Smiling Faces. (^_^)

So far I’ve been generally creep’d out by non-SL-ish avatars.  Namely the ones in Blue Mars, Playstation Home, and Twinity.  I couldn’t really nail down why. (>_<)

I don’t mind that they’re trying to be more “realistic”… Seems fine to me. (^_^)

Then, it just kinda dawned on me… What the heck are they looking at? (O.o)

As “Immy” in SL, my head is held by my AO probably half the time.  The other half, I’m panning around the room.  I’m looking at chatters, sound sources, and my onscreen cursor.  When my AO has a grip on my head, my eyes take over.  If I cam on myself, I look straight ahead.  Any other time, I’m gazing all over.  (^_^)

When viewing my face, it makes me seem a bit shy, being that I’m constantly looking away to find the cursor that’s somehow ‘behind’ me.  I took advantage of this when I took Glass’ profile picture.  I pointed the camera at her face while her AO was moving her arms around, I was flailing the mouse cursor to point her eyes all over.  I probably had a good 10 shots of her gazing around and picked my fav for her profile pic.  Her personality is quite spacy.  The picture fits. =^-^=

But, I go on another grid and I find a couple things.  First, the avatars don’t exactly look at things.  Though, if you aim the camera at their face, they look dead on AT the camera… Staring my butt down all creepy-like. DX

Also, they default to intermittently smile once in a while.  Of course, it’s that creepy “You gon’ get raped” smile. (>_<)

So, my avatar is staring at me like a predator… What’s it look like to other people? (O.o)

Well, it don’t look at them.  I can’t aim the avatar’s head at anyone.  It doesn’t appear to notice chatting or sounds.  If it’s not looking at a void directly ahead of it, it’s just following a random path of voids to gaze at. (=_=)

Either way, it’s frigg’n creepy and sure prevents me from considering that avatar believable or attractive at all. (._.)

Really… Our poses are a huge part of our personality.  We observe body language.  If someone’s coyly wobbling around or if someone is grasping their own arms… We can get a hint of what mood they’re in, their general personality, and what state they’re generally in. (^_^)

Why else would AOs be so popular in SL? =^-^=

If everyone animates the same way, the experience dirges.  We just see bodies standing in a room like mannequins… Following the same routine as each other.  This lack of ‘life’ makes it all the more difficult to adopt our avatar as an extension of ourselves. (._.)

I want my avatar to be “me”.  Not some lifeless, listless, mind molester.  I’m yet to find a virtual world that helps me create that any better than Second Life… Even given how quirky and dated the mesh is. (^_^)

Though… Given I have object files of my own shape and my own skins… Nehehehe. =^-^=

Just, only if I can do something about the poses.  It’s one thing to look like something, it’s another to move like it.  Both are necessary for me to be my “me”. (^_^)y

Update:  I found an animation I made of a few of the photos in the collection I made while preparing Glass’ profile. (^_^)

About Imnotgoing Sideways

I'm a Second Life avatar with my own cookie jar! (^_^)y
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6 Responses to Smiling Faces. (^_^)

  1. brinda Allen says:

    Yes…I’ve always loved how Secondlife avatars eyes blink and look around.
    Sometimes you can get the greatest pict by just waiting for the AO to do it’s thing.

  2. Ashiri says:

    There’s also the “Uncanny Valley” where appearance is almost photorealistic but appears to our eyes to be “not quite right”. Coupled with an avatar who looks in the wrong places and smiles inappropriately… disturbing.

  3. Han Held says:

    My impressions of movement and expression in virtual worlds is made half from my time in There, and half from my recent (09 and later) SL excursion.

    When I was in There in 05 and my brief visit to SL then people were unmoving maniquins who (in there) spoke in thought bubbles, it was all very cartoony and your mind just kinda went with it.

    If you look at the compitition -IMVU and Twinity in particular- it’s easy to see how little things outside of SL has really changed. Most avatars in most worlds have faces which are still, unmoving masks and there’s elements that play up the fact you’re dealing with cartoons (IMVU) in order to do an end-run around your mind’s suspension of disbelief.

    I know I take it for granted how life-like SL is (even with it’s limitations) until I see what the alternatives are (eg your Twinity photos).

  4. Dale Innis says:

    AVs looking at more or less what you’re paying attention to was one of those brilliant little things that SL got right; and for some reason no one else has followed along (do they have a patent?). I found Blue Mars really really really creepy that way too (eek!).

    (And that Immy pic is Teh Cute :) )

  5. Han Held says:

    I doubt they have a patent, because if they did wouldn’t they have shut down OpenSim by now?

  6. Pingback: Profile by Twitter. (^_^) | Darkly Cute

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