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!!

The truth about events… [NSFW] – Mesh Body Addicts

Group of event related 3D words. Part of a series.
Events

This is an interesting post from Daria over at Mesh Body Addicts.

Some of the pics are NSFW, so be careful before you click over to the full post.

I have to say, as someone who has frequented many of these shopping events, I’ve become much more selective about where I shop.

I do sometimes get early access to events through my blogging group, which is fabulous, because the lag is generally pretty low.

My computer is fairly high-end, however, so I don’t experience many of the issues mentioned here.

I do agree with the issue of people who seem to get into an event and then just ‘park’ there.  I’ve also often wondered why most events are ‘full’ at 35-40 avatars, when I’ve been to many shows where there are double that amount of people.

When I shop, I do try to be a polite shopper – I don’t wear a lot of jewelry, I don’t wear a lot of attachments (soo many people walking around with pets attached – very annoying), and I often don’t even wear my mesh body.

I confess, I don’t demo a lot of things.  I can’t think of something I’ve bought that I couldn’t make work.  I know there have probably been a couple of things, but it’s few and far between for me.

I look at the event catalogues (or on Seraphim) to see what I might want before I go to the event, so I can get in, buy, and leave.

If there’s nothing I really want, then I’ve saved myself a trip, a lot of hassle, and probably a lot of L$. 😛

I haven’t event tried to get into Collabor88 yet, and I’m still seeing notices all over that people can’t get in.

I’d much rather shop an event like Mix, where you get a HUD with LM’s to all the stores and you’re not fighting every fashionista in SL to get in. :-/

The post is an interesting read – make sure you read through the comments as well. 🙂

Source: The truth about events… [NSFW] – Mesh Body Addicts

2015 Reflections

Image Source:  bryancallen.com
Image Source: bryancallen.com

As 2015 is winding down, it seems that people are all taking a step back to reflect and evaluate the year.

In RL, I had a few losses, and lots of joys.  Same in SL.  🙂

I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions, but I do set some goals for myself. If I meet them, great!  If I don’t, that’s okay too.

Most of my goals are things I’d like to do or learn, and I don’t tie them to a year.  Heck, I know some of my goals will take longer than a year.

I’m still working on projects that I started last year, and I hope I will continue working on them for several more years, at least.

This year in SL I started teaching dance classes and I am loving every minute of it!  The students have been terrific and I can’t wait to see what 2016 is like.

I’ve learned a lot this year working with Photoshop, and I plan to continue that in 2016.  I bought a Wacom tablet, and one of my smaller goals is to learn how to use it.

One of the things I’d love to do is learn to work with mesh.  Approaching Blender is a bit like approaching a cockpit when you have no idea what all the buttons and knobs do and someone tells you you have to fly the plane. 😛

So I will be working on learning Blender in 2016.  I’m pretty sure this is a project that will take me more time than I want it to!

I’m also working on learning more about using the Artiste and incorporating all of its features into my dancing – no small task, indeed. 😀

Whatever 2016 brings, I know I will have plenty to keep me busy, in both RL and SL.

How to NOT buy bad stuff in SL | Pussycat Catnap’s thoughts

Pussycat Catnap always shares interesting technical information.

Being non-techie myself, I appreciate having things explained.  I’ve never actually taken the time to view myself in wire-frame, but I may have to try it.

So many things end up being no-mod, though, I’m not sure there’s much the end consumer can do about it, unless/until there are better tools for determining ARC/RW/Avatar Complexity/whatever we’re calling it this week.

I also found her advice on LOD settings interesting, since I have received countless notecards from creators (included with their items), telling me to up my LOD to 4 or even higher.

I usually have my LOD set to 4, so I will have to experiment with setting it a bit lower, especially given the additional information from the Firestorm team included at the end of the post.

Source: How to NOT buy bad stuff in SL | Pussycat Catnap’s thoughts

How Much Mesh Is Too Much?

How MuchSince mesh appeared on the grid, I’ve tried to learn as much as I can about it.

There are things I will never understand, because I don’t make mesh.

I’ve tried Blender, and it just makes me crazy.

Maybe someday I’ll learn it, but not anytime soon.

In the meantime, I’m happy to be a mesh consumer.

I like mesh.

It has pros and cons, like anything else.

Mesh clothing looks more realistic, because it sits ‘on/around’ a body, rather than looking painted on.

It looks more realistic (sometimes), when moving, sitting, etc.

It’s prettier (purely subjective opinion, of course).

However, mesh isn’t always ‘better’ than the alternative.

Mesh isn’t always the greatest option for building, because LI calculations are so complicated.

It isn’t the greatest for dancing, because sometimes it doesn’t rez properly, and, depending on the clothing, stretches and moves weirdly as the avatar moves.

I love mesh bodies and heads.

They look so pretty in pictures, and save me all kinds of time in post-processing photos to get rid of ugly jagged edges that system avatars always have.

I pretty much wear mesh clothing, shoes, and hair exclusively.

I have a mesh body and several mesh heads.

However, I try to be an aware and considerate SL resident.

So when I go to a dance show, for example, I get my scripts as low as possible.

Since discovering that render weight of things I wear can have an impact on others at a show, I have stopped wearing jewelry and other high-RW items to shows.

I generally, even with my mesh body and head on, can get my RW down to around 20,000.

Not spectacularly low, but decent.

I was at an event recently, and I had left ‘show RW for avatars’ checked without realizing it.

It wasn’t a crowded event, only about 25 or so people, but the RWs I saw were surprising.

Honestly, I expected the RWs to be 100K or above for most people.

The first surprise was that over half of those present, though dressed nicely and wearing mesh, had RWs between 40K-120K.

Again, not great, but not as high as I had expected.

The second surprise was that one of the people present, who was wearing a mesh body, head, hair, and clothing, had a RW of 378K.

378K!!

That’s a LOT.

I didn’t see any jewelry, which is usually high-RW, so I was surprised to see a RW that high.

The real shocker of the event, though, was the avatar whose RW was 978K.

Yup.

978K.

Almost 1 million RW – for 1 single avatar.

Wow.

Now imagine if everyone was decked out like that and they were all in one place.

How much mesh is too much?

Mesh Mess – A Lesson in Frustration

Mess MeshI’m a big fan of mesh.

I wear pretty much all mesh clothes, I own a mesh body, I have mesh hands and feet, and I own about 4 or 5 mesh heads.

I love how much prettier mesh is when I’m taking photos.

Since the advent of mesh, the question of whether or not to use it when dancing has been debated.

I’ve danced in mesh clothing before.

I’ve danced with mesh hands and feet before.

I have never danced with a mesh head or a mesh body.

I’ve heard complaints from others about watching shows where headless bodies were dancing, costumes didn’t rez, set pieces didn’t rez, etc.

Never having experienced these problems (other than the occasional SL glitch), I realized I kind of dismissed the issue.

*I* could see everything fine, so what’s the big deal?

It must be their computers, or their preferences, or whatever.

After a recent fiasco at a performance, I’m re-thinking my approach.

Preferences

I attended a dance show where I knew it would be crowded.

I arrived about 30 minutes early to give myself (and my computer) time to cache everything prior to showtime.

When I arrived, I was immediately hit by a small bout of lag.

I began to make adjustments.

I lowered my graphics preferences (I usually run on Ultra).

I lowered my draw distance and particles.

I went into the advanced menu and began disabling things like sky, water, clouds, etc., that I wouldn’t need to render for the show.

The first number went okay, with only one dancer being sans hands for the entire routine.

I figured I had acted in time, and I would be able to enjoy the rest of the show.

Act Two

Mesh Mess 2The second act hit the stage, and out of 8 dancers, two of them remained stubbornly bald, naked, and without hands or feet.

I wish I understood why this happened – all 8 dancers were wearing the same costume.

6 rezzed, 2 did not.  ???

Feeling frustrated, I was going to try either tp’ing out and back, or relogging, to see if that would clear up whatever issue I was having.

Unfortunately for me, just as I was contemplating this, it was announced that access had been closed, and that if anyone left or crashed, you would be unable to get back in.

So that option was no longer available. 😦

I decided to try and tough it out, hoping that things would somehow fix themselves and I would be able to see.

Third Time’s a Charm?

Mesh Mess 3Sadly, no, it wasn’t.

Again, out of 8 or 10 dancers, the two main dancers appeared naked, bald, and missing appendages.

I don’t know if it was the same issue as the previous act, where everyone was wearing the same costume, or not.

But it’s very hard to enjoy a dance performance when literally half (or more) of the performer is missing/invisible.

Now, I know this issue is NOT the fault of the performers.

Most of them were simply wearing the costumes they were given and doing their jobs.

Mesh Mess 4(Note – some of the pictures may appear a bit pixellated due to their small size.  I tried to crop out as much extraneous information as possible in the pictures, because I am not trying to blame the dancers or the venue.)

In desperation, I de-rendered the entire audience, hoping that would help.

At this point, I was soooo frustrated.

I decided to stay for one more act.

It had already been almost an hour, and I knew that if the next act didn’t go well, there was no point in staying for the rest of the show.

What I saw (or rather, didn’t see) next, is what made me re-think my attitude towards mesh.

Mesh MessAs the curtain slooowly opened, I sighed.

Rather than getting better, it appeared my problems were getting worse.

The main dancer was nothing but a floating head.

I’m assuming she was wearing a mesh body.

I don’t know, because I couldn’t see it.

The gentlemen next to her had hands, thankfully, but no hair, and no lower half.

Argghhhhhh!

Time to call it a night. 😦

Reflections

After having some time to reflect on things, my attitude towards mesh has changed a bit.

For photography, I will continue to wear mesh so I don’t have to spend hours faffing with photos to get rid of jagged edges and such.

For dancing – I’m still not sure, but I know that I will at least put more thought into how I create my routines after my experience.

Yes, mesh looks fabulous.

But does that matter if many in the audience can’t see it anyway?

I have seen dancers who wore mesh bodies and clothing and I had no issues.

However, I’m not sure it’s worth the risk, even if it’s only one or two people who have problems.

It’s easy to blame the audience members, or their computers, or their ISPs, or whatever.

I have a good computer, a high-speed direct cable connection, and I did a ton of things to reduce lag issues, some of which most casual users wouldn’t even know to do.

It’s also easy to blame SL, though I’m not certain that’s the issue either.

Could I have arrived earlier and avoided issues?

Possibly.

But 30 minutes has generally been a good window, and quite frankly, unless the show is a one-time event, it’s just not worth sitting somewhere for an hour waiting for the show to start.

I think perhaps it just boils down to your own personal approach.

While it would be amazing to put on a show where 100+ people came, if the end result is even one person having my experience, to me, it’s not worth it.

I would much rather limit the amount of people to ensure that everyone has a good experience.

I will probably continue to use mesh props and wear mesh costume pieces, but I doubt that I will ever dance in my mesh head and/or body.

Previous to this experience, I had been considering it.

Now, I’m not sure it’s worth the possible problems.

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

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

Since I’ve Been Gone

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

Due to that pesky RL, I missed being in-world for about 3 days.

Wow, does time fly in virtual reality!

I missed the opening of the SL12B celebrations and 21 Shoe. 😦

I also missed ‘No Panties Day,’ which was yesterday, according to my calendar.

I missed 50L Friday and a 60L Weekend, darn it.

I can usually find some pretty great steals during those.

I’m still trying to find time to put together some LOTD posts with all of the goodies I collected from various events.

Genre opened their new round – the theme is Military and I picked up some nice items, including a set of cool poses I can’t wait to try out.

I stopped by The Instruments yesterday, but since the theme is Game of Thrones and I don’t watch, I ended up not purchasing anything.

I tried to go to SummerFest, because I want to pick up some of the cute summery items, but it was very crowded, so I’ll have to try again when I’m not trying to multi-task. 🙂

Due to my recent windfall, I stopped by Lelutka and bought one of their mesh heads.

I can’t wait to try it out when I have time to take some photos.

And I just realized I haven’t made it to Collabor88 yet either.

Yikes!

I’ve got some serious shopping to do.

The LOGO Alex head is still on my want list; I’m hoping to pick that up this week as well.

So I may look a little different in the coming LOTD posts. 😀

I’ve got so much stuff and it’s driving me crazy – I need to spend some time organizing everything!

And since I will be blogging this next round of A Tattered Page, I have to re-read the novel.

I’d better get busy.

Enjoy your Tuesday, folks!