Sorry, guys, but the simple fact is that the ladies always have a much easier time regarding the creation of a free, great-looking avatar than you will ever have. It’s a simple fact of (Second) Life.
There aren’t as many free outlets around for guys, as many free gifts, so yes, you’re going to have to put in some legwork to create a fabulous avatar. On the upside, once you’ve done so, you’re 100% better looking than many other male avatars, and therefore more eye-catching to the ladies.
Following Ever Afterr’s exploration of the new, alt avatar experience on her blog, I decided I should do the same. This is not to tread on Ever’s toes at all: her journey through the new avatar experience is much more comprehensive than the post that follows (as well as Part2b -the Newbie Female) and I would recommend that it’s Ever’s blog you adopt as a go-to in this respect, as it’s a vastly superior examination of the issue.
No, this is intended to be more of a ‘how quickly can you make a great looking avatar from scratch, without spending a single linden dollar?’ type of post, utilising my current knowledge of freebie spots.
New players may have no experience of the controls of the game, so it’s obviously going to take a little longer for new players to achieve a look, but I set myself a 30 minute time limit in which to achieve a final look, working from the slurls I’ve provided below. New players, though, should be able to achieve the same look in 60-90 minutes. Thereafter, they should be in a position wherein they can get on and enjoy playing the game: the reason they signed up in the first instance. I’ve not even considered explaining the Marketplace or anything like that: I repeat that Ever’s blog is the go-to place for any newbies out there to get the inside track on the new user experience.
I also know that other bloggers read this blog, SL Naturist. If any bloggers out there feel that there’s anything in this post that can be re-blogged on their own, with the purpose of benefitting new players, please feel free to cut n paste anything here you find useful. There’s no copyright on any of this, or the subsequent newbie female post. Feel free to add or subtract from the text as you wish, as I’ve maybe glossed over some things that may require further explanation. Please, use the info provided here for your own purposes, for the benefit of all. Yes, all. Because even experienced players like myself sometimes get a tip or a hint of exciting freebies, and without spending a single linden dollar. Hopefully some of what follows is of use to experienced players too.
Cards on the table regarding alts. I have three. One is named as SLNModel, whose name was subsequently altered to ‘Eve’, the second is SLNModel2, whose name was subsequently altered to ‘Adam’ (are you detecting a ‘naked’ theme here? 🙂 ). Both get exceptionally rare workouts on the grid, really only for occasions where I need to blog something quickly and there’s no photographers, models or friends online at the same time. The third is Ella2930, who is my ‘fantasy’, alternative avatar. She’ll go online to buy up the things I, as Ella, would never need. Tattoos, piercings, mohican hairstyles and so on. I think I’ve rolled her out about 3-4 times in a couple of years because when it comes down to it, I simply want to be my main avatar. Ella is me. I am Ella. I don’t feel any affinity for a pierced, tattooed alt-Ella.
Readers of this blog will know that we recently added a Flickr account, something that required me to register with Yahoo, something I’ve never done previously. This has allowed me the opportunity to add further ‘alts’ to my portfolio, although the intention is to retire them immediately after this post.
Again, experience has allowed me to go online as Ella, my main avi, and feed a bunch of landmarks to these new creations, hastening the ‘looking good’ process a bit. If you are new, and reading this, it should simply be a case of clicking the links below to go to those same landmarks and pick up the nice stuff for free 🙂
You’re starting here, the main SL web portal, where you can sign up to join.
The newly minted ‘Adam Bare’
who disappeared when I clicked to accept the ‘hud’ offered at arrival point.
Note that I’ve used the controls to add and move ‘camera’ and ‘move’ functions onto the main screen.
I’ve also removed many of the ‘toolbar buttons’ at the bottom of the screen, reducing them to just four: explore, mini map, camera and inventory.
These are the only toolbar buttons I use on a regular basis. Everything else is ‘bells and whistles’ unnecessary to the newbie avatar.
My view is that the newbie start up screen could easily default to something like this to simplify the newbie experience.
Ever has stuff to say on her blog about the ‘accept hud’ options. Yes, I had difficulty with this too, because my newly named ‘Adam Bare’ alt disappeared when I clicked to accept the hud. Fortunately, I know how to fix it. Many newbies won’t. My default viewer is Firestorm, so I’ve no idea if this is a problem unique to Firestorm in making the avatar disappear. One of my back up viewers is Singularity, which has the neat option of allowing you to go to an ‘advanced’ menu, select ‘character tests’, select ‘test male (or female)’ an for your avatar to revert to an older avatar option, as seen above. so this is how I got ‘Adam Bare’ to reappear, with the bonus of no longer having any stupid mesh attached whatsoever. Once again, this should be the default avatar for newbies. Leave mesh for when they’re more experienced! I should also add that I’ve never used Second Life’s own viewer, which I find clunky and user-unfriendly. If you’re going to play, I suggest downloading Firestorm, Singularity or CtrlAltStudio. (I’m on a Mac…PC users have a range of other viewers available as well).
So…preamble over…let’s get stuck in. Here’s Adam, de-meshed, and off to look great in 30 minutes. Remember, Ever’s blog will explain things much, much better about how to operate the default mesh avatars more than I’m going to do here!
Skin, obviously, is a first. For guys, there’s much fewer freebie options available than there is for the ladies. But let’s see what we can find…
First, check out Fashion & Freebies for Men blog. They’ll blog freebies regularly and sometimes there will be an excellent, free skin to snag.
Failing that? Type ‘jstyle’ into your search option, select teleport to one of their stores and…off you go! Alternatively, just click the link to JStyle here.
Got the goodies? Several free skins? Terrific!
It’s a simple case of changing from the default skin (the photo above) to one of JStyle’s freebies (see below). Notice how even a freebie skin is much more defined and realistic than the rather flat, nondescript default.
Hmm..not bad already, but how ‘hunky’ are you with your shirt off, Adam?
Oh wow! Eye candy for the ladies! 🙂
SL’s coming up to 12 years of age now, and I bet the same questions were asked on day 1 as are being asked now. ‘Where are my genitals?’. You can insert your own, pleading, desperate tone here…
Yep, due to the way that the avatars are constructed, a male avi will be ‘born’ without any genitalia. Scary thought, isn’t it fellas! 🙂
Now, at this point you can go to one of several freebie superstores and buy a badly coloured, ridiculously sized and permanently erect penis, or head over to Midnight Lotus.
Beside their fully functioning genitals (you can, urinate, ejaculate, grow erect) you’ll find a non-scripted (i.e. non-scripted) version…for free! Their ‘Chrome edition’ is properly sized, comes in three colours to match skin types, and is realistic looking.
Ah yes…much better, Adam. And now that we’ve got your prime concern out of the way, get your jeans on again and we’ll see about some better hair and clothes.
Once agan, the freebie superstores will provide you with a wardrobe. Some of it’s OK, some of it’s dreadfully out of date now (yeah, you can look like ‘thug life’ from 2007 if you wish, though).
I have to say that male clothes are not my strength, so in this respect info will be a bit thin on the ground. However, if you head over to the front entrance of Frank’s Jazz Place (one of the most popular locations in SL, a place for formal dancing, you’ll find a free tuxedo located near their front door.
Off you go, Adam!
Ooh! Looking good, fella!
The hair’s OK…there’s better, but in terms of ‘newbie’, it’s OK. Let’s see what else we can find.
Yep, their free ‘Minato’ group gift comes in a variety of colours, Adam’s wearing black, but you can be a blond, a redhead or anything else you wish to be.
I’ve not even attempted to deal with altering Adam’s shape (taller, fatter, slimmer), nor have I added an AO to him yet. Ever’s blog explores the Marketplace, and a go-to item on there, for a free AO, is simply to type in ‘Tuty’s free male AO’ into the search bar and…voila! A realistic AO to wear. (I didn’t explore this for this 30 minute makeover because an AO’s movement is wasted in static photographs).
And the final look?
Not bad for 30 minutes work. Indeed, substantially less than 30 minutes. (It took longer to edit the photos and type up the post than it did to create Adam’s look.
Sure, there could be much more done to improve it all. Time could be spent exploring numerous stores for a variety of clothes, for example. In this respect (I won’t photograph them, but will mention it), Ydea has a huge collection of great, free clothes for men (and women).
Adam stands in front of a wall of free clothes for men from Ydea.
Many outfits are mesh, and as mesh does need a little bit of understanding of layers and alphas, I’ve chosen not to get into that in this post, but to keep things as simple as possible.
There you go, guys…your newbie to hunky 30 minute makeover starts now…
Why are you still reading?
That makes so much sense about the HUD! I was using Firestorm, and you’re right: the issue may have been completely sorted out if I’d tried the default SL viewer or another 3rd party option. It definitely seemed that there were newbies around me who were getting on-screen prompts for various movement controls; it all makes sense now!
By the way, that is one hottie patottie newbie dude! Definitely going to bookmark this post for any default-mesh-wearing fellas I come across. 🙂