Out of curiosity, I took a snapshot of one of the new starter avatars (on the left, below) next to the avatar of someone who has been in SL for years. Elena stripped off mesh hands and feet, makeup layers, and her animation override. No pretty poses here – just standing. Her shape is a standard mesh size Medium, she’s 6.11 feet tall (tall enough to fit in most poses but shorter than many female avatars), she’s wearing the milky tone of the Phoebe skin from Laqroki and Annie hair from Truth; the closest hair she had to the starter look. I asked her to put on system clothes to show her shape and to be barefoot. No filters or Photoshop or special lighting.
Honestly, if it wasn’t for those linebacker shoulders, huge hands, and breasts that are tucked under each armpit, the starter avatar shape isn’t bad. It’s less idealized with a thicker waist and the face, while not “pretty”, isn’t awful. Once it is modifiable, it’s a nicer start than good ol’ Ruth. Elena said that she felt like ET with a big head and long neck next to the starter, but part of that is her hair shape and more reasonable head-to-shoulder width.
I’m not a fan of the new mesh avatars simply because they will cause even more confusion for new members, who won’t be able to use the vast majority of clothing and accessories currently available. Shouldn’t fitted mesh avatars have been released AFTER fitted mesh became more prevalent? Most freebies are still system layer clothing and sales/hunts are system or sized mesh. It’s hard enough for me to find fitted mesh options; how will someone new to the world do it?
Better discussion than mine and suggestions here:
- Mona Eberhardt: My experience with the new mesh avatars
- Jo Yardley: An alternative to starter avatars