How to Import Custom Avatars Into SL

Written by amber viescas
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How to Import Custom Avatars Into SL
(Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

Looking to customise your avatar in Second Life? SL provides many ways to customise your appearance, including importing clothing, accessories, and animations. As of 2010, importing a custom avatar requires importing all parameters separately. Apart from custom animations, each import consists of an image file, including clothing and accessories. SL then uses sculpted prims--3D model representations in image format--to represent customisable objects.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Computer with Second Life Viewer installed
  • Second Life account
  • SL-compatible textures, prims, and animations for import
  • 10 Linden Dollars (L$10) per imported avatar element

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Instructions

  1. 1

    In Second Life, go to Build -> Upload -> Image. Find the elements you want to import and hit "OK". You can upload textures for clothing or sculpting textures for accessories/attachments.

  2. 2

    Preview the file with the image editor. Hit "Upload" to begin the upload.

  3. 3

    Edit the description of your item, which will be located in the My Inventory -> Textures folder by default.

  1. 1

    Go to the body shape editor. In Second Life, right-click your avatar and select "Edit My Outfit." On the window panel that pops up, click "Body Parts" to bring up a list of worn body parts: shape, skin, eyebrow shaper, and eyes. Mouse over your shape and click the tool icon to go into the editor.

  2. 2

    Choose tabs for body shape, head shape, and facial features. Move the sliders along the scale to customise your avatar's basic features. You can also change your avatar's gender appearance. Click the left-pointing triangle to return to the Edit Outfit window.

  3. 3

    Import your skin texture. Click the tool icon next to the skin you are wearing to bring up the Editing Skin window. Click on the texture boxes above to use imported skin-shading textures.

  4. 4

    Click "Save" to save your features or "Save as" to save the features as a new shape in your inventory.

  1. 1

    Change your avatar's clothing. From the Edit Outfit Window, click the Clothing tab. For each piece of clothing you want to customise, click the tool icon to the right of the listing.

  2. 2

    Change the texture of the clothing by clicking on the Fabric boxes and selecting your imported texture, and the tint by selecting a colour from the tint box. Adjust the sliders below the texture boxes to change the clothing's coverage and shape.

  3. 3

    Click "Save as" to save your newly created piece of imported clothing.

  1. 1

    Locate the animation you want to import and ensure that it is in .bvh format and tailored for use in Second Life.

  2. 2

    Import the animation into Second Life. ("Build" -> "Upload" -> "Animation"). This will cost L$10 per upload.

  3. 3

    Incorporate the uploaded animation into your inventory of Gestures. Go to "Me" -> "Gestures" to open the "Gestures" window, then click the "+" sign to create a new gesture and bring up the "New Gesture" window.

  4. 4

    Customise the trigger and shortcut key that will start your animation playing. Locate the "Steps" box in the "New Gesture" window and ensure that it is blank; Remove all Steps already inside.

  5. 5

    Under "Library", click "Animation" and then "Add >>". Where it says "Animation to play" choose your custom animation from the drop-down window. Click "Save" to save your new Gesture. You can now access it with the trigger you set.

  1. 1

    Create a new generic object in the world. Go to "Build" -> "Select Build Tool" -> "Create Tool" and click anywhere on the terrain (building must be allowed in your zone)

  2. 2

    Import your accessory's shape. Under the Object tab, choose "Sculpted" from the top drop-down window. Click the box marked "Sculpt Texture" and find your uploaded sculpt texture in the new window.

  3. 3

    Under the "Texture" tab, select your object's texture by clicking in the blank box and finding your uploaded texture. Then close the build menu. Right-click on your object and select "Take" to put it in your inventory. It will default to the "Objects" folder.

  4. 4

    Return to the "Edit Outfit" menu. From there, click "Attachments" and then "Add More..."

  5. 5

    Right-click on the accessory in the "Object" list. Click "Wear" to wear it in a default spot or mouseover "Attach To" to pull up a list of additional places to wear it.

Tips and warnings

  • When importing a custom animation, SL will only register the parts that actually move. What pose the avatar remains in does not matter.
  • When uploading a lot of custom content, use the "Bulk" upload option to save time.
  • You can save your current avatar (body shape, skin, clothes, accessories, etc.) any time in the "Edit Outfit" window by clicking the Save button.

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