…are surprisingly important. In the life of your avatar, that is. During that first month you can pick up a lot of good freebies that won’t be available to you later on. They’re there just to help the newbies become less so. The ones that I’d absolutely recommend as must-haves are the ones from Sn@tch, Silent Sparrow and Evie’s Closet. The latter two are more Victorian and fantasy in style, but you never know when you’ll need a steampunk outfit or a fairy gown. If you are still under one month in SL age and haven’t picked up their newbie packets: shoo!
I began plotting this post for two reasons. One: a friend of a friend got into SL and I felt I’d end up rambling all of this to her anyway, so might as well make it into something more public and potentially helpful. Two: I also realized I hadn’t really made a proper newbie help post yet. Obviously every SL blog has to have one, right?
So, I started a new account, picked the default rocker girl as my avatar and loaded in. Cringed at the duck walk, admitted that the default avatars have gotten better from when I first started, but… yeah. Still plenty of work to do. One evening and zero lindens later, here’s the change:
I still wanted to keep a sort of rocker vibe and after I found this skin, the avatar shaping took a distinct turn to more Asian. I wanted to add more colour despite my immediate instinct to dress her in black, so I conjured another look, just because.
I’ll differ from my usual blogging habits and give full credits and SLURLs lower, just for this post. But before we get there, I want to mention a bunch of resources to help in the possible newbie cluelessness.
First of all: SL for Nowt. The link leads you to a wonderful page full of helpful articles about various things a newbie should learn, starting from how to get stuff out of boxes to lucky chair explanations to hunt etiquette. Read, learn, enjoy~
Then I want to draw your attention to one of the most important things you can do yourself to make your avatar look good: editing the shape. Yes, a good skin will make your character come to life, but without a fitting and realistic (if that’s what you’re aiming for) shape underneath it, the skin won’t do anything. Here’s a couple of excellent articles about shapes and anatomically realistic measurements in What the Fug? — Shaping Up 1 & Shaping Up 2. Don’t be a stick with t-rex short arms and balloons attached to your chest, it’s not difficult to edit the shape to look exactly like you want that avatar to look like!
On the subject of What the Fug? blog, I can spare you the horror of browsing and list the main no-nos: bling, slider-abuse, badly tinted prim feet, bad (or no) textures and most importantly: badly fitted prims. If you don’t yet know how to make a certain hairdo fit your head or how to stop your earring from floating near your shoulder: don’t wear them until you do. Simple as that.
Speaking of bad textures: stay away from (most) freebie places. Usually they are full of old, old things and going there is like being an alien fresh arrived on Earth and going shopping in a place called The Joy of Neon Eighties. It’s not the alien’s fault, nor your newbie self’s. Neither of you know any better yet.
Instead start reading freebie blogs and window shop good stuff from them, then log on and teleport over to yoink the said freebie. This kind of freebies are usually group-gifts of a store or a limited offer and represent the designer’s actual present-day awesome skills. My main bread and butter for checking what is new and must-have freebie and sales-wise is Fabulously Free in SL. I recommend them warmly~
My last advice to newbies is this: do not buy anything expensive until you’re at least a month old and have been going out and about in SL plenty during that time. You will just end up spending lindens on things you could find equivalent (or better) for free easily if you only knew where to look. The only exception to this is AO. It is very very difficult to find good AOs for free. (AO = animation overrider, it controls how you walk and move.) The only reasonable ones I know of are the 30-days-or-younger AO in Long Awkward Pose and a basic freebie AO for group members in VISTA, so you can get started for free, at least.
/stop rambling, cue credits
Shape: Heartsick (I edited it a lot, but used one of their freebie shapes as a basis. They also have adorable freebie skins and tons of cute dollarbie skins upstairs.)
Skin: !Imabee - group-gift
Red hair: Truth – freebie, fatpack of colours
Purple Hair: Exile – freebie, fatpack of colours, they have six freebie hairs for girls and three for boys
Eyes: Umedama Holic
Lashes & Eyebrows: !Imabee – a part of the same group gift as the skin
Make-up: BOOM in Kozmetika
Nails: Sn@tch – a part of the newbie avatar
Tummy tattoo: Silent Sparrow – a part of newbie gifts
Black outfit (picture 1): COCO – group gifts
Colourful outfit (picture 2): erratic – group gift
Boots: COCO – group gift
Bangles: Mariposa – freebie in MALT Village’s freebie corner
Earrings: Sn@tch – a part of the newbie avatar
Skybox & Furniture: PoP (Paper or Plastic) – hunt gift in Sideshow Freaks Hunt