UPDATED: Notes from Today’s Avatar Customization Product Meetup in Sansar

I decided to come in-world to report on this week’s important Sansar Product Meetup, which was entirely focused on Linden Lab’s plans for future avatar customization. This is an opportunity for Sansar users to hear LL’s plans and provide feedback on what features they would like to see. Nearly 60 avatars were present at the meeting, an over-capacity crowd which lead to people landing up in separate instances of the experience (something that Linden Lab really needs to address going forward).

People who could not attend today’s meeting can follow one of three livestreams. Two attendees are livestreaming today’s Product Meetup: Daisy Gator at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=auVnsfdJ5jw and Ryzo-Rin at https://www.twitch.tv/ryzorin. The official Sansar Twitch stream can be found at https://www.twitch.tv/sansarofficial.

Cara reported that there will be more avatar sliders, first for the face and then the body. The new default human avatars will have maps on the body itself, and you will be able to use your mouse to click and drag to adjust your features. This would be a different way to adjust your face and body than using simple sliders, and it sounds exciting!

Linden Lab is considering adding an avatar height slider, and they are also looking at uniform scaling to make larger and smaller but still proportional avatars (e,g, giants and pixies).

Linden Lab also wants to push for more custom avatars on the marketplace. They are also looking at the ability to dress custom avatars using clothing created in Marvelous Designer within the next couple of releases of the client software, according to Cara. The AABB bounding box on the avatar will be expanded to allow for such things as larger wings, for example.

Cara and Lacie Address Questions from the Audience

They also want to add more avatar attachment points, and they also want to look at improving the accessories so you can adjust the item while wearing it.

High heels: not one of Linden Lab’s priorities at the moment. Many users want to have this ability though, sooner rather than later.

Custom skins: Linden Lab does want to open up the ability to upload and sell custom skins on the market.

The current humanoid skin type will be tintable (as hair and nails are now), but the next-generation avatar will have a skin type which will use subsurface scattering and shaders to look better, and will require a different way to tint it.

Animated attachments: not a current priority.

Hotswapping avatars (between saved looks in the Lookbook) is a feature that Linden Lab would like to set up for us to be able to use (i.e. not having to go into Lookbook to change an outfit but doing it instantly).

It was a very good meeting, short of actual delivery dates, but still giving us a glimpse of where avatar customization is going within Sansar. I think many of the people who attended the meeting were very pleased with the announcements that were made by Cara and Lacie.

UPDATE Feb. 15th: Inara Pey, who does a much better job of summarizing these weekly Product Meetups than I do, corrects a mistake I made:

“Hotswapping avatars (between saved looks in the Lookbook) is a feature that Linden Lab would like to set up for us to be able to use”

As a point of clarification, Cara actually said this is something the Lab is *unable* to support at the moment – and no indication was given that this is being looked at. What she did mention was that the idea of some kind of “personal inventory” of objects “carried” by an avatar is still under discussion at the Lab.

Thanks for the clarification, Inara! You can find her detailed report on the meeting here, including audio excerpts.

UPDATED! Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: Romeo and Juliet Full-Body Mesh Avatars as Valentine’s Day Gifts at the eBENTO Event!

UPDATE Feb. 25th: It would appear that there was a miscommunication from Altamura about when this promotion would end. I was told Feb. 27th and I originally wrote that in this blogpost. However, today I learned from the Altamura Design/Mesh Avatars discussion group that it actually ended at the end of the day yesterday, February 24th. Sorry!

SECOND UPDATE Feb. 25th: Due to the number of unhappy customers who believed they had until Feb. 27th and still wanted to pick up the Romeo and Juliet group gifts, Altamura has posted the following notice to their group late this afternoon:

Due to a miscommunication, Romeo & Juliet gift was removed. It WILL be back tomorrow until the 27th as was originally expected. So make SURE to bring yourself and friends along before they’re gone!!

Altamura has really outdone herself this time, with not one but two free, fully-featured, full-body mesh avatars, one for men and one for women, in celebration of Valentine’s Day!

Here is what the vendors look like at the Altamura booth at the eBENTO event:

To get the Juliet body, you must first join the Altamura Design/Mesh Avatars group (there’s a L$50 join fee) and pay the vendor L$1 (your dollar will be automatically refunded). To get the Romeo body, join the eBENTO Event Update Group for free and pay the vendor L$1 (your dollar will again be refunded).

Here is what the Juliet avatar looks like:

Unlike previous Altamura free mesh bodies, she comes in no less than eight different skin tones and a complete set of nail types and colours! Another nice feature is that you can remove the included head and replace it with any other Bento mesh head. And, if you get the Altamura Omega system kit, you can even use Omega skin appliers with this body!

Here’s another look at the darkest skin tone on the same Juliet avatar, wearing one of the free outfits and hair from the new starter avatars just released by Second Life:

Looking good!

And this is what the Romeo male avatar looks like, with all the default shapes and settings, all tattoos removed, and at the lightest of the four included skin tones:

Here’s a full-body look at Romeo in the darkest skin tone (note that you can have him clean-shaven if you wish; you can remove the default beard using the cheeks button on the makeup tab on the included HUD):

If you wish, you can also remove the head on this body and replace it with any other Bento mesh head. I did notice that if you turn the head off then back on, you will have to re-remove the default tattoos and makeup from the head again, but I consider this a minor bug.

These are outstanding, well-designed, and fully-featured freebies which are also Omega-compatible. With a complete set of alpha selections in the included HUD, you can basically wear just about anything with these bodies and they will look well. Drop everything and get down here today! This deal is only until midnight of Valentine’s Day, Second Life Time/Pacific Time.

Here’s the link to the Altamura booth at the eBENTO event. Please note that the sim is absolutely packed today, so you might have to use something like the Teleport Hammer to get in. Keep trying!

UPDATE: There has been such a level of crowding, chaos, and lag at the eBENTO event, that Altamura has added multiple new Romeo and Juliet vendors to the eBENTO event, and they have also moved the Romeo and Juliet gift vendors into their main store location (here’s the SLURL). You will still need to join the eBento Event Update Group for Romeo and the Altamura Design/Mesh Avatars group for Juliet, as before. Good luck!

UPDATE Feb. 24th: Chic Aeon has blogged about these bodies (here and here), and she has a useful tip for those who wish to use Omega skins and tattoos with them:

In order to get your Omega skins, tattoos, etc. to work on Romeo you will need to install the relay. This is different than previous versions of Altamura avatars — so listen up and save yourself some frustration.  You need to have the CLOTHING LAYERS hud open (not the main hud as before) and then INSTALL the Omega function.  After that, Omegas should work as expected.

Thanks, Chic!