JISC Emerge Fashion Market Place

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This is a public page designed to support activities during the real-life workshop Step Out In Style

The Emerge team have set up six tents containing information and freebies to help people get started. Many thanks to Kisa Naumova, Thaumata Strangelove, StevenW Bohm and Paz Lorenz for these resources. Here is a summary of the notecards in the tents:

Slurl to JISC Emerge Island

Tent 1: Welcome

Welcome to the Emerge fashion show orientation area. Originally used at a JISC conference fashion show, this area is designed to give delegates an opportunity to build up their avatar’s visual identity through a series of informal information areas and objects.

The six tents have been organised in a logical manner to address various aspects of avatar creation and identity building. They are designed to be fun and informative, and are the first basic steps to creating any avatar you can dream up. Clicking the signs in each tent will give you notecards relating to the subjects covered in that area.

You are free to make your way around the tents before the workshop itself.

Basic Camera Controls

The most useful thing I learned when first arriving in SL was how to control the SL camera. Tired of walking around in a mall? Stand in one place and fly around with your camera! Want to see what's happening in the next room? Take a peek and never leave the virtual couch!

Following are the basic camera controls:

Pressing and holding the Alt key turns your mouse pointer into a square magnifying glass with a "+" in the middle. This "mode" allows you to zoom in and out, and to also to rotate around your mouse cursor. The trick here is to click (left for folks with two buttons) and HOLD the button, while moving the mouse around.

While holding the ALT key, pressing the Control key (and left click and hold with the mouse... getting all this?  :) ) allows you to rotate in the Z axis around whatever you've focused on. See FOCUS below. This allows you, for example, to look under things or on top of things that your normal view doesn't show ya.

Holding the Shift key, while doing all of the above (ALT, CONTROL, left mouse button hold... whew, are we getting tired?) allows you to move the camera in just (yet another) axis. This is good for when your Inventory or some other dialog is in the way, and you just need to shift the view over a notch or ten.

Note except when using the SHIFT key, as soon as you click down with the left mouse button sets your FOCAL point for your virtual camera. That is, that's where the camera zooms to and around using ALT and CONTROL in combinations. This is the most important concept to grasp that makes understanding the camera controls! Just remember, "where the mouse clicks is where the camera points".  :)

Now, PAY ATTENTION, this is one of the neatest things about camera control.....


So, you can actually move the camera view ALL OVER THE PLACE by just re-clicking holding the ALT key at one side of the window or the other., so that the focal point keeps moving.

I hope you've enjoyed our little tour of the SL camera controls! Take time to master these, and you'll be looking around corners before you know it!

- Vehn's Helpful Hint - 9 Nov 04 (for Misty's Resident Mixer)

What not to wear / How to remove boxes from your hand

Have you ever tried to wear something out of your inventory only to have it show up as a giant box attached to your hand?  :) We've all been there! (Actually, the boxes used to attach to your head, which was much worse.)

Objects in SL can (and often do) come bundled together in boxes. Before you can wear/use those objects, you have to unpack them. Here is how:

  1. Make sure you are in an area where you are allowed to build. The easiest way to do this is to look at the top of your screen, next to the menu, and see if there is a box icon with the international NO symbol over it. If there is, you need to find another place to try.
  2. Drag your box from your inventory to the ground. (Or, if it's still stuck to your hand, right click it and select "drop" from the pie menu.)
  3. Right-click the box and select "open" from the pie menu. If the box has a lot of objects inside, this will take a moment to load, but eventually this will show you everything inside of that box.
  4. Push the "Copy To Inventory" button at the bottom of the window. Another window might pop up asking you if you are sure you really want to copy the objects into your inventory. You do.
  5. Once you push the button, your objects should be in a top-level folder in your inventory. If you are having trouble finding it, remember that it has the same name as the box it came out of. You can also push the "Recent Items" tab in your inventory to narrow it down a little.
  6. Clean up! It's considered littering in SL to leave your empty boxes lying all over someone else's land, so be sure to delete your packages once you've gotten your goods. To do this, right-click the box again and choose "More > Delete" from the pie menu.

That's it! No more box-hand!  :)

How to save an entire outfit as a folder

You can save the elements that make up your avatar in a folder. This is known as making an outfit. Saving your outfit as a folder is really useful. It's nice to keep a backup of your "favorite" self, in case you need to change clothes in a hurry, or perhaps if you mis-click and find yourself standing in the middle of a PG sim naked. (Though, should that ever happen, don't feel bad. It has happened to everyone here at least once, honest.)

Let's make a folder for your current avatar:

  1. Right click yourself and choose Appearance.
  2. Select Make Outfit from the buttons at the bottom.
  3. Let's name this folder DON'T PANIC.
  4. In the checkboxes below, tick everything that's active except for "Rename clothing to folder name."
  5. Hit save.

That's it! Now, to USE this folder:

  1. Open your inventory.
  2. Type DON'T PANIC in the bar at the top.
  3. You should see your folder there. Dragging that whole folder onto your avatar at any point in time will replace everything you are wearing with the contents of the folder instead.

Tip: To use an item in several outfit folders at once, the item must be copiable. Otherwise, it will just go to the most recent outfit created that included it.

Before you go making any major changes to your avatar, there are two things to do:

  1. Save your current avatar as an outfit, as above.
  2. Take a 'before' photo.

Why a photo? You will usually find over time that your avatar evolves and grows as you begin to discover your niche in the metaverse. One day, when you are a longtime resident, you will look back fondly over your newbie photos and really appreciate how far you've come.

How to take a photo

Here is how to take a photo:

  1. Adjust the camera so you can see your face. Alt-click on your head and move the mouse left or right to pan around to the right angle.
  2. Make sure there is enough light. You can change the time of day by going to the top menu and clicking World > Environment Settings > Midday.
  3. When you're ready, click the snapshot button at the bottom of your screen. From here, you should see a small menu appear with snapshot options on it. From here you can choose to save your photo to your hard drive, or to upload it to your inventory. (Uploading photos costs L$10.) You can also select the size of your photo. For an inworld photo, you should try to make it square - 512x512 is best. If you are planning to save it to your drive, setting it bigger is better.
  4. You will need to click "refresh snapshot" every time you make some size or angle adjustments to get a new version of your photo. When you are satisfied with how it looks, hit Upload (if you are uploading into your inventory) or Save (if you are saving to your desktop.)

That's it! If you uploaded to your inventory, your photo is now saved as Snapshot in your inventory. (You can rename it.)

If you want to learn more about SL photography, I would highly suggest checking out the 6,000+ member Second Life community on Flickr.com: http://flickr.com/groups/secondlife/ where you will find many photo tips and artistic people to inspire you.

Tent 2: Shape and skin

About Shapes

A lot goes into making a great avatar but the two most important elements are shapes and skins. Here you will learn how to edit the default Linden shapes.

You MUST wear a skin and a shape at all times. If you need to take one of them off, you must replace it with another one.

Your shape is your basic body structure. It's how tall you are, how your nose is shaped... how long your arms are. It's things like bone structure and muscle tone. You can create your own shape. Here is how:

  1. Right click yourself and enter appearance mode.
  2. Make sure Shape is selected in the left-side menu.
  3. Your camera will move automatically, but if it doesn't line up, you can cam around on yourself to see what's happening.
  4. See the sliders on the right? That's where the action happens. Try dragging the height slider left and right. See yourself get taller?
  5. Try clicking the button that says mouth and change the width of your lips. Starting to get the idea?
  6. If you like, you can switch gender near the bottom there, or try randomize to get some very interesting (though rarely good looking) results.
  7. If you mess up, hit revert to start back at the beginning.
  8. If you are ready to save your new shape, choose Save As and give your shape a name.

Be sure to give your shape a name that you will remember. It also helps to number them sequentially, since your shape will most likely evolve over time. Try something like Jane 29-10-08.

Making a great shape is not as easy as it looks. Be patient. Here are some tips:

  • Try to be proportioned. If you make your head big, make your ears big, also.
  • Make sure you cam around on yourself from all angles. Your nose might look great from the front but really odd from the side. You are 3D! Remember that!
  • Most shoes in SL are made to fit size zero feet, so go ahead and make those tiny.
  • Go easy on the height slider. Setting yourself to 100 will make you tower over the average avatar. Most women are set between 60-80, and most guys are somewhere between 70-90.

If you want to buy a shape instead, there are plenty of shops that will sell you one. Shapes on average run about L$200-$L800, depending on their permissions. I would recommend that you try to only buy shapes that you may modify, since most people prefer to tweak them a little bit over time, either for fun or to make them work better with another element of the avatar.

There are some freebie shapes in the orange boxes before you.

About skins

Think of your skin as the paint that goes over your shape. Your skin encompasses things like skin color, makeup, freckles, scars, fingernails, etc. As a newbie, you come with a default linden skin that you are allowed to edit (I will show you how in a moment) but most people in world choose to replace those skins with better ones that they've bought.

Remember, you must always wear a skin. To take off the skin you are wearing, you must instead replace it with another skin.

First, let's edit the default skin.

  1. In your inventory, search for an item called "lightly tanned skin." This is a ladies skin but it will work great for this demo. Double click it to wear it. It's hideous, right? I know! That's why we buy better ones! Hang in there!
  2. Right click yourself and go into appearance mode.
  3. On the left, choose skin. (Note: If you tried to do this with a skin you were not allowed to edit, this wouldn't work.)
  4. See the new menu options? By using the sliders, you can change your skin color. Be more tan. Be purple. Be Super Hot Pink. It's fun.
  5. Under face detail, you will see freckles and other things.
  6. For makeup, you can edit lipcolor and how pink your cheeks are, as well as nail color. You can edit the body details, also.
  7. Like always, you can revert if you need to start over, or Save As if you have something you actually like.

Now that you understand how the skin edit menu works, let's try putting on a better skin. There are some freebies in the boxes in front of you. (Sorry fellas - there is a severe lack of men's fashion merch on the grid!! I wish I had more for you!)

Touch one of the boxes to get a folder with new skins in them. (Skins in your inventory usually look like a little person.) Double click one to try it. See the difference it makes?

Buying skins Your skin is probably the biggest single investment you are going to make into your avatar, and I would say honestly that it's worth the money. You can find inexpensive skins, but realistically, expect a skin to cost about L$1000 - L$1400 usually. To make sure you absolutely love your purchase, remember these things:

  • Skins look different on everyone. It might look great on the model, but she probably has a different shape from you and so it might not look right on you without some tweaking of your shape. Skins and shapes go hand in hand and even if a skin looks good, you still often will find yourself editing your shape a bit to look best together.
  • BUY DEMO SKINS. Every reputable skin dealer in SL sells watermarked demos of their skins for free or L$1. Everyone has preferences for skin and every skin is different, so try on as many as you can find until you figure out which you like best. Try them in different lights, and don't forget to make sure the body shading and styling is agreeable to you, too. Try wearing them around for a while to see if you like them.
  • Some skins have slightly transparent parts on them. This is cool. It allows that ugly Linden skin to show through it JUST ENOUGH that you can tint certain parts. So, maybe your pretty skin can be tinted to be tanned or have pink cheeks, or maybe you can dye your eyebrows to match your hair.
  • DON'T GET RIPPED OFF. Skins are hard to make and expensive, making them the number one target of thieves in SL. Only buy skins from vendors in stores, not from people. Only buy skins from places that offer a demo. If you see a "designer" skin in a disorganized shopping mall for an unbelievably good price, it's probably stolen. If you see a skin at a yard sale, it's probably stolen, since most skins do not transfer. Stolen skins are usually mashed up parts from lots of places (we call that Frankenskins) and they have bad seams and lousy resolution. Worst of all, they put really talented artists out of work. Just say no!

About hair and eyes

Ready to tackle hair? Hair comes in two main types: Default hair and prim hair.

Default Hair
AKA Linden Hair, this is the stuff you started with. It's controlled via sliders in appearance mode. I've seen people make it look ok, but it's a bit clunky and ugly.

  1. Right Click yourself and pick Appearance.
  2. Click Hair in the left menu.
  3. Color: Changes color
  4. Style: Try the sliders here for length, volume and more. Remember to look at the back when you're working to make sure you don't have a bald spot.
  5. Eyebrows! This is actually useful. You can use this setting to change the arc and shape of your brows. You can be permanently mad looking if you want! This is really helpful for shaping your eyes, though, so don't forget it's here.
  6. If you of the male persuasion, you can use the Facial button to grow a beard.

Revert to go back, Save As to keep a copy.

Prim Hair
Pretty much everyone in SL wears prim hair. Prim hair works like a wig: You put on a bald cap and then put a wig over it. You can get some free hair in the boxes in front of you to try this.

  1. Put on the object called Bald or baldie. This should shrink your system hair down until it's invisible.
  2. Choose a hairstyle in your inventory and drag it onto yourself.

Tada! You have a wig. If your Default Hair is sticking out through your wig, you forgot to put the bald cap on.

Tip: Depending on your skin, you can sometimes use the bald cap to edit your eyebrow colors.

If you look frowny or REALLY HAPPY suddenly, you might try wearing a different bald cap, because sometimes the shape of the brow is different in them.

Buying Hair
Hair shops almost always have free or L$1 demos. Buy these and try them on to see how you like them. Most hair is copy/mod, so you can edit it to work better for you and make backup copies in case you mess up. You can even tint it (though, white works best for that.)

About eyes
Eyes work the same as everything else. The default ones aren't so bad but it's fun to change them. There's a box of eyes behind you.

Tent 3: Clothing

Fashion is a HUGE industry in SL, with hundreds of skilled content creators coming to the grid to paint clothes for us. Wearing clothes is pretty straightforward - you just find the item in your inventory and double click it.

Before you go any further, did you read the notecard about creating an outfit?

If you are trying on clothes and just want to go back to the avatar you started with for any reason, just search DON'T PANIC in your inventory and drag that entire folder onto yourself.

Clothing Layers
Clothes usually come in different layers, signified by different icons in your inventory. Here are the available layer types:

Jacket Shirt Undershirt

Pants Socks Underwear

Shoes Gloves

NOTE: It's important to understand that layer names define what clothes show on top of what, not what KIND of clothes they are.

What do I mean by this? For example, the shirt layer will always show up on TOP of the undershirt layer. However, this doesn't mean that something called "undershirt" will actually LOOK like an undershirt. You might use that layer for a tattoo, so that the tattoo image shows up under your shirtsleeves, not on top of them.

A lot of designers make clothing available in multiple layers, to make it easier to mix and match and make it all work together. If you have three shirts that look identical in a box, check them again. They are probably on different layers, and you can tell by their icons.

Putting on one item at a time: To do this, just double click it in your inventory or drag it onto yourself. Give it a minute to rez. If you can't see the item you put on, make sure you are not wearing a layer over it.

Taking an item off To remove a certain layer, right click your self, then select Take Off > Clothes > and the layer you want to remove. Underwear and Undershirts are in the More menu.

Using Folders You already learned that dragging a whole folder onto yourself replaces everything. But what do you do when you want to replace just a few things? For instance, if you have a folder with some shoes and you want to change your shoes without changing the rest of your clothes?

  1. Find the folder in your inventory.
  2. Right Click it and select Add To Outfit from the dropdown.
  3. Handily enough, you can do this again and choose Remove Items when you want to take them off again. This will remove JUST those items.

Be very careful about choosing Replace Outfit when you pick through folders in your inventory like that. That only works right when you made a COMPLETE outfit. If the folder only has shirts in it, you will be left standing there, bald and naked except for your lovely shirt.  :)

But remember, DON’T PANIC.  :)

About shoes: Shoes work just like hair. You can get ones that are just a system layer, but most come with a system layer and two actual shoes that get attached to you. Shoes are usually set to fit foot size zero.

Tent 4: Animation Overrides

An animation overrider is a special kind of HUD that can be customised to make your character's animations different from default. Have you noticed that new avatars do those short little shuffle steps, while other people seem to glide about? They have AOs to make their motions smoother.

An AO can be programmed with animations of your choice to give you a new walk, a new flying pose, a new falling and landing pose, and more. The most popular free one is called a ZHAO and they are fairly easy to set up to use any animations you'd like. You can also buy tons of AOs on the grid to give your avatar a little attitude. Body language is important just like appearance. You can make your avatar seem bored, excited or cranky just by changing your animations.

Custom avatars often have custom AOs in them. For instance, if you got a mermaid costume, it would most likely contain a mermaid AO to make your tail swish about and to make you swim instead of walking.

Objects may also have an AO built in. If you buy a cane, you will hold it while hunched over to walk. If you buy a sword, you might be able to lunge at people with it.

Animation in SL is a course unto itself, so we will leave it at that for now.

Tent 5: Alternative Avatars

All this talk of fashion and one might forget: Second Life is home to many non-human avatars as well. If you're a little shy or just don't fancy yourself being much of a fashionista, you might prefer to use an avatar that doesn't look like a person. They can be a lot of fun!

More importantly, it's good to realize that fantastical avatars are one of the best things about SL, and that if your student comes to class one day as a fire-breathing dragon, the right answer is to congratulate them on their creativity, rather than trying to make them commit to a dress code. Dress codes really don't work well here. If you find all the costumes distracting, you might try having themed classes, instead. See who can wear the best wings to class, the craziest hair.. have circus night. Embrace the diversity here and you'll go far.

How do you wear these crazy things?

Most of these special avatars are made by attaching lots of objects to lots of attachment points. They nearly always have a very odd looking crunched up shape and special skins to make any stray elbows that might be sticking out blend in. The easiest way to put these on is this:

1. Make a folder with your current outfit! These avatars generally change every aspect of your appearance, so be sure you have something to change back into when you're done.

2. Drag the entire folder for the avatar you wish to become onto yourself. It's like magic.  :)

Tent 6: Freebies and Shopping Guide

Here, Thumata Strangelove has put together one of the most comprehensive Second Life shopping guides I’ve seen!

Best to visit this one in-world so that you can teleport to the locations listed directly.

Thanks again to the Emerge fashion show team: Kisa Naumova Thaumata Strangelove StevenW Bohm Paz Lorenz