Switching From a Classic to a Mesh Body

More and more folks in Second Life are switching their Classic avatar bodies for newer mesh bodies. It’s an excellent choice, as the new bodies look and move more realistically than the older ones. But the new ones come with drawbacks of their own., probably the greatest of which is their expense.

One of the most popular mesh kits is Lara, from Maitreya. The body kit will run you $L2750, which as of this writing is about $12.50 in US dollars. That’s before buying any clothes, but fortunately, Maitreya has a free dress kit and three pairs of shoes to go with it. In addition, the body itself comes with matching bra and panties.

When I (Aisling) switched from a classic avatar to Lara, I budgeted $L5,000 for the body, a new wardrobe, and a few other incidentals, such as a new Animation Override (AO).

But not everyone is in a position to spend that much money, much less all at once. So I’m going to show you a way you can save on expenses ahead of making the change.

Enter The Free Dove

And I mean to enter it both literally and figuratively. THE FREE DOVE FASHION  (www.thefreedove.com) is SL’s oldest (13+ years) and most popular site for free, high-quality fashions for men and women. It features clothes and accessories for both classic and mesh avatars, and their inventory is constantly changing.

How do they do this? Palomma Casanova, the owner and operator of The Free Dove, invites SL’s top designers to provide free samples of their works. This accomplishes two things: it allows you, the customer, to acquire a decent wardrobe while giving the designers free publicity for their goods and services. And to be fair, when I’m in the market for new clothes, I always check out the vendors who have kindly provided me with the free goods before I check anywhere else.

Meet Heather Wilkenson

Heather is a new account I created to show you what all this means. Right now she’s wearing a classic-style body, which I plan to upgrade to a mesh (Lara) sometime in the next few weeks. She’s wearing an outfit from The Free Dove; specifically, (SP) Winter Day -caramel-. This is an outfit specifically designed for classic bodies. But she’s also acquired several mesh outfits in anticipation of the upgrade since they might not be available by then.

More importantly, a few of the outfits she likes are for both classic and mesh avatars. So she can wear them now, and still be able to wear them after she switches to Lara (or any other mesh avatar).

Summing Up

Like everything else in SL, going with a mesh avatar or staying with a classic shape is a purely personal choice, which depends on many factors—primarily your budget. But I hope I’ve given you some options to explore while you decide.

How to Change Appearances in Public…

… Without Getting Naked

If you have a place of your own in SL—rent, own, or otherwise—this isn’t a problem, since you can teleport (TP) back home in order to be shielded from prying eyes. And if you’re buying clothes, the shop you’re in probably has dressing rooms you can use.

But if you can’t afford a place of your own, changing outfits in public without getting naked can be a challenge. Of course, you can always TP to an adult-rated area that allows nudity and change there.

But what if you don’t frequent adult areas? Let’s face it: despite rumors to the contrary, not everyone in SL is there for sex. I know, I know…it’s hard to believe—but it’s true.

Let’s Hear It For Outfits!

Regardless of the viewer you use—the official SL viewer, or Firestorm—there is a folder in your Inventory called Outfits or My Outfits. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s for, I’m going to explain it right now.

Once you’re achieved an appearance for your avatar that you like, you can save every detail that goes into making it: shape, skin, eyes, makeup, tattoos,  hair, eyes, clothing—in short, everything that goes into making up your avatar.

In the SL viewer, right-click on your avatar, then select Edit My Outfit—> Save As—> (give it a unique name)—> OK.

in Firestorm, right-click, them select-–> Appearance—> Edit Outfit—> Save As  (give it a unique name)—> OK.

What you’ve done is create a new folder under the Outfits folder in your inventory. Inside that folder are links to every item that makes up that outfit. When you want to change your appearance, all you have to to is open your Inventory, Open the My Outfits folder, then right-click on the particular outfit you want to wear and select Replace Current Outfit.

Your current appearance will be replaced with the new one you’ve chosen. Best of all, even though you may appear naked briefly on your monitor, no one else will see you that way: it will be as if you merely changed your appearance in the blink of an eye.

Voilà! Problem solved!

Feeling Naughty? Chastity is for You!

And while her name is Chastity, she’s anything but chaste. In fact, I’m not even going to model her.

Pasties or not, I’m not posting pictures of me half-naked on the Internet for every Tom, Dick, and Harry to drool over.

Having said that, I will admit that if I were a dancer or other entertainer in SL, this would be my outfit of choice—with or without the pasties.

It’s designed by .:TBO:. The Beautiful Ones for mesh avatars, and is available for $L199. You can find it exclusively at The XXX Exclusives December event, from December 13 until January 3.

So if you’re feeling a wee bit naughty this season, grab your very own copy, before it’s too late!

 

Phoebe: An Avenues Exclusive!

Mmm boy! I loves me some dresses! Okay, okay…so I’m usually more of a jeans-and-t-shirts kinda gal, but every once and a while don’t we all want to feel all girly and pretty?

And that’s where Phoebe from .:TBO:. comes in. But don’t follow the link right away, because the dress isn’t there.

This is an Avenues exclusives pack, and is only available until December 22, so you’d better hurry on over to the .:TBO:. display at Avenues right now!

The Fatpack, which includes all of the color options shown above, is only $L249, while smaller packs can be had for between $L99 and $L149.

And did I mention it also comes in a green-and-plaid Christmas version, too?

Plaid boots or plain leather, it’s your choice!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Boots are always sexy, regardless of the season! And Phoebe gives you choices.

So whether you’re in a Christmas mood, or simply looking for a versatile, multi-color dress, you owe it to yourself to check out Phoebe!

A Bit of a Conundrum

What oh what to do when reviewing an outfit that consists of 3 separate items? Do I take a full-length portrait, which of necessity will sacrifice detail, or do I highlight each item with its own picture?

Decisions, decisions!

I decided on the latter to model this new offering from .:TBO:. The Beautiful Ones.

It’s a 3-piece set, consisting of the Eider vest, Arlet pants, and Lea booties with chains.

Each item sells for $L99, but there’s a catch: it’s part of The Darkness Monthly Event for December, which runs from 5 to 28 December.

So be sure to get yours before they’re gone for good! And while you’re at it, be sure to check out all the latest fashions at .:TBO:. The Beautiful Ones.

Which Viewer Do You Use?

When you created your Second Life account, you were prompted to download the SL Viewer. And I’m sure most of you did—which is perfectly fine. That’s what I used myself for a long time before I discovered there are alternatives. Many people have opted to use one of more of these alternative.

I myself use Firestorm, but more on that later.

Why Use the Official SL Viewer?

Most, if not all, tutorials, help files, and FAQs in SL are designed for the official viewer. They assume that’s what you’re using, since it is the de facto viewer. Rather than having to have separate version of their information for every possible viewer—pretty much an impossibility—they have designed everything around that standard. Less confusion, greater efficiency.

And that’s all right: Linden Labs (the brilliant minds behind SL) knows their product better than anyone else, and are therefor the best people to design and maintain their viewer. And most people are perfectly happy with that.

But just as not every user of Microsoft Windows uses MS Word as their word processor, and as not every iPhone owner uses Pages, so too do SL users sometimes use an alternative viewer.

There are many reasons for this, but I’m going to cover the most popular alternative SL viewer.

Firestorm

Firestorm is a creation of The Phoenix Project. The sole purpose of the project is, in its own words,

The Phoenix Firestorm Project Inc. is a non-profit, incorporated organization whose mandate is to improve the user experience in Second Life and other virtual worlds by providing an advanced open source viewer with greater features, options and interface flexibility than the standard offering by Linden Lab.

It’s the viewer that I have been using almost exclusively since I discovered it, and I’ve been in SL in various guises for over 13 years.

Why Do I Use It?

Simply put, I find it easier and more efficient. Inventory maintenance is a breeze, as is avatar design and customization. And on my laptop, it loads faster.

Worried about support? There are over 40 support groups for Firestorm in SL, including many run by the Phoenix Project. And at last count, there were 15 official Firestorm locations, including the main social gathering area right here.

In Conclusion

So yes, use the official viewer when you first start making your way around SL.

But once you’re comfortable using it, and are looking for another experience, give Firestorm a try.

 

 

 

 

 

(NOTE: Second Life, Linden Labs, Firestorm, The Phoenix Project,
Microsoft, Windows, MS Word, Apple, iPhone, and Pages are
trademarks or copyrights of their respective owners.)

Learning To Build in Second Life

There may come a time in SL when you’ve become tired of exploring, dancing, partying, meeting new people, etc.

Maybe you’re bored with the same old same old (which is actually a corruption of same-o same-o, a Japanese term I came across in the mid 1950’s. Yes, I’m really that old!) and you want to try something new, different, and exciting.

You’ve been searching all over for a particular item you want, and it just doesn’t seem to exist. It’s time to build something!

Bismarck, North Dakota 1973, artist unknown

Where to Learn How to Build in Second Life

There are many resources to help you learn to build in SL. I’ve chosen a few of my favorites to share with you. Some are classes taught by experts, while others are self-guided courses. All of them will give you the skills you need to begin your career as a builder in SL.

Learn how to build on Help Island Public:  Help Island Building Tutorial.

Ivory Tower Library of Primitives:  A Self-Guided, Self-Paced, Comprehensive Building Tutorial. Ask for help by clicking on signs placed around sandbox. Learn how to build, with educational tutorials & lessons.

BUILDERS BREWERY – School, Help Group and Building Supplies. A Creative Community, School & Help Group. Providing Free Classes, Educational Events, Building Products, Textures, Scripting, Mesh, Animations, Tutorials, Templates, Blender, Gimp, Photoshop.

Builders Brewery Calendar of Events: Stay up-to-date with the latest classes and schedules.

Hippo Resource and Learning Center:  A building school with a friendly atmosphere that focuses on skill development for SL users. Check out our new mall, its like a general store!! builder’s aids, freebies, boxed classes, t-shirts, landscaping, help, Gemmy, Greedy, surfing, rollercoaster

Caledon Oxbridge Gateway – New Resident Help:  Help. Lessons. Tutorials. Assistance. Helpers. New. Support. People Helping People. Free Clothes. Building Area. Mentors. Guide. Guides. New Residents. Learning. Learn. Fun. Activities. The Independent State of Caledon Community Gateway.

NCI Kuula:  New Citizens Incorporated. Help/Classes/Freebies. New Player, New Resident, Newbie, Noob, Beginner, Help, Basics, Information, Info, Questions, Freebies, Free Stuff, Clothing, Sandbox, Hangout, Newsstand, Ginny Gremlin Park, Mall, Events, Tutorials, Classes, Class, Education, Learn.

Building in SL can be as simple as creating a box, or as complex as making a box that opens and folds out into a completely furnished house.

As with everything else in SL, you’re only limited by your imagination.