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Tamanni

Mesh heads - pros and cons?

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I am hunting for mesh heads and I've been trying loads of demos this week, and I've narrowed my choices down to two, both of which give me exactly the look I am after. One of them is Catwa, the other is LAQ.  Genus, I am still undecided on because I wasn't able to test it with Bakes on Mesh. is there somewhere I can obtain a Genus BoM relay? I couldn't find one in their store so I wasn't able to test their demos with my own skin, so even after trying them I still don't really know whether they would work or not. 

Are there any factors I need to be aware of before making my choice? I'm going to be using exclusively Bakes on Mesh with it, so availability of appliers/skins won't be an issue. I am also aware of LAQ's strategy of selling one hud and separate cheaper heads, but as I am unlikely to buy more than one, this isn't a factor either.  Are there any other major pros or cons with either Genus, Catwa or LAQ that I need to know before making my choice?

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You are aware that Lelutka has 2 new heads especially for BoM now? https://lelutkasl.com/lelutka-evolution-line-erin-and-nova/

I am sitting on the fence after trying a demo. I am so in love with my current Lelutka head. 

The availability of skins is a factor for me. I almost never see anyone else than LAQ that sells skins for LAQ.

I am aware that BoM let us use any layer skin, but the mesh heads topography is a bit different, so a skin made specific for a head, can have issues with eye corners, nostrils and mouth on a different head. But if you have tested it, it is your experience that matter, not mine. Deetalez show some different skins on different heads. Not including LAQ.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/deetalez/48793190598/in/dateposted/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/deetalez/48793190893/in/photostream/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/deetalez/48793553621/in/photostream/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/deetalez/48793189973/in/photostream/

 

 

I would choose Catwa over LAQ, if both heads gives you a look you love. I haven't used Genus, so I can't help you with that question.

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18 minutes ago, Marianne Little said:

I almost never see anyone else than LAQ that sells skins for LAQ.

I am no expert on any of this, but I use an LAQ head and am able to find other skins for it.

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4 hours ago, Tamanni said:

is there somewhere I can obtain a Genus BoM relay? 

The last time I saw, it was at Genus group notices. The group is free to join.

Edit: I just checked and it's not in group notices anymore. You can get it here: https://marketplace.secondlife.com/p/GENUS-Project-Genus-Heads-BOM-Activated/18714536

Edited by DemeraraGirl
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9 hours ago, Marianne Little said:

You are aware that Lelutka has 2 new heads especially for BoM now? https://lelutkasl.com/lelutka-evolution-line-erin-and-nova/

I am sitting on the fence after trying a demo. I am so in love with my current Lelutka head. 

The availability of skins is a factor for me. I almost never see anyone else than LAQ that sells skins for LAQ.

I did try both of the new Lelutka heads but they didn't seem to give me the look I am trying to achieve.  

Availability of skins won't matter as I'll be using my Belleza skin with BoM and it does look good with both LAQ and Catwa.

 

8 hours ago, Laurent Bechir said:

You also have Akeruka which has BOM mesh heads :

http://akeruka.com/blog/

Akeruka Marketplace

Thanks for the recommendation, I hadn't heard of Akeruka. Will try those too.

Marketplace seems to be down right now so I'll pick up that Genus relay another day.

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Before you go on a big BOM search consider that there are 2 reasons to go for BOM:

1. So you can use a system layer skin on it. As noted above unless that skin was made for that head it might not match up right in some places. If it was made for the head, this reason... is a little pointless.

2. So you can reduce lag by not using onion layers... BUT unless the head was made BOM-only it will still have all the onion layers and so... not save on lag at all.

There is one potential number 3: To avoid 'transparency layer glitches' in closeups when in front of something like a window. This will ONLY work if EITHER the head is BOM only OR all the Onion layers are set to 'mask' mode... which they rarely are... and you have to be at 'just the right weird angle' for this issue to ever show up anyway except on lashes... which BOM won't help for anyway...

Now of those... Number 2 is an extremely good reason... BUT, while there is so far exactly 1 BOM-only body out there, Slink Redux, to my knowledge no BOM-ready head is actually a BOM head... they just apply the BOM texture to the skin-onion-layer... Thereby saving exactly 0 lag...

For now I would not focus too much on BOM... not until a true BOM head comes out...

 

EDIT: If that Akeruka head above has NO ONION LAYERS then it will make for the first BOM head I've been looking for someone to put out...

Just looked, it has appliers... onion layers... so it's just like all the others, BOM as an onion layer...

Edited by Pussycat Catnap

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9 minutes ago, Pussycat Catnap said:

to my knowledge no BOM-ready head is actually a BOM head... they just apply the BOM texture to the skin-onion-layer...

Slink released new Visage Redux heads in early October.  I have one, and it does not appear to have onion layers, that I can tell, anyway.

From one of the NC's that came with it: 

                 Welcome to the Slink Visage Mesh Head system.

                 These heads are animated and use Bakes on Mesh to render skins, and other layers like hairbases, makeup, freckles, tattoos

 

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2 minutes ago, moirakathleen said:

Slink released new Visage Redux heads in early October.  I have one, and it does not appear to have onion layers, that I can tell, anyway.

Looks like I need to go check that out. Thanks for the heads up.

So basically we have one brand using BOM the way it should be used, for both their head and their body... and everyone else just using it as a marketing buzzword...

 

Edited by Pussycat Catnap

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6 minutes ago, Pussycat Catnap said:

So basically we have one brand using BOM the way it should be used, for both their head and their body... and everyone else just using it as a marketing buzzword...

Did anyone expect something else? No transparency control for makeup, no materials based effects, no nothing. Turns out people don't want to downgrade visuals for a minor performance boost. Don't blame the creators, blame the LL for making it the way it is.

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39 minutes ago, steeljane42 said:

Did anyone expect something else? No transparency control for makeup, no materials based effects, no nothing. Turns out people don't want to downgrade visuals for a minor performance boost. Don't blame the creators, blame the LL for making it the way it is.

You 👏 can 👏 have 👏 BOM 👏 with 👏 materials.

Say it with me now.

Edited by Wulfie Reanimator
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11 minutes ago, Wulfie Reanimator said:

You 👏 can 👏 have 👏 BOM 👏 with 👏 materials.

Say it with me now.

I am afraid you must say more. The newest Lelutka and the Akeuka does not have whole onion layers. What they have, is patches that cover the eye makeup area and the mouth area. These patches have materials. This is individual from the whole head, who can also have materials..

Is it what you mean? Or do you say it is another way (no patches or layers) to turn on gloss on lipstick only, without the whole head looking greased up?

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22 minutes ago, Wulfie Reanimator said:

You can have BOM with materials.

Say it with me now.

I did read this thread (and plenty others too), too. I know what BoM can do and what it can't. Onion layers>BoM for materials, any day. Based on updates and even freshly released products, I think majority agree with me.
https://community.secondlife.com/forums/topic/443980-bom-needs-to-auto-calculate-normal-and-spectral-layers-like-sansar/

What I'll agree with is obvious benefit of tattoos with BoM compared to onion layers. No alpha blending issues that way. So bodies can easily lose 1 onion layer in future updates without downgrading the experience of the users. Or like Marianne said above, partial layers (that's only for the heads, though. bodies need a full one anyway) is a way too. But they are still there.

 

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The new Lelutka Evolution heads are definitely full BoM heads with limited onion layer portions for the eye shadow and lips only. I just switched to Evolution on both of my avatars. They are wonderful heads. I encourage anyone wishing to go full BoM to give them a try. 

Edited by Blush Bravin
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5 hours ago, Marianne Little said:

Or do you say it is another way (no patches or layers) to turn on gloss on lipstick only, without the whole head looking greased up?

It is possible if the specular on the full head is made to only make the lips shine. I don't think doing it this way is the best treatment though. Having very limited onion layer portions for eye shadow and lipstick is preferable regardless of materials because you then can use sliders to determine transparency. I honestly think Lelutka's treatment of lips/shadows gives us the best of both worlds ... appliers meets BoM.

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5 hours ago, Wulfie Reanimator said:

You 👏 can 👏 have 👏 BOM 👏 with 👏 materials.

Say it with me now.

Without Onion layers?

Basically a single layer bump-sepc on the skin layer right?

It still sounds like no one / only one dev is doing full BOM.

19 minutes ago, Blush Bravin said:

he new Lelutka Evolution heads are definitely full BoM heads with limited onion layer portions for the eye shadow and lips only.

- That still has onion layers after all...

But I do see where it might be a needed tradeoff...

  

6 hours ago, steeljane42 said:

urns out people don't want to downgrade visuals for a minor performance boost. Don't blame the creators, blame the LL for making it the way it is.


But how minor is it? Each onion layer has historically been a full repeat of the vertices / triangle count of the body underneath...

If you have a body with a skin, tattoo, close cloths, normal clothes, and makeup layer... removing all the online layers makes it use up 6x less polygons, roughly speaking... that should be a dramatic performance boost.

Edited by Pussycat Catnap

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I’ve only been messing with the Lelutka demo, but I’m pretty sure it has full specularity on the entire head. It even has shine control on the hud. So that would mean it’s using materials.

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7 hours ago, steeljane42 said:

Turns out people don't want to downgrade visuals for a minor performance boost.

I think it depends on what functionality is most important to different players.   I don't feel like my visuals have been downgraded and I'm not even sure how I would know if I'm missing materials or specular or whatever.  Being a fashionista or going full-out on makeup or effects, though, has never been a huge priority for me. I love the simplicity and ease of use of BOM without appliers, and I think I look better now than I had before.  And it does reduce complexity and scripts, so that is also a plus in my books.

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9 hours ago, Marianne Little said:

I am afraid you must say more. The newest Lelutka and the Akeuka does not have whole onion layers. What they have, is patches that cover the eye makeup area and the mouth area. These patches have materials. This is individual from the whole head, who can also have materials..

Is it what you mean? Or do you say it is another way (no patches or layers) to turn on gloss on lipstick only, without the whole head looking greased up?

7 hours ago, steeljane42 said:

I did read this thread (and plenty others too), too. I know what BoM can do and what it can't. Onion layers>BoM for materials, any day. Based on updates and even freshly released products, I think majority agree with me.

3 hours ago, Pussycat Catnap said:

Without Onion layers?

Basically a single layer bump-sepc on the skin layer right?

It still sounds like no one / only one dev is doing full BOM.

Allow me to illustrate, using BOM on a regular prim cube:

https://giant.gfycat.com/HoarseDefenselessGoose.webm

What you see in the above video, is the script I used to apply BOM onto a regular cube. On the cube, you can see my torso texture. In the edit window, you can see that I have applied an orange texture (as an example) as the material of the prim. I have also set up a light so the reflection is clearly visible. You can see that the prim that has BOM applied on all sides also has materials on it.

BOM 👏 works 👏 with 👏 materials 👏 without 👏 onion 👏 layers.

Edited by Wulfie Reanimator
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2 minutes ago, Wulfie Reanimator said:

Allow me to illustrate, using BOM on a regular prim cube:

[stuff]

BOM 👏 works 👏 with 👏 materials 👏 without 👏 onion 👏 layers.

That's pretty much what I assumed.

I consider 'doing full BOM' to ALSO mean removing those full-body/full-head onion layers...

And that's where the needle isn't moving much with developers...

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Just now, Pussycat Catnap said:

That's pretty much what I assumed.

I consider 'doing full BOM' to ALSO mean removing those full-body/full-head onion layers...

And that's where the needle isn't moving much with developers...

Yes, I've also said as much.

On 1/12/2020 at 1:15 AM, Wulfie Reanimator said:
On 1/12/2020 at 12:19 AM, Zak Westminster said:

The problem I see at the moment (and please correct me if I am wrong) but the mesh bodies and skins that have been updated to be BOM compatible do not actually provide any savings because they still have the onion skins there for those who wish to continue to use appliers.

Only once the onion skin layers are removed form the mesh heads and bodies will the true benefits be realised but that is quite a way off.

That's kind of correct, but it's a little more nuanced.

If an avatar changes from using onion layers (assuming every layer has a unique texture on it) to onion layers (same textures) + BOM for skin, there's no difference. Once you begin adding tattoos and makeup with BOM, the value of that feature goes up even if it still takes "as many textures as before" to render you. The body is now displaying more detail that it wasn't able to before, but without any additional cost to anyone's viewer.

One of the (I think) two main goals of BOM was to reduce texture load. As long as people are using BOM with more than one layer, that's achieved.

The other main goal was to reduce onion layers, but that's going to take longer to achieve because it relies on creators removing backwards-compatibility or maintaining multiple versions of mesh bodies which takes more work.

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If you open up a lot of appliers they often aren't applying materials anyway... A lot of parts apply this in their HUDs... and a LOT of those HUDs are farmed out to external scripters...

- That's where the hurdle is... or rather isn't...

It's likely a small script to write a single 'prim parameters' call than 7 of them... O.o

But I've gathered from watching some of these mesh-part companies that it's the scripting that holds up their updating... I worry that maybe some of them don't even have full-perm copies of the scripts in their own HUDs... or are just shy about dealing with their scripters... or what...

I imagine taking 'Brand X head' into Blender,  selecting only the skin layer and exporting it... is not a HUGE task... but I dunno. Blender is the black box to me that a script file often is to them...

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1 minute ago, Pussycat Catnap said:

If you open up a lot of appliers they often aren't applying materials anyway... A lot of parts apply this in their HUDs... and a LOT of those HUDs are farmed out to external scripters...

- That's where the hurdle is... or rather isn't...

It's likely a small script to write a single 'prim parameters' call than 7 of them... O.o

But I've gathered from watching some of these mesh-part companies that it's the scripting that holds up their updating... I worry that maybe some of them don't even have full-perm copies of the scripts in their own HUDs... or are just shy about dealing with their scripters... or what...

I imagine taking 'Brand X head' into Blender,  selecting only the skin layer and exporting it... is not a HUGE task... but I dunno. Blender is the black box to me that a script file often is to them...

I script and can work Blender decently enough. The process is simple on both sides and it baffles me how slowly everything is moving on the creator side.

That doesn't really matter though. If you want your BOM body to have materials on it but you don't have a "material applier" (they exist, I have one), you can just find any skin applier that *does* come with materials as well. Apply that skin, then re-apply your BOM. Now you have materials with BOM without anybody having to write a new script. Also, if the body uses Omega, you don't even need a BOM update because you can just get the free Omega Dev Kit and put in the BOM textures so you can add BOM to your body yourself.

Anyway, I hope it's clear now that there's no problem adding materials to your non-onion bodies. 🙂

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5 hours ago, Pussycat Catnap said:

But how minor is it? Each onion layer has historically been a full repeat of the vertices / triangle count of the body underneath...

Vertices/triangles wise it's pretty minor. Someone posted slink's numbers in similar thread, it was 20k less vertices and 30k less triangles or so. For old vs new Lelutka heads it's 28k/53k to 16k/30k and actually higher VRAM usage 28k to 41k, thanks to those new HD additions. In theory heavier bodies like belleza could lose way more triangles, though. But having 3 different chests in one... hard to say.

So let's say you have a mid sized private party or something, with 10 avis. All using same slink redux bodies and same lelutka heads. You are saving 320k of vertices and 530k of triangles that no need to be rendered now. That's roughly 1-2 of hairstyles with "styles", which is pretty much all what most popular hair brands are doing for the last year or two and less than one "fancy-interactive" outfit. It's roughly the same as one belleza body at its current state, it's less than one legacy's body feet alone, it's less than "fuzzy' mesh sweater/dress that are so popular this season. And it's certainly less than some decor/furniture items you will have around as well, just 1-3 of them. Unless it's your own place and you were choosing the well made mesh yourself.

Even LL doesn't seems to care that much on some fronts. Did you seen how much VRAM traditional LL homes use? Over 250mb. Vertices/triangles numbers on them are not bad, but assuming someone using official LL viewer with 512mb texture memory... that's half of it, for one LL house.

I remember reading how LL didn't expect mesh to be used the way it is, like clothes, or later - body parts. I think it's the same for their other projects, including recent ones, animesh and bom. Those are mostly sidegrades, than clear upgrades. Example of clear upgrade would be bento. It did replace static or frame-by-frame animated heads, tails, ears etc (not counting those who are going to stick to old things for their reasons). On example with tails, it also did improve "lag" situation a bit, as those ancient tails often were a total disaster, while new ones are light on mesh and scripting parts.

Edited by steeljane42
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45 minutes ago, steeljane42 said:

You are saving 320k of vertices and 530k of triangles that no need to be rendered now. That's roughly 1-2 of hairstyles with "styles", which is pretty much all what most popular hair brands are doing for the last year or two and less than one "fancy-interactive" outfit. It's roughly the same as one belleza body at its current state, it's less than one legacy's body feet alone, it's less than "fuzzy' mesh sweater/dress that are so popular this season. And it's certainly less than some decor/furniture items you will have around as well, just 1-3 of them.

This is a false-equivalence.

Just because 100K+ triangles sounds like a small amount by SL's standards, that doesn't mean it is a small amount. What you've done is just point out how incompetent most creators are at creating real-time content, especially the big names that popularize that bad content and hurt residents the most.

No modern game spends that amount of detail on that small of an area. It's ridiculous at the face of it and the literal antithesis of optimization.

Edited by Wulfie Reanimator
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