Smart Shopping: Get the Right AO for You

PLEASE NOTE: Please try the demo's inworld for all AO’s.  And when I say try I mean really play with them. 

What is an Animation Override or AO: Watch this youtube video here. to learn more
Essentially, it allows your avatar to not look like its standing and walking like it has a stick up its ass!  lol

Oracul AO AD 
So, I was once like most of you and made a couple (okay more than a couple) not so great AO purchases in SL that cost me quite a bit of Linden.  It was annoying to say the least.  One minute my avi was fine and then the next thing I know she starts doing a booty dance and smacking her ass like she’s a stripper.  “Hmmm, I don’t remember seeing that part of the animation!”  I would get fed up with my avi constantly looking like she has ants in her pants or like she has to pee really badly.  And I know many of you out there feel the same.  But it isn’t just the creators who are to blame, no way, its us, the buyers not thoroughly testing these AO’s out.  Below are some tips on how to select the best AO’s as well as basic reviews for some of the AO stores I have come across.  I have also included SLURLs to the stores I review so you can go take a look for yourself.  Please keep in mind that we all have different styles we are trying to achieve.  I will never ever knock one creator over another (unless for good reason).  What is my cup of tea might not necessarily be yours.

AO Shopping Tips:

·        Watch the FULL animations.  This means the whole 20-60 seconds per stand and then walks, dances etc. The biggest mistake I see others make is only trying each pose/stand in a demo for maybe 10 seconds or less and then skipping on to the next.  Many do not even go through all stands, walks, sits, dances, etc.  This is bad and will lead to an unwanted purchase!  I know, I used to do this very thing and have some AO’s that just are not for me.
·        Plan on making it a long shopping trip.  This shouldn't be a 10-15 minute excursion.  AO’s can get very expensive and if you don’t want a regrettable purchase then take your damn time.  This goes along with watching the full animations.
·        Are there youtube videos provided?  Watch those!  It is one thing to demo each individual piece but it’s a whole ‘nother ballgame to actually see how fluid the AO can be.  An example of this is a purchase of a very expensive AO from a creator who I was told is one of the best in SL.  While I love the AO the stands are not fluid and my avi kept going into stick up the butt mode (what I call non-AO avi stands) in between stand animations.  It got so annoying I had to get another.  An issue like this would be fully evident in a video demo of the AO.  Unfortunately, this creator does not provide videos but they do provide free updates!  So who knows, this issue may be fixed in the future.
·        Price does not always indicate quality.  That’s right, yes some of the best AO’s are expensive but there are some AO’s that are reasonable cost and are top quality.  You just have to really play around with what you get.
·        Ask around in groups.  This is a gem of an idea and you will get lots of responses from others with their honest review and opinions.  This has helped me tremendously in my search for good mesh clothing, big boobie and big butt friendly AOs.

Here are some shops I have purchased AO’s from (not just demoed).  I will also list the AO’s purchased and my review of such AO’s.  Remember, this is just my opinion.  I know these creators work very hard on their products.  Some just suited me more than others.  A common complaint I will address is the walks and runs for many female AO’s.  OMG, these are mocap right?  Who the hell walks and runs like some of these AO’s?  So many runs for females make me look like a prissy little girl who doesn’t want to get her hands and feet wet or I look like a damn prancing horse!  Heelllooooo, most people don’t look that stupid when they run.
·        Akeyo Animations – This is an SL favorite it seems and for good reason.  The animations for the AO’s I have demoed are beautiful.  There are few AO’s to pick from but what is available are nice.  The cost is about 1900L so it is on the higher end of pricing.  There is a free male and female Nano AO available for new avi’s.  With that said I only own 1 of their AO’s while my friends own some of the others.  We all seem to have similar likes/dislikes concerning this brand. Their AO’s seem to have the standard girls run like sissy girls or walk really odd animations and no other options for regular walks and runs.  For 1900L I better get some better options.  I most recently purchased the Giana Wild AO for big boobies.  It is a great AO, very subtle and sexy and so beautiful, but it has a major issue, the stands aren't fluid when they switch.  It drove me insane.  But all their products get free updates (a major plus!) so maybe this will be addressed in the future. 
Mimi AO Ad
·        Vista Animations – I love this AO store but like all the others you have to watch the entire animation!  Some are up to 60 seconds.  If you watch only 10 seconds of a stand you will miss the part where your avi will start air gyrating her hips and smacking her booty at 45 seconds in.  (lol)  The best AO’s I own I have purchased from here and various alt’s I use have their main AO from here.  They offer busty friendly AO’s and mesh clothing friendly versions too.  I almost never have this AO conflict with animations from other sources, which is another plus though I still turn my AO off just in case.  The cost is from very low 250L to 1900L high end AO’s.  Vista also has the added benefit of having youtube videos of their AOs.  Some of the AO’s I own from there that I highly recommend are the Sensual Woman AO, Most Wanted AO, Rachel AO (my current most used AO), and the Divine Girl AO. 
·        Oracul/Kuso – This is the best place for newbies or alt’s to get AO’s.  Oracul makes some wonderful AO’s for a real low cost, 300L with individual animations going for 10L each.  I still come to Oracul to get add-on’s to my other AO’s.  My go-to AO is the Orga Beat for all my alt’s.  One thing to keep in mind is that this is not the place to go for cutting edge, new AO’s.  It seems that what they have is what they have.

Tutys Burlesque AO Ad
·        Tuty’s – This place is a hit or miss.  Why?  Because these AO’s go from subtle to so over the top it’s embarrassing.  Unless that is what you are going for.  If you are looking for an AO for a theme like Geisha, Glam, Model, Drunk, Yoga, etc then this is the place to go.   Of all the stores here this is one where I highly recommend you test out the AO’s.  Take your time here.  Most of these are not subtle AO’s.  Many are exactly what they are named after and nothing less.  For example, the Candy Girl AO is super duper sexy cute but over the top like bending over, getting down to your knees, sticking your booty out any chance you can get sexy.  It is in no way subtle. The same goes for a few others I have purchased: The Wildcat, Pin-Up Doll, & Hot & Dirty to name a few.  With that said I own some wonderful AO’s from here and they are all only 350L each! They also offer both a priority 3 & 4 version of all their AO’s so you do not have to worry about animation conflicts while wearing these most of the time. I learned after making 4 not so good purchases from here that I needed to take my time if I chose to shop at Tuty’s. Some of my favorites include the Lonely & Shy Girl AO, Shy Girl AO for Boobies, Brooklyn Girl for Boobies, Dainty Girl AO, Sensual AO and Lonely Girl AO.
·        Gaeline’s Animations – This is another place that can be a hit or miss and the price of the AO is much higher than Tuty’s.  There are a variety of AO’s to fit various personality types and situations.  They have AO’s from the sensual, smart and feminine to the fantasy fairy and even a cellphone AO.  Their lower end AO’s are their older AO’s and I tend to like a few of those better than the newer ones. :X  Yeah, I am weird.  I am a real big fan of their Lovely Girl AO 2 & 3 and the Cute Girl AO (which can be obtained free through their Mania board).  These range from 600-750L.  Their newer AO’s range from 1000-1500L+.  I only own one of their newer AO’s and it is the Smart Girl AO.  I love it and use it when I want a more glamorous or elegant AO that is subtle and sexy.  I have demoed many of their other AO’s and find that they are to “fidgety” for my tastes.
·        SEMotions – Again, this is another hit or miss.  They have a wide variety of choices but the names of the AO’s do not always give you an idea of what exactly they are supposed to represent.  For example the Lucky Girl AO. Umm, what exactly is a "lucky girl" and how does she move? You really have to demo these ones as they are not cheap.  These range from very subtle to super fidgety (at least for me).  I am not a big fan of AO’s that have me pacing long distances or in circles constantly.  I have purchased a few that do just this and have had some buyers remorse.  Really watch these animations all the way through as what might seem sublte will turn into a long animation of constant pacing and fidgeting.  That said I have 2 specific AO’s from here that I love dearly: Infinity AO and the Naughty AO.  Infinity is an older AO.  Those are on sale for a really good deal!  The Naughty AO is a higher end AO and cost me about 1400L.  If I want to look naughty then I use this one.  I was hesitant as other naughty AO’s are just way too much but not this one!  One thing to keep in mind is that all of these AO’s have to be priority 4 (I am taking a wild guess as they do not specify) as they override 90% of any animation.  You always have to turn off these AO’s and there are no options for a lower priority animated version.  These AO’s all have free updates which are a major plus!
·        Abranimations: The last place I have an AO from is Abranimations.  Abranimations is very popular and I do love many of their fun animations like the fire dancing and breathing.  I am not a huge fan of their dancing animations (many seem odd too me) and not that big of a fan of their AO’s.  With that said, I can see why many do love their AO’s.  I had a bunch of their free AO’s and enjoyed using them.  They no longer have the table of free AO’s which is a bummer.  I do own their Mood AO for female avis.  I like this AO.  It has tons of animations, not all I like, but the features on this AO are simply awesome and I like how I can express how I feel on a whim.  One thing that this AO fails at, like many of the others do, is the dang girly, odd walks and runs and some poses are simply way over the top.  There is a video for this AO.  I suggest you watch it along with their other videos to see if this and any of their other AO’s are right for you.  This AO along with their others range from 900L – 1900L+. 

There are many other AO shops out there.  I have visited others and have found the above shops to have at least 1 AO I liked or desired.  Just take your time AO shopping and I know you will find the AO or AO’s that fit your personality, mood or roleplay.