an alt in 2013, I deliberately made her more "realistic" in height.

 

1 hour ago, Amanda Dallin said:

It seems to me that there is a trend toward more realistic female avatars but men are remaining giants.

That's now my perception too, I think, although maybe the men are beginning to move to the more realistic side as well? Again, though, most of the men I know are still pretty big.

And, again, the animations, furnishings, and buildings don't seem to have adjusted (although many of them are, of course, just old now.)

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58 minutes ago, Wulfie Reanimator said:

Make the avatars you want and ignore the height police unless it is the owner/staff of the area you're in. If someone is bothered by your height alone, they're probably not the kind of person you'd want to be around anyway.

Thanks, Wulfie.

I think you're right. And, as I've said somewhere above, I don't remember ever actually being criticized for my height, except by the occasional beanpole male friend who thought it was hilarious. (But, again, they were just joking around.)

The immediate thing that made me think about this, actually, was buying some new mesh furnishings, and realizing that it was all fairly oversized relative to my height. Fortunately, almost all of it is mod, and can be resized. But a camera and tripod I bought, which comes with a pose and is not mod, was clearly designed for someone a good foot taller than me.

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1 hour ago, Rhonda Huntress said:

FWIW, my shape says it is 6'0" (1.83m) tall.  The prim I use for proportions says I am 6'3" (1.89m) tall minus heels.  I am comfortable at this height.

Thanks Rhonda. Being comfortable is, of course, what is most important.

My new larger shape is just a bit taller than yours (by maybe an inch). I'm going to stick mostly to my original, shorter shape, but it's nice to have the larger one that I can "slip on" (so to speak) where it feels "right" to do so.

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2 minutes ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

Thanks, Wulfie.

I think you're right. And, as I've said somewhere above, I don't remember ever actually being criticized for my height, except by the occasional beanpole male friend who thought it was hilarious. (But, again, they were just joking around.)

The immediate thing that made me think about this, actually, was buying some new mesh furnishings, and realizing that it was all fairly oversized relative to my height. Fortunately, almost all of it is mod, and can be resized. But a camera and tripod I bought, which comes with a pose and is not mod, was clearly designed for someone a good foot taller than me.

In that context, I think the most correct answer is "there is no answer."

Since almost everything in SL is created by the users, there really isn't many standards people tend to follow. Even if you created a shape for your avatar that worked with that tripod pose, moving over to the next no-mod thing you have is going to have animations and object sizing created for that creator's arbitrary choices. You can try your best to find the "most practical size," but you'll never escape the need for adjustment in our nonstandard world.

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40 minutes ago, moirakathleen said:

Edit Shape says 1.85 m tall.  I haven't totally become obsessive regarding realistic size and proportions - for proportions I think I'm probably not too far off, though I've never checked against one of the models for that.

Personally, I think that it's silly becoming obsessive about it, one way or another. I made my shape proportional because I actually prefer the look: shorter legs and torso relative to my head size looks, to me, "curvier" and more . . . substantial? . . . without actually ramping up my boob and hip size. But that's entirely a personal preference.

I think, at this point in our history, that everyone is aware of the degree to which ideas of feminine beauty and ideal body shape have changed over time: we all know about "Rubenesque" women in the 17th century, and anyone looking at actresses and models from the 50s and 60s must, surely, be very aware of how different these are from current cultural standards.

But it's also true that there were different aesthetics in the art world that "distorted" bodily proportion for artistic effect. Michelangelo's David, for instance, has HUGE hands, and rather undersized genitals, because these carried a symbolic meaning. And the Mannerist painters deliberately elongated limbs, especially on the women they painted. I've always thought that the stereotypical SL avatar -- over-tall, with short arms, long legs, and a small head -- reflected RL standards of beauty for sure, but it's also a kind of aesthetic of its own: it's a "look" that we associate with the residents of this place.

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1 minute ago, Wulfie Reanimator said:

you'll never escape the need for adjustment in our nonstandard world

Indeed. Kind of weirdly like RL in that regard, no?

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27 minutes ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

a camera and tripod I bought, which comes with a pose and is not mod, was clearly designed for someone a good foot taller than me.

Assuming that except for your feet being off the ground, the rest of the pose looks ok, you might try lowering the tripod into the floor/ground and see if that helps or not.  I've had some luck with some furnishings by doing that, where the bottom of the item is designed such that it still looks good even with some of it under the floor.   

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5 minutes ago, moirakathleen said:

Assuming that except for your feet being off the ground, the rest of the pose looks ok, you might try lowering the tripod into the floor/ground and see if that helps or not.  I've had some luck with some furnishings by doing that, where the bottom of the item is designed such that it still looks good even with some of it under the floor.   

That's a really good idea, actually!

The camera uses a pose ball, which I can of course move around to position my avi properly: height was really the only major problem.

That said, I'm probably not going to be posing on the camera all that much, so it's maybe not such a big deal anyway.

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