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Skin appliers??


TobieArnott
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It's been a while since I engaged SL in an active way and am confused by the new world of skins ... "appliers"? It looks like it's no long possible to buy an entire skin ... just parts.  Is there a cogent explanation about how to go about assembling one's self and understanding "bento", "appliers", etc. It looks like many articles of clothing require a specific shape (Maitreya, etc.) along with heads, hands, feet, etc. from various creators.  I have no idea how it's possible to match up skin tone for hands, heads, etc. from diverse creators.  Suggestions?

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Hi Tobie, welcome back :)  It IS still possible to buy regular skins for your classic/default/original avatar, and many skin shops still sell them.  You can identify them usually by the description on the vendors. 

The appliers you are seeing are for mesh replacement bodies, which are worn over the original body, which is hidden by a full body alpha (except for the head, in most cases, see further down).  Most of these bodies include hands and feet, but some do not.  The bodies pretty much never include a head though, and these can be bought separately, or the original head can be used.  If you are using a mesh head then you will also need to hide the original head, and some mesh bodies do include a total alpha which hides all the body, feet, hands and head, as well as partial ones.

There are a lot of resources for people who are new to mesh replacement bodies and other parts, particularly this site: http://meshbodyaddicts.com/

 

Edited by Pixieplumb Flanagan
typo
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Some people wear complicated objects over their system avs now. Appliers are a way of putting new textures on these complicated objects (mesh feet, mesh hands, mesh bodies, mesh heads, and combinations thereof). For a while ginormous mesh breasts with nipples which could poke an eye out were the height of fashion, along with ginormous mesh derrieres but those seem to have died out fortunately.

The Slink brand was first out of the blocks with mesh feet and came to dominate the market. The mesh bodies now include their own feet I think. It's a nuisance trying to buy new shoes if you don't want to go down that route. For my main, I just wear old ones and spend my lindens on other things. My building alt isn't old enough to have much though and finding her decent ones is frustrating enough I gave up. Much sympathy for those who are new or returning after a long hiatus. Boots tend to be more forgiving this way than shoes - but always demo. Some boots are set up so they can only be worn over a specific type of mesh feet, even though they'll cover the feet entirely. O.o

It's not really possible to match up skin tones from different creators. There are also problems with the way light is reflected from the different surfaces so even if all the skins are from the same creator there will still be visible lines and such. I've never learned how to overlook those lines the way a lot of people do.

Skins for system/classic avs are still available. The mesh stuff is the new shiny so it tends to be at the front of the store and what's marketed/promoted but often system stuff will be tucked away in a back corner of the store.

When clothes or shoes include a specific brand name, it means they've been designed and rigged to work with that brand. Rigging is about the way mesh items move with the avatar skeleton - and with each other. If the items (clothes and body) are rigged and weighted differently, there may well be problems. Apologies if that's too confusing, the whole system is very confusing and full of odd terminology. You have to learn a new language in order to navigate a clothing store these days. :(

But some clothes do work on the system or other bodies. Always demo. Demo, demo, demo, demo. If you stick with a system/classic av (no mesh body), look for designations like Five Sizes, Standard Sizes (which used to mean a set of averages that fit no one in the larger sizes (though the smaller ones were ok enough), but is now used by some to mean non-mesh-body) or XS-S-M-L-XL. Those mean they were designed to work with system avs.

Applier clothes are essentially system clothes for mesh bodies. They won't work on system bodies at all, though a few brands do include a system version as well. Time to stop now. This isn't something to be taken on all at once, it's crazy-making.

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5 hours ago, TobieArnott said:

Is there a cogent explanation about how to go about assembling one's self and understanding "bento" ...

Bento is nothing to do with skins; it refers to the extra bones which LL added to the system avatar a while back, which can be used for better animations, like in the face and hands, and for extra avatar limbs like tails and wings. So if you buy a mesh body or head, make sure it is Bento-enabled, as all the leading ones now are.

Edited by angeoco
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6 hours ago, TobieArnott said:

 It looks like many articles of clothing require a specific shape (Maitreya, etc.) along with heads, hands, feet, etc. from various creators.

Maitreya Lara (Maitreya for short) is a particular model of female mesh body, which happens to be the current market leader, and so a lot of mesh clothes are designed to fit that body with no adjustment needed (in theory if not always in practice). However, Maitreya-fit clothes can sometimes fit other bodies well - Tonic Fine has been mentioned in these forums. Also, many standard-sized clothes (S/M/L etc.) can fit mesh bodies well, perhaps with some adjustment of the body's shape. You never  know for sure in advance, which is why demoing is vital.

You will also see applier clothes (painted-on things like underwear) available as a "Maitreya applier" which can only be applied to a Maitreya body. Omega appliers on the other hand are compatible with nearly all mesh bodies, so are usually a better choice.

Edited by angeoco
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4 hours ago, Bitsy Buccaneer said:

It's not really possible to match up skin tones from different creators. There are also problems with the way light is reflected from the different surfaces so even if all the skins are from the same creator there will still be visible lines and such. I've never learned how to overlook those lines the way a lot of people do.

I have Maitreya body and Vista Lia head. On both of them I have the same skin from YS&YS. The neck line is still visible more or less depending on the lighting. To test this a bit further I made blank even colour texture without any highlights or shadowing. Then I made appliers with that texture for the body and head and applied the texture to the body and head.

Ok, now as both the head and the body have exactly the same texture there should be no line visible in the neck. But there is, more or less depending on the lighting. This is weird because for example Maitreya body has separate feet and hands and there is no visible line at the joint to the body. So why does the head/body joint have visible line? Might it be something to do with the normals in the meshes?

Plain-skin-texture-test_Head-and-Body.png

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4 hours ago, Coby Foden said:

I have Maitreya body and Vista Lia head. On both of them I have the same skin from YS&YS. The neck line is still visible more or less depending on the lighting. To test this a bit further I made blank even colour texture without any highlights or shadowing. Then I made appliers with that texture for the body and head and applied the texture to the body and head.

Ok, now as both the head and the body have exactly the same texture there should be no line visible in the neck. But there is, more or less depending on the lighting. This is weird because for example Maitreya body has separate feet and hands and there is no visible line at the joint to the body. So why does the head/body joint have visible line? Might it be something to do with the normals in the meshes?

Plain-skin-texture-test_Head-and-Body.png

This comes down to skin making itself. A Head skin is basically always 512x512 by rule and the Body1024x1024 (some are done in 512x512 but lose clarity in detail at this resolution.) similarly the hands and feet would be done in 512x512. Also in some cases not all skin creators go back and double check each hue varient at different coordinates on the skin map and you end up with a darker hue near a lighter hue or a completely different scaled hue (more green in one section, and more red in another). this difference is what you might be seeing, the edge pixels do not quite line up at the seam even though they carry the same dpi. For some of my skins that I have made using the bake feature in Blender, I then have to take that map and smooth and normalize it in Photoshop later for proper clean up and detail. I meant to add that judging from your picture it looks as if there are obvious red blue under hues in the body and more red green in the head.

Edited by Hunter Stern
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6 hours ago, Hunter Stern said:

This comes down to skin making itself. A Head skin is basically always 512x512 by rule and the Body1024x1024 (some are done in 512x512 but lose clarity in detail at this resolution.) similarly the hands and feet would be done in 512x512. Also in some cases not all skin creators go back and double check each hue varient at different coordinates on the skin map and you end up with a darker hue near a lighter hue or a completely different scaled hue (more green in one section, and more red in another). this difference is what you might be seeing, the edge pixels do not quite line up at the seam even though they carry the same dpi. For some of my skins that I have made using the bake feature in Blender, I then have to take that map and smooth and normalize it in Photoshop later for proper clean up and detail. I meant to add that judging from your picture it looks as if there are obvious red blue under hues in the body and more red green in the head.

I want to clarify a bit what I used in the body and the head (if this wasn't clear in my post):

• Exactly the same texture is used on the head and on the body. The size of the texture is 1024 x 1024 pixels.
• The texture is one single colour texture with no highlights and no shadowings.
• This same texture is used on the head and on the body.

I'm beginning to think that the normals in the mesh head and mesh body at the joint area don't point exactly to the same direction and thus we see the line.
No lines are visible in the hand and feet joints in Maitreya body. So the designer has made sure that the normals at both sides of the joint point to the same direction.

Which might mean that the only solution to this neck joint problem would be that the body and head designer would co-operate so they could match the direction of normals of the body and the head at the joint.

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42 minutes ago, Bitsy Buccaneer said:

I think there was discussion of the reasons why this happens in another thread a few months ago, Cody. Maybe someone with a better functioning brain will remember it well enough to find it for you.

There have been at least two threads where this neck line problem were discussed:

https://community.secondlife.com/forums/topic/410934-is-it-possible-to-fix-neck-seam/?tab=comments#comment-1664408

https://community.secondlife.com/forums/topic/411212-help-signature-gianni-catwa-neck-area-problem/?tab=comments#comment-1666591

What I'm wondering is that why the seam line is still visible even if the texture on the mesh body and the mesh head is exactly the same one (i.e. the blank texture in my example).

Edited by Coby Foden
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On 2/14/2018 at 12:57 PM, Coby Foden said:

Plain-skin-texture-test_Head-and-Body.png

This has more to do with the limits between the head and the body (where they meet) and the fact that SL Default lighting make every shade weird. if you pay attention, the lighting on the bottom of the neck over the line (still on the head) is different from the shade on the neck, like there are 2 different light spots when it's actually only one. It's really because of being 2 different objects rather than skin issue. You could fix it a bit using this light settings to hide weird shadows and not using advanced lighting: 

image.png

Edited by Sylvannas Zulaman
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1 minute ago, Sylvannas Zulaman said:

This has more to do with the limits between the head and the body (where they meet) and the fact that SL Default lighting make every shade weird. if you pay attention, the lighting on the bottom of the neck over the line (still on the head) is different from the shade on the neck, like there are 2 different light spots when it's actually only one. It's really because of being 2 different objects rather than skin issue. You could fix it using this light settings to hide weird shadows: 

image.png

Yes, I know how to make the line to disappear with certain lighting settings. For example with those Windlights for "optimal skin looks".
The line is almost impossible to see with those Windlights - unless you study it with microscope.

But those "optimal skin" Windlights are good only for the skin. They make the scenery look very cartoon like, no shadows, no materials effects. Not good for general daily use. And changing the Windlight naturally affects only my view. So changing the lighting is not really a solution.

PS.
Maitreya body is supplied with separate hands and feet. And there is no visible line between them and the body.
I think the neck line issue comes from the fact that the body and head are made by different designers.
The body mesh and the head mesh normals at the joint might play a role here.

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