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JasonHardwick

Turning a Classic Look to Mesh

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Can someone explain what the process would be to take the look of a classic looking avitar and turning it into mesh? I've had my look from a classic avi for years and to say that I have grown fond and comfortable with it would be an understatement. Switching to mesh seems almost as if I would be leaving someone behind. What would be the steps to updating my avi to mesh while keeping as much of it's current look as possible? I've tried different mesh shapes and heads, played with the sliders, but unless I'm missing soething very basic, it seems that bringing my old look into the new mesh world is going to take some very creative and talented skills that I probably don't have. 

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Before I reply, why turn into mesh when it sounds as you are happy with your look now?

For the face/head, are we talking about changing that too? It does not sound like it.

In my opinion, most avatars look better by just replacing parts of the wardrobe with mesh clothes. The naked avatar will look much better in mesh. It is worth asking if you will take the investment in a mesh body if you wear jeans and shirts all the time. (assuming you are male from the name).

Before you buy the mesh bodypart you want, make sure there is skin appliers for the mesh! I can not stess it enough. Manual tinting to try to match head and body is so hard and the result is always so much better with an applier. If your skin is several years old, it may be discontinued or the creator left SL. So take a look where you bought your skin, there should be vendors with appliers there. Some very established skin makers took a long time to make appliers, but even Aeros sell some appliers now.

Back to the naked body. If you want a thinner, not so overly muscular avatar, I would look into Slink male body. And it is already made a video that I think will be better than me posting a lot of words....

I will recommend Slink, I own this male body on one of my avatars and the female on another. Plus that I own Signature Gianni, TMP and Niramyth Aesthetic.

For the SL resident who will want to look like their old self, just improved, I think Slink is a good pick. Your body will not change dramatically, and some fine tuning is often enough.

The HUD offer a lot of picks, the alpha cuts is plentiful, but you can also alpha out big parts of the body with a few clicks.

The owner of Slink is working on Bento hands, but there is no release date yet.

I am in no way affiliated with Slink or the owner.

 

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It is mainly about the look of the head and face. I'm using a Signature mesh body which I'm completely happy with, but taking my head and facial features and trying to put them onto what looks to me like one big round mesh cue ball head is more than challenging. The original skin if from Tellaq and I don't know of any mesh heads that might be an equivelant starting point. As to why I would want to bring my look into the modern age if I'm happy with it now....well, why would one trade in a perfectly fine automobile for a newer model? Simply to have the latest and greatest version with all the bells and whistles.

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JasonHardwick wrote:

It is mainly about the look of the head and face. I'm using a Signature mesh body which I'm completely happy with, but taking my head and facial features and trying to put them onto what looks to me like one big round mesh cue ball head is more than challenging. The original skin if from Tellaq and I don't know of any mesh heads that might be an equivelant starting point. As to why I would want to bring my look into the modern age if I'm happy with it now....well, why would one trade in a perfectly fine automobile for a newer model? Simply to have the latest and greatest version with all the bells and whistles.

You can use the default head and the Signature body - the body should have come with a notecard that explains the process.

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Personally, unless you want to work with a bento head, I'd leave your head alone. The head isn't as "important'" as the body was. The original body we all got is old and very low on polygons so you got a body that if you made too much of a change you started getting sharp peaks on it. The new mesh bodies take care of that. 

The head/face, however, is another story. Although the Bento skeleton has added more bones, it still doesn't have the finesse of the sliders on the default body. If you look at the editing menu for the body, 3 tabs are devoted to the body. The rest are devoted to the head and face. There just isn't any way you can get the fine tuning on a mesh head you can get with the sliders so you are dependent on the head creator for the general look and shape and then tweek it some for a more personalized. look.

If I were you, I'd just wait and keep looking as new heads come on the market. It took me a year before I found one that looked like my default face. 

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'Classic' to 'Mesh avatar conversion isnt some arcane process that takes months and needs custom made stuff...

 

I converted from 'classic' to 'mesh' in about oh, 30 mins.

 

I kept the shape I used for 'classic' wore my mesh body and its alpha over thet, used the appliers for my 'classic' skin to recolor the mesh body, tried on my rigged mesh clothing that my 'classic' shape was sized to fit, edited the shape down so the fitted-mesh body fitted my rigged-mesh clothing, saved the result as a new "me mk 2 (mait)" shape, then wearing my 'classic' avi rigged mesh clothing over my new 'mesh' avi body, I went looking for fitted mesh clothing for the new me.

 

Simple... It's not rocket science unless you make poor choices usually as a result of not asking around or checking reviews.

 

Mesh heads and the whole Bento-head circus, leave it to the fashionista-fanatics, a system head on amesh body still gives the best 'personalised look' options.

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Well, now that you told me you have Signature body, I had no need for a longwinded post about a body, right....

The designer that has the most different mesh heads for Bento, is Akeruka. https://www.flickr.com/photos/kaoz/with/32568099891/

As Bobbie said, a mesh head offer you some customization but you can not change it as much as you can with the classic head. If you find a mesh head that looks almost as you want, it is best to start with the included shape and tweak it from that starting point. Then change the body to your measurements when the face looks right.

You use Tellaq skin, so you will have a hard time matching the head and body. A shame that Tellaq don't sell appliers.

 

 

 

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I agree with the others who say keep your system head, I just recently made the switch to mesh, and I love it, my only question is why didn't I do this earlier, but I have no desire to change the face I have come to know as me in Second Life. I went to Maitreya and just picked out the Maitreya shape the was closest to my old body, I have had some complain I am not curvy enough anymore, but I have no plans to go off my new diet. I matched my new skin color to my old face, went shopping for new tats and had a new look that still had the same feel as the old one. 

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I agree with the head and some of the other advice. If you're already wearing mesh clothing, this shouldn't be a big deal. When dressed, your shape and avatar aren't really visible anyways.

If you are doing a hard conversion from system clothing to a mesh avatar, that's going to be the biggest problem.

It's worth noting that changing your avatar's appearance isn't going to be an exact science. Rather, you want to match the look rather than copy it. Work on getting the same height, similar proportions, and assigned your skin or a new one in order to update your look.

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One thing to consider when going to a mesh head... Bento Heads are new. The designers are just getting started with animations for these heads. So, we are sort of on version 1.0 stuff. You may want to wait for the version 2.0 generation.

I like the face I built for my classic avatar. I think the eyes need work... whatever. As I have upgraded the avatar I have learned the skin can drastically change the appearance of the face without a slider being moved. To retain my 'look' I take a snapshot of the face, put it on a prim, put that where I can see it and my avatar together. Then change skin and go to work with the appearance sliders restoring my look.

I still wear my classic head. The cast in place mesh heads just weren't what I wanted. The new Bento heads that can be animated are something I think I want. They will eventually be far more well animated than the classic head.

How well one does that depends on their skill. I don't see it as being that hard. I did have to work on it for a while then come back in a couple of days and tweak. repeat, repeat, repeat... eventually I get what I want.

I am sure some skin and head combinations would never let me get to where I want to be. So, I play with the demos. I have yet to find what I want.

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Honestly, a lot of it involves finding mesh content similar in style to the pre-mesh look you're attempting to update.

To go into more detail it's worth noting that what would work best for you changes depending on whether you like to mod or not.

If you don't do modding, then I'd recommend:

  • the Maitreya mesh body. It seems to be the most popular and have the most clothing support.It also looks very nice.
  • If you have a specific outfit in mind, disregard the above body suggestion and try to find an outfit in the style you're attempting to recreate, then see what bodies it is available for.
  • For a mesh head you definitely want bento. Unfortunately I'm not all that familiar with the current state of the mesh head market. I've heard Catwa heads have an insanely high draw weight, which you want to avoid. But that was also their pre-bento head so they might be a lot better about that now. Try demos. See how they effect your draw weight.
  • For that matter, do the same thing with any clothing you get. Low draw weight is good. If your draw weight is too high a lot of people won't see your avatar, just a brightly coloured sprite where your avatar is.

 

If you do like to mod, then things get more complicated.

  • Avoid no-mod bodies. They'll drive up your draw weight and limit your customization options, making it harder to recreate a specific look unless they have something in that style available off the rack. With a decent modifiable body, like Kitties Lair, you can remove the clothing/tattoo layers from the copy you wear to greatly reduce your draw weight.
  • Avoid no-mod heads for the same reason.You still definitely want bento features.
  • Some clothing makers will include download links for their textures, allowing you to download and edit textures which can make it very easy to expand your wardrobe and recreate a specific look or style. Most of these clothing makers also encourage people to sell their modifiable textures as it drives up the demand and value of their clothing. If you're good at retexturing you can sell your custom creations.

In either case, chances are, you're not going to be able to recreate your old look completely, but if you shop around, making a list of bookmarks and landmarks where you can find similar clothing items in mesh, you should be able to get pretty close while also improving on the old look.

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I had the same concerns when I decided to commit to mesh, I was terrified that I would lose ME in the process. It didn't happen I was able to get very very close by paying attention to small details. Proportions is also important. Use an image of your classic avi as you are designing your mesh and you will be more likely to capture the essence of your old look if not the exact representation. Most important have fun doing it. I am so glad I made the jump and still have the connection to my classic avi. Make sure you tell us what you decided to do. Good luck!  

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You likely won't get an exact match for your current face using a mesh head. Bento heads can be altered to some extent using the classic shape sliders, but they are more limited than the classic head, so you need a mesh head that's at least somewhere close.  That said, there's plenty of choice on the market now, even for guys.

However, with a LOT of testing of demos, you might get close enough. You can get a bunch of mesh head demos, and some skin demos with appliers, and "mix-and-match" until you find a combination that you like. It's unfortunate that Tellaq doesn't have appliers, so if you do decide to get a mesh head as well, you might want to look at different skin-makers. Labyrinth might be a good place to start if you're after a very "built" look similar to Tellaq's. 

I swore I'd never get a mesh head because I didn't want to lose my "identity" - my face has been more or less the same for years (though I did upgrade the skin a few times). But I did, a couple of weeks ago and after trying a whole bunch of demos I found one, and a skin to go with it, that worked. It's not an exact match but it definitely captures "me" - just a decade or so older. 

5a948f901f0e8_classicvmesh.png.40888a75fe099ba17af56de27952811c.png

For comparison;

left: Classic head with skin Neo by Prodigal

right: Mesh head - Shaheen by Catwa. Skin - Hades by Birth.

The main difference I found was the eyes, which are narrower on the Catwa head and cannot be made much bigger than this without distorting them (narrow eyes are kind of a Catwa "trademark" and wouldn't necessarily apply to other head-makers). And the brows which are lower. Aside from that, I think it's a really good match.

(I just noticed that my nose is too narrow - must fix that when SL finally lets me log back in!)

Edited by Lewis Luminos
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This is no necro, only mild "rise of the undead" for informative purposes... :ph34r:

 

Strangely enough, I didn't have much of a problem to convert my regular everyday "me" to mesh, even though I quickly got tired of my original mesh head. So now it's LeLutka's Spencer instead of Chloe, but well.

However, I have extreme difficulties to find matching components for most of my older roleplay characters. Their facial structures and complimenting system skins have simply defined them too much.

I'm slowly trying to update the m-alts / characters who only had a SLink body so far, especially since several "to go" stores seem to be fading out on SLink support for whatever reason. That is quite a pity, since I like that body best for a rather slender shape.

But most of all: any ideas for a proper mesh head / applier replacement to make up for my eternally beloved King system skin by Redgrave?  

Edited by Lillith Hapmouche
... naughty Enter key...

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On 3/17/2017 at 9:57 AM, Nalates Urriah said:

 

To retain my 'look' I take a snapshot of the face, put it on a prim, put that where I can see it and my avatar together. Then change skin and go to work with the appearance sliders restoring my look.

 

Now that is a damn good idea.  I have grabbed a screen shot of my face and kept that up on my other monitor while I work on myself, but the two monitors are not identical thus the coloring is never exactly the same.  That always drove me crazy.   I prefer your way much, much better.

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57 minutes ago, Lillith Hapmouche said:

I'm slowly trying to update the m-alts / characters who only had a SLink body so far, especially since several "to go" stores seem to be fading out on SLink support for whatever reason. That is quite a pity, since I like that body best for a rather slender shape.

But most of all: any ideas for a proper mesh head / applier replacement to make up for my eternally beloved King system skin by Redgrave?  

Slender is definitely achievable with the Signature Gianni body, with the right skin:

180227_001.png.762a541599b118f47b3279c8bc3d06fd.png

Body thickness and torso muscles are both down to about 10 on the sliders here. You'll never get "skinny" with it, but slender, sure. =^.^=

No idea what your Regdrave skin is like. If it helps, mine's by Egozy.

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Thanks, but that's overall too athletic for my mental image of the character's look with too well toned arms and chest.
On Belleza's Jake, I couldn't get the neck area to look proper with such thin basics ... I should probably grab some screenshots to illustrate it. :)

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If you can't find a mesh head that can get anywhere close to your classic face, you can save your classic shape (if it's mod) .xml and use Avastar with Blender to create an exact version of your classic head in mesh. You can then smooth it out in Blender to get rid of any angular bits. There's more to it than that, you'll need to weight-paint the neck or it'll move with your head, but that's what I did. I couldn't find a mesh head that didn't have fish lips, so I made my own. It's a work in progress but it's mostly done.

To save the .xml (in Firestorm, the SL viewer might be different), go to developer / Character Tests / Appearance to .xml. You'll need Avastar to open the .xml in Blender.

Edited by semalina
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9 hours ago, semalina said:

go to developer / Character Tests / Appearance to .xml.

Developer / Avatar / Character Tests / Appearance

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My first Forum answer ever, since I have a second life. 

And well. The question is simple: Is there a possibility to get  A COMPLETE NEW MESH BENTO AVATAR??? 

As the first entry says: actually I dont want to lose my face because I thought, my avatar is pretty... Of course it is much more natural looking, when fingers move, a mouth moves or it simply looks better. 

I am back for some weeks now after a long pause. And what can I say? It drives me nuts to see clothes, to have to look: is it for my old avi? Yes I already have a bento avi, but to put so many more items (alphas) for a normal outfit is really odd. Then the price for ... yes, for what? The marketplace is full of stuff, but what is really complete? 

Search for complete, you will find a COMPLETE moving mouth, or COMPLETE skin, but hey, this one is only for Belleza, the other one is totally great for another creator. Oh and hey, dont forget the COMPLETE Applier for not having a cut on your throat which looks like you had a suizide try ... there is never clearly A COMPETE AVATAR NEW MESH... however... 

 

Oh, what was the question? Ah, yes: Is there a complete new avatar? Payable (not 3,999 LS). Hope to get help... feel free to add me inworld, if you can help. 

 

Thanks in Advance

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21 hours ago, LittleMe Jewell said:

Developer / Avatar / Character Tests / Appearance

Thanks for the correction, LittleMe :)

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Left:  Pre-Mesh head and pretty much my fave look for me as far as skin/shape of face was concerned. I changed hairs, eyecolor etc and makeup so I won't count that. 

Right: Post-Mesh head, as Tess is today...or at least for the next 12 hours or so until I decide to change up :) Using the Catwa Catya mesh head. 

Pretty damn close and pretty AF,  imho.

I take ALOT of photos, and when mesh came out, I think I died and went to heaven because suddenly, there was ME, but BETTER. Edges smoothed out, depth, no awkward angles, rough edges, blurry makeup, etc.  It was like me Version2.0. Now, I am probably unique in that I change my appearance quite a bit, and use various mesh heads actually (in my icon I am using the Alice head from Catwa and it is non Bento, and I love it) 

The thing I did and I don't think I really thought about it, just intuitively, is that I ended up finding heads that hold the same OVERALL face structure and profiles that I like, and then I found a skin that worked with them. 

There are a few things that Tess always has: 1. gorgeous eyes (no matter what color) 2. fuller sensual pouty lips 3. diastema (that little gap between her two front teeth 4. specific proportions between the eyes, nose, lips that tend to stay as close to the same as possible, regardless of skin, hair, etc. 

So, one way of keeping your look as close to the same as possible is to describe your face..is it chiseled jaw and aquiline nose? then look for that in a head. Is it a more youthful build to the face, with wider eyes, perhaps a more sensuous mouth? then look for those features in the mesh head and skin combo, etc. The skin you use will make a big difference in the overall look of the face, so sometimes just finding a head that is "close enough" will work.

I might add that I, for one, didn't expressly WANT to keep my avatar looking the exact same. I welcomed the upgrade and the change. In the end though, we are drawn to certain "looks" and features that we find pleasing, so we instinctively go for that when creating our "looks", like I did below, a few years apart :)

5b1871842bf45_premeshvsmesh2.thumb.png.3510de661ec716468ffdcc922aaef8b7.png

 

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