Wednesday, November 28, 2012

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Say Hello to Hamlet 3.0: The Results of Hamlet's Head-to-Toe Virtual Makeover

Hamlet Makeover 2
Iris Ophelia's ongoing review of gaming and virtual world style

While Hamlet's busy in in China I decided it would be the perfect time to give his dreadfully dated avatar a complete makeover, and you guys offered a tidal wave of excellent advice. I took it all under consideration yesterday when I brought Hamlet's avatar out for a little shopping spree, and I think the results speak for themselves. Are you ready for the big reveal? Imagine a drum roll, if you will...

Hamlet Au Makeover 2

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Hamlet 3.0, modelling some of SL's best brands and top (current) styles. Drink it all in:

Hamlet Au Makeover 1

That is one dashing virtual man about town right there. I'll admit he may be a bit of a departure from real life Hamlet (and from past Hamlet avatars), but I think he's still recognizable as the Hamlet Au we know and love. Let me walk you through the decisions I've made along with all the details of this dapper av:

  • In the comments last week, James Schwarz mentioned Exile [SL Marketplace] [SLURL] for a slightly curly cropped hairstyle for men, and Dustin was a near-perfect fit. I edited the bangs a little so they were a little less swooshy and almost emo, and I think the style we're left with is just what the doctor ordered. Hamlet's original avatar had black hair so I decided to channel the classic caricature instead of sticking with the lighter brown that his 2010 av had. I think it looks much more distinct and distinguished... though it's not set in stone, either.
  • Skins were very tricky. Most male skins in SL are for hard-jawed brooding men with sucked-in cheeks (and cheekbones that could cut glass), and most of them look... very, very weird on Hamlet. Even weirder was seeing him without the facial hair, which he suggested might be retired like his glasses were in 2010. I tried very hard to find a bare-faced skin that worked, but ultimately I settled on the Jack skin with facial hair from Birth [SL Marketplace] [SLURL], recommended by Haley Solomon. A baby-faced Hamlet just felt off to me, especially with the sharp cheeks and razor-fine features most mens skins have now, so hopefully this is a livable alternative for everyone.
  • Hamlets eyes were okay, but I updated them with a pair of mesh City Lights eyes from Insufferable Dastard [SL Marketplace] [SLURL] anyway-- who knows when I'll have the chance to update them next, after all?
  • Ah the suit, the white suit... It was a staple, but many folks agreed that it was just a bit cheesy at this point. I decided to go with something a litle different and picked the Willard mesh ensemble from FATEwear [SL Marketplace] [SLURL] which was recommended by countless people (and was admittedly my plan all along). I think this white and grey look is a little more up to date while still being recognizably Hamlet, even more so since I tinted the mesh tie to match Hamlet's beloved old NWN flexi tie.
  • I also tweaked his shape little by little at this point in the process to make sure that both the skin and the suit looked good. That means that I adjusted his lips, widened his hips and waistline, toned down his barrel-chestedness (and his duffel bag) tremendously, and even added a bit of length to his arms and legs. What's SL without a healthy dose of idealization in your avatar, right?
  • I also couldn't help but put Hamlet in one of my favorite pairs of men's shoes in SL, the polished Classic Loafers from Redgrave [SL Marketplace] [SLURL]. They're sculpted and not mesh (boo hoo!) but they definitely still hold up.

Hamlet Au Makeover 1 notations

The final touch is a laid-back AO without too much superfluous fidgeting, the Posing Man AO from Oracul [SL Marketplace] [SLURL]. I made sure to pick an AO that was relaxed and not too aggressive, either-- just perfect postures for a virtual world journalist.

Overall I like most of the changes. I am a little sad that as much as I wanted to maintain many of the features of a true-to-life virtual Hamlet he somehow transformed even more into International Male Supermodel Hamlet Au instead (or a lost member of the Banderas family), so there may still be a few tweaks and changes to come. For now at least he has shoes on, right?

So tell me what you think: Did I strike gold... Or miss the mark? Let me know in the comments!

Mixed_reality_iris2010 Iris Ophelia (Janine Hawkins IRL) has been featured in the New York Times and has spoken about SL-based design at the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan and with pop culture/fashion maven Johanna Blakley.


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Bouncer Criss

Well done!!

Pussycat Catnap

Seems a major improvement to me.

And yeah, its difficult in SL to make male avatars that don't look like either noobs, or, noobs in Hulk Smash form... :p

You've managed to avoid both of those ends of things.

Just assure me that he doesn't do that waving rolling hands animation that 99.99% of SL males do as their feet pace back and forth because they -ALL- bought the exact same pricey AO... :D

Pussycat Catnap

Ps: If you want glasses back, the shop "The Mesh Store" sells some amazing mesh shades and glasses. Some of them look good enough I want to 3D print em and wear em in RL, and I have perfect vision. :p


Oh, that's very nicely done, Iris!


Two thumbs up for Hamlet 3.0, plus some bad poetry I wrote in college (updated a bit since I did the original on a manual typewriter).

You way gone cats may snap your fingers if you wish, or hurl insults, Daddy-O.

"Male Model"

Rakish Nihilist
Child of the last war,
Victim of the next,

Why do today's cars look like weapons?
Is there really a male myth?

How can you see the world
Through midnight-colored glasses?

Is it just a question of survival in the rotting city,
Like the hairstyle book said?
How do you combine
Decay, Romance, Decline, Animal Appeal,
The rut-musk of mushroom clouds,
Italian shoes,
And lust on the junk heap?

You know these sacred mysteries,
O figure pixilated and packaged
And I, a tintype obsolescence
Beseech you, clothes-perfect digital god,
Answer me,

Is there really a male myth?

Val Kendal

well done!

Nedria Cyr

If I'm being nitpicky, I would go with a lighter color of shoes - the black seem a bit stark with the overall gentle muted colors of the rest of the outfit, and I think he'd look great with a pair of well done wire frame glasses. Beyond that, I like it a lot. Especially the hair.

Pussycat Catnap

This is also a great makeover to show people who rant on about "SL hasn't changed / moved forward."

- A lot of new technology in the last year or two has made that new look possible.


I am always wondering, in a world where you can be anything that you can imagine, why would you want to be a human?

Minhilda Nordenskiold

ggrrreat work! mr hamlet 3.0 looks now professional and up-to-date male avatar. i have read this (amazing) blog forever and secretly hoping to see hamlet's makeover - so thank you very much IO! PS. my first impression was also that the shoes are too black, but they are shiny and classic and SHOES, definitely better than socks LOL


How far original are you talking about with the hair, I take it that the screenshot at the top left of this blog isn't his original avatar then? It's clearly a shade of brown >.> but over all it looks like you've looked after him, lol. As long as he's confident in it. I was a little worried with the close-up screenshot, but the one further back doesn't look all that bad really.


Now if you would just update that pic in the top left corner, the make over will be complete.

Melissa Yeuxdoux

Most excellent! Yes, I'm channeling Bill and Ted, but excellent is le mot juste. Beautifully done. *applause*

Hamlet Au

OMFG Iris, this is awesome -- thanks! I'm sitting here in China wanting to have sex with myself.

Harper Ganesvoort

Iris > Excellent job! You deserve a drink at the Blarney Stone.

Hamlet > ROFLMAO!


Excellent job on Hamlet 3.0! I like the hair and Willard mesh ensemble he's wearing making him look as though he belongs to a 1920s role-play sim like Shady Falls haha. The wrist still looks a little off. I still think the a Jhonny shape from Unique Megastore( with a little modification to the eyes, jaw and nose size) would look closer to the real Hamlet than the current shape. Keep up the good work!

Sandy Sandalwood

Right on!

elizabeth (16)

he looks just like the other guy

except more shiny

q; (:

Bixyl Shuftan

Well, a lack of shoes isn't a problem for me. ;-)

Arcadia Codesmith

I like.

Arms are a bit too beefy for my taste, but that's the only nit I can pick.


Can we pay you, Iris, to remake more males? I have the hair I love now but not the rest.

Hamlet's reply came just as I put down the coffee. Good thing for the keyboard and screen.

Emperor Norton

Good AVI and a vast improvement. Now it looks like he actually plays SL, you know.

Only critic is see if you can get the face less generic male model and more like the RL Wanger. Make Hamelt's avi really stand out with some personality, even if it means RL imperfection.

Khannea Suntzu

I'd hit it.

Uccello Poultry

A most excellent bit of work. RL Hamlet has a rounder face, shorter from forehead to chin that this version, based on the pictures I've seen, but it is rather hard to make skins work well with certain shapes. My last makeover with a new skin required me to change my face fairly drastically.

Dizzy Banjo

holy shizzle

Malkavyn Eldritch

Nice update Iris! It does indeed show that Second Life has come a long way in a few short years with the emerging technology.

Eve Kazan

never met Hamlet 2.0 but the 3.0 is so sexy !!!


great job! shape is still a bit on the cartoony-clark-kent side ... but who knows what hamlet is wearing under the white suit :P

David Cartier

The pic in the upper left could have a RL Pic and then show each of the Hamlet avatars over the years to show the changes we've all seen.

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