I am not having a good day. While trying to clear some space on my hard drive, I accidentally deleted the contents of the Downloads folder on my home computer. Fortunately, I was able to salvage an important document I was working on, but all the screen captures I made for this blog over the past two years are gone. I feel like such an idiot. And to compound the stupidity, I went and bought a rather expensive undelete program that didn’t really recover anything I had lost. All the image files it “recovered” were corrupted and unusable. So that was CDN$100 down the drain. Remember, kids: backups, backups, BACKUPS.
Anyways, to make myself feel a little better, I decided to spend some time on one of my favourite hobbies: pulling together an elegant Second Life avatar look for next to nothing.
This avatar is wearing:
Mesh Head and Body: Juliet by Altamura (former Valentine’s Day group gift; Omega compatible with the separate Omega system kit)
Omega Skin Applier: Ritual by 7 Deadly S[k]ins (a box of Omega skin appliers was the June group gift)
Gown: Snow dress in green by Kaithleen’s (former St. Patrick’s Day hunt gift)
Shoes (not shown): Sonnet pumps from Hilly Haalan (free group gift; group is free to join; they come with a 20-colour HUD to match just about any outfit)
Animation Override: Chubby Girl AO by [ImpEle] (free from the SL Marketplace). This is a nice, simple, calm, free AO with no crazy movements.
MY TOTAL COST FOR THIS AVATAR: L$149 (I paid L$50 to join the Altamura group, and L$99 for the Omega system kit for Altamura available at this exact SLURL. I had joined the 7 Deadly S[k]ins group during one of their free group join periods in the past.)
It can be tricky to find free or inexpensive footwear for female avatars, so in this blogpost I will be pulling together all the information I have about finding free or cheap shoes and boots for women.
One wardrobe staple I turn to time and again is this free set of women’s classic pumps by Marquesse, available from the excellent freebie store at Ajuda SL Brasil on the third floor (here’s the SLURL):
They come in white, black, red, and nude, and fit Slink mesh feet:
Wander around the women’s section of the freebie store at Ajuda SL Brasil (on both the first and third floors) and you will find many other pairs of free footwear for female avatars, everything from sneakers to thigh-high boots! Here’s just a sample of shoes from Nala Design:
If you join the Rowne group for free, you can pick up this lovely pair of Jai women’s pumps at the Gift Wall in their store (here’s the SLURL), which comes with a 15-colour HUD:
The Jai pumps come in sizes to fit Maitreya, Belleza and Slink mesh feet.
The set consists of flats, mid-height heels, and high heels in four colours: white, red, black, and nude. Here’s a close-up look at the mid heel along with the colour HUD:
Baby Monkey has some nice freebies at a couple of locations. At the Free*Style store you can pick three different sets of footwear—pumps, hiking shoes, and boots—in grey, green, and blue (here’s the SLURL):
Here’s what the Leana pumps look like, along with the colour HUD:
If you go to the Free Dove freebie store, there’s an updated “basics” set of Baby Monkey Leana pumps available in sizes for Maitreya, Belleza, and Slink mesh feet as well as classic avatar feet, along with a 10-colour HUD (here’s the SLURL):
There are many other high-quality freebies in the shoe section at the Free Dove, so be sure to pay them a visit and check out what’s available:
And finally, there are dozens and dozens of pairs of stylish footwear available for only L$10 each in the Baby Monkey sale section, located in a skybox high above the main store on the Keraxic sim (please note: this is an adult-rated Second Life sim, so you need to set your viewer settings to include Adult content if you want to be able to visit the Baby Monkey store). Here’s the SLURL to take you directly there.
Each set comes with a 32-to-35 colour HUD, which should allow you to match just about any outfit you are wearing! This is an incredible deal, so you should visit and flip through the vendors just to see what’s for sale. Depending on the style, there are sizes for Maitreya, Belleza, and Slink mesh feet, as well as classic avatar feet.
Another place to pick up many pairs of free shoes for female avatars is Hilly Haalan. Simply join their group for free and click the panels at the landing point, or the nearby freebie store! Here are just a few examples:
The suede Sonnet pumps (upper right in the bottom picture) come with a 20-colour HUD, and are available in versions for Maitreya, Belleza, and Slink mesh feet. I find myself using them quite a bit.
If you join the Legendaire V.I.P. group for only L$49, you can pick up quite a few pairs of trendy shoes and boots from their group gift wall:
If you join the S@bbia group for free, you can pick up a nice pair of brown penny loafers for free at their store (here’s the SLURL):
If you join the Versov group for free, you can pick up a pair of Jumpov sneakers as a free group gift from their store (here’s the SLURL):
The Jumpov sneakers come in sizes to fit Maitreya, Belleza, and Slink mesh feet, as well as an unrigged pair which you can adjust to fit just about any foot (it also comes in men’s sizes). The included HUD allows you to customize every aspect of these sneakers as you wish!
If you join the Petite Mort & Oubliette VIP group for free, you can pick a couple of neat pairs of sneakers as free group gifts. Oubliette has a pair of floral skull chucks at this SLURL:
And Petite Mort has a nice pair of black floral chucks at this SLURL:
And, if you like flowers on your sneakers, there’s another free pair available at the entrance of the Baby Monkey store at this SLURL:
So, as you can see, it’s not hard to find some fabulous footwear for nothing, or next to nothing, in Second Life! Happy shopping!
Hunts in Second Life are a tried-and-true way to get some truly fabulous steals, deals, and freebies. For example, Petite Mort and Oubliette are currently having an hunt for six white Easter bunnies on their half a sim, with each clothing prize only L$10 each, a significant saving:
I have spent almost 13 years doing hunts in Second Life, and I have learned a lot along the way. So here are my top 6 tips for Second Life hunts.
Please note that in the following tips and tricks I am using the Firestorm viewer; if you are using another Second Life viewer, like the default SL viewer, you might have to use different keystrokes to get to the features you want. I rely on Firestorm daily, as most people do, and I honestly don’t know the equivalent keystrokes for the default Second Life viewer.
1. Know what you are hunting for
This may seem obvious, but sometimes people engage in an SL hunt without even checking the associated website, which usually contains a picture of the item you are searching for, a list of store locations, and a hint for each location. Freebie blogs can also be valuable sources of information, showing you what the hunt prizes look like before you go to all the trouble of trying to find them. (Don’t forget about Cat Pink’s hunt videos, too!)
This is also a basic rule: learn how to move your camera around the scene. You don’t even have to move your avatar around; just cam around the store to find what you are looking for. If you learn nothing else, learn how to use your camera.
In Firestorm, the camera controls can be brought up either by clicking the Camera Controls button on the bottom button bar, or by going to the top menu bar and selecting Avatar → Camera Controls.
The camera controls are divided into sections, as follows:
The leftmost circle allows you to rotate your camera.
The vertical slide to the right controls zoom; you can drag it or use the +/- signs for finer control;
The arrows in the square pan the camera left/right and up/down.
Across the top are six buttons. These are:
Front view – places the camera in front of your face, and facing you.
Side view – place the camera over your left shoulder, looking forward.
Rear view – places the camera behind and slightly above you; this is the default position.
Object view – allows you to zoom in on objects by clicking them. Hit ESC to leave object view.
Mouselook view – places the camera in front of you; the camera then moves with your mouse; the camera controls disappear in this view. Hit Esc to leave mouselook.
Reset view – restores the camera to default.
There are also keystroke commands for most of these options; you don’t necessarily have to use the on-screen widget. Here’s a list of camera controls. After countless hunts, by now they are second nature to me:
Rotate camera left/right
Rotate camera up/down
3. Turn on the lights
Are you hunting for an object in a dimly-lit store, or a sim set to midnight? One recent hunt had black eggs hidden in black corners of the store. Drives me absolutely bonkers. Here’s a tip: turn up the lights. If you are in Firestorm, Click on World in the top menu bar, then select Environment Editor, then Sky Presets, then Edit Preset, as shown here:
From the list of sky presets, scroll down and select one called CalWL:
Et voilà! Sharp, bright, clear light by which to properly conduct a hunt.
4. Use a little helper
Now, this tip is controversial, because some would consider it cheating. Some vendors will go so far as to ban you from their sim if you are discovered using one of these little devices. I’m talking about object scanners, items which automatically search the area you are in for a specifically named object. If all the objects you are searching for have a naming convention (e.g. they all start with “POE” for the Peace on Earth annual hunt), then you can find them more easily using an object scanner. You just have to attach it, then walk around the store.
You should be aware that many store owners deliberately use misleading names (e.g. “Pine Floor”) or even gibberish (“asdfghjkl”) when naming hunt prizes in order to thwart people using object scanners. I’m not going to tell you which model to use; you can find them yourself on the SL Marketplace. In fact, you don’t even need to buy one, since there is already a perfectly good Area Search tool built into the Firestorm viewer (you can find it near the bottom of the World menu). And if the idea of using one feels like cheating to you, then just ignore this tip.
5. Use your X-ray vision
Here’s another really useful hunting trick that most people don’t know about. Did you know that you can toggle to wireframe mode in Firestorm, and literally see through objects? If you are using the Firestorm viewer, just pres Ctrl-Shift-R, and you turn on wireframe mode. Pressing Ctrl-Shift-R again takes you back to regular mode. Try it and see! (Note that you will get a momentary black screen when doing this. This is normal.)
Here’s an example to demonstrate. This is the normal view:
And here is the wireframe mode:
6. Only as a last resort: derender the sim/store piece by piece
This last tip is only if you have exhausted all other methods of hunting, and you still cannot find that elusive prize which you absolutely must have! Essentially, you select walls, floors, fixtures, and temporarily derender them (i.e., make them invisible). Keep doing this until you find what you are looking for.
To do this in Firestorm, right click on the object you wish to remove. From the menu which appears, click on More, then More again. You will see Derender as one of the options on the pie menu. Click on Derender, and select Temporary. And poof! It’s gone. Handy, eh?
Here’s an example of why hunts in Second Life can be so rewarding. This outfit consists of two pieces from the Easter bunny hunt at Oubliette and Petite Mort (the flower basket is a freebie at the landing point, and it comes with a hold animation).
This avatar is wearing:
Mesh Head: Giselle Bento head by Altamura (no longer available for free; this was an Altamura gift from Christmas 2017 at the eBENTO event, and you had to join the Altamura group for L$50 to get it).
Mesh Body: Jenny Bento body by Altamura (this was a free gift from the 2017 Women Only Hunt, and on this version, you can remove the head and replace it with any other mesh head, as I did here. Note that this free mesh body is now available at the Freebie Megastore at London City (more information here), but you cannot remove the head on the newer free version.
Hair: Hannah by MINA Hair (this is an old gift from a previous Second Life shopping event, no longer available for free)
Top: Lace trim sweater by Petite Mort (hunt prize; L$10)
Skirt: Cream midi skirt by Petite Mort (hunt prize; L$10)
Time to take another alt from zero to hero(ine)! And time to update this popular blogpost on freebie shopping from last May. And this time, I beat my old record of 789 freebies in 10 stops! Yes, it can be done!!
This weekend, I wanted to see just how many high-quality freebies I could vacuum up in as few stops as possible, for a newbie (unisex) Second Life avatar. My only rule was to ignore any older system (non-mesh) clothing, any applier-based clothing, tattoos, classic avatar skins, shapes, and poses. My total budget was L$51, which was spent on full-body mesh avatars. Everything else was free!
My starting point was Altamura, where I picked up the free group gifts of the Juliet and Romeo mesh bodies, for only the L$50 group join fee for the Altamura Design/Mesh Avatars group! (More information here. You have to pay the vendors L$1 after you join the group, and your Linden dollar is automatically refunded.)
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 if you missed this fabulous offer!
However, you still have many free and inexpensive options for mesh heads and bodies for male avatars and for female avatars (follow these links for more details).
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!!
After I visited Altamura, I hit only six more locations in Second Life:
Virtue (group is free to join): 46 group gifts (beautiful, modestly-designed women’s dresses, blouses and T-shirts)
Coco Designs (group is free to join): 47 group gifts (women’s clothing and shoes; note there are two separate Group Gift walls in the store)
!Soul (group is free to join): 114 group gifts (women’s hair, clothing and shoes)
Hilly Haalan (group is free to join): 68 group gifts (women’s clothing and shoes)
The Free Dove (group is free to join): 198 group gifts (men’s and women’s clothing, shoes, hair and jewelry)
The freebie store at Ajuda SL Brasil (no group needed): a whopping 350 gifts (men’s and women’s clothing, shoes, hair and jewelry)
Female Avatar Looks
Here is look number 1 for my female avatar: everything my avatar is wearing, from top to bottom, except the mesh avatar itself, came from the excellent freebie store at Ajuda SL Brasil.
Mesh avatar body: Juliet by Altamura
Hair: Leslie by Firelight (3rd floor, Ajuda SL Brasil freebie store)
Dress: Irena by Prism (1st floor, Ajuda SL Brasil freebie store)
Pumps: Classic nude pumps by Marquesse (3rd floor, Ajuda SL Brasil freebie store)
Look number 2 is very Audrey Hepburn:
Mesh avatar body, lipstick and nails: Juliet by Altamura
Shoes: Classic black pumps by Marquesse (3rd floor, Ajuda SL Brasil freebie store)
Rest of outfit: René black and white outfit by Giulia Design (1st floor, Ajuda SL Brasil freebie store)
Here’s look number 3. all set for a night on the town! Everything is from The Free Dove except the avatar itself:
Mesh avatar body, lipstick and nails: Juliet by Altamura
Hair: Naomi braids by Firelight (from The Free Dove)
Dress: Donna dress by Stars (from The Free Dove)
Shoes: Animal Attraction Zebra shoes from Shoe-Ddiction (from The Free Dove)
Male Avatar Looks
Here is the first male avatar look, a casual sporty appearance:
Mesh avatar body (including beard applier): Romeo by Altamura
Mesh eyes: Realistic eyes by Dossier (comes with a HUD with 6 different eye colours; this fabulous unisex freebie I found tucked away on the 4th floor of the freebie store at Ajuda SL Brasil, at the Dossier display along with some sandals and boots)
When I started, the size of my inventory for this newbie avatar was 3,924 elements. When I finished, it had grown to 8,856 elements!
So, now you see how easy it is to fill your inventory with high-quality Second Life freebies without a lot of running around, or a lot of money! Happy shopping!!
UPDATE Feb. 26th:Scandalize has another one of their periodic free group join periods! You can join their group for free from Feb. 25th to Feb. 28th. If you join their group, you can pick up no less than 88 wonderful group gifts for female avatars:
So, take advantage of this opportunity to add even more high-quality women’s clothing, shoes and jewelry to your inventory!