Saturday, September 4, 2010

It's been a long time

I haven't posted here for a almost a year. The book sort of ground to a halt as I got much more involved with Tres Beau Designs, as its COO and with Model's Workshop, as one of its leaders.

At this point I know a great deal more about the worlds of SL modeling and fashion then I did before. I've seen it from the designer's side, the model's side and the show director's side. I'm going to take another run at the book now, but it will be much more succinct.

I also plan to move this blog to the Wordpress platfom. I think I can get help with Wordpress more easily and it seems more versatile and universally used.

See you there soon............. I'll post the link when it's up and running

I'm just,

Nave Fall

Monday, October 19, 2009

The SL MSM Narrative on Modeling in SL

SL MSM stands for the SL Model's Survival Manual which this article was excerpted from.

These days I find myself frequently IM'd, and asked questions, about becoming a model in SL, how modeling in SL works and which schools are reputable and which agencies nurture their model's careers. I have my own personal prejudices, and some strongly held opinions, which I keep to myself. AgencyReport Zepp's site ( ) does a far better job then I could, of tracking agencies and various school's curriculum quality and value for $Linden's invested.

Interlude and unsolicited plug: Never heard of AgencyReport? You need to know about it. AgencyReport is a valuable and unbiased resource that every model and prospective model in SL should know about. I've taken the liberty of using AgencyReports' own description from their website because I couldn't have written it better myself:

WHAT: Agency Report is a website that is geared to help Second Life Models make informed decisions on modeling agencies, modeling schools, modeling contests and really any business pertaining to modeling. By reading comments and experiences of others, models will be able to see which ones to steer away from and which ones to pursue. It’s full disclosure!

HOW: It’s basically a feedback system, simply leave a comment on an agency’s or school’s or contest’s page so that others can get a feel for what it is about and how it’s like from an inside perspective. You may choose to be anonymous by leaving the name, email and web field empty when posting a comment. We will never ask your RL or SL name, if you are logged into WordPress and comment it will show your username, so make sure you logout before commenting if you wish to be anonymous. We encourage models, agency and school owners, and everyone involved in the industry to comment. Comments that will not be approved are derogatory comments that condemn the modeling world of SL in general and ones aren’t productive to the goal of this website.

WHY: We know professionals in this industry value their reputation and don’t want to be branded as someone that causes drama or is overly critical, therefore we offer anonymity. We feel this type of resource is necessary because there are agencies and schools popping up all over the place that prey on new models to exploit them to make money or for other reasons. Models need to know the good AND the bad, and what they are getting into before they lose lindens or get involved with a “bad” agency or school.

If we missed an agency or school you would like to comment on, comment here with the name and we will add it as soon as we can. Join together and share your experiences!

DISCLAIMER: Since this is an anonymous system, we have no way of confirming claims made on this website, if you feel a comment is unjustly added, then please post a comment stating why you believe it is incorrect or how you feel differently. Anonymity is a choice, if agency owners wish to make statements they can do so, if the statement is questionable it will be confirmed in-world to make sure they are in-fact coming from the agency owners. To expedite this process, you may send an in-world notecard to AgencyReport Zepp, please paste the content of your comment in the notecard and sign it with your avatar name (the sender of the notecard, creator of the notecard, and the signature must all match).

So much for a resource that can help a great deal if used judiciously. Let's move on............ I don't know all the answers by any stretch of the imagination. I do know what I' ve seen work for many successful models. I am not, in any way shape or form, the final "authority" on how to succeed as a model in SL. Success takes a combination of serendipity, tenacity, $Lindens, training, and strength of character.

Why do I need those particular things you ask?

ser⋅en⋅dip⋅i⋅ty  /ˌsɛrənˈdɪpɪti/ Pronunciation [ser-uhn-dip-i-tee] –noun 1. an aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident. 2. good fortune; luck: the serendipity of getting the first job she applied for. Origin: 1754; Serendip + -ity; Horace Walpole so named a faculty possessed by the heroes of a fairy tale called The Three Princes of SerendipIt takes some luck and good timing, to get an SL modeling career going. Friends who know the ropes can catalyze serendipity.

te⋅nac⋅i⋅ty  /təˈnæsɪti/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [tuh-nas-i-tee]
1. the quality or property of being tenacious. 2,. perseveranceOrigin: 1520–30; < L tenācitās equiv. to tenāc- (s. of tenāx) holding fast, deriv. of tenēre to hold + -itās -ity2 You can't give up when it gets tough. Giving up is easy. Those who succeed weather the rollercoaster ride of modeling in SL with smiles, elan and panache


$Lindens [lin-duhn] –noun 1. SL's monetary unit which are valued at around L$270 +/- to the $1You will need to invest substanial amounts in yourself to become a model in SL. You'll need to improve your avatar, buy tools (AOs, Huddles, Poses and animations in additiopn to constantly improving your avatar's looks with new skins, hair, eyes, fingernails and outfits). Few models make their investment back.


train⋅ing  /ˈtreɪnɪŋ/ [trey-ning] –noun 1. the education, instruction, or discipline of a person or thing that is being trained: He's in training for the Olympics. 2. the status or condition of a person who has been trained: athletes in top training. –adjective 3. of, pertaining to, or used in or for training: a training manual. 4. intended for use during an introductory, learning, or transitional period: a training cup for weaning a baby.Modeling is a technical discipline in SL. It requires hours of classroom training and runway practice to become competent. Simple things like turning can be tricky at a laggy fashion show. People who tell you that you can become a model by watching others are mistaken. Origin: 1400–50; late ME (n.); see train, -ing 1 , -ing 2


Strength of character: The word character comes from the Greek, meaning "to make a mark." Your character is your mark on the world.
To have strength of character, you:

1) Do the right thing. Do the right thing regardless of the consequences. Do the right thing regardless of temptation to do otherwise. Do the right thing even if you are ill, if it is inconvenient, if no one is looking, if it costs money, if it costs friendships, if no one understands.

2) Follow your passion. Follow your passion if people disapprove. Follow your passion if it doesn't make you wealthy. Follow your passion if you are ill, if it is inconvenient, if it costs money, if it costs friendships, if no one understands.

Those things mentioned above are my off the cuff thoughts on must haves to even enter the game. But I'm pleased to share a far more in depth discussion by one of my modeling mentors, Kay Fairey (an SL supermodel, if there ever was one), was kind enough to share her thoughts on becoming a model in SL with me...................

So Kay? What do you believe are the essential elements to becoming a successful SL model. Please share your advice for aspiring models. There are a number of elements, I think, that are crucial to becoming a successful model in SL. Anybody can be pretty in SL. Anybody who is willing to spend some time fiddling with their avatar can become gorgeous. That means having a pretty avatar is just a prerequisite and what comes AFTER that is more important.

Specifically these would be:

1. A unique look - you don't want 100 others looking like you.

2. Sense of style - this is something that can make you stand out in a room full of pretty avatars. Unfortunately you either have it or you don't, so although with training and close observation of what others are doing, you may improve this skill by learning different ways to style but to be really good, you need to have the "eye" and this is something you can't teach.

3. A high performance PC - unfortunately, the higher the specs of your computer, the better equipted you will be to handle modeling in lag. Being resistant to crash and lag will be an important element to gain the trust of others.

4. Spendable $Lindens - again, unfortunately, to style well, you will need sufficient $Lindens to be able to buy items you need in order to style without being held to what's available in your inventory. In a competitive environment, this will make a difference.

5. Time - you don't need to be in SL 24/7, but you do need enough time to style yourself without rushing, to practice, to participate in shows and photo shoots. Of course you need time to shop around for interesting items.

6. Commitment - modeling in SL is VERY competitive especially because we can all be pretty and so many people want to have a try in becoming a model. Those without a strong commitment will not last.

7. Resistance to rejection - being a model, whether it's RL or SL means you will be facing LOTS of refections. Contests, castings....and any other occasion that requires selecting models will be rejecting more models that those selected in most cases. If you allow yourself to keep getting devastated everytime this happens, you'll end up being SL depressed. Unlike RL, nobody is forced to stay in SL which means we come here to have fun and to realize a dream that we can't in RL. So why force yourself to be unhappy? You need the nerves to face rejections, swallow it, learn from it and move on.

8. Personality - you can't make it alone no matter how pretty and unique your look is. You need the support of fellow models, show organizers, designers, creators and whoever else might be involved. If all of these people dislike or discount you, how can you get that support? A good personality is a LOT more important in SL than in RL since in RL where you have no sliders to alter your looks, some popular models can get away with being a little less than ideal in personality. In SL, however, who wants to work with an unpleasant person? No one has to.........

9. Luck - in Japan, there is a saying. Good luck is part of a talent. Whether you agree or not, you certainly need an eye to see luck when it hits you and a long enough arm to grab it before it goes past you. Luck happens when skill meets opportunity

10. PR/publicity capability - you don't have to be in PR/publicity as a job. But becoming a successful model means building "your brand/brand image as a model". And to do that effectively, you need to have a good sense of how to execute PR effectively. Again, you can learn from others but this is something that can't be taught. You either have it or you don't.

11. English capability - again, unfortunately the primary language in SL fashion is English and although you don't have to be perfect, you need enough English language capability to understand what your client or photographer wants and be able to question it if you are not sure about it. Of course English will be necessary to enable basic communication for shows and shoots as well.

There may be other things that I missed. I can almost hear voices saying "jeez......". lol But remember, these are elements I believe you need to become a very successful model. You may not need all of the things mentioned above just to model, but to become one of the best of the best, well, that requires you to wend your way through many obstacles and survive very tough competition. In that environment, lack of any element listed above becomes a HUGE disadvantage when you are up against those who have them all in hand. I have heard so many starter models say "but I think my avatar is gorgeous. Why am I not getting anywhere?" I particularly recommend those to read the above and think hard about what you might be lacking.
Of course, the reason can be elements you can't see such as 6. Commitment or 9. Luck. Also remember that you can still be a model without all of the above. For example, even if you didn't speak a word of English, you can still model within your language groups.

So 2 of us have defined some, but not all, of the personal attributes that are required to be a top model in SL.

Here's how a conversation with Nave frequently goes these days:

The model wannabe has been greeted upon their arrival but they choose to look around before speaking up. When they do it often goes like this..................

Model Wannabe (MW): I wanna be a model ( said as if this is a revelation since they have wandered into a modeling agency and looked around for 20 minutes )

Nave Fall (NF): Ohhhhhh good. (Looks at the model wannabe’s profile and sees 25 model groups filling it up unless they are 2 hours old and don't know about groups yet)

NF: Tell me what you’re thinking about…………… Did this desire to be a model happen recently? Are you passionate about fashion in your RL? What is YOUR motivation?

MW: Well, the truth is that I REALLY REALLY need to make some $Lindens (SL's money) so I can pay for my SL. Models make good money in SL? Right? And I bet it's lots of fun............... NF: Actually you’ll invest a lot of $Lindens before you ever make any, if you EVER make any that is. Modeling in SL is not a profitable business, or hobby, for most models……… it's a fun pastime where you will meet some interesting people and, hopefully, make some good friends

MW interrupts, panting, and without taking a breath says: Huhhhhhh??? I don’t understand………. don’t models get paid in SL? My friend is a supermodel (at the Friends 123 Agency, go figure) and she loves doing it and she told me I’d have a ball. We’d do photoshoots and fashion shows and I’d get outfits and hair and meet all kinds of fun guys…….

NF interrupts back: ummmmmmmm some of that is correct - yes. Have you been to the Friends 123 Agency?

MW: I’m so confused now.

NF: Is your friend a working model in SL? What are you confused about?

MW: She is in a bunch of the same groups I’m in and we’ve become friendly. I see her posting all the time. She enters these contests every week at JCNY and Beningborough and seems to be very busy all the time.

NF: Is she actually in an agency on SL?

MW: She is in one, something like Friends 123 Agency (they hire new models she told me) and has applied at a bunch of others too……………. Should I do that too? Why do I need an agency anyway? What does an agency do for you anyway?

NF blinks…………….. (exasperated now) Wasn’t that what we were talking about?

MW:Sorrrrrrrrrrrry I'm in several chats here and it’s difficult for me to keep them all straight. Sorry! Chill......

NF: Maybe we should continue when you can devote your full attention to chatting with me. Your popularity must be a burden at times. Would another time work better for you?

MW: I just really wanna know how much money models on SL make okay?????

NF: Okay, I'll say this one more time .......... so please listen up…………most models don’t make any money modeling on SL. They have fun. They meet interesting people and make friends. They may be very busy but it is more of an expensive hobby then a paying job.

MW: I don’t understand…………my friend said that.........

NF interrupts………..

NF: I have to run but I will give you a notecard about modeling on SL. You can read that at your leisure and if you have questions feel free to IM me. K bai thx...............

Nave hands over the notecard below:

Modeling FAQ Notecard - Basic Facts about Modeling in SL

I know the normal form of a FAQ is Question Answer. I'm skipping the questions. You know what they are based on the response.

1) You don’t do it for the $Lindens. You become a model in SL for fun. If you get very lucky after a while you may make some. What’s a while? Months… or never.

2) If you aren’t willing to make a substantial investment of time and effort you CANNNOT succeed.

3) If you have YOUR avatar set up the way YOU think it should be to be a model that’s great. No one else cares. Really they don’t……….. Your avatar is a hangar for whatever designer’s creations you are there to help SELL. YOU are not selling YOU. YOU are selling THEM.

4) You have to learn to be a model in SL. There are things you will need to know to deal with issues models confront every day. Lag and ARC for example. Setting up your viewer for a fashion show is NOT intuitive.

5) You don’t do it for the $Lindens. You become a model in SL for fun. If you get very lucky after a while you may make some. What’s a while? Months… or never (Did I say that before?).

6) If you agree to be somewhere, to do something, ANYTHING…… there. People are depending on you. $Lindens have been invested by designers. Sets may have been created. Scripts may have been written. Agency reputations are at risk when you let people down by being irresponsible………….

7) We don’t care about your RL problems. We ALL have our own RL issues to deal with.

8) You don’t become a model for the $Lindens. Did I say that before? You become a model in SL for fun. If you get very lucky after a while you may make some $Lindens. What’s a while? Months… or never.

I swear I'm not trying to be negative here. I'm being brutally honest. Modeling in SL is as tough as it is in RL. Everyone has this idea that creating a good looking avatar qualifies you to be a model. I wish it were so. You need to read up on modeling in SL.

There are many blogs written by models. I work on 2 of those myself: The one you're reading now is about the book I'm writing


This one is about a great modeling group I am part of

There are dozens of others............ do some research. Buy a ticket..................

Good luck

I'm just,

Nave Fall

Copyright © 2009 Nave Fall all rights reserved

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Where An SL Modeling Agency Comes From

I was thinking, for the book mind you, about how modeling agencies in SL start and evolve these days and somehow my musings have turned into a blog post also. An amusing one I hope…….. the last thing I’d want to do with one of these is hurt anyone’s feelings, so I’ve purposefully not named any names. It’s hard enough doing all the work to start an agency without someone like me poking you with a stick for the mistakes we all make and, hopefully, learn from. Lord knows I make enough of them myself. How do you think I learned enough to even think about writing a book?

So here goes………….

I think every modeling agency on SL is undergoing some serious stress as they attempt to adapt to a highly competitive market that eats its young regularly. Many people who thought it would be fun to own a modeling agency in SL and become a famous Diva have jumped in with both feet, so the list of new agencies is now endless. I can’t name names here there are far too many. They know who they are………….

Starting an agency goes something like this (the names have been changed to protect the innocent here):

Three friends have a discussion about how much they want to be in business in SL. TOGETHER. They scheme and the idea of a modeling agency emerges from their discussion. Soooooooo they declare themselves in business . They’ve started a modeling agency with a name they spontaneously create out of thin air. Marketing???? We don’t need no steeeenking marketing……… The Friends 123 Model Agency is born.

Then the 3 fast friends decide to figure out their business plan (not having been to business school they are feeling their way in the dark here). They don’t write it down mind you, they roundtable it between them and no one takes any notes.

Friend 1 turns to her best friends forever and says okay we’re a modeling agency now.

Her friends do what friends do. They say:


The conversation then goes something like this……

Friend 1: We’ve got a greatttttt name. Now what should we do?

Friend 2 (or lover): Yippppppeeeeeeeeee we’re a modeling agency. Let’s have a fashion show. Let’s start a school. We need to have a magazine too (good luck with the magazine btw). A logo, we need a logo too……….

Friend 1 (the smart one) says: We need some groups too. Those only cost L$100 to start but I’ll take care of those for us. I think 5 or so will do it………….

Friends123 Modeling Agency Mgmt and Staff
Friends123 Modeling Agency
Friends 123 Modeling School
Friends 123 Modeling Magazine Staff
Friends 123 Magazine Readers

I’ll think up the group member’s titles too. Head Cheese, Smelly Cheese, Toe Jam etc. Fun titles for everyone………

Friend 3 is so stunned by all this that not a word is said by s/he. Yet…………

Friend 1: Who knows a designer we can get to sponsor a show for us? Ohhh damn, do we have any models yet? We can’t be the models we are management. We better get some models huh? Let’s try to steal, errrrrrrr, I mean recruit, some good ones first. At the same time we should spam all the modeling groups and hold a dozen casting calls too. We can be mean to everyone who comes ……. unless they suck up to us, of course.

Friend 1 says to Friend 2 (Friend 3 ((the not too bright one)) is still silent mind you): I think you should be in charge of recruiting sponsors. I’m the creative one here…………….I’ll select the models and think up the show themes and direct them.. I am a natural-born killer errrrr leader……..

Friend 3 meanwhile is silently trembling with his/her desire to participate – somehow, some way, or be left behind with the unwashed masses of “not owners”

Friend 2 blinks for the first time……………..but luckily for her Friend 3 (the dupe) steps in as if on cue………..

Friend 3: OOOOOOOO ooooooooooooooo I know someone who is a designer. Can I be in charge of ohhhhh let’s call it vendor relationships (thinking this will yield lots of free stuff – wrongggggggggggg)? Puhhhhhhlease?

Friend 1 looks at Friend 2 and smirks to herself.

Then she winks and says: Absolutely. Do you agree Friend 2?

Friend 2: I sure do. This is a great idea……..

Then to Friend 3, Friend 1 says, “Okay now you are in charge of marketing and sales and promotion and the blog and writing all the note cards, the non-disclosure agreements, and the contracts and getting free stuff for the VIP gift bags. We also need to copyright everything and trademark the name in the US. No big deal…… you can handle that. No sweat right?

One final thing though, just so we stay on the same page, you have to run all your ideas past me and Friend 2 as soon as you get them and we need to approve them together. There are 3 of us so we’ll always have a majority decision. Okay? Great……..then we are agreed


Duhhhhhh!!!!! I wonder what friend 3 is thinking about now? Hearing that we need a full-sim, We need a cool headquarters. We need groups and logos and freebies. Ohhhhhhhh my……. Let’s build us a unique runway!

Why not build a great agency and do things for the models to gain their good will and enthusiastic support. Why not commit to an event a month and get on that. But that’s hard work…………. and suddenly Friends 1 and 2 aren’t around that much anymore. Maybe Friend 4, who was recruited by Friend 3, will write the business plan for them because the others have countless rehearsals for other agency’s shows to attend saying,

“I have MY modeling career to tend to…………..”

So now the spiral starts, recruited models say to themselves. “What have these guys done for me lately?” What are they up to? What are they doing and why don’t they tell us about it?
At some point the rubber has to meet the road and it’s hard work, very competitive and you need a myriad of skills to succeed in the SL modeling community.

You have to be a:

Writer/Editor/Blogger/Event Scripter
Marketeer/Sales Manager
Techie/Estate Manager with GOD powers
Sorority House Mother
Triage Nurse (becasue there are a lot of wounds, and pain involved in modeling)
Translator (because so many great designers and models don’t speak English)

and a

Vampire (because there’s never enough time to sleep now)

Did I forget that it helps to be, personally, well funded (unless you find a sucker to pay for everything) and own your own sim on a Class 5 Server?

Sooooooooooooooooo things are shaking out a bit. Many of the big designers are tired of the relentless begging for sponsorship that they are being assaulted by. New, maybe even deserving, creators are ignored or dismissed out of hand. Too small for they say, we need NAME designers to make our mark and get others to pay for shows (no one will pay a new agency y’know. You’re lucky to get the clothes much less $Lindens too). Fringe and edge groups aren’t represented except by a rare agency like, Nocturne, Voshie Paine’s agency, there may be others but they don’t come to mind easily. (No offense if you view your agency as edgy or on the fringe feel free to comment)

Agencies fail or evolve, like MIA did when Crowefabulous Sommerfelf and Anita Claven split up. Anita started Metamorphosis which transformed itself into AE which then became IMAGE and IMAGE is now evolving, with its former CEO, Lonali Summers, returning to the helm, minus it's driving force, blackLiquid Tokyoska, as VP and Stylist/Builder, who is off starting the new UNIQUE with Sweetest Sands (who both, instantly, got booted, as models by Lacie Beningborough of Catalyst of Fantasy for having the audacity to start another, competing agency, despite her having fiercely recruited them both not that long ago. Go figure that one out? So much for being a family....... unhhhhh huh sure). Other agencies disappear like Fierce suddenly did. Here today, poooooooof gone tomorrow. They can slowly fade like Timeless seems to have done, or merge, like SLGlam and Infinite are doing now. Some choose to service the modeling community from the tangential, but profitable, role as a support business, like Ewing seems to have done, concentrating on model's training,.Ewing markets itself as an agency but seems to concentrate its efforts on being a good, if expensive, training organization. If I’m misinformed here, feel free to correct me with a comment.

Big well run agencies like AVENUE, Moda, UVogue, Glance, EIMA, Opium, Evane, Modavia, SuperElite, and Maniera, to name the ones that pop to mind easily, meanwhile, are thriving. I think. Sorta kinda thriving. I left Boulevard out on purpose because they are a unique situation and have advantages the others don’t share…………….

So there is my, I hope, amusing view of how an agency gets started in SL these days………..

Hopefully, the founders have fun doing it. Lord knows I have a ball, personally, at TnT and we are doing our best to not make any of the mistakes I described above by taking things methodically and planning first……

I’m just,


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I've taken a bit of a break

I’ve taken a bit of a break here over the last week.

Between, TnT, the book and contest ( which I admit has not drawn anywhere near the response I'd hoped to get considering the dandy prizes and simple way to enter ), Model’s Workshop, my own 1 on 1 training with Kandi Lauria and RL events surrounding my mother’s accident I am weary and needed a break.

I tried to appear at things I committed to, which reminds me that I need to, frequently thank people who have pitched in to help me out.

Kandi Lauria who, gamely, after having her arm twisted by Toni Oh of Jenna Coppola Studios, agreed to run a refresher runway class during the day. What can I say about Kandi? Well.............she is the soul of patience, she doesn’t yell when it’s obvious I am deluged with IMs, only going "Ummmm yoooo hooo? Lag probs Nave?" Simply stated she is a spectacular, if self–effacing, trainer and model who has been so, so patient with me. Other models I know would have done this thankless task if I’d asked but not been nearly as nice about it.

Monica Balut, the more I get to know her the more I like her.

Herradurra Baar, if I ever get to know her I’m sure I’ll like her a lot.

Aspen Parx, a dandy (well Beau Brummel was a dandy right? see his profile and you'll get it ) who has reached out his hand in friendship when I’ve been despairing at the idea of male buddy in here ever again.

Kimmera Madison, a designer’s designer. She is a riot to hang out with, She makes me laugh till I cry (okay what really happened is diet coke came out my nose she caught me so off guard which is pretty much the same damn thing). Introducing her to Katherine was like buying a ticket to be a ping pong ball or cat's chew toy that's been sprayed with catnip.

Typical Kim/Kat exchange:

Nave: ummmmmmmm
Kimmera: We’re working here. Can’t HE see we’re busy fitting this gown?
Katherine: Ignore him. He can sort his inventory or something till we’re done.
Nave: Errrr. it’s about the gown
Kim: HE doesn’t get it does HE?
Kat: He’s a man, and a writer, he doesn’t understand this kind of close, warm collaboration between 2 women.
Nave: That gown just looks weird………
Kat: Don’t you have a book to work on or a blog to write?
Kim: Look pal, I charge double when I get annoyed………..
Nave zips it………………..

Anyway the level of craftswomanship Kim applies to everything she does awes me even if she and Kat take far too much pleasure in batting me about the sim.

Katherine Comet, who continues to amaze me with her grit, wit, spit and determination to be, no matter how much sleep she loses, the best model she can possibly be.

Countless models I encounter at Model’s Workshop, at TnT and in other groups, who remind me that the divas are really the exception rather then the rule.

Thanks everyone for the encouragement, friendship and patience.

I’m just,


Sunday, September 6, 2009

Model's Workshop is the BOMB

Some things that people do are so necessary, yet so simplistic, that you wonder why they weren't done by anyone before. Ideas that are so brilliant in their conception, and execution, that you stand in awe of the person who conceived them and then implemented them. Monica Balut is one of these people. She, and her self-effacing 2nd in command, Herradura Baar have done exactly that, taken a simple idea, a play so basic that we all know it instinctively, and refined it into an on-going, must attend event.

Each week, on Thursday @ 5 SLT they host a "free" show. They invite/beg/conscript/arm twist a guest speaker who selects a topic of their own choice and shares anecdotes, hard-won wisdom, amusing tidbits, plugs for their company, and. often, hands out must have "freebies/spliffs". Agency owners, supermodels, , event winners, and trainers who run L$10,000 tuition modeling schools all appear, stand there and "pay it forward" to the audience of rapt listeners that gather each Thursday evening.

Model's Workshop was begun in February 2009 and almost 30 sessions have been held so far, as well as a couple of runway events and contests including one running now. Monica was kind enough to give me the previous meeting transcripts, which I've been reviewing for the my book. I plan to edit these and give them back eventually, that is on my to-do list. These transcripts are long but buried in them there is all sorts of stuff I was never taught in any modeling school. Invaluable stuff................... Monica's treatise, Reducing Lag and Maximizing Performance for Fashion Shows(And other recommendations) alone should be read by every SL model before they ever think about walking a runway ( I have appended that at the end of this post with her permission). Monica has also produced/created a number of very nice tools for models including the Balut Runway HUD, the Balut Walk Replacer and the Balut Easypose.

The mere fact that Model's Workshop doesn't charge stuns me. I believe that donating to support it is like giving blood. A good idea, but one that Monica and Herradurra don't pursue loudly at each meeting and one that I am proposing here in public without their permission :-P.

I can’t say enough about Monica and Herradura. Support Model’s Workshop generously

I’m just,


Reducing Lag and Maximizing Performance for Fashion Shows
(And other recommendations)
by Monica Balut 5/28/09

Lag in SecondLife generally refers to when responsiveness appears slower than what we would expect it to be. There are three sources of lag in SecondLife.
1) If the simulator (the Linden Labs computer managing the particular region you are in, aka the server or sim) is overloaded with things it has to do, it falls behind. Everything looks like it slows down. What you will notice most is that your walk will slow down, sometimes to a crawl. There is not much you can do about server side lag except to not contribute any more to it than possible. (See below.)

2) If there is a problem with the network between the LL computers and yours, or among the LL computers themselves) the information flow may be slowed or lost altogether. Again there is not much you can do about network lag except to make sure that your own network connections are okay and your computer can handle what is coming at it.

3) Your own computer may not be able to keep up with the information it has to handle. This is really the only thing you can do something about and is the focus of this paper.This is a compilation of various sets of recommendations I have received as well as my own research on this topic.

Maximize your computer’s performance in general

1) Get the most powerful computer you can afford.

2) Get the best video card you can afford with the most on board memory and make sure the latest drivers for it are installed.

3) Put as much RAM memory into your computer that you can (at least 2 Gig or more if possible) This is probably the single most important thing that will help performance.

4) Defragment your hard drive regularly.

5) Connect to the internet via a cable rather than a wireless router.

6) Close all unnecessary programs.

7) If you have a dual or higher core processor (most new computers do) consider having a higher core (CPU) run the SecondLife Viewer.

This involves setting the processor affinity. Start the SecondLife viewer.
Start the Task Manager (Ctrl-Alt-Del). Click on the Processes tab. Search for the SecondLife.exe process and right click on it. Select Set Affinity. Check one of the higher CPU's. You will have to do this every time you start the program.

The viewer is the program you run on your computer (sometimes called the client) that connects via the internet to the computers at Linden Labs (the server side). Client side lag essentially is caused by your computer not being able to keep up with all the information it has to handle. There are a number of things you can do to significantly reduce the amount of information that has to be processed and thereby reduce client side lag.

The following are recommendations that will help reduce client side lag. Mixed in are other recommendations that are useful for fashion show work although not necessarily related to lag.

1) Clear Your Cache:

a. Prior to the show, Edit -> Preferences -> Clear Cache. Close the viewer -> Restart the SL viewer. Once restarted, open your inventory, and in the search bar type a long string of characters like “***********”. This forces SL to immediately reload your inventory. Give yourself at least 15 minutes. This can take some time, especially if you have a lot of items in your inventory.

b. After your inventory items have reloaded, Cam out into the audience and show room to reload all the textures in that area.

c. Try on all the outfits you will be wearing in the show to make sure everything can attach.
2) Edit Preferences Settings

a. General
i. Show Names -> Never (if you can get by without seeing the names of your team members)

ii. Start Location -> My Home (if you crash on the runway, you don’t want to rez back there in the middle of someone else’s walk.

iii. Small avatar names, Hide My Name on My Screen, Hide All Group Titles -> checked

b. Network
i. Maximum Bandwidth -> A mid range setting is probably best. If too low, your pipe to the internet is too small. If too large, you may be trying to take more data in than your computer can sustain. If you are experiencing high packet loss, you may want to reduce this setting. (Monitor packet loss with View -> Statistics Bar). If you find yourself "rubber banding" (your avatar walking a short distance and suddenly snaps back) this is a sign of packet loss. If this is happening first try to do everything described below. If it continues, reduce your bandwidth setting.

ii. Disk Cache Size -> Set to the maximum that your hard drive can sustain.

c. Graphics

i.Set the Quality and performance slider to low. If you have trouble seeing if you are in a dark place, World -> Environment Settings -> Midday. This is one of the most important things you can do. It reduces significantly reduces the work your computer must do to render the scene.

ii.Check the Custom check box. Further set the following:

1.Shaders: Uncheck everything

2.Avatar Rendering: Check: Avatar Impostors and uncheck the rest

3.Draw Distance: 64

4.Max Particle Count: 0

5.Move all remaining sliders to low

6.Lighting Detail: sun and moon only

iii.HARDWARE OPTIONS - click to open menu

1. uncheck Anisotropic Filtering

2. Antialiasing choose Disable

3. uncheck Enable OpenGLVertex Buffer Objects

iv. Check “Run SecondLife in a Window” and consider reducing the size of that window as you would when running any program in a smaller than maximum window.

d. Audio & Video

i. Turn off the sound by clicking on the speaker icon to the right of the master volume.

ii. Uncheck all the other boxes

e. Voice Chat

i. Uncheck the Enable Voice Chat box.

f. Communication Show Online Friend Notifications -> unchecked Uncheck everything else you can get by without.

3) Further reduced unnecessary rendering. Uncheck the following: (These will all revert to the default settings when you restart the viewer)

a. Advanced -> Rendering -> Types
i. ctrl-alt-shft 3 Tree
ii. ctrl-alt-shft 6 Sky
iii. ctrl-alt-shft 7 Water
iv. ctrl-alt-shft 8 Ground
v. ctrl-alt-shft 0 Grass
vi. ctrl-alt-shft - Clouds
vii. ctrl-alt-shft = Particles
viii. ctrl-alt-shft \ Bump

b. Advanced -> Rendering -> Features
i. crtrl-alt F5 Foot Shadows
ii. crtrl-alt F6 Fog
iii. crtrl-alt F7 Palletized Textures
iv. crtrl-alt F8 Test FRInfo
v. crtrl-alt F9 (opt) Flexible Objects

c. Press CTRL+ALT+D to open advanced menu, then click Advanced- Debug Settings

i. Type: RenderAvatarMaxVisible. This sets how many avatars the viewer will attempt to keep visible.
ii. The default is 35. Consider changing the value to 25 (or lower) if you dare. BUT CAREFUL. It will affect your view. You won’t see all avatars anymore. Only 25 or whatever number you allow will be visible, the ones that are most near. You may even lose sight of the model you are suppose to cue off of and she may not reappear until it's too late in a laggy environment. You definitely have to experiment with this value. But it's great for reducing client side lag.

4) Reduce the load on the servers (the sim) at Linden Labs
a. Detach any HUD attachments that you are not going to use during the show. b. Keep shoes, jewelry as low prim as possible.
c. Do not wear bling items.
d. Do not wear anything with scripts in it (except of course your walk replacer and pose player)
e. Consider low prim hair and other attachments.

5) Other recommendations

a. Advanced -> Rendering -> Axes

i. Turn this on and a vertical white line will appear through the center of your body and upward. Use this to line up with where you want to walk. (It tends to be a little inaccurate in tight places where you can’t see very far ahead, like when the camera auto zooms in over your head because of nearby invisiwalls)

b. After every wardrobe change, immediately Edit Appearance and close the window. This forces clothes to appear more quickly. Then rebake textures (Advanced -> Character -> Rebake Textures or Ctrl-Alt-R)

c. Avoid wearing sculpties because if they don't rez you're wearing balloons. If you need to wear them, make sure you have a quick alternative available.

d. Turn off the typing animation. This keeps you from inadvertently starting to type if you accidentally enter text in the chat box. Advanced -> Debug Settings -> PlayTypingAnim -> False.

e. Uncheck Advanced -> Character -> Tap-Tap-Hold to Run. If this is checked and if you inadvertently hit the forward arrow key twice in a row quickly, you start running down the runway. (Not cool).

f. Remember to wear the correct group name tag.

6) Consider having a separate settings file just for fashion shows.Most of the settings described above will persist between logons. The settings described above are likely NOT the ones you will want to use in your regular time in SL. Consider maintaining two (or more) different sets of settings so you don't have to set all of these for every fashion show. This can be done automatically using command line settings when starting SL and using a command file to execute all of this.

Here is how to do it in Windows.Right click on your desktop screen then select New -> Text Document.

Rename it as SLFashionShows.cmd (The .cmd is the important part. The rest can be any name you want).

Right click on the new icon that was created and select Edit. Type in the following, all on the same line:

"C:\Program Files\SecondLife\SecondLife.exe" --settings settings_show.xml

The part in double quotes (yes you do type in the quotes) is the path to the SecondLife viewer (program) on your computer. It may be different on your computer. You can verify where that is on your computer by right clicking on the icon that normally starts SecondLife and looking at the Target field.The part after --settings (settings_show.xml) tells SecondLife what file to use to read all the settings from. Usually this is just named settings.xml. By using settings_show.xml (or whatever you want to call it (the .xml is a necessary part of the name)), you are telling the SL viewer to load a specific set of settings.Save the file.

The first time you start SL with a new settings file, it will be like starting SL for the first time with all the default settings that came out of the box the first time you downloaded it. Go through and set up SL the way you want to see it, including all the settings described above. The settings will be saved to the new file when you log out.

Create a similar file for your normal everyday use of SL. The contents of the cmd file would look like this:

"C:\Program Files\SecondLife\SecondLife.exe" --settings settings.xml

(The settings.xml file is the default file that contains the settings used. If you start SL from the usual icon this is the file that will be loaded.)

You could also create other such setting files, for example for photo work.

When you want to start SL with a particular set of settings, just doubleclick on the icon that you want.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The My Faire Lady/My Faire Sir Makeover Contest

The SL Model's Survival Manual is running a "makeover" contest. We'll do a photoshoot of it(maybe a video, who knows?) and turn it into a chapter in the book. So the winners get immortalized in print.

There are no gimmicks to this contest.


My Faire Lady / My Faire Sir

Makeover Contest

This contest is a collaboration of :

The SL Model's Survival Manual

Model's Workshop


TnT Modeling

Two contests actually Male and Female – with only a few rulez

There is:

Nothing to pay.

No votes to cast.

No boards with your picture and a price to cast a vote.

No participation in selecting the winner either.

The judges selection will be final.

Judges so far include:

Tia Ryba - TnT Modeling CEO (Nave's Boss go figure)

Wicca Merlin - Beloved, multi-talented Supermodel and Glance's Training Academy Head

HoneyBear Lilliehook - UVogue Modeling Management Maven

1 of Model's Workshop's Mainstays: Monica or Herradurra. Because everyone trusts them
Kimmera Madison of Tres Beau Designs

Not Nave because no one trusts me.

If you think you are worthy IM Nave in-world. Bribe him


1) Entrants must be NO more then 12 SL years old on September 30th 2009

(Yes, I know how old SL is......... it's a joke)

This means


can enter

2) Submit a notecard with 2, separate, 150 word (give or take) segments. In the first tell why you want, deserve, or, desperately need, the makeover in 150 words or less. In the second tell us what you will do once made over to pursue your modeling destiny in SL.

Let's just say that the funnier, the more hilarious, or the more heart breaking, your plea is the better. But keep it concise, not more that 150 words please. We won't be counting the words but we know what it should look like. In the notecard include 2 photos of your avatar(name them MSM MAKEOVER 1 and 2, [your name]. Size 512 x 512. One photo including you from head to toe, and one that you like (or hate, since you want this make over - bad!). Submissions that do not have photos will not be considered.

3) Drop your entry at the Model Survival Group headquarters

4) Nave may look at your profile and take that into consideration too. Amuse me.

The Prizes ( we are lining up more sponsors for this )

A Top to Bottom avatar makeover including:

Hair Fingernails
AO/HUD Poses and animations
A portfolio shoot by Antonia Muggins
A training class @ TnT Modeling

Sponsors include:

Model's Workshop - Monica Balut Founder

TnT Modeling - Tia Ryba CEO

The SL Model's Survival Manual/Model Survival Group

HoneyBear's Shoes - HoneyBear Lilliehook Owner/Designer

Iconia - Antonia Muggins CEO/Photographer/Animator
Tres Beau Designs - Kimmera Madison Owner/Designer
Maggs&Albert Jewelry - Lorelei Maggs Owner/Designer

More to come

And at the end the winners will be introduced to the metaverse at a runway event somewhere to be announced.

I'm just


Copyright © 2009 Nave Fall all rights reserved

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Admissions are good for the soul

And I need to admit that several things are becoming very obvious to me as I work on, interview for, write, and try to edit, The SL Model's Survival Manual.

1) I am a good interviewer and people respond to my questions and questionaires readily

2) I write well also. Editing my own writing is lots tougher for me

3) The scope of this book project is FAR larger then I envisioned when I started it several months ago.

4) The help I've begun to receive, from unexpected places, has opened my eyes to MANY things I was not taking into account that are important to the validity of the book.

5) Writing is, perhaps 40% of the work in producing a book. For example, I could do it without photographs and save a ton of work. That seems to be a cop out to me. Getting these other book production tasks in order is going to require help.

6) Getting the word out on the "My Faire Lady" makeover contest is not going well. This is my own fault and I'm going to have to pump up the volume on both, entries, and sponsors, for that in a hurry. The point of the contest is to take 2 "relative" model wannabes, a male and a female and re-engineer/rebuild them into models. The rules are almost non-existent to make it a piece cake to enter.

This project is changing me, forcing me to evolve and mature. I am surrounded on every side by powerful women, Katherine Comet (my inspiration for the project and the supermodel who will be on the cover), Tia Ryba - CEO of TnT (my boss), Kay Fairey of BOSL/Former CEO of Evane (my conscience), Monica Balut and Herradurra Baar of Model's Workshop (Drama repellents and my technical resources on modeling in SL), Jersey Ceriano of DeJaVue Modeling (also an inspiration), Dea Mills former CEO of Modavia (an SL modeling icon), QueenBrat Bracken (my lovable PITA), Antonia Muggins (the photographer for this project), the list goes on. Individually each impacts me in a unique way, together they have done the impossible, chipped away at my outlook, and snarkiness, to the point that I amaze even myself with my failure to rise to bait that I encounter frequently.

The women I named, have communally and individually, changed my outlook and my SLife and I am grateful to them and many others I haven't named yet for trusting me and making that effort.

I'm just,