Jump to content
Jennifer Boyle

Can I wear a mesh head and still look like me?

Recommended Posts

I have put off getting a mesh head because I thought it would make me look like a different person, not just a better version of the same one. I have had the same facial appearance for a very long time, and it is a very important part of my SL identity, so I do not want to look like a different person. However, I would love to have one, if I could make it look like "me." Is that possible now? If not, will it be in the future? Are some heads better than others in terms of the customizability off facial features? If so, which is best?

I was recently turned down for a gig because I didn't have a mesh head, so I'm rethinking the idea.

Any advice will be appreciated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
42 minutes ago, Jennifer Boyle said:

I have put off getting a mesh head because I thought it would make me look like a different person, not just a better version of the same one. I have had the same facial appearance for a very long time, and it is a very important part of my SL identity, so I do not want to look like a different person. However, I would love to have one, if I could make it look like "me." Is that possible now? If not, will it be in the future? Are some heads better than others in terms of the customizability off facial features? If so, which is best?

I was recently turned down for a gig because I didn't have a mesh head, so I'm rethinking the idea.

Any advice will be appreciated.

While you won't be able to replicate your system face exactly it might be possible to replicate it close enough that it will pass your own critical inspection. Just how close you'll be able to get depends on a number of factors, not least of which is what your system head actually looks like. If you have specific features that cannot be replicated by a mesh head, then you may get close but not quite close enough for your liking. Only you can decide whether that's worth the work, but it is worth a try.

To begin with, you need to ensure that you look for a head that's marketed as a 'Bento' head. Bento heads allow you to use your system shape sliders to manipulate settings on the head. Depending on which brands you try, you can use approximately 30 sliders (give or take a few) to change the shape. Some heads are more responsive to the sliders, too. A setting that's very sensitive on, say, a Catwa head might not be as sensitive on a Lelutka head.

Secondly, you need to begin with a head that has a similar base shape to your system head. For example: if you have a very pointed system jaw, you may struggle to get the same jawline from a mesh head that starts out with a strong square jaw.

Don't forget that - just as with system skins - the right skin applier (and any accompanying additional appliers, such as makeup, freckles, age lines, etc) can alter a mesh head, to the point where 'almost-but-not-quite' becomes 'well damn that's close enough for me!'

There are many brands of Bento mesh head out there, from the big names such as Catwa and Lelutka, to smaller ones that are quickly rising (such as Genus) to the much lesser-known (and catered-for) ones that will necessitate the use of Omega cross-brand appliers because people don't create appliers for that particular make of head.

For most Bento mesh heads you will need to start out with the included 'starter shape' which you then edit. This is because of the way that Bento heads are rigged. There are some heads (such as Utilizator's Normie head) that you can put on over your system shape, so that might be a good one to begin with.

When it comes to editing, a good tip is to get on a posestand and cam close to your avatar (don't scrollwheel; instead hold down CTRL and keep tapping the zero key until you're cammed close. CTRL and 9 will reset your view) and take a closeup face-on snapshot, followed by a closeup profile snapshot. Rez a prim and bring it up to the same level as your head. Texture the front of it with your face-on snapshot, and the side of it with your profile snapshot. You can use these as guides to help you while you play with the sliders.

The best advice is to demo demo demo. Try lots of head demos, together with lots of skin demos. @BelindaN's thread on this forum is a great example that shows how someone moves from a system head to a mesh head with the encouragement and help of others, learning about mesh along the way (and ending up as a very dedicated shopper!) -

Incidentally, I was the biggest b!tch going about mesh heads, way back. I can point you to blog posts that I made wherein I railed against the infernal things endlessly. I was never going to wear one all the time until I could find one I could make exactly like the system head that I'd spent 9 years wearing, everyone wearing them looked the same, etc etc. I was a crushing and bloody annoying bore about it.

Then Bento came along. I tried a few demos, but still none of them stuck with me. I could wear them for 5 minutes, but then Skell would be screaming "GET IT OFF ME!" But finally, in January of 2017, I found a head that I could wear for more than five minutes.

I didn't take it off - until I bought another, and then another - and I now work as a CSR for that first head's brand ;)

Looking back now, I've come up with an analogy that works for me: I look at moving from a system head to a mesh head as akin to growing older in real life. My reflection in the bathroom mirror these days isn't the same as it was back when I was 20. I've matured, and - while my general features are still recogniseable - I don't look the same. In turn, Skell has just evolved and grown older in Second Life. I now use mesh heads of all brands and shapes as fashion accessories, and change my look all the time.

I hope you find the right 'you' in the world of mesh heads, but even if you don't then I hope you have fun trying. Don't worry about being excluded from places that don't want you because you're not 'meshed-up' enough. Find the people who want what's inside, not what's outside.

Edited by Skell Dagger
  • Like 11
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All I can say isI I felt the same, no way was I wanting to look different. One day I realised every guy on my friends list had this Bento head I knew nothing about, and wanted me to, so I tried again, I went with GA.EG, I like it better than any other i've seen yet & weirdly I feel it does look like 'me' still. Good luck with it!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All of what Skell said. Get a lot of demos from various places and starting from the included shape find the one that seems closest to you and work from there. Expect to spend half a day/a day on each. Pay attention to the HUD and included animations. Also make sure you can move both sides of the eyes, or you will end up looking weird.

Importantly, don't just look from the front, look from the sides - at least one brand has huge inbuilt ducklips on some of their heads. If you don't like ducklips then it's good to see early on before you invest money, time, and effort.

Skin also matters a lot, and of course, a new skin often means you need to make changes to the lips or eyes to rebalance the head.

On skin, make sure that the one  you want is supported by the head, LeLutka skins won't go on Catwa. Some skins are Omega, but make sure that the head is Omega capable. (This will change in 3-6 months I guess as Bakes on Mesh is released by the Lab)

Ask lots of questions in the groups for the heads, or here. And take your time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I resisted getting a mesh body a long time, I finally gave in and very soon was wondering why I waited. The I resisted getting a mesh head, and then finally gave in to that, and again I was pretty soon wondering why I resisted that. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, ErikaKotov said:

I suggest you read up reviews on mesh body addicts they break it down really easily and make sure you choose a head that's Omega compatible.
http://meshbodyaddicts.com/mesh-head-reviews/bento-mesh-heads/

These reviews are extremely outdated, most of the details are no longer accurate, but it's a good place to get a list of head creators to check out for yourself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Talligurl said:

I resisted getting a mesh body a long time, I finally gave in and very soon was wondering why I waited. The I resisted getting a mesh head, and then finally gave in to that, and again I was pretty soon wondering why I resisted that. 

I was totally same with my mesh head however now totally love my Catwa Kathy!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, MrsSeren said:

I was totally same with my mesh head however now totally love my Catwa Kathy!!

I actually started with a Mayreal head, then went to a LAQ bento one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, ErikaKotov said:

I suggest you read up reviews on mesh body addicts they break it down really easily and make sure you choose a head that's Omega compatible.
http://meshbodyaddicts.com/mesh-head-reviews/bento-mesh-heads/

As mentioned earlier this site is a bit dated now. Honestly, I much prefer video reviews and no one does it better than Strawberry Singh. Here's a link to her YouTube channel. Go down to the section named Second Life Content. You'll find a playlist for female mesh heads. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCE6xvjkOu6wE-wJ-7-1x5bw

With patience and a little work you can achieve that perfect YOU in mesh.

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To all that was suggested above, I will add a tip.

Once you have chosen the heads that you most like, you can test each of them using skin head appliers from the same store of your system skin and in the same tone you use. After that, you can look for makeups, hair bases and beauty marks that you like to use with your system head, but in applier versions of the heads. If you find these items and like the result, you will at least ensure a look with some references of your original appearance.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, Jennifer Boyle said:

Thank you all for your very helpful responses.

It can be smart to start looking at demos now, in case there will be a Christmas gift or sales. If you find heads that you think will work for you, you are prepared.

I recommend you to join the groups that are free to join, so you don't miss messages about this. It can be a flash sale.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

a) I was like you

b) Belinda did an awesome job^^

c) what Skell said

d) Demo the heads with skin and make-up-demos... it changes the world!!!

2100962216_60sglam_001.jpg.c4462b5f123bc0e22b8b156c852ea157.jpg

This is me - oh...pre-mesh even XD

Snapshot_114.thumb.jpg.d0c1d35bb1283e22100d440ac1cc3c31.jpg

System Head

304449498_HeadshotDec112018_001.thumb.jpg.bbfa60a23549465432bd9551fb063fec.jpg

still me - on Tuesday night^^
I like to think that I still look recognizable. Some hairstyles make me look even younger than with the system head, some make me look my36 yrs of age (Kasha is 3 days older). I only have ONE head and body - cos well.. RL me doesn´t have a spare either and Kasha is drowning in clothes, hair and all that stuff so she´s spoilt enough^^

Keep us posted ;) We´re a curious bunch...

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Liana Wildmist said:

All I can say isI I felt the same, no way was I wanting to look different. One day I realised every guy on my friends list had this Bento head I knew nothing about, and wanted me to, so I tried again, I went with GA.EG, I like it better than any other i've seen yet & weirdly I feel it does look like 'me' still. Good luck with it!

How did you make the transformation? I was setting up big pics of my system face behind my mesh head and then i spent hours in moving all the face shape sliders until i was satisfied.
Im also a fan of GA.EG heads, despite the fact there are really not a lot of addons available, compared to catwa or lelutka. Its even possible to make the Mia and Barbara model almost look the same :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is the difference between mesh heads and system ones with high quality skins really that obvious? I'm back in SL after several years out...was once very on trend and now a bit of a mess. I've tried bento heads with various skins and they all just look so stupid, plus the system for using it is so complicated. Combined with a mesh body, I'm amazed anything on grid still works...don't all these additional scripts and HUD clog everything up? Most system heads with good skins look absolutely fine to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will only add to be very patient...you could do hours and hours trying all the different combo's between heads, skins & shapes.  It is a long process, not something to accomplish in an hour or two.  Try LAQ  also :P

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Amina Sopwith said:

Is the difference between mesh heads and system ones with high quality skins really that obvious? I'm back in SL after several years out...was once very on trend and now a bit of a mess. I've tried bento heads with various skins and they all just look so stupid, plus the system for using it is so complicated. Combined with a mesh body, I'm amazed anything on grid still works...don't all these additional scripts and HUD clog everything up? Most system heads with good skins look absolutely fine to me.

True, from the front. It is only the triangles next to the nostrils, and it can be hidden with the correct windlight.

From the side and half profile, that is different to me. I was using the Loud Mouth before mesh heads, I see a big difference in the mouth from the side with mesh.

It is fine if you have no interest in animating the face, or have a slighly open mouth. I also like to move the hands and fingers individually.

You should do what makes YOU happy. Don't care if all others use mesh. You are you, with your style.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/13/2018 at 9:24 AM, Resi Pfeffer said:

How did you make the transformation? I was setting up big pics of my system face behind my mesh head and then i spent hours in moving all the face shape sliders until i was satisfied.
Im also a fan of GA.EG heads, despite the fact there are really not a lot of addons available, compared to catwa or lelutka. Its even possible to make the Mia and Barbara model almost look the same :)

I have no idea! I don't even mess about much, I got the first demo in the first store I saw, and it didn't take much messing or thought, but I like how she looks & people say she's pretty similar, I think I just got lucky as I have tried & tried with others & can't even make them look at all ok

Lia Profile B&G Black BG.png

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/14/2018 at 8:03 AM, Amina Sopwith said:

Is the difference between mesh heads and system ones with high quality skins really that obvious? I'm back in SL after several years out...was once very on trend and now a bit of a mess. I've tried bento heads with various skins and they all just look so stupid, plus the system for using it is so complicated. Combined with a mesh body, I'm amazed anything on grid still works...don't all these additional scripts and HUD clog everything up? Most system heads with good skins look absolutely fine to me.

There are little things, like the triangles by the nose Marianne mentioned. Other less obvious, but noticeable things are having realistic ears. Depending on windlight, the neck seam between mesh body and system head can also be noticeable. It's less so when both are mesh.

On one of my alts, I looked for a face that I found appealing and bought the (mod) shape for that face and plugged in my old shapes body numbers. Then a little tweaking to make it more personalized.

I don't think she turned out too badly.

 

Ellise.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/14/2018 at 2:03 PM, Amina Sopwith said:

Is the difference between mesh heads and system ones with high quality skins really that obvious? I'm back in SL after several years out...was once very on trend and now a bit of a mess. I've tried bento heads with various skins and they all just look so stupid, plus the system for using it is so complicated. Combined with a mesh body, I'm amazed anything on grid still works...don't all these additional scripts and HUD clog everything up? Most system heads with good skins look absolutely fine to me.

Yes, the difference is obvious.

No, they aren't clogging up anything. Mainly because any reasonable person doesn't wear the HUDs when they aren't used. And using a lot of scripts, or badly made scripted objects, aren't a "new thing" with mesh. There can be old objects 100x worse than a mesh body. Not even touching the topic of complexity of some of the older stuff.

Its not more complicated than other things in SL. I would say its along the same learning curve as other things before it.

...But if you already came to the conclusion that all mesh heads look stupid to you, simply don't get one and stay system.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

3 hours ago, Syo Emerald said:

...But if you already came to the conclusion that all mesh heads look stupid to you, simply don't get one and stay system.

All the ones I have tried, with all the skins I have tried, look like genetic experiments gone wrong. Clearly other users have managed to crack it, but I cannot find a combination that doesn't make me look like the love child of Donald Trump and a puffer fish. There's a thread elsewhere where people are showing their pre-mesh heads and with a few distorted exceptions, they mostly look absolutely fine to me. They certainly look better than anything I've managed to produce with bento. 

In fact, I was chatting inworld to a couple of people last night. One had a bento head, one a system head, both had great quality skins. The only way I could tell the difference was the animation on the bento. The system head looked lovely.

Perhaps I need more time inworld before the difference starts bothering me but as for now, I'm bored of it. System it is.
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
51 minutes ago, Amina Sopwith said:

All the ones I have tried, with all the skins I have tried, look like genetic experiments gone wrong

Just a note more for others reading the thread who may be interested in trying out mesh/bento heads.  All the ones I have purchased come with a sample/starter shape - make a copy of it and be sure to wear that initially.  Don't worry about the body part of it at first, but use it as a starting point for all the head related sliders.   This holds true even when demoing heads.  After you've found a head that you like,  copy down your favorite shape's numbers for body, torso and legs, then wear the shape that came with the head, make adjustments as desired for the head related sliders and then set the body, torso and leg slider values to those from your favorite shape. 

There are things that I do like with how my system head looks, and I still wear it for a few places, but there are also things I don't like as much and notice now (after wearing a mesh head for awhile) that I hadn't noticed before with the system head.  One of those things in particular,  is a jagged little bump on the chin of system head that I can't seem to get rid of.  It's not visible from all angles, but now that I've seen it and know that it's there, it bothers me. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×