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InventedSuicide

Would anyone mind explaining to me how all this mesh stuff works?

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Hi all. First post on here. Recently I’ve returned from an SL hiatus & I’ve noticed everyone talks about investing in “bento” “physique” “maitreya Lara” & i’m extremely confused. I was hoping someone could explain it all to me? How it works? How much i’m looking at spending overall. I feel like a total newbie lol.. thanks in advance! :)

-Lex

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Welcome back!

The names you said, besides the first one, are from brands that sell body and/or heads. Bento is the recently released project that adds new rigging bones to the default avatar, creating new attachment points and new possibility of rigged animations like wings and pets.

Physique is a mesh body as well Maitreya Lara also is. Mesh bodies are a solution for the cranky outdated look that the default SL body has, it gives a smoother look and a more detailed shape, specially to hands and feet. 

Mesh bodies are but an object that you attach, they are rigged, it means they do follow any animations your body does, usually they have clothing/tattoo layers, like the system body has, but you have to use specific appliers for them to show up. Also mesh clothing stores usually offer sizes for the most popular bodies as they differ in shape, they need specific clothes for them.

When mesh heads started being a thing, they where animated using frames, which means a lot of invisible differently positioned expressions and heavy scripting. They also had a fixed shape. Now after bento the mesh heads follow the shape editing sliders which offers the avatar more options to look unique.

An average full mesh avatar goes around 10K lindens, the biggest bento heads are 5K (Catwa, Lelukta not sure about Genesis Lab), there are cheaper heads if you look around but most creators offer things for Catwa, then Lelutka. But if the head has Omega support (some kind of "universal applier system") you can buy skins and apply them even if they were originally created for another brand.

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I've only been back a couple of months after a couple year-absence, so here's my lowdown:

Bento: LL added a few more animation bones, so you can not only have animated wings and tails, but hands and and faces as well. However:

Mesh bodies: In order to have said animated hands and faces, you need a mesh body and hands. And a lot of people have effectively abandoned the classic avatars for said mesh bodies, making it harder to find clothes for the classic avatar, and adding a additional 'catching-up' expense for long-time returners with less stable linden incomes, like myself.

(Okay, I'm a little bitter, I can still wring a lot of use from what I got, but the writing's on the wall as far as I'm concerned....) 

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Thank you both very much ^^

I’m still pretty rusty, don’t entirely understand.. 10k seems a bit pricey, but if the classic avi is going out of date maybe it’s time to upgrade.. 

Are these heads & bodies customisable like the classic shapes or does everyone end up looking the same way? Lol.

I don’t understand what was meant by “specific appliers” either

Edited by InventedSuicide

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This is a great place to learn about all things mesh.  http://meshbodyaddicts.com

Most people use it for reviews and product discussions but the tutorials are going to be where you start.  They are very well done and will answer most of your questions.

 

28 minutes ago, InventedSuicide said:

How much i’m looking at spending overall.

How much do you want to spend?
50 buck US will buy a top end look with a few outfits. 

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Thank you @Rhonda! That link really helped me understand so much more. At least with the bodies. Still confused as to how tattoo’s & skin layers work though. And what are “omega appliers”?

Also, would I still be able to wear my normal clothes or could I only shop for clothes that are fit for a certain body?

As for the price I’m looking to spend, not even close to that. Maybe £15 at most?

Edited by InventedSuicide

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5 minutes ago, InventedSuicide said:

10k seems a bit pricey

It is....but you could easily end up spending that for the look you want. Because of the potential outlay, it's really worth spending a little time sprucing up your system avatar while you shop around and DEMO a range of mesh bodies and heads.

For comparison, I picked up two lovely Bento heads at xmas - one for free from Altamura, and a LAQ one at a promo price of L500. I've also bought two Altamura Bento Fullbodies (head included) at L900 each (offer price, they're normally 4.5K). So I have a choice of two bodies and four heads for a grand total of L2400 (I could have been perfectly happy with just one Bento Fullbody for L900, tbh, but I like variety!) - there will be other deals/promotions from various creators to watch out for while you're demoing..

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We can do that :) It is a bit long winded. I think the key to understanding is knowing there are 2 types of avatar and in the second type a number of subtypes or brands. 

The long explanation is here: http://blog.nalates.net/2017/04/10/second-life-mesh-vs-classic-bodies/

I think it gives a good history of how we got here and how that impacts us now. Then you should be able to tell what goes with what.

Coming is Animesh and Bakes-On. Animesh will mostly be pets, or so we thing now. But, it can also be used for avatar attachments. There is no telling how the fashion people will use Animesh. Bakes-On is expected, or hoped, to radically impact the mesh avatar attachment and change how mesh bodies are made. Bakes-On is planned for release about the end of March or it may be more accurate to say the coding will complete the end of March. If things go as they usually do unforeseen problems and additional features needed and not anticipated will delay the feature.

So, you'll have more things to figure out.

 

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4 minutes ago, InventedSuicide said:

Also, would I still be able to wear my normal clothes or could I only shop for clothes that are fit for a certain body?

Short answer, all those system clothes, tattoos and skins will not work with mesh bodies.

I like to explain it like this:  Think of the mesh bodies as a big prim that covers your system body.  That is basically what they are.  Rez a box, stretch it to 1.5 meters cube and wear that on you stomach.  That's your new body.  You may be wearing a nice shirt on your system body but no one will see it under the big box you have on. 

Appliers:
These are things that paint a texture on your mesh body.  That box you are wearing from the paragraph above.  It comes in plywood but if you want to change it's looks, you need a tool so other people can make textures that will be drawn on your body.  They work much like old system clothes on system bodies.  Only now we have to use player made devices to work with player made bodies.

 

Using mesh clothes, you don't  HAVE to only wear mesh made for your specific body but that will give you the best fit. 

So don't forget, system bodies can wear mesh clothes but mesh bodies cannot wear system clothes.

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An applier is the mesh-body equivalent of system clothes/tattoos/makeup/skins (the painted-on stuff) which cannot be used on a mesh body. Appliers are available for specific mesh bodies, or as Omega appliers which can be used on nearly all mesh bodies.

You don't have to buy clothes that are designed specifically for your mesh body, but it does make life a lot easier. Standard-sized mesh clothes (S/M/L etc.) can often be worn with mesh bodies, but you might have to make changes to your shape. The important thing is to always demo anything before you buy it.

You don't need to spend a fortune on clothes. There are lots of quality freebies and bargains available. You could start with a visit to the Free Dove, a whole warehouse full of freebies, follow freebie blogs like FabFree, and look for free stuff on the Marketplace.

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Damn it, I’ve made a really cool tattoo & pair of shorts I really like, but if I can’t wear those, hmmmm. I’m gonna have a look around for some demos however. Decide how I really feel about using it. Would I also have to buy a new skin? I’m happy with just one head & body, skin etc. Thanks all for the help! 

Does anyone have a link to any good demo’s to try out? :)

Edited by InventedSuicide

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4 minutes ago, InventedSuicide said:

 Would I also have to buy a new skin? 

Not 100%, but likely depending on how old your skin is and whether you keep the system head or change to mesh.  To keep using a classic head with a mesh body, you need a classic skin and a skin body applier in the same tone from the same creator.  The creator of your skin might have a body applier, if the creator is still around.  

If you also change to a mesh head, then you need a skin body applier and skin head applier in the same tone from the same creator.  Your classic skin will be useless in that case, but if the creator is still around you might be able to get the same skin tone in an applier from them.

Edited by LittleMe Jewell

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5 minutes ago, InventedSuicide said:

Damn it, I’ve made a really cool tattoo & pair of shorts I really like, but if I can’t wear those, hmmmm.

You can convert artwork into appliers quite easily. Omega has a free creator's kit, as do most of the mesh-body designers.

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28 minutes ago, InventedSuicide said:

Are these heads & bodies customisable like the classic shapes or does everyone end up looking the same way? Lol.

I don’t understand what was meant by “specific appliers” either

Mesh-heads have evolved. The initial heads made everyone look the same. with the advent of Bento that changed. Fitted mesh allowed bodies to be fitted to the skeleton. But, with just Fitted mesh there were no finger, wing, or facial bones. So, there were never sliders for them. But, the sliders for the other parts of the body do work with Fitted mesh. The Classic avatar head uses morphs, not animated bones. The new Bento heads use the sliders as the viewer has been altered to use the new bones and morphs. So, you can create the look you want.

However, not all Bento head brands use the sliders the same way. Some use different combinations of sliders. Some don't use this or that slider. So, animations and shapes are pretty much brand specific. Finger and wing animations less so. So all this Bento stuff is very much "try the demo".

If you ever made classic clothes you know you made a shirt by creating a new clothing item - shirt. Then you added a texture to the shirt item. When you wore the shirt item it put the texture on the avatar. There are no similar items for a mesh body. So, to get an undershirt, tattoo, shirt, etc. on a mesh body we use an Applier. As mesh bodies are not Linden made and built into the viewer, they are all different. So, each brand has to have its own Applier. A Slink Applier won't work on a Maitreya body. So, all the Appliers have to match up too.

Omega makes a generic Applier. There is a user's kit for Omega. I buy it, install it in my mesh body - brand specific kits - and I can then use anyone's Omega Applier with my mesh body. The designers buy an Omega Designer Kit and customize it to work with their products.

If all this seems unnecessarily complicated, it is because of an effort on the part of designers to avoid having their stuff stolen.

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5 minutes ago, InventedSuicide said:

Does anyone have a link to any good demo’s to try out?

Not a demo as such, but Altamura have placed a free* Fullbody called 'Valentina' at a freebie sim:

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/AJUDA BRASIL VOLUNTARIOS/37/29/23

Instructions from the Altamura notecard:

"Walk forward from landing to the freebies sign, turn left and walk into the building, go left to the last section and Valentina is on the wall.
Free, no group necessary."

More precise instructions:

Go into the building and turn left down three steps. Walk towards two gift boxes (with bows) on the floor by the back wall. Then look to the right and the Valentina vendor is on the partition wall opposite the gift boxes.

 

*this has been announced as an ongoing freebie, not just a short-term promotion. It is limited in that you can't change sking or use appliers, but you can get the feel for a mesh body, wear mesh clothes, alpha body-parts via the hud, and adjust the shape to your liking.

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9 minutes ago, InventedSuicide said:

Damn it, I’ve made a really cool tattoo & pair of shorts I really like, but if I can’t wear those, hmmmm. I’m gonna have a look around for some demos however. Decide how I really feel about using it. Would I also have to buy a new skin? I’m happy with just one head & body, skin etc. Thanks all for the help! 

Does anyone have a link to any good demo’s to try out? :)

If you made the tattoo, you can put it in an Applier. See my tutorial http://blog.nalates.net/2017/01/05/tutorial-2017-how-to-make-slink-nails/

Appliers are easy to make. No rocket science. Just get the kit from the designer that makes the mesh body you have. AFAIK, all the kits are free. Designers want people to make stuff for their products. Once you have done that you can sell the applier in the marketplace.

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24 minutes ago, InventedSuicide said:

Does anyone have a link to any good demo’s to try out? :)

All reputable mesh bodies have demo versions available, either at the inworld shops or the Marketplace. And as LexxiXhan mentioned, some have free bodies that are missing some features but still quite usable, like Altamura and EBody. You can find reviews of most popular bodies and heads, and links to their shops, at the Mesh Body Addicts website. The current market leader for female mesh bodies (and therefore the one with most clothes designed to fit it out of the box) is Maitreya Lara, with the Belleza and Slink bodies next, and others like Tonic, EBody, Altamura a bit behind. With mesh heads, each model has its own distinctive appearance which can only be adjusted within limits, so your choice is really a matter of taste, however Catwa and Lelutka would be the most popular designers.

Edited by angeoco

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4 minutes ago, InventedSuicide said:

Thanks all so much for the help! I picked up the Valentina body, it seems to be working fine, although my head has messed up?? Lol.. are there any free heads anywhere I could find? 

Be sure to wear the shape that came with the body.  Head shapes are odd things and the sliders act weird compared to what we are used to.  If you want to maintain your normal body shape then first wear the shape that came with the body and make a note of all of the head related sizing (head, chin, eyes, etc...) and transfer those specs to your shape -- or transfer your body non-head specs to the shape that came with the mesh body.

Once you've got the head looking mostly normal, then you can play with the sliders to get a custom look, but you need to start with whatever the settings are in the initial shape that came with it.

Edited by LittleMe Jewell

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The full-body alpha hides your system eyes, so you need to get mesh eyes as well. Alternatively, you can wear an alpha which does not hide the system eyes, but they might not be well aligned with the head. The Valentina free body/head seemingly does not accept appliers, so you can only use whatever skin and makeup is supplied with it. The non-free bodies all accept appliers, for skin/makeup/tattoos/clothes. Demo bodies usually accept appliers too.

One thing that I think has not been mentioned yet is that in order to use Omega appliers with a mesh body, you will probably need to buy an Omega relay ("system kit") for the body, costing 50 L$ (if you join the group and buy it inworld) or 99 L$.

Edited by angeoco

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17 minutes ago, InventedSuicide said:

It's not that my head messed up, but my eyes have dissapeared? And my makeup too.. image.png.8955e364924bd0533e6cdb2e9c74cbbe.png

There should be more than one alpha layer for use with the body. You have one that is hiding the eyes. Look through the contents and find the alpha layer that works.

There are tutorials on making your own alpha layers. They are easy to do. So worst case make your own.

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I just checked my own Valentina and it seems to come with a facial poses HUD which lets you open and close the eyelids.

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