SL for Nowt

Living a digital life with empty pockets

The fast-track guide to non-newbieness for boys (2 of 3)

Lads, I’m sorry it’s taken me so long. For a while I thought I might have to wind this blog down, but I have managed to put together this second part of the non-newbieness for boys guide.

Hop behind the cut.

Before I begin, I’ve found one more really great freebie skin, which I didn’t mention in my previous post for you. Do a search in the ‘All’ tab for New Citizens and pick one of the quieter infonodes (I recommend either the one in Ambat or the one in Baileya, as both are usually pretty quiet). Once there, go to the freebie wall and click the blue arrows to page through the freebies (grab stuff as you go along; lots of great freebie stuff there that you’d pay a fortune for as ‘business in a box’ or resell elsewhere). You’ll have to go fairly slowly, as the wall will tell you you have to wait a few seconds between clicks if you move too fast.

Make sure, though, that you get this box of free male skins:

There is also a flight feather there, so if you couldn’t get the one at Flag City, make sure you get the one from this freebie wall.

OK, now you’ve got that, we can move onto finally customising your avatar with all the goodies (and then some) that you picked up before.

Firstly, you need to find a fairly quiet place where you can get changed. I don’t suggest trying on clothes in the open, even if you find what looks like a deserted island; that’s a great way to get yourself griefed, as I’ve found to my cost in the past! A good idea is to visit Crystal Gadgets, grab their freebie Builder’s Skybox, then teleport to a sandbox (search for Skybeam Sandbox, Nerdy Sanchez, or Sandbox Kaemi), and follow the instructions in the Builder’s Skybox folder, to rez yourself a nice quiet place up in the air, where you can open boxes and try on stuff in peace.

OPENING BOXES: If you try wearing an item that you’ve got, only to find yourself wearing a box, then you need to unpack that item first. Right-click the box you’re wearing and select Detach from the menu, then find it in your inventory again. Left-click it in there and then, holding down the mouse button, drag the box onto the ground in-world (this is called ‘rezzing’). You can only do this in an area that has build enabled, so make sure you’re somewhere like a sandbox. The object might automatically give you a folder of its contents, or you might have to right-click and select Open, then Copy To Inventory. Once you’re done, you can either delete the original box (Right-click > More > Delete) if a copy of it remained in your inventory when you rezzed it, or take it back into your inventory (Right-click > Take) if the item is No-Copy and disappeared from your inventory when you rezzed it. You can then go to the folder of new, unpacked items, and start wearing them.

The first thing you need to do is rez yourself a posing stand. You’re bound to have one in your inventory, as many content creators include them with their clothing or hair packages. Open up your inventory using the blue Inventory button on the lower-right of your viewer screen, then type POSING into the search bar (doesn’t matter if you use capital letters or not; all search text becomes allcaps anyway). Once you see one, left-click it and drag it onto the ground in-world, then right-click on it and select ‘Stand’ from the pie menu. Your avatar will now be in a star-jump pose, which makes it a lot easier to see what you’re doing. For one thing, your av won’t keep turning his head when you want to look at stuff he’s wearing!

Now that you’re all ready, it’s time to ditch Mr Newbie shape and get yourself into a better one. You picked up a couple of them during your whiz around the grid with me in my last post, and no doubt you’ve found a few more since then. For this post, though, we’ll be using the Male Shape by Bella Wilberg that you picked up at Sarah Nerd’s Freebie Paradise.

Find the shape in your inventory, then open the folder by clicking on the small arrow beside it. Right-click on the shape (it looks like a small brown Polaroid photo, but be aware that with the new Dazzle viewer the icon is different. I don’t run that viewer, so I’m afraid I can’t tell you what it is!) and select Wear from the menu. Your avatar’s shape will change:

Much better! More definition to the face and torso.

OK, yes. I see you over there, looking at the *WR* Penis in that same folder with a gleam in your eye. Just be aware, fellas, that prim bits like that penis will actually attach to your body and will poke through any clothing that you’re wearing. If you don’t intend to actually use that knob, then don’t bother attaching it. Save it until you’ve got the lady (or guy, depending on your preference!) where you want ’em, eh? There is little that will mark you out more as a n00b and be the cause of much pointing and giggling by both male and female established residents, as you wandering around with your knob poking out of your jeans. Save yourself the embarrassment ;)

OK, now we need to get you looking pretty! As with the shapes, you’ve picked up a lot of skins, so I’ve screencapped three of them here on my male avatar. Just go through your inventory folders and right-click and wear each skin in turn to see which one you like best.

Top-left is the default newbie skin. Going clockwise after that we have: the Eloh Eliot Pale Men’s Skin (from Evocative Free Designs) the Michael skin (from the free skins package picked up at New Citizens in this post), and the Skin Realismos (picked up at Free Union in Chromex):

Note that you can just see a cropped hairstyle poking out from beneath the Michael skin’s default grown hair. This skin would be useful if you can’t find any prim hair that you like, and you don’t want to be completely bald in-world.

A quick note on skins and shapes: you can’t actually take them off. To get rid of a skin or shape that you’re wearing, you must wear another skin or shape, which will then replace the one you were previously wearing. If you wanted to go back to your original newbie skin and shape, then search for the default male skin and shape in the Body Parts section (either in your main inventory, or the Library folder of your inventory).

OK, I mentioned prim hair. So what’s that, then? Well what you see on your head right now is the grown hair that you can adjust with sliders, which you probably had a go at on Orientation Island, when you first landed in Second Life. Trouble is, it’s a bit… well, crap really, isn’t it? You’ll find much better hair for sale (and free) in-world, and that hair is prim hair: it’s made up of prims (or ‘primitives’, the building blocks for everything in Second Life) and it’s much more realistic.

Remember the Dirty Biker hair you picked up at Free Union in Chromex? Find that in your inventory now (remember, you can always search for it, but I do recommend at an early stage like this, that you start creating new folders [ right-click > create new folder ] to file away your items, such as a folder for hair, one for eyes, etc). As before, right-click and wear it:

Hm. OK, well what happened there?! I can tell you now that you need to get rid of that grown hair, because it’s going to poke through the prim hair until you banish it! You might try searching your inventory for Bald Base, as many hair creators include a bald cap to wear under their prim hair, or you can hop off your posing stand for a second, right-click on yourself to Edit Appearance, go into the Hair option and set the Volume slider to zero before hitting the Save button, as below:

That should look much better. Here’s the Dirty Biker hair on the Eloh skin and the Michael skin, to give you an idea of the difference that a skin can make:

Eyes! Find that big pack of eyes that you grabbed at House Of Zen. You wear eyes just like you wear everything else, so right-click and wear each pair in turn until you find a pair you like. A good pair of prim eyes makes the world of difference to an avatar’s face. Here’ I’ve chosen the steel gray pair, and you can see how much better they look!

OK, so you should be looking a lot less n00bish and a lot more blokeish by now. Hop back on that posing stand and pull your camera back a bit [ View > Camera Controls ] or spin the scrollwheel of your mouse, if you have one, so you can see yourself fully:

What a fine figure of a man ;)

OK, now you probably have a tonne of clothing, ganked from all over the place by now, so this is where you and I will probably diverge in dressing yourself, but stick with me just for this bit. You can change into something new later. For now, we’re going to use the Black Leather Biker outfit that you got from Sarah Nerd’s Freebie Paradise, so find that out.

Right-click on the pants and select Wear, then watch as your newbie jeans become a great pair of leather pants. Same with the jacket, and now you’re lookin’ much better.

OK, better apart from one thing: you can still see your newbie white t-shirt under the jacket. To find it, so you can get rid of it (because, unlike skins and shapes [and grown hair] you can take off clothing) use this handy tip: search your inventory for (WORN [ include that opening bracket, but don’t close it ] and you’ll see everything you’re wearing right now. That’ll help you to spot the Male Shape and Outfit Undershirt, and you can right-click > Take Off. Now you’re lookin’ much better!

Hrm. What else? Oh God, those newbie flipflops. They just have to go. Search for (WORN again and find the Male Shape and Outfit Shoes, then take ’em OFF!

Ugh. Horrible things! Believe me, you’re better off without them. Let’s get your into some sh*t-kickers instead ;) Find up the Basic Low Riders that you picked up in Sarah Nerd’s Freebie Paradise. Open the folder and take note: there are three things in there. You’ve got (of course) the left and right shoe, but you also have an icon that looks like a brown shoe. That’s your foot-shaper, and it’ll contort your avatar’s feet so they fit the shoe. If a foot-shaper is included with shoes, always wear it. So, put that on first, then put on your new shoes:

OK, those are the basics of dressing, lads, but before you start trying everything else on, a few more quick pointers.

First of all, you might find yourself trying on a jacket that looks a bit odd. It’s open at the front, but it looks all, well, wrong. Where are the buttons or the zip at the open edges?

It’s very likely that the creator of that jacket has used the Edit Appearance ‘jacket’ sliders to create an opening at the front of the jacket, so it’s worth your while checking. Right-click on yourself and Edit Appearance, then click the Jacket button. Scroll down to the Open Front bit, and sure enough you’ll probably find it’s set to 50%:

Push that slider up to 100, then hit the Save button. It should look a lot better:

Don’t think you have to wear everything in one folder all at once. Mix and match items from all over your clothing inventory (you know, like us girls do :P ). And once you’ve put together an outfit that you like, to save you from having to remember what bit came from where, make yourself an outfit folder. Go into Edit Appearance, and click the Make Outfit button. Give the folder a name (like Black Leather Biker Outfit, for example) and then check all the relevant boxes, then hit the Save button:

A new folder will be created in your Clothing inventory folder, with that name. Here is Roxie’s Male Avatar folder, and you can see she’s wearing everything in it:

Now, whenever you want to wear that whole outfit, just right-click on the folder name and select Replace Outfit (or you can click, hold, and drag the folder onto your avatar). After a few seconds, you’ll be wearing the new outfit.

A quick note about creating outfits: If an item that you own is no-copy, then once you put it into an outfit folder, it will vanish from its original folder. That’s because you can only have one copy of it in your inventory. If you then create another outfit with that item in, it will move to the new outfit folder. If the item is a freebie, then you can save this hassle by getting more than one copy, but unless it’s a real favourite, that’s not advisable, as it will just add more clutter to your inventory.

Finally, on the getting changed thing, I want to tell you about clothing layers. Take a look at this:

Those are tattoos, and they come on three layers: undershirt, shirt, and jacket. As you would expect, the undershirt layer is beneath the shirt layer, and the jacket layer is above the shirt layer. Want to wear a t-shirt over your tattoos? Then put the underwear layer tats on, and then wear your shirt. If you then put a jacket on, it will cover the t-shirt as expected, and also the tattoos. The same thing goes for the lower body: you have the underwear layer and the pants layer. Tattoos and underpants etc on the underwear layer will be beneath anything that you wear on the pants layer.

If a t-shirt is offered on both a t-shirt and a jacket layer, the t-shirt is likely a tucked-in version, and the jacket layer is likely an untucked version. That’s because the template for a t-shirt ends at the waist and doesn’t allow for the fabric to carry below that. The jacket template, however, carries on down below the hips, and is ideal for longer t-shirts.

Likewise if you have jeans or pants that come on both underwear and pants layers: the underwear layer is very likely a skintight version to wear tucked into boots, and the pants layer will likely be conventional jeans that you wear outside boots or shoes.

A tip, if jeans only come on the pants layer but you want to wear them tucked into boots: edit your appearance and (if the pants are modifiable) then shorten their length until they look as though they’re tucked into the tops of your boots. Sometimes it looks good, sometimes you might need to make a new pair of socks to hide the join [ Create > New Clothing > Socks and make them the same colour as the boots or pants ].

OK, clothing done and dusted, so what about the other stuff? You picked up a flight feather among other bits. Right-click that in your inventory and wear it. You won’t see anything new on your avatar (although you might see a tiny icon appear in your viewer) but the flight feather will enable you to fly much higher than you can normally. That’s good, because you’d be surprised how much goes on high up in the air in Second Life!

You also picked up a radar from Crystal Gadgets. I’m going to paste here exactly the same info as I wrote for the girls’ post, as it works the same for you guys:

Next up is the radar, which will allow you to see who is within chat range of you. if someone is within chat range, they can see anything you type into the main chat window. Everyone out of chat range can’t see it. This time, you might want to position the radar. I like to have mine at the bottom-right of my screen, so a quick glance over there tells me who’s nearby. Right-click on the radar and mouseover Attach to HUD, then mouse across from that and click Bottom Right:

You’ll see it rezzing just above your media tools on the bottom-right of your SL client:

There’s nobody near Roxie at the moment, but look what happens when I take her to somewhere busier (a sandbox, in this case):

Everyone above that ==CHAT RANGE== line can’t see what I type in the chat window. Everyone below it can see. And I can also see what they’re typing.

NOTE: If you’re in an area that has scripts disabled, your radar will not work, or may seem ‘stuck’ with the same names as the previous area you were in. As soon as you enter a script-enabled area again, it will begin working again, or come unstuck.

Don’t forget, there are now a lot of great new avatars to be found in your inventory’s Library folder, created by some of Second Life’s top designers. I’ve blogged about them here, but you can mix and match from there as well. There are shapes, skins, hair, shoes and clothing items in those avatar folders that you can use.

And FINALLY, the AO or animation override. I don’t have the time to write up the third post at the moment (although I promise I will do that as soon as I can) but a new freebie male AO has been put out in-world very recently that, from all the reports I’m seeing is brilliant. So head over to E. Watkins Premier Equestrian Supplies (I know, what a mouthful!) and go right up to the top floor to grab their free Male AO. Many thanks to Illusory Magic for blogging about this AO at Free Finds For Men!

Finally, for you guys, I’ve added some male freebie blog links to my blogroll:

Free Finds for Men


Free For Men

Keep an eye on my For The Guys tag, and also on the FabFree blog (they often blog about male freebies). Some great men’s SL blogs in general (you can find occasional freebies on them, but mainly they’re general male SL fashion blogs) are: Bonnie and Clyde (mainly female, some great male stuff, too), Slmen, Savoir Hair (hair blog, sometimes posts about male hair), Paratge (Spanish-language [Google translation link offered) female and male blog), and The Homme (which is a gorgeous glossy online magazine).


June 25, 2008 - Posted by | AOs, avatars, for the guys, freebies, hair, hints and tips, newbies, second life, shapes, shoes, skins |


  1. Hey! Thanks for the plug haha!!! I’m gonna put a link back to you on my blog cuz I suck at tutorials and this post was GREAT!

    Comment by Illusory Magic | June 26, 2008 | Reply

  2. LOL! Thanks, Illusory! Those are some great freebie AO finds that you’ve made. I got the female one from the equestrian place and was very impressed with it.

    Tutorials are mainly very time-consuming to do, what with doing everything in-world and screencapping it, then cropping, editing and uploading the screenshots, and finally writing up the post itself. This one took me a total of about six or seven hours, I’d guess, split over a few days!

    Comment by Mar | June 26, 2008 | Reply

  3. Thanks for some excellent information! Appreciate all the hard work that went into this.

    Comment by Canon Eichel | August 8, 2008 | Reply

  4. You’re welcome, Canon. It did take quite a while to do (I love doing tutorials anyway, so that’s not a complaint!), but I’m glad it’s helping so many guys out there :)

    Comment by Mar | August 8, 2008 | Reply

  5. We love the attention you’ve paid to men in this post! All too often it seems forgotten that men want to look good too.
    And thank you so much for mentioning our blog :D

    Comment by Dahlia Eilde & Nicolas Sinatra | October 20, 2008 | Reply

  6. Thank you, Dahlia and Nicolas! I do try to blog useful stuff for the guys when I spot it, although my in-world time is limited of late. Some of the guys out there are real fashionistas (fashionistos?) in their own right, but there’s also poor old Joe out there who hates his noobie avatar and just wants to look normal *g* He’s the one I was aiming at with this quick-fix tutorial :)

    Comment by Mar | October 20, 2008 | Reply

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