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i want to learn to do customs shapes/skins


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You can do custom shapes in the viewer, appearance editor. Make sure you have full permissions to the shape you're editing or you won't be able to share it. You can create a base shape from the little + icon in your inventory window. 

You can use any image-editor on your computer to make skins. You just need some templates to draw over.

https://www.robinwood.com/Catalog/Technical/SL-Tuts/SLPages/AVUVTemplates.html

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6 hours ago, dann87 said:

hey, can anyone give me any advice on what programs or editing tools i would need to learn to do customs skins and shapes thanks

addition to Wulfie's advice.. for shapes you need the according mesh bodies, and heads you want to make shapes for. Or the results might end "surprising"
For skins you need the developer kits, not all mesh bodies use the standard templates for the body.

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Some of us use Firestorm to export and import shapes. The format is an XML file. Editable with any text editor.

I use the process to make head or body only shapes. I edit the XML file to remove all of the head-values or body-values. When a partial shape is imported only the values present affect the shape.

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