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amywilders

Why go mesh?

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Ok, I am finally going to ask one of those dumb questions and I am feeling old enough to not care if it's noobish or not. It's all about getting a mesh body or not. I have been in SL close to 2½ years by now and up to now I have stuck to my system body. I have a set of mesh hands and feet but not yet invested in a full body. I got a system shape I like, a face I love, an awesome mesh skin and on top of that a cute tattoo. I sometime get compliments for having a beautiful avatar, hopefully not only from people that wants to get into my pants. 

Why do I even bring up the issue? Well, when I get into a bikini the system body has its shortcomings. For one thing, the shoulder blades tend to look pretty weird in some poses. I have tried a demo of a mesh body and it looked great, but what I missed was the ability to edit the shape, and I don't want to look just like everyone else. I want to be able to edit my shape and look like me... sort of.

So let's get noobish... If I get a mesh body, can I edit the shape of it just as easy as I can with my system shape, or will I be stuck with a shape that someone else have made?

/Amy

 

 

Edited by amywilders

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You can wear any shape you want with a mesh body and edit it however you want.  With some mesh bodies, some of the sliders have more impact than with others.  This is why it is important to demo all of the different mesh bodies to find what fits well "for you".  Start with your normal shape and then simply adjust it to get what you want - no need to wear the shape that comes with the body.  Remember to make copies of your normal shape before messing with it -- and maybe make a copy for each demo that you think you like, labeling it with the body name.  That will make it easier to jump from body to body while demoing to see what you like best.

Start with this website, which has great reviews of all the different mesh bodies available -- or most of them, anyway.  http://meshbodyaddicts.com/

Final note -- as you've noted yourself, even with mesh feet and hands, the system body around the shoulders, elbows, knees, etc.. leave much to be desired.  That alone is the best reason for a mesh body. 

Edited by LittleMe Jewell
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The vast majority of the fashion industry in SL has gone almost exclusively mesh. Maitreya is the defacto standard getting almost universal support, other bodies get support but not across the board.

Check out your favorite stores and see what they support, get demos. You can play dress up with a demo body, demo skin appliers and demo clothing.

Do not expect your current shape to work out of the box with a mesh body .. well .. it will work, but it wont look the same as with a system body. 

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2 hours ago, amywilders said:

I don't want to look just like everyone else.

I hear this so much I just can't ignore it. There are probably hundreds of shapes available in SL, So even if no one bothered to edit our shape, we would not all have the same one. Furthermore shape is just a part of a persons total look, we add to that a skin, hair clothes, maybe tattoos, jewelry. When we are done we all have a distinct look. I understand if it is important to you to have an avi that looks like your RL self, you want to be able to edit it, but the idea that the only way to be unique is to edit your shape is nonsense.  

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I think that applies more to faces than bodies though .. there is only so much you can do with a mesh head .. which is why vendors sell a dozen variants rather than just "the one".

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7 minutes ago, CoffeeDujour said:

I think that applies more to faces than bodies though .. there is only so much you can do with a mesh head .. which is why vendors sell a dozen variants rather than just "the one".

True, well you most likely cannot go to teh full extremes, some mesh bodies look sily with large breasts some with smoll breasts some with samll size. Don't expect it to be as verstile as the system body. And don't expect the cloth designers to think about all sliders either. A lot of Maitreya stuff only works for body fat = 0 Duh designers, no buy from me, better try next time, OK?

But as long as you stay withing the human average they all usually work great. If you decide to buy one look also at what clothing support you get, not all are as well supported as they deserve. There are in fact onyl 6 big names with any 3rd party fitmesh support worth mentioning (2 more if you consider anime bodies) and of those one gets 2/3rds of the cake the two runners up share one quarter and the rest is pretty rare.

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Also keep in mind that the SKIN plays a HUGE part in the look of a mesh head (and for MOST  --- not all) mesh heads you will definitely need to make changes to "look like you"; so be prepared for that step.

I suggest getting the FREE (join free group and pay 1 linden) eBody body. It doesn't have all the features of the full eBody of course but it has alpha layers and there are many clothes (mostly Maitreya and for sure MOZ who seems to be the main designer for eBody classic). You can get the classic body (like Lara but healthier looking :D) or the Curvy body -- both are free. 

It is a good way to try things out. If you wan the MOST clothes available then you will want Lara, but if you are willing to shop a bit more you might find one of the other bodies will work better for you self-image.

As a blogger I have Lara. My alt blogs for eBody.  There are also some free bodies at altamura from time to time. Sometimes in hunts, sometimes for group. So watch for those.

And try LOTS of demos.

You won't look "just like you". That's not going to happen. But since it is almost impossible to get good, new, mesh clothing for system bodies it is getting much more difficult to shop for them. Hence I know a lot of folks who now have all or most of their alts with mesh bodies too :D.

Go slowly. It is a big step.  Many of us did it of course. That's why you see so many naked people standing around for their clothes to rez at venues. LOL

eBody body, altamura  (free at Christmas) head, WoW skin, Wasabi 50 linden hair :D. I had to buy her some good eyes, but she looks pretty snazzy I think. MOZ outfit which WILL work with eBody free (fits so good that you don't need alphas). 

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Mesh bodies are generally fitmesh, which means you definitely can change your shape, in exactly the same way you do now - using the Edit Shape sliders. Each mesh body does have its own "base" shape, the way the body itself is formed, and those features can be softened (or exaggerated), but not changed. It's important to demo because of those differences. A recent topic (in an inworld group, I believe), pointed out one brand in particular for having, in their opinion, "upward-pointing" breasts no matter what she tried with her shape. Take note of those things when you demo, and if you have a modifiable shape, edit it to see how the mesh body reacts. (Heads are a different story, although bento mesh heads ARE customizable and if you choose the right one for you and edit it to your preferences, you'll still wind up looking quite unique.)

As for "why go mesh," well, you've pretty much already said it! The system body is usable, but there are features on it that aren't terribly attractive, such as the shoulder blades, or the way it deforms pretty dramatically at some slider settings. Mesh hands and feet cover the worst two parts, but there's room for improvement with the rest, which is the purpose of mesh bodies. In a perfect world, LL would fix all the flaws on the system avi and make that itself better, but barring that, mesh bodies work nicely. As an added incentive, a great deal of - possibly even most - high-quality clothing is being made exclusively for mesh bodies, now, so switching to mesh gives you access to more high-quality clothing.

 

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Most mesh bodies (except very cheap or old ones) can be edited to some extent with the sliders, and you can wear them without a mesh head so you can keep your original face if you want. Bear in mind though, that unless your current skin also has appliers for your chosen body (or for Omega), you won't be able to use it on your mesh body, so you'll have two options - either buy a new skin that does (thus also changing your face) or use one of the default body skins and hope for a match. Though, most mesh bodies are tintable with the hud, so that may not be as difficult as you might think (unless you have a near-white or other unusual skin tone). Some mesh bodies also include neck gradients (similar to the gradient socks for slink feet) which makes it even easier.

If you do decide to go for a mesh head as well, try lots of demos of different heads and try each one with demos of different skins.  You probably won't be able to get an exact match to your current face, but you'll likely get close enough that you can tell it's the same person, if that makes sense. Skin choice is key.

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I suspect you have gathered much of the why comes down to 'looks'. The rest is the neat clothes that are only available for mesh bodies.

However...

Things are changing this year. Bakes On Mesh (an enhancement to the process that bakes our classic avatars) is being extended to work with mesh. The update policy of the one making the body you decide on is going to be very important. The layering, appliers, and HUDs used with mesh body parts is going to change. Our layered mesh body parts will still work and be usable, but there will be a better way.

So, make sure free updates are included.

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4 hours ago, Nalates Urriah said:

Things are changing this year. 

Thank you Nalates. If I understand you, I'll better wait a while and see what comes out of this "Bakes on Mesh"-thing.

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I would say you get the eBody that Chic told you about now. You can use it for swimming wear. For let us face it, for a clothed body that hides the back and shoulders, it's almost no point to wear mesh under the clothes. And with that 1 L body, you get used to how a mesh body works and you lost 1 L when the bake on mesh happens.

I haven't used the eBody, because I bought TMP... Slink...Belleza....and now Maitreya. And it is so many clothes for mesh bodies now, so I stopped using anything but mesh bodies and heads, but heads is another issue.

Edited by Marianne Little
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There is also the Tonic with the Fine, which most Maitreya clothes will fit and many designers are creating for. There is also a fuller figures Tonic, similar to the Slink hourglass. The Tonic includes Bento hands and Slink compatible feet with flat, mid and high heights. I've had no problem with any of the mesh heads working with it.

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On 12.5.2018 at 4:54 PM, amywilders said:

Ok, I am finally going to ask one of those dumb questions and I am feeling old enough to not care if it's noobish or not. It's all about getting a mesh body or not. I have been in SL close to 2½ years by now and up to now I have stuck to my system body. I have a set of mesh hands and feet but not yet invested in a full body. I got a system shape I like, a face I love, an awesome mesh skin and on top of that a cute tattoo. I sometime get compliments for having a beautiful avatar, hopefully not only from people that wants to get into my pants. 

Why do I even bring up the issue? Well, when I get into a bikini the system body has its shortcomings. For one thing, the shoulder blades tend to look pretty weird in some poses. I have tried a demo of a mesh body and it looked great, but what I missed was the ability to edit the shape, and I don't want to look just like everyone else. I want to be able to edit my shape and look like me... sort of.

So let's get noobish... If I get a mesh body, can I edit the shape of it just as easy as I can with my system shape, or will I be stuck with a shape that someone else have made?

/Amy

 

 

Do you look like everyone who uses the system body, because you use the system body? ;)

The usually used (and most popular) mesh bodies all react to the shape sliders. The fact that you couldn't edit the shape was because you were probably using the shape that came with the demo, which has nothing to do with the mesh body itself. All shapes are the same thing (no matter if you use a mesh body or not), because a shape is one of the few elements that can never be taken off completely, only replaced with another one. If you would use your own shape (or any shape that gives you the right to edit it), you could adapt it your liking. In this aspect mesh bodies can even help you diversivy your apperance, because some of them may support the kind of bodytype you like better than the system body does.

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19 hours ago, amywilders said:

Thank you Nalates. If I understand you, I'll better wait a while and see what comes out of this "Bakes on Mesh"-thing.

That is an option. 

I suggest you continue working through demos whether you decide to wait or not. Pay attention to the update policies. Slink is amazing at updating. I got their new Dynamic Hands (Bento) for no cost as an update. I've had various updates to my Physique body at no cost. Other brands also have good update policies.

So, with a good update policy there isn't much reason to wait. If you find a head or body that lets you make the 'look' you want, that ability isn't likely to change. It is just the way heads/bodies are made and has to do with what is called weighting. BoM is not going to cause designers to change the weighting. So, a shape that gives you the look you want pre-BoM will likely do the same post-BoM.

Edited by Nalates Urriah
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Because you have more ability to customize your avi to you then you do basics. I wish we had mesh sooner. I still remember the layer hair before prim hair lol something 11+ years ago lol!

Better detail, more likely to find things for mesh then classic ava stuff too.

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If nothing else, get mesh hands and feet. I'm full mesh, but spent a few years just enjoying having hands that didn't look stupid in pictures and feet that didn't look like squares. 

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I'm still with a 'system' avatar after over 11 years in SL.  It's not that I haven't considered going 'mesh', I've tried demos.  Just that the shape / skin combination is just how I wanted and I can't recreate it with mesh - my skin is no-mod and it's no longer available. I've done a few adjustments, especially better toes, on a tattoo layer.  I'm quite slim and not very curvy - and 'system' works well for that shape.  If I was more voluptuous then maybe I'd have gone mesh.  

LL announced that they're going to make it possible to bake textures on mesh before long.  When that happens I'll look again at mesh bodies. I'm not against mesh - I use mesh for loose fitting clothes and for shoes and some of my hairstyles.  I've actually made and textured a few mesh objects myself in Blender and imported some of them to SL but I'd look a bit silly wearing them as they are vases !!

Undoubtedly mesh bodies do allow greater detail and smoother joint articulation but it's so easy for those benefits to be lost by an owner with no sense of human proportion.  I think back to an occasion at a club when another woman offered to give me a 'mesh makeover'.  She was all meshed with with mesh jewellery, clothes, everything.  But - oh, dear! - she was about twice the scale below the waist as above.  I felt like saying "you can give me a mesh makeover and then I'll help you get some realistic proportions."  but I didn't want to upset her !!

Edited by Conifer Dada
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It has to be your decision, the system avatar is not inherently a bad option, it depends what you are doing with it, I know a few people who have done an excellent job with the system avatar and you don't even notice they are using it.

I still rock my own system avatar in various configuration of mesh clothing and partial /complete avatar 2.0 body replacement. There is a great deal of flexibility to system avatars that makes them an excellent "glue" to various looks.

And while with system avatars there was no real way for creators to do "wrong" there very much is with meshs and you can see it clear as day with pretty much all the major mesh bodies being highly inefficient in their polygon usage and texture usage, a lot of them are pretty much entirely designed towards producing pretty tumblr blogposts and not to actually be "used" in secondlife. You know, with other people around and .. stuff happening.

Add to this that if the body you purchased is nomod you will usually be restricted to purchasing skins and the like from authorized partners... well you get the picture.

On 5/15/2018 at 9:18 AM, Blaise Glendevon said:

If nothing else, get mesh hands and feet. I'm full mesh, but spent a few years just enjoying having hands that didn't look stupid in pictures and feet that didn't look like squares. 

Depends of the avatar you are doing really, I'm typically wearing boots so feet are of no concern for me, and when they are i can use slink or avatar2.0 high feet which are cross compatible.

 

Edited by Kyrah Abattoir
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I will go with 1 linden ebody.  I owned maitreya, tmp and ebody demo.  There is a free mesh body available which is the Lucy body.  U can try that but it is not as good as the 1 linden ebody.  U are able to play with the slider on yr shape but I do have problem finding clothes that fits perfectly on it. 

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On 5/17/2018 at 9:40 PM, Conifer Dada said:

I'm still with a 'system' avatar after over 11 years in SL.  It's not that I haven't considered going 'mesh', I've tried demos.  Just that the shape / skin combination is just how I wanted and I can't recreate it with mesh - my skin is no-mod and it's no longer available. I've done a few adjustments, especially better toes, on a tattoo layer.  I'm quite slim and not very curvy - and 'system' works well for that shape.  If I was more voluptuous then maybe I'd have gone mesh.  

LL announced that they're going to make it possible to bake textures on mesh before long.  When that happens I'll look again at mesh bodies. I'm not against mesh - I use mesh for loose fitting clothes and for shoes and some of my hairstyles.  I've actually made and textured a few mesh objects myself in Blender and imported some of them to SL but I'd look a bit silly wearing them as they are vases !!

Undoubtedly mesh bodies do allow greater detail and smoother joint articulation but it's so easy for those benefits to be lost by an owner with no sense of human proportion.  I think back to an occasion at a club when another woman offered to give me a 'mesh makeover'.  She was all meshed with with mesh jewellery, clothes, everything.  But - oh, dear! - she was about twice the scale below the waist as above.  I felt like saying "you can give me a mesh makeover and then I'll help you get some realistic proportions."  but I didn't want to upset her !!

I see "wet cardboard tube" knees on quite a few of the mesh bodies out there, so yeah... it's definitely smooth... but it's still wrong.

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Wait, I'm lost - wasn't "Avatar 2.0" a mesh body by the Utilizator brand?

Edited by Fionalein

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14 hours ago, Fionalein said:

Wait, I'm lost - wasn't "Avatar 2.0" a mesh body by the Utilizator brand?

Yeah it is. I'm not sure how popular it is nowadays though, what with the Kemono, Kuroo, not to mention the more mainstream bodies.

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8 minutes ago, Magnek Fang said:

Yeah it is. I'm not sure how popular it is nowadays though, what with the Kemono, Kuroo, not to mention the more mainstream bodies.

yes but I'm pretty sure that isn't what Kyrah was talking about here:

I still rock my own system avatar in various configuration of mesh clothing and partial /complete avatar 2.0 body replacement. 

 

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