Appliers: How Do They Work?

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Appliers are one of the most commonly used items for mesh bodies. I see a lot of users asking questions about Second Life appliers or being confused as to what appliers can offer them. Today I’ll go over what they are, how to use them, and why you may want them.

Second Life Appliers: The Basics

Think of appliers like classic avatar clothing for mesh avatars. The applier itself is an object (usually a HUD) that applies a texture to mesh body parts. Some of the more common textures are skins, clothes, and makeup. Tattoos, beards, and scars are also textures that can be used via applier, as well as anything else you would want on your mesh body. To understand appliers you first must know about layers.

Layers

Layers allow multiple textures to be worn at once. Lower layers are hidden by higher layers. You’ll find the skin almost always applies automatically to the lowest layer. Most commonly you’ll have three other layers to select from when using non skin appliers.

Think of your real body and clothing for a moment. Your skin is one layer, any tattoos you may have are on a layer above it, your underwear is another layer above, and your regular clothing is the layer on top. Your tattoos hide what’s on the skin under them. Underwear hides any tattoos under it and your pants hide your underwear. It’s exactly the same on your avatar. Here is a breakdown of the most common layers:

  1. Skin
    • Skin appliers almost always automatically apply to this layer.
      • As such layers usually aren’t even listed as an option for users.
    • Covers the body parts as the lowest layer.
      • Anything else applied will be seen on top of the skin.
  2. Tattoo
    • This is applied directly over the skin, but under the Underwear and Clothing layers.
      • This means it’ll show on top of the skin but anything on the Underwear or Clothing layers will cover it up.
    • Popular for not only tattoos but also makeup, beards, scars, blood, bruises, and anything else that would be visible over the skin but covered by clothing.
  3. Underwear
    • Applied over the Tattoo layer but under the Clothing layer.
      • Just like in real life this will cover your skin and anything that’s directly on your skin via the Tattoo layer.
    • This doesn’t only have to be used for bras, boxers, and panties.
      • Want to wear a long sleeved shirt under a crop top? Apply the long sleeved shirt on the Underwear layer and the crop top on the Clothing layer.
  4. Clothing
    • The Clothing layer is the top layer.
      • As such it will cover anything on other layers since they are below it.
    • Want to get creative? Use Tattoos as decoration on clothes!
      • Instead of placing a Tattoo on the Tattoo layer, consider placing it on the Clothing layer with the shirt or pants on the Underwear layer.
      • This will show the Tattoo over the clothing and it may look like a neat design. Then again it may not. Play around!

With the basic knowledge of how layers work you’re able to experiment and play with different ideas. Give the tattoo on clothing and the layered shirts a shot!

What’s That Have To Do With Appliers?

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Mix & Match: Clothing and Accessories

Your Second Life avatar is essentially you. It’s how others see you in world and for many it’s how they see themselves. Today we’ll be talking about how to mix & match clothing and accessories to make your avatar unique. If your avatar needs an entire makeover from the ground up, consider reading my series Making A New You for a guided path from start to final product.


Mix & Match Basics

Generally when making a look you want to have an idea, no matter how small, of what you’d like. Do you want to build your outfit around a certain color? Perhaps you are going to a themed party and need to dress with a topic in mind. Do you have one piece you really love and want to make something special using it? All of these are great starting points.

Whenever I make a new look, I always use what I have first. You’d be surprised how different you can appear with just a change of hair or a different top! Every time I shop I consider how versatile the items are. If I end up purchasing something I try to select a product that can be used in many outfits or even a fatpack that offers various colors and styles.  This makes future mix & matching so much easier!

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The Free Dove

Since 2005 The Free Dove has been helping players make their Second Life avatars absolutely gorgeous. The store is filled with clothes, shoes, hair, accessories, and more so everyone can look stylish. The cost? Absolutely nothing. That’s right, nearly everything at The Free Dove is completely free of charge.

Shopping At The Free Dove

A Second Life woman shows off her purchases from The Free Dove
Click for full view

Located in beautiful Gallii, The Free Dove caters to new players and veterans alike. The store itself has easy to see guides on everything from basic etiquette to unpacking your purchases. While the place is extremely newbie friendly, veteran players don’t want to pass up the chance to visit. Even though there is no cost for the majority of items at the store, the products at The Free Dove are good quality. The owner, Palomma Casanova, handpicks all the designers to ensure everything meets her standards. The second floor hosts a few Gacha machines and low cost vendors, though the majority of the products are on the free first floor. Whether you’re just starting your inventory or you’re rounding out your collection, The Free Dove has something for you.

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Bento Hands vs Standard Mesh – What’s Right For You?

While we're all used to the standard Mesh hands by now, the new Bento hands introduce more movement options than ever before.

Thanks to the success of Slink feet and the new Slink bento hands (as well as the demand for other brands to support them) switching out certain parts has been common for quite some time. With bento becoming exceedingly popular we’re seeing more users also consider bento hands instead of their standard ones. If the term Bento doesn’t ring a bell consider checking out my Project Bento post so you’re up to speed.

A hand with coral nail polish
Maitreya Lara Hands

Standard Mesh Hands

We’re all used to the standard Mesh hands by now.  They can look nice, however they are stuck in a neutral position. Usually Mesh hands come standard with the body you purchase. Some come with a HUD to allow the user to change various details on the hands. This may include things like skin tone, nail style and color, or tattoos/markings such as freckles. Until recently Second Life hands were little more than an extension of the body.

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Manage Your Moves

So you’ve gone on your shopping spree and you’re itching to go show off. You look awesome, but you’re still using Second Life’s default animations. You’ve put so much work into your avatar, don’t cheapen it by skipping an Animation Overrider (AO).


This is part 5 of the 5 part series Making A New You.


Walk, Don’t Waddle

Due to their lack of fluidity, Second Life’s default animations leave something to be desired. The walk has the elegance of a penguin and the other animations aren’t any better. This is where the animation overrider comes in. It replaces the default animations so you can move like the sophisticated creature you are. Different animations give your character different personalities. You can sashay like a model or saunter like a criminal. You can be confident, sassy, curious, humble, anything! Many AOs even alter your basic standing animations. Your choice of animation overrider sets the mood for everything you do.

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Find Your Fashion

Avatar fashion is a huge industry in Second Life. Everywhere you go you’ll find people sporting their own style and individuality. The endless options make it easier to bring your dream avatar into reality. Make sure you still have that list handy from Part 1, you’ll need to know what’s left to acquire!


This is part 4 of the 5 part series Making A New You.


Demos vs Free Content

Similar to purchasing body parts and hair, demos are an important part of the Second Life avatar fashion industry. Demos are generally free or next to free versions of the product for sale. They tend to have a trait (such as incomplete textures or extra shapes floating around) that is visually displeasing to deter you from using it instead of the full priced product. While the price tag may look tempting, demos are not made for use beyond testing the product out on your avatar. Think of it as a sample taste of the final product. After all, you wouldn’t know if something fits without trying it on first, right?

Some products don’t have demos, especially low cost or free products. These products are commonly referred to as freebies, dollarbies, and gifts. As the names imply, freebies cost nothing and dollarbies cost 1L$. Gifts don’t have a set price, but tend to be inexpensive. Low cost products exist all over Second Life, however finding decent quality ones takes a bit of patience and hunting.

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Pick Your Parts

How you build your basic avatar depends on what you want the outcome to be. Selecting body parts can be a challenging yet rewarding experience! You’ll need the list you made in Part 1 so you know what type of items to buy.


This is part 3 of the 5 part series Making A New You.


Your Basic Avatar – Now In Mesh!

Mesh is the term used to describe 3D objects in Second Life. When using a Mesh avatar you make the base model invisible with an item called an alpha. The game does provide default Mesh avatars that you can build off of, though they are very basic. If you want higher quality you can purchase a body, head, hands, and feet to use instead of the default avatar. Since the defaults are already made for you I’ll assume you’re not reading this guide for those and focus on the other options.

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Listen To Your Lindens

Whether your budget is tight or you have money to spend, avatar cost is a factor in redesigning your character. If you have the concept of what you want from your avatar you know what sort of things you need to get to build it in world. If you don’t have an idea what you want make sure to check out Part 1.


This is part 2 of the 5 part series Making A New You.


How Much Does An Avatar Cost?

When purchasing items you will need Linden Dollars (L$), the currency of Second Life. While the conversion rate varies, it usally hovers around 250L$ per 1USD. While they can be earned in game, they are more commonly purchased when large amounts are needed. Acquiring Lindens can be a massive post in itself (perhaps one I’ll make in the future!)  For now you need the knowledge that for your dream avatar you likely need some Lindens.

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Tidy Your Thoughts

So you’ve decided you want to make a new avatar. This can be simple or especially complex depending on the individual. Maybe you already have an idea of how you want to look, or you may only know that you dislike your current avatar. Perhaps it feels outdated in spite of having a style you adore. Maybe the newest products have caught your eye. But where do you even start?


This is part 1 of the 5 part series Making A New You.


What Type Of New Avatar Do You Want?

Imagine your new avatar. Don’t worry about how complex or expensive it may be just yet, we’ll handle that in Part 2. You don’t need to be too specific if you don’t want to be, we’ll get to the details later. Ponder over this list if you need a place to start:

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