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Which comes first: the head or the “look”?

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When you are creating a new AV, which do you experienced residents recommend, and why:

(1) have a “look” or idea in mind and then go looking for a head that will more easily reach that look; or

(2) find a head that you like and then play around with the demo until you obtain a look you like?

it seems to be one of those “which came first, chicken or egg” type things, but I see postings of everyone’s AVs and often wonder how the end result was obtained....

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Good question.  I would say I start with a look.  More specifically, I find a skin I like then find a head I like that fits the skin.  All of this also follows what I already have if possible.  Once I have a skin and head, I start making my shape.  If I can rough it in with demos and still look like me, I buy it all.

 

I have some alts I like to play with as well and have been known to rebuild other peoples avatars for them.  Usually this happens when I see some item (head, skin, shape or whatever) I like and off I go with it.  In these cases the look comes last. 

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For me, when I first went mesh, it was the head that came first, primarily because it was a cheap non-bento head and the shape couldn't be changed in anyway. I had a male body and head back then (albeit not exactly macho even then).

180221_003.thumb.jpg.9f6810f8ce5c06cce17aee40d738a7ad.jpg

In mid-2019 I switched to a female body and head but I wanted to keep my "look" so here, it was definitely the look that came first and I chose the head that most closely enabled me to match it.

190914_007.thumb.jpg.8a049a1ff159b6ae8e274ecdb4173a3c.jpg

More recently I've shifted to a much more feminine look, and a week or so ago I picked up the free Genus head, so here I'm back to the head coming first and the look developing from it. It still has some of the original look though; in particular the angular jaw and pronounced cheekbones, which I have carried over from that original mesh head three years ago.

200404_001.thumb.jpg.55f668ecc13e95d528f0b29125402833.jpg

It's very much a fluid thing for me, I change and tweak my avatar on an almost daily basis. Sometimes a tweak sticks and sometimes it doesn't. One thing I'm sure of is that in 6 months from now I'll look different again, but still somehow, a little bit the same. 

 

 

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At last count I have 13 mesh heads on my main account, which is the only one I currently use. I try to give each head equal time.

I start with a head I like the basic look of, and then change the shape to my liking. Then I have specific shapes saved for each skin that I subsequently buy for each head, since most need to be tweaked here or there. A big chunk of my inworld time is spent adjusting shapes. LOL

 

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Posted (edited)

I always start with a look.

Generally I idealize a whole look (physical appearance and clothes style) and then look for a skin and head that best suit what I have in mind . After selecting some heads and skins, I spend days creating shapes. Having defined the shape, I finish with the clothes, hairs and accessories.

Edited by DemeraraGirl
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I start with my look, and demo heads until I find one which is me. Only then do I mess with skins. Once that's done, it's done. A new head might tempt another demo, but I want the me look.

For my alts I demo'd various heads with a look in mind. I settled on a family look, which ultimately meant we all have the same head,  but different skins. My alts looks are not set in stone, so I might occasionally mess with sliders, but overall I'm very happy with how they all look.

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I'd say it depends on how malleable you are. Are you the type of person that settles with on certain look and that's "you"? If so, you'd want to go with a look and choose accordingly. Are you a sculptor? The type of person who takes the materials they have and shape it into what it wants to be? If that's you, go with the head first and see what you can make of it.

I'm a sculptor, if I like a head I'll get it and play with it and tweak it, and tweak it some more, and tweak it some more until it feels right. you'd be surprised with what you can pull off with one head and how mutable they are with different skins and makeup and that's fun to me. I love the current look I have now, but I changed it about 6 times before I was completely happy with it and stopped tweaking. Meanwhile, I have three totally different heads and looks I'm in the process of just tweaking until they feel right. When I get tired of this look, I'll switch to something else that is ready.

Think about the type of avatar you want and how often you like to change and play around with things.

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i am a that is me person

every time I come back to SL, I think this time is gunna be different. I am gunna be something completely different. And then within a month I am wearing neko ears and have made again the same flex tail I have ever had.  My shape/size is the same as it ever was

all that changes along the way is changing up to the new tech. Like mesh body/head, hair and clothes today

this time I went thru 4 mesh bodies and 3 different mesh heads to get to me again

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OMG... I'm conforming... how embarrassing. I start with a look. But, I do compromise and adapt as I go through the process becoming more flexible on the exact look.

This thread is a pretty small sample size. So, we may be the non-conformists... there is hope for me. However, those people asking about appearance and building an avatar here in the forum seem to be trying to find a head or body that will fit a look they have in mind. Of course those that aren't trying to fit a look just ask for the Best Head... um... yeah... so they seem to be a smaller group. But, I doubt anyone has good numbers on which type is predominant.

 

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Told you I change things frequently; yesterday, about an hour after I posted here, I picked up a free head from Dream (one of the Stay At Home gifts) And I managed to get it looking more like my old male head than anything I've ever seen before. So here I am back with "look first".

200415_001.thumb.jpg.a4aa9b3f495580e91160c3e9c90fecb1.jpg

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I don't change my avi. I play with the same basic avi and create the lok with my clothing just like in RL, except for having more options in regards to hair. For me the head came first however. I went into the LAQ store one day, saw a big picture advertising a head, and had to have it, I have stuck with that ever since.

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Since i've been around before mesh came on the scene i went with the look first and sourced a head that looked most like how i looked. if i was new and not attached to any look i'd spent a long time crafting i would pick the head i most liked the look of and create a look around that

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Look first, I think.

I didn't spend a great deal of time or effort on my old system avi: I added a new hair style here, a new skin there (the one that became my default look for years was one I bought because it was on sale). I don't even remember spending much time tweaking my shape. But the look that eventually emerged after about a year here, by accretion and almost by accident, became one that I very heavily identified with.

So, when I meshed up about a year and a half ago, my initial impulse was to get a look as close to my old system one as possible. I bought the Genus Classic when it was cheap because still in Beta, and liked it a lot, but discovered (after a LONG time of playing with it) that I wasn't going to be able to replicate my old look as exactly as I wanted.

So, instead, I tried to capture a sense of "personality." I wanted a look that was "softer" and looked more "approachable" and "open" (if that's quite the right word) than the appearance of the majority of women's faces in SL (at least, in my view). Rather than replicating the exact appearance of my old avi, I was trying to produce the same effect that I think it had.

I think mostly I succeeded -- at least, I'm happy with it. And, in the process, my mesh avi actually did come to look not entirely unlike my old system one, I think.

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8 hours ago, Matty Luminos said:

Told you I change things frequently; yesterday, about an hour after I posted here, I picked up a free head from Dream (one of the Stay At Home gifts) And I managed to get it looking more like my old male head than anything I've ever seen before. So here I am back with "look first".

200415_001.thumb.jpg.a4aa9b3f495580e91160c3e9c90fecb1.jpg

That looks great! Very realistic.

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1 hour ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

So, instead, I tried to capture a sense of "personality." I wanted a look that was "softer" and looked more "approachable" and "open" (if that's quite the right word) than the appearance of the majority of women's faces in SL (at least, in my view). Rather than replicating the exact appearance of my old avi, I was trying to produce the same effect that I think it had.

I think mostly I succeeded -- at least, I'm happy with it. And, in the process, my mesh avi actually did come to look not entirely unlike my old system one, I think.

I love your look and I think it's a very distinctive one; it seems like whatever skin or head you wear, you're always basically "you". Yours is one of the avatars I would recognise in a heartbeat if I met you inworld, even if I had nametags turned off.

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6 minutes ago, Matty Luminos said:

I love your look and I think it's a very distinctive one; it seems like whatever skin or head you wear, you're always basically "you". Yours is one of the avatars I would recognise in a heartbeat if I met you inworld, even if I had nametags turned off.

Matty, what an absolutely lovely thing to say! Thank you!

Now I'm going to have warm fuzzies all day! (Which I could kind of use, actually.)

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1 hour ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

Look first, I think.

I didn't spend a great deal of time or effort on my old system avi: I added a new hair style here, a new skin there (the one that became my default look for years was one I bought because it was on sale). I don't even remember spending much time tweaking my shape. But the look that eventually emerged after about a year here, by accretion and almost by accident, became one that I very heavily identified with.

So, when I meshed up about a year and a half ago, my initial impulse was to get a look as close to my old system one as possible. I bought the Genus Classic when it was cheap because still in Beta, and liked it a lot, but discovered (after a LONG time of playing with it) that I wasn't going to be able to replicate my old look as exactly as I wanted.

So, instead, I tried to capture a sense of "personality." I wanted a look that was "softer" and looked more "approachable" and "open" (if that's quite the right word) than the appearance of the majority of women's faces in SL (at least, in my view). Rather than replicating the exact appearance of my old avi, I was trying to produce the same effect that I think it had.

I think mostly I succeeded -- at least, I'm happy with it. And, in the process, my mesh avi actually did come to look not entirely unlike my old system one, I think.

Yup, "look" first, and one that goes back a long ways, like Scylla is talking about, although I think I was trying to go closer in to my system avi than she was. I spent a long time creating my system avatar and going for a certain look. It was based on old family photos, not that Seicher looks exactly like me or anyone in my family, but there are similarities. Like Scylla I wanted softer and more approachable vs glam. I was very late getting a mesh head, and I wasn't ever really happy with the static ones I had. I tried a few brands of bento, got close, but it wasn't until I got a Genus Classic and smooshed the heck out of it that I regained the look I wanted.

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Posted (edited)

I got my mesh body 5 years back; I got my first non bento mesh head 2 years back then after few months of saving got my bento since then I changed my skin 3 times, first time I used WoW Skins then went to Lumae and now happy with my Deetalez skin.

cofee fix2_001.png with Lumae Skin; I used to Lumae from Jan 2018 till Feb/Mar this year.

bento update_001.png ^^^^ With WoW Skin so from about Apr 2017 to about Jan 2018

close up.png and finally my fave; Deetalez and current skin.

Edited by MrsSeren
adding infot
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8 hours ago, Matty Luminos said:

Told you I change things frequently; yesterday, about an hour after I posted here, I picked up a free head from Dream (one of the Stay At Home gifts) And I managed to get it looking more like my old male head than anything I've ever seen before. So here I am back with "look first".

200415_001.thumb.jpg.a4aa9b3f495580e91160c3e9c90fecb1.jpg

You are very talented with creating avatars, but I have to say I really like this one a lot. It has a lot of character.

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16 minutes ago, Seicher Rae said:

You are very talented with creating avatars, but I have to say I really like this one a lot. It has a lot of character.

Thank you.

I've noticed something about it today that I didn't notice yesterday, and is probably why I like it; it makes me look adult, and not like a teenager. And that is very hard to achieve with a male skin on a female head; more adult/masculine skins tend to look really wrong on female heads.

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9 hours ago, Matty Luminos said:

Told you I change things frequently; yesterday, about an hour after I posted here, I picked up a free head from Dream (one of the Stay At Home gifts) And I managed to get it looking more like my old male head than anything I've ever seen before. So here I am back with "look first".

200415_001.thumb.jpg.a4aa9b3f495580e91160c3e9c90fecb1.jpg

What did you do to the neck? I have the same head but the neck is so small there is a HUGE gap between the neck and the body. 

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35 minutes ago, Zzevir said:

What did you do to the neck? I have the same head but the neck is so small there is a HUGE gap between the neck and the body. 

You need to wear it with a female body. I use Maitreya with the V-tech mod for flat chest, but if you want to go a bit cheaper than that, you can use Natasha from Lucybody (still fits Maitreya clothes).

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4 minutes ago, Matty Luminos said:

You need to wear it with a female body. I use Maitreya with the V-tech mod for flat chest, but if you want to go a bit cheaper than that, you can use Natasha from Lucybody (still fits Maitreya clothes).

Thank you but it is to much hassle. 

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Posted (edited)

I spent a lot of time and money on my look when I had a system avatar. I could buy a fatpack of skins and use it one week. Most of the time I bought one skin, not fatpacks. I used to see what was on sale, buy a skin, and then next week, another skin.

I used a lot of makeup and accessories to cover up the avatar. Like thick bangles on every wrist or a stack of them.

Back them, I could not imagine me staying in one look so long as I have with the mesh body and head that I use. I am not sure how this happened. Now I am the one who does not want to change my appearance, because that is not me. I also go with less makeup and almost no jewelry, compared to before mesh avatars.

I an sometimes not looking like Marianne, but that is like dressing up for Halloween. I take off the costume after. And my alts get a makeover when I am restless and want to try something different. I would say that I start with a look, and mix what I have, with new items. The alts often benefit from Group gift and sales. Often one distinctive piece inspire a new look.

Edited by Marianne Little
edited bc I changed a word and spelling

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