Coming Soon: Drax’s Our Digital Selves Documentary (Plus Another Plea to Release the Outfits!)

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Did you know that Draxtor Despres (Bernhard Drax in real life) has been hard at work on a documentary about how people with a disability use virtual worlds like Second Life, High Fidelity, and Sansar? The title of the documentary, which will be released free to YouTube on May 18th, is Our Digital Selves: My Avatar Is Me. Drax describes the film as follows:

Our Digital Selves: My Avatar Is Me tells the story of 13 global citizens and their avatars as they transcend their various disabilities by making a home in the VR metaverse.

Filmmaker Bernhard Drax travels all over the world, from California to rural South England, to explore why a diverse group of people ranging from 24 to 92 years of age find solace, inspiration and deep friendship that in a user-created digital wonderland that only exists inside their computers.

Drax sends his intrepid documentarian avatar Draxtor Despres into the virtual universe of Second Life as well as next generation VR platforms like High Fidelity and Sansar and – among many other adventures – he finds out why a 40-something Chicago native feels best represented by a colorful gecko complete with superhero cape or why Cody LaScala – confined to a wheelchair his entire life – feels his avatar should look exactly like him. The film follows researchers Tom Boellstorff and Donna Davis as they lead discussion groups and facilitate deep connection between real human beings in virtuality through artistic expression.

We follow along as they travel to Silicon Valley to find out how leading technologists design the future of online communication with disability in mind.

As Boellstorff and Davis finish up their 3-year study, made possible by a grant from the National Science Foundation entitled Virtual Worlds, Disability and New Cultures of the Embodied Self, the film presents a compressed compendium and visual guide to a seemingly unlimited array of possibilities for borderless human interaction.

Unique in its narrative approach, Our Digital Selves weaves together physical and virtual cinematography as the protagonists backstories are re-enacted via Machinima technique – real time animation – in the virtual world and next generation VR platforms.

The film will be available for free on YouTube come May 18th and has been submitted to film festivals around the world for the 2019 season.

Here’s a preview of the documentary Drax put out on YouTube about six months ago:

And here’s a great screen capture from the video (of which I saw an advance screener) of Linden Lab CEO Ebbe Altberg sitting in front of some Sansar Studios concept art for avatar outfits.

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And once again, I make my regular plea, ever since I first saw glimpses of this concept art from Sansar Studios: Release the Outfits! 😉 Don’t hold back on us, Ebbe… even with a healthy fashion market full of user-created content, a few more outfit choices from Linden Lab would be much appreciated by this Sansar fashion blogger!

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UPDATED: Second Life Steals, Deals and Freebies: Free Mesh Heads and Skin Appliers from Genesis Lab

UPDATE Sept. 24th: Please note that the group join fee for Genesis Lab is no longer free; it is now L$99. I have pulled together and updated all the information I have on free mesh heads and bodies for female avatars into this blogpost.

If you are looking for free or inexpensive mesh heads and bodies for male avatars, please see this blogpost.

I learned from the Nessmarket Freebies and Sales Blog (which you should be following if you’re interested in Second Life freebies) that Genesis Lab has just made their group free to join, which means you can pick up all their group gifts for free from their store!

Among the group gifts are skin and makeup appliers, a demonic set of mesh eyes, and several mesh heads (note: as far as I am aware, these are not Bento heads). Here is a look at two of the mesh heads, a striking albino one called Makena and a very attractive one called Kenna, which comes with a HUD with quite a few makeup options for lips, eyes, eyeshadow, eyebrows and hairbase:

 

And here’s a shot of a third mesh head called Lara, which is also quite attractive. The mesh eyes are included and you can change their colour using the included HUD, as well as several makeup options and hairbases:

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So if you’ve been wanting to get a nice mesh head, now’s your chance! I don’t know how long the Genesis Lab group is free to join, so I’d take advantage of it as soon as you can.

Here’s a SLURL to the group gifts wall at the Genesis Lab store.

UPDATE May 11th: Genesis Laboratory has changed the group that you must join to get the group gifts. It is still free to join (for now). The new group is called GenesisLab and you can link to it via this URI:

secondlife:///app/group/f92affa5-abd8-7124-b9a5-f70669e58688/about

(I have told Nessaja, so she can update her Nessmarket blog.)

Second Life Steals, Deals and Freebies: New Manuel Altamura Mesh Avatar Head and Body for Male Avatars, Only L$900!

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Altamura has just put another special deal out in their store. If you join the Altamura Design/Mesh Avatars group for L$50, you can purchase the Manuel mesh avatar head and body package for only L$900 (the regular price is L$4,499). The avatar comes in four basic skin tones, and has many options to change/tint your hairbase, eyebrows, eyelashes, fingernails, lips, etc., plus a complete set of layers (tattoos, clothing, etc.) and a full set of alpha sections to fit any mesh clothing properly. Here’s the in-world location in the Altamura store where you can pick Max up.

This product is Omega System compatible, but you will need to purchase an Omega Installer to activate the plugin. It is available on the SL Marketplace for L$99 or (according to the notecard that came with the package) you can buy it in-world where it is L$50 with the Altamura group tag activated. (I was unable to find where in the Altamura store this was located, though.)

Here my alt is wearing the lightest skin tone of the four available with the Manuel body, with his hairbase and eyebrows tinted blond. He is also wearing:

Click each image to see it in a larger size:

Manuel will only be available at this price through May 13th, so you’d better hurry!

Note: I used the CalWL WindLight preset for the last three pictures, and someone told me on Facebook that I looked like a serial killer! So not the effect I wanted 🙁 so use the very first picture at the top of this blogpost to get a better sense of what the Manuel head looks like, thanks!

UPDATED! Second Life Steals, Deals and Freebies: Where to Get Both Versions of the New Free Male Mesh Avatar Head and Body by Altamura, Plus the Best Freebie Stores for Men!

UPDATE Oct. 20th: For a current, up-to-date list of options for free and inexpensive male mesh avatar heads and bodies, please see this blogpostAlso note that all the clothing freebies at the UniHispana Crea sim are now at the same spot as the Max vendor sign, instead of in a separate location. Also, the Max bodies at both Ajuda SL Brasil and UniHispana Crea are now FREE instead of L$1; just click the blue vendor panel and select Deliver from the blue pop-up menu.

Finding high-quality freebies for male avatars in Second Life can be a bit of a problem. There seems to be a LOT more freebies available for women than men. So today I am going to tell you about all the places I go visit when I am looking to outfit one of my male alts.

Did you know that Altamura has just announced that they are giving away two versions of their Max full Bento mesh avatar body and head package for FREE? (Actually, you’ll need L$1 to pay the vendor, and then the vendor automatically returns your Linden dollar.) This is a fully functional, fully adjustable, fully featured Bento mesh avatar body and head with a full set of alpha selections (but please note that you cannot hide the head using the included HUD, in order to wear another mesh avatar head with this body). Also, while you can turn the hairbase on or off using the HUD, each Max body only comes in the one skin tone. You cannot use Omega appliers with these freebie male bodies.

To pick up the darker skin tone version of Max, go to Ajuda SL Brasil. At the landing point, look for this large blue sign:

Freebies for Men 1 2 May 2018

When you click it, it will teleport you to the third floor of their large Freebies store, where you can pay the identical blue sign L$1 to buy a copy of your Max mesh avatar body and head package. (You will get your Linden refunded.) There are also many more freebies for men on this floor, of varying quality (some are mesh, some are older system clothing), so go and shop around!

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To get the lighter skin tone of Max, you need to go to another freebie spot, called the UniHispana Crea Community Gateway. This place can be a little confusing to navigate, so use the included SLURLs to find what you are looking for. The Max package is available here (again, just pay the blue sign L$1 and it will refund you):

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But the small selection of freebies for men (including the mesh dress suit and dress shoes my avatar is wearing) is located in another place on the same sim:

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Another great place for men’s freebies is the venerable Free Dove. They have a selection of high-quality men’s clothing and shoes, and a few hairstyles for men as well, located against the back wall from the entrance:

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Finally, there are some nice freebies by designer Giz Seorn (some unavailable anywhere else) that can be found at the New Resident Island freebie village:

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Note that many of the vendors at New Resident Island are restricted to avatars under a certain age in days, but the Giz Seorn freebies are available to anybody regardless of age.

So, there you have it! Only a few stops and you have not only a good-looking mesh avatar head and body, but also hair, shoes, and good-quality clothing galore! Here is a shot of my male alt, wearing the lighter-toned Max head and body, with free Chris hair from the Free Dove, and wearing the suit and shoes I got from the UniHispana freebie store:

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I forgot to mention that the Bento male animation override is also FREE, available from Tuty’s. So everything this avatar is wearing from head to toe, including the AO, is FREE!

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