Second Life is the land of free plastic surgery. Well free if you perform it on yourself that is, you can also buy body shapes from body vendors or skins from your local epidermis emporium. My avatar seems quite tiny but is actually my rl height (which is short) but SL is also the land of free growth hormones so standing beside someone who is 7 foot tall is not uncommon. I would guess that approximately 75% of the residents of SL are human. It might even be higher. I began SL as a big white moth I got from avatar maker Flea Bussys shop Grendels Children. Nobody really warmed up to me though, likely because I didn't wear a low cut thorax. Maybe it was my compound eyes, I don't know. Nobody at the club wanted to dance with big white moth.
I love the creativity of non human avatars, Flea Bussy as I said makes them, Madcow Cosmos makes some really nutty ones. UB Yifus avatar is of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, a Picasso sketch. Yoa Ogee and Yeti Bing make some great ones too. Colin Fizgig is not strictly an avatar maker. The previous work I had seen from him was one of M.C. Eschers lithographs made into a 3D build. He seems to work on a variety of things and being somewhat of a hermit himself it's really hard to keep up with what he is doing. The footage I took for the machinima was from almost a year ago at my build Vessels Dream
What I really like about Colins avatars is that each projects a personality. It's almost like you already know them and are aware of their little psychological quirks and habits. It's not easy to do with prims, to imbue an object with emotion. Painters and sculptors can do it in RL as they create directly. So for example a sculptor has no barrier between his hands and the clay. A painter has a brush between them self and the canvas, but the painters emotion can travel through the brush into the painting because of a few factors. For one a canvas has some give, meaning its not solid like a board, and this allows for its surface to better catalogue the emotions of the painter. Also the brush itself is very important. Depending on your medium the hair of the brush itself, its length and suppleness, are very important when transferring emotion through the brush onto the surface of the canvas. It sounds strange I know. But its true. Imagine being furious when painting, the anger travels down your arm through the brush and onto the canvas if you learn how to allow it. You can often look at a painting in a gallery and know the emotion of the painter as they painted it. Not in a jpeg but in person where you can see how each stroke was placed. Not all styles of painting though, hyper realism doesn't allow for this but check out Munch and Van Gogh. Gestural painters. Anyway, my point was that building in Second Life has a rather large barrier between the artist and the final creation. We click the keyboard to get what we want and it doesn't matter if i click the keys hard or soft the end product is always the same. In Zbrush I use a bamboo pen tablet thingy which reacts to pressure but other than that you have to use other means to give life to an object in sl. It's tricky and a super fun challenge. Colin did it wonderfully with these avatars.
#10 from last year was Mosman Hax
#10 from 2008 Ub Yifu's avatar