29 June 2013

Strawberry Singh's Proportions Challenge

Strawberry Singh's been running a meme the past few years about avatar shapes. This year's entry is on proportions. It seemed like an opportunity for me to talk a little about mine.

First, here's the picture:

My shape was created by Strahl Parx, owner of the Chained Tail club for furries. The design concept was that I am an athletic tigress, not so much a voluptuous one. After all, a tigress must stay in top physical condition in order to catch prey. I'm also deliberately tall. An alpha tigress is a big kitty. Still, it's intended to be blatantly, in-your-face sexy, with more than a little dominance thrown in. I'm very happy with it.

I'll also note that the Avatar Ruler is quite accurate, unlike the average scripted height detector. How do I know this? Because it agrees exactly with the height display in the Firestorm shape editor, and I spent a couple of days playing with that to get it exactly right using prims as rulers instead of depending on the size reported by LSL.

And now for Strawberry's questions:

  1. Do you try and keep your avatar’s body proportionate and similar to the “average” proportions in the meme post? – No. Then again, I don't tweak my shape much at all, so it looks good as is and doesn't get changed.
  2. What do you dislike the most about the SL avatar mesh? – The weighting and UV mapping cause problems, especially around the upper thighs, crotch, and center of the chest. This has been bothering clothing designers for years, and especially makes it next to impossible to make a leotard look like what you actually look like wearing one in RL. The upper thighs deform very badly, as well, as the legs move. There's a JIRA about this, STORM-1800, but that seems to have been caught up in the foofooraw around the mesh deformer.
  3. Does it bother you when you see other avatars that are not proportionate at all? – Only if it's very badly off of normal.
  4. Even though this is a virtual world and people can be anything they want to be, do you feel when they are in human form, they should try to keep their proportions close to average? - Not even a little bit. The beauty of SL is that you can be whoever and whatever you want to be, deep down inside. 

I'm more than a little unhappy that the mesh deformer seems caught up in ...some form of limbo. I've heard lots of theories about it. The most common one is that Qarl Fizz annoyed LL to the point the deformer won't ever actually get into the viewer. I can vouch for Qarl being an annoying so-and-so - he pissed me off rather thoroughly when he brushed off my offer to help with the deformer UI in the manner he did, but his problem with me stretches back to the Emerald implosion - but that seems like a poor excuse for keeping it out of the viewer. I think it's more a matter of simply not quite being ready for prime time by whatever metric LL is applying to it.

Even so, my shape is such that very few mesh items work for me. The breast size, torso muscles, and leg muscles, especially, are way out of the norm. Because of this, I have essentially no mesh clothing, and won't until the deformer goes live.

I don't think I'll change a thing until then, though. There's plenty of good stuff for me to wear.


  1. Pretty much that goes for any of the AV's I use. Either none of the sizes fit right and I won't edit the shape to fit or they use those darn alpha masks which just means my shape is altered in a different way. I'll stick to clothing layer or even prim clothes until the deformer is added.

  2. I also hate the crotch area, it stretches so horribly. It was very interesting to see your thoughts on this challenge. Thank you so much for participating. <3