Further Thoughts on Avatar Appearance

Sometimes it’s not what you do but what you don’t do that can make a big difference in how you look to other people.

Avatar Complexity

Take, for instance, your avatar complexity. This is a figure that’s determined by what you’re wearing: shape, skin, hair, clothes, attachments, etc. In short, everything that makes up who you are. This is a bare-bones description; for further details, see the SL Wiki page covering the subject.

Let’s put it this way: the more complex your avatar, the longer it will take for other folks to see you. You will always appear as your self on your own screen, but it will take you longer to appear properly to others on their screens.

You can’t go wrong by keeping your complexity value as low as possible.


This is one of by biggest pet peeves. I admit it: I hate them. The idea behind a facelights is to highlight your facial features in dim ambient (natural) lighting, which sounds like a Clever Idea©, but is really a Bad Thing©.

In the first place, many sim designers put a lot of thought and effort in creating a particular atmosphere for their location. So why would you think that your appearance should override their design decisions? Because that’s exactly what your facelight is doing. By showing up with a glowing face, you’re destroying the ambience for everyone there.

Besides, unless you’re hosting a haunted house around Halloween, do you walk around in real life with a light shining in your face?

‘Nuff said.

HUDS, Collars, & Miscellaneous Items

Most of my own hairstyles come with a HUD (heads-up display) to control the color, size, brightness, etc. But once I’ve made my choice, I detach the HUD. This is true for just about every other attachment I wear. HUDs often have a heavy script weight, and adversely affect your complexity.

The same goes with other wearable objects. Again, for more details, see the Wiki page.


While scripts don’t affect your complexity, they can contribute to how many resources you consume in any given sim. That’s why a lot of sims or parcels have billboards that display how many scripts you’re wearing. The higher the number, the more resources you’re consuming, which results on everything operating more slowly for everyone around you.

Simply put, keep your scripts to a minimum. It reduces lag. The rest of us will appreciate it, and you’ll be less likely to be ejected by the sim owner.


If I see you in a sim and your avatar complexity renders you as a solid color, you can be sure that I will Block and Derender you. If you’re going to be that unthinking or uncaring about other people, I want to have nothing to do with you.

Aisling's Signature" Love, Aisling


Author: Aisling O'Connor

Another wanderer and explorer in Second Life.

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