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Monday, July 6, 2009

Customize Your Skin

i recently had a friend send me a full perm freebie skin she got from the Help Island. i was surprised at just how beautiful and refined it was. all in all, aside from the normal difficulties with seams (even Tuli's best are discernible to my inspection) i was really impressed. especially since it was a dark skin suitable for a black avatar AND it was free.

my only problem, and a show stopper for wearing them, was the eyelashes were skin toned.

if anyone's tried their hand at making skins or you've looked at the "Head Tattoos" in a modifiable skin, you'll know that the normal template one applies to the base skin layer has a transparent section up in the top right corner.
Head Tattoo
that's where eyelashes CAN be painted. since they're so small not many artists bother. in the skin i got from the Help Island the artist filled in this area with skin tone. hence: skin coloured eyelashes. even when you do leave this area blank, saved as a targa file with transparency (32bit), the system won't entirely allow you to zero your sliders to eliminate any vestiges of lashes whatsoever. unless....
System lashes begone
in your Second Life installation character folder (the default location for this folder on the Windows system is C:\Program Files\SecondLife\character) is a file called head_alpha.tga (shown below). if you edit that file and paint over everything so it's totally black in that eyelash area you can defeat the system from painting in ANY lashes as long as the artist hasn't painted anything in on the template.

going over some of the skins in my inventory i found an example from Rachele Delgado (above left) that illustrates how this looks when all the elements come together just right. Rachele's gone the extra mile and integrated eyelashes onto her face's template drawing so there's really no need in this instance for using prim lashes. always a welcome find if you've ever struggled editing the prim based form. argh.
head_alpha.tga
i've also toned down the system built-in eyeball veins editing the file i found in the same folder: \character\eyewhite.tga so they're not so drugged out and spooky looking. give it a look. oh, i think it should go without saying, but just in case...make a backup of the files you edit in this folder so that if you destroy the vision yer going for you can easily copy back the originals.

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