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Dansintherain

Newbie with Avi confusion....

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I've been here about a week and I've watched many video's and read through the forums but that only leaves me more confused.  I guess the first decision is about mesh vs classic?  As I am just starting out, I don't want to invest in something that may be on it's way out.  I do realiize mesh is a lot more expensive but if that is the future, is that an investment I should make....I really don't know which way to go?  A couple questions......

1, Do you buy everything separate or are you able to buy one with everything included and just tweek it how you want?  

2. The parts include, a head, skin, shape, hair, hands and feet, right?  If they are bought separate do they have to be all the same model or can you switch shape, head, hair, skin, etc from all different designers?

 

As I was going through the Marketplace yesterday, I came across a (skin??) that I liked but couldn't figure out if it was mesh or classic and how I would even be able to tell.  I'm not sure if I can post a llink so I will just put the name.... NOYA CELINE.

Oh and what is Omega?  

Any advice or tips that you could offer would be most appreciated!!!

 

~Dansin

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The most common info on mesh bodies and how to use them is here:

http://meshbodyaddicts.com/

This website also explains how to use Omega appliers, where you can get skins that can be applied to your mesh body and/or head. It covers almost all mesh bodies. 

Some designers offer a body, including hands and feet. Some also sell the heads. Ofcourse you can mix and match to get the look you want but always make sure to try the demo first. 

You might also wanna have a look at some SL fashion blogs to get ideas. Most bloggers will have a list of what is worn on their pictures.

Picking your mesh body and head is complicated, keep in mind you want to be able to buy clothes that fit, hair that fits etc. The most populair brands have more options when it comes to that. 

A skin is never a mesh object, it is a texture that is applied to the mesh body. Make sure the one you buy is not a system skin or it will be applied to your system body. That means it will not be visible at all as your mesh body is a worn object that will cover your system body, it is so to say on top of your system body.

I hope this will help you! Take your time, read a lot of information, try all the demo's! Mesh bodies are expensive so choose wisely.

 

 

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"Classic" avs aren't on their way out by any means, though some users will insist they are or should be. Seems like there will always be people who look down on others for not being up on the latest trend and mesh bodies are the trend this year. Before that, it was mesh boobs and butts, which have been superceded by the full bodies. The new avatar skeleton rigging has just gone live this week (Bento) so it will be next year's shiny.

All of that change makes for a confusing Marketplace. Mesh bodies have utterly fragmented the market so every clothing, shoe or "skin" purchase requires figuring out if it will even work for you. It's added layers of vocabulary (and not necessarily with concensus) to indicate what is what. This is relatively recent, so older Marketplace listings and sales vendor textures don't reflect the new vocabulary. Before mesh bodies and appliers, a skin was a skin was a skin. Now you need skin appliers for any and all mesh body parts, including a mesh head. Unless of course you're using your av's classic head, in which case you need a co-ordinating skin....

Omega is the closest thing we have to a universal applier system. (Appliers put textures (for skin, clothing and tattoos) on mesh bodies.) Not all mesh bodies work with Omega though. Some bodies have a lot of support from skin and clothing creators, some don't. Some creators don't create for classic avs anymore. Many still do.
It is incredibly confusing so don't feel like you have to rush into anything. There are a couple of big hunts, dozens of Advent calendars (the Fab Free blog has a list) and piles of Christmas gifts out at the moment, so now is an excellent time to experiment for free or inexpensive before making any mesh body/classic av investment decisions.

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Even if classic avis are on thier way out, you can get a very good one with very little investment. I still use a classic avi after over a year here and the basic shape and skin were free. (unfortunately it is no longer available) I have since invested a good amout on jewlery and tattoos that i wear all the time, but I did that over time. Lots of people compliment me on my avi and while I am considering making the switch to mesh, part of me wonders why bother? I would recommend starting with classic, use that until you are ready for mesh, and if you never make that leap, that's ok to.

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Dansintherain wrote:

I've been here about a week and I've watched many video's and read through the forums but that only leaves me more confused.  I guess the first decision is about mesh vs classic?  As I am just starting out, I don't want to invest in something that may be on it's way out.  I do realiize mesh is a lot more expensive but if that is the future, is that an investment I should make....I really don't know which way to go?  A couple questions......

1, Do you buy everything separate or are you able to buy one with everything included and just tweek it how you want?  

2. The parts include, a head, skin, shape, hair, hands and feet, right?  If they are bought separate do they have to be all the same model or can you switch shape, head, hair, skin, etc from all different designers?

 

As I was going through the Marketplace yesterday, I came across a (skin??) that I liked but couldn't figure out if it was mesh or classic and how I would even be able to tell.  I'm not sure if I can post a llink so I will just put the name.... NOYA CELINE.

Oh and what is Omega?  

Any advice or tips that you could offer would be most appreciated!!!

 

~Dansin

Do not buy a full mesh avatar. Wait. It is a too big investment to make after a week.

SL is full of nice people, but also jerks, who will tell you that you must buy this and that. Some feel superior bc they have a mesh avatar. Trust yourself and your eyes. It is what you see on your screen that matters. Does it look good to you, then you have the final word. Listen to people but don't take all so serious.

That being said, I have lots of mesh bodies and heads. SL can be like a hobby, a 3D doll to dress up. Sometimes I decide to make an avatar with a special look. To put together bis and parts and hunt for then, is my kind of fun.

So yes, I buy a lot of parts separate. Many things can be used together, but not all bodyparts work together.

I would say that you stay with a classic avatar for now. I can recommend you to teleport to Pink Fuel mainstore and find this skin: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mochimilena/14729534131/in/dateposted/ As you can see, it is free for new residents under 30 days old. You "buy" the skin you want for 0 L. You also get a shape that is modifiable. You can test it and edit it as much as you want (the shape). I am sure that you have found information about it already.

Now you have a skin and a shape. What you buy from now, should be labelled: "Works with classic avatars"

Makeups must be on tattoo layers, not appliers. But if the makeup includes both, you are ok.

It is a lot of hair on the Marketplace. Buy demos until you find a hair that you like. That's what demos are for. You will find that hairs have different sizes. For example is hair that lay over your chest often made for different breast sizes. Not all hair makers offer this, demo, demo, demo...

Eyes are important. There is a lot of very affordable eyes. Just buy some that has a nice shading and some reflections, this gives them depth and realism.

An AO (Animation override) so you walk and stand better if the included AO with the avatar you started with is not to your liking.

Now you have a classic avatar with shape, skin, hair and eyes.

Dress her up with clothing that work for classic avatars. Layers are like body paint. Works well for underwear, stockings and other tight clothing. Very easy to use, just click and add. Mesh is best for clothing that is not skin tight. Here you must wear alphas that hide your body so it's not poking out. Add your alphas too. One for the jeans, then add the alpha for the jacket. Don't use wear. Wear replaces the layer you have on. Add adds a new layer. You should always try demos of mesh clothes.

You should have come this far on a low budget. With some patience, you can get a gorgeous avatar for free. But the one ting that you should spend money on is Slink feet. You will see that almost all shoes are made for Slink feet. I recommend the High Feet if you like high heels. Flat feet for walking barefoot and in flat sandals. You will need to go back to Pink Fuel Mainstore now and buy an applier for Slink that transfer the skin texture to the feet, so they match your legs perfectly.

This avatar will be very easy to dress and change the appearance on. All you need is to demo all things that offer a demo, all skins, all hairs and all mesh apparel should have demos. An example: https://marketplace.secondlife.com/p/Alluring-Black-Slink-Belleza-Maitreya-Classic-and-FitMesh/7565954?ple=c Here, first you see that it works for Classic avatars, and that it has a demo. That is all that you need to know for now.

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Wow!  I am not sure what I was suspecting but wow, thank you so much!  Thank you for taking the time out to inform me of so much information.  Things are much clearer now and I think a classic will work best for me for the time being.  Thank you for the tips and websites too!  I look forward to hopefully seeing you in world.  :matte-motes-bashful-cute-2:

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I agree with other's advice to stick with the classic avatar at first.  Definitely hold off on buying any mesh body parts for a while IF you think you might be interested in it.  But if you like the classic avatar don't let anyone pressure you into buying mesh.  The exceptions being SLink feet because most shoes are made for these feet now.  They are a huge improvement over the ugly clumsy foot and ankle of the classic avatar.

SL just added more 'bones' to the avatar that is going to make it much better for not only animations but for being able to adjust the mesh to the shape you prefer.  It's going to take time for mesh designers to produce a wide variety of mesh content with these abilities.

There will be 'fashionistas' with money to spend that will run out and buy the earlier offerings.  But as more content becomes available you'll have a wider choice of looks and quality.  SL is a free market economy that runs on supply and demand.  Competition could also bring prices down a bit eventually as the initial demand lessens.

 

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I would for sure buy a mesh bento mesh body as well as bento mesh head because that is the wave of the future in sl simply because the classic av body doesnt not come with the newly added bones that bento mesh will have...meaning your av will have more movement in parts such as fingers etc ... 

I would jump into mesh before you become use to dressing your classic av and have to relearn how to work with your mesh parts which really is night and day.

As far as buying everything seperate that is going to also not be an issue as project bento will work the entire body which mesh body makers will have the entire body rigged/modeled to

Hair and skin is always a seperate thing to buy with human av's unless you buy a less detailed full mesh av that comes with it (which i wouldnt because its pretty cookie cutter).

 For your body look for makers who mention bento if moving your fingers etc is of importance if not go full with a full mesh body such as slink physique .. its a big maker and slink has many clothes online and in world through various creators..

best wishes have fun and welcome to sl!

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Pebbelz Ohmai wrote:

I would for sure buy a mesh bento mesh body as well as bento mesh head because that is the wave of the future in sl simply because the classic av body doesnt not come with the newly added bones that bento mesh will have...meaning your av will have more movement in parts such as fingers etc ... 

 

I just wanted to correct you on this.  The Classic sl body of course has the added bento bones.  Mesh bodies are just worn over top that system ... the basic skeleton is still considered the classic body. 

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Pebbelz Ohmai wrote:

simply because the classic av body doesnt not come with the newly added bones that bento mesh will have...meaning your av will have more movement in parts such as fingers etc ... 

The classic body will Bento movements from the outset. You will be able to buy the finger animator and move your fingers. You will be able to buy a face animator and move your face.

Mesh won't. It needs to be specifically rigged and weighted to the new armature.


Pebbelz Ohmai wrote:

For your body look for makers who mention bento if moving your fingers etc is of importance if not go full with a full mesh body such as slink physique .. its a big maker and slink has many clothes online and in world through various creators..

So far Slink have not released bento hands that I know of. I believe their hands are old school fixed mesh. I am sure they will update soon, they are one of the bigger names. As to if there will be a cost to upgrade, we don't know, but I somehow suspect it will be so.

TMP... this is where people waste their time and effort. Stay away from this, it's never going to be Bento.

 

Honestly, now is a great time to use the system avatar because Bento is only just here, sort of. Money you spend today might get you something that is not upgradable, or that has compatibility problems. It's very early days, so I would be concerned about spending money on a dead end.

Personally I like system heads too. Mesh heads to date are all cookie cutter. You end up looking like 100 other people. "OMG she has the same dress, and the same head as me". Bento will change this.

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Tarani Tempest wrote:

I just wanted to correct you on this.  The Classic sl body of course has the added bento bones.  Mesh bodies are just worn over top that system ... the basic skeleton is still considered the classic body.

Well said, Tarani. :)

I think we need to clear up a common misunderstanding here: there is only one kind of avatar in Second Life. That's the one we call "classic" and it has four mandatory parts: body shape, skin, eyes and for some reason, hair. It can also include a number of texture layers and shape deformers we call "classic clothes". Everything else are attachments added to that basic avatar. Essentially a mesh body is "only" a very complex piece of mesh clothing.

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Tarani Tempest wrote:


Pebbelz Ohmai wrote:

I would for sure buy a mesh bento mesh body as well as bento mesh head because that is the wave of the future in sl simply because the classic av body
doesnt not
come with the newly added bones that bento mesh will have...meaning your av will have more movement in parts such as fingers etc ... 

 

I just wanted to correct you on this.  The Classic sl body of course has the added bento bones.  Mesh bodies are just worn over top that system ... the basic skeleton is still considered the classic body. 

Well, technically ....

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I am sticking with the classic avi but I am finding it confusing as well.  I have a nice free skin but I've been trying to look into different hairs or other skins and I am having touble figuring out which is mesh and which is regular.  Could someone reccomend a few stores that sell skins and hairs for classic avi's that you like to visit.  Thanks!

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Sorry for the late reply, it is Christmas preparations in Real life now.... :matte-motes-bashful-cute-2:


Dansintherain wrote:

I am sticking with the classic avi but I am finding it confusing as well.  I have a nice free skin but I've been trying to look into different hairs or other skins and I am having touble figuring out which is mesh and which is regular.  Could someone reccomend a few stores that sell skins and hairs for classic avi's that you like to visit.  Thanks!

This website list shopping events in Second Life: http://seraphimsl.com/

Seraphim has one or two bolded texts for each event, one is a direct teleport. Very convenient. The other (Click here to see...) open to screenshots of items offered, also very convenient, you can see if you like it before you teleport there. You also know how the vendors look like, so you find what you are looking for. I recommend Collabor 88 as a start. It is one of the most established monthly shopping events in SL, and the clothes and hair is new and from good quality designers. Even if you don't like just that item they sell there, but the color and texture is lovely, there will be included a teleport to the mainstore, so you can go there and look.

http://seraphimsl.com/category/recurring-events/monthly/collabor88/

 

For skins, there can be problematic to know what's not appliers. If you look at Skincare Addiction: https://slskinaddiction.wordpress.com/

You will see that almost all things there say something like "For Catwa head" "For Laq head" and so on. I know that WoW skins, League and Glam Affair still have ordinary skins for sale. They may be on a separate wall and the applier skins in front of the store.

Many skin sellers have stopped to release classic skins, but you can always buy the demo and inspect them. Does the demo hold boxes only there is no classic skin there. Classic skin has that human figure icon. Just put demos without classic skins in your trash bin and move to another wall. Designers are used to people trying lots of demos.

Really, prim hair and layer clothing is still nice. The hair here is prims and the body suit is a layer, the head is the classic head, no mesh here.

What I have on is listed here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/27764102@N02/6534101785/in/dateposted-public/

They still sell the bodysuit in the Marketplace. :matte-motes-wink-tongue:

I will guess that Analog Dog has mostly mesh hairs now, but I kept some of their old prim flexi hair. And maybe Your Skin & Your Shape has their skins up too. YS&YS has really nice faces IMHO.

 

 

 

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Dansintherain wrote:

Could someone reccomend a few stores that sell skins and hairs for classic avi's that you like to visit.  Thanks!

I don't know of any skin that does not work with the classic avatar. Even if the skin comes with mesh body appliers, the package will still include a classic skin. Some skin makers have chosen to sell appliers for their old skins separately rather than update the original package though so you might have watch out for that.

The hair is a completely separate attachment and usually there is no difference whatsoever between hairs for classic avatars and hairs for mesh bodies.

What is a good skin and a good hair is very much a question of personal preference and your chosen style and what suits somebody else may not be the right for you.

If you want a really good looking avatar, it's important to match your skin to your body shape. A skin that looks gorgeous on one body may look horrible on another so if you don't want to waste a ton of Lindens it's important to try demos and see what works for you. I think it's fair to say that it's the skin/body combination that defines an avatar's appearance. Everything else, including any mesh body/body parts, are just details emphasizing (or ruining) that basic look.

As for hair, I much prefer a rally good old style flexihair to modern fitted mesh. Fitted mesh hair may look great in a picture but the moment you start moving around it's just too obvious that it odesn't move freely. I may be too sensitive to this but to me seeing somebody with the ends of their hair locks glued to their shoulders is seriously disturbing.

The big problem with flexihairs is to find one that is both good looking and low lag. Making a great flexihair is perhaps the most advanced for of SL content creation. Very few people have the skills and patience to do it right and most of the masters seem to have been copybotted to death long ago. A flexihair doesn't have to be laggy if the creator is concious about the issue. Unfortunately most of them were made long before people started to become aware of how vital avatar lag is to the SL experience so the makers didn't take that into consideration. Not sure if I should mention specific makers but Truth is one of the few old masters the copybotters didn't manage to kill, his hairs are always well made, his old flexihairs tend to be relatively low lag and since flexi isn't fashionable anymore, he sells them very cheap in his inworld store.

The Free Dove and GNC (the German Newbie Center) are probably the first places to look. Unlike mort freebie stores they are not filled up with old outdated stuff but rather with content donated by various current quaity designers. You can find some really great clothing and avatar parts for free there and you also get the chance to check out the work of different designers and see who matches your preferred style.

Edit: I completely forgot the most important point: Don't just look at photos on MP or in a blog or on an inworld vendor. Try the demos! A picture can lie more than a thousand words.

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Dansintherain, I'm having the same problem as you. I've just returned to the game after a nine year absence, and I have no idea whether to buy mesh or not. What I am taking away from this post, however, is to wait it out until bento becomes more ubiqitious. Also, am I correct in saying that mesh is not ubitiquous yet? 

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Personally, I'd advise you to wait a few months before purchasing a mesh body/head until you learn how SL works. SL has a steep learning curve without adding the second mountain that is mesh bodies.

The ONLY thing I'd tell you to go ahead and purchase would be the Slink feet. They are pretty much the standard for mesh feet and you're going to need them to get shoes you can wear. You can get appliers for the feet that match your skin easily enough and they are a good way to get the basics of how mesh body part work.

Good luck.

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Beau Daniels wrote:

Also, am I correct in saying that mesh is not ubitiquous yet? 

Oh, definitely yes.

Also, a mesh body can never make a good looking avatar in itself, it can only add to the qualities of the classic avatar underneath it. So work on your classic avatar first because if it doesn't look good, covering it with mesh isn't going to help.

 

Edit:

There is one side to mesh bodies we haven't mentioned here yet and that is that you don't really know how other people see you. Fitted mesh is slow to render initially and notoriously prone to render failure. You may see your glorious looking avatar in a wonderful outfit on your computer, others may see it naked or even just as a severed head floating in the air. Some people don't worry about such things, others think they don't worry and get a serious shock if/when they realize.

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ChinRey wrote:


Beau Daniels wrote:

Also, am I correct in saying that mesh is not ubitiquous yet? 

Oh, definitely yes.

Also, a mesh body can never make a good looking avatar in itself, it can only add to the qualities of the classic avatar underneath it. So work on your classic avatar first because if it doesn't look good, covering it with mesh isn't going to help.

 

 

Thank you so much for this response! Are there any specific stores you would reccomend so I can work on my classic avatar? 

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One thing that hasn't changed in 9 years is the scarcity of male choices. :(

Lapointe Bastchild (aka SWEAR) is always a good place to start. Riot is another good store for men. 

KC Couture has a few pair of male shoes including a pair of western style boots that look good, fit right and cost about 1/4 of what others will charge.

BTW, I just want to point out that you can wear mesh clothes with your system body.  Even so, try demos before you buy.

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I don't know whether to hug you or yell at you...lol    I fell in love with Truth!!  Headed to Free Dove and GNC now!   Thanks for the heads up with the pictures, I noticed a few on MP with gorgeous pics but with no demo, too risky even with revviews!  

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