With New Mesh Lips Making Waves, There's No End In Sight For Second Life's Mesh Avatar Enhancement Craze
Mesh heads, mesh ears, mesh hands, mesh feet, mesh eyelashes and eyelids, mesh breasts, mesh butts...The ways in wish we augment our avatars with sculpted and mesh attachments seem limitless these days, and just when you think everything's been done, there's something new on the market.
Loud.Mouth mesh lips (which you can pick up in world) are starting to catch on, and they present a pretty tempting compromise between the rather busted default avatar faces, and mesh heads that hide your avatar's face completely. Instead of replacing the whole face with a mask owned by thousands of other avatars, pop on an enhancement that improves the look of one of the most noticeable facial features and leaves the rest as it is. Given the success of many other recent mesh attachments, it makes sense that skin designers and makeup makers alike are already producing texture appliers to ensure that the Loud.Mouth lips will match their products seamlessly, including VERSHE, whose eye-catching ad is pictured above.
So that's it. For real this time. We're all out of things to enhance, right?
Not even close.
Take a moment to honestly think about every problem you've ever noticed with the default Second Life avatar. In case you don't know, this avatar's skeleton most closely resembles a Poser 2 model, and like Poser 2 models it has hand and face morphs instead of full animation/articulation in those areas.
Poser 2 came out 17 years ago, in 1996.
There's plenty of room for improvement. How about noses? The Second Life avatar nose tends to pinch and distort when you move the values too low, so why not replace it all together? The tear-ducts of an SL avatar's eyes are oftend very sharp and unnatural looking, why not round them out? And what about the avatar's back? It's quite flat and unappealing but for the razor-sharp shoulder blades that crumple inwards or ut outwards depending on your position. For that matter, Second Life knees and elbows fold about as well as plastic straws. What about a toned tummy? Jutting hipbones? It's only a matter before one or more of these catch on.
It begs the question: Why not just wear a mesh avatar and be done with it? Well, I think the Loud.Mouth lips highlight why that's a less appealing prospect for some than replacing things piece-by-piece. By picking and choosing you have a lot more control over preserving what you consider your avatars most unique features. You can feel more unique than you might with a mesh head and/or body, and that feeling is crucial to keeping fashionistas reaching for their appliers.
Either way you'd better buckle in, because I don't think the mesh attachment trend is even close to exhausting itself.
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Iris Ophelia (@bleatingheart, Janine Hawkins IRL) has been featured in the New York Times and has spoken about SL-based design at the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan and with pop culture/fashion maven Johanna Blakley.