Open Source Vaneeesa

However large my ego might be, it is not so large that I actually think anyone, even in their wildest nightmare, would want to look like me!

Still, in the spirit of Free Culture, even if it’s only a conceptual exercise, I feel like I should Open Source my Avatar. And saying that my avatar is Creative Commons Attribution doesn’t really mean much if I don’t make the source files available, so here you go:

On Google Docs, you’ll find a folder with the memorable name of:

Which contains everything you need for my Shape & Skin.

What are the components of an SL avatar?
1. Shape
2. Skin
3. Hair
4. Eyes

We might say that everything after that: Clothing, Shoes, Jewelry, are changeable accessories. In FL tattoos are permanent and non-chageable, although there are “temporary tattoos” and henna. In SL some peeps wear tattoos as permanent and others wear them more like changeable clothing. In any case, my primary avatar doesn’t wear any.

VB-BrownMeee in my standard avatar and wearing my signature brown pajama suit by Alice07 Barzane / Pepperemint Blue (freestore)

I do own a lot of clothes by now, but this is my signature outfit. My fashion blogging pal Harper Beresford told me, with way more polite words, that I look like crap! Oh well… nobody’s perfect! 😛

I noodled with my shape for about 8 months, and now haven’t touched it for about 8 months. My current shape is called, in my inventory, “MissMe03d.” All the data for it is in the OS Vaneeesa Shape spreadsheet in the folder. To wear my shape in any SL Grid-based world, just:
2. Name it and Wear it
4. Click the “Female” radio button, and type in the 78 numbers

The skin I wear is Pleiades by Eloh Eliot.

In this folder are the Targa-format files for my skin as used in Second Life, OS Grid, InWorldz, Meta7, and as usable on any Second Life based virtual world:
VB-Face.tga & VB-Face.jpg
VB-Upper.tga & VB-Upper.jpg
VB-lower.tga & VB-lower.jpg

There are 3 Targa (.tga) and 3 JPEG (.jpg) files in this folder. The JPEG’s are only included so you’ll have thumbnails when viewing the folder, DO NOT USE THE JPG’s. To make a skin on a Second Life Grid world, upload the 3 TARGA files!

In “software language,” these flattened 512×512 pixel TGA files are the Compiled App that you can run, but not the Source Code that you can modify. If you simply want to wear my skin, you can use these 3 files, if you want your own modification of this skin, you should download the layered and hi-rez files from Eloh Eliot and manipulate them in GIMP or Photoshop.

Trying hard not to capsize the catamaran!

You can download PSD (Photoshop) and XCF (Gimp) files for Pleiades, as well as source files for Eloh Eliot’s newer skin line Starlight, and her older and still grid-ubiquitous “Seven Deadly Sins” skin series, here:

If you want skin to wear but not modify, you can also visit Eloh Eliot’s shop and get a free box full of her latest Starlight skins already uploaded in-world:

1. Download the 3 Targa files to your computer.
2. Upload the 3 Targa files to the grid of your choice.
4. Give your new skin a Name and Wear it
and drag the 3 .tga files onto each of those boxes.

The eyes I wear are actually a commercial product that is No-Share, No-Derivatives. They are for sale on the Second Life grid by their creator Winter Ventura for L$20. So, while you can’t remix these eyes, you can have them for nearly free.

My eyes are:
FB Crystal Eyes – 24 Amaretto (normal)
available at Winter’s shop Eclectic Randomness:

If you want to make your own eyes, you can download a template from here:

As far as I am aware, this eye template is Free & Open, so I’ve also uploaded it to the OS Vaneeesa folder on Google Docs. It is not my primary eye, but I do wear variations of it on occasion. Since it’s a PSD file, I have, as with the skin, also uploaded a JPG version, just so that the folder contains a thumbnail to see.

Also included are tga/jpg files for brown “Pie Eyes” I made in homage to the late (as of SL Viewer 2) UI feature.

Other than Philip Linden, most people today “bury” their SL System Hair with a “bald cap” and put a “prim hair wig” on top. The hair I wear is “Ponytail Brown Hair” from the (now “old”) noob avatar “Girl Next Door” by Adam & Eve. You can visit them on Avatars United at:

This hair within the world of Second Life is “full perm” so you can mod/copy/transfer, do anything you like with it. I am not aware of the availability of bitmap (“texture”) source files for it. I would wear it in other SL Grid based worlds like OS Grid, InWorldz, Meta7, et al, if I could, but as far as I know it’s not available there.

This hair is already in every avatars inventory… down at the bottom of your inventory under “Library”:
If you WEAR this Library hair, SL will put a copy of it in your
folder… from there you can Wear, Mod, Copy, Transfer to your hearts content. I’m fond of recoloring the scrunchy to coordinate with my clothes.

I should make a quick note about my hair: I wear the hair of what, pre-Viewer2, was, I believe, the most ubiquitous noob avatar. It’s a big statement about identity and the illusion of individuality for me. Ironically, since I don’t hang out with too many noobs, this is the one hair that most avatars would never be caught dead wearing… so it becomes… paradoxically… unique!

It’s sort of funny, because so many people create a sort of conceptual baggage around this lovely hair designed by Sachi Vixen, they will sometimes throw transferrable hairs at me when I walk thru a coffee house, presumably saying something to the effect of “here poor, pathetic noob, have some decent hair till you learn better.”

The hair creates a bit of awkwardness for me in that my good friend Carina Larsen is one of the most wonderful hair designers on the grid… and I always fear what a terrible insult she might feel that I parade around, even in her shop, in noob hair when I could be wearing any one of her amazing creations.

Still, the GND Ponytail hair is conceptually important to me vis-a-vis ideas about identity… and as I’ve worn it for all of my life… it really is MY identity… it really has become… Me.

Dancing at Friggin Kitty’s Wet Kitty in my new Khorus Magne / Elixir outfit with a lime-colored scrunchy to match the spectacular Onyx LeShelle / Maitreya Gold Esprit shoes:

Wet Kitty:


Maitreya Gold:

This post is about Open Sourcing my Avatar and not more philosophy from VB, but I’ll quickly say that if lots of us did this, we wouldn’t all be the same, we could pick and choose and and each be as unique or as uniform as we felt like being at any give life moment.

The FL world of your identity, character, and uniqueness being defined by what logos you wear on your clothing must be bankrupt!

I’m not here to “defeat capitalism” I just believe that THIS new world doesn’t have to turn into a job to make a buck, it can be a place to luxuriate. A place to play. A place for shared culture.

And then there’s VB13 young Vaneeesa, pictured here visiting Mr. Gandhi when he was in SL Prison at Odyssey. It’s actually my normal skin, hair & eyes, just with a different shape. BTW, I’ve got pom-poms because this pix was snapped the night before Mr. Gandhi was released from prison.

The child shape I wear is a shape called Gigi which I got from a big box of free shapes at the Child Avatar Info Center:

Above is a photo of… “me”… apparently getting excited about our upcoming field trip to World of Warcraft. Well… sort of me… me just with a different Shape / Skin / Hair! It’s actually my pseudo-alt Calista.

The publishing schedule for I Rez, Therefore I Am is:
Mondaysabout performances
Wednesdaysabout ideas
Fridaysabout people

On the next 3 Fridays I’ll be talking about:
• an extraordinary FL architect
• an amazing SL peep
• and then 3 weeks from today I’ll spill the beans on my alts: Audrey, Bat & Calista (and a few others!)

As a virtual public artist my work invites avatar communities to express their identity, explore their culture, and demand their civil rights.

11 thoughts on “Open Source Vaneeesa

  1. Hi Jeremy,

    Thanks for your message! I’d love to hear more about your thesis work, and what/how/where your participants have posted. Please do tell!

    As for me / my work… what can I tell you?


    1. Hey Vaneeesa,

      Thanks for replying me…I am not sure if our avatars met awhile back..I was Wirxli Flimflam (2006-2010 – co-founder of Second Front) until that avatar committed suicide as a final performance.

      The thesis case study I did was internal so the information about the participants will not be released until the thesis is ready.

      As far as I know, the participants themselves have not posted anything about it.

      In general though, I am seeing whether or not a Greenbergian medium specific framework for avatar design can still be applicable in a Po-Mo hybrid world like Second Life.

      I am learning about your work gradually on your blog and related links…I guess when I run out of data, I may ask you what else you are up to 😉

      Thanks for the Facebook add and lets keep in touch 🙂


  2. Our pal Ze Moo said in-world that Open Sourcing your Avatar on Google Docs was very cool… but… that doing it on Source Forge would be even cooler (and perhaps more open)

    As everyone knows, I always do everything Ze tells me to, so…

    So, ha ha ha, I’m now a SourceForge developer! 😛
    From my SF home page above, you can get to my Guest Book, etc, and also to the Open Source Avatars project:

    Where you can download my avatar… or even sign up to join the OS Avatar developer team… and/or post your avatar! 🙂

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