from left to right: IMVU, Second Life, Sims 2, Frenzoo
I started a little project making a avatar comparison, using simple t-shirts templates from a few well known 3D simulation games and virtual worlds.
Template: Skin Tight Top by Frenzoo
The template is fairly easy to work with and the layout is similar to a long sleeve top sewing pattern. It doesn't include an alpha map for cuts or reshaping If you don't want to go through the process of making multiple cuts (designs), it's a good idea to have one pre-made for future uploads. Overall, a good basic template for new users not familiar with 3D fashion designing.
Price: 24 Frenzoo Coins
The Sims 2
Template: Untuckable Top Mesh by HystericalParoxysm
When I started making personal in-game fashion designs for The Sims 2, HystericalParoxysm meshes were my first choice. This was before learning it was possible and incredibly easy to extract a mesh from the game. A bonus, it's fairly simple to design with. It doesn't come with a UV Map but using the right software and patience, one can be extracted if needed. Unlike the Frenzoo template, the Untuckable Top Mesh includes a bump map for texture and alpha mesh for cutting (reshaping).
Price: Free (template is free but must purchase the game to use!)
Template: Second Life Upper Torso Template by Chip Midnight
This template is the largest out of all 4 and the most helpful for newb designers.I don't know anything about making prims or sculpted items, so the template is very basic and wraps around the avatar skintight.The Upper Torso Template comes with markings indicating different sections of the body (ex. collar, midriff, shoulder...). This was EXTREMELY helpful, otherwise, I would've been making several uploads every 20 minutes. Note: Second Life and Frenzoo templates are similar in design.
Price: 10 $Linden (uploading fee)
Template: EZ Map Top Mesh by Dirili
This was the most expensive out of all 4 to upload. From what I understand, you have to be an active seller ("Pro") to have a low tier level uploading price. IMVU meshes are similar to The Sims 2 templates because alpha maps are used for cuts (reshaping) and some meshes don't include them.
Price: Derivation Cost 286cr + Tier Level price
What do you think? Overall, the easiest for a new designers would be Second Life and Frenzoo starter templates. IMVU and The Sims 2 templates difficulty measure on a similar level. With all templates, they would require a fair amount of practice getting familiar with and finding your "inner designing voice" If you can get past IMVUs preview tool and all its shiny buttons, it gets easier to handle after a couple of tries.
Special Thanks: BriellaDream - Frenzoo/IMVU