Mesh Bodies?

Like everyone else, I’ve been looking (and drooling) over the new mesh bodies available.  In a quick search, I found mesh bodies by *KL*, SLink, Belleza, Vika, TheShops, Sking – the list seems endless.  Add to that the endless options – feet, hands, heads, and the whole idea of a mesh body makes my head spin.

New users to SL have the option to get a mesh avatar when they sign up.  But the difficulty in dressing a mesh avatar has caused a lot of stress and confusion and many have questioned whether it’s too confusing for newbies.  So is a mesh body the way to go?

I’ve tried a couple of demos, and I liked them.  But I’m not sure it is worth it.  I tried the SLink Visage heads and loved both of them – lots of options that you don’t get with a regular avatar, like facial expressions.  I liked the way the body looked and LOVED the HUD and the multitude of options it provided.  Plus, it works perfectly with SLink hands and feet, something I’ve already invested in.  I haven’t tried any other demos yet, but from what I’ve seen/read, most of them offer the same sort of options as the SLink body (a HUD with lots of options for adjustments, working with the SLink hands/feet, etc.).

As a dancer/performer, I love the way the mesh bodies look and move – no flat butt when you bend over, no weird shoulder joints when your arms move above your head, etc.

Butt Flat Reg Av
Ack! What happened to my butt?!! (Standard Avatar)


No Flat Butt Mesh Av
Whew! There it is! (Mesh Body)

What I don’t love is how difficult it has been to dress a mesh body.  Previously, finding clothes that worked with each mesh body was no easy task.  In the months since I first tried a mesh body, creators have been working hard at making it easier to use and dress a mesh body.  The SLink body has HUD options for a tattoo layer, underwear layer, and a clothing layer.  Skin creators are making appliers for the new mesh bodies, and with new mesh clothing hitting the grid daily, some of the headaches are going away.

However, there are still some things about mesh bodies that concern me.  I have shied away from using mesh clothing when performing because of the alpha layers that are required.  So a dress looks great if I’m standing still, but when I start dancing, my legs only appear from my feet to my thighs – my hip/groin region is invisible, which always looks odd.  Mesh ‘breaks’ when you move in certain ways – so the skirt appears to ‘rip’ into two pieces when I walk.  Not the look I’m going for.  I’ve seen dancers who use mesh and when they change costumes or remove pieces, pieces/parts of them are briefly invisible because of the alpha layer.  It’s odd to watch someone with no torso (only head, arms, legs visible) dancing.

I’m not sure if using a mesh body and mesh clothing with it will address these issues.  Some of the bodies are rather pricey, so how do you decide which one is the right one?

I’d love to hear if you use a mesh body, which one you have, and why you love it!