Tuesday, July 08, 2014

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Iris Wants to Know: Do You Totally Love or Utterly Hate Your Second Life Mesh Avatar Enhancements?

Snow Rabbit Nea 1
Janine "Iris Ophelia" Hawkins' ongoing review of gaming and virtual world style

Now that mesh bodies are starting to cement their place on the list of must-have items for many virtual fashionistas, it seems like the piece-by-piece conversion of Second Life avatars from outdated vanilla models to mesh-enhanced creations that would be at home in any modern game is essentially complete. Heads, hands, feet, lips, ears, eyelids, butts, boobs, bodies... Even I'm rarely willing to take off my animated mesh head from Snow Rabbit, though it's not the most popular (or flexible) mesh head on the market any more.

For many (including myself) mesh enhancements like these offer the opportunity to augment avatars and smooth over rough edges. For others however, they're just a pain in the polygonal backside. They're expensive, they can be quite fiddly to adjust, and they come with a boatload of compatibility concerns. Sometimes it can certaily seem like a lot more trouble than it's worth.

So here's what I want to know: Do you love your mesh enhancements, or loathe them? Would your sooner die than wear them, or not be caught dead without them? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Mixed reality iris 2013Iris 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.

Comments

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Kitty Revolver

Honestly I find them not flexible enough or at least the bodies. Slink did a very good one but there aren't enough alpha points thus leaving giant holes in the mesh. This could be solved by sizing up however bigger sizes make the scale look awkward (ie wearing a medium on a xs body). I went back to using my own body (the sl av) to solve that problem because the alpha layers are pinpoint in line with the mesh clothing.

Slinks hands and feet are great improvements.

I bought Lolas on a whim.

My skin designer doesn't make the visage appliers for my face, but I would only switch to a mesh head if my own face was intact.

Sansarya

I like the mesh bodies I've tried (WowMeh, Slink, Mbody), but my laptop graphics aren't the best so I see these lines that cross the belly, neck, etc. so they're not great for photos for me at present. I have four or five kinds of mesh breasts, too, but all the appliers are kind of tedious to locate and click, so I rarely wear them. Also worry about script sizes in all the mesh parts, so I'm unlikely to wear any of them off my own land. I'm pretty much married to my Slink hands and feet--I don't leave home without them.

Sansarya

I like the mesh bodies I've tried (WowMeh, Slink, Mbody), but my laptop graphics aren't the best so I see these lines that cross the belly, neck, etc. so they're not great for photos for me at present. I have four or five kinds of mesh breasts, too, but all the appliers are kind of tedious to locate and click, so I rarely wear them. Also worry about script sizes in all the mesh parts, so I'm unlikely to wear any of them off my own land. I'm pretty much married to my Slink hands and feet--I don't leave home without them.

Pussycat Catnap

I'm a part time furry so wearing attachments and modding things to work around issues is something I'm long used to.

For my neko look I do now sport the slink feet because of the clawed nails option. An alt has the hands but I have yet to do that on Pussycat.

I've tried the slink body on an alt and found it didn't have ideal alphas and also lacked enough dimension to the nipples.

Slink closes their applier system so I can't make my own appliers for skins I own as one can do for all of the various bosom attachments - which means unless the brand of skin I use gets on board, I won't be on board.

As for bosom items, Lolas has a new one just out that is fitted AND normal sized. I've said this a dozen time, but I might finally get that attachment now. If not for myself than for an alt.

An alt does use the Uluckie 'cutie booty' which is normal sized but with a slightly more defined curved and a more smooth curve, and is fitted mesh.

Mesh heads are a not worth it for me, as they all end up having the same features, and thus far those are all also the same ethnicity...

- With furries I've grown used to that same exact problem with everyone having for example, the same cat head. But this is less of a problem with animal heads than it is with human heads. Human eyes don't tend to see the difference in facial features of different animals of the same species, if they are there... just the different fur patterns.

But two identical faces on humans gets noticed, and only occurs in twins.

Eddi Haskell

I do not hate mine but it is really hard to photograph fashion shots and close up with mesh eyes. They do not look right, and they look cross-eyed half the time. I make my models take them out half the time and put regular eyes in. Also it is hard for me to blend skin tone for hands and feel sometimes. I find myself having to airbrush with Mesh much more than not and airbrushing in photoshop is not one of my favorite things to do.

irihapeti

since I discover hands and feet I am now convinced

with feet I always wanted toes. But more than toes I didn't want lumpy ankles

same with hands. I get so I dont have lumpy wrists anymore

+

dont really much care about the rest. Altho I dont particularly like how the middle area goes ugly when animate sometimes. I think about it sometimes but havent made the mindshift yet to accepting wearing a prosthetic bum and other unmentionables (:

Alicia Chenaux

I adore my mesh hands and feet. I don't like the shape of the mesh breasts, and have noooo desire for a mesh butt. I'll be happy enough to stick with my hands & feet until tons and tons of better clothes are made for the mesh body.

Tracy RedAngel

I never take off my Slink hands or feet. I just don't need to. I probably won't bother with a mesh head because there's not enough customization options, and I'm pretty happy with my default head.
I do like the Slink body quite a bit. I think the alpha hud needs more work, but Slink is probably going to update that, because they've received quite a bit of feedback. Even with the alpha hud limitations, I've found a lot of my summery clothes work nicely. If I'm wearing jeans, jackets, or other clothing that covers up more I don't see the point in wearing the mesh body.

darlingmonster ember

Honestly the mesh enhancements take a lot of work.

Support for skins is a juggling act. Matching outfits to mesh bodies is still only just 'out of the gate'.

If you dedicate yourself to the improvements (hands, feet, boobs, or otherwise), it is worth it. You become more your own vision and 'own your look'. But the energy/effort involved is much much higher than tweaking the standard avatar.

That said, I often have tons of prims and sculpts added to my look. I have a dozen ear types and 20 skins to match. Most of that is not mesh.

Arcadia Codesmith

I regard it all as a kludgy work-around for the crappy, obsolete default model, and I'm not buying any of it until LL fixes what's broken. I resent giving money to a third party to fix something that's the Lab's responsibility to make right.

On a completely related note, Maxis just released the Sims 4 Character Generator...

Imagin Illyar

I've been wearing Slink mesh hands for a while and do like them. Yesterday I tried the new Slink mesh body. I do like it but I won't wear it until my skin maker comes up with an applier for it. The mesh body is really good but I don't like the skins that come with it nearly as much as my LAQ skin.

2014

As a guy, we are limited. The Slink hands and feet are great. Outside of those we just don't have much. There are a few mesh heads, which aren't bad, but I'm not a fan of them at all. There are a couple full mesh bodies, but the proportions on them are horrible. Either the hands are to big, they head is to big for the body, or its height is that of 2007 avatars, HUGE.

zzpearlbottom

I love mesh bare feet and my old lola's tango. Also cant pass without my mesh nails.
And i will include mesh hair.
But i pass on mesh bodies, mesh heads and mainly in any that i can't mod and remove scripts.

Sinead McMillan

Not a single day without my fitmesh WowMeh, since vers. 2.7.
(I am on 3.1 now, more to come.)

Complete the look with Slink hands & feet, mesh nails and eyes + some private attachment and you're good to go.

Motoko Henusaki

If complete (although modular) bodies count as attachments — I love mine, and will not be changing it unless something comes along that works better for depicting who I am in SL.

CronoCloud Creeggan

/me waves to Miss DME of Caledon.

I wear hands and feet, but I'm not currently doing the any mesh bodies. It's all kludges as has been said.

I dislike mesh heads, especially the snow rabbit one. Yeah sure if one is a cosplay loving Japanophile in SL..yeah you'll love looking like a 12 year old Japanese girl. But for anyone else...meh. The head looks out of place with the fashions many wear with it.

Arwyn

I dislike purchasing mesh body parts because I know that they'll become outdated and all the things I've bought to be compatible with them will be wasted. When I know for sure that something isn't going to last, I don't take much interest in investing in it. Eventually the updates will end and we'll all move on to the next best thing. While I own mesh feet and a Toddledoo body, I usually wear the feet barefoot and the body with on a few select outfits I've opted to purchase for it.

Pussycat Catnap

For the folks who don't care for mesh boobs; can you really say the RL ones look at all like the default avatar's shape?

This used to frustrate me to no end back when I ran around sans-clothes on my avatar a lot.

These days there are many different brands of mesh boob. Most of the fitted ones can be made normal sized. Several, almost half, come normal sized by default.

BUT they all come in different shapes. Just like RL.

Right now I'm torn between the new offering from lolas, and the cherry bombs. Radically different shapes that both seem drawn from real life.


For the mesh butts... sit down. Not look at how poorly the butt of the default avatar has bent itself in that sit pose. Now try it with a mesh butt demo? If it still looks bad try another brand. If you hit the right brand (u l u c k i e)... it will finally look 'real' when you sit down.

I actually prefer using my faun avatar if I'm going to be sitting here and there because she looks less dorky...

On matching tones with mesh eyes and hands and feet: that's just people using props that lack appliers for their skins... or with the eyes, using low quality mesh eyes.

I wouldn't ever take of my FATE eyes now that I've got them and see how they are 3D even on the inside... I just wish they were lower script. I need to delete the scripts out of a copy or something (I forget if they're mod or if I had to mod them with the HUD... if they are MOD, I need to do this ASAP...)

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