What a complete mesh…

SL is, to use one of many confusing analogies, a complete mesh. The ground, the sky, everything in between, you and all you can see inworld, are mesh. Every pixel of it. Ditto with every online (and nearly every offline) 3D environment: mesh with textures applied to it. Period.

What seems to complicate things for many people, particularly people who were around SL in the days when the only way to build things was to sling prims, is one of the great tools that still introduces most people to SL building: prims [primitives, which are actually parametric meshes: meshes created within a set of parameters. The trade-off is that whilst making it almost effortless to create simple things, there are massive limitations in prims, by necessity–though you might not know it by looking at the work of people who’ve been around creating in SL for a long time (some of those people are magicians). Having to render the world they envisage within those finite limitations has taught them the mastery of the craft. I can’t imagine slopping paint on a cave wall and telling a story, any more than I can picture building a breathtaking cathedral with prims, yet we see evidence that both can be done. Making it look easy is the mark of a creative genius].

Prims are limited to only certain shapes, but offer the benefit of costing only a single prim each. There is some ingenious math involved in making that economical enough to maintain, while affording artists the freedom to make amazing things (if you’ve never built in SL with prims, go to a sandbox, open the build floater and try some of the stuff out. If you have some knowledge of 3D creation, you might be impressed with what can be done with curves, especially spheres, hollow shapes etc., in terms of both associated rendering cost and just plain flexibility. It can even be a lot of fun just to make shapes at a sandbox. There’s a ton you CAN do).

That said, for a creator those limitations come more clearly into focus when one sees what is possible uploading meshes directly, meshes created in an offline 3D application (Blender, Maya, 3DS Max, etc.). Meshes created and imported this way (as COLLADA, or .dae scene files) have almost no limitations at all in terms of creative freedom beyond an eight texture-face-per-mesh limit, yet more complexity leads to higher rendering costs (every triangle takes some network bandwidth and processing power to download to the viewer and then render; thousands take way more, and so on) with corresponding upload costs associated. Similar to building great structures with prims, there are avenues for us to use to ‘cheat’ (all of 3D imagining is in fact ‘cheating’; we use zeros and ones on a few pieces of silicon to send light signals to a device on our desktop to make us feel like we’re in some imaginary place. Like any art, it is a form of representation, trickery, or–if you will–‘cheating.’ But this cheating won’t get you thrown out of class ;D).

Baking textures using smooth shading is one way to suggest a smoother curve than the object is made from. More complex examples of the same thing involve making multiple LOD (level of detail) models and baking texture maps–including ‘bump’ and ‘specular’ maps–from a more detailed model onto a simplified version, and using the detailed images in the materials enabled viewer to create lighting effects at the texture level that show the details of the more complex model on a simplified mesh. If the textures are carefully simplified to keep their download costs low, amazingly detailed creations can come to life with minimal rendering cost, which is the main reason that ‘materials’ introduction was such an important positive for SL–in fact, the natural next step after the introduction of mesh importation itself. If you are at all able to run a materials-enabled viewer with Advanced Lighting enabled, even if you have to use a smaller window to get a reasonable framerate, at least try it in an area with bump and spec mapped material textures. It is a revelation, especially with shadows also enabled.

[All the glass on my builds in Clockhaven in New Babbage (except my house, which I’m replacing) use materials textures for specularity, which allows both shine and transparency, which adds so much realism it should almost be mandatory, hehe. The sizes of the textures involved–one extra 256×256 repeated on all the glass surfaces so it downloads once and loads for each window from cache–adds so little to the rendering cost it’s immeasurable, for what I think is a huge benefit in realism. Due to the way lighting and shadows work indoors in SL, from the inside it barely shows while from the outside it’s obvious, just like in RL.]

While materials features can be used on prims (great for straight rectangular floors, for instance, or as noted above in brackets, windows), it does obviously afford much more freedom when working with the versatility of direct mesh, without those previously mentioned parametric limits.

Okay; taking a deep breath, sipping some tea, and figuring out why this is relevant to the average SL fashion freak. A question was asked in a Fabfree Fab Advice post recently ( http://fabfree.wordpress.com/2014/02/07/fab-advice-edition-5/ ) about the trouble with fitting rigged mesh hair.

One of the troubles with rigged mesh clothing (including hair) on the current default avatar is that the current av was never intended to have complex mesh rigged to it, so while it did an amazing job of filling in {there are some amazing mesh clothing creations currently available, using the same kind of creative voodoo that prim builders use to make magic, only in this case rigging mesh clothing to an increasingly obsolete, or really just overly simple mesh ‘skeleton.’

For the first decade of SL’s public availability, any more complex an avatar mesh would have been seen as wasteful, unnecessarily contributing to lag–though you may get arguments from anyone who doesn’t think badly triangulated calves, or that weird mutant shaved butt thing when you sit down were ever going to be good enough; it’s helpful to remember how SL was used back then.

For a system originally designed for people to log into using every kind of computer with internet access–seriously, Windows98 on a Pentium–long before sculpties were even offered as a building option, that avatar mesh has served us pretty well, I would say. In fact, I think it deserves an award for design efficiency} there is a new avatar in town:

The new Second Life FittedMesh Viewer version 3.7.0.286015 uses a new avatar skeleton with added bones to allow mesh clothing (and other attachments) to rig in a more detailed fashion, meaning that the sliders will affect more of the mesh, so that our inventories will be spared having five standard (in most cases) sizes of each garment. It should be easier to get a unique fit as well, since even the five standard sizes are necessary educated guesses with unfortunate gaps that for some people never seem to be just right.

I will here make a comment–though based on my own opinion, I think something more people should consider about the necessity of having to modify their shape to fit clothing. When you or I or anyone else where clothing in RL, if it has any shape to it at all (people who wear burlap sacks exempt), it affects the physical shape of your body. Skinny jeans are an obvious example, but anything; and particularly for women, any top. Having to adjust your shape to allow your breasts to fit one or another garment is a close approximation of RL. When you wear this t-shirt or that blouse in RL, it may press your breasts against you or hang freely from them (even then inducing some gravity pull), or may pull them together, etc. Same with your waist–don’t get me stated on corsets–or your butt, your arms even. You shouldn’t need to adjust so as to look like a different person, but some adjustment is actually realistic, to simulate different types of garment. Rather than see it as somehow compromising your commitment to the realism of your avatar, think of it as the possibility to increase realism. And above all go with SMALL ADJUSTMENTS, especially when moving many sliders in a single adjustment.

Being 5’8″ and wearing a medium, I find I have to make changes very seldom (at least partly both because of the styles I wear and how I combine meshes), but once in a while the old booberoonies get a slight tweak (and not from some guy on a beach, thank you). If I was one of these 8 foot mutants, I’m not sure I could ever get anything to fit and look right, let alone get an AO made with mocap animations recorded from a 5’6″ woman to look anything like normal (or dances, sits, etc.).

If you want to be realistic, literally the first step is your height. If you get that wrong, it doesn’t matter what else you do, you won’t look your best; although that grapefruit-sized head probably doesn’t help (and if your arms are so short you look like you can’t wipe without help, you may want to apply at the circus). There are sources online showing proper proportions of the human form for artists. Don’t sell yourself short–pun intended–creating an avatar in SL isn’t like UMVU or any kind of extended chat program; you’re creating an artwork, and given some great tools to do just that–don’t waste them, you deserve better.

No one puts the effort into all this fashion thought without caring how they look. Looking your best starts with the base layer on the canvas, your shape. Start there with some basic human proportioning, and think first about your height. It affects realism, period. Of course all of this applies to human avatars, but any furry with a human form or really any biped can benefit from thinking about those proportions.

I make mesh furniture of all sorts, buildings, etc., and I use realistic heights for door openings, chairs and the like. Having a realistic height is a necessity for realism. We use high ceilings inworld for camming room, but everything else benefits from realistic proportions, particularly now that people are using mocap animations recorded from realworld humans, unless you’re compensating for something and don’t mind it being completely obvious

And remember another thing: with any clothing system, there is a learning curve. Remember trying to learn how to adjust flexi skirts to look their best? Especially with a realistic body shape, which at one time just wasn’t done. Even editing prim or sculpt attachments to fit; none of those skills were ingrained, they were learnt. Making the most of mesh clothing, within the limitations of the current SL default avatar mesh, requires some skill. Generally though, once you get most of the initial work done, you won’t need to change much.

If you are a larger girl, certain creators make garments better suited to your frame, identically to the way seamstresses create for certain body types in RL. Often they have the sense of how to make your body look its best. In RL, there are types of clothes I just can’t wear. Even if they come in my size, I can’t make them look right. Thanks to mesh, for good or ill, SL now has that extra touch of realism, and I for one embrace it.

Another factor influencing hair design is the discrepancy in avatar types. A realistic looking hair mesh made to fit well on an abnormal looking shape (8 feet tall with a giraffe neck and the increasingly proverbial grapefruit-sized head) will vanish into a 5’5″ curvy woman with a shorter neck, etc. And the converse is obviously true: a mesh rigged to a realistic avatar will float oddly above an av with a longer neck, etc. Add to this the complication of guessing breast size and shape, the possibility of mesh breasts, and it soon seems impossible to make a gorgeous mesh hair fit more than a few people.

This is the main reason that nearly all rigged mesh hair creators not only provide but insist that you use demos in their stores to be sure that what you buy will work for you. From what I can tell so far, rigged mesh hair itself may be unaffected by the coming updated avatar in the fitted mesh viewer, so we may have to work within this for the foreseeable future.

Another thing to consider is that some creators face the challenge by offering multiple sizes in purchased packs, often 3 sizes. If you have trouble fitting good rigged mesh hair, that is an excellent option (this goes along with what many do, offering multiple colours in colour packs, to get as close as possible to the tint you really want. Some offer HUDs with multiple colour choices, which is another great way to).

Take it from a confessed hardcore hair junkie: there are many great mesh hair creators in SL, more all the time. Experiment with demos, try new stores, ask your friends where they shop. I have a favourite, but I buy styles from many different makers and am always finding great new ones. Just remember to clear out the demos from time to time. *blush*

Consider also that this all only applies to rigged meshes, both clothing and hair. Simple attached mesh (‘non-rigged’ or ‘unrigged’) can usually be resized, either with a HUD, or by editing yourself if it is sold with mod permissions. Such resizing options will be made obvious at the time of sale. If not, you might ask the creator or customer service rep.

To get back to that new avatar mesh in the new viewer, it is a beta, which means it’s been tested enough to work fairly well, but it isn’t the current stable, so consider the usual caveats. It’s also just in the LL code so far, so this viewer is the only one using it presently:

Second Life FittedMesh Viewer version 3.7.0.286015

available on this page: http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Linden_Lab_Official:Alternate_Viewers

Once a few creators have begun to work with it, pieces will begin showing up in the market, and likely some freebies or at least demos to experiment with. Once it becomes mainstream (people have been begging for this since I started over 2 years ago, so it shouldn’t take long), inventory bloat (caused by the necessity of providing 5 sizes of each garment to reassure customers that something should fit) should at least stop growing, easing life for the servers. Although I plan to do a LOT of shopping once we reach that stage, and I bet you do too. Then I will finally have to face the dreaded Inventory Purge :/ ).

I’ve been holding off learning to rig meshes partly in the hope that this day would come, eliminating at least part of one of the compromises creators have had to work with so far. I know many others are in the same boat.

So hang in there with mesh, and if you get frustrated, ask someone for help. Many would love to help you sort that out to get the most out of your SL. It can be done, with minimal compromise if you know a few tricks, and you deserve it. 😀

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And Then She Rose From The Dead. And died…

Well, not really. But it’s amazing what a good hard slap in the face will do to shake you from your sleep. Even if there is an impending death.

If you have a Second Life Account, and if you’ve logged in lately, Linden Lab required you to click ‘Accept’ to give them permission to rip you off. The current Terms Of Service document, required of you to ‘accept’ before you can sign into the service contains a revised User Content section with many broad, poorly-worded changes, the most visibly upsetting being the change from ‘solely for the purposes of providing and promoting the Service’ to ‘ for any purpose whatsoever’ in their description of what they are entitled to do with the content you create and upload to Second Life.

Anyone who wondered why they asked us to ‘accept’ a new ToS and then asked us to ‘accept’ another one a few days after now knows why. The idea was to make sure everyone just said, “Yeah, okay, whatever” and clicked without reading.

The trouble started when someone actually read that childish idiocy. The only legal implication of that change is to allow LL to sell your creations elsewhere without paying for them (in fact after making you pay to upload them after the care and toil and countless time you put into making them) for which, according to the very precise (though pathetically awkward) wording of the document, they are required to neither compensate nor acknowledge you.

It’s such a complete reversal, such a wholesale about-face from the attitude which allowed Second Life to become the premier online social entertainment project–certainly one of the most successful interactive entertainment efforts in history–that I and many others were convinced that LL had been hacked. Nobody could be stupid enough to deliberately destroy a successful publicly traded company, in any market.

And yet, when people all over the planet asked for confirmation and clarification, LL delivered this nonsense:

http://modemworld.wordpress.com/2013/09/11/tos-change-and-content-rights-lab-provides-statement/

http://www.cgtextures.com/content.php?action=secondlife_licensechange

So apparently, yes, they do intend to burn their own company to the ground.

The danger is that even when they realize that no one is uploading useful models, and that now all textures sold inworld with ‘not to be used outside Second Life’ as a use stipulation, i.e. virtually all of them, are now illegal (in the sense of violation of the very copyright that LL promised to help us protect) to use, and that all textures available on the web–whether through paid sites or free–were at a stroke similarly out of reach, and that this will guarantee eliminating new sim setups and add fuel to the sim closing fire, and then decide to redress it and apologize and promise it will never happen again, it’s already way too late.

Confidence is long gone. Now that everyone has seen crystalline evidence that Linden Lab fully intends to rip off every single person who uploads content (and lets be clear: there is no other possible application of the wording change to the User Content section of the Linden Lab Terms of Service. It was re-written and presented in the current sec 2.3 to give them the sense that it was legal for them to steal content from Second Life creators, and everyone who reads it can see that that is the only possible purpose for the change. Had they hoped to sneak it in under the radar? It was obviously never going to work; that was almost certainly not the intention–nobody’s that stupid) the forest fire is just starting.

Only an idiot would upload content to a service knowing that the company offering that service fully intends to steal it, by their own open admission (even if they apparently tried to sneak it in under our noses, anyone on Earth with internet access, including the US Attorney’s office, can read it any time they want) and sell it outside that service. Period.

So nobody uploads anything; and even if they did, they’d have to make their own textures for it, more work, more time, all to make somebody else even richer who won’t even acknowledge them, as outlined clumsily in the ToS they ‘accepted.’

So LL folds, as is inevitable, and very obviously intentional. Is that not a violation of US trade law? Linden Lab is a publicly traded company, as far as I know.

But whatever happens to LL, Second Life has no future. It was so deemed by LL.

And it ticks me right off. There’s no need for any of this crap.

Congratulations, LL. After defending you and trying to show your side of things and supporting all your efforts to improve what I feel is the greatest online social environment possible for nearly two years, you made a complete fool of me. Enjoy your laugh. Mine’s coming.

We all knew it had to end some day; it was too good to be true.

Fashionably Tardy And Life Among Mutant Dwarfs

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Okay, I’ve sat around letting suspense build long enough. Now that everyone who cared has fallen asleep or died, I can get on with things. I’m going to start off with a quick rant about SL avatar height, and touch on attention to realism in general.

Before we get started on this, why should we care how tall we are? For one thing, how you look affects the perception of realism and the quality of the inworld experience, not only for you, but for everyone who sees you. If you look proportional, with a correctly-sized head, wide enough shoulders and with hips and a waist that are humanly possible, the environment is less obtrusive and it seems almost like we really are face to face, not like we’re playing pong at MIT in the 60s.

Further, if you are close to 8 feet tall with an 11 inch waist, 60 inch hips and a grapefruit-sized head, you may be wearing $US 600 worth of clothes and custom made mesh hair, but you probably still look like a comic book drawn by a socially retarded 8 year old boy on meth. That may be good enough for you, and your own appearance may be less important to you than the actual interaction with others, but it matters to everyone who has to look at you, I promise. When I walk into a store that sells items with a minimum price tag of L$500 and see a few girls standing around who are physically impossible, I don’t feel like spending money, I feel like I TPed into a feverish hallucination about giants and mutant dwarfs.

Beyond all that, we are now firmly in an era where clothing looks amazing. Mesh is here, and mesh is IT. It’s not perfect yet, not deformable yet, but as happened with layers/attchments/flexi clothing, creators have worked miracles with the tools they have and adapted to the few limitations that do exist and clothing is now at an all-time high of quality. There will always be a place for system clothing layers; I quite often include them in outfits with layers of mesh, and some articles actually look correct pressed to your skin–though let’s face it, most don’t. And so far, it is very difficult to rig mesh clothing to behave like long flowing skirts, and the flexi skirt lives on, at least for now (it may never really go away, but more and more mesh models are apperaing which perform at least realistically and with much better movement of the textures, and eventually most of the beautiful long flowing gowns offered at fine fashion houses will be fully rigged. It’s so nice to sit down and not have your skirt end up downstairs in somebody else’s apartment. Don’t get me wrong, I love the older flexi gowns, and will always be in awe of the creators. What they did with the resources they had is mind-blowing. I’m having real trouble deleting any of those beautiful older gowns from my inventory. But once a few more really beautiful mesh models get released, everyone will want to sell them or start working up their own, and the flexi will become largely another lost art, as flexi hair is fading into now).

If you’ve kept up with current fashion trends in SL (umm, you’re reading this, so, yeah…) then I’m pretty sure your clothing is incredible–or more accurately quite credible, and very realistic and beautiful (or realistically hideous, as some creatively make themselves ;D). Modern mesh garment models are very realistically proportioned and fit perfectly on realistically sized avatars. To make the most of them, you need to get busy with the sliders and get that shape in shape.

Another factor is the increasing prevalence of motion capture animations, from sitting and, um, ‘aerobic activity,’ *cough,* to–more importantly–walking and dancing. Those movements are made by recording them being performed by real human beings in the real world, none of them 8 feet tall. The old situation of dances looking weird if you’re a normal height is being reversed as more and more hosts replace the old style hand-animated dances with mocap. Now if you’re an 8 foot mutant, you don’t look quite right swaying to the groove. The 5 foot 8 inch girl with the realistic proportions and the photo quality skin wearing gorgeous mesh clothes and naturally moving mesh hair wriggling realistically to the beat is who everyone is probably looking at, not the stick figure with legs 2/3 of her height and the round abdomen connected to her GIANT BOOBS by a narrow waist tube like some kind of biped insect.

So now that everyone who ever did care is sick of me going on and on about why they should care, let’s get to some relevant concepts:

First off, if you don’t measure your height with a prim rezzed on the same surface you’re standing on, you’re not checking your height. Measuring yourself with an inworld ruler leaves you at the mercy of whoever made it, whoever rezzed it, whoever built the surface you stand on, etc. Add up all that potential human error and throw in some conversion rounding-off and varying degrees of competence, and you have no idea how tall you are, beyond a comparative guess.

A friend and I went around SL for 2 days a few months ago and used every measuring stick and scripted height counter we could find ( I think we counted 35 of them), and not one gave an accurate height compared with our prim heights. Some were close, but off by a few inches. The range of inaccuracy we found was just under 3 feet. Yes, feet. The one we found that was closest to accurate was unfortunately 8 inches off the ground. You may get lucky and find one that’s perfectly accurate, but you won’t get me to bet on it. And if you find that one, not everyone in SL is going to use that particular one. They’ll use stuff from 5 years ago and stuff that’s been resized or screwed up by a server upgrade, or no longer on the current floor surface, etc. In no way should this be considered a reliable, uniform, accurate measurement system.

Many people rely on their viewer’s height approximation, which is actually a useful guide when making changes to your avatar, but is only relative and should be used as such. On your Appearance editing tab, editing shape, at the top there should be Height: X.XX either in Meters or Feet depending on settings in your Preferences.

Unless it’s changed in the past couple of months, the LL official viewer uses the straight bounding box height for the avatar as an avatar height measurement, which it is not. It’s an accurate measurement of the height of an arbitrary (at least for our purposes) imaginary box used to compute physics calculations, deliberately undersized in height to minimize errors in calculating collisons with objects and other avatars inworld. Period. It’s not your height. It does vary in size with your height, but it is not your avatars height. The one in the current Firestorm viewer seems quite close, but as it is still a re-calculation of this bounding box height figure using a formula, it also is not absolute.

The common doctrine is that the bounding box height is about 6 inches shorter than your avatar, so add 6 inches and you’re good. That may be true at a certain height, but it’s not exactly 6 inches, and the discrepancy varies as you get taller or shorter. As noted above, the Firestorm height is adjusted and is closer to reality. An example of my own numbers, though not my current height, was as follows:

The Firestorm Editing Shape figure was 1.82M, and my measured prim height was 1.79. I tried moving around repeatedly and could not get above 1.79. This is still a very close result, but not perfect. (Considering errors in both techniques the truth likely lies somethere between, but as the prim measurement is the only measurement I can personally verify as being very nearly perfect, I use it exclusively.)

The bounding box measurement method is unfortunately used in many scripted height detectors set out on sims both for you to get an idea of your height (similar to a fortune-telling machine at the fair. Not to be used for navigation or stock speculation, marriage/divorce advice, etc.–just for fun) and in some cases to prevent avatars under a certain height from entering adult only sims–at best a tactic of dubious fairness itself, as many kid avatars are close to 6 feet tall, and I’ve seen wrinkly old ladies under 5 feet (not all that unrealistic itself), and in this application adding the complication of dubious accuracy. If they use bounding box calulations, they are mostly meaningless (I’ve seen these. They were not used to deliberately grief people, but they did in some cases have such an unintended affect). If they are adjusted, they are better but still only so accurate. However, owners of such sims are left little choice, so everyone works around them. (Besides, there’s more to age simulation in SL than modifying your avatar’s height, but that’s a different discussion.)

At best, they do give you a rough idea, if they were coded by someone with a clue and rezzed at the correct height; but keep in mind some include your shoes, others do not.

If you don’t like to leave so many variables laying around over such matters as your exact height, none of the previous methods will do–especially when considering how easy it is to get an acceptably accurate measurement of your avatar’s height inworld. It is so simple, and such a good introduction to some simple building concepts for those who’ve never tried building inworld, that learning the technique should be a requirement for getting past the intro screen when you first rez after signing up (along with passing a test about recognizing scams and the evils of facelights, fullbright hair and bling *shudders*).

The prim measurement method explained below will give you something many think you can consider the difinitive number.

STEP ONE:

Go someplace where you can rez stuff, with verifiably flat ground. It can be a sandbox, your own land,  certain stores or even a place with autoreturn; you’ll only be a minute or two and you’re rezzing a single box. If you get shot for that, maybe you shouldn’t be hanging out around there; I’m just saying. I try not to go anyplace people get shot for socially inappropriate behaviour; I find it antisocial ;D

STEP TWO:

Take off your shoes (just your shoe fitter, the red shoe dealy in your worn items or current outfit list), detach your hair (I bet you wish you’d gone somewhere more private now, don’t you?), and turn off your AO or detach it if necessary.

STEP THREE:

Rez a box beside you, thusly: right click on the ground, and click build. The edit window will open and your mouse pointer will turn into a magic wand. If you look at the edit window, there should be some pictures of objects, the box shape being highlighted. If another shape is highlighted, click the box shape to highlight it. Now, click the ground. Yay, a box appears!

STEP FOUR:

Now, back at the edit window, there will be a list of options in the top portion, the top left being move. At the bottom there may be a button to open more options. If so click it; if not you should already see a series of tabs, the first being General, the next Object, etc. Select the Object tab and tick Phantom. Now you can move the box directly over the centre of your avatar’s position, by grabbing the coloured arrows coming out of it and dragging it–just do NOT touch the blue arrow, the one pointing upwards. If you accidentally do drag the blue arrow, right click the box and click delete, and then go back to STEP THREE. Dragging the blue arrow changes the box’s height and makes your calculations and thus all this effort meaningless.

Once the box is centred on you, go back to the top area of the edit window again, on the right side. Make sure the Stretch Both Sides option is UNTICKED. Now go across to the left side and tick Stretch. Looking back at the box you made (yes, you made that. That little plywood box is something that you created!), there are now coloured boxes where the arrows were, two red, two green and two blue. Now we want to use the blue one, but only the TOP blue one (if you touched the bottom blue one, go back to STEP THREE). Click it and drag it upwards until the top of the plywood box is level with the very top of your head, with your avatar standing perfectly upright.

You may have to move yourself back and forth a bit to get the standing upright pose, and be patient. You want the tallest measurement that the top of your head gets to. If you’re looking down or your feet are stretched apart you are not at your true height. Remember your mother with the ruler trying to get you to stand straight to get an accurate height measurement when you were a kid and you wouldn’t stop squirming. Now you know what she went through. If it makes you feel better, you can take your avatar for ice cream once we’re done.

STEP FIVE:

On the edit window, below the list of buttons named General, Object, Features, etc., with Object still selected you will see number fields down the left side. There is a section named Position with three number fields X,Y &Z. Below these will be another section with Size X,Y &Z. The number we need from your box is the Size Z number, which is its height . It should be roughly anywhere from 1.5 to 2.5 meters. (It can be more or less, depending on what type of avatar you have. A 2.5m dragon would probably get bullied at school, for instance, while a 1.5m infant would likely look too much like Truman Capote to be convincing with a diaper on.) Once you have this number recorded, you can right click the box and click either ‘delete,’ or ‘take’ (if you’d like a copy to save in your inventory).

To convert this Size Z number to something more comparable to real world height, either move the decimal place two to the right to get cm (or three to get mm), or you may wish to convert to feet and inches if you’re more accustomed to that system. The latter conversion can be accomplished either by using the formula below or with a free online converter

1 meter(metre) = 3.2808399 Feet so

Size Z x 3.2808399 = avatar height in feet.

Once you have this calculated, take the decimal figure–say 0.872632 from my 1.79m measurement cited above, which yielded 5.872632 ft–and divide it by 0.08333 to find the inch component of the measurement (in my cited case, 0.872632 divided by 0.08333 = 10.472, or roughly 10 inches rounded down. This put my height at the time at 5’10”, comparable to the figure gotten from http://www.simetric.co.uk/metres_to_feet.php which was 5′ – 10 5/10“. I’m around 5’8” now with proportions that I feel are close enough to real life, certainly close enough to look good in modern mesh).

While your shoes will affect your inworld height–and thereby your avatar’s collision behaviour calculations–your hair does not have physics and much like in real life doesn’t have much to do with what size doorway you can fit through or whether or not that snowball will hit you, etc. When you go to walk into a sim with a height restriction, your shoes may be included in the measuring device’s calculations or not (that detail is often noted on the device’s instruction board, should there be one. Sim owners careful enough to take the step of offering such a device generally give instructions but not always).

Another thing to consider is that if you are realistically proportioned at a realistic height, you may occasionally find yourself surrounded by giant women wearing bling and invisiprim shoes being brutally cut in half by flexi hair, towering over you at nearly 8 feet, but you likely won’t see anything because everyone will be blinded by nuclear facelights washing out all the local light characteristics–or even the sun. If you stay where most people have more SL experience, you’ll look right at home.

And whatever you do, have fun 😀

Okay, she has a pulse…

Yes, I’m still alive and clicking. Been busy trying to get stuff made, figure out where my store is (at Rag Dollz Island now, yay! I love Em :D), make sure I look good the whole time, and still make time to try my hand at that ‘real life’ thing (I still don’t get what that is, exactly, but whatever). 

Lots more pics up at http://www.flickr.com/photos/dee_wells/ and a few more items closer to being ready to stuff into vendors. It’s going to be boots and shoes first, then clothes. The jewelry stays as is for now; a few new pieces–hopefully all mesh–but the old stuff being converted to mesh is kind of on hold for now, and some may stay as is.

That’s it for now, just an update to let you know I’m still here and getting ready to actually use this to blog–my own stuff and some freebies and cool stuff I’ve found. I promise a pic next time, and maybe some controversy. Maybe a lot of controversy. Stay crazy. See you in the funny papers. o.0

Hiya :D

Hiya 😀

Just a quick hello and a stern warning: There will be sarcasm, and along with some bizarre humour, there will be serious discussion about the RL implications of fashion in Second Life, and some serious debate. Everyone is welcome to share their opinions, unless of course they conflict with mine. [See? my first joke ;)]

Have a great day/night/whatever

Seeya

Dee