UPDATED: How You Can Get a Grant of US$1,000-25,000 for Your Avatar Project

Since I asked Facebook to delete all my data and I quit the social network at the end of 2018, I have been spending much more time on Reddit and Twitter. On Twitter, I have ruthlessly cut the number of people I’m following, focusing in on people in virtual reality and virtual worlds.

Twitter is where I found this Forbes article, which reported:

Virtual Beings Grants announced at Virtual Beings summit.

The grants range from $1,000 – $25,000 and are obtainable by any group building a virtual being. Virtual beings include digital humans, virtual influencers, virtual assistants, creative AIs, avatars, and tools for virtual beings. There are four grant categories: games, enterprise, social, and education. Applications are open through September 17th and winners will be announced October 15th.

If you are interested and want to find out more, you can visit the grants information page. This initiative is spearheaded by the first-ever Virtual Beings Summit, a recent conference held in San Francisco meant to encourage virtual beings projects. They say:

Virtual Beings Is A New Space. To Believe Today That A Virtual Being Might Be At The Heart Of Every Part Of Our Lives Is A Big, Crazy Leap Of Faith. We Invite Those Crazy Enough To Believe To Sign Up Here!

Hmmm, I wonder if I should apply for a grant to support my work informing Second Life users about how to style their avatar for as few Linden dollars as possible? *sigh* Probably not.

By the way, here’s my latest Second Life avatar styling accomplishment:

This avatar is wearing:

Mesh Head: Leila Bento mesh head by Altamura (free group gift from last Christmas)

Mesh Body: Lara Bento mesh body by Maitreya

Skin Applier: Diana by Clef de Peau (free group gift from last Christmas)

Kimono and Shoes: Tsuru women’s kimono outfit by Secrets of Gaia (free hunt gift in the current Medieval Fantasy Hunt XIX)

Choker: Daphne choker from Beloved Jewelry (free; a hunt gift from last year)

Hair: Haruka hair by aa*Hair (free gift from the 2018 Hair Fair)

Animation Override: Chubby Girl AO by [ImpEle] (free from the SL Marketplace). This is a nice, simple, calm, free AO with no crazy movements. To show off the sleeves on this wonderful kimono, I added the Shoulder Overrider by Ethik Nacon, which you can use to adjust the shoulder position of any pose or AO.

TOTAL COST OF THIS AVATAR: L$3,198 (L$2,075 for the Maitreya Lara body, L$299 for the Shoulder Overrider, L$50 to join the Altamura Design/Mesh Avatars group, and L$99 for the Altamura Omega System Kit available at this exact SLURL.)


UPDATE July 29th: I just discovered this VentureBeat article reporting on the various presentations at the Virtual Beings Summit.

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Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: A Fifteen-Minute Elf Angel Makeover for FREE!

OK, here’s another one of my fifteen-minute avatar makeovers. I started off with one of my old alts, named Peace Dove, who is essentially the avatar embodiment of peace. Here’s the “before” shot, taken back in 2012:

Peace Dove 27 Sept 2018

And here are the “after” shots, all taken in the gorgeous fantasy sim called Lost Unicorn. Everything I am wearing I picked up for FREE!

Peace Dove 9 Oct 2018

Peace Dove 4 9 Oct 2018.png

Peace Dove 2 9 Oct 2018.png

Peace Dove 5 9 Oct 2018

Here are all the details on what I am wearing and where/when I got it:

Bento mesh head with animated elf ears and mesh eyes: Jessy 3 head by Safybelle, who you can get for free by earning 30,000 points on her in-store roulette wheel game or piggie sploder (scroll down to the very end of this blogpost to get more information). Seriously, this beautiful head is one of best-kept freebie secrets in Second Life!

Bento mesh body and hands AO: the Jenny Altamura mesh avatar head and body from the Freebie Megastore at London City (free; one skin tone; has Bento hands and head; more information here); you can remove the head and replace it with any other head, only if you got the freebie Jenny body from last year’s Women Only Hunt; however, you cannot remove the head on the version you can pick up now at the London City Freebie Megastore!

Body AO: Chubby Girl AO by [ImpEle] (free from the SL Marketplace). This is a nice, simple, calm, free AO with no crazy movements. Perfect for an angel wearing a ballgown!

Bento animated wings: angel wings by Blueberry (I picked these up for free using the discount vendor and the generous L$500 gift card offered by Blueberry at the Second Life 15th Anniversary Shopping Event)

Gown: Nadia ballgown in white from Hilly Haalan (free group gift; group is free to join)

Shoes (not shown): White flats by Garbaggio (part of the free sample pack for Slink feet; available on the SL Marketplace). Altamura mesh avatar bodies have Slink-compatible feet.

Jewelry: Daphne collar and bracelet by Beloved Jewelry (two free hunt items from the September Free Dove mini-hunt at the Beloved Jewelry mainstore). The included HUD gives a choice of 12 different metals and 33 different gemstones, so you can match any outfit!

Hair (the only thing I kept from the original avatar): Say 2 hair in white by elikatira (this was a freebie I picked up years ago, way back in the pre-mesh hair days, and I’m not sure it’s still available; I checked and it’s not on the SL Marketplace)

TOTAL COST FOR THIS AVATAR: FREE!

Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: A Fifteen-Minute Vampire Makeover for Only L$150!

UPDATE Sept. 28th: For a current, up-to-date list of free or inexpensive options for mesh avatar heads and bodies for female Second Life avatars, please see this blogpost. For a current, up-to-date list of free options for free and inexpensive male mesh avatar heads and bodies, please see this blogpost

Vampire roleplay is a very popular pastime in Second Life, so today I decided to do a 15-minute makeover on a vampire avatar. Here’s the “Before” look, the now-familiar Iliana vampire avatar from SL’s Fantasy starter avatar collection:

Vampire Makeover Before Iliana 22 Sept 2018

And here’s the “After” look (please click on each picture to see it in a larger size):

This avatar is wearing:

Mesh Head, Vampire Teeth, and Facial AO: Maia Bento mesh head from Akeruka (this was a time-limited free group gift which is no longer available for free; the group join fee was L$150). More details here.

Mesh Body and Hands AO: Jenny Bento mesh body by Altamura (available for free at the Freebie Megastore at London City). I removed the included head to replace it with the Maia head. More details here.

Gown: Well of Souls gown by Silvan Moon Designs (free gift from the recent SL15B shopping event).

Shoes (Not Shown): Black flats by Garbaggio (part of the free sample pack for Slink feet; available on the SL Marketplace). Altamura mesh avatar bodies have Slink-compatible feet.

Jewelry: Daphne collar, earrings, and Bento ring by Beloved Jewelry (three free hunt items from the September Free Dove mini-hunt at the Beloved Jewelry mainstore). The included HUD gives a choice of 12 different metals and 33 different gemstones!

Body AO: Chubby Girl AO by [ImpEle] (free from the SL Marketplace). This is a nice, simple, calm AO with no crazy movements.

Hair: Que Bella in abyss black from Hairoin (a store which is unfortunately no longer in Second Life; I bought this many years ago and I forget what I paid for this)

TOTAL COST FOR THIS MAKEOVER (not including the hair): L$150 (the Akeruka group join fee)

Pictures taken in front of the blood fountain at the Necropolis Vamp Club.