Bakes On Mesh Series – Part 4 (SLink Redux & Final Thoughts)

It’s the final installment of this Bakes On Mesh series.  When I decided to write about my experiences with BOM, I thought I’d get one or two posts out of it.  Turns out it was more intensive than I thought – and I didn’t even cover everything! This last post will cover using the SLink Physique Redux body bundle and some final thoughts.

After all my testing with the Maitreya body, I decided to try out the SLink Redux body, since it was specifically made for BOM.  I put on the body and since I was still wearing the Glam Affair Margot skin on my system avatar, it applied that to the Redux body parts.

The head looked okay, since I was still wearing the LeLutka head.  So I just needed to check out the hands and feet.

Here are the hands as they appear with the Glam Affair skin. You can see that the nails from the system skin show under the mesh nails.

As mentioned before, included in the Redux body bundle is a fix for the hands and feet.  Here are the hands with the fix added.  You’ll notice that the shading is off – you need to tint the fix to match whatever skin you’re wearing.

The tinting is easy – I just used the color picker and matched it by eye, but of course you can find the RGB of whatever skin you’re wearing so that it will match exactly.  Keep in mind, your lighting may affect how the fix looks.

Ta-da!! Perfect hands.  Now for the feet!  The feet without any fix applied:

Again, you can see that the nails from the skin don’t match up with the nails on the mesh feet.  After wearing the included fix layer for the feet:

You can see that the nails on the feet look much better.

Now that I knew the hands and feet looked good, I turned to playing around with some of the system layer clothing I still had floating around in my inventory.  The Redux HUD also has a few things to help with issues that might arise with using system layer clothing on a mesh body.  There are buttons on the HUD that let you turn the nipples of the body on and off, as well as smooth out clothing so it looks better when applied to a mesh body.

System layers follow the UV map of the system body, so clothing that in real life would stretch across your chest, for example, may ‘sink’ weirdly when applied to your mesh body.  SLink has thoughtfully provided a button to help with this issue.

Here is a pic of a system layer shirt applied – notice the area between the breasts, where the shirt appears to be tucked behind them.

Using the smoothing button in the HUD, you can smooth the area so that the fabric looks more realistic.

You can do the same thing with two other buttons – one for your rear end, and one for that pesky camel toe! The difference is subtle, but often those subtle details make a huge difference.

I tried several other outfits, including this old system layer dress. There is a mesh panel for the dress, but the shirt and pant system clothing layers applied without a hitch.

Once I was happy with the hands and feet and I had a handle on how everything worked, I decided to try a complete outfit – with shoes and hair!

After going through everything, I realized that I had forgotten to test the rendering cost of the Maitreya/LeLutka combo versus the SLink Redux/LeLutka combo.  After all, the whole point of BOM was to try and reduce the rendering load on your computer by getting rid of extra mesh layers.

Now, I expect the Maitreya to be heavier, because the body hasn’t been updated for BOM.  So the onion layers are still there, they just aren’t being used.  I was curious, so I went back and did some testing.

Wearing the Maitreya body and LeLutka head, my render weight/ARC was 25,262.  If I remove the hair and shoes (which are mesh attachments and add to my ARC), the ARC drops to 19,772.

Wearing the SLink Physique Redux body and LeLutka head, my ARC was 21,890.  If I remove the hair and shoes, the ARC drops to 16,400.  So the Redux body is less ARC, as expected.  Keep in mind that ARC isn’t exact, and sometimes removing things in a different order will change the ARC you get.  However, I am happy with the way both the Maitreya and Redux bodies look.

I can’t wait to dig out some of my old system layer clothing and start playing around with different looks!!  If you haven’t given BOM a try – you should.  I hope this series was helpful in explaining how some of it works.  Thanks for reading!

Bakes On Mesh Series – Part 3 (Hands and Feet)

Whew! I can’t believe it’s Part 3 of this series already!  So much information – and I still think I missed some points, but covering everything would make this series even longer, so I’ll just stick to the plan.

This time, I’d like to take a look at how BOM works with hands and feet.  As I mentioned in the previous post, it’s a known issue that BOM can cause problems with hands and feet, particularly around the area of the fingernails and toenails.

Original system skins were created using the system avatar.  (Remember the hideous club feet and the permanent jazz hands?)  Because of this, when you apply old system skins to mesh hands and feet, they don’t usually match up.

Here’s a picture of the Glam Affair Margot skin and how it looks with the Maitreya mesh hands.

You can see the nails of the skin under the mesh fingernails.  Not a great look.  There are some workarounds, though they are not all perfect either.  One option is to buy tintable BOM layers (usually gloves and socks) that you can tint to match your skin.  There are a ton of them available on Marketplace, so just do some searching.  I bought the fix from SmitCo and tried them.

Here is a pic of the fix layer around the fingernails before I tinted them.  You can see that the nails look slightly better, even though the skin isn’t the right color yet.

Here is a pic of the fix after a quick tint (I didn’t take the time to go find the RGB value of the skin I was wearing, though of course your match will be better if you do that).  Not bad, and certainly not as noticeable as in the first picture.

Since I had already purchased the SLink Redux body bundle, I knew that a nail fix was included.  I decided to try it, knowing that it was made for SLink mesh hands, not my Maitreya ones. It was better, but still not great, because the nail beds didn’t line up on the pinky or index fingers.

So I still need a better fix if I’m going to use my Maitreya body with BOM and old system skins.  Keep in mind, as creators begin making new skins specifically for BOM, this issue will hopefully be addressed.

The same issue occurs around the feet.  Here’s a look at my Maitreya feet with just the Glam Affair skin using BOM.

Not attractive.  So I tried the tintable layers from the SmitCo fix I bought.  However, I could not get them to tint.  They were a grey color and I couldn’t get them to change to anything else.

I’m not sure if it’s an issue with the layers, or if it was user error.  I should have tried the SLink fix on the Maitreya feet, but I neglected to do that.  Again, however, as new BOM skins are released, it should become a non-issue.

In the last post of this series, I’ll take a look at how the SLink Redux body bundle works, along with the fixes for the hands and feet.  Finally, I’ll also try on some system layer clothing and see how it works with BOM.

Permanent Jazz Hands?

I don’t know if anyone else has noticed this.  If there is a fix I’m missing, let me know.  I’ve gone to a few dance shows in SL and I’ve noticed a weird trend – what seem to be permanent jazz hands on some dancers.

I’m assuming it likely has something to do with bento hands and non-bento animations, but I’m not sure.  It is distracting, however.

Most dancers in RL keep their hands in a relaxed ‘dance position.’  There are exceptions depending on the type of dance, of course, but that has been the standard position I’ve seen when using mocap dances in SL.

With the advent of bento hands and bento animations, things seem different.  I’m wondering if it’s a conflict of priorities with a bento hand HUD (my mesh body/hands came with a bento HUD, I’m assuming most do), and a bento dance animation.

To be honest, I haven’t really bought many bento dance animations.  When bento first went live, it seemed like most of the bento dance animations were just updates of animations I’d already purchased, albeit with the new bento hand movements included.  For most dances, given that hands were in the default ‘dance position,’ I couldn’t justify repurchasing a bunch of dance animations just to get hand movements that most audience members wouldn’t even notice.

With some animations, like for certain bellydances, or others where the hand animation made a difference, then it would be worth it.  But the jazz hand thing really bugs me. 😀  Maybe it’s a conflict with bento hands and non-bento animations – but then you would think that the default hand position would kick in, not the jazz hands.  Or maybe this is something weird in my personal settings – in which case, for the love of dance, can someone share what I need to change?

I mean, I like jazz hands, don’t get me wrong, but not in every dance. 😛