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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Layers and Layers of Layers

In the Old Days (about six months ago), you had fairly limited choices in clothing, and often had to pick and choose what to wear. If you wanted to wear a tattoo, you might have to go bra-less. Or a jacket layer might be used as the upper part of a pair of high waisted slacks, keeping you from wearing an actual jacket. This is still the case with a lot of V1.23-based viewers.

But Viewer 2 and other viewers based on it offer a lot more flexibility. Here’s a brief summary of the changes.

Tattoo Layer. A new clothing layer allows you to add tattoos without sacrificing another clothing layer. Not only that, but a “tattoo” doesn’t have to be something only a biker or a rock star or goth girl wears…many creators are now using the tattoo layer to create makeup…either eyes, lips, or a combination. This gives you a LOT more choice. If your favorite skin doesn’t have just the makeup you want, now you can add it!

I’ve also seen tattoos for pubic hair, and for a “parted lips” look to the mouth, showing a little of your teeth.

Multiple Clothing Layers. Now, if two items you want to wear are designed for the jacket clothing layer (or any other layer), you can wear them both! Just select “Add to Current Outfit” to add another item to a currently-occupied clothing layer. This does mean that you’ll need to pay closer attention to what you’re wearing when it comes time to take things off, but it’s a minor thing compared to the additional choices it gives you.  [EDIT:  Be aware that only people using Viewer 2-style viewers will SEE the additional clothing layers.  People using 1.23-based viewers will only see the first item you place in any clothing layer.]

Physics Layer. The Emerald viewer was the first to introduce avatar physics, more often referred to as “bouncy boobs”. In the latest Viewer 2, they’ve taken it to the next level; there is yet another clothing layer called “Physics”. Editing this layer in Edit My Outfit brings up a new set of sliders that controls how much your breasts, tummy, and butt jiggle when you move. These sliders are very sensitive. A little bit goes a long way, and it’s very easy to make your avatar jiggle in a very comical and unrealistic fashion. I recommend trying some of the free pre-made Physics settings to start with.  An explanation of what the various sliders do can be found here:  http://wiki.phoenixviewer.com/doku.php?id=phoenix_avatar_physics

NOTE: Probably at least partly due to these changes, it’s more common than ever for you to appear one way to yourself, and another way to other people. The most common problem is that you look fully rezzed on one screen (either your own or your friend’s) while appearing as a cloud on the other. Sometimes the problem is more embarrassing…you appear clothed on your own monitor, but someone else will see you as being naked, except perhaps for your prim attachments. If this happens to you, first try to “rebake” your textures, with CTRL+ALT+R. If this does not help, put on a different outfit. You can also try clearing your cache and re-logging. If nothing else helps, put on a default newbie avatar appearance. One way to do this is to use a forced character test.

Phoenix and Viewer 1.23 style:
  • Enable the Advanced menu with CTRL+ALT+D
  • Select Advanced/Character/Character Tests/Test Female (or Test Male)
Viewer 2:
  • Enable Advanced with CTRL+ALT+D
  • Enable Develop with Advanced/Show Develop, or CTRL+ALT+Q
  • Select Develop/Character/Character Tests/Test Female (or Test Male)
Or, you can select a newbie avatar outfit from Inventory/Library/Clothing/Initial Outfits.

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