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Welcome! This is Trilby Minotaur's blog about art and fashion in the virtual world of Second Life.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Avatar Blindness

Avatar blindness: we get something just right and think we look fabulous, when we actually don't. This is especially true for non mesh system avatars. I'm not saying there are no truly beautiful system avatars, there are. It's just that system avatars have some inherent issues.

Here's what I mean by avatar blindness:

This is me in 2008. I thought I looked great, and very cool with the beret. I liked the deep crease in the eye shadow, thought it gave depth to my eyes. The eyes look dead to me now, with no reflections. Back then it was almost impossible to get blonde eyebrows on a skin, and there were no tattoo layers. Also notice the nose, how you can see the seam where it joins the face.

A little later, I looked like this:

I must admit, I still like this look, and this photo. Skins have gotten better. Eyes are reflective. There are blonde eyebrows. The lips look more natural. Before, I'd made my own shape. This shape came with a skin I tried and made me say 'Ahhh' when I put it on. Then I modified it a bit. The nose seam is still there though, and system hands look terrible. The texture is just too small to get any detail and make system hands look good. The same goes for feet. Here's a photo of a system foot:

Even with a nice skin and shape, system avatars have some problems. There were sculpted nails, sculpted feet, and then mesh hands and feet aimed at system avatars. They helped but it was time consuming and tedious trying to make the skin match.

So now there are mesh heads, mesh bodies, and mesh eyes. You can even change your shape with bento mesh. That's one of the best things about system avatars. You could mod the shape all you wanted. Early mesh did not respond to the sliders, but bento mesh does.

Let's look at a Bento head:

No nose seams! It's animated too, and you can choose the animations it plays. You can change skins, modify the shape, and change the ears. My pupils dilate, and I can change the eye texture easily. Just add a hud and click the one you want.

Here's a close up of the nose. Can you tell that seam really bothered me?   :)

And a three quarter view of the head:

Here's a mesh foot. It came with this body.

There's lots of detail, and nice texture. The nails even reflect.

Here are the mesh hands that came with the body:

They look nice, you can change the shape and texture of the nails, and they are animated. I wore the Vista Pro Hands until Maitreya's update which added Bento hands. I like both sets of hands, but the Maitreya goes on with the body, and uses the same skins that the body uses. That helps me get dressed fast. After all, there's a big, wide, virtual world out there to explore.

What do you think? Does the mesh look better, or do I have avatar blindness?


There are many mesh heads and bodies, which have different features. I'm wearing my current favorites, the Maitreya Lara body, and the Catwa Catya mesh head.

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