Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Penny Patton

A Matter of Proportion - A Guide to Shape Making and the Appearance Editor

Recommended Posts

A Matter of Proportion - How better understanding of human proportion and the Second Life appearance editor can help users create better avatars.

 

"A Matter of Proportion" is the third in a series of guides to better understanding content creation in Second Life.

This article focuses on avatar shape creation including a brief introduction to human proportions, an introduction to the quirks and inconsistencies of the appearance editor and finally an illustrated step by step guide to creating a shape while achieving your desired body type, build and appearance.

 

I'd fully intended to rewrite the entire article here as a forum post but I kept running into odd errors with the forum software so I'm just linking to the existing blog post.

 

 If you find this article helpful you may also enjoy the previous entries in the series.

 

"A Matter of Scale" is an in-depth look at how scale (how larger or small things are) in Second Life affects everything from your avatar appearance options to how much land you get for your money.

 

"A Matter of Perspective" takes a look at the camera position in Second Life and the unintended affects of it's default placement. The article includes illustrated instructions on how you could improve your own camera placement.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, Penny.
Some of us are actually paying attention to your crusade to scale down avatars to a realistic size.
I do have longer arms and bigger feet now, among other subtle anatomical adjustments, and I feel better for it :)
I'd say the biggest gripe I have with the basic avatar mesh is the ineradicable bulging chest that makes creating a realistic child or even slender youth impossible. You mention, in your blog, that about the youngest shape that can be achieved is that of an eleven year old, and I agree that is about the limit. I resigned myself to being a teenager some time ago.
In fact my avatar has tended to age as I pay more attention to its verisimilitude. Still have not escaped the child avatar stigma, though. I recently encountered some warning signs on another grid that spelled out the prevailing criteria for "adult" avatars: the sign basically said, "No tits, no muscles, no entrance!"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Heh, it's not really just about scaling down avatars so much as a broader look at design in Second Life and providing some useful tutorials. I'd love to see intentionally large avatars actually able to tower over the average human at 7-9' tall. I'd also like to see shorter avatars. Ever notice SL seems to have a lot of elves, but no dwarves?

It's pretty obvious that the Lindens didn't consider Second Life a "creativity tool" back when they first opened the grid up to the public. Under their new CEO, Rod Humble/Rodvik Linden, this seems to be their focus,

I'm just pointing out some of the past missteps they'll need to work around and address to get there, while showing that in doing so they can make SL a lot easier and more fun for the average resident and that they can do all this while increasing our creative freedom at the same time.

 

 Still, in retrospect, I think my guess of 11 years old being the youngest you could manage is a bit generous. Considering the torso issues you might not be able to manage below a teenager. (That is, while keeping to average height for the age.) I haven't tried to make a child shape myself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm glad you keep posting these guides. Maybe one day my 5'10" avatar won't regularly be the shortest in the room. More importantly, maybe LL will provide the tools to make this easier for newbies and the less artistically talented.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've wavered somewhere between 5'2" and 6' tall ever since i started SL four or five years ago. It never made sense to me for 'giants' of 8 feet plus to be the norm though i did get rather tired of spending 90% of my time staring at somebody's crotch. When LL went off on the 'everything shorter than our oversized perception of the norm must be involved in child play'  I just laughed. A child with anatomical features (ie butt and boobs) that in no way should be mistaken as a kid...really? Finally i just decided they could let their lurid little imaginations run amok; I'm perfectly happy at a realistic 5'3. If that gives you sleepless nights then I'm sorry (not really) but I'm glad to see the trend heading to more realistic proportions. For now if my gaze seems fixed on your beltbuckle; let it give you a thrill if you need such to boost your self esteem; just don't block my view of that handsome honey that is trying to make eye contact standing right behind you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Never posted on the forums before. But someone linked me to this. And I have to say... While I like the idea of scaling down avi's to more realistic levels (RL world Average as a baseline?). I see a problem in that; Most sims I have frequented or built on do not have a building code that works along side the idea of avatars being properly heighted an what-not for the Sim's given settings. One is fortunate to find something in the rules regarding child size or giant avi's but beyond that nothing is done it seems on the Sim level, infrostructure wise. In just about any sim I visit there are some doorways/openings/stairs/walkways that work fine and some that don't. I am usually far above what is tall for RL. But it is just because that is what seems to work proportionately.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


zaxor wrote:

... I see a problem in that; Most sims I have frequented or built on do not have a building code that works along side the idea of avatars being properly heighted an what-not for the Sim's given settings...

Many builders make their designs 1.25 times larger than in RL. Some make their designs even 1.5 larger than in RL. Why is that? One explanation what I have heard is "To compensate for the fact that avatars a so tall". :matte-motes-agape: 

Then many people make themselves very tall "to compensate because the builds in SL are very big". :smileytongue: 

If everybody just accepted the fact that one meter is one meter, and if the default camera height in the viewer was put in realistic height (not to a tree top as it is now) everything would be all right. SL uses meters, we should make avatars and builds realistically sized against this meter. Some argue that SL meter is not the same as RL meter. That argument is totally pointless. It has nothing to do with SL scaling problem.

I have a quite realistic height avatar and I have lowered my camera height and everything works excellently. Luckily there are places in SL where the builds are made to realistic scale. :smileyhappy:

 

PS.

Some light in the matter is SL meter the same as RL meter (for the unbelievers):

Let's say I design some mesh object in Blender. I use meters as Blender unit. I make the thing 1 Blender meter high. I import that object into SL. I check its heigth. I can see that it is 1 SL meter high. Ok, then I want RL model from that object. There are 3D printers which can do the job. I feed the object file in the printer. After it has done its job I have the object in RL. I measure it very carefully. The height of the object is exactly 1 RL meter. So we see that one meter actually is one meter everywhere. Even when importing to SL the object has not magically grown on it's own.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...