For SecondLife (SL) models, the walking animation used for each runway walk is the ultimate showcase compared to poses since it displays how the outfit moves with the avatar. Choosing a proper walk can be tricky with complex outfits but knowing what makes a walk good in the first place can help narrow it down.
First, jump on a vendor stand with a simple, slim outfit like a catsuit or bathing suit. This is to help you see how the walk moves with your avatar’s base and skin. Make sure that you are not wearing shoes either since you will want to see if the feet plant properly. This can be tricky with vendors that have you slightly floating while you are on the stand. What you want to look for is how the avatar flows from all angles and ask yourself these questions.
- Does the head bob too much? Front to back, side to side.
- Does the torso break? Particularly around the rib cage.
- From the side view, is the avatar’s spine fairly stable or does it tilt back and forth? You will want the head to remain in fairly the same spot aside from up and down.
- Is the animation smooth? Avoid stiff, robotic motions.
- Do the feet or legs bump or cross into each other? This can sometimes be caused by hips that are too narrow.
- Are the feet planting flat? If they do not, they will cause issues with mesh shoes that do not have an ankle locking script.
- Is the overall body motion moving as it should in real life? Proper bounce, sway and pauses.
Lastly, do not settle for something so stiff that the motions are nothing more than puppet-like. Be lifelike, be animated! There are many different types of walks out there so you are bound to find the perfect one that fits with your outfit.