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I love those quirky super realistic avatars, any ideas?

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On 5/25/2021 at 9:31 PM, Stephanie Misfit said:


Not my photo, it was taken by Grazia Horwitz, Poema Sabrina skin on Lelutka Avalon head.

That is absolutely gorgeous !!!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I like to switch it up and look "ugly" but nice to look at. I'm using Lelutka Evolution River head, their androgynous head. I hadn't known when I tried the demo but in the full version, you get both a male and female head.

Blog01 - Path to Discovery


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This is the thread that actually inspired me to try a more "realistic" approch.. i started at Izzies and got some crows feet bom add on for eyes, and then i picked up a skin at Session with veins and freckles.. 

To say i love my new look is an understatment.. i got tired and into a rut with most skins i had because they were all smooth barbie type skins... and with my new look i feel like its a step forward in getting that real look. I even went a little more dramatic and slimmed the face down and adjusted so the cheeks are a little higher.. i cant wait to share photo when I get home.

These are why i love the forums and reading topics like this ..never know when you'll find something that inspires you for change 

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For more realistic avatars, we need some rendering fixes. A subsurface scattering layer would help.


Subsurface scattering example. Left picture has subsurface scattering, right picture does not.

Light from skin is mostly returned from layers just below the surface. Subsurface scattering shaders emulate that. Without subsurface scattering, all you can do is turn the specular reflectance  up or down, which means you can adjust between "dead" and "plastic". Trying to boost SL avatar skin above "dead" results in so much specular reflectance you can see the outline of the sun on skin.

This starts the climb out of the "uncanny valley", in which avatars look creepy. Hollywood passed through this point about 20 years ago. Here's the trailer for The Polar Express (2004), often described as "creepy". They had the modeling right, the animation almost right, but didn't have the rendering right. Looks kind of like SL, doesn't it? Hollywood was getting out of that hole by the mid-2000s, and games climbed out of it about a decade later. It's about time for SL to make that trip.

The way materials work in SL, adding a new layer is backwards-compatible. Viewers that don't know about it will ignore it.

Edited by animats
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My suggestions would be:

  • Have a real word-based height, not a max-height SL giant.
  • Petite girls are hot.
  • Avoid over-sized lips, butts, and boobs.
  • Curve your mouth up for a friendlier look than the RBF of the typical avi.
  • Curve your mouth and eyebrows down for a perpetually moody or serious look.
  • Have realistic hair that actually moves with your body, flex-hair bashers be damned.
  • Have facial hair.
  • Don't be afraid to play with the sliders to adjust your body shape.
  • Use glasses and head accessories.
  • Makeup and hair coloring works well for an alternative look.
  • Go the opposite direction of realistic and buy a quirky avi like Paper Friends

My current looks:



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