How to set profile pictures

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1 Prepare and Upload an Image

The easiest way to prepare and upload an image is to take a snapshot and choose Upload a Snapshot. This produces good results quickly, but has a couple of drawbacks:

  • You won't be able to crop or edit your image in any way.
  • Your image will become slightly distorted (squashed) when it is displayed as the profile picture.

Alternatively, you can prepare your image outside of Second Life (with Photoshop, for instance), then upload it with the File / Upload Image command. As you prepare your image, here are some things to consider:

  • The image will be displayed in an area that is 178x133 pixels. If you upload an image that is smaller or larger than that, it will be stretched or shrunk to fit. Unless you're an expert, you should probably make the image as large as possible and let Second Life size it appropriately.
  • The correct aspect ratio for a profile picture is 4:3. This means the width should be 4/3 of the height. For instance, 400x300, 600x450, 604x453, etc. If you make your image square, you will notice some slight distortion when your image is stretched or shrunk to fit in the profile picture area.
  • Note: Your image will NOT display as 4:3 when you view it from inventory. This is because, for highly technical reasons, the actual sizes of all images in SL are measurable in powers of two (128, 256, 512, etc.). However, when you apply an image as a profile pic, it will scale back into 4:3 proportions for display in the profile window.
  • You must save your image in a format that SL can import. Currently supported formats are BMP, JPG, TGA, and PNG. For maximum image quality, JPG is not recommended.

Regardless of how you create your image, the upload will cost L$10. You can't avoid this fee, but if you're careful to plan your image correctly the first time, you can avoid paying it twice.

2. File Your Image

You don't really have to do this, but organization is important in Second Life, so it rates a mention. Open your inventory, find the image you uploaded, rename it so you'll recognize it later, and move it to a folder where you'll be able to find it. Note that if you generated your image by taking a snapshot, it will probably be named "Snapshot" in your Photo Album.

3. Put Your Image in Your Profile

To use your image as your profile picture, open your profile by choosing Edit / Profile from the menu or by right-clicking on your avatar and choosing Profile from the pie menu. Once the profile window is open, you can drag and drop the image from your inventory window to the picture area in your profile window. Alternatively, you can click on the picture area, then use the selector that pops up to choose your image.

About image sizes and aspect ratios

There is an article in the Knowledge Base which lists the aspect ratios that SL uses in-world.

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