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Thursday, August 07, 2008


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Gahum Riptide

The one on the right is indeed more realistic, although the one on the left reminds me of many girls I've seen at the University here.

Iris' tips are targeted toward female avatars, but I have infact thought about tweaking Gahum to look a little more average bodied. However, I did try to make him look a little more realistic in that he's not super muscular with all of the body shape sliders at the highest levels. He actually seems to be slimmer than most of the avatars I see across the grid.

I might have to work on my alt and make him the average bodied one.

Princess Ivory

I think the girl on the right looks more realistic, and still very attractive. I would probably thin the love handles just a tad, but that's all. I like the sexy curves to the hips and slightly fuller thighs.

Body shape is also impacted by avatar height, and unfortunately SL® average female height is around 7 feet tall. There is no easy standard of measure for us to check our avatar height. The gizmo most of us have really lines up with the avatar's eyes, not the top of the head. So right there, you have distorted the body of the SL woman. I am 5'4" in RL. To make an avatar of that approximate has caused me to be much smaller/shorter than other avatars. So my body IS thinner throughout, because it fits better with the shortness of my avatar. And that means most prim skirts do not fit and require editing. Sometimes I even have to edit hair, so I really appreciate hair designers that sell you their hair in a S/M/L package. Editing prim hair is next to impossible! If I were to make my head larger instead, it would look out of proportion with my short body.

I'd be happy to see designers create things for curvier avatars, but it has to be in proportion to height, and allow for shorter avatars as well as the 7 ft model!

Princess Ivory

Ran Garrigus

My partner Freyja and I have spent a lot of time reading up on body proportions to try and get realistic shapes. We're also (relatively) "normal" sized, taking into account that the first avatar height measurer we had (which Princess mentions) subtracted about 4 inches to the "actual" height of the avatar -- so a fellow I thought was 5'11" is actually 6'3" and so on. I have a new one someone's made that's full perm that gets a lot closer to "true" height.

I find the second avatar on the right a nice effort to get proportions correct! I would suggest, however, that the hands on the right are rather too small for the new shape, and that the arms are somewhat too short (in this, the original avatar on the left was a bit closer to reality -- the arms of most people extend to about mid-thigh.)

That said, the SL avatar mesh and many poses and animations don't really like it when the arm is that long, so bear that in mind!

Sophrosyne Stenvaag

I have the utmost respect for the people who're changing their avatar shapes based on a concern for the real psychological and social costs of eating disorders and size discrimination in the atomic world, and for the people genuinely embracing an aesthetic other than that of the tall and thin.


However, I think digital worlds are valuable because they give us the tools to imagine something better, to conceive of the ideal, to live in it - and for some, to start asking why they can't have that ideal in the atomic world too.

http://sophtopia.blogspot.com/2008/08/realistic-avatar-shapes-mmm-no.html>I don't think embracing the flawed real over the ideal digital is a good idea at all...


Wow! Thank you for featuring my picture!! I was very surprised to see myself on the site (and I just now saw your response to my comment on the other post, Hamlet).

In response to Ran's suggestion, once I really looked at my picture and compared the arms I did realize that I needed to lengthen them. :) I made a few more tweaks, and posted additional pictures on my new Flickr page just for Kedawen here - http://www.flickr.com/photos/kedawendarrow.

I also posted more of my thoughts about this change here - http://kedawendarrow.livejournal.com/770.html.

Thanks for all the comments so far. :D It made my day 100% better.

Daman Tenk

I agree Soph with working to an ideal being important in a virtual world. It worries me however when the 'ideal' is a 7ft anorexic woman.

Pavig Lok

The avatar on the right has a more solid realistic frame, but still suffers somewhat from LaraCroftiness of the legs. Unfortunately with Aeon Flux and Lara Croft being the default body types in SL, realistic leg proportions turn one into a comparative midget.

Isadora Fiddlesticks

I would tend to agree with Soph and Daman, but since this is SL, and in my POV SL should become more flexible because of the increasingly dynamic and diverse population it is starting to have.

I think one should be more focused on addressing the flexibility of the default appearance editor so that both the ideal, and the real can be achieved without difficulty. That said, I can see a potential niche for RL inspired shapes and customized shapes and how this can be a business for some who are great at this.

Sin Trenton

I've seen this discussion since I was hanging around SLProfiles.com as a n00b.
Myself, I tried to make my avie as similar to me, though I had to compromise a bit with the size of my gut, because of how makers design outfits. (If you're male, it seems you're supposed to be a milkshake, with a shoulder/waist propotion of 4:1).

Someone in a forum said once, "it is our obligation to make our avs as beautiful as possible".
Maybe we want the ideal so much, since then we can dream on and don't have to deal with our RL belly sizes? ;o)

cyn vandeverre

This is a difficult task for many people, but there is something that can help.

Take a photo of yourself (or your target RL person/shape) from the front and side; make it a texture. Put it on a prim which is the height you want to be in SL, make sure you aren't stretching it out long like Gumby in a tug-of-war. Then edit your av until the outlines of the av and the photo match.

Jaymin Carthage

My avatar already has a "realistic" shape. I wanted to look better in RL than in SL!

Ann Otoole

I've been using a balanced female shape from about day one and give away a mod copy of it in the free avatar box in my store. good jumping off point for anyone wanting to tweak.

Sin Trenton

I read Sophtopia's blog post and also the comments. Some of them really good.

There is just one thing I can't really make go together in some fashion. So I reckon I have to do it with a bit of uncensored mind-natter.

Go beyond your RL shape. Oh, yes, I can agree with that one, actually. Go Tiny, go Dragon, go Flying Spaghetti Monster, go purple electric cloud..
But why just go for the blinged out Barbie or muscular Milkshake? If you go for Barbie and not a petite mechanical doll, are you exploring? Or compensating?
If the latter, I have no problem with it. Heck, I wish I could fly as well in RL as I can in SL.
Just don't try to make it sound like one is exploring New Frontiers.

But maybe it does make sense. Whatever quest for the perfect avatar, the digital representation of our bodies, we look for, we still bring in something RL that is hard to change. Our magnificent, flawed, fair and foul selves that some call the mind, others the soul.


OK, and just for the record?


is a full-figured avatar! and OMG WHATTA CUTIE!

Iris still needs to eat a sandwich. Just sayin'


gah! wrong link above!


O, for an edit function on our posts...

Nikita Weymann

I actually started on day one attempting to replicate my RL form (which is pretty tall and slim sto begin with). But I quickly realised that anything but size 0 feet would be a pain when wearing shoes, and eventually I gave in and made my av slimmer as well because I didn't want to edit a gajillion prims on some Japanese belts I wanted to wear. It's just easier to have something close to a "standard" SL female form.

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