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The issue with a natural smile is that it isn't fixed on someone's face or at random. It's in response to what's happening around. So you'd need the smiles set up on a HUD or as gestures and fire them off at the right points in conversation. That's a lot of work and most people won't be bothered with all that.

The alterative that some games use is to have the system automatically pick body language based on the words used, which can be hilariously bad. I remember one made the character do things like hit one palm with the other fist in response to strong words like "must". Which worked for "We must save the city!" but not "I must remember to wash my shirt." People in Second Life have yet to try this, as far as I know.

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Everyone just found out about the increase in the Linden Buy Fee.

You mean that facial distortion where you bare your teeth? I don't do it in RL either.  It scares the cat.

I've always found smiling avatars creepy and have had that in my profile for ages.  If I were to see a person standing around in RL randomly smiling, I'd cross the street to get away.  Now, for a pict

Posted Images

Lelukta's heads come with gestures that are activated by using certain emojis . So if I ever use :D in local I do smile momentarily which I like. Otherwise I try to keep my face fairly neutral when I am just out and about.

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3 hours ago, JordonBanks said:

But one thing i am starting to notice more and more, is that no one seems to smile, and almost all of the beautiful, creative and fantastic avatars, have very sullen/serious expressions.  Is there a reason for that?

Everyone just found out about the increase in the Linden Buy Fee.

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1 hour ago, Arielle Popstar said:

I usually turn mouth corners up very slightly in the Appearance hud to 55-60 or so depending on the head. At the same time I tend to keep lip width a bit under 50 so I get just the hint of a smile without risking going into a grimace with some head ao's. I find it best for inworld so I don't get mistaken for  a domme

Not so sure of the numbers I do it by eye but your numbers sound about what I have done with every shape for the last 8 years. It just makes everything seem a bit more cheerful to have a slightly smiley resting face.

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1 hour ago, animats said:

If SL had face tracking via webcam, so your avatar followed your facial expressions, would you use that?

Nah. (a) I'm not always making in RL the expression I want to convey on-screen, and (b) I'm not sure my real smile would be much of an improvement. 😆

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One of my primary objectives when I first moved to a mesh head a few years ago was to ensure that my avi had a reasonably "open" and "inviting" face. Or, just friendly if you like. Not smiling all the time, because that can look creepy, but at least approachable. I get the appeal of RBF, I do, but it's almost the default with most mesh heads, skins, and shapes in SL for women, and it's not how I wanted to present myself.

So, after a great deal of tinkering, I ended up with this. In the pic below, my eyes are open a teeny bit wider than usual, but this is otherwise my default expression. I think, maybe, it makes it a bit easier for people to approach me for the first time? Maybe?

So, I do think it's possible to look at least a bit different, and a little less discontented with the world.

Yes I Said Yes I Will Yes

 

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2 minutes ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

One of my primary objectives when I first moved to a mesh head a few years ago was to ensure that my avi had a reasonably "open" and "inviting" face. Or, just friendly if you like. Not smiling all the time, because that can look creepy, but at least approachable. I get the appeal of RBF, I do, but it's almost the default with most mesh heads, skins, and shapes in SL for women, and it's not how I wanted to present myself.

So, after a great deal of tinkering, I ended up with this. In the pic below, my eyes are open a teeny bit wider than usual, but this is otherwise my default expression. I think, maybe, it makes it a bit easier for people to approach me for the first time? Maybe?

So, I do think it's possible to look at least a bit different, and a little less discontented with the world.

Yes I Said Yes I Will Yes

 

Which head is that one?

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So... let me just answer with an image. The left side is what happens when I spend about an hour tweaking poses and frankensteining things from two different mesh-heads. The right side is what happens when I click an expression in the hud that comes with the head. Yeh. No. No. No no no enough nightmares.

9lMV5wE.jpg

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9 hours ago, JordonBanks said:

But one thing i am starting to notice more and more, is that no one seems to smile, and almost all of the beautiful, creative and fantastic avatars, have very sullen/serious expressions.  Is there a reason for that?

I've been wondering about the same. My best theory is that middle aged people tend to think that "youngsters today" are sour people so when they try to look younger themselves, that's what they go for. :P

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6 hours ago, Arielle Popstar said:

I usually turn mouth corners up very slightly in the Appearance hud to 55-60 or so depending on the head. 

Unfortunately with most heads, the lip corners slider never makes the lip corners actually go above horizontal, it only makes the mouth wider. So then you end up looking like Twisty the Clown.

 

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my avatar always has a random smiley face going on.  But then I also have a wiggly wander about body AO as well. So they  go together

and then I have my music player on as well all the time, so my avatar does a lot of random dancing as well for no apparent reason to the passing observer

which kinda gets worse (to the passing observer) because my avatar also likes to party up as well. So can get all drunky dancing while swigging a bottle of wine. And then my avatar starts thinking that virtual smoking isn't so bad and soon puffing away on a ciggy in the other hand at the same time. All the while randomly smiling away, like you do when you party up drunky dancing

😺

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17 hours ago, JordonBanks said:

I am quite new to SL, and I LOVE IT.

But one thing i am starting to notice more and more, is that no one seems to smile, and almost all of the beautiful, creative and fantastic avatars, have very sullen/serious expressions.  Is there a reason for that?  

I did try to experiment with my own head HUD (Lelutka) and did notice that if I did put a permanent smile on my face, it looked more creepy than happy.  So turned it off.  Wonder if this is the same for everyone else, and that it's just hard to capture that normal smiling face in the current virtual technologies used for this sort of thing?

It used to be eyes didn't it with video games  (YES, i know SL is not a game, but you know what i mean) and they could never get the eyes right.  (or am I getting that confused with The Stepford Wives?)

Anyway - would love to be able to have, and see more smiling avatars - how about you ? 😀

All the smiling they have that I've seen on talk shows and such look like grimaces and the Uncanny Valley.

If you want to see your avatar smile, take a selfie and see him smile/grimace automatically.

I think they haven't gotten it right, and it isn't a priority, and likely will not be any time soon.

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21 hours ago, JordonBanks said:

I did try to experiment [...] it looked more creepy than happy.

All botox jokes aside, it's definitely harder to put a more pronounced emotion of your face in SL, and ironically, Bento has not increased the amount of smiles in-world at all.

Culture may also be a factor. After all, if you want to be with the cool kids, you just don't smile.

But it is possible. I did a quick search on Flickr:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/191317972@N03/51089655572/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/wesskyther/50354517067/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/167961055@N05/50731417843/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/tupper_moran/49980574718/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/mikeybatriani/50449499803/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/calypsocadell/49830845143/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/26084498@N02/48513095781/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/156806996@N06/48944540666/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/lidsaaline/50193329617/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/137613787@N07/48322751906/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/167961055@N05/51082263973/

From what i understand, it seems to depend greatly on the mesh head type, dentures and especially the skin you are wearing.

P.S. I don't believe the above examples are 'morphed'.

P.P.S. WAAARBGHL!!! NVM Orwar says they're FaceApp-ed.

 

Edited by Arduenn Schwartzman
Added P.S.
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13 hours ago, Chaser Zaks said:

Do what I do and use a script which can pull facial expression data off a webcam and animate the avatar based off what it thinks the expression is.

Oh heck, I don't want people seeing what I'm doing with my face in reality. I've been known to moon at the screen when talking to certain people.

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1 hour ago, Arduenn Schwartzman said:

But it is possible. I did a quick search on Flickr:

   Those images aren't using in-world animations. That's a notorious photo filter (that I can't remember the name of) - LL recently asked people not to post images using that filter in their official SL group on Flickr due to it being misleading.

   Edit: Looked it up, it's called 'Face App'. You can find examples of it being used online .. Like this one: 

 

Edited by Orwar
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4 minutes ago, Amina Sopwith said:

When I used it to turn myself into a man or to gain weight, it changed my ethnicity.

   They talk about that in the video. The 'hot' filter, later known as the 'sparkle' filter, was removed because it didn't just clean up the skin, it also made the skin tone lighter and made people's features look more 'European'.

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25 minutes ago, Orwar said:

   They talk about that in the video. The 'hot' filter, later known as the 'sparkle' filter, was removed because it didn't just clean up the skin, it also made the skin tone lighter and made people's features look more 'European'.

Yes, it did that too. 

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