Creating Tattoos

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This article is part of the Extended Second Life Knowledge Base that includes advanced and specialized information. This information was originally provided by Linden Lab, but is not actively maintained nor guaranteed to be accurate. Linden Lab does not certify nor assume any responsibility for this information.

See the official Second Life Knowledge Base for the most current information.

You can apply images and textures of your own design to your avatar's skin. However, most avatars use this skin texture layer for wearing custom skins, and use the various clothing layers to wear tattoos. In this article we'll explain how to wear tattoos you have created using both the skin layer and the clothing layers. Tattoos, like other forms of texture transparency in the Second Life® virtual world, require a special part of an image known as an "alpha channel". The alpha channel serves as a "hidden color" that shows where to draw the texture and where to remain transparent. One such use for alpha channels would be to "paint" a window into a wall without physically building the window. While detailed image editing and alpha channels are beyond the scope of this article, you can find Second Life's Fashion Templates and other useful guides at Second Life's Downloads section.If you have a tattoo texture you'd like to apply to your avatar, just use the following steps for whichever situation is applicable: To apply the tattoo directly to your skin layer (do not use if you are wearing a custom skin):

  1. Bring your texture into Second Life: open the File menu and choose Upload Image.
  2. Right-click your avatar and choose Appearance.
  3. Click on the Skin tab.
  4. Drag your texture from your Inventory to the appropriate box in the Skin window. If the tattoo is designed for your face, drag it to the Head Tattoo box. If the tattoo is designed for your chest, drag it to the Upper Tattoo box. If the tattoo is designed for your legs, drag it to the Lower Tattoo box.
  5. Click Save.

To apply the tattoo as a clothing layer (use this if you wear a custom skin):

  1. Bring your texture into Second Life: open the File menu and choose Upload Image.
  2. Right-click your avatar and choose Appearance.
  3. Click on the tab for the clothing you wish to create (i.e. Undershirt). If you're currently wearing that type of clothing, click Take Off. Note that tattoos usually work best when created on the Undershirt or Underpants layer, so they appear underneath clothing layers like Shirts and Pants.
  4. Click on the Create New (clothing) button.
  5. Adjust the sliders until the clothing is the shape you like. For tattoos, this should be skintight.
  6. Drag your new clothing texture onto the Fabric box for your clothing.
  7. Click on Tint and add an additional color to the entire tattoo, if desired.
  8. Add a description, and click on Save As to save your work.