Prim Perfect "How To" Guide:
Issue 2: Advice for Newcomers: Picking Your Poseballs
Poseballs are the little balls you will find, often suspended above furniture like chairs or beds. You right click on them to bring up the wheel of choices, and then frequently get the instruction in the upper left "Sit here" - even if what you'll be doing is lounging or even lying. Selecting that option will lift your avatar in the air and position them accordingly on the chair, bed or whatever.
Poseballs are animation scripts attached to pieces of furniture that control the way your avatar behaves. They can be static, or they can have a certain pattern of movement built into the script. Just as a danceball (really, just another form of poseball) can control the way your avatar dances in a club, so a chair poseball can have you avatar sitting still or moving restlessly, watching another person, leaning forward to rest your elbows on the table in front of you ... etc etc.
Do you want the movement? Well, it's up to you. Sitting quite rigidly in a chair feels (and looks) somewhat unnatural, but so too does turning to nod at someone's conversation when, in fact, you are sitting on your own admiring the sunset! But poseballs and their uses are the reason that when you are in a furniture shop, it's actually important to try out the furniture you are planning to buy!
One thing you might notice is that sometimes, even though you are trying out chairs in two widely different stores, the poseballs give you identical animations. This is because that not all designers create their own scripts. Just because you're a talented designer, it doesn't mean that you're a hotshot script writer - and many designers buy scripts in.
Some designers stay with a simple "Sit" command for their poseballs. Others might make this more elaborate - especially if they have varied the poses (three different ways of sitting on a settee for example. Some give fun instructions (Baron Grayson and Sue Stonebender have some amusing ones; so too does Isabella Lazarno). Some use the wording to show the particular item of furniture has a special purpose - Sofia Standish does this with her "meditate" cushions - which contain a lovely fun meditation animation. Some conceal all words - and let the poseball speak for itself.
Of course, it is possible to conceal the poseball in the furniture itself. But there are quite often good reasons for leaving it on display. For example, some poseballs are gender specific - perhaps because they are 'cuddles' (or even sex), or perhaps just because women don't want to sit with their legs spread wide open. That's why you'll often see poseballs colour coded to gender, or with a '-m' or an '-f' attached.
All this means that when it comes to choosing your furniture in SL, it's not enough to go by looks alone. No matter how well a chair or a table or a bed is designed, no matter how rich and vivid the textures, if the animations are poor, you may well find yourself the proud possessor of good-looking furniture that you can't use, or having to buy additional animations just to be able to sit down properly!
Yes, it is possible to change poseballs on most pieces, but it is a slightly advanced skill (which we'll be covering in a later edition of the magazine). When you are starting out buying furniture, it's better just to make sure the pieces that you buy come with poseballs you are happy with.
One thing that female avatars especially need to look out for is the fall of their prim skirts. Sometimes you might be able to get away with a chair that lets your skirts fall straight to the ground, while your legs are exposed in their glitch-panted glory. At other times, it could be downright embarrassing ...
So ... when you visit a furniture store, ignore the strange looks you might get and take a seat, or lie down on the bed.
Although there are some beds that you might need to test in the privacy of your own home!