Saturday, March 26, 2011

2013 1stHELP: Appearance 101. Outfits and avatars

Appearance 101.  Outfits and avatars
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The instructions here apply to the standard Second Life viewer, 3.4 or above.  They may apply to newer third party viewers.
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Changing outfits is the easiest way to change your appearance.  You will want more changes and you can have them.   But the more changes you want, the more you will have to learn.  So the best thing is to start simple and then decide what kind of changes you want.
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To start, open your Outfit Window by clicking on the tee shirt image on the right side of your viewer window.   The screenshot below shows the Outfit Window open.  (Click on the picture to enlarge it.)
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Outfit window

If you have not done anything to customize your current outfit, or if you don't care about keeping changes you have made in your outfit, go directly to the section ,Try on outfits.
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If you want to save your current customization, scroll down to the section, Save your outfit.
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Try on outfits
If you see an outfit you want to try on, click on it to highlight it.  Then click on the Wear button at the bottom right. Be patient, especially if your internet connection is slow.  The full description of your new outfit has to be downloaded to your computer.
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Thinkerer in customary outfit
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Here I am at the Hobo Helpers HQ wearing my usual outfit
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Thinkerer in cardboard outfit
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Here I am after a quick change to a new cardboard outfit.  This is one of the outfits that newcomers have when they start.  You can find it in your outfits folder.
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Thinkerer in dragon outfit
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Thinkerer in female outfit
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Thinkerer in business outfit
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These changes took about a minute each on a connection with good bandwidth.  They would probably thake longer on DSL or via a wi-fi connection.  All the outfits except the first and the last are in the starting inventory, outfits folder. The first and last, the customary outfit and the business outfit,  I have modified by adding clothes and editing appearance,  I can easily get back to these because I saved them as outfits.
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To save your current outfit
You save an outfit you want to keep by a click on the Save As button on the outfit window.  Be sure to use a name you can recognize later.
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Avatar and outfit.  Confusing?
Despite all these changes in outfit,  I remained the same avatar.  That is, I had the same name, Thinkerer.Melville.  This is much like the situation with an actor in makeup.  As an actor, you may change makeup and look like a space-alien.  But behind the makeup, you remain the same person.
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The name avatar sometimes carelessly used to refer to the appearance on the screen. This usage can be confusing.   You will find free outfits called free avatars.   This is a legacy usage.   You will  have to handle them differently.   That's why it is best to distinguish:
  • Outfit.  The appearance on the screen
  • Avatar. The specific registration ID.
Is that all there is?
You don't really want to look at all there is.  And you surely don't want to read about it.  To learn better and more easily:
  • do things that you are interested in 
  • guess how and test--this is a no-fault
  • read when you have a question
  • use what you learn to do something you want to do
And keep in mind the standard leaning rule,
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The more you want to do, the more you need to learn.
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Here are some things you may want to start learning about
  • Getting more outfits. free and not
  • Getting and wearing clothes, free and not
  • Editing your outfit 
Here are some old parchments to help you on your quest
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  • Annotated screen shots made with Jing
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