What’s with THAT face?

In Second Life™ lots of people are all about looks. Few of those people know much about making a beautiful avatar. They just shape their avatar by eye. Those that are better at making shapes may end up selling shapes to the rest of us. The next step up from making shapes is sculpting heads and bodies.

I keep looking at people’s avatars and notice how some are just gorgeous. Some with incredible faces. What makes their face so pleasing?

One part of the beauty equation is proportions. Some time ago I made a tool for getting body shapes proportional. Mostly getting height and arm lengths right. Now I’ve made a guide for getting facial proportions correct. The video is the quick answer to what it is and how it works. About 3 minutes.

Demo and Tutorial – Face Shape Guide

Before you run off to buy this tool and fix that ugly face of yours… well… you’re not that bad… you need to know this tool is just a guide to assist you in creating a face shape. It doesn’t make a shape. Also, it isn’t easy to use CORRECTLY.  Read on or watch the video before you decide.

Be warned. The Guide is Copy-OK so there are NO REFUNDS.

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Second Life Name Changes

As of April 13, 2020, we have last names… again. The Name Change feature has gone live. The Lindens say it is WAY more popular then even the most optimistic Lindens expected. At US$39.99 per change, I am surprised. But there is ten years of demand stacked up. So, I probably shouldn’t be.

Isles-of-Scotland - Aaaaw
Isles-of-Scotland – Aaaaw

If you haven’t heard the feature is live, check out the official announcement, Now Available: Last Names in Second Life.

The interesting bit of news in this regard is from the Third-Party Devs’ user group meeting. It was suggested that a Premium Member be allowed to change their alt’s name via their Premium account. It would be a PITA to have to take an alt to Premium, change the name, then revert to basic… and expensive.

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Second Life New Stuff 4/2020

Monday 4/20 the Lab released Environmental Enhancement Project (EEP). (Ref)

The Monday before (4/13) the Lab released Name Changes. (Ref)

In 2010 the Lab took away user selected last names. Now they are bringing them back for Premium members willing to pay US$39.99 (or L$10,140). All the details can be found by clicking Ref above. There is a FAQ linked to from the article. It will answer most of the questions about names and what you can change and how often.

EEP

Inara has prepared a tutorial on EEP. You’ll find it here, EEP Tutorial.

How to Play Second Life… The Tutorials

Those experienced in using Second Life™ (SL) don’t think of SL as a game to play. You’ll find out it is not a game with points or levels. There are such games within SL. But, SL, the overall ‘thing’, is much more like real life with an amazing variety of things and things to do.

Also, it is like Adobe’s Photoshop® in that no one knows everything there is to know about either. This means there is a learning curve. Probably beyond any game you have played. But you can take your time learning as in general no one is trying to kill your character.

Second Life has changed considerably in 2020. New players and returning players are challenged by the learning curve. Fortunately, lots of people make tutorials. Here I have collected what I think are some of the better ones.

The Sign Up & Moving About Tutorial…

This is a 4-minute basic tutorial walking through how to signup, pick an avatar, walk, and fly. It is the first in a series of tutorial videos made by Strawberry Linden. The playlist for the series is here.

There are more in this series. If you want one thing at a time, this is an ideal set of tutorials. Also, if you are looking for a specific subject then the series is handy as the video are named things like; Getting Started with Bakes on Mesh, Finding Interesting Places, and Customizing Your Avatar Shape.

This is probably the best set of tutorials for the total newbie. Those that follow will be easier for those with some SL experience.

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Second Life Images/Pictures

The Lab has a very interesting image on display in  Home > Blogs > Inworld > Second Life Pic of the Day 02.06.2020. I found it interesting because of the avatar poses.

From Second Life’s Blog

Getting poses is sometimes hard. In some cases, one has to make their own. I suspect Madd Flair did some manual posing to get this shot. Or it could be built into the coaster, I have not checked. However, it looks very posed, unusual for built-in poses.

I doubt the image is taken from the Black Dragon viewer. Would be nice if they said. However, Black Dragon gives a ‘prettier’ render by default, thus my doubt.

From the How’s your avatar look today? thread Scylla Rhiadra spun off the thread Making Avatars Look Good in Black Dragon! Share Your Hints and Advice! (Link) This thread explains how people get those perfectly posed shots you have been wondering about.

NiranV the author of Black Dragon has been posting in the thread, so there is some good information and ‘how-to’.

Second Life News Week #42

General Second Life News

BoM

See the feature… change… request BUG-227585[BOM] Display the new Universal wearables between the Skin and the Tattoos ones.

Gael Streeter (of GA.EG products) has pointed out a possible problem with the use of the Universal Layer added with BoM, Bakes on Mesh.

As it is now, most are familiar with the original Classic layers provided by the SL system pre-BoM and pre-Mesh, Skin, Tattoo, Underwear, and Clothes. These stacked respectively from bottom to top. Each layer could cover the layer below.

10,000 Hours

10,000 Hours

The Universal Layer added a new layer between the Tattoo and Underwear layers. The order of layers doesn’t seem all that important as layers other than skin can be used for any purpose. The problem comes in how people think of the layers and figure out how to use them. So, using a tattoo layer for anything other than a tat is confusing until one learns what is going on.

Skin makers for bodies and heads have run into the problem of adding shiny and wet looks. With the Universal above the Tattoo layer, things get a bit complicated and require way more textures and layer-items to get the look possible if the Universal were moved down one layer.

Think of it as a tat maker having to make their tats for the Tattoo, Universal, Underwear, and possibly the clothes layer so we can dress as we want and stay mix and match. Continue reading

Second Life News Week #40 & 41

Flickr

There are new changes over at Flickr.

Ebbe

Ebbe Altberg, the Linden Lab CEO, talks about what investors should consider and ignore when investing in virtual reality. See Three Things to Focus On, Three Things to Ignore (Podcast).

Third-Party Dev UG Meeting

There are 4 viewers out. Plus, the main viewer. The Ordered Shout Down RC is looking good. From that I would gather it is the current likely bet for the next promotion. The Maintenance RC is doing OK. The project viewer for EEP has a couple of bugs yet to fix. New employees specializing in graphics now available to work on those. So, hopefully… A Voice RC viewer should be out next week, maybe.

Voodoo Moon

Voodoo Moon

From the Firestorm peeps, the Firestorm release is going fine. No real problems found yet. Adoption is good.

There was a discussion about BoM adoption and use. The opinion seems to be things in the fashion community are still way disorganized.

Blogger Awards

If you are looking for people that blog, vlog, or photograph Second Life then you just hit found the pot at the end of the rainbow, Ballot for the 2019 Bloggie Awards. The ballot is 38 pages of categorized URLs.

Voting is open until Oct 19, 2019. But, you have to vote in every category… tedious… before you can submit any vote.

Also included is ‘best’ at photo-friendly. So, if you are looking for places that provide interesting backgrounds and gorgeous scenery this is a handy list. Continue reading

SL Blogger Network

The Lab is starting a blogger network. The idea is they will promote blogs that are about Second Life™. They have posted an article introducing the network and a follow-up article with FAQs.

You agree to their terms and conditions when you join the network. So, you sort of agree to comply with the SL community standards and basic SL ToS. No nudity. Basically, any article that appears in their network has to conform to the standards, whether your blog does or not is a separate issue. The Lab is the final arbiter of compliance with these various terms of use.

Just Beyond The Gate

Just Beyond The Gate

They say their initiative is not to influence the blogger’s editorial content. But they get to pick what does and doesn’t appear on their pages. You have no guarantee your articles will appear. It is the Lab’s choice. While that is not explicit or forced influence, they will influence bloggers.

The SL web properties are privately owned, so it is their right to choose what they include. I suspect it won’t take long until the Lab’s San Francisco liberal bias shows through and bloggers learn what is and isn’t acceptable. I doubt we will see any articles critical of the Lab. I also doubt we will see any articles appear that promote Christian or conservative values or anything actually controversial.

Inara Pey is covering the Bloggers’ Network too. She has been involved in helping them get it going. She points out that they may have bitten off more than they can chew. The idea is they will follow all the blogs submitted and pick the articles they like. Currently, there are 100+ bloggers signed up. that seems like a lot of blogs to follow. Technology makes that a minor task. I follow 125+ blogs in my morning reading. It takes about an hour to cover the headlines and check out the fashion pictures.

But I suspect Inara’s point is the reality. That is a lot for the Lab to handle. The result is likely the Lindens will look for a way to improve efficiency and reduce the workload. That usually means they find the sources of rich material they like and stick with those. It is how liberals and conservatives in a world of fake news come up with so many bizarre ideas distanced from reality.

Then there is the matter of how many people read the SL Blog and Forum. I suspect it is only a couple of thousand. Threads commonly have 300 to 600 views. Way popular threads hit 600,000 views, but that is over 2 or more years and most of the views are from a small number of people. ‘How does your avatar look today?’ is a good example.