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New to second life and need advice on creating my Avatar :)


VonWulfen
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Hello everyone :)

I just discovered second life earlier today. I am really into creating things in Blender and read that Second life was a cool virtual sandbox to build and experiment. so I thought I would check it out :)

Spent the first few hours totally confused but soon got used to travelling to different locations thanks to a very polite and helpful cartoon demon guy.

After some exploration and more helpful advice from radically different looking people I ended up at some very cool stores.

It was at this point I noticed the difference in my starter avatars body and skin compared to the ones in the stores.

I was also a bit confused about head, body, skin compatibility. I did a little research and found I also needed to take into account the availability of accessories, clothing etc, Phew...

As you can imagine it was information overload lol.

Some of the stores I visited: Signature, Belezza, ExMachina, GA.EG, and Slink. From what I have read these seem to be the most popular.

Now to some questions;

Are there any full Avatars that include both body, skin, head etc?

What body has the most support in terms of clothing and accessories?

Can I wear any skin over any body?

I like beards, is there a particular body/skin/head brand that are made for beards?

I would like a body that is toned but average build.

Phew... A lot of questions so please forgive me : ) 

 

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Hi there. 

I am going to assume you are asking about a male avatar based on the beard comment ;)

Are there any full Avatars that include both body, skin, head etc?
Yes but, in my opinion, they are ... less than solid choices.  You can search the Second Life Market Place for complete avatars and see if anything strikes you but be aware that you most likely will have very few to no options for customization.

What body has the most support in terms of clothing and accessories?
Belliza Jake and Signature Gianni are your best options with Slink Physique rounding up the big 3.  These are the most common bodies.

Can I wear any skin over any body?
No, not really.  Most skins are made for specific bodies and are scripted to apply the textures to that body. 
There are all kinds of caviats included in that statement including things like Omega and Bakes On Mesh but the actual answer of any skin on any body is a no.

I like beards, is there a particular body/skin/head brand that are made for beards?
Every male head I know of can wear a beard.  That said, beards come in two basic versions.  First is just a texture and will often come as options with you skin of choice.  The other is a "physical" add on that can be fit to any head.

I would like a body that is toned but average build.
You can adjust the shape to fit your style with various degrees of success.  All three bodies given above can be shaped like this.  Finding a skin that is not shaded with rock hard pecs and abs can be a challenge  but they do exist.

 

Shopping for and building a male avatar is not nearly as easy as it is for a woman.  That said, I would highly recommend looking at this blog.  He really does a great job with explaining everything, male-centric or not. 

And welcome to Second Life!

 

 

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Are there any full Avatars that include both body, skin, head etc?

They all include built-in skins. Heads and bodies are almost always sold separately, though Signature does include a (very basic and really awful) head along with their body. You'll get much better results if you shop for the body and head separately. Ex Machina does have head and body together, and they look really nice, but you'll struggle to find clothes that fit well.

What body has the most support in terms of clothing and accessories?

Signature Gianni is #1, with Belleza Jake close behind in #2. The others are much less well supported. Signature Geralt (the slimmer version of Gianni) may be on the rise, Slink is declining. ExMachina never even got out of the starting gates.

Can I wear any skin over any body?

Mostly. If the skin is Omega compatible, or if it includes system (bakes on mesh) layers, then yes, you can wear it with any of the main commercial bodies (some of the free bodies cannot use third party skins at all, but I don't even know if there are any free ones for men). This is where choice of head is the most important thing; many skin makers will support only one head or maybe two (Catwa and Lelutka being the two most commonly supported for men). So what you really ought to do is find a skin that you like first, then look at the heads and bodies which that skin will work with.

I like beards, is there a particular body/skin/head brand that are made for beards?

Again this is the same as skins; omega and bakes-on-mesh beards will work with any head, some others are specific to a particular head brand. But most male heads and skins come with at least a few beard options included. 

I would like a body that is toned but average build.

Belleza Jake, without hesitation. Signature Gianni is more of a muscle-jock (though not to the extreme of Niramyth Aesthetic). Jake is leaner especially in the upper body. Signature Geralt is similar, even leaner than Jake, but here you run into the same problem; lack of available clothing. Slink is the slimmest of the main brands but not many creators are making new clothing for Slink any more, though older clothing is still available.  Skin has a big impact here; you'll want to look for one without strong muscle definition. Egozy is one of my favourite skin brands in this regard; it suits a slimmer build, but as far as I know they support only Catwa heads, so that will limit your choices. 

Above all, demo, demo, demo. Get demos of skin, body and head, and try them all together. A skin that works well on one body and head may look less good on another combination.

 

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Just a few points.

 

GO SLOW.  

There is no need to look perfect from day two.   You need to spend a LOT of time trying different bodies, seeing which clothes will work on various bodies. Maybe finding the clothes you like first and seeing which bodies those designers rig for.   

I suggest going over to altamura which usually has a few free bodies available. Now and then there are some EXCELLENT desls in group. These bodies take "some" clothes made for other bodies and some not so much :D. BUT that would give you some experience with mesh bodies. 

 

Get some demos of bodies and heads and try them with skins.   I have a couple of male bodies that I used to use for blogging and I can tell you that while in theory many bodies and heads will take "Omega", there aren't that many MALE Omega skins out there that are really all that great. 7 Deadly s[k]ins (hope I got that correct) is about the best for male Omega skins.  You may be able to find Bakes on Mesh bodies and head and skins (all fairly new) and that would be another option.

 

Spend some time in your demo body(s), head(s) and skin(s) and see what feels the most "you".  You can drop a LOT of real life dollars getting yourself decked out. You want to make SURE you make some wise choices.

 

Good luck!

 

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As noted above demo lots of things, take your time, and get to know how it works together before buying.

People do scorn folks on 'newbie avatars' but ONLY if the person is not a newbie... An actually newbie tends to get a lot of help and advice.

Three tips I will make:

  1. Learn about avatar complexity and how to check your script load now, BEFORE you buy anything. Because anyone can make stuff for SL, you have some folks uploading things like content ripped from 3D-art sites that... is super high polygon and extremely laggy... buy that, and you're FPS will tank and you'll be back to shopping again soon...
  2. When you demo bodies and heads make sure to adjust your shape dials with them -beyond your comfort zone. Look for bodies that 'break' if you dial too high or low... look for ones that look good on dial settings you didn't expect... see how they move when walking, sitting, dancing - at various dial settings...
  3. Learn to spot and avoid 'stolen content' - like the above mentioned stuff stolen from 3D art sites... you can buy this... a year later it gets found out and reported by the lawful owner... and everyone who owns a copy finds their copy has vanished... If someone hands you a huge pile of freebies... chances are most of it is stolen goods...

 

 

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Welcome to SL. Lots of good advice given above, but I feel the best is go slow. Then demo and demo some more to see what you like. I'm happy with my my Aesthetic (took a lot of tweaking), but it's probably not a good starter body. Like others have said, Skell's blog is very informative.

Don't be afraid to ask in the group of whatever body you choose to get - make sure to join, when unboxing you'll probably get an invite. Otherwise just TP (teleport) to the store and look for a group invite sign.

Edited by HeathcliffMontague
Stupidity
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Ok, I have found a look I really like.

Its the GA.EG Rick bento head and rigged beard, see pic.

Would this be compatible with Signature Gianni body?

So my shopping list would be; GA.EG Rick bento head and rigged beard, Signature Gianni body, skin to be decided?

Is there a way to tell what skin is being used for the model in the image?

Rick Bento Beard.png

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It's a ridiculous thing, yes... you have to have separate but matching head and body appliers. 

Also, ix-nay on the acelight-fay. It makes you look like you're walking around with your own private spotlight and blinds (and annoys) people near you. It used to be a necessary thing back in the early days of SL, and is still helpful at times when taking photos, but for the rest of the time... just no. 

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18 minutes ago, VonWulfen said:

I have a problem with the neck though, it does not seem to have a texture?

I do own that head (but have never worn it - lol!) but you need a matching body applier for your Gianni body. In the full folder for the Rick head there's a notecard entitled "[GA.EG] How to match my skin between my body and my Head ?"  which says the following:

Quote

For the best fit we recommend to use the same skin for both your body and your head.
We sell body skins compatible with our heads in our store and on the Marketplace (Kirsten Body Skins, Mia Body Skins, Hugo Body Skins...).
But you can also apply other third party skins if they come as Omega Applier (You would need the Omega System Kit for GA.EG to apply the skin on your GA.EG Head).

Also, you're wearing three alpha layers in that screenshot. you only need one (the 'full avatar' one). You probably don't need the 'ear hole filler' either, as things like that tend to be worn if you're using third-party ears, rather than the ones that come with the head. (If you hide the head's ears, many brands will have a hole there; hence the filler).

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57 minutes ago, MrsSeren said:

You need to see if your body skin does matching head skin otherwise you may have to change skins.

 

53 minutes ago, Beth Macbain said:

It's a ridiculous thing, yes... you have to have separate but matching head and body appliers. 

Also, ix-nay on the acelight-fay. It makes you look like you're walking around with your own private spotlight and blinds (and annoys) people near you. It used to be a necessary thing back in the early days of SL, and is still helpful at times when taking photos, but for the rest of the time... just no. 

 

51 minutes ago, Skell Dagger said:

I do own that head (but have never worn it - lol!) but you need a matching body applier for your Gianni body. In the full folder for the Rick head there's a notecard entitled "[GA.EG] How to match my skin between my body and my Head ?"  which says the following:

Also, you're wearing three alpha layers in that screenshot. you only need one (the 'full avatar' one). You probably don't need the 'ear hole filler' either, as things like that tend to be worn if you're using third-party ears, rather than the ones that come with the head. (If you hide the head's ears, many brands will have a hole there; hence the filler).

Many thanks again guys. Managed to match the skin and head finally.

So now my shopping list is GA.EG Rick bento head and rigged beard, Signature Gianni body, GA.EG Handsome skin (To match the head skin.)

Does that make sense?

 

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Sounds about right to me, yes. From a quick squint at the demo board in your image (the one that is stuck to the side of you) at the very bottom there it appears that animations are sold separately. I've taken a look at the head in my folder, and it comes with an animation HUD containing basic stuff: one emote, one default blink, two default eyes, two default lips, and two static emotes. So it looks as if you'll need to buy additional animations if those aren't enough for you.

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23 minutes ago, VonWulfen said:

Does that make sense?

My only other recommendation... after you wear it for a little while and get used to it, play with your shape sliders a little to make it unique to you. Make a copy of the original shape first, then start tweaking things. So many people stick with the default shapes and they all end up looking the same. Mix it up a little. And have fun with it!

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21 hours ago, VonWulfen said:

Hello everyone :)

I just discovered second life earlier today. I am really into creating things in Blender and read that Second life was a cool virtual sandbox to build and experiment. so I thought I would check it out :)

Spent the first few hours totally confused but soon got used to travelling to different locations thanks to a very polite and helpful cartoon demon guy.

After some exploration and more helpful advice from radically different looking people I ended up at some very cool stores.

It was at this point I noticed the difference in my starter avatars body and skin compared to the ones in the stores.

I was also a bit confused about head, body, skin compatibility. I did a little research and found I also needed to take into account the availability of accessories, clothing etc, Phew...

As you can imagine it was information overload lol.

Some of the stores I visited: Signature, Belezza, ExMachina, GA.EG, and Slink. From what I have read these seem to be the most popular.

Now to some questions;

Are there any full Avatars that include both body, skin, head etc?

What body has the most support in terms of clothing and accessories?

Can I wear any skin over any body?

I like beards, is there a particular body/skin/head brand that are made for beards?

I would like a body that is toned but average build.

Phew... A lot of questions so please forgive me : ) 

 

“You don’t try to build a wall, you don’t set out to build a wall. You don’t say I’m gonna build the biggest baddest wall that’s ever been built. you say, I’m gonna lay this brick, as perfectly as a brick can be laid, and you do that every single day, and soon you have a wall. It’s difficult to take the first step when you look how big the task is. The task is never huge to me, it’s always one brick.” - Will Smith  ... in this sense: "A tree needs time to grow, your ava too, give the ava and you the time ... and things will be fine!" says HK

Edited by 811Lord
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48 minutes ago, VonWulfen said:

 

 

Many thanks again guys. Managed to match the skin and head finally.

So now my shopping list is GA.EG Rick bento head and rigged beard, Signature Gianni body, GA.EG Handsome skin (To match the head skin.)

Does that make sense?

 

You got the foundation sorted, most of all fun making your look your very own look! ;) Enjoy :) and before I forget; welcome to Second life... get ready buckle in and have crazy fun! :D 

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10 hours ago, Skell Dagger said:

You probably don't need the 'ear hole filler' either, as things like that tend to be worn if you're using third-party ears, rather than the ones that come with the head. (If you hide the head's ears, many brands will have a hole there; hence the filler).

Ear hole filler... I wish Catwa had that. Or at least a proper no-ear option that was truely flat to surface there.

Here is the only time you need something like that:

8ec48b10e2fc4bdb5d784823af323a4c.jpg

For a rare once, something male avatars have an advantage on.

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19 minutes ago, Skell Dagger said:

You're only wearing an alpha layer for your head. Wear your Signature body alpha as well.

That brown you see - that's the 2003-era SL avatar poking through.

 

You can also make an alpha yourself really easy

Just go to the '+' sign at the bottom of inventory, choose the option to make a new alpha (Create -> New Clothes -> New Alpha). Wear it, then right click it in inventory and edit it.

Then just put a check mark in all the boxes for any part you wish to hide the 2003-era version of SL (the "system avatar") for...
(most of the time this means a check mark for ALL of it, but if you start using 'BOM', Bakes On Mesh, you will be unchecking these).

 

 

Edited by Pussycat Catnap
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12 minutes ago, VonWulfen said:

Finally , how do I look?

You've done a great job! :)

ETA: I am, however, chuckling at the outfit names. Been there, done that! It reminded me a bit of this:

finalfinalcensored.png.bc251ceb7692db300f12b19d2418f05c.png

(Suitably censored for the forum...)

Edited by Skell Dagger
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