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New to SL and need help putting together my avatar


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Hello, I'm new to the SL world, after watching many tutorial; videos I'm still not sure on what to do, the most I've done is purchase things for my avatar appearance but I'm still confused on how to apply all of the different things. Is there anyone that would be willing to me help me by any chance? I know everything comes with a price so I'd be willing to pay $L. 

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3 hours ago, TheHoodSocialist said:

Hello, I'm new to the SL world, after watching many tutorial; videos I'm still not sure on what to do, the most I've done is purchase things for my avatar appearance but I'm still confused on how to apply all of the different things. Is there anyone that would be willing to me help me by any chance? I know everything comes with a price so I'd be willing to pay $L. 

Pffft. What kind of socialist thinks "everything comes with a price"?

In Solidarity, here is a bit of starter advice for free!

You don't give us a very clear idea of what you know, and what you don't, so to start with (and I apologize if you do already know this), there are two basic sorts of avatar, with some variations within and between each.

1) The "system" avatar, which consists of a "system" body, head, hands, and feet that are customized by changing three essential properties: a) shape, which determines, well, the shape of your body (height, thickness, nose size and shape, etc., etc.), b) skin, which is, yes, the skin you wear over your shape (and which can be any number of shades or colours, and include more or less detail), and c) hair base, which is nowadays mostly used to shape your eyebrows. Over top of these you can wear clothes, hair, and other attachments that come in a variety of different kinds and flavours.

A fair number of people still use system avatars, but they are pretty rare mostly these days, and most people either use "mesh" avatars, or a combination (generally a "mesh" body with the system head)

2) "Mesh" avatars are the result of adding commercially produced mesh body parts over top of your system avatar. These are not available from the platform itself; you'll need to obtain them (i.e., buy them), usually at an in-world store, from residents merchants/creators. A number of free mesh body parts are available, but some of these will cost L$. Most usually, mesh avatars consist of a) a mesh body, which may or may not include hands, feet, or, more rarely, head, b) a mesh head, c) a skin, either added to the body using a HUD attachment called an "applier," or, increasingly these days, a system skin like the ones used for a "system" avatar. To these, again, you can add clothes, hair, and other attachments.

And again, you can mix and match: most residents nowadays use mesh body, head, feet, and hands, but some, as I've said, retain their system head while using other mesh body parts.

Mesh avatars are generally much more realistic than system avatars, and have more clothing options, because clothing is generally made for particular mesh bodies, and these won't work properly on a system avatar. It is possible to create a decent looking mesh avatar from free mesh parts, hair, skins, and clothing, but the nicest looking and best supported mesh bits and pieces can set you back quite a bit. If you want to go the "high end" mesh avatar route, with a good body, head, hair, skin, and clothing, you can expect to pay at least L$10,000. But, as I say, if you know where to look, you can also put together something entirely presentable for next to nothing.

Here are a couple of pretty good and detailed video tutorials. One thing not covered that is pretty new is "bakes on mesh," or BOM, which is a new and simpler way to apply skins, tattoos, makeup, and some clothing to mesh bodies.

As I say, you may already know everything I've said above -- and it's just the most basic information in any case. If you can give us a sense of what you know and what kind of avatar you want to create, the people here can be much more helpful. What have you purchased already, for instance? This is a huge and complicated subject, so the more we know, the easier it will be for us to provide guidance!

PS. Welcome to SL! (Can I call you "comrade"?)

 

 

Edited by Scylla Rhiadra
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My advice is, Don't get in a rush. Take your time check things out talk to people you meet inworld who have looks you like about what they did. Eventually you will figure it out and get the look you really want. 

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1 hour ago, Talligurl said:

My advice is, Don't get in a rush. Take your time check things out talk to people you meet inworld who have looks you like about what they did. Eventually you will figure it out and get the look you really want. 

Yeah, get in-world too. There are many who will help on this forum, absolutely. But don't be in a rush. Explore in-world too - see what is out there. Don't miss out on that experience. That's the main part of learning SL. While simultaneously never be afraid to ask here, of course. 

Edited by HeathcliffMontague
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10 hours ago, TheHoodSocialist said:

the most I've done is purchase things for my avatar appearance but I'm still confused on how to apply all of the different things

Welcome to Second Life :)

The bit I've quoted up there is important if we're going to be able to help you. Second Life doesn't work like many other games (and I use that word loosely, so as not to drag this thread down into the 'game vs virtual world' debate), in that here you generally don't just choose one avatar and then everything you buy or pick up to customise it will automatically fit it. Scylla has given you a great basic rundown of the difference between system (or 'classic') avatars versus mesh avatars, but it would really help us to help you if we know exactly what you've bought! I'm not talking about clothing etc, but rather about the basics such as skins, and whether you've purchased a mesh body and/or head, or whether you're sticking to the system avatar that you started out with and just want to customise that a bit more.

It also helps to know the gender of your avatar if you're happy to give that, and if you're going to use a gendered avatar as opposed to a non-gendered avatar (and even with a non-gendered avatar you will still start out with a specific male- or female-gendered body, unless you purchase one of the specific 'androgyne' bodies). You also, of course, have the option of other avatars that aren't even human in appearance. There is a large furry community in SL, as well as communities for other non-human avatars. As you can guess, this all means we can help you better if we know what you want to look like!

Assuming that you're opting for a human avatar, there are a multitude of ways to customise it in SL, and they can be quite confusing for a newcomer. Just a small handful of examples:

  • system/BoM [Bakes on Mesh] skins or applier skins (and for Catwa? Lelutka? Genus? Belleza? Maitreya? Slink?)
  • standard sizing mesh jacket or Maitreya-rigged mesh jacket (or Belleza-rigged, or Signature-rigged, or... etc)
  • makeup for Catwa or Genus or Lelutka or LAQ or Omega (or any other brand!)
  • additional consideration for male avatars: unrigged facial hair or Bento-rigged facial hair (and - if Bento-rigged, for which brand of head and which exact head)

If that all looks confusing, then I'm afraid it rather is when you first dive into SL! This is why we ask the questions that I've asked at the start of my reply, to find out exactly what you've bought so far, so we can offer you the best help we can based on what we know of your choices.

So:

  • are you sticking with the avatar you started with, and want to customise that?
  • if you've bought a body, which brand did you buy, and what's the name of the body?
  • if you've bought a head, which brand did you buy, and what's the name of the head?
  • have you bought a skin for your avatar? If so, what does the icon for it look like in your inventory, and does it state something like Catwa or Lelutka or BoM (or anything else like that) in its name?

Your answers to those will help us to let you know what to do in order to make your avatar look fantastic :)

 

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13 hours ago, TheHoodSocialist said:

Hello, I'm new to the SL world, after watching many tutorial; videos I'm still not sure on what to do, the most I've done is purchase things for my avatar appearance but I'm still confused on how to apply all of the different things. Is there anyone that would be willing to me help me by any chance? I know everything comes with a price so I'd be willing to pay $L. 

A lot of "avatar appearance" things these days are for Mesh bodies, which you wear over you Classic body.  Hopefully, you bought "normal" things that can be worn with your Classic avatar. Otherwise, see Skell Dagger's post - in which Skell asks allllll the right questions. Trust Skell!

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If you have not already bought all the stuff you want, something to keep in mind that I don't think anyone has mentioned is that almost everything related to mesh comes in a demo version. So, you can gather up lots of stuff that looks promising and see if you can make it work the way you want. That includes adjusting the shape for mesh heads and bodies to your heart's content. Then, when you find the stuff you like, you go back and buy it. Most likely you can still use the shape from the demo, too. If not, you can write down the settings and use them on the shape that comes with your body or head.

One other tip, if you get a mesh body and a mesh head, my recommendation is to use the shape that came with the body, and adjust it the way you want before you add the mesh head. Then add your mesh head and wear the shape that came with it. If you use another shape, your head will likely look horrible. Then, adjust the head parts of the shape to make your face and head the way you like. Finally, either keep wearing the shape you just adjusted for the head and make the body adjustments based on the shape you adjusted for the body, or the other way around. Others may have better suggestions, but that is what worked for me. It took me quite a while to realize I needed to use the shape that came from the head or just be hopelessly lost.

Good luck, hope this helps. 🙂

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We were all in your shoes before, and I can start off by saying, DONT EXCESSIVELY BUY until you organize your inventory and until you know that you'd commit to playing SL!  Literally, it will save you in the long run before you start purchasing items. I organize specifically by Accessories all the way down to shoes. Having these folders will help you tremendously.

If you're trying to put the items on your avatar, which you unbox (if you haven't already done so) and  accept the items to put in your inventory. Most cases, most items will have you do that, and you'll get a notification in your top right corner to accept them.  Now to apply, you right click on the items and click "Add" otherwise if you double click, you may notice that parts of your body start to disappear.  It would be nice if SL could edit that, as double clicking is quite easier rather than right clicking to add the items to your body. However,  Make sure they fit first, and you can identify key words like *Maitreya, Slink, etc. located on the specified product before trying it on. Otherwise,  If you see that it looks odd, then it is not for your avatar. 

Good Luck! 

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7 minutes ago, ToneyaB said:

until you know that you'd commit to playing SL! 

I am wondering if they already made that choice, considering they made one post several days ago and have not returned. I don't really want to consider another option that comes to mind.. :(

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