UPDATED! A First Look at Avatar 2.0 and the New Humanoid Avatar Face Deformation Features in Sansar

Linden Lab has issued a major update to the Sansar client! The team was working on it all day yesterday and well into the evening. I was tired, so I went to bed around 8:00 p.m., and woke up at 2:00 a.m. this morning to discover that the update was ready to download and install, so I put on a pot of strong black coffee and set out to explore! This is my first blogpost about the new update, and there will be many more throughout the week.

There’s quite a lot to unpack in this new update, so I’m going to take things slow and capture pictures and some video to show you what I’m talking about. For a complete list of new features, here are the release notes. But for now, let’s start with the new avatars, the much-anticipated Avatar 2.0 project. Also note that I am starting with a fresh, brand-new avatar with zero inventory, for illustration purposes.

When you first sign in to Sansar, you are presented with a choice: select a pre-made humanoid avatar, or create and customize your own (see the red arrow below):

Here’s a look at the ten starter avatars. As you can see, they are all of a stylized, vaguely science fiction theme:

Now, let’s take a quick look at the avatar customization module. At first glance, it resembles the old system we had before:

There’s a very limited selection of clothing for male and female avatars, again in a futuristic, sci-fi style:

There is a similarly limited selection of futuristic hairstyles, 6 for men and 6 for women, with the same colour and tinting options as before:

And there are a half-dozen science-fiction-type head attachments, like this over-the-ear piece:

The Face tab offers a bunch of new tools, including a variety of face presets, skin colours, eye colours, as well as various sliders to control various aspects of your face, as before:

Here’s a short video to show you what changing the face presets, changing the skin colour, and changing the eye colour looks like:

Now comes the fun part: the brand new interactive face deformation tools! See these top two rows of buttons that appear over your avatar’s head when you click on the Face tab? These are the new face deformation tools:

The top four buttons are (from left to right):

  • Head – Allows you to modify the entire head. 
  • Section – Allows you to modify large sections of the face. 
  • Feature – Allows you to go deeper and modify facial features.
  • Part – Allows you to go even deeper and fine tune specific parts of facial features.

The second row of buttons controls the movement/position, rotation, and scaling/size of whatever section of the head you picked using the top row of buttons:

These are pretty much the same move, rotate, and scale tools that you should already be familiar with from Second Life and other virtual worlds.

So, let’s take a look at a very simple first example video: moving, rotating, and scaling the entire avatar head:

Notice that whatever area you are working on is highlighted (in this first example, the entire head). If you were to select a section, feature, or part of the head, you would use your mouse to highlight that section/feature/part before you move, rotate, and/or scale it.

So, by using combinations of the existing face sliders and the new facial deformation buttons, you can pretty much make infinite adjustments to achieve your desired avatar look. It’s a complicated but powerful system, and this blogpost is just a brief introduction, so feel free to play around and see what you can come up with! I expect it’s going to take hours of trial and error to see all the different combinations you can achieve.

If you need help, please refer to the new document Customizing Your Avatar.

There is more—much, much more—in this new release, and over the next few days this week I will write about other new features in the client. Have fun!

UPDATE 4:53 p.m.: Istari, a Linden Lab employee, shared the following animated GIF which gives a real good ides of how you can edit the various facial features of your avatar using the new facial deformation buttons (see image right):