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Eidolon Dreamscape

Rez'd Again Noob

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Logged in recently for the first time in years.

Despite my 2008 rez date, I am basically at the level of noob right now.

I am trying to update my AV but I don't necessarily need to go top of the line.

 

I don't really do a lot of clothes shopping so a couple of basic outfits would work.

 

What I am really stuck on is how to handle my shape and skin.

 

I understand "mesh" is the way to go now but after some reading it sounds like mesh has some limitations.

 

I have looked at some shops and have a complete AVs in my price range but I hesitate to buy because I don't want to paint myself into a corner.

 

Any advice for someone coming back after a very long hiatus?  (other than  don't come back lol)

 

 

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7 hours ago, Callum Meriman said:

What species, gender, and style you imagine your avatar to be?

Oh yeah might have helped if I mentioned that in my post ;)

 

I guess my imagination isn't going too far here.  Just a human male.  Style is just a guy who likes blue jeans and hoodies.  I think I can be described as "basic" lol

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I can't speak with anything like the experience or expertise of many people here, but I have recently been in your situation. I returned after many years of absence a couple of months ago, with a main equipped only with system and prim clothing, body, and sculptie/flexi hair.

I decided, eventually, to plunge into mesh head-first, but it's my personal feeling that you can get by quite well using a system body with a decent skin, good mesh hair and sized, rigged clothing. I have an alt who is in precisely that situation: I haven't used her a great deal since I came back, but I think she looks completely acceptable.

In my own view (YMMV of course), mesh head, hands, and maybe feet are more useful than a mesh body, unless you plan on getting seriously naked a lot. In some ways, mesh clothing actually works more easily on a system body because it invariably comes with an alpha designed specifically for the outfit. With a mesh body, you often have to mess with alpha cuts, fine tuning and customizing it for the clothes. It doesn't always work well.

Mesh heads look amazing, but be forewarned that Bento heads are not infinitely adjustable with sliders. They each have their own distinctive look, and limitations, so demo demo demo.

The biggest challenge in some ways of mixing and matching mesh body parts by different makers, or combining them with your system body, is finding skins and appliers that match. While you can often adjust skin tones on mesh parts by hand, it's annoying as hell and imprecise. Before you choose a skin or skin applier, make sure that there are compatible skins and appliers available for all of the parts that make up your body. There are also eyebrow, makeup, and tattoo appliers to consider if you want to get fancy.

Others will be able to direct you to reasonably cheap mesh bits better than I can, but I'm using a very mainstream Slink physique body, hands, and feet with which I'm very happy, and a Genus Classic Bento mesh head which is (relatively) inexpensive, I think still, and appliers from The Skinnery. The Genus head looks great, but it does have limitations, and I'm endlessly messing with my shape to get it just where I want it. (I'm still not there!)

ETA: I know next to nothing about stuff for males, alas. I don't think I've even seen a male mesh dangly bit, so you're on your own there.

Edited by Scylla Rhiadra
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Wow there is so much involved.

I am not sure I would have made it a month here if it was this way when I started.

I can see I will need to set some time aside and really delve into it. 

Thank you for your detailed response though.  Clearly I have some work to do lol

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17 minutes ago, Eidolon Dreamscape said:

Wow there is so much involved.

I am not sure I would have made it a month here if it was this way when I started.

I can see I will need to set some time aside and really delve into it. 

Thank you for your detailed response though.  Clearly I have some work to do lol

Yep, it can be complicated, time-consuming, and pricey if you let it. Of course, many people (all of them more creative and patient than me) really enjoy this element. As for myself . . . well, tinkering with sliders was fun for the first month or so . . .

It doesn't need to be that complicated, though, unless you really want to customize your look. There are short cuts -- you can just get everything from one or maybe two makers, for instance, in which case compatibility of bits is much less challenging. Or go with a system avatar, and wear mesh clothing.

Either way I think you should come back when you're done and post a pic here of what you've come up with!

Edited by Scylla Rhiadra
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oh and you HAD to suggest coming back and posting a picture.

 

No pressure there lol

 

I have SL running right now while doing a few things but I will try to get to shopping in a bit. 

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System avatars CAN still look awesome. Just like in the "olden days" of SL the skin and shape are key, though it's a lot more difficult finding this stuff. As for a mesh head, hands, feet, body - take your time, there is no hurry and you should not feel pressured to do so.

For shapes, skins, etc. for system bodies (and system clothes, even) your best bet is to shop Market Place, sort by oldest-first.

If you're going to go with meshing yourself up piece-meal: start with the head. Catwa is most popular and very good. Most skins these days come with appliers for it (men and women).

I recommend you *do not* go with mesh hands and feet if you intend to go with a mesh body later, because other than Slink (who makes the hands and feet) - most mesh bodies will include them. If you like the Slink body and pain to go with that, then you can do it in stages: hands today, feet tomorrow, body next week, etc.

If you want to shop mesh bodies for men, my personal opinion is that Signature Gianni is the best, Balleza Jake is next, Signature Geralt is third. The rest are as you prefer - I say this for the quality of the mesh, the general look of the bodies (Though Gianni is kind of weird to me with nipple-placement).

Budgeting: Save up at least 6 to 7k L$ for the head: that would be the head plus any skins you will want with it. Another 3 to 5K L$ for a full body.

I recommend a couple things very rigorously, along with *patience* - there is no rush:

  • Do not go jumping into mesh *anything* until you're sure you'll be staying in SL for some time. Because of the cost, it really is an investment into your SL entertainment, even when remaining on the simpler side.
  • Never, *ever* buy anything that costs more than 25L$ (or your chosen threshold) unless you can DEMO first. Even quality-reputation creators can be hit-or0miss on the fitting of their stuff.

 

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Poke around @Skell Dagger's  blog - he's one of the most knowledgeable around here on the male stuff.  He's got info on getting started in Mesh and info on all the available male bodies and heads (see the 'reviews' links on the right):  http://www.virtualbloke.com/

 

Edited by LittleMe Jewell
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And it is demo's for basically everything now. If it's not a demo, buyer beware.

Especially on the Marketplace. I do a lot of MP shopping, but there are many that scam you. Having an ad of a wonderful skin for 100-200 L and no demo? Not legit.

You can find lots of clothes on the MP though, it is freebies, promos and cheapies. Especially for the jeans and hoodie guy.

 

I would focus on hair and clothes, and if you find out that you want better hands and fingers that move, try mesh hands. And it's a demo for all mesh parts.

Heads, the same advice. See if you want a head with expressions, I have "moods" that can be "alluring" "neutal" "happy" "flirty" and many more. Heads is expensive, so don't rush it.

Bodies is basically if you want to be nude.

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1 hour ago, Marianne Little said:

Bodies is basically if you want to be nude.

Or want to go to the beach (swimming shorts, mankini -- you anme it, anything that reveals much body will make it interesting - I have a male alt that just wears a mesh head, the rest is a fitmesh suit + bento gloves.

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2 hours ago, Fionalein said:

Or want to go to the beach (swimming shorts, mankini -- you anme it, anything that reveals much body will make it interesting - I have a male alt that just wears a mesh head, the rest is a fitmesh suit + bento gloves.

True. For bodies for beach only, there are free or cheap bodies. Thread starter can make a "Beach" folder in outfits.

Such cheap of free bodies is very utiliarian. If you want a medium or tan body and has no special preferencens, you can rock it.

With utilitarian, I mean that they the customization is limited. But a pair of swimming trunks can you always find. The benefit is that you are ready from neck down, no hands or feet to add.

In this case, I recommend Billy Beaverhausens blog. He has many mesh bodies, and he also use cheapies.

A "Beach body" is the only time I recommend to get a 500 L body from TMP. https://billybeaverhausen.com/2018/07/26/whats-eating-tmp-8/

Why, since we talk about that TMP can quit SL soon? The thread starter only want a few outfits, so he can outfit a TMP body for a small amount of money, and there is a lot of options for flipflops, sneakers, swimming pants in many styles and also shorts/tshirts made for TMP.

A 500 L body that's not outfitted with a huge wardrobe is a very nice deal and low risk, and really, any SL creator can quit SL and his products stop to work and never get updates. As long as TMP avatars work in SL, they are also customizable. If TMP quit SL, the body or head will stay as it is, and you can't customize it any more.

Seatch TMP in Billys blog and read the posts, so you know what has happened from the time that their bodies was the most expensive in SL.

EDIT: The TMP does not have Bento hands and face. So no moving fingers and facial gestures. But still, 30 built - in skintones and the possibility to use any tattoos, clothes and skins made for TMP?

Edited by Marianne Little
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I am not sure if you want to use your old Animation Override. I assume that you had one and know how they work.

If you do, they can "splay" Bento hands in a very unflattering pose. For classic avatars and TMP body, they do nothing, your hands stay in the same non-moving pose.

If you want to invest in a full new AO, or if you had no one, I would actually recommend you to get an AO for Bento. Because it does nothing with your hands until you upgrade to Bento, but IF you upgrade, no extra cost. You will have the same body language, so if you like it, you will not have to hunt down animations for Bento that looks the same.

The middle price range is Tutys, who also have a free, basic Bento AO for both genders. https://marketplace.secondlife.com/p/TuTy-DAILY-sLIFE-FREE-BASIC-BENTO-MALE-AO-Priority-3-and-4/7179649

Voir and Oracul  is another ones in the middle range.

Vista and Body language sweet lovely cute is expensive.

For the look of Bento hands movements, you can get the hands demo from Vista or Slink and wear them while you demo Animation Overrides. Especially if you buy one that you feel is top in your budget.

I shall not talk about buying single animations and build your own AO, because it is enough info already?

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On 12/4/2018 at 3:42 AM, Eidolon Dreamscape said:

I have looked at some shops and have a complete AVs in my price range but I hesitate to buy because I don't want to paint myself into a corner.

I have to reply once more, because you are so smart :)

Look for clothes that include multiple sizes. That way, if you change to another body, you have clothes ready to wear for it.

I was looking at the MP and "best selling" for men under Apparel. And the pack of Christmas sweaters include a lot of options:

Sizes Available:
Slink
Adam
Signature
Aesthetic
TMP
Belleza
Nardcotix
Classic Sizing - XL, L, M, S, XS (Alpha included)

The only main body missing here is Signature Geralt, many stores make things only for Signature Gianni so far, but Geralt is up and coming.

Out of curiosity, what is your budget? And what was the complete av you consider buying, we can give you some comments on that one, perhaps?

Adding a link to a blog who has the really cheap mesh for men bodies and heads, where the free ExMachina is an alternative for a beach body only. It is maybe a bit boring, can't add as much as a tattoo.

https://ryanschultz.com/tag/men/

 

 

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Yep, same here. Once on the bleeding edge of now, helped people tint their prim feet because I knew how to do it, came back a short while ago after some years away and I might as well be a noob.

I did get a mesh body and found tutorials online and it seemed straightforward once I understood it. However, now I've got a bra and glitch pants on permanently because no matter what I do, the HUD I need to remove them does not appear when I wear/attach it. I've tried rebooting, even deleting and reloading SL completely...nothing. (Can anyone help? I can't get that fugging HUD to appear!) My new AO won't work half the time either. I'm just back in my system body most of the time now. 

I don't think mesh bodies necessarily look much better than a system one with a high quality skin, but mesh clothes do look much better. Better textures and I like the way they sit on your av as an extra layer, as in reality. But as a previous poster said, if you're not planning on being naked a lot and are in SL for things like wandering around interesting places, system body is fine.

I feel for people who suddenly have an entire inventory of years of system/prim clothes that are completely obsolete now, though. 

Agree with the OP that if this were my first time in SL, I'd never stick it. It took some time to get the swing of things the first time round but it really is very complicated. I would just get bored and go away if I hadn't been here before.

Edited by Amina Sopwith
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16 minutes ago, Amina Sopwith said:

I did get a mesh body and found tutorials online and it seemed straightforward once I understood it. However, now I've got a bra and glitch pants on permanently because no matter what I do, the HUD I need to remove them does not appear when I wear/attach it. I've tried rebooting, even deleting and reloading SL completely...nothing. (Can anyone help? I can't get that fugging HUD to appear!) My new AO won't work half the time either. I'm just back in my system body most of the time now. 

OK, as you have enough basic understanding I will toss technical terms on you. What you wear is an applier outfit. The body intself consits of several matroshka dolls inside each other, the innermost of those has the skin on it. The next 3 layers usually are tattoo, underwear and clothing but number of layers and naming convention might vary. The applier applied the texture (hence the name) to one of those layers. Look for a "clear layer" button in your HUD, or one to hide the layer (usually you can quickly flip then on/off).

PS: just because it is underwear does not mean it has to be applied to the underwear layer, could as well be on tattoo or clothing one.

Cannot read sorry, try increasing your object LOD factor. sometimes HUDs are made of badly designed mesh.

Edited by Fionalein
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14 minutes ago, Amina Sopwith said:

the HUD I need to remove them does not appear when I wear/attach it. I've tried rebooting, even deleting and reloading SL completely...nothing. (Can anyone help? I can't get that fugging HUD to appear!)

Right click the HUD in Inventory and select edit, then use mouse wheel to scroll in/out to locate the HUD then move it to where you can see it OR you can attach it to a different screen location. If you attach to a different location you may need to edit and move it to see it.

Went through this recently with the Ebody HUD. Of course it was the one time the above didn't work and I had to delete that copy and unbox a new one. Problem solved.

ETA: And always make sure you allow the scripts to fully load first. I've noticed sometimes things seem to take longer to load than usual.

Edited by Selene Gregoire
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Hi Eidolon, and welcome back to SL :)

I'll start at the beginning with a few questions. No need to answer them publicly if you'd rather not, but it'll give you food for thought.

1. You mentioned finding some "complete avatars" within your price range , but what IS your price range? People here are suggesting everything from feature-limited freebie bodies to the full Bento mesh works, but without an idea of what you're happy to spend we can't really recommend anything specific. Take the following as rough guidelines:

  • A non-Bento mesh head (can only be stretched in four directions, but will take different skins, with basic single-layer options for hairbases and facial hair etc) will run you to about L$900. You can get heads that are static (no animations) plus 'frames animated' heads that you purchase add-on animation packs for.
  • A Bento mesh head (can be customised using the classic shape sliders, will take different skins like the non-Bento head but usually has more layers for adding extra stuff such as scars, tattoos, freckles, etc) will run you to about L$5000. Bento mesh heads usually contain motion capture animations as standard and many of them have additional animation packs that can be purchased.
  • The cheapest popular mesh body package that can be customised with skins, tattoos, etc and has Bento enabled hands is the Slink Physique Male full body/hands/feet set at £2,250. The next one after that is Belleza's Jake body, at just shy of L$3,000, followed by Signature's Gianni and Geralt bodies, at L$3,500 each. Signature do sometimes have sales (in fact you just missed a 30% off sale for Black Friday weekend, and earlier this year they did a half price sale) so it may be worth hanging on until the next one.

Incidentally, I would be wary of "complete avatar" listings on Marketplace. Sometimes people think they're getting a mesh body and head, when they're actually just getting system stuff. If in doubt, check with someone who's experienced with mesh bodies and heads.

2. What kind of build do you want your body to have? If you opt for a mesh body you'll need to take into consideration the starting 'build' that it has. Signature Gianni is stocky and fairly muscular (the guy who's a regular at his local gym, but not quite into the whole steroid thing), whereas Signature Geralt, Slink Physique, and Belleza Jake are a bit more 'man in the street'.

Be aware of the following regarding the Bento hands of male mesh bodies:

  • Slink Physique's hands have a built-in idle AO, so you won't need a Bento AO to animate them
  • Signature's bodies have Bento hands that have optional static poses (or you can cycle through all of the poses, which can look a bit odd if you're suddenly switching from clenched fists to Vulcan salutes)
  • Belleza's Jake body has no Bento poses or idle AO, so if you opt for that one you'll need a Bento AO to stop the fingers from splaying out from time to time

3. You state that your style is typical "jeans and hoodie" so you'll be glad to know that about 95% of menswear in SL caters exactly to your wishes (more's the pity for the rest of us who want something else, mind you!) The vast majority of current and new male fashion these days is fitted to mesh bodies (and the bodies I've named here are the main ones that are fittted to). You can still find clothing rigged for Standard Sizing and also general Fitmesh clothing - both of which tend to work better on system avatars - but always try a demo regardless of what you like the look of. If you stick with a system body for now you'll need to make sure that your mesh clothing comes with alpha layers to hide bits of your body that might poke through, and a lot of mesh clothing these days assumes that the wearer has a mesh body instead and can use its built-in alpha HUD.

If you opt for a mesh head, don't worry about finding hair that's fitted specifically for that head. Most modifiable hairstyles will work on any mesh head, and Bento-rigged hair will usually fit well enough that a hairbase applier (same as the old hairbase tattoos) will cover any minor bits of scalp that poke through.

Lastly, for shopping, you always have Marketplace, but you can also check out the six main menswear events in SL. The links below will take you to the Seraphim website pages for each menswear event. At the Seraphim page, click the 'view gallery' link for the most recent entry and you'll see all the items on sale at the event. Links to get there are also included in the posts.

The main menswear events are as follows:

There is also the Signature Event, which (obviously) caters only to those with either of the two Signature bodies. Unfortunately, Seraphim doesn't have a gallery for that one.

Edited by Skell Dagger
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1 hour ago, Amina Sopwith said:

Yep, same here. Once on the bleeding edge of now, helped people tint their prim feet because I knew how to do it, came back a short while ago after some years away and I might as well be a noob.

I did get a mesh body and found tutorials online and it seemed straightforward once I understood it. However, now I've got a bra and glitch pants on permanently because no matter what I do, the HUD I need to remove them does not appear when I wear/attach it. I've tried rebooting, even deleting and reloading SL completely...nothing. (Can anyone help? I can't get that fugging HUD to appear!) My new AO won't work half the time either. I'm just back in my system body most of the time now. 

I don't think mesh bodies necessarily look much better than a system one with a high quality skin, but mesh clothes do look much better. Better textures and I like the way they sit on your av as an extra layer, as in reality. But as a previous poster said, if you're not planning on being naked a lot and are in SL for things like wandering around interesting places, system body is fine.

I feel for people who suddenly have an entire inventory of years of system/prim clothes that are completely obsolete now, though. 

Agree with the OP that if this were my first time in SL, I'd never stick it. It took some time to get the swing of things the first time round but it really is very complicated. I would just get bored and go away if I hadn't been here before.

Hey Amina Sopwith. If Selene's scroll out with mouse tip dont fix ya, try right click hud in inv and Add to Center, Center2, try the lot til you see that sucker once more. 

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1 minute ago, rasterscan said:

Hey Amina Sopwith. If Selene's scroll out with mouse tip dont fix ya, try right click hud in inv and Add to Center, Center2, try the lot til you see that sucker once more. 

Just be sure you are using the HUD attachment points and not the avatar points.

Edited by Selene Gregoire
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Thanks guys, I'll try those suggestions when I next go in! My first few goes with mesh were fine once I worked it out, or thought I had...I have a couple of outfits and I seemed to be changing them ok and working out how to hide body parts that were poking through. Then I put on this belly dance costume, which included bra and glitch pants, and I cannot get the fugging HUD, for either my mesh body or the outfit itself, to show itself to get the buggers off. If I put more mesh clothes on, they're still there. If I remove the entire outfit, they're still there. If the suggestions here don't work, I guess I'll just have to stay a system noob, or live in Arabian Nights sims forever. 


I have to be honest, I don't think mesh, in and of itself, is worth all the hassle and the learning curve. I still don't understand what appliers are (all I understand is, I wear an alpha to hide my system body, I wear the mesh body on top of it and then I add clothes and use the HUD to control which layers show on the body and which don't, and which body parts show and which don't. I don't get the applier thing.). But I'm interested in RPing, so an av that's as relatively realistic as the others is a good idea, plus nobody makes system clothes any more. 

Someone said I ought to get a different viewer to make mesh work properly. I really hope that's not going to be necessary. 

Edited by Amina Sopwith

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1 hour ago, Selene Gregoire said:

Just be sure you are using the HUD attachment points and not the avatar points.

How does one do that? Maybe that's where I've been going wrong.

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Thanks again, guys. In the end I had to unbox it again and start from scratch. I am scared to remove the HUD now in case it happens again! Still, finally got those things off, so thank you.

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The HUD that puts an applier on a layer does not always have a button for removing it. 

You can "turn off" they layer in the body HUD to not display the applier, or you can install a different applier clothing item on the same layer which changes what that layer displays. 

Some body HUD's - on the layer area - may have a button for clearing all the layers, and sometimes an Omega relay HUD for your body type may have a button for clearing a layer.  

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