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.

Bakes On Mesh Series – Part 1 (Preparations)

Image Source: xelerus.de

A few days ago I finally got around to trying out some of the Bakes On Mesh (BOM) features.  I have to say, I’m pretty excited about this. 🙂

For several years now, I have used the Maitreya mesh body and a LeLutka mesh head (Simone).  I know the Maitreya body is not the most viewer efficient body, but I like it.  Mesh heads have always been resource heavy because of the layers required for things like makeup.  Honestly, the heads were confusing to me, so I generally just used the makeup that was included in the HUD, because I hated having to faff about with appliers.

Also, Maitreya and LeLutka both used the Glam Affair skins in their HUDs, so I just stuck to those skins, since I could make my head and body parts match with a click of the HUD.

The amount of appliers was an issue for me as well.  Creators had to make items/HUDs/appliers for so many different bodies – I would end up deleting items for bodies I didn’t own just to keep my inventory down.

I did keep my SLink shoes, however.  Ages ago, before mesh bodies were a thing, many dancers purchased SLink hands and feet, because they looked miles better than the system avatar hands and feet.  Remember these lovely gems?

Losing consciousness . . . from the ugly . . .

Now, these are extra hideous because of the old shoe layers we had to wear with heels.  But still – hideous.

I have been watching SLink and her updates to the SLink body with the release of BOM.  My partner owns the male SLink body and since I already owned SLink hands and feet, I decided I would also splurge and get the new Redux BOM body version.

So I went to SLink and updated my hands and feet purchases and then purchased the new Physique body.  Let me tell you – there’s a lot of stuff in there!  When I tried to update my hands, I got a notice that I needed to send a notecard, because the updates had to be done manually.  So I did.

I got a lovely note back that I actually didn’t need the update, since I had purchased the updated body bundle.  The CSR also let me know that I had received a refund because they were taking into account my previous purchases.  Awesome!!  5 stars for SLink. 😀

Once I had all the pieces purchased and assembled, I was ready to sit down and start playing around with BOM.  Surprisingly, I still had a fair number of system skins in my inventory (I thought I had boxed most of them up and stored them).  I didn’t have much system clothing because I did box up most of it for storage or just deleted it outright.  I did find some pieces mixed in with my applier outfits, so I used those.

I did a first round of tests with my Maitreya body and LeLutka head.  Then I did a second round with the SLink body parts and the LeLutka head.  Stay tuned for Parts 2 and 3, where I show you the results.

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! 😛

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.

I see jelly people… Walking around just like regular people | Serendipidy Haven’s Blog

Image/dessertgirl.blogspot.com
Image/dessertgirl.blogspot.com

An interesting perspective on the new Jelly Babies/Jelly Dolls/whatever that are now in the LL “Quick Graphics” release viewer.  I have been looking forward to these hitting Firestorm, particularly the quick graphics settings.

However, the post brings up some points I hadn’t considered.  I do think that many creators need to do more to ‘optimize’ their content. Jewelry and hair items have been some of the mostly highly complex items in my inventory. I’ve stopped wearing jewelry when I go to crowded places and I’ve stopped frequenting several stores because the cost (lag-wise) of the jewelry just isn’t worth it to me.

That said, I completely agree that many creators in SL are hobbyists or people who learn to create because they are in SL.  So making that steep learning curve even higher is not a great thing.  There are tons of people who have stopped creating since the advent of mesh, because the mentality of many seems to be that mesh=better.

I would, however, love to be able to control whether a 1 million RW (or ARC or ACI or whatever) avi makes me crash when they appear on my screen.  (And for the record, yes, I have seen an avatar with a RW that high – mesh body, mesh head (animated), mesh clothes, and God knows what else.) I did try tweaking my settings in FS as Pussycat Catnap detailed, but it resulted in me not seeing certain avatars at all, which was frustrating as we were working together at the time.  I tried tweaking the settings again, but ended up going back to the defaults, because I couldn’t figure what wasn’t working (some of the invisible-to-me avatars were below my complexity threshold, so I couldn’t make sense of it).

I know that many dancers are curious to see how these settings will affect the viewing of performances once they become more widely used (ie – available in TPV’s). It will be interesting to see how it works in practice!

Read more here:

Those of you who shy away from the official Linden Viewer and do not follow the current techie trends in SL may well be completely unaware of the jelly folk that will have started appearing with t…

Source: I see jelly people… Walking around just like regular people | Serendipidy Haven’s Blog

To Mesh or Not To Mesh – What a dilema! | a SECOND for Imagination

The mesh head debate rages on, as more and more creators release mesh heads (for guys as well), and skin creators are slowly catching up, coming out with appliers for the various heads.

I’ve drooled over many of the Catwa heads, but I have yet to make a purchase.  For now, I’m content with my Lotte and Simone Lelutkas, my LOGO Alex, and my various Genesis Lab heads (I think I have around 13 of them now).  I love GL heads, not only because they are gorgeous, but because they are often put in gachas, which means if you’re lucky, you can score a mesh head for a mere $99L.  Steal!!!

Read PurpleButterfly Lykin’s post below about her experience with purchasing a mesh head:

“I’ve always held the view that mesh heads look a tad on the freaky side. That they often weren’t an improvement on the base avatar most people had carefully crafted. To be honest, a part of me still thinks this way. Some mesh heads do look strange, maybe because they represent to me a higher degree of falseness given they are so perfectly aligned?”

Source: To Mesh or Not To Mesh – What a dilema! | a SECOND for Imagination

Project Bento arrives on the main grid in Second Life | Inara Pey: Living in a Modem World

I am excited to see Project Bento make it to the main grid, but it is still only accessible via the LL Project Bento viewer.  So, until it’s officially released and makes it way into TPV’s (like Firestorm), I won’t be seeing it.

I am curious to see how it impacts creators – if I understood all the tech speak correctly, there are new face bones that mesh heads will be able to use.  Which means that mesh heads will be able to respond to sliders, for more customization options.

There are other new bones, including a tail bone and wing bones, and the video in the article shows a pretty darn cool wyvern and a great centaur.  I don’t RP much, so while they look cool, I’m not sure those changes will matter much to me.

I am interested in how the new finger bones will impact creators – will pose makers have to use Blender or some other 3D program to create poses?  I don’t think Qavimator has finger bones, so does that make it obsolete for use with SL?  Will you now only need one set of mesh hands, rather than buying different hands with different poses?  (Which would be awesome for my wallet, but probably not for the creator’s.)

I’m also curious to what effect the new mGroin bone (for animating any groin-related appendages, according to the guide) has on creations. 😛

Crossing my fingers that these changes make it into TPV’s soon.  (Because I’d love to be able to cross my fingers in SL too!)

Read all about it below….

Project Bento, the Lab-initiated, collaborative project involving Second Life content creators to bring greater capabilities to mesh avatars and – potentially – rigged attachments ̵…

Source: Project Bento arrives on the main grid in Second Life | Inara Pey: Living in a Modem World