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Friday, June 10, 2011

How to Comb Your Hair

Well, not exactly. But in Second Life, editing your hair to fit right might be considered the equivalent.

Not everyone in Second Life is interested in building. I don’t understand why not, I think it’s fun and fascinating. But that’s OK, we don’t all have to like the same things. Still, everyone should understand the Build/Edit tools well enough to adjust their prim attachments.

Let’s say you buy some hair, and it’s too big…and you find that it doesn’t have any re-size menus. Here’s how to adjust it:
  1. Stand on a pose stand. Pose stands lock you into a neutral position. Not moving about while editing your parts is a Very Good Idea, until you become very skilled. You can get pose stands free in any number of places. Some merchants even include one with your purchase. If you don’t have one, most stores (especially hair stores) have some that you can use.
  2. Turn off your AO.
  3. Make a copy of your hair, and paste the copy in a safe place in your inventory (like a folder called Backup Hair, or something)
  4. Right click your hair and select Edit. The Edit menu window appears, and you will see three intersecting arrows colored red (X axis), green (Y axis) and blue (Z axis).
  5. You can put your mouse cursor on the head or tail of any of these arrows and drag, to move the position of the hair. MAKE SMALL ADJUSTMENTS! It’s easy to slip and scoot your hair a couple of meters off to the side. If that happens, STOP! Hit CTRL+Z to undo your mistake. If that doesn’t work, it may be easier to just take that hair off, delete it, make another copy from your backup, and wear that.  You may find it easier to grab the arrow you want if you move your camera position around a little first to get a clearer view of it.
    You can't see it, but I'm on a pose stand, not in Appearance

  6. If you hold CTRL, the position arrows change to intersecting colored circles. You can grab these with your mouse to rotate the hair about any axis.
  7. If you hold CTRL+SHIFT, the circles change to a bounding box with a little white cube at each corner. These cubes are re-sizing handles. Dragging them in or out will scale your hair larger or smaller. BEFORE YOU DO: Look in the upper right part of the Object tab in the Edit window for a check box that says “Stretch both sides”. Make sure it’s checked. This will insure that your hair stays centered on your head while you stretch it.
  8. When you think you have it about right, move your camera all around your avatar and check yourself from different angles. Zoom out and look at yourself from a distance…sometimes this will produce bald patches, if you’ve fit your hair too closely to your head.
A little re-sizing is usually all the editing you will need to do. But sometimes, more is called for. Let’s say that there is one lock of hair whose end pokes into your cheek, and you want to adjust just that bit.
  1. Right click the hair, select Edit.
  2. In the Object tab of the Edit window, check “Edit Linked”, and then right click the prim you wish to edit. If you did it right, only that prim should be highlighted.
  3. Use the editing tools as discussed above to move, rotate, or re-size the prim to look the way you want. You might even want to delete it completely. If you do, then…
    1. Make sure it’s the only highlighted prim.
    2. Go to Build/Unlink in the top menu bar (not the Edit window), or hit CTRL+SHIFT+L
    3. Again make sure it’s the only selected prim. Re-select it if necessary.
    4. Hit the Delete key on your keyboard.
The above can be used to edit any attachments, not just hair. Adjust your skirts, belts, and jewelry for a perfect fit. Oh…and, surprise! You have just learned some of the fundamentals of editing ANYTHING. Not just attachments, but parts of your house, your furniture, or any of your objects.

See? You just might become a Second Life builder after all!

Learn more about building and editing objects in Second Life by visiting The Ivory Tower Libraryof Primitives and going through their exhibits (which are really self-paced building tutorials!)

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