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Here we go again! Mesh Head ??'s


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Basically I'm having a reaaallly hard time trying to decide which bento head to buy. I have Laq but at times it seems like something is lacking in comparison to the higher end mesh heads. My question is, which do you prefer? Catwa, Laq, Letutka,  Genus etc? Why and why not? I know some say " go with what look you like best" but I like them all for their individuality. I would like something that "works" Animations. Some I've noticed looked all weird and glitchy, while others just looked weird lol. HUD, some are more confusing than helpful. I would like opinions from all, experienced as well as newbys like me when it comes to bento heads. Thanks in advance! ❤️

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LaQ is considered "higher end"!

I think the two biggest sellers are Catwa and Lelutka, with Catwa in the number one spot.  But many people have more than one brand of head, for just the reasons you state...sometimes the features of one are just better for the outfit, or the activity, that you have planned.  Or one gives you a look closer to what you are going for with a particular outfit.  Or you just like variety.

Get demos and experiment with them...extensively!

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3 hours ago, Katt Dragoone said:

My question is, which do you prefer? Catwa, Laq, Letutka,  Genus etc? Why and why not?

Since you asked.

(disclaimer, the following is rife, rank, fetid and flat out stinky with personal bias, opinions and subjectivity)

According to popularity, Catwa takes the cake with LAQ, LeLutka and Genus all fighting for second place.  The ranking of the second tier popular brands will change on date and who ran the pole.  It's close.  May as well be equal.  So moving in to the catagories let's start with popularity's perk.

Third Party Support: Catawa takes the top spot.  Anybody that makes anything for mesh heads will have a Catwa version.  Genus is second, LeLutka and LAQ jockey for 3rd.  Genus is the newest and LeLutka is the oldest of these but it looks like more new stuff is being made for Genus anyway.

Looks:  in my opinion all these brands are equal. Individual heads are more what you want to look at. Pick the single head you like best or the one closest to what you want to look like.  If you have a skin brand or better yet a specific skin you want, start with that and demo the heads that you like; use your favorite skin and make sure they complement each other.

Features:  Catawa excels here.  They have double layers, split sides, HUDs fro everything under the sun, tintable everything and tons of storage slots for all the addons.  Genus would be next and finally LAQ and LeLutka about even in 3rd.

Easy of Use: Yeah, all that Catwa goodness very robust and very complex controls.  LeLutka edges out LAQ for the top spot, Genus is slightly behind these two and Catwa is .. on a whole 'nuther level of complex.

Animations:  This is closer and again, subjective but I would rank them from 1 to 4 as LeLutka, Genus, LAQ, Catwa.  No significant gap between any of them but ... yeah, that's my opinion.

My Opinion:  For what it matters, this is all my opinion but this is my chance to say whatever.

  • I wear LeLutka Simone the vast majority of the time.  I love the looks and just how much it responds to the sliders.  You can get a lot of variation out of this one head.  That said, if I did not own any mesh head (and all the addons, appliers and accessories that go along with it) I would buy Genus Strong.
  • Catwa is not for me.  I prioritize ease of use just after over all looks and I just never could get comfortable with it.  Just to put this into perspective, I never could get used to Firestorm either -- thank you, Kitty, for giving me an alternative --so take that how you will.
  • I wore LAQ's skins for most of my Second Life.  I do have a bit of a bias towards them and I love to see them succeed.  Even so, LAQ is one of the top brands, easily.

Bottom Line: I know you don't want to hear it, but there is no one best head.  There are too many variables and personal preferences on what you want to focus on to pick any one brand much less any one head.

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I like Catwa and Lelutka the best. I have a LAQ head but shaping it is limited, it will always have that young girl pixie look to it. I have tried Genus demo and shaping it but it just does not feel like "me".

I have Catwa Catya and Lona, both which react well to shaping it in different ways. Lelutka is good too however it does not react a lot to the sliders, therefore you will always have a lot of the "default" shape to it.

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I was a long time user of Mayreal that switched to Catwa.

I am thinking of a switch to LAQ but haven't because I've found flaws and it's a question now of who's flaws bother me the least versus who's feature I like the most.

 

LAQ's biggest feature, IMO, is that it works with furniture expressions. If you... use adult furniture... you will notice this right away. I'm not sure how much non-A furniture uses it. In the system avatar there are specific calls to animation states (walking, standing, running, sitting, etc) and also to facial expressions (smiling, crying, happy, fear, winking, etc). LAQ seems to be the ONLY brand of mesh head that supports expressions...

To get them with other brands you need to buy or make a third party tool. I made one for Catwa - it maps all of those emotions to one of the emotions built into Catwa. I then found out that the Catwa emotions are very subtle and low priority - many bento animations that just put a '0-value' into a spot somewhere will cause Catwa expressions to not display.

I could have made a similar kit for Mayreal, but I figured out how to do this after switching brands (for other reasons).

That said...

Catwa has the best "lack of a" neck seam I have as yet seen. At least for Belleza. I can't speak for other bodies. Check this with your mesh body - zoom in uncomfortably close and look at the neck seam? Why so close? Because during an animation with backlighting there is nothing more annoying than that tiny 1-pixel-wide gap of 'Brand X' showing just as you click to take a snapshot... resulting in it looking like your avatar's throat was slit... Yeah... been there with some demos recently. Had my mind hovering over the buy button until that happened.

The Catwa head lines up the neck on Belleza just about perfectly. At least... for 'body weight 5' it does... and that's what I use... Who knows, maybe at every other setting it's a disaster - I don't know or care. Maybe you will. Maybe the brand I discarded is perfect at the settings you use...
- that's why my demo of a product won't be sufficient for your shopping needs.

 

How does your skin line up? This is less common for heads than bodies but I have seen it - the texture my skin maker puts out for 'item X' is off by 1 pixel somewhere... and it happens to be somewhere my eye lingers... I bought a mesh 'lower female genital prop' a few months back, and one major reason I did that was I noted that my skin maker had painted on the female bits too high... I needed a prop that both put my anatomy where it belongs and was big enough to cover the skin's mistake...
- for a head, you're going to notice that with things like eye lashes and lipstick. I discarded a head demo just 2 days ago because the eyelashes were floating away from the body... the lashes didn't line up right, and it was with more than one lashes kit...

 

LAQ: built in expressions. Very large selection of heads. Lots of variety in styles of look.

Catwa: most supported by skin makers. Tied with LAQ for number of heads. Extreme variety in styles, though half of them are Scandinavian (but more varied than Lelutka. It seems after they had about 8 heads out they realized they were monolithic and went nuts with the ones after. I have had extremely good results with buying the same head twice for two different alts of different races and making them unrecognizably different.

Mayreal: Just a few heads. But really low prices. HUD confuses a LOT of people. Almost no skin maker supports it, so you need to look for Omega skins. Mostly look Anglo, but one of them is good for making other looks.

Lelutka: All their heads look to be the same ethnicity. In fact they all look related - first cousins to siblings. If your avatar is Scandinavian and you know what town in the Netherlands these faces came from this might be the go-to brand though. Haven't demo'd them because of such.

Edited by Pussycat Catnap
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2 hours ago, Rhonda Huntress said:

Bottom Line: I know you don't want to hear it, but there is no one best head.  There are too many variables and personal preferences on what you want to focus on to pick any one brand much less any one head.

This I know well but I wanted to see opinions and why people choose one over the other. Your reply was VERY informative and I appreciate that so much. Thank you!

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1 hour ago, Pussycat Catnap said:

Check this with your mesh body - zoom in uncomfortably close and look at the neck seam? Why so close? Because during an animation with backlighting there is nothing more annoying than that tiny 1-pixel-wide gap of 'Brand X' showing just as you click to take a snapshot... resulting in it looking like your avatar's throat was slit...

LAQ: built in expressions. Very large selection of heads. Lots of variety in styles of look.

Catwa: most supported by skin makers. Tied with LAQ for number of heads. Extreme variety in styles, though half of them are Scandinavian (but more varied than Lelutka. It seems after they had about 8 heads out they realized they were monolithic and went nuts with the ones after. I have had extremely good results with buying the same head twice for two different alts of different races and making them unrecognizably different.

Lelutka: All their heads look to be the same ethnicity. In fact they all look related - first cousins to siblings. If your avatar is Scandinavian and you know what town in the Netherlands these faces came from this might be the go-to brand though. Haven't demo'd them because of such.

Oh I never thought of that zoom in but I do notice it on the Laq head I have. It triggers me so much LOL. Last I learned about tho, is they are coming out with a new hud which makes me even more curious and want to wait to see if it's worth it.

Catwa feels like Everyone makes things for it, Everyone wears them, Everyone ends up looking the same which I don't mind as much tbh, but that's the reason why I think it might be worth investing in it. Safety?

Lelutka do all look the same. I demo them a few days ago and didn't feel like I got much variety so I agree totally with you on that

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I have worn Catwa, Lelutka, Genus and recently Akeruka.

Catwa - Never liked my Catwa heads that much and they are also so common, everyone has one. 

Genus Classic and Baby Face - I like the Baby Face the best, to me these are very expressive heads and while the HUD seem complicated at first, I quickly got used to it.

Lelutka - The first mesh head I feel in love with and the one I wear the most.

Akeruka - Most recently bought a couple Akeruka heads and I love how unique they are. The animations are not the best but I have learned to live with it.

I chose each one of these heads for different reasons. I change my look often and have many different styles ranging from bbg to elegant to goth queen.

I wear Maitreya and Slink Physique bodies and have not had many issues with fitting any of these heads. I always get a shape/skin combo to eliminate the dreaded neck line. 

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I just went thru all this... I wanted a good mesh head to go with an body. But of the heads, is budget is tight... so I shopped, even tho I had catwa at top of list (budget buster).  I demo'd many including Laq but just didn't have purse to get into those. Really wanted the fat pack of all options too.. if getting those. So I had to start looking downward into what I could afford, finding  a lot of choices there. I actually forget what ALL I demo'd but.....

I ran across the Vista heads.. which I didn't see anyone mention anything about them. I demo'd one and really liked it.. price L$2000. Animations are what caught my attention, which full Bento is included at that price. They have several heads... so I started looking closer. on MP there's another, Lia, which included a piercings HUD for same price, with all Bento too. Then checked inworld store, they had 1st one I demo'd … same price L$2000. Then they had Lia for L$1600 but didn't mention piercings, I impulse bought it anyhow... just couldn't pass up L$1600 for a Bento head at that price.

Get home and unpacked it.... I LIKE IT was not at all like I 'settled' for low price. I think I'm going to be really happy with it. BUT then I noticed Piercings  GIFT was INCLUDED with it!! at L$1600 inworld.. I couldn't believe it.

So short story... after several long WEEKS of demo's (oh GAWD.. will need to organize those now!)…. I've got my BEST Mesh Bento Head.

Does anyone else have experience with Vista Mesh heads? I just don't see nothing about them anywhere.

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16 minutes ago, CaraTriple said:

Akeruka - Most recently bought a couple Akeruka heads and I love how unique they are. The animations are not the best but I have learned to live with it.

 

I forgot about Akeruka! I actually have 2 of those but to me they look mad all the time and similar lol

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7 minutes ago, Clinatti said:

I just went thru all this... I wanted a good mesh head to go with an body. But of the heads, is budget is tight

I know what you mean. I originally wanted a Genus but after I saw they were going for 5.5k, and animations were jerky, No. 

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6 hours ago, Katt Dragoone said:

Catwa feels like Everyone makes things for it, Everyone wears them, Everyone ends up looking the same which I don't mind as much tbh, but that's the reason why I think it might be worth investing in it. Safety?

How long ago did you look at Catwa? I found that to be the case a while back but not so recently.

Catwa has the heads in two rows on one wall (split in 2 sections) and another few (3 last I checked) heads in a new section on the opposite wall. On that first wall I find everything in the top row looks very similar. The bottom row has a lot of variety. The back wall - those are all very stylized.

For me I was able to get a lot of variety in look out of that place.

If you're not seeing variety, for me that would be a reason to avoid a brand - I don't like looking like a member of a Clone Army... I was slow to get into mesh heads because before Bento that's what all the mesh head people looked like to me... Even after Bento most of them looked too similar, like Lelutka or the older Catwa bento heads. The whole reason I originally went Mayreal was because their first head was different and not so common, and after an hour I managed to get the demo with my skin to look non-caucasian (out of the box Mayreal's Janet head can do this in minutes).

 

When I look at LAQ I feel like I could do the same, but the neck seam drove me nuts (my above comment about it looking like the avatar's throat was slit happened just a day or so ago when demoing LAQ, and after it did I spent a few hours comparing neck seams across a few alts and different shapes and... failing to ever not see that seam on LAQ, but never having it on the Catwa heads I had bought, but I think I found it on one I just had as a demo. That said... the back of the neck on Catwa matched to Belleza does have an overlap, but it's very small (zoom in from the side looking at the back to spot it) and in a location I rarely see. Often it's under the hairline.

The one thing I didn't do was test these on Maitreya with my 'retired alt'.

 

Budget heads, Mayreal is not a back choice. $1795L on average and animates well enough. Takes a little longer to figure the HUD out but then it's good.

 

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14 hours ago, Katt Dragoone said:

I know some say " go with what look you like best

Thats why i stick to my bento head from a not so famous creator. The base came close to what i searched for, and after heavily changing my (face) shape, i got what i was looking for.
In addition i can be pretty sure, i never will run into someone who looks similar or exactly like me.

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I chose Catwa, originally because the skins I particularly wanted were available for Catwa only. Now that's less of an issue (I have found a skin I like equally that is omega and bakes-on-mesh compatible) I stick with Catwa because I have found two heads in their range that I love. In particular, a strong female head with a very similar shape to my original male head, that works well with male skins. 

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22 hours ago, Clinatti said:

Does anyone else have experience with Vista Mesh heads? I just don't see nothing about them anywhere.

Of Vista heads my favourite is the Lia head. It's quite nice and pretty head with good animations. I have used that head a lot. It's a bit surprising that Vista heads never started to be very popular. Anyway, at present I use the Vista head less and I use the Genus Classic Face head most often. I have also the Genus Baby Face head. For now the order of preference with these three heads for me is:
1. Genus Classic Face
2. Genus Baby Face
3. Vista Lia

I don't have any other mesh heads besides those three ones. Most likely I will not buy any more mesh heads - unless something really exceptional comes out.

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I wanted to have a look close to my classic head's and to have Bento capability. So I went through a lot of demos. Experimenting with shape and HUDs. I finally decided on GA.EG's Jennifer. It is Bento. I am very happy with the head, HUD, and its new BoM applier.

The animation thing is a gotcha. Older furniture uses the SL classic face animation, which does not use any Bento bones. They use system head morphing. So, only facial expressions built into the viewer for the classic head work. Very limited set. The typical emote morph used for an orgasm looks the same as the one for an elephant standing on your foot. Whatever, most mesh heads do not work with those older animations.

Going forward new furniture and animations will use Bento bones for facial expression as the range and subtlety of expressions is pretty much unlimited. The classic morph expressions are limited to what the Lab built in.

There are some animation scripts made for furniture to add Bento facial expressions. 

My point here is that having a mesh head that responds to 'furniture' animations is WAY less important than Bento compatibility.

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20 hours ago, Katt Dragoone said:

Welp Laq posted another new skin, again, and they will have a new head and a new hud. This isn't helping! lmao Ughh

Demo'd that last night and found something about LAQ.

If you set the size for the neck-match on both the head and your body to 0, the 'your throat has been slit' neck seam goes away.

I also found that if you set it to anything other than 0, it's not just a gap, but a small 'chocker' of pixels is offset from the head - like one of those 'neck sheath' things - even with the 'neck sheath' off.

- It looks like LAQ is tested only at 'Body Fat 0'.

That said, once you have it at '0' it will look pretty nice.

Maybe a LOT more people that I thought use body fat 0, so this isn't as well known about?

 

Edited by Pussycat Catnap
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I tried loads of demos and the only one that was me....was Genus Classic, although I later switched to babyface.....

Before that, the only head which got close was Lelutka Simone.

I used LAQ Mia on my first alt but now she's babyface.

Catwa just doesn't do it for me at all.

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2 hours ago, Pussycat Catnap said:

Demo'd that last night and found something about LAQ.

If you set the size for the neck-match on both the head and your body to 0, the 'your throat has been slit' neck seam goes away.

I also found that if you set it to anything other than 0, it's not just a gap, but a small 'chocker' of pixels is offset from the head - like one of those 'neck sheath' things - even with the 'neck sheath' off.

- It looks like LAQ is tested only at 'Body Fat 0'

 

Yea I noticed that too. It's not too bad if you don't look lol

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1 minute ago, Katt Dragoone said:

Yea I noticed that too. It's not too bad if you don't look lol

Yeah but it becomes one of those "once seen, it cannot be unseen" kinda things. Everytime I see a mesh head now that I think might be that brand, I'm trying not to look... which means I am hyper focused on it like some kind of bad song stuck in my head... :D

Oddly enough though, after finding out it looks OK at setting '0', I am also thinking of buying it...

 

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On 10/8/2019 at 1:08 PM, Pussycat Catnap said:

Oddly enough though, after finding out it looks OK at setting '0', I am also thinking of buying it...

 

lol I get it. They are very pretty.

So I demo the heck out of Catwa Catya and so far I'm loving it. I know it's the head Everyone has but I can see why. Versatile and nice to look at lol

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1 minute ago, Katt Dragoone said:

So I demo the heck out of Catwa Catya and so far I'm loving it. I know it's the head Everyone has but I can see why. Versatile and nice to look at lol

I got Kittia for the eyes. Everytime I see someone write Catya I get jumbled over the similar names and try to remember which one of them it was I had again... :)

 

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I think I have them all. Lelutka, Catwa, Akeruka, LAQ, Genus and Akeruka. They all have their pluses and minuses. I find Genus has the most support from other creators right now. You will have no issues finding skins for that head. Catwa's heads a close second (in my opinion). Catwa has the best HUDs and options, but I don't care for the side profile on a lot of Catwa's heads. I like my Catwa Catya and so did half the grid at one time. We all looked similar. I switched to Genus to feel more unique and I liked the look of it from all sides. I quickly discovered everyone was moving over to Genus and everyone started to look alike again. I love the face shapes of Akeruka the most, but their HUD is not as robust. I honestly wear them all. Genus Baby Face being my fav of the moment. I am sure that will change tomorrow.

Wear what suits your personality best. LAQ has great heads.

Edited by Mercedes Avon
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