Monday, August 06, 2012

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Would You Want to Wear Your Real Head in Second Life?

Real face SL mesh head

Here's a service on the SL Marketplace with a pretty interesting offer: You e-mail the developer a photo of your real head (no glasses or smiling, please!), and voila, your head becomes a mesh object in Second Life which he'll send to you. (Hopefully just not in a box, Se7en style.) Above, what it looks like as done with a photo of Bruce Willis. (Interesting factoid: There actually is an official Bruce Willis avatar in SL, but it doesn't look half as good as the one above.)

"You can wear the head or make whatever you want with it," Franz Strzelecki writes on the Marketplace, explaining his service, then adds somewhat mysteriously, "Each head has a painted hole for the brain, on the back of the skull." (Emph. mine!) I haven't tried this head mastering service out yet, so caveat emptor and such. Then again, at L$500 (less than $2), it's not a high price to pay to bring your head into SL (if you're headed that way).

Check it out here.

Hat tip: Winter Jefferson.

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jjccc coronet (@JJcccART)

the mouth dont work on mesh heads

foneco zuzu

Really it looks like some don't understand Sl is a door to forget about Rl, that is one its charms!

Ricco Saenz

@foneco zuzu: SL is whatever you want... if you want to connect it with your RL, go for it. If not, nice. Freedom is the word.

@jjccc coronet: I guess the eyes won't blink, either.

Dave Bell

I have seen similar tools for more general-purpose CGI, and this may be using such technology. But getting a detailed mesh is tricky, and I wonder if this is essentially a photo being wrapped around a basic head shape, that has decent UV mapping.

At the price, it's a good deal if you want a real face, and no big deal if it doesn't work.

People know my AV, I don't see much reason to change. I might change some things but my face? Real or not, my face in SL is me.

Hamlet Au

"if you want to connect it with your RL, go for it. If not, nice. Freedom is the word."

Thank you! I live in San Francisco and Hawaii, I love real life just fine. But San Francisco and Hawaii don't have badass steampunk cities and shit, that's where SL shines.

Adeon Writer

Let the record be shown that I'ma do this.

Adeon Writer

Oh and meshes can move mouths and blink. The furries had that down before mesh was even launched. :)

Hamlet Au

Adeon, want to send me a screenshot of your SL head compared to a photo of your RL head?!

Seven Overdrive

It looks creepy to me, like a wax figure. Will the eyes blink and move?

Damien Fate

I believe Adeon meant that meshes in general which can have mouths and blink, which isn't really true anyway unless you mean the eyelids and mouths are not rigged the normal way, and are separate objects that can move on command.

I highly doubt these heads will have mothing mouths or eyes, but I did email the creator asking if he will provide the obj + texture upon purchase and he responded with a yes.

So, I'm being brave and ordering one, heck for just L$500 even if I don't like the results it would be good for a laugh and I could touch it up myself later.

Depending how it looks I'll share those results XD

Winter Jefferson

The creator has 2 "demo" heads for sale; a Leo Di Caprio and George W Bush, both for 1l. I bought both purely for shits and giggles. I can confirm there isn't any blinking or emotes going on, its a single mesh object.

This being said, its pretty hard to beat the reactions you get walking around Vintage Fair as Pink Hentai Dubya.

Damien Fate

If you're interested in typical results from this process, you can view my mug here: http://www.plurk.com/p/h0ycnn

It's good for the price and a laugh, but the texture quality is very poor,only 512x512 and most of the face UV area is small compared to the rest, plus only the front picture is sourced.

A good thing to know is that you do get the obj and textures, so you can touch it up yourself - which I plan to do. Will probably do another comparison then.

Ricco Saenz

Isn't there a similar service with skins? Then your eyes would blink and your mouth would work

Gwyneth Llewelyn

Interesting :) Although it would be much nicer to have an avatar head and not a mesh head, even if this has more polygons than the standard avatar mesh (I haven't checked). At L$500 it's a bargain, though!

To do relatively realistic heads from just a headshot and a profile shop, I did some tests with FaceShop: http://www.abalonellc.com/faceshop-pro.html — it costs much more than L$500, though. Mapping onto a SL avatar head mesh is tricky, but I managed to do so — and then gave up, since the results were creepy! It requires a lot of post-processing in Photoshop to get it look as good as what this article shows.

With an .obj and the texture I'm sure people will be able to redo the mesh and adapt it to a SL avatar head. It shouldn't be TOO hard! And much more useful...

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