Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Your new Skin - Step 5 - Shape Modifications

I expect that your first thought was that shapes and skins should be pretty independent of each other.  Ans, in truth, that is true for most things.  But there seem to be some where the two are intimately interrelated, one is the breasts and a second is the mouth/lips.

Look closely at the breasts in the skin we've been working on.  There is a shadow under each breast a sharp line indicating where the breast and chest meet. That is entirely appropriate for a woman with larger breasts, but not so much for a woman with smaller breasts.  Fortunately Eloh has thought about that and in the 'starlight_upper' file has provided a second breast choice that is more appropriate for small breasted people.

The second area is not quite so obvious in the picture here but in truth is much more variable with shape than the breasts... that is the lips and mouth.

In this post we'll make changes to the mouth (lips), legs, shoulders, face length, and hands.  In the end, I think in the end, you will like the results.

But First.... Camera Controls!!

But first, we need to be able to look at our selves in detail.....  front and back, up and down, in and out - we need to be able to view our body (avatar) from every angle and do so quickly with little muss or fuss.

Fortunately, Second Life provides a way to do this.  It will seem to be a little weird at first, but as you use it you'll find it more and more natural and easy to use.    What we will do is use the mouse together with the alt and control keys.  Try this:

  1. hold the alt key down, position the mouse over your avatar's midsection and click the left button on the mouse and HOLD IT DOWN and you move the mouse.  Move the mouse horizontally (left and right) and vertically (up and down) and watch the effects.
  2. hold down the ALT AND the CTRL keys down together, position the mouse over your avatar's midsection and click the left button and HOLD IT DOWN as before.  Move the mouse horizontally and vertically again and watch the effects.
In the first case (1) you saw the view of your view of your avatar circle your body as you moved left and right, and zoomed in and out as you moved up and down.  In the second case (2) you saw the same as in the first for the left and right movment, and you rotate around vertically when you move in and out.

With this you can position your camera view to look at your avatar in any way quite easily.  Use the mouse and the control and alt keys to look at your lips, face, hands, shoulders and legs.... zoom in and out and look from every angle.

Editing your avatar:

Right click on your avatar and choose "Edit Appearance".     We'll step through each of the items we've noted in the last couple posts and 'correct' them.  Remember that this is really subjective - your opinion is as valid as mine and if you dont like the result, it is fine - change it to something you do like.

  • Face is too long:  Within your Appearance editor, choose Shape->Head->Head Stretch and set the value to 20.
  • Legs are too long:  Within your Appearance editor, choose Shape->Legs->Leg Length and set the value to 36.
  • Hands are too big:  Within your Appearance editor, choose Shape->Torso->Hand Size and set the value to 30.
  • Shoulders are too broad:  Within your Appearance editor, choose Shape->Torso->Shoulder and set to 20.
  • Lips are too narrow:  Within your Appearance editor, choose Shape->Mouth->Lip Fullness and set to 50.
Now let's take a look at our results......  Hey, that's a pretty cute avatar!   (Click on the picture for a closer look.... and if your cursor shows a plus sign in it as you hover over the image, click again for an even larger view.)

Now I have to confess, that I tend to twiddle and tweak my avatar endlessly and if left to my own devices I would do the same with this one.  But really, this is now a quite nice avatar with a quite nice skin.  One that you would be happy to wear anywhere in Second Life.

What's next?  Next is up to you.  Be sure you save this shape and skin somewhere and make a copy.  Play with the shape - editing things and see what happens.  Play with the skin - make the skin lighter or darker.  Try the various options that Eloh has provided for breasts, eyes and nose.   Add lip color, eye makeup and nail color.  Change the brightness of the highlighting and the darkness of the shadows.

Create YOUR UNIQUE LOOK within Second Life!

It will be fun - I promise!

See ya!

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