Second Life 2.2 Appearance Editor

SL Viewer 2.2

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With the new 2.x viewers in Second Life lots has changed. Editing one’s appearance is one of the big changes. I have yet to decide of it is better or worse. Whichever, it certainly is different. This is my attempt to sort out how appearance works. I expect the viewer to change quite a bit over the next few weeks.

Getting into the Editor

In the 1.x viewers (SLV1) it was easy to find the editor, just right-click the avatar and select Edit Appearance. Everything is there. I guess it could be intimidating.

In the Second Life 2.x viewers (SLV2) the logic for getting into Appearance Edit changes. The process is more goals oriented. For techie types familiar with computers the idea that one wants to change a dress or their shape means look for an avatar editor. Less geeky types probably don’t think of looking for an avatar editor, they just want to change the dress. The Lab did usability testing and supposedly this was a significant problem. I just don’t know.

The result is we now have 4 choices (I’m using the Development viewer Second Life 2.2.1 (210917));

  • Edit – if you click on and attachment – noobs might
  • Change Outfit
  • Edit My Outfit
  • Edit My Shape

Change Outfit

This takes you into the new Outfits of SLV2, a new type of folder not seen before.

Note: This is the source of many problems for those using Third Party Viewers (TPV) and why you need separate caches. New processes for saving appearance and handling inventory are being used. You see how drastic a change this is if you change clothes in the 2.2 viewer and then use the 1.23 viewer. You will likely find your 1.23 viewer will not know about the clothes change.

SL Viewer 2.2 Appearance Editing

Change Outfit Choices

This new outfits thing allows you to have several outfits that include the same No-Copy items; it is called linking or aliases. The Outfit folder uses pointers to items rather than trying to copy the item as the older viewers do. New folks, I once was, get confused when they create a new outfit using shoes also in another outfit and their no-copy-shoes vanish from the previous outfit. This linking thing fixes that problem.

Creating a new Outfit seems really round-about. I’m not sure why they thought this would work for a new resident. It doesn’t for me. This seems to be solely a way to find existing Outfits. It is about changing what you are wearing, not making changes to the OUTFIT itself. The label is ambiguous. If you want to do something more than put on a different outfit this is probably a poor choice. However, you can get anywhere from anywhere else in appearance editing, with some patience. Consider your choices;

  • Wear – replace Current Outfit
  • Wear – Add to Current Outfit
  • Take Off – Remove from Current Outfit
  • New Clothes
    • New Shirt
    • New pants
    • Etc…
  • New Body Parts
    • New Shape
    • New Skin
    • Etc…
  • Rename Outfit
  • Delete Outfit

Notice there is no Create New Outfit, which seems an odd omission.

There are some gotchas here too. When creating a new shirt, there seems to be no way to cancel out and not make a shirt. Soon as you click the New Shirt option you have a shirt in inventory. You can rename it at the top of the panel. You do not have to SAVE the shirt. There is a SAVE option at the top where the normal ‘panel exit/close’ button is. No matter how you exit the shirt is already created and saved. Even changes are saved, seems instantly, without clicking save. I didn’t see a cancel anywhere. If it is saving as you make changes then this is a lag producer. So, I expect this to change.

When you are done making the shirt, if you click Save As, you are asked to name it again. It is Save As. I think new people will be looking for a save option and this having buttons at the top (SAVE) and bottom (SAVE AS + Gear and other options) is confusing. I did not find Save until I was trying to close the panel.

Since people learn early they have to save their work and they just worked their way down the list of settings they are likely staring at the ‘Save As’ and looking for Save. So, I think one would have lots of duplicate shirts with different names.

Using the Change Outfit option to make or collect items to a new outfit is frustrating until you understand you must drill down into Outfit editing. It is OK for putting on an outfit and you can drill down.

The Outfit folder was obviously built by guys that just have a few T-shirts and jeans. There is currently no way to create folders within the Outfits folder. I can see that Outfits would soon become an unmanageable mess. I’ll be reserving it for special outfits.

Edit My Outfit

This choice takes you into a panel you will have seen in Change Outfit if you started drilling down. This is the closest you will get to the old Appearance Editor. They seem to have broken the old Editor into parts, whether this is a good idea is questionable… The problems come when one wants to edit another part not in the Outfit section. It is hard to get from clothes to shape. I’m going to skip to Edit My Shape because these two options are just different ways to get to different places in the new spread out Appearance Editor.

Edit My Shape

This option takes one into the Outfit Editor, so to speak, at a deeper level. To see this, select Change Outfit. Notice up at the top is an icon (see image 3) of a screw driver and wrench. Clicking it takes you to the same place as the Edit My Outfit, the My Appearance Edit Outfit panel.

SL Viewer 2.2

Edit Outfit Icon - Image 3

If one looks at the bottom of panel there is a bar for Body Parts. Click that and it opens to show a list of body parts. Each body part has the Screw Driver/Wrench icon. Clicking the one on your shape takes you to the same panel as clicking the Avatar’s Edit My Shape option.

Combined Appearance Editing Viewer 2.2

Once one is editing the outfit the panels seem a bit fuzzy about whether one is editing self or an outfit as a collection of clothes in a closet. I think the programmers were unclear as they created this. However, that is a nuance and we can mostly ignore it.

In Editing Outfit you can add and remove items from the outfit. And here you have the choice to save changes back to the outfit or save it as a new outfit.

Adding Items to an Outfit

Once you are in the Outfit Editor section, you can add and remove items. The circled ‘X’ to the left of an item let you remove it. You can right-click an items to; Take Off, Edit (if Mod OK), Replace, and Create New. To add more items there is a button at the bottom, Add More… That button is context sensitive. If you have underpants selected, clicking the button brings up a list of underpants. I have more lingerie than I imagined. At the bottom of the list is the option to show folders or just the items. (see image 5). I also had no idea how many duplicates I have. One can right-click the item they want to add to the outfit and select; Replace, Add, or Create New. Or one can just click the Wear button at the bottom of the list.

SL Viewer 2.2 Appearance Editor

Add Item List - Image 5

Switching to the folder view opens a view on the standard inventory. It is buggy right now. There is a JIRA to fix the list so it stops returning to top while you try and use it. One scrolls down top open folders and soon sees they are scrolled back to the top of inventory. Grrrr!

Also, if you have prim shoes and you are trying to put them on in the editor, it just does not work. It didn’t in the previous editor either, but that is going to be no less confusing to new residents. In the 2.x system one has to move back and forth between appearance and inventory. I guess it is no more obtuse then the old way.

A new feature is the little shopping cart icon at the bottom right of the panel. If you have an item selected and you click it you are taken to the market place and shown similar items. Kinda neat.

Right now this ‘Add’ isn’t working like it should. I can Add underpants and see them change on the Avatar but I don’t see the outfit list of items change… If go back to Outfits and select Wearing, that list doesn’t update either. Getting the list of items in the outfit out of sync with the current outfit list is easy. This is really confusing to me.

In the old system we saved an outfit in a folder and could add and remove items from the folder to add and remove parts of the outfit. We could basically edit an outfit.

In outfit editing one can add and remove items. Then Save or Save As the outfit.


SL Viewer 2.2 Appearance Layers

Appearance Layers - Multiwear

This is a new feature too. As are Multi-Attachments. One can now wear five shirts, five jackets, five pants, under pants, etc. They go on in layers. Last on is on top. Like a puppy piles. In the editing is a layering feature.

The arrow icon to the right assists with layer control and which item is on top.

Multiple Attachments are a bit different. One is allowed to have 32 attachments total (some say it is another number, more or less. I have yet to test it.) But you can have all the attachments on the same attachment point. Why anyone would do that, I have no clue. But, now I can have a garter, knife, a holster, and sword on my leg. With attachments there is not a layering issue.

Sorting Outfits

One quickly realizes they are mixing in their outfits with the linden outfit’s. Fortunately you can use special characters like ‘!’ to get items to sort out ahead of others, which is good because there are no sort options in the Appearance panel (Change Outfit).

Unintended Changes

There are some failures in the new link to item system. Some things it just can’t handle. So, we will not see the demand for no-copy items going away. Consider. Those nifty sculpty feet and shoes that are no copy… set the color and stockings up for one outfit and build a new outfit in the Outfits folder. Now build at new outfit and change the colors and stockings. Go back to the previous outfit and you will find the shoes/feet are now the same as the new outfits. All is not perfect, but it is better.

Viewer Mode Change

You may notice once you go into Edit My Outfit the viewer space locks into camera mode, like holding down the Alt-key and left-mousing. The Ctrl-key works as one would expect. This is actually handy, except if you are trying to move the camera to a unique viewpoint. The camera is locked on the avatar.

This also blocks one from right clicking and detaching things while in edit.


There are lots of changes and yet much is the same. One just has to learn to use the new editor and figure out where they put the buttons and menus. Also some things are ambiguous and a bit misleading. But, looking around and learning your way through it gives one some nice new tools.

My outfits that have no copy items will get moved to the new Outfits system. However, I’ll skip putting color change no-copy items in them.

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