Monthly Archives: April 2012

Free avatar tutorial, part one: dancer

If you’ve just signed up for Second Life and don’t have any L$ yet, it’s still possible to put together an avatar that looks good! This tutorial will show you how to to search for free content on the Marketplace and in-world, let you know what to look for when hunting for free stuff, and will show you two looks for a female avatar that could work as a club dancer.

Finding free stuff in Second Life

Open the Search panel by pressing the magnifying glass icon in your toolbar. Type “free stuff” (or any other search terms you can think of!) and select “Places” from the dropdown menu. You should find dozens of places with boxes of free stuff set to buy for L$0. (You don’t need to have any L$ to buy something for L$0.) The items will then show up in your inventory, usually in boxes.

searching for free stuff in Second Life

The search panel in Second Life

Finding free stuff on the Marketplace

Finding free stuff on the marketplace ( can be a little harder than finding freebies in-world. Often searching finds completely unrelated items, or tonnes of demos. Here’s our tips for finding free stuff:

  • Use combinations of likely words rather than just searching for “free”. For example, try the phrase “free promo shoes.”
  • Filter your results by selecting the category you want from the left hand column. If you’re searching for skins, only show results from skins. This can cut down on the unrelated search results.
  • Change your results settings: Items per page: 96 and Sort by: Price: Low to High.

Once you place your order, the stuff will be delivered to you, probably in a box.

Unpacking boxes

If you’re both broke and new to Second Life, chances are that you don’t have land to unpack all your free stuff. Search for “sandbox” under Places in Second Life search. At a sandbox, you can unpack your boxes and try stuff on.

Drag your box to the ground beside you. Right click the box and select “Open“. This moves (or copies) all your box contents to a folder in your inventory. Now you can wear stuff! You can delete or take the box once it’s unpacked (from the right-click menu.)

Sorting your free stuff

What to keep: shapes, skins, and hair

We had better luck finding free shapes than good skins or hair, but most of the free shapes we found were frightening. Try to find a shape with copy/mod permissions, free, and fairly well-proportioned. From there, you can make changes (as long as it’s modifiable) and use the free shape as a base while you tweak it.

Unfortunately, a lot of skins at in-world freebie centers are ripped off. We recommend searching the marketplace for a designer promotion instead. Look for even skintone and natural, smooth shading.

Good free hair is hard to find! Some hair designers offer a free style to demo hair colours and quality. You can also find free gift hair by joining hair designers’ in-world groups.

What to keep: clothes

For free clothes, the biggest challenge is finding quality. The marketplace had far better free items than the in-world freebie centres we visited. Look for matching seams and nice shading. Keep freebies that you’d actually wear rather than hoarding everything ever – you don’t need an inventory full of junk!

Our put together look: Dancer

This avatar is tall & sexy. Dancing in a club is a pretty common “job” in Second Life, so we’ve kept that in mind when putting her together.

Off-the-job casual look

 Second Life avatar from free content

On-the-job dancer look

Second Life avatar made with free content

Second Life avatar made using free content

In the next tutorial, we’ll show how to subscribe to freebie fashion blogs so you won’t miss any great finds.


I provide avatar tips and tricks, fashion knowledge, and tools for Second Life users in the virtual fashion industry.

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