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Mesh Heads Issue


LuxCross
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So lately I've been struggling with mesh heads. I've used LOGO Alex for a long while, and I've loved every single feature on it. The only issue is, that all appliers end up looking the same and that the face appears a big round and chubby instead of feminine. So I went and tried all kinds of mesh heads. 

I've tried Catwa. I liked that one, the Jessica one. I got appliers and I got the head, but something just looks off to me. It's as if the head is worse quality then I'm used to. It's like there are small edges where the skin comes together around the nose and eyes. 

 

I've tried Lelutka.. all mesh heads, kinda look the same. They all have that bitchy look. I've managed to change that bitchy look with an applier but at the end, the expressions just look terrible on the face. I have no clue why. 

 

Then there was Genesis Lab. I love those heads when they are shown on the board but whenever I put them on, they look really blocky and weird. And they look too delicate to put on my avi's body. 

I'm slowly running out of ideas and options, and I either really need a very unique LOGO Alex applier that'll bring life in my favourite mesh head again, or I need a custom mesh head made.. which would cost me a lot. :( 

If any of you guys have any ideas, any suggestions. Please. Let me know! :)

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I have had many issues with heads. What I am finding now is that each head needs to be custom fitted with the few shape sliders that adjust them tweaked for the right look. I think that newer skins are making the heads look better. I am also finding the removing all built in makeup is a huge plus. It is hard to make mesh heads look really good in my opinion, but it can be done with a bit of work.

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Yes, I agree. I've had to move the sliders a lot to make it atleast a bit properly. But it's still frustrating how everything looks after. I mean.. I've got an applier for my catwa jessica head now, but somehow around the eyebrows and eyes, there's a line which seems to seperate the eyebrow/eye area from the skin. It looks really weird and makes the head look really low quality.. and I am horrible at making the shapes look decent.

 

And I'd ask someone to make a custom head for me, with a custom shape that works with it. But I don't know who to ask and how much it'll cost me. I mean, if I know someone is gonna deliver me a good mesh head with some cool features, I'd be happy to pay properly for it once I get my job IRL, which is about to happen soon. 

I'm a real fashionista, and very picky. So a good mesh head is something I'd kill for (not literally). 

And I would love to learn how to create it myself. But I have no clue. I didn't go to college for it, I have the attention span of a goldfish and I don't have the right programs to do so.

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LuxCross wrote:

I think it is the head.. but I might just try the windlight settings. If I know where to find them.

World Menu -> Environment Editor -> Environment Settings

But please be aware that your windlight setting only affects how you see your avatar yourself. It won't change how others see it.

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LuxCross wrote:

So lately I've been struggling with mesh heads. I've used LOGO Alex for a long while, and I've loved every single feature on it. The only issue is, that all appliers end up looking the same and that the face appears a big round and chubby instead of feminine. So I went and tried all kinds of mesh heads. 

I've tried Catwa. I liked that one, the Jessica one. I got appliers and I got the head, but something just looks off to me. It's as if the head is worse quality then I'm used to. It's like there are small edges where the skin comes together around the nose and eyes. 

 

I've tried Lelutka.. all mesh heads, kinda look the same. They all have that bitchy look. I've managed to change that bitchy look with an applier but at the end, the expressions just look terrible on the face. I have no clue why. 

 

Then there was Genesis Lab. I love those heads when they are shown on the board but whenever I put them on, they look really blocky and weird. And they look too delicate to put on my avi's body. 

I'm slowly running out of ideas and options, and I either really need a very unique LOGO Alex applier that'll bring life in my favourite mesh head again, or I need a custom mesh head made.. which would cost me a lot.
:(
 

If any of you guys have any ideas, any suggestions. Please. Let me know!
:)

I'd suggest waiting several months before buying another mesh head. There are changes to the main avatar skeleton being worked on right now that will allow mesh heads to have a much wider range of expressions once the changes are released and if you buy a new head now it will be outdated very soon.

 

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LuxCross wrote:

Alright. Did the windlight settings but it doesn't change the fact that the mesh head shows the seems as to where the make-up around the eyes and the skin part.

Yes, you can't always fix it that way. Windlight is the system your viewer uses for atmospheric and shadow effects, among other things how dark each surface should be depending on the way it faces. Many skin and mesh body part makers recommend you use a very "soft" windlight that blurs out all the details. It's a bit of a cheat but sometimes a necessary cheat. The problem is that soft windlight blurs out all details in the scene, not just the ones you want to hide. You can only take it so far before you loose all details in the view and sometimes it's not far enough.

Part of the problem is that such blemishes are very easy to hide in a photo, such as the ones you see on MP and on blogs and on the front page of the SL website, only takes a minute or two of work in Photoshop or Gimp. And then people start believing their avatars can actually look like that in-world and ... they can't. We have to cheat a bit.

I don't know about mesh heads but most mesh bodies come with a blender collar to hide the seam between the body and a system head. Some of these are rather crude, others so well made you have to look really close to notice the distortion. This should work for a mesh head too and I think Omega launched a separate and quite cheap universal blender collar recently. Worth checking out.

That should help a lot with the neck issue but won't do anything for the eyes. For that I think the only solution is to try different skins (that is demos of different skins unless you have a ton of money to waste!).

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Theresa Tennyson wrote:

I'd suggest waiting several months before buying another mesh head. There are changes to the main avatar skeleton being worked on right now that will allow mesh heads to have a much wider range of expressions once the changes are released and if you buy a new head now it will be outdated very soon.


Yes, this is probably not a good time to buy a new mesh head. It's different if you already have one though.

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Most of the heads come with instructions and settings your avi should on the head. Are you moving in really close or at a normal distance? All of the heads are like an onion. You have multiple heads, actually. You have the base head then the makeup layers., the shading, etc. I seem to remember reading somewhere that the Catwa head has something like 20 or so layers on it. If the appliers you use aren't quite in line, it can cause problems.

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Bobbie Faulds wrote:

I seem to remember reading somewhere that the Catwa head has something like 20 or so layers on it.

20 layers? Yes that sounds about right.

I had a chat with somebody on the project Bento team the other day and was told that the real reason LL came up with that idea was to prevent SL from being flooded by this new generation of mesh heads and feet and hands. With something like that on the market there's no wonder they're worried.

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To make matters worse, I heard in the first Bento project meeting that some people actually wear 2 mesh bodies at the same time, in an effort to get more clothing, tattoo & makeup layers. That would put a huge strain on sim resources, given all the scripts and high rez textures in even one mesh body, wearing mesh clothes.

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2 bodies/heads is insane. You can wear many fitmesh clothes with the mesh bodies without a problem.

As for the "rubbish", The SL default is deformed on the curved sections, like the breast, calves, elbows, etc. They are really pronounced if you go over certain limits in the butt and breast areas. The calves have a pronounced point at the full part of the curve. Those are just some of the faults that the mesh avis take care of since the mesh has more polygons and have a smoother transition. That makes a difference to many of us. I cringe when I work with one of my alts I don't have, and won't have, a mesh body on. Again, different strokes.

I use the SL official viewer and just pushed the render limit up. Again, my choice.

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Persephone Emerald wrote:

To make matters worse, I heard in the first Bento project meeting that some people actually wear 2 mesh bodies at the same time.

You're on the team?

Last week a friend of mine told me she had seen an avatar with a render weight of 376,000. We couldn't figure out how that was even possible, I guess that could be part of the explanation.

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Alwin Alcott wrote:

i can't wait till the render limit is in all viewers ...

It's not that effective unfortunately. The render weight formula it is based on is old and doesn't take into account recent lag inducers like mesh bodies, normal maps and specular maps. You'll have to derender lots of percetly safe and innocent avatars for it to catch all the lag monsters.

Besides, people aren't going to accept that solution. They don't want to see a world populated by red jellybeans. So they turn render protection off or set the limit so high it might as well be off and then they get angry and blame the lag on everybody else and especially on how bad SL is.

There's a not too old thread on this forum where somebody complained she had been evicted from a club for nudity when she tp'ed in and her mesh body didn't render. She got lots of sympathetic replies: people have to understand that modern avatars are laggy and it's not fair to ban people from a place just because they lag everybody else down.

Even Linden Lab seem to still be in denial to some degree. As far as I know, they still claim the many event sim breakdowns were caused by griefers. Well, I went to an event just before it opened once. No supsicious looking avatars there, just event organizers and merchants and it still was so laggy the poor sim was barely able to function.

Edit: Has anybody else noticed the recent promo pictures on the SL website's start page btw? Heavily photoshopped closeups of unrealistic avatar faces. That's the message they want to give the world: "This is what you get if you join Second Life!"

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Bobbie Faulds wrote:

2 bodies/heads is insane. You can wear many fitmesh clothes with the mesh bodies without a problem.

You mean a ton of fitmesh clothes will solve the problem? :P

Sorry, couldn't resist it. You have a very important point of course. If everybody got rid of all the unnecessary things, all those details that will never actually be rendered on anybody's computer screen anyway, we'd hardly have any lag issues in SL at all. That's not going to happen though.


Bobbie Faulds wrote:

As for the "rubbish", The SL default is deformed on the curved sections, like the breast, calves, elbows, etc. They are really pronounced if you go over certain limits in the butt and breast areas.

And we all want to go over the limits there, don't we? I certainly do. ;)

You forgot to mention the spades they use for hands and the tree trunks they use for feet.

The Second Life avatar was actually absolutely brilliant back when it was introduced and even today it's still way better than what you get in most other virtual environments. But it is beginning to show its age and avatar appearance has become so important to Second Life. Without it, there's hardly anything left to interest people here. Somebody at BB chat - can't remember her name - started making fun of various social media, Facebook is for telling the world what you had for breakfast, Twitter is for insulting people and so on. When asked what SL was for she wrote: "Second Life is where we play with Barbies and pretend it's art."

Linden Lab could and should have upgraded the system avatar long ago. But they never took client side lag seriously. They're beginning to realize their mistake now. But I don't think they've realized the magnitude of the blunder yet and although they're desperately trying, they still haven't found a way to out the genie back in the bottle. We could start a group called "I Told You". Could become a big one.

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ChinRey wrote:

You're on the team?

Last week a friend of mine told me she had seen an avatar with a render weight of 376,000. We couldn't figure out how that was even possible, I guess that could be part of the explanation.


Someone near me right now is reading 511,424. No idea what's causing it, because it's not a mesh body and she's not wearing hair. Another is 349,104, but I know what a large part of that is - a particular mesh tail which I know is very high in its own right. All of the seven avs in view are showing red numbers (including mine at 162,195, which is one of the lowest present).

We probably count as a card-crasher to some people.

 

eta: someone showing 546,289 just dropped in.

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Kelli May wrote:

eta: someone showing
546,289
just dropped in.


That's absolutely unbelieveable!


Kelli May wrote:

Someone near me right now is reading
511,424
. No idea what's causing it, because it's not a mesh body and she's not wearing hair.


Most mesh bodies don't add much to the calculated render weight. That is they don't add much more than any other object with the same poly count. The two mesh bodies I use both have render weights well below 4000. They're made by makers who actually tried really hard to keep their works as low lag as possible but from what I've seen even bodies by less considerate creators don't usually go much into the five digit range on their own.

But render weight isn't always a good indicator of actual client side load anymore. The formula for calculating it was developed long ago and a lot have changed since then. There are many more recent load icnreasers that are simply ignored by the render weight calculation.

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ChinRey wrote:


Kelli May wrote:

eta: someone showing
546,289
just dropped in.


That's absolutely unbelieveable!

Kelli May wrote:

Someone near me right now is reading
511,424
. No idea what's causing it, because it's not a mesh body and she's not wearing hair.


Most mesh bodies don't add much to the calculated render weight. That is they don't add much more than any other object with the same poly count. The two mesh bodies I use both have render weights well below 4000. They're made by makers who actually tried really hard to keep their works as low lag as possible but from what I've seen even bodies by less considerate creators don't usually go much into the five digit range on their own.

But render weight isn't always a good indicator of actual client side load anymore. The formula for calculating it was developed long ago and a lot have changed since then. There are many more recent load icnreasers that are simply ignored by the render weight calculation.

Out of interest, I made a quick assay of my avatar:

mesh body 67k

mesh feet 8k

mesh nails 7.5k

mesh hair 3k

mesh shoes 5k

sculpt ears 6k

eyes 1k

tail 9k+

total 117816 (about 10k high, accounting for a couple of items I didn't remove, plus the base avatar)

 

I'm not going to name any of the brands I'm wearing, to avoid accusations of defamation! I've tried a mesh body which showed as around 4000, but it was much slower to rez and made a much bigger impact on frame rate than my 67k body. So, as you point out, the render weight number doesn't necessarily mean that much.

The weight of 7.5k for a set of nails sounds insanely high if other people make an entire body for less. I also found some simple-looking mesh shoes that came up at 28k... each.

I tried more detailed experiments with hair a couple of weekends back. I didn't move the camera between tests and there was nothing else nearby (high above ground, quiet sim, camera aimed into void with low draw distance), so the background wasn't changing. One of my old favourite mesh & flexi styles weighed in at around 45k and added 350Ktris per frame. A much 'lighter' style with only 4k render weight added a whopping 680Ktris per frame. Clearly there are a lot of other factors (the wiki entry claims flexi, light source, shiny, bumpmap, glow, alpha and several more).

What I suppose this means is that there are different kinds of people with regard to render weight:

  • those who don't even know how to check it;
  • those who know about it, but don't care;
  • those who know and try to keep the number low;
  • and those who'd love to keep the number low, but don't trust the tools we're given.
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Kelli May wrote:

So, as you point out, the render weight number doesn't necessarily mean that much.


I think there are several reasons for that. One is of course the one LL always points out: Actual render weight depends so much on the client's hardware it's impossible to calculate precisely.

Another is that the formula is clearly outdated. Linden Lab did a lot of really good reasearch when they created that formula but a lot has happened since then and it doesn't take into account how SL and computer technology in general has evolved over the last few years.

The third is that render weight is all about cpu load. All evidence suggests that the added lag caused by "regular" mesh is gpu rather than cpu related and it's very likely that this is the case with most of the fitmesh lag too. Unfortunately SL has no mechanism for estimating client side gpu load.


Kelli May wrote:

What I suppose this means is that there are different kinds of people with regard to render weight:

  • those who don't even know how to check it;

aka SL users. I overheard some local chat at a crowded place earlier today. A woman said: "sorry about my avi my viewer is not working right not sure what wrong with it yet". That's the level of awareness we usually find in SL and there is nobody to tell them different.


Kelli May wrote:
  • those who know about it, but don't care;

aka Lindens. No, sorry, that was rude of me. They have started to wake up now.

You forgot to mention those who know about it, but don't really understand what it means or how to deal with it. I think that's the majority of content creators right now.


Kelli May wrote
  • those who know and try to keep the number low;

Quite a few prominent content creators belong to that category.


Kelli May wrote:
  • and those who'd love to keep the number low, but don't trust the tools we're given.

Yes but what can we do? Those are the tools we have and we have to make the mot of them. At least they're far better than no tools at all.

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Persephone Emerald wrote:

I'm not on the team. I just went to listen in on the meeting between creators & Lindens working on the project.

Oh, you're a secret spy! ^_^

Don't worry, we won't tell. This thread is classified as TOP SECRET. :P

Seriously, I only know the names of a few of the creators involved but from what I know it seems they've really called in the elite forces this time. And also, I don't know if all those rumors about LL only using their Best Buddies among builders were ever true but if they were, they most certainly aren't anymore.

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