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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Baby Steps in Second Life: A Guide to Understanding your Avatar and Abilities- Debby Sharma Reporting...

It has been a long time since I wanted to walk all the newbies through the baby steps in Second Life. For few it’s difficult, but with the following pictorial tutorial, it should be a cup of tea. 

When you visit, you will see the following:

Step 1: Choose your avatar

Step 2: Either log in with your Facebook ID or fill in the simple details. (You may choose to use the same email id for various avatars.) You will be asked, if you want to download the official Second Life viewer. You may either choose to accept or there are other third party viewers that you may download. Look at the end of the article for the list of third party viewers. I suggest to use the official SL viewer, but you always have a choice.

Step 3: Best is to read the Terms and Conditions and accept them by clicking on the tab.

You will see Step 4 appear on your viewer. Wait till it loads.
Step 5: Welcome to Second Life. Use arrow keys to walk.
Step 6: Look for the arrow boards placed in world and follow the directions.
Page up is used to jump, page down is to crouch. Use upward and downward arrow to move forward and backward respectively; left and right arrows for turning. Double tap on Page up will make you fly. One may use W, A ,S and D too.

Once you enter the Invisible swirling teleporter in Step 7, you will be teleported to the Welcome Island. There will be a number of new comers and also old avatars to help you out. Type is the local chat bar for help, and they will be at your assistance.

Before I proceed further, I want to give you a brief on the main tabs and their functions on the viewer. I am using the Official Second Life Viewer. The icons on the tabs are the same even if you use any third party viewer. Look into the picture below to know more.

Now, that we know a little about the viewer, our next step is to get dressed. Our avatar represents ourselves. I normally like to be a human. But, you may choose anything you wish. Click on the marketplace link
Whenever you buy, remember to use the words “promo, gift” along with the search item. This helps you to get a list of products that are free and yet you are not compromised on quality.  Remember never to buy the demo product; they are free to try out before you buy the original products. Demo products either have a box attached with the product or are textured with “demo” words. All items bought from the market place are received in the “Received Items” folder. This can be seen in your inventory. To track the recent purchases, it is best to click the “Recent” tab.

Second Life is a dream. So, if you want to be a panda, a horse, a Lilliput or a giant, all is possible. Search the market place and wear them. However, if you to be a human and want to go shopping in-world. If you ask around, you will be given landmarks to the Freebies Galaxy and the Freebies Dungeon. When I was a newbie, I had collected almost all the items at these places. It took me almost a year to know that I would not use half of the products.
 Some are of lesser quality and others household materials because they are high on prims. Hence, I suggest go for brand names that have free to join groups or subscriber kiosks and receive group gifts occasionally.

To dress up like a human avatar, we need hair for the head, skin, shape, clothes, shoes and accessories. To get it all at one place, my most favourite is the JStyle Store. Click the following link to teleport.

A one stop shop for both females and males. Once you get there, click on the rotating pink heart to join the group. In the notifications, you will see a message appear, click “join” and you will be added as a member. In the shop, hover your mouse on the big pictures; if they turn from an arrow to a hand, they are free. Click on them, and click “Keep” in the notification area. Your folder of bought items will be saved in the Inventory.  If the arrow turns to “L$” when you hover on pictures, it means they can be bought only.
There are many boxes of freebie hair and animation overriders or “Ao”. The Ao helps the avatar to move even while standing at a place. Right click these boxes, kept on the floor, and select “Buy”. Click “Buy” to buy the items in the boxes. Either they are saved as a folder in your inventory or under the objects tab.

The other option is to visit other places for each component. At each of the following store, join their group to receive the group gifts for lifetime. The groups are free to join. The best part is quality of the products is good. Look for the words “Join the group”, click it and join at each store.

Here are a few landmarks you can teleport to:
For hair visit the Diva Main store Isle (2nd floor) for females
For skin visit mojo skins body boutique for females
For clothes for both men and women visit
Other stores you may visit are Ydea, GB etc. Search the store name in the search bar within the viewer to teleport.

Few items when bought are delivered to you in objects. These objects are saved in Inventory under the “objects” folder. To open the items in the objects, search for a “rez zone” or a “sandbox” in the search window within the viewer. Click “teleport” in one of the search results. Once you are teleported, left click the object in the inventory and drag it out to the ground near you. When you see the box on the ground, right click on the box and click “open”. A new small window will appear, click “save to inventory”. All the items in the object, i.e, a box will be transferred to your inventory in a folder. To wear the items in your inventory, simply open the folders and right click, then select “add” or “wear”. In case, you still have problems, ask someone near you. The residents in Second Life are always willing to help unless they are busy.

With the advent of mesh, few of the newbies and even the existing avatars, look for mesh clothes and mesh avatars. When you enter Second Life, you will find yourself in a mesh avatar. Mesh gives a more realistic view to your avatar and can be best seen in mesh enabled viewers. Almost all the latest viewers are mesh enabled. The avatar that you have as a newbie is fitted mesh, i.e., you can scale them in the appearance according to your liking. Mesh is best when worn with an alpha. Alpha is an invisible layer that hides the original avatar.  Even for other avatars, non –human, few are available with alpha. Right click on the alpha layer and click “add”.

To get the latest mesh body for free, The Shops are the best option at the moment in Second Life. However, they are only available for female human. Click here to visit the Shops mesh body project free body for females
· mesh project
The following picture tutorial will help you to buy at The Shops, as it is a little complicated process.

Step 1: Click on the picture you see on the wall to teleport to The Mesh Project.
Step 2: When you arrive at the landmark, you will receive a folder. Open the folder in your inventory. Always click the “recent” tab as it is easier to locate the folder. Right click “The Shops! Shopping Hud” and select “add”.
Step 3: Click on “THE SHOPS” that you see on the bottom left corner. A new window of the hud appears within the viewer. Select your language and agree to the terms of service of The Shops. Click Continue.

Step 4: Click on the white mesh body on the wall of the shop. In the hud, select the last small white mesh body to the right, it is for 0L$, and select buy.

Step 5 and 6: Keep the folder in your inventory. Open and add the body, feet and hands (left and right). Also add the alpha of body, hands, feet and hands.
Step 7, 8 and 9: Next add the “StyleMode Hud” and click Style from the bottom right of the screen. In the new window below edit, click “Styles”; then click one of the objects you are wearing from the white options below in the screen. Click the color button and select the skin color that matches your head. Note that the head is non mesh. You may choose to buy the mesh head in future. To buy the donated pink mesh dress and shoes at The Shops, right click on them while wearing the Shopping Hud, and select buy. Pay 1L$ each, wear them and repeat the process to use different textures.
Note that the Shopping Hud and the StyleMode Hud does not work if you are not at The Shops.

In the above picture, the bodies are mesh. Apart from the original mesh avatar, the heads of the other two are non-mesh. You may see that there is not much of a difference for starters. The problem with mesh bodies is that not all the clothes can be worn for them. Each mesh body has to wear specific set designer clothes only. I am wearing the JStyle Store clothes and avatar mixed and matched. Hair is from the Diva Store.  Well, once set and ready, it is time for you to explore.  Click on the “Destination” tab at the bottom or the “Search” tab at the left of the viewer. There are lots to do in Second Life. You will be amazed at the potential. Have fun exploring.


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