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Rumancekk

custom heads/custom bodies/skin,meshes...help?

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I guess it's not 'custom' so much as it is appliers or something. I am using the base avatar. I am a male but the base allows me to wear female clothes it seems like, and I don't know if this will work if I buy a custom male body. My friend said it doesn't work on his avatar.

I also need to have a very specific face but with Second life's limited capabilites I don't look like I want to. Is it possible for me to buy a custom body/head and try to make the face I want there? Because the regular bodies are ugly. But I don't want to use my ability to wear the clothes I have...

I considered making my own custom head morph but I wouldn't know where to begin. I am familiar with Blender but I don't know how it would work with skin... or how I'd use it.

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5 hours ago, Rumancekk said:

I guess it's not 'custom' so much as it is appliers or something. I am using the base avatar. I am a male but the base allows me to wear female clothes it seems like, and I don't know if this will work if I buy a custom male body. My friend said it doesn't work on his avatar.

I also need to have a very specific face but with Second life's limited capabilites I don't look like I want to. Is it possible for me to buy a custom body/head and try to make the face I want there? Because the regular bodies are ugly. But I don't want to use my ability to wear the clothes I have...

I considered making my own custom head morph but I wouldn't know where to begin. I am familiar with Blender but I don't know how it would work with skin... or how I'd use it.

There is a very specific question somewhere in here, but it's worded incredibly vaguely, which means it's difficult to answer your question because of the lack of specifics. I'm not sure if that's because you're relatively new to SL (forgive me if that's wrong; I'm not logged in and can't check) and are not aware of the terminology, or if it's because you feel uncomfortable expressing what your exact needs are in an open forum. To that end - while it's always preferable to discuss things like this on the open forum (because others may come along at a later date with the same question and find the answers that they need are already here) - I'll start by saying please feel free to send me a PM here if you're not comfortable with openly discussing what you're looking for. (Just hover your cursor over my avatar image or username and you'll see the 'Message' option.)

Now on to that vagueness ;)

Over the years a bewildering range of avatar customisation options have come about; some created by Linden Lab (who own and run SL) and some created by other residents. We first need to find out exactly what you're currently using, because it evidently works on your current avatar

You say you're using the 'base avatar' and that it allows you to wear female clothing. By this I assume you mean you're using the basic system avatar that we all have and all start SL with, and I assume that you're using the male one.

By 'female clothing' we need to verify what you're able to wear on that base avatar. Since you're using the male system base and the female clothing appears to fit it just fine I will assume that you're wearing system layer clothing. That is, it looks like it's painted on to your avatar's body, and you then add 3D sections like floaty skirt pieces, etc.

There is also the possibility that you're wearing 'fitmesh' clothing, which is all-3D clothing that conforms to your avatar's size (within reason) and may need additional alpha layers to 'blank out' any portions of your system body that might poke through the mesh..

You've expressed two specific desires in your post: the ability to wear female clothing on a male avatar, and a request for a very specific (but unspecified!) kind of face. I'll deal with the former first, and start by asking some questions to ascertain exactly what you're looking for:

  1. Someone who is clearly male and wearing feminine clothing. Here I'm talking about the likes of Eddie Izzard, who is clearly masculine but sometimes wears a skirt, makeup, and false boobs. This could also refer to a man who is interested in being a sissy.
  2. Someone who is male but passing as female in a somewhat over-the-top manner. Here I'm talking about the drag that you frequently see on RuPaul's Drag Race.
  3. Someone who is androgynous. Here I'm talking about a person whose gender isn't immediately evident. They may be a beautiful man or a butch woman, but their facial characteristics and manner of dress can cause confusion to those who expect them to be a specific gender at first glance.

The first two are rather difficult to accomplish in SL. There are, however, a few stores that cater to them. The male mesh bodies that are most frequently rigged-for regarding both of them tend to be Belleza 'Jake' and Signature 'Gianni' (Jake a little more so than Gianni). Clothing by Violetility and Cubura would be your best bet to begin with for these. I've given you the Marketplace links for those stores but they may have a bigger selection inworld.

The third of those options is the easiest to manage, as there are customisations in SL for that. Most men who are into androgyny will wear a female mesh head, the female Maitreya Lara mesh body, and the Valentine Technologies (V-Tech) 'Boi' flat chest mod for the Lara body. They can then wear specific V-Tech clothing and skins, or - with some shape slider modifications (specifically on the breast sliders) - they can also wear Maitreya-rigged mesh tops but still keep a relatively flat chest. If you want to maintain androgynous ambiguity to the head in this case, look for a Bento mesh head whose 3D shape begins with strong, angular lines. However, this kind of look really works best for androgyny, so if you're looking to present as 'a bloke in a dress' this probably won't work for you.

You also have the option - using the new Bakes on Mesh feature in SL - to wear any system layer clothing (the 'painted-on' stuff for the system body) and have it show on a mesh body, regardless of whether that mesh body is male or female. The level of success that you'll have doing this depends on the clothing and on the body, though.

Moving on to the 'specific face', since you're not clear as to what face you're looking for: is it a specific shape or a specific look?

If it's a shape, then pick up lots of demos of Bento mesh heads by different creators. Bento heads can be customised using the system shape sliders, and with a bit of work and experimentation you might be surprised what you can make with them. Look for a head that starts out with a 3D mesh shape that's similar to the final shape you need. (Example: If you need a square jaw, don't begin with a head whose starting shape has a very pointy jaw, otherwise you'll be trying to overcome that before anything else).

If it's a look, then skins, makeup, and other appliers are your friends. In the case of the drag artist there are a couple of stores that cater specifically for that classic over-the-top drag look, such as ZsaZsa's House of Beauty (mostly for system avatars) and Dotty's Secret (mostly for mesh avatars).

Hope that helps somewhat :)

Edited by Skell Dagger
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On 11/9/2019 at 6:15 AM, Rumancekk said:

I guess it's not 'custom' so much as it is appliers or something. I am using the base avatar. I am a male but the base allows me to wear female clothes it seems like, and I don't know if this will work if I buy a custom male body. My friend said it doesn't work on his avatar.

I also need to have a very specific face but with Second life's limited capabilites I don't look like I want to. Is it possible for me to buy a custom body/head and try to make the face I want there? Because the regular bodies are ugly. But I don't want to use my ability to wear the clothes I have...

I considered making my own custom head morph but I wouldn't know where to begin. I am familiar with Blender but I don't know how it would work with skin... or how I'd use it.

The general, short answer, is no, you can't wear female mesh clothes with a male mesh body. However, there are a lot of qualifiers to this, and it really depends on what you're trying to achieve. Any sort of cross-dressing or androgyny in SL is difficult and somewhat limited, but it's certainly achievable.  

First of all I presume you are not using mesh at all yet.

With a classic, non-mesh body you can continue to wear classic non-mesh womens clothes (system layers and sculpts/flexi). You might have to modify the size of sleeve cuffs and other attachments. You can wear a female skin on a male shape, or a male skin on a female shape, however the chest might look a bit funky because most female skins have heavy breast shading which looks odd on a flat chest. You can wear "standard size" mesh clothing on a classic body but male clothing will fit only a male shape, and female clothing will fit only a female shape. Best option here if you want to wear women's mesh clothes is set your shape to female, then edit it to more masculine proportions (higher body thickness, muscles, narrower hips etc). In that case, women's clothes will fit you, but there will always be boobs. If you want to wear women's clothes and have a flat chest, the standard size mesh clothes won't work for you.

With a male mesh body - There are a small (very, very small) number of creators making feminine clothes (dresses etc) for male mesh bodies, primarily Signature Gianni and Belleza Jake. You can apply a female skin (using either Omega or Bakes on Mesh) to a male mesh body but again it will look wrong in the chest area. Male and female nipple placements are different on mesh bodies. A better option is to choose a male skin but one that's very smooth and without much muscle definition.  My go-to option here is a skin from Plastik (mainly known for fantasy skins but they have some normal-coloured ones too that look more feminine).  I picked up a new set yesterday too - a free group gift for the L'Homme readers group, located at the DNA Cloning Facility - an entire pack of male skins in 60-odd tones with various add-on layers. And ooh boy, these skins are VERY feminine - on a female shape and head they are basically an instant flat-chested girl. (These are system layer skins and will only work with classic avatars or BOM-ready mesh).

With a female mesh body - This is the route I've decided on. There are a couple of female mesh bodies that have mods available to make them have a flat chest (V-Tech for Maitreya, Simple Stuff for Slink). This enables you to use a male skin on the female body without nipples or anything else being out of place.  Again, you can approximate male proportions using the shape sliders, since mesh bodies will respond to most of those. However, even at the thickest and most muscular, you'll never get more than a "slim" masculine shape here.  With this option you can wear almost anything made for your particular body and while there are some things specifically designed for the V-Tech/Simple Stuff chest mods, you're not restricted to those. However, some clothing distorts around the chest at very low breast sizes; I keep my slider set at around 15-20 rather than zero; lower than that and the chest starts to look concave. Always try demos - some things will look fine and others won't. This is the option you'll probably find best if you want to wear a lot of women's clothes but still have a flat chest.

As for heads - the general rule is that male heads only fit male bodies and female heads only fit female bodies. But you can apply opposite gender skins to them (generally only with Omega appliers) and, depending on the combination, it might look perfect, so-so or awful. My current head is Catwa Margeaux (female head), which has strong features, especially around the jaw, and looks fine with most male skins. The pain-point with skins is sometimes the eyelids but if you are intending to wear make-up, this won't matter. Catwa also have some unisex mesh heads; these have generally feminine features but includes fittings for both male and female bodies, so if you want to use a male body but still have a more feminine face, one of those might be an option for you to consider.

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