Firestorm Has Bakes On Mesh

Image Source: xelerus.de

Firestorm has released an update that includes the new Bakes On Mesh option.  I have updated my viewer, but I haven’t yet had time to play around with how it all works.

However, I have watched a few videos and read a few blogs that have some pretty good explanations.

Elayne over at The Studio has 2 videos about BoM.  The first one explains the difference between the two alphas provided with her mesh head and which one you should use depending on what you’re trying to do.

She keeps the explanations fairly simple and non-technical, which is always helpful, in my opinion.  Lots of people don’t care how it works, they just want to know how to use it.

Elayne also linked to a blog post by Cazimi that has a lot of resource links for BoM at the bottom of it.  Tons of good info there.

I still need to pick up the Maitreya BoM HUD and the nail fixers, but I’m excited to play around with them.  I have a ton of makeup layers and tattoos I used to wear all the time and I’m curious to experiment and see what they look like using the BoM system.

Not having to use a HUD to apply layers to my mesh body would be a HUGE deal for me personally.  I never got into tons of appliers, especially makeup, because it was too overwhelming for me dealing with all the layers of a mesh head.  Plus, I try to be conscious of my personal rendering cost, so wearing things that are easier to render is a bonus as well.

I’m still debating whether to keep my Maitreya body or pick up the SLink Redux body made for BoM.  I don’t know if Maitreya plans to remake their body with fewer onion layers, so the SLink body is tempting.  Except that previous frustrating experiences with SLink hands/feet issues is still recent enough that I don’t know if I want to do that.

On the other hand, if I do pick up the SLink body, I definitely will need to go shopping, as most of my current shoes and clothes are made for Maitreya only.

Hmm, an excuse for shopping – I may have made my decision! 😛

KITTY RANT/ JUST JEZ: What The Fruk?!

I like the way the male body looks as well, but the shopping/wearing system is just ridiculously complicated. I’d rather save my L$ and buy elsewhere than go through this hassle!

jez_002

So, this was going to be a blog post about these absolutely ruddy amazing FRUK ‘Compound Shorts’ that I spotted on Flickr and just had to get for Jez because I knew they would look utterly brilliant (and I was right because they do).   Instead, it’s going to turn into a Kitty-rant. It’s kind of an odd Kitty rant too, because the products that I’m going to explode about (in a manner befitting a Sunday of course), are actually very good indeed.  But they’re also seriously over-priced with a purchasing and styling system that is beyond convoluted. Can you tell what it is yet?

However, before I go on my grumble journey let me tell you about what Jez is wearing because he does look rather grand.  I really do like the FRUK ‘Compound’ shorts because as you can see they’re well-shaped and styled but above all else feature a great texture choice…

View original post 2,396 more words

Skin

SL SkinAfter buying the Maitreya body and playing around with it, my only real concern was that my everyday skin does not have any appliers for it.

I have been wearing a Laqroki skin for as long as I can remember.

I had one skin for a while and then decided I wanted something in a darker skin shade.

I’ve bought other skins over the years, but they just never seemed like ‘me’.

Since Glam Affair was the default skin for the Maitreya body, I went and purchased a skin from them.

But it just didn’t look like me. 😦

So I thought I’d compare some of my skins and see what the differences are.

I took a baseline pic wearing my Laq (mocha tone) skin.

Laq SkinI took off everything except a pair of earrings. 😀

The only real complaint I have about the skin is the mouth.

I always end up with a weird flat area on either side of the bottom lip.

Other than that, I’ve been pretty happy in general with the skin.

It has 10 different makeups and so I have a nice selection of options.

When I went shopping for new skins, it was a bit of sticker shock.

These days, one skin is the same price as what I paid for my entire pack.

Another stumbling block for me has been finding a skin that is close to my current tone.

Everything now seems to run to the (extremely) pale side.

I have a bunch of WoW Skins I’ve collected from various events, so I tried some of them on.

The skins were listed as tan, dark tan, and bronze, so I thought they would be close to my current skin tone.

Wow Greta TanNot so.

This is the tan version of Greta.

Not exactly tan, in my book.

And I’m getting weird shadows all over.

The lips do seem a bit nice than Laq, though.

Maybe dark tan will be better.

Wow Greta Dark TanWell, it’s a little better.

Still not close to my current skin tone.

And still getting weird shadows around my eyes and out from the nose.

I do like the little beauty mark.

Cute, but still not ‘me.’

So I thought I’d try the ‘bronze’ tone.

Wow Greta BronzeHmmmm.

Seems bronze is not darker than dark tan.

Huh.

And still with the weird shadows.

Just FYI, I did not move, change camera position, or do anything to these photos, other than crop and resize.

So, it doesn’t appear that WoW Skins is ‘me’ either.

Since I have the Maitreya body, I went to Glam Affair and tried their skins.

I must say, their skins run to the pale side as well.

GA Asia GiftSince I was finding the new skins so pricey, I went looking to see what I already had.

I found a GA skin in the Asia tone that I picked up somewhere.

Too pale.

Weird shadows out from the nose again.

But loving the lips!!!

After much searching through the various skin tones of GA, I decided that the India tone would be the closest to my current skin.

GA Amberly IndiaMy timing was good, and I managed to pick up the Amberly skin during a FLF sale.

Only $50L for 10 skins, which was a complete steal!

I won’t use the Asia tone ones, but the India tone is close to my current one.

Again, loving the lips.

But I don’t get why the weird shadows coming out from the nose.

I also picked up a Margot skin from GA.

GA Margot IndiaI like the Margot skin a lot.

Just a nice, clean look to it.

I love the brows here.

And though it’s not as dark as I would like, it’s close enough for me to live with it.

Since GA skin appliers are included with the Maitreya body, it seemed like a no-brainer.

Easy skin matching.

Oh, I could try and use the RGB picker to match my Laq skin, but it never seems to look exactly right.

Before I bought the Maitreya body, I was seriously considering the Belleza one.

I might still get it.

I have some Belleza skins, so I pulled them out to see what they looked like.

Belleze Mya PaleAgain, some of them are very pale.

I love, love, love the cat eye makeup on this skin.

And the lips are pretty damn good too.

But still the weird shadows out from the nose.

Or am I just seeing things?

Nice, but too pale for me.

Belleza MimiMimi is slightly darker, but not enough.

A nice, clean fresh look.

But the mouth seems somehow ‘off.’

Weird shadows.

Again.

Well, maybe the Belleza mocha will be closer to ‘me.’

Belleza Shyla MochaI asked for darker, didn’t I?

Maybe this is just a tad too dark.

Sigh.

Well, it’s at least closer.

So I know have a decent option if I decide to get the Belleza body.

And going back and looking over all these skins, it’s amazing to me how much of a difference just changing skins can make.

What skin is your ‘everyday’ skin?

What skin makers do you love?

I Took the Plunge #3

Image Source: www.pinterest.comNow that I have my new body, hands, and feet, I need clothes.

After all, you can’t walk around naked all the time.

Well, I suppose you could.

But I like wearing pretty dresses. 😀

The question is, can I make some of my current mesh wardrobe work with the new mesh body?

I sure hope so, because I own a LOT of mesh clothes.

I thought I had a lot of system outfits, but after searching, I realized that probably 65-75% of my wardrobe is now mesh.

I love a good sale, and a good hunt, and I’ve accumulated some decent mesh clothing because of it.

However, if you don’t yet own mesh clothing, not to worry.

A pretty little lingerie set is included with the Maitreya body.

Maitreya Body LingerieMaireya Lingerie Slink hands feetThe first shot is me wearing the Maitreya hands and feet.

The second one is me wearing the SLink hands and feet.

I think both look pretty good, even without the exact skin match.

The lingerie is pretty, and it keeps you from having to walk around naked. 🙂

But it also has lots of options.

It includes a HUD which lets you change the color of the lingerie and the bows.

Lingerie HUDUsing the HUD, you have a nice variety of choices.

The body also comes with 4 shapes.

I tried them, but I didn’t really care for any of them.

So for now I am keeping my own shape.

But I need to wear more than just lingerie.

Purple Moon recently had a huge Boxing Day Sale and I picked up a few items.

So I decided to try one of the dresses and see if I could make it work.

I just ‘added’ the dress to wear it.

This is what it looked like before I adjusted any of the alphas:

PM Dress No AlphasPM Dress No Alphas BackAs you can see, it isn’t a great fit right out of the box.

My legs are showing through and so is my derriere.

Not exactly the look I was going for.

So, I used the HUD to adjust the alphas for the body.

After making pieces of the legs and butt invisible, I thought it looked pretty good.

PM Dress with alphas frontPM Dress with alphas backNo derriere.

No thighs.

Woohoo!

I might actually be able to wear my new dress with my new bod!

The chest area looked pretty good from a distance, and of course, I wasn’t moving.

So I wondered if pieces or parts would show through close up or when I turned on my AO.

PM Dress Chest Close UpWhen I zoomed in closer, it looked like all my bits were covered properly.

At this point, I was feeling pretty stoked about purchasing the body.

Not only would I get to have some nice curves, I could still use pieces from my current wardrobe!

Of course, not everything will fit as easily as this dress.

However, it IS possible to make mesh items you already own work with the body.

But what about when you move around?

I turned on my AO to see what would happen.

PM Dress AO no alphasWhoops.

My beer belly is showing.

That can’t be good.

And I forgot to wear my shoes.

Must be all the beer.  🙂

But – an easy enough fix.

A few clicks to add a few alphas and . . .

PM Dress AO alphas frontPM Dress AO alphas chestTaa Daaa!!

Perfect fit. 🙂

And as you can see in the second picture, the chest area looks fine.

No bits or pieces poking through, even with my AO on.

If you notice some seams, I am wearing the SLink hands and feet in these pics.

I forgot to change them out for the Maitreya hands and feet.

PM Dress Ribbon AttachedI also was curious if I could use attachments as well.  The dress I have on had a ribbon that attaches to the front.

I ‘added’ it and bam!

At this point I noticed that I was still wearing the SLink hands.

So I changed them out for the Maitreya hands and feet.

Hubs really liked the way it all looked.

So I had to take an ‘artsy’ angled photo.

PM Dress Ribbon Maitreya HandsLook, Ma, no seams!

The hands really do look amazing.

And still no bits poking out, even in a weird angled pose.

Yay!

So, of course, I had to try another outfit.

To do a thorough review.

Because you’re all dying to know, right?

So I found a casual outfit and threw it on.

Casual Outfit no alphasFrom the front, and with no alphas, it looked pretty good.

(Still admiring the hands and feet.)

So I cammed around to see if there were any bits and pieces showing.

Sure enough, there were.

Not big pieces, but still ones that I’d want to fix.

Casual Oufit Side no alphasYou can see my shoulder breaking through the shirt.

And there’s a piece of my thigh breaking through the shorts.

You can’t tell in this angle, but pieces of inner thigh were breaking through in a couple of places as well.

Casual Outfit Shorts AlphasSo, I would need to click some alphas to make adjustments.

A few clicks and I was able to get rid of the thigh showing through.

The shoulder might be a bit trickier.

I tried one alpha cut to see how it worked.

Casual Outfit Shirt 1 alphaUnfortunately, not that great.

One alpha helped, but wasn’t quite enough to hide the shoulder.

So I added the next alpha cut.

 

Casual Outfit Shirt 2 alphasAck.

I got rid of the shoulder poking through, but now I’m missing part of my arm.

So, sadly, this cute t-shirt just doesn’t work with the body.

As I said, it may take some experimenting to see if items you already own will work.

There are three system layers shown at the bottom of the body HUD.

Now, I am new to clothing appliers (because I don’t own mesh boobs or a booty).

So I am still learning how they all work.

I didn’t think anything in my inventory would work as far as system clothing or tattoos without some kind of applier.

And since the Maitreya body is new, I didn’t think there would be many creators who included appliers for it with their clothing.

Hubs wasn’t understanding how the layers all worked, so I demonstrated for him by wearing a pair of system jeans.

Of course, they didn’t show, because the texture would appear on my system avatar, which is hidden by the mesh body alpha.

I don’t have many tattoos, so I didn’t even try those.

I did try a few pieces of lingerie with appliers for other systems, but couldn’t get them to work.

However, the Maitreya body comes with a lingerie outfit from Zaara included.

So I tried it. I wore the HUD.

I clicked the button for the bra and panty.

I then proceeded to do the happy dance. 😀

Omega Lingerie(Ignore the fact that part of my toes are buried in the floor, it’s unimportant.)

What is important is this adorable lingerie set.

There are also stockings and garter belt included in the lingerie set.

How cute is this?

There’s even an on/off button for the stockings to add the texture to your feet.

Easy and convenient.

I was so happy, I had to put on some of my favorite hair and see what it looked like.

Omega Lingerie AmarisHave I mentioned I love the curves of this body?

I am definitely going to have to head over to Zaara to check out the rest of their line.

I need to figure out how to use the Omega applier and see if it works with this body.

I’m still not sure how all of that works, but I am learning.

I love, love, love how this looks.

I can even overlook the mismatched skin tones.

I still look good!

I looked around see what else I could try.

I found one of hubs’ shirts laying on the floor (he’s kind of messy), so I put it on.

BF shirtThe shirt fit perfectly.

No alphas necessary.

I moved around and took a series of pics.

Woohoo!

I tried to think of any other questions or concerns I had about mesh bodies.

Doh!

One of the most important questions – how does it look when you dance?

Dance FrontDance BackPretty awesome, I’d say.

Nice curves.

No distortions that I saw.

Of course, I didn’t try every animation I own.

But for the few dances I tried, everything looked amazing.

Cute legs.

Nice tush.

While I had my dance HUD on, I tried a few poses.

I was looking for a sassy burlesque pose.

I found one, but was a little taken aback.

Here’s what the pose looks like using the system avatar:

System Avi DistortionHideous avatar feet aside, you can see the distortion in the pose here.

The left hip area is distorted, and you can see a bit of that pesky thigh smear.

So I was curious what this pose would look like with the Maitreya body.

I put it on and snapped a pic.

Not the result I was expecting.

Pose distortionYou can see in this pic that the hip area is even more distorted.

The feet look nicer, but the hip area actually looks worse with the mesh body than the system avatar.

Although this discovery was a tad disappointing, I am overall extremely pleased with the Maitreya body.

And knowing that I can make it work with mesh clothing I already own is a huge weight off my mind.

I could always just use my system avatar to wear some of the clothes, but after seeing the mesh body, I’m pretty sure it will become my ‘go-to’ look.

I still have more experimenting to do, and as I learn more, I will post that information.

If you join the Maitreya VIP group, they are currently giving away 3 pairs of shoes that work with the Maitreya feet, in colors that won’t be offered again.

I also want to try flexi-prim attachments and see how well they work.

As always, please feel free to comment and let me know if you found this information helpful. 😀

One last pic:

Gratuitous Shot

I Took the Plunge #2

Image Source: www.pinterest.comIn the last post, I left off wearing the Maitreya body and a preset GA applier that was close to my current skin.

So what’s the next step when wearing a mesh body?

Well, I still need hands and feet.

The Maitreya body says it will work with XS SLink hands and feet (bonus – since I already own those!), but I wanted to try the feet and hands that came with the body first.

The WowMeh body had weirdly skinny ankles, so I was curious to see how the Maitreya feet would look.

The SLink hands are very nice, but many people seem to have problems fitting them and/or matching their skins well, and I often see lines or gaps where the SLink hands join the SL avatar.

So I was also curious to see how the Maitreya hands looked.

You do have to ‘add’ the hands and feet to the body, but once you do that, it’s a breeze to change everything else with the HUD.

Here I am with feet and hands:

Kat Maitreya BodOnce I added the hands and feet, it was a few clicks to apply the right skin preset and some pretty nail polish.

At this point, I have to admit, I stopped and took a few minutes just to admire the body.

Hubs was watching and he, too, was impressed with the way the body looked.

Sure, the skin tone isn’t an exact match, but it is still a damn good looking body.

And it’s mine!

Feeling pretty pumped about my decision to purchase this body, I needed to soldier on.

For my readers, of course.  Not just for myself.  😛

As I was doing 360 cam circles around the body, hubs suggested I take a shot of the back.

Doh!

I forgot to do that with my SL avatar.  But not this time.

Here is the new me from behind:

Kat Maitreya Bod BackWhen I first tried the demo on, I wasn’t sure I liked how the butt of the body looked.

It’s grown on me.

I love the two dimples right above the buttocks.

I think this was hubs’ favorite view.

After a few more moments admiring my new curves, it was time to get back to work.

I’ll get back to the hands and feet in a just a moment.

I thought it might be helpful to put the ‘before’ and ‘after’ shots next to each other, so it would be easier to visually compare them.

So here they are – the ‘before’ and ‘after’:

Kat SL Avi LAQ Skin Kat Maitreya BodThe skin tones are not quite the same, but the boobs are much rounder and perkier.

I’ve lost a little definition between my waist and hips.

And the feet and hands of the new body win, hands down.  (See what I did there?)  😀

My shoulders seem a little curvier.

I’ve lost that weird ankle bulge (thank goodness!).

The legs and arms are much smoother.

Definitely an improvement.

So, back to the hands and feet.

Sure, they look good from far away.  But how well do they stand up when you get close?

Maitreya Feet FrontMaitreya Mid Feet BackThese are pictures of the front and back of the ankle.

See the seam?

Me either. 😀

I have a nice ankle and pretty nail polish.

These pictures are using the mid feet, but the flat and high feet were just as seamless.

Plus, it was only one click of the HUD to change from one set of feet to another.

Yay!

So the feet are clear winners for me.  But what about the hands?

I put them to the close-up test as well.

Maitreya Hands Wrist SeamMaitreya Hands Wrist Seam 2If you look really, really, really closely you might be able to see a seam.

I couldn’t.

Not at all.

Woohoo!

The Maitreya currently only comes with one set of hands.  (These pictures show the short nail length.)

However, I have read that if there is a demand for other hand positions, the creator is open to adding more hands later.

If they do, I sincerely hope you will be able to change the hands from the HUD with one click, like you can the feet.

I’ve made it through so far with only one pair of SLink hands, so I’m not concerned with having only one set.

But options are always good. 🙂

Speaking of options, you can also change the nail length on the hands (like you can with the SLink hands).

Using the HUD, you can change the nail length from short, to medium, to long.

Maitreya Hands Med NailsMaitreya Hands Long NailsI generally leave my nails set to long.

Did I mention I love that you can choose from 19 different polish colors from the HUD?

One click and you can make your nail polish match pretty much any outfit.

Very convenient.

Much faster than searching through my inventory and through all my SLink nail appliers, trying to remember which ones look like what.

Options are good, but convenience counts too.

Ok, so the Maitreya hands and feet are amazing.

But the information with the body says I can wear my SLink hands and feet.  Can I really?

Let’s find out!

I normally wear the medium size SLink hands and feet.  So will they work?

Maitreya Slink Med Flat Feet SeamMaitreya Slink Med Flat Feet Back SeamAs you can see, there is a noticeable seam on the ankle.

Most of this is due to the fact that the skin tones don’t match.

From the front, the ankle seam isn’t horrible.

It is a little worse from the back, but I could probably get away with wearing the feet.

The hands, though.

Maitreya Slink Med HandsAck.

No hiding that gap.

So clearly, the medium SLink hands don’t work, and the medium SLink feet aren’t perfect.

No surprise, since the information says to use the XS size of SLink hands and feet.

I don’t have the GA appliers for the SLink hands and feet, so there will still probably be a seam.

But hopefully there won’t be any gaps like you see with the medium hands.

Let’s find out!

Here are close-ups of the XS SLink feet:

Maitreya Slink XS Feet FrontMaitreya Slink XS Feet BackYou can still see the seam, as I expected.

But the size of the feet matches the size and shape of the ankle.

So if I got the correct appliers to make all the skin tones match, I’m set!

Which means that I can wear not only my SLink feet, but all the SLink shoes!

My SLink shoe collection isn’t huge, but I do often have to wear them as part of costumes when I dance, so having the option is a huge plus.

Now, what about the hands?

Can I get away with those too?

Maitreya Slink XS HandsAgain, the mismatched skin tones create a visible seam.

But with the right appliers, I am definitely able to wear the SLink hands as well.

Yippee!

I hate wasting money (even virtual money) and being able to use my SLink hands and feet is a definite win.

Not to mention the L$ I’ve spent on SLink shoes and nail appliers!

So I’m very happy to learn that I don’t have to just toss all of those items.

However, I can definitely see myself using the Maitreya hands and feet instead, just for the sake of the convenience.

The last couple of items I want to cover in this post are the neck seam and the thigh area.

Because you are using your system avatar head, it’s important that the skin colors match in order to hide the seam between the body and the SL avatar.

I am not using an exact skin match, so of course the neck seam was visible.

See it here:

Maitreya Neck Seam No Fix FrontMaitreya Neck Seam No Fix BackYou can clearly see the seam at the back.

The front seam blends a little better than the back, but is still visible because of the mismatched skin.

However, there is a neck fix option on the HUD.

I looked to see what the setting for body fat was on my shape and then picked the appropriate neck fix.

One click of the HUD.

Again, the fix is visible, but I am confident that once I get matching skin tones, the seam will be invisible, even without the fix.

After I applied the fix, the neck seam looked like this:

Maitreya Neck Seam Fix On FrontWith the fix on, there is a tiny piece that sticks out a bit from my neck.

However, the size of the fix is spot on.

Plus, I think with a different hairstyle, one that falls around the neck and shoulders, much of the seam would be hidden.

I am still debating about skin options, but I am definitely going to play with the RGB settings on the HUD to see if I can find an exact skin match.

If I can do that, then I’m all set!

One of the things that I have always disliked about the SL default avatar is the ugly black smears that appear between the legs.

When you do certain dance moves, those shadows of the skin texture do weird things.

I once stumbled across a supposed ‘fix’ for this – it was an underwear layer texture that was supposed to get rid of the ugly smears.

It sort of worked.

But it was still weird looking.  And I often find myself avoiding certain dances because they have moves that highlight that very unattractive sight.

Brace yourselves.

SL Avi Thigh SmearIt’s hideous, I know.

There’s no way to make that look good.

And when you’re trying to do a sexy, sensual dance – ick.

As I said, I would avoid dances where this area was highlighted.

Also notice the distortion of the right leg and buttock area.

It looks like I have a skin flap or something hanging down off my thigh.

Gross.

Thankfully, with a mesh body, all this is fixed.

Voilá!

No Thigh SmearNo ugly inner thigh smear.

No distortion of the leg or buttock area.

Just smooth curves.

A much, much nicer line overall.

I am completely in love with this body.

I love the overall curves and how it looks.

I don’t even mind the slightly mismatched skin tone.

I’d still wear it, even like that.

So now we’ve seen how the body looks with hands and feet, both the Maitreya and SLink options.

We’ve looked at the neck seam and the problem thigh area.

What’s next?

One of the other big questions I had was whether or not I could wear any of my current mesh wardrobe with the body.

In the next post, I’ll show you how I fared.

As always, please comment away and let me know whether you’ve enjoyed reading these posts and whether the information is helpful to you.

I Took the Plunge

Image Source: www.pinterest.com
Image Source: http://www.pinterest.com

I’ve been hemming and hawing for quite a while about whether or not to get a mesh body.

After doing some comparison shopping and talking with people who already own a mesh body, I finally decided to take the plunge.

I spent most of one evening trying on all the various pieces and parts, and snapping pics as I did.

I’m still not quite clear on how some of it works – there’s a lot more to a mesh body than simply clicking ‘wear items.’

I thought perhaps some of you might be interested in the details.

It will probably take more than one blog post, but I hope to share what I found, what works, what doesn’t, and whether a mesh body might be the right choice for you.

I’ve been looking at mesh bodies for some time.  I had the WowMeh demo and really liked the body, but it was unfortunately removed before I could purchase it.

I’ve tried the demo for the SLink Physique body.  There just weren’t enough alpha choices to make it a practical choice for me, although the fact that it was (obviously) compatible with SLink hands and feet was a plus.

I also tried the demo from The Mesh Project.  Frankly, I found their HUD overly complicated, not user friendly, and generally annoying.  The body itself was ok, but to get any real options, you need to get the deluxe version, which is $5000L.

After finding out a fellow dancer had the Belleza Venus body, I decided to try it out.

Unfortunately, my timing was bad.  I arrived at their sim, was greeted by a giant box warning of griefers, and crashed trying to walk over to get the demo.  I logged back in and managed to get the demo without further incident.

Before I even found time to try out the demo, word came that the body had been DMCA’d and would be pulled until the legal issues were sorted.  Having been bitten once over the WowMeh, I decided to put a mesh body on the back burner again.

A few weeks later I got word that Maitreya would be releasing their mesh body.  At the bargain price of $2750L (half the price of most mesh bodies), I decided I needed to at least try the demo.

I got the demo, tried it, and was generally pleased with it.

But I was still hesitant to purchase.  I had more discussions with people who own mesh bodies and people who, like me, were trying to decide whether to buy now or wait.

Things change so quickly in SL it’s hard to know whether a purchase like a mesh body will be worth it to you.

As I’ve stated before, tossing 3/4 of my wardrobe did not sound appealing at all, nor did mucking about with zillions of appliers for everything.

However, with 2015 fast approaching, a change from my skin/shape choices from 2013 did seem like a good idea.  😀

Because the Maitreya body comes with presets for Glam Affair skins, I headed to GA to find some demo skins and shapes and see if I could find one I liked.

I picked up 3 or 4 shape demos and 4 or 5 skins to try.

I must say, I wasn’t thrilled with any of them.

I didn’t like any of the shapes at all.  Some of the faces were ok, but nothing that screamed ‘Yes! Buy me!’

The skins were kind of a let-down as well.  I have a fairly tan skin tone and I don’t like really pale skins.

The Glam Affair skins run to the pale side.  The ‘Artic’ tone was reminiscent of vampires or frozen ice queens.

The darkest tone ‘Africa,’ was too dark for me. I tried the ‘Jamaica,’ thinking it would be a few shades lighter than Africa, but it was actually a rather pale skin.

The closest tone to my current skin was the ‘India.’  If I buy a GA skin, it will be in that tone.

My main skin maker has always been Laqroki.  Call me old-fashioned, but I love their skins.  I have skins from lots of different makers, but the Laqroki was my ‘go-to’ skin.

I also have one of their shapes, which has been modded several times.  My current shape is the work of Diawa Bellic, who decided one day that I had a ‘boob shelf’ and therefore needed help modding my Laqroki shape.  Three versions later, under her critical eye, I found my comfortable ‘go-to’ shape.

This is my ‘every day’ skin and shape:

Kat SL Avi LAQ SkinI chose to wear an updo hairstyle to show my neck while I was snapping pics of everything.

But this is me.

Ugly-ass system avatar feet, with the weird ankles.

System man-hands, that are forever frozen in that ‘jazz hands!’ position.

Other than the hands and feet, though, I’ve been very happy with my skin and shape and appearance in general.

I probably should have snapped a pic from the back too.

Dang it.

Well, anyway, you get the idea.  This is me ‘before’ the mesh body.

One of the things that was a ‘must-have’ for me was the ability to use my own system avatar head.

There are lots of mesh heads available (I even saw a post today about a mesh head for men), but they aren’t for me.

The mesh heads are pretty, yes, and I get the appeal of being able to put ‘expressions’ on them.

However, I don’t like them.

So the first thing you do when you wear a mesh body is wear that alpha that hides everything of your system avatar except your head.

You look like this:

Base Kat Maitreya AlphaA floating head.

That’s it.

Everything else is hidden.

This is why system clothing doesn’t work with a mesh body.

The system clothing is a texture applied to your system avatar, which is now invisible.

You can wear system clothes, but they too will be invisible.

Now you’re ready to wear the mesh body.

It attaches just like other items (mesh clothing or prim attachments).

After you put it on, you look like this:

Kat Head Maitreya BodyYay! A body!

Umm, where are my hands and feet?

And I got pale.

Ack.

Now what?

Before I go on to the next step, I want to mention that I haven’t changed these pics in any way, other than cropping.

(And adding the ‘censored’ bars.)

But I kept everything else consistent so you can see the differences.

The body comes with a HUD, which you need to wear to access the various options.

The HUD for the Maitreya looks like this:

Kat Maitreya HUD 1Here you can see the Alpha tab of the HUD.

You can use the HUD alpha options to hide various pieces and parts of the body.

I wasn’t really sure what the three options at the bottom (tattoo, underwear, and clothes) were for.  So I skipped them for now. 😀

As you can see, the default skin tone of the body does not match my skin tone.

But at least I have a body now!

Now, how do I make it match my skin?

On the Skin & Options tab of the HUD, there are 10 presets for the Glam Affair skin tones.

I played with them, and found one I thought was pretty close to my current skin.  Not a perfect match, but ok.

I could have spent time using the RGB settings to get a better match, but it was close enough for blogging purposes.  🙂

Here’s me after applying the skin preset:

Kat Maitreya Preset SkinLike I said, not a perfect match, but close enough.

Now that I look like I occasionally see the light of the sun, what’s next?

Hands and feet, of course.

On the Skin & Options tab, there are 19 choices for nail polish (feet and hands are separate).

There are 3 foot options – flat, mid, and high.

There is a ‘neck-fix’ option and preset ‘save’ buttons so you can save your favorite skin tones for quick application.

I pretty much stick with one skin tone (because I’m too lazy to keep changing appliers for feet/hands), so I didn’t use the ‘save’ option.

The Skin & Options tab of the HUD:

Kat Maitreya HUD 2I may go in and play around with the RGB options and see if I can find a closer match to my current skin.

I am happy with the 3 foot options.  Being able to click a button and change foot shape is a god-send.

I hate having to rifle through my inventory and find the right SLink feet to wear with the right shoes.

Much as I love the way the SLink feet look, I often avoid wearing them to avoid the hassle.

I also like being able to just click a button and change my finger/toe nail polish.

I love the SLink polish appliers and all the fun nail polish you can get, but I’m usually so exhausted from finding all the right pieces for the feet and hands that looking for a nail applier is often just not worth the time it takes.

I’ve gotten to where I just leave my polish as the French manicure unless I am dancing and want something specific for a costume.  (Which most people don’t get close enough to see anyway – I’m not even sure I should really bother.)

The next step is to add hands and feet.

However, I think this post has already reached the ‘TL:DR’ stage, so I will continue with the hands and feet in the next post.

Be sure to comment and let me know what you think of this post and whether further posts would be helpful/needed.

Stay tuned!