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I thought it’s time I write a tutorial on avatar shapes. You may have noticed that I rarely discuss my shape since most of us bloggers consider that our readers understand and know how to modify their shape. And let’s face it, for some of us, our shapes, are industry TOP secrets! They can make or break a High Fashion SL model career and establish blogger recognition on the grid. Something we do not take for granted.

Therefore this brings to mind my own personal story of how, in my early days of SL, I went searching high and wide for a shape to call my very own and the frustration I found when none of the bloggers I used to read ever wrote about *AVATAR SHAPES*. By then,  I was a seasoned Noob (well into my 11 months in sl ) and I still had no idea that I could change the shapes in the inventory library or let alone where to buy a personalized one.

So my story continues; one fine day I run into Sophistishapes Store where I spotted a Lucky Chair with a female shape for a gift. Figuring it would take a few minutes for an “R” to appear, I sat there waiting and waiting and waiting. Well! I haunted that chair for over a month, alone and pixel starved. Not another avatar in sl seemed to need a shape but me, I waited for the elusive “R” to show up so I can pick up the Lucky Female Shape that I had decided on. The facial features were pretty and the curves blatantly round. After a month of staring at her, I had quasi fallen in love with Riviera. Some days, I waited minutes, other days, I waited for hours at the Lucky Chair – I learnt how to spam the Help Groups reporting the letters that came on the chair in hopes avatars would help me move the board faster. In those days, I did not have 1000L to drop on a shape.

When I finally did win her, I never wanted to see another lucky chair for the rest of my SL Life! She came in two sizes: Regular and Skirt size. Skirt size made her buttocks flat and so she could wear the prim skirts that, in SL’s early days, made an avatar look like an over-blown pear-shape.

Yet, what I still had to discover was *WHY* the importance of having a *modifiable* shape and this was going to take another 4 months of my secondlife. This is where Yula Finesmith of Finesmith Jewelry comes into the picture. After months of wearing my new shape and throwing out dozens of clothing because I couldn’t figure out how to *resize them* or notecarding designers to resize them for me. Bear with me here *smiling*. I had the gall to send notecards to Ms Finesmith asking if she could resize this or that freebie or hunt gift. Yes freebies! She kindly did so. Well one day, low and behold I ask her in chat to resize a set of freebie size 10 nails I picked up at a hunt (sheesh she offered no other size in the box). She immediately TP’s me to her store. Imagine my surprise finding the formidable Ms Finesmith before me! I nearly swooned! Well that fine woman of an avatar asks me point blank – “ Riviera is your shape modifiable !?” . I rush into my inventory, heart pounding getting this sinking feeling in my stomach that modifiable was going to be a critical to my avatar’s lifeline and I notice that Riviera’s shape is MOD. My heart triple flipped – I knew I was lucky to have received a modifiable shape and I answer back; “Yes Ms Finesmith!”. She whips back an answer at me; “Well resize your hand to 10 with the sliders and the nails will fit perfectly.”. Wide stare. Darn! That’s when I discovered I had *edit shape* sliders in my viewer — Ms Finesmith, a sincere Thank You. And that’s when Riviera’s fashionista Career began.

(Tutorial valid with Firestorm/Phoenix/Viewer3)

Advance note:: Shape sliders are offered on all viewers PROVIDED YOU HAVE A MODIFIABLE SHAPE. Hence the importance of investing ONLY in modifiable shapes.
REMEMBER:: before making any modifications to your shape, please make a backup copy stored safely in a different folder.

1. Right Click with your cursor on your avatar and a pie chart will appear.

2. Select *Appearance* on the pie and click – then [if your shape is MOD] you will have the *Edit Shape* highlighted -> select *Edit Shape*.

3. Edit shape pops up a menu –see image. You can resize the POP UP window see image. Moving the menu to the left side of the avatar.

4. Here you will locate all the sliders you need. Above the pop-up is the Menu you can see tabs that follow as:: BODY//HEAD//EYES//EARS//NOSE//MOUTH//CHIN//TORSO//LEGS.

5. Each Tab has a scroll bar that locates sliders for each body feature such as hand size, feet size etc…
Have fun practicing.

Once you are satisfied with the modification you’ve made to your shape. You should use the *SAVE AS* or *UNDO* option featured at the bottom of the POP UP window. See image below.

Give your shape a new name. Some examples of name tags I like to use to save my shape modifications are;

*Riviera hands10/breastsSmall/neck45/very long legs
*Riviera hands20/large breasts/xtrabootie
*Riviera hands15/xtrafeet/long torso
*Riviera Charlie Chaplin shape for Cilian’gel outfit

This way I have quite a few saved modifications of Riviera in my inventory. This is very practical for quick styling.

On the other hand, if you forget to use SAVE AS option you will risk modifying the shape permanently. If you are in the habit of saving your outfits to include your shape, all those outfits will now contain the new shape. Yes, I had a Charlie Chaplin bow-legged-shaped Riviera showing up on all my outfits. A lesson learnt the hard way.

Here some locations you can go to find MODifiable shapes that you can experiment with.

Avatar Brazil – Has some MOD shapes freebies w/group tag 0L at shapes corner.


In conclusion, you can now customize the shape to create your very own personalized avatar. You can also modify the shape to FIT in your clothing.
Furthermore, be advised that when you are buying a shape and you are NOT buying a skin. So the pictures on the packages can be deceiving. Look for shape designers that advertise the brand of skin they use to achieve the look.