Avatars aren’t merely meant to be a photographic replication of who you are in real life. Just as an abstract painting depicts a mood or emotion in line and color, an avatar depicts a personality–the inner you. Or if you use virtual to inspire or contribute to storytelling it gives you tools to think about your characters at a deep level. You build an avatar from a shape, skin, eye color, hair style, clothing style that tell you as much about who a character is as those elements tell you about a person in real life. Or maybe the better way to think of it is they tell you about who the creator wants you to see.
As an author discovering inspiration in virtual worlds, I use avatars in just about all the ways possible.
To create story characters:
To teach others what can be done with Opensim:
Hanging out and going to parties with friends:
Whatever the reason for bringing a unique personality to life, the process is simpler than you’d think.
If you followed the instructions in my how to visit Greyville post you will arrive as the character all Opensim newbies arrive as–Ruth.
To change to a more interesting character style you mouse over one of the starter avatar packages we have set out. Be sure to note that some of these packages say they contain an avatar and some are just clothing. Pick one with an avatar. Right-click the package and then click the buy option from the menu that appears. That will deliver the package to your inventory. You can open your inventory by clicking the suitcase icon in the bottom taskbar.
Here I’ve selected the Latisha Avatar. I can just right click the folder containing all these items and then select the option to replace current outfit. At the very least an avatar must be wearing eyes, default hair, skin and a shape. The little box labeled cosine goth is the lovely curly dark hair this avatar has. The rest of the items are self-explanatory.
You will see your avatar shape and clothing change as items are added or swapped. This takes a couple minutes. And then you come out looking like the avatar in the picture of the box you selected.
Some boxes contain multiple items in various sizes. You can right click to wear or add(the option will vary with the type of item you choose) an item and take off another, mixing and matching until you have something unique that suits you.
Here’s a little interface cheatsheet that might be useful for you.
A-The letter rating next to the region name tells you what content is allowed in an area.
B-The worn tab in your inventory will show the list of everything you are wearing. This is especially helpful in removing items you no longer want to wear, or accidentally double-clicked and found yourself wearing.
C-This lets you change the position of your view inworld. the leftside rotates the view, the rightside moves it up and down. The tiny buttons across the top let you select the default view of your avatar. Experiment.
D-This lets you controll avatar movement. Experienced gamesrs use their keyboard for this, but clicking that interface can move you in the direction you want to go or let you choose bewtween, walking, running, or flying.
E-Is a the local chat and if you see another user is the best way to introduce yourself or ask a question. Don’t feel ignored if you get no response. They may not be present at the keyboard or it may be an NPC which is controlled by scripts and most of those are not scripted to chat.
As you gather more content in your metaverse travels and get more practice at creating avatars, you’ll discover an endless range of possibilities. Have fun discovering the inner you.