If you open your Avatar menu, as the spinning preview avatar's render queue is changed (to e.g. 5000) to make it show on top of the menu, your own avatar's materials (as well as anyone else wearing that avatar) are changed to the same high render queue.
This causes a few problems:
- Transparency sorting breaks for your avatar relative to the world and relative to others: you may always show on top.
- Your avatar no longer receives shadows (Unity's documentation defines shadows (and _CameraDepthTexture) to work on render queue 2500 or lower. Hence changing render queue breaks this). This can cause your avatar to appear too bright in some worlds after opening the menu
- In addition to the spinning preview, your own avatar also appears on top of the menu. With some unusually shaped avatars, this can make opening the menu to switch avatars extremely challenging.
This broke around when memory leak fixes were put in. Presumably this led to having the menu preview share materials with your own avatar.
I was expecting to find a canny on this but I never reported it until now and nobody else reported it. I regularly have to answer questions like "Why did X break after I opened the menu?" where X = (some feature needing camera depth/shadowcaster) so I know I'm not the only person affected.