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HeatherJ

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This sort of thing will change constantly as different artists come up with varying techiques for conveying one effect or another.

You're playing in a 3D game with limited graphics that will render 3D content to a 2D display - what looks realistic will vary depending on your own graphics card, settings, lighting, angle, and so on just as much as the skin and shape. Different artists will do things to make one feature or another look better - for the conditions under which they're testing.

Something might end up very realistic to one person, but those same features will be flawed to another. As long as its rendering into a 2D monitor - that problem cannot be avoided. One of the -least- realistic effects in fact happens to be using photographs of skins. Mostly because shadows will be off once in the 3D game environment.

 

So you're best bet is to schedule several days of inworld window shopping - and get demos from lots of people for whatever ethnic look you desire, and the budget buying 3 of them. 3 because... well... the demo will look one way but chances are the first one you buy will not quite be what you thought once you've had it a few days.

For shapes the answer is equally complex, and has the added problem of no common agreement on scale. Some people use the numbers (self included) for scale, others use personal taste - which results in a motley variety of different concepts of height and thickness.

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You can make your own shape as 'real' as you wish.  If you decide to purchase a shape, make sure that it is a modifyable shape so that you can tweak it at will.  My shape was purchased over three years ago and, other than the general facial characteristics would not be recognized as the original.

Skins?  Go shopping, pick up demos and try them out!  There are many wonderful skin makers in SL.  Too many to choose from!

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It is really not possible to answer this question.

First of all when it comes to shape, that is a personal preference.  Tall, short, skinny, fat, flat chested or bazookas, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Secondly your shape will affect the way your skin looks.  I have several shapes in my inventory and on a few of them my skin looks at least in my opinion pretty nasty.  But on my regular shape it looks pretty durn good.

When choosing my current skin I tried on over 100 demos before deciding.  People can be very sensitive about the way they look.  I'm that way.  I like my 'Second Life Me.' 

So the bottom line is "best" is in the eye of the beholder.

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I would search for a Skin Fair. There always seems to be one going on. A lot of stores are represented and you can pick up both skin demos and landmarks to the main stores from there. Skin demos are super important. I have seen beatiful skins up on the posters but when I try them on they look terrible on me. Sometimes a skin requires a very specific shape to look good.

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Bree's point about the shape and skin needing work together in combination is why I think it's worthwhile checking a shape-maker such as Sophistishapes. She makes shapes to "fit" a particular skin. The skins used come from a variety of makers and the looks available are varied. You buy the shape and a styling card then tells you where you can purchase the skin.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I was curious, as a noob I'm still learning the ropes...

How does one actually 'try' a demo?  I got 2 as I wanted to see how they looked on my avatar ~  however when I went to 'wear' them they appeared as a box on my body LOL. Surely I'm missing a step somewhere?

Thx

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Rezz, Drag and Drop the boxes from inventory on ground, right click open and - copy to inventory. Then u can locate the demos and wear. Check first that ur on a sim with rezz rights

 

Wearing boxes is a common thing, bet we all did that or still do sometimes lol

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