Pixel Group - fantasy collages made in Second Life

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Switch from one look to another in seconds

At first, I use a firstorm viewer. So the below graphics show parts of the firestorm. However, the Linden viewer uses probably the same method. Further, there is fast method to save your current look. Click your avatar, choose edit appearance and choose edit outfit. On bottum you find a save menu.

This and other edit methods use the avatar to get access to the required menus. That means real time editing isn't possible. You have first to leave the edit modus to see the changes you made. That is a big disadvantage.

I want to talk about a method that is also fast but offers some more very useful options. For example your avatar displays right away each change you make.

Let's start wie the button. The shirt button on picture 1 is normally located in bottom menu of the firestorm viewer. A click on it opens a list of folders with saved avatar looks. See picture 3. The name of the folder with the look that you are actually using is displayed in a different color. Uhm, yes, my list looks a little bit messy. lol

Did you know that the maximum of attachments which you can use with an avatar is 38? In former times one could add 5 attachments to each spot like hands for example. But Linden changed that. Now you can use a total number of 38 attachments no matter at what spot. Well, as shown also on picture 3 the listing tells you how many attachments your current avatar is using. That's helpful, isn't it?

Do you want to switch your current look to another from the list? No problem. Right click on any folder name in the list that you want to use and choose replace in the menu. Depending on your connection and your pc your avatar changes in a few second to the new look. That's possible because the folder includes the link to each single piece your avatar is made of. Click left mouse on a folder to open it.

What you see are not the orginal items and objects. It is only a listing of links where the orginal of all particular items are to find in your inventory. Look Picture 4. Check it out. Right click on a name in the list and then choose "show original" in the menu. No endless searching anymore. :)

You want to detach an item from your avatar? Right click on the item you want to remove and choose "detach" in the same menu. You can see all changes again in real time. Of course you can attach everything back. Provided you didn't delete it from the linklist.

If you added items to your avatar which weren't in the linklist before - a brandnew outfit maybe -, you have to save the modified avatar first, then the list gets updated. 

A tip: I would rather save the changed versions of avatars as new look than to overwrite the old one. That avoids later regrets. :)

You might wonder, if it works with mesh avatars also. Yes, it does. However, there is a problem with hud settings. Imagine three mesh avatars a, b, c. You have a, b saved already. Now you save c with different hud settings, but the same hud. The result ist that it overwrites the setting of avatars a und b. Both get the settings that c has. In other words if you use he same mesh body hud for several avatars - and that is the normal case -, always the last saved settings are valid for all avatars which use the hud.

An example. C is configured to have a pale skin tone. Then already saved avatars a und b will get a pale skin tone also. Therefore it's a good idea to save a mesh avatar with the hud attached on. You have it available after loading the avatar and can correct flaws.

Well, I hope these informations are a help. :) As for me as SL photographer, without this little shirt button I would be lost.

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Second Life offers a collection of starter avatars to people which join new. These avtars are quite nice, but very common. Everyone who meets you will know at once that you are a beginner. Probably you want to get rid of the starter avatar as soon as possible and therefore you browse inworld shops or the market place for a better looking one.

Check the following tips, if you want. Perhaps you find them useful.

Did you know that avatars in Second Live are made of 2 components? Shape + Skin = Avatar. See the example below. Skin and shape don't work stand alone. They need each other.


Well, what is the function of these components? The skin is made of 3 painted templates. Head, upper body, lower body. These templates are flat as pictures use to be. All 3 templates together build the skin. It is the shape that gives the skin a three dimensional form.
The shape itself is no graphic. It is similar with an invisible skeleton. So it cannot be displayed. That is the reason why my shape picture is black. Think on this fact, when you next time see a box with a shape for sale that is covered with a picture of a beautiful avatar

The box does not include this avatar. The picture just want to show you some details of the body that the shape forms. Size of Breasts for example, legs, head size, muscles and so on. Be aware the merchant is using an own skin for the demo avatar on the box. That means when you buy the shape, but don't use the same skin that the merchant used your avatar will of course not look like the avatar on the pictures..
Some, but not all merchant add a so called style card to the shape. This card tells you where you can buy the skin, clothes hair and other things which he used for the avatar on the pictures. Check the description, if a style card is included.

One the market place you can find shapes for 1000 Linden and more often with description pictures which show perfect styled avatars. This is a catch. Again the picture shows the shape with one of the merchants skins. But for you only counts how the shape looks with YOUR skins. In other words, if you purchase a cheap or an expensive shape, you always buy a pig in a poke.

Back to avatar skins. As mentioned a skin is a collection of 3 painted templates. They create the look of your avatar. Make up, skin color, contours of the breasts, face and more. If anyone is searching for an female avatar with no breasts, you need a skin that has no breast contours painted on it. Just to try to get the breasts disappear by changing the shape will not work. The breasts will be still there, just looking flat and silly.
Short, the shape is changing only the size and form of what it's painted on the skin.

As mentioned the skin is a combination of three templates. You can look at these templates in you edit appearance tab. But there is no option that displayes the skin as a whole. If you want to see, how a particular skin looks, you need to use it with a shape.

However, skins can be of a very different quality and style. Just look arround on the Linden market place. You find thousands of skins there.  But be careful and don't believe too much in the description pictures. Always keep in mind: what you see is a skin + shape. Sadly many merchants  use photoshop or other graphic programs to makeup their products. This is a grey zone. Some consider that as tricking people into sales.

Perhaps you wonder, if it is possible to paint a particular skin prettier. Actually you need to own the 3 templates to do that. You can download them and edit details with a graphic program and upload them again to SL. But thats another story.

You think this skin/shape stuff is a complicate mess? Well, you can avoid it. Look out for complete avatars or buy only a skin when the shape is including. Only then you can be halfway sure, that you get what you see. 

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