Iris Ophelia's ongoing review of gaming and virtual world style
For nearly a decade, SL tattoo makers have had to respond to one irritating and ignorant request day after day, week after week. "Can you make a single-arm tattoo?"
No, they couldn't. They really couldn't. The limitations of the avatar itself stood in their way. But mesh has opened a lot of doors and solved a lot of problems for SL creators, including this one.
The Second Life avatar's UV map has two distinct legs, but there is only one arm texture area shared between both of the avatar's arms. This means that tattoos, sleeves, anything at all on the arms using SL clothing or tattoo layers had to be symmetrical.
While this is still technically true, intrepid designers like NinoITA Allen can offer easy alternatives, like NinoITA's own full-perm mesh sleeve template which comes in 5 sizes, with two distinctly texturable arms. The sleeve fits over the avatar's arm (though depending on the specifics of your shape the fit may vary) and is rigged, meaning that it will move with the avatar. As you can see in the picture it's not perfect; there are areas that stretch and pinch just the same as they do on the SL avatar unfortunately, so careful tattoo texturing and placement will be key for those looking to get the best results.
This template set is super affordable at L$199, making it perfect for both business owners and individuals looking to give their av some one-of-a-kind virtual ink. You can pick it up for yourself on the SL Marketplace.
(Hat tip: Sasy Scarborough and Thaumata Strangelove)
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Iris Ophelia (@bleatingheart, 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.