Avatar Appearance

Your simulation hopefully looks quite Martian now, but having a barefoot lady striding across it in leggings and a t-shirt is a bit surreal. In this article we will change the appearance of our avatar (the character that represents you) to fit in a little better.


Warning: The downloadable skins, particularly the female ones, include anatomically correct representations of nudity. It isn't much different to taking the clothes off of a doll, but if you are likely to be offended, then you should stick to the male avatars.

With respect to the default Ruth avatar, there is significant room for improvement just in terms of the face and general skin texture. Also, her eyes can sometimes go completely black - which is slightly unsettling. Fortunately there are some free resources that have kindly been made available.

OpenSim includes a facility to load Inventory Archives (or IAR files), and that is what you will have downloaded. We can load these files into a user's inventory through the OpenSim console. The command is: load iar <first> <last> <inventory path> <password> <IAR path>. If you are still using the default Test User account, then the command will be similar to that shown on the bottom line of the image below:

Command to load in an IAR file Command to load in an IAR file

There are a few things that can go wrong - mainly to do with the paths. The most likely mistake will be the path shown in quotation marks above. This is the path to the file that you have downloaded. If you have any problems then double check this. Also be sure to use a capital letter for Clothing - the folder names are case sensitive.

Once it is successfully imported, you can start using it.

Belle avatar from osavatar, loaded into OpenSim "Belle" from osavatar, loaded into OpenSim

Creating a Space Suit

As you've already seen, it is possible to create some quite complicated clothing. However, to begin with, we'll create a very simple, plain colour suit. Imagine something along the lines of a wetsuit.

Creating new "pants" in OpenSim Creating new "pants" in OpenSim

You should see that your avatar is instantly wearing some bright-white trousers. We'll keep the socks as high-tech shoes, so we only need a top and gloves.

Your avatar should now look similar to that shown below.

Avatar with some new default clothing applied. Avatar with some new default clothing applied.

Time to remove some of the non-space clothing.

It looks kind-of space-ish, but the white is a little strong.

Your avatar will take wide stance, and the Edit Appearance panel will appear. It should list the clothing that you have created.

Changing collar front and collar back. Changing collar front and collar back.

Your character should now look similar to that shown below.

Avatar in space clothing. Avatar in space clothing.

Creating a Space Helmet

We will create a helmet from three separate piece, as shown below. All three pieces are based on spheres, with parameters changed to chop-off unwanted bits.

Helmet pieces Helmet pieces

For the neck piece:

For the back of the helmet:

For the front of the helmet:

Finished Helmet Finished Helmet