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: Elegance in Green

*sigh*

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)
  • Hair: No_Key by no.match (previous group gift)
  • Mesh Eyes: Vanity Eyes in sage green by MILA (free gift at the current round of the Vanity Event)
  • Jewelry: Ophira by Lazuri (free, from the Free Dove at this exact SLURL)
  • 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.)

All pictures taken at Frank’s Jazz Club.

Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: A Night Out at Frank’s

I still get an incredible amount of personal satisfaction from styling a really good-looking Second Life avatar for as few Linden dollars a possible. (Hey, don’t judge! We all have our little hobbies!)

My litmus test for how successfully I can pull together a female avatar look in Second Life is to take her to Frank’s Place Jazz Club and plunk her down at the bar next to the dancefloor. If I get random male avatars hitting on me within minutes, I know I have succeeded! 😉

So, today I present to you a look that, from the top of her head to the tips of her feet, is all freebies or cheapies, including the mesh body and the Omega skin applier! I was able to do all this for only L$150.

This avatar is wearing:

  • Mesh Head and Body: Juliet by Altamura (Valentine’s Day group gift; Omega compatible with the L$99 Omega System Kit; the Altamura group is L$50 to join)
  • Skin Applier: Mitsu by !OS! (L$1 gift from their Easter Egg hunt)
  • Hair: Amy in mink by Firelight Hair (from The Free Dove freebies store; the Free Dove group is free to join)
  • Mesh Eyes: Realistic eyes by Dossier (from the men’s section of the excellent freebie store at Ajuda SL Brasil; no group required)
  • Dress: Stretch Tube Dress in berry red (free group gift from COCO Designs; group is free to join)
  • Jewelry: Valentina Special Edition necklace, earrings and bracelet by Lazuri (from The Free Dove freebies store; the Free Dove group is free to join)
  • Shoes: Jai classic pumps by Rowne (comes with a HUD with 15 colour choices; free group gift; group is free to join)
  • Animation Override: Chubby Girl AO by [ImpEle] (free from the SL Marketplace)

TOTAL COST OF THIS AVATAR: Only L$150!

Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: A Fifteen-Minute Nun Avatar Makeover for Only L$190!

“The power of Christ compels you!”

The Exorcist

Just for the hell of it (see what I did there?), I decided to give a 15-minute makeover to one of my oldest avatars, named SisterMary Blister, who has been a classic system avatar for well over 11 years now. Here’s the “Before” picture (I remember I actually used a man’s skin to get this makeup-free look):

SisterMary Blister 27 Sept 2018

And here are the “After” pictures:

SisterMary Blister.png

SisterMary Blister 2.png

SisterMary Blister 3.png

Sister Mary Blister is wearing:

Mesh Avatar Head and Body: Kim by Altamura (which is still available for free at the UniHispana Crea Gateway Community sim; more information is available here). I had great fun playing with the mouth corners and the eyebrows to give her such a sour expression! You can also remove the long fingernails in the included HUD.

Mesh Eyes: Sunrise Mesh Eyes by eyden & yves (free from the SL Marketpace; comes with a 9-colour HUD).

Complete Nun’s Outfit (Except Shoes): Nun T2 Outfit by Bare Rose (available on the SL Marketplace for L$190 and at the Bare Rose store in-world). Bare Rose is well-known for selling an incredible variety of inexpensive costumes and outfits, and this one (the second edition of the original costume) is no exception. The outfit comes with the choice of a white belt or a black belt, as shown here.

Shoes: 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.

AO: Chubby Girl AO by [ImpEle] (free from the SL Marketplace), plus the Hands AO from the Kim body package by Altamura (see above).

TOTAL COST FOR THIS AVATAR: L$190

The ruler, which comes with various animations including swatting and smacking nearby targets, was by Ming Lu of RP Fantasies. I bought this so many years ago, that I forgot what I paid for it, and it does not seem to be available anymore. However, RP Fantasies does sell a similar yardstick on the SL Marketplace, if you’re interested in meting out punishment to the poor sinners around you… 😉

(The last two “After” pictures were taken at the Mater Dolorosa Catholic Church in Second Life, which is actually a quite beautiful and serene place to light votive candles, pray, or just sit and contemplate.)

UPDATE 6:59 p.m.: I actually lasted all of five minutes at oRgAsMs Adult Free Sex Lounge, whacking the johns and escorts with my ruler, and shouting “SINNERS REPENT!“, before I was banned from the sim! Who says you can’t have good, clean fun in SL? (Yes, I’m evil. As I always like to say: if you’re going to go to hell, why not go express?)