I Need More Time!

Time-Flies
Image Source: empower-u-academy.com

Time has gotten away from me again and I haven’t been able to spend as much time in SL as I had hoped.  I need to carve out some time just so I can play around with the new BakesOnMesh stuff.

I did see that Maitreya had some sort of update, so I logged in quickly last night to pick it up before it disappeared from notices.

It’s not a new body updated for BoM as I had hoped, but a relay that will allow Maitreya body owners to use BoM with the current body (I think?).  I’m still waiting to hear about a Firestorm update for BoM, but since they just issued an update recently, it may be a while.

Which means if I want to play around with BoM, I will have to use the (gasp of horror) official LL viewer.  Honestly, I’m sure the official viewer is great.  It’s just that I’ve used Firestorm for so long that using the LL viewer is nothing but an exercise in frustration for me, because nothing is where my brain thinks it is! 😛

After reading the post on the Maitreya blog about the relay and the likelihood of an update soon (read: not likely), I may actually go and purchase one of the SLink bodies, because a BoM update for it has already been released.  I already own SLink hands and feet, so I can purchase the body, get the BoM update for all of it (I think) and be on my merry way.

The hitch in that plan is that I’ve deleted from my inventory any SLink mesh items I’ve bought in the last several years.  😦   I still have my SLink shoes (because – shoes!), but most mesh clothing items made for bodies other than Maitreya went in the trash bin.  I may have original purchase boxes that I can dig out and rescue, but I’m not even sure about that.

I am sure that I have a ton of boxed system skins, tattoos, and clothing layers, so I may be doing some digging through storage anyway to locate those.  We’ll see how much free time I can carve out this weekend to do just that.

5 Reasons I Own A Mesh Head

Image Source: softimage.wiki.softimage.com
Image Source: softimage.wiki.softimage.com

It’s been quite a while since mesh hit the grid.

I can still remember the first mesh dress I bought – I was so excited that my dress would no longer fall through my legs and the chair when I sat down!

I’ve written before about mesh heads and my own struggle with the decision of whether to buy one or not.

Here are 5 reasons why I did:

1. Photography

LOTD 14
I spent a ton of time on this photo, fixing issues 😦

Once I got into photography in SL and started taking LOTD photos, I discovered how much time I had to spend ‘fixing’ problems with the default SL avatar.

I probably save at least 10 minutes per photo when I use a mesh head (and mesh body), because I don’t have to smooth out any of the weird angles that you get with the default avatar. And don’t get me started on elbows, bums,  and knees!

10 minutes may not sound like much, but it adds up.  That’s 10 minutes (or more) that I could spend doing other things (like taking more pictures).

2. Individuality

Kat Head Shot 2015
My ‘default’ face 🙂

This is a common thought for many people, and I had the same fears before I bought a mesh head.  I still think of my default avatar face as ‘me.’

However, SL for me is a place to try new things, new looks, new experiences.  So I’m having a lot of fun trying out different heads, different skins, and different looks.

Eve Mesh Head Beta
Still me 🙂

I think that the same mesh head can look completely different with different skin and makeup appliers.

While I may not look like the classic ‘me,’ I find that I still feel like myself when I wear a mesh head/body.

3. Appliers

Image Source: marketplace.secondlife.com

This is a sister to the individuality concern.  When mesh heads first came out, skins were, as a matter of course, pretty limited.

Since the explosion of mesh heads, skin makers have started making appliers for the heads, which means that there are more and more options when it comes to a mesh head.

Image Source: izzies.wordpress.com
Image Source: izzies.wordpress.com

Not only can you find tons of different skins, there are all kinds of makeup and effect appliers available now.

Having all these options means  that you can wear a mesh head and still be ‘yourself’ and express your individuality.

4. Appearance

LOTD 196
Me

One of my favorite things about SL is that I can dress up in all kinds of different outfits.

My avatar is a bit like a living Barbie doll. 🙂  All those styles I don’t/won’t wear in RL make regular appearances on my avatar.

I rarely wear dresses and heels in RL, but you will rarely find me in anything else in SL.  Why?  Because I can! 😀

Mesh heads offer me the same thing – I can wear a different head and feel like a different person.  Plus, they’re gorgeous!

LOTD 183
And me 🙂

Not every head is going to appeal to everyone, of course.  I don’t find the anime/manga style heads appealing at all.  Others do – that’s the beauty of them. 🙂

They can be lag heavy, but if I am going out and about, I generally stick to my Lelutka head, which I’ve found to be less ‘heavy’ than other heads.

Not all lag, by the way, is from mesh.  I came across a system dress recently that had a large, full flexi skirt.  The dress alone was over 400K in render weight.  Wearing my Lelutka head and Maitreya body, my RW is generally around 20K.

5. Price

Kat Profile Nov 2015
Lotte Head, Glam Affair Skin

When mesh heads first appeared (or at least when I first became aware of them), they were rather pricey – to me, anyway.

Not that I thought the price was undeserved, just that I don’t have a large budget for SL, and other items were more important. 🙂

I did finally take the plunge and bought both the Maitreya mesh body and a Lelutka mesh head.  I’ve never regretted buying either.

Mesh heads also don’t have to be hugely expensive.  Genesis Labs, one of my favorite head makers, routinely puts their heads in gachas, usually with a pull price of $99L or so.

There’s one out now at Kustom9, and it only took me three pulls to get one of the rare heads.  So I have a new mesh head for less than $300L!!

Simone Head, Glam Affair Skin
Simone Head, Glam Affair Skin

I’ve gotten several mesh heads that way, and, at last count, I currently own 11 mesh heads.

Eleven!

I would never have believed it, given my attitude when I bought the very first one.

There are some higher-priced heads (I’m still debating whether to get one of the Catwa heads, because I love the way they look), but you don’t have to spend a fortune to get one.  And you can always try a demo for free. 😀

Summary

If you’ve never tried a mesh head, I would encourage you to do it.  You may not like it, and that’s fine.  I didn’t think I would like them as much as I do, but I have no regrets about buying them.

There are other considerations besides just looks, of course.  I’m still learning what works and what doesn’t when it comes to dance.  I’ve not yet worn a mesh head to perform, but I have worn my mesh body on a few occasions.

It does take a bit more work to figure out how to manage everything, but so far (knock on wood) I haven’t had any issues with it. 🙂

Of course, I love wearing the mesh heads for my photography.  It’s so much fun, creating different looks and characters with the different heads.

There are a ton of heads to choose from – Slink, Lelutka, Catwa, Genesis Labs, TMP, Eve, LOGO – the list is rapidly becoming endless.

Guys, don’t think you’re off the hook – there are mesh heads and bodies for you too – give one a try!

Whether you already own a mesh head/body or not, I’d love to hear your feedback – what you like and what you don’t.

Share this post with your friends (the buttons are right down there ↓) – I’m genuinely curious to see what people think!!

Top fashion picks for Belleza! – Mesh Body Addicts

I did not buy the Belleza body, but I’ve considered doing so, since you now get three bodies in one package.  It does have some options I would love for my Maitreya bod to have – like having more than one hand style.

For now, I’ll stick with my Maitreya, but maybe I’ll get the Belleza some day.  I’m debating now whether to take the plunge and get the new Catwa mesh head, which looks amazing.

But, no new purchases until I unbox everything I already have sitting in my huge inventory!!!

Source: Top fashion picks for Belleza! – Mesh Body Addicts

2015

Image Source:  mettaroundtheworld.org
Image Source: mettaroundtheworld.org

So far, 2015 is turning out to be a bang-up year.

I spent New Year’s Day with my favorite people, saw a great movie, and ate at one of our favorite restaurants.

After getting back home, I logged in to do some blogging and some housekeeping in SL.

Since I’ve started the LOTD feature on the blog, I did some research on graphics/computer settings and watched some Photoshop tutorials.

I decided to bump up my graphics setting to Ultra and see what happened.

Hubs bought me a new graphics card a while ago, and last week he increased the RAM in my PC.

He’s currently shopping for a new processor for me, but in the meantime, I wanted to see how well I could run SL on Ultra.

After making all the changes, I decided to do some shopping and exploring.

I am loving my new mesh body, but I was debating whether to get a new shape and/or skin to go with it.

The League announced that they had released appliers for the Maitreya bod, so I went over and picked up some skin and shape demos.

I think I picked up around 5 new shapes and 6 new skins to try out.

I spent about an hour trying on the various shapes and skins.

I didn’t like any of the new shapes.

They just weren’t – me.

So for now, I am keeping my shape.

I tried all the skin demos from Glam Affair and League.

I managed to narrow it down to three choices – two from Glam Affair and one from League.

I must say, it clearly has been a while since I went skin shopping, as I about dropped my teeth at some of the prices.

After doing some price comparisons, and debating the ease of use with my new mesh body, I opted for one of the Glam Affair skins.

I like the League skin and I may go back and get one later, but for now, the GA skin is good.  One click on my body HUD and everything matches – head, hands, feet.

I managed to travel around and do my shopping without crashing, so I figured it was safe to try and take some photos with everything on Ultra.

I put on an outfit and headed out to find a picturesque sim to snap a few shots.

I am AMAZED at how much better my photos came out.  I mean, I knew they would be better, but I didn’t realize just how much.

I played around with some poses and a couple of windlights and took a few pictures.

My computer was a little slow in making some of the changes, but I didn’t crash.

When I went and opened the photos in Photoshop, I was even more amazed.

In the past I have always had to do some editing of a photo to get it to look somewhat decent.

I am by no means a Photoshop wiz, but I would smooth out edges, add some shadows, etc.

This time, all I did was crop the photo and resize it so it would load decently on the blog.

That’s it.

I am excited about how much time I can save without having to edit every photo I take.

And I’m excited about how much better everything in SL looks, including me!

Here’s to a great 2015!!

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)

VS.

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!