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People still use classic avatars instead of bento heads and bodies?


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Apologies for apparently "bumping" a thread that has been dormant for about two months. I have just come across this thread and read it through with great interest. I sympathise with all of the points of view, having probably held all of them at one time or another!

Although I took up mesh bodies fairly early on, I have only recently made the leap to mesh heads, for myself and my various alts. (Of course, they would probably say I was the alt, but then they would, wouldn't they?). It's been a traumatic experience to say the least. 

There was the inevitable issue of getting to grips with something new and complicated, especially at a time when spare time was at a premium, but I would say that by far the biggest issue for us was abandoning long established, unique, appearances which had become synonymous with our individual characters. This was especially the case with one alt in particular who has a higher public profile than little old me. Making the transition whilst retaining at least some of our individually unique characteristics was the real challenge.

After various attempts and abortings we finally pushed through and made it happen. It's taken weeks upon weeks but I/we are now very happy with the results, and at least no longer feel as if "a dinosaur has entered the building" whenever I/we turn up somewhere.

There really has been so many benefits in making the transition, and any lingering twinges of regret and sadness are fading day by day. It was a massive effort, not to mention the cost, but we are glad we made it.

The one area of disappointment, hopefully merely the result of ignorance and inexperience, is the relative paucity of facial expressions achievable with the bento heads compared to the old classic heads. This has come as a complete surprise as we thought this was the whole point of bento in the first place. The transitions between expressions, which gave great photo opportunities, and particularly, the smiles, just do not compare. The facial AOs seem to be universally awful, and the static expressions, in the main, just as bad.

We have been using Catwa heads, but have experimented with all the others, and they all seem equally poor in this respect. We have yet to find any third-party animators who have come up with anything better. 

We are hoping this is simply lack of awareness, on our part, of what is out there, or that there is some "trick of the trade" that we haven't learnt yet, or that there are some better expressions currently under development. 

In the entirety of the thread no one seems to have mentioned this specific issue, and this gives me hope that we are missing something here! If so, please enlighten us!

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SL, as I'm sure you've already figured out, means very different things to different people. And that's a great thing, but one of the drawbacks is that sometimes it creates particular communities of i

Not a snob but perhaps a bit unknowledgeable.  The quality of someone's look doesn't have much or anything to do with whether they use a mesh body.  It has a lot more to do with their design skills as

I have a mesh body, and I wear it maybe 1/3 of the time...mostly when I'm wearing an outfit that doesn't have a "classic avatar" option.  But the classic avatar has a very wide range of possibilities.

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Animating facial expressions is complicated by all the brands of heads and the difference in how they are sculpted and weighted. So, one makes a facial animation for a specific face. That Animation "might" work on another head, but, likely not as well.

I love my GA.EG Jennifer head. But using Black Dragon to add facial expressions for photos I find that teeth and lips seem to be cross weighted. Creating an open mouth smile with lots of teeth is something I have not been able to achieve.

THe Classic avatar has a limited number of expressions. They are built into the viewer. The classic sexual ecstasy expression most often used by animators looks to me like an elephant is standing on their big toe. One can use a different expression, but there is no way to change that classic expression.

With Bento faces it is possible to do anything. BUT... we are limited by how the designer made the head.

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Thank you for the response. Yes, the classic avi expressions are very limited, but with certain avis they worked better than others and, especially if caught in transition from one to the other, a uniquely different (and unintended) expression might fleetingly arise and be captured by the patient photographer. That doesn't seem to happen with Bento faces. Some of the heads, like Catwa Catya, have been out for a good while now, and have a huge user base. I'm surprised there isn't a greater repertoire of tailored expressions for that specific head, for example. All I'm asking for is a half-decent closed-lipped smile that doesn't make the poor avi look as if it is grimacing from a seriously bad bout of constipation! How hard can it be?! Ho hum....one day....

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11 hours ago, NicoleSartre1 said:

Thank you for the response. Yes, the classic avi expressions are very limited, but with certain avis they worked better than others and, especially if caught in transition from one to the other, a uniquely different (and unintended) expression might fleetingly arise and be captured by the patient photographer. That doesn't seem to happen with Bento faces. Some of the heads, like Catwa Catya, have been out for a good while now, and have a huge user base. I'm surprised there isn't a greater repertoire of tailored expressions for that specific head, for example. All I'm asking for is a half-decent closed-lipped smile that doesn't make the poor avi look as if it is grimacing from a seriously bad bout of constipation! How hard can it be?! Ho hum....one day....

I think the problem is that there are so many heads, and they all respond slightly differently to animations. Even if you count only head-makers, there are still close to a dozen, and each one of those may make two, three, ten or twenty different heads, or even more. A third-party animation-maker would need to focus on only one of those hundreds of heads and an AO that looks great on one head might not look as good on another, even one from the same head-maker.

That said, I needed an alternative animator for a cheap head I have that doesn't include its own at all. I trialled demos of a few and one that really impressed me was the one from Vista. The only reason I didn't buy it was the cost (around L$1200) and because I eventually stopped using that head and went back to Catwa. If you are looking for a poser to make static expressions for photography, the Axis Hud from Lelutka is worth trying too. I got that by accident, thinking it was an animator, but I'm actually glad I did.

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22 hours ago, NicoleSartre1 said:

The one area of disappointment, hopefully merely the result of ignorance and inexperience, is the relative paucity of facial expressions achievable with the bento heads compared to the old classic heads. This has come as a complete surprise as we thought this was the whole point of bento in the first place. The transitions between expressions, which gave great photo opportunities, and particularly, the smiles, just do not compare. The facial AOs seem to be universally awful, and the static expressions, in the main, just as bad.

I too felt that way about mesh heads. Finding a head with a built-in AO that had really natural looking animations has been a battle. So much so, that for the most part I typically ended up feeling fortunate to find at least one expression that was pleasant and not overly animated. But I am exceedingly happy with the built in animations for the V2 Lelutka Evolution heads. I finally have a really nice natural looking toothy smile.

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17 hours ago, NicoleSartre1 said:

... All I'm asking for is a half-decent closed-lipped smile that doesn't make the poor avi look as if it is grimacing from a seriously bad bout of constipation! How hard can it be?! Ho hum....one day....

😂 Some are pretty bad.

If you haven't played with Black Dragon and the Poser, give it a try. BD is easy enough but an expression is difficult.

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There seems to be a whole host of good ideas and suggestions here, and I shall investigate every single one of them. At the very least they should keep me out of mischief for a good while....always a good thing. So, thanks everyone!

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On 4/21/2020 at 9:37 AM, xBaeBeex said:

..i think im going to come off as the av snob here, the av mesh snob.. and an av mesh snob thats only been in SL for 1 year almost.

I really really dont like the system stuff. And im sorry for that.. but i just.. I dont get it, ive seen names and people who, when i check their profiles they've been on 7 or 8 years and still look like they've been in SL for 1 day as a noob. .. 

OMG I totally agree with you!

I have not been in SL for long, I am about 5 months old, but one of the first things I did was to get a decent mesh avi in my first week. Yes, I am an avi-savvy.

Some people say they don't like spending money in SL. I get it, but these days there is a LOT of free stuff in the market(or almost free).

No offense to anyone, but system heads and flexi hair isn't my idea of a decent avi

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@xBaeBeex and @shiviex... Yeah you are kinda mesh snobs... but that is OK. A bunch of the old timers are too, including me.

However... a system or classic avatar doesn't have to look like a total noob. If they are done well one has to look twice to decide if the are classic noob or mesh. A good skin and shape can make a more than passable avatar. But, it is never hard to figure it out.

And mesh is not the end all be all. A whole bunch of guys have the mesh body & head super macho avatar that I think looks like the Missing Link. The buy-it-wear-it and never touch the appearance panel... no, that is just as bad as a lame mesh avatar.

Those that look like a total noob from 30m away... they just don't care.

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On 7/26/2020 at 3:16 PM, NicoleSartre1 said:

We are hoping this is simply lack of awareness, on our part

No, it is not.

Everyone wants your money.

Most people making stuff, even tho they have many fans and expensive stuff, they aren't professionals, so, what do you get out of that:

  • You feel you are the problem.  It is not that stuff is difficult to understand, you think it is you.
  • High complexity, but if you aren't interested in this, you go for the pretty and then wonder why nobody can see you or things are laggy, and lag everyone else, even at events.
  • Deficient objects that worth a lot but are broken, like an expensive head I got long ago: incredibly beautiful but, even tho it is bento, it has their animations wrong, among other things, and still has, because the creator decided to not make heads anymore.  Some still didn't get the animation thing, or don't care.
  • You think because everyone buy mesh heads you must too.
  • You think because everyone buy that specific mesh head, you have to (why not? a lot of flies can't be wrong if they are flying around sh*t)  Don't be one more fly.
  • You might enter in the vicious capitalist circle where SL turns into a virtual shopping mall for your avatar without realizing it.
  • You loose a lot of your time because you need to learn anew everytime you buy something, almost take a course, read forums, watch videos, read blogs, ask questions and wait for somebody to answer it.  Maybe somebody will. Or maybe the head is faulty in the first place and they wont tell you.. they will be beating around the bush with an answer.. until enough info, you got the idea (if you are lucky, maybe you get nothing from the creator)
  • You spent a lot of money for a mesh head/body and realize some of the sliders are off.  You can´t achieve the look you want.  That's because I still have my default head for my main avie and I love it. The others doesn't have what you say about "established, unique, appearances which had become synonymous with our individual characters" If you buy a mesh head you will look like the other like you have lost a twin sibling and think you recognized him/her walking past you.  That is true to default heads, but I didn't had to pay anything for it, and have all the sliders activated.
  • Don't get me started about the appliers..  Thank god BOM is here.
  • Ignorant and stupid people will think you are awful because you still got a default body, or just the head.  That is not savvy, that's ignorant and snob.
  • And you realize NOTHING is standard anymore, people think they have the ultimate idea to make an item, a HUD, and LL doesn't care because they can't do a system avatar with low complexity and beautiful (I was lucky enough to get Ariadna from Kalhene, and I must say, it is the best free avie.. until somebody didn't like that) 
  • You start the game and make an account, and think "those are two beautiful avatars on the poster!" but then you realize you are a polygon mess and your feet melt in the ground, nothing like in the picture!, so why don't LL make an avie like Ariadna and let that and a couple more shapes be the standard?  Ask LL. Or empty your credit card trying to "look awesome".
  • And of course, if you badmouth (aka: say what you know feel and learn) about these faults, you are a bad person because you can't talk badly about "creators"

avatares de LL.png

Edited by Elisaisabel Munro
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On 7/29/2020 at 3:02 PM, shiviex said:

OMG I totally agree with you!

I have not been in SL for long, I am about 5 months old, but one of the first things I did was to get a decent mesh avi in my first week. Yes, I am an avi-savvy.

Some people say they don't like spending money in SL. I get it, but these days there is a LOT of free stuff in the market(or almost free).

No offense to anyone, but system heads and flexi hair isn't my idea of a decent avi

I'm really not sure I agree with this flexi-hair comment. I've gone right back to it recently. I just think it looks so awful when one is dancing vigorously somewhere and there is absolutely zero movement from the hair, and especially the longer styles. It's as if one has pasted a cardboard cut-out of a picture of hair on one's head. Ghastly! I know flexi-hair can float through things which isn't terribly brilliant either, but to me it's a small price to pay for something which, otherwise, looks so much more realistic. 

I also think it is so much easier for new residents to go straight to mesh heads and be happy with the result. Older residents have grown attached to their evolving classic look over many years, and it is an integral part of their identity, with much time and effort, money, and love, invested into it. The decision to abandon all this and switch to a mesh head is, I think, very, very difficult, if not impossible, for some. 

And as Nalates has just said, "a system or classic avatar doesn't have to look like a total noob. If they are done well one has to look twice to decide if the are classic noob or mesh. A good skin and shape can make a more than passable avatar."

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On 7/29/2020 at 10:02 AM, shiviex said:

I have not been in SL for long, I am about 5 months old, but one of the first things I did was to get a decent mesh avi in my first week. Yes, I am an avi-savvy.

Some people say they don't like spending money in SL. I get it, but these days there is a LOT of free stuff in the market(or almost free).

No offense to anyone, but system heads and flexi hair isn't my idea of a decent avi

Young whippersnapper, don't get too overconfident. One day, the servers will hiccup and you'll end up looking like me.

sl_image.png?a7de671743aecd930ee3eed9a7f785b7&key=031612c11314bef6e45ad74b654a804714061277347b4596b5c5cd66ba44ac95

Edited by PermaRuthed
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2 hours ago, PermaRuthed said:

Young whippersnapper, don't get too overconfident. One day, the servers will hiccup and you'll end up looking like me.

sl_image.png?a7de671743aecd930ee3eed9a7f785b7&key=031612c11314bef6e45ad74b654a804714061277347b4596b5c5cd66ba44ac95

I got three letters for you, IDC

When the servers hiccup, everyone will be "perma ruthed"

Don't worry, when that happens, you will have a lot of other Ruth friends!

Until then I wanna look my best.

Edited by shiviex
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5 hours ago, PermaRuthed said:

Young whippersnapper, don't get too overconfident. One day, the servers will hiccup and you'll end up looking like me.

sl_image.png?a7de671743aecd930ee3eed9a7f785b7&key=031612c11314bef6e45ad74b654a804714061277347b4596b5c5cd66ba44ac95

Does anyone know why the system skin makeup system was changed to monochrome like that a few years ago?  Our poor "come as you were" avatars now have to have gray cheeks and gray lips.

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On 7/29/2020 at 4:02 PM, shiviex said:

No offense to anyone, but system heads and flexi hair isn't my idea of a decent avi

this is posted in another thread yesterday...is it really thát bad?... a male and female example.
Not judging any mesh addict, mijn mains are also full mesh, but with a little work a  standard shape with a freebie 7ds skin can look quite nice.

1fe49e582c6f59c80156fcdec9809ee8.png

 

40201c3e310391ed5b6950042f7e15b3.png

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18 minutes ago, Alwin Alcott said:

this is posted in another thread yesterday...is it really thát bad?... a male and female example.
Not judging any mesh addict, mijn mains are also full mesh, but with a little work a  standard shape with a freebie 7ds skin can look quite nice.

1fe49e582c6f59c80156fcdec9809ee8.png

 

40201c3e310391ed5b6950042f7e15b3.png

So you are seriously comparing mesh with classic heads?

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1 hour ago, Alwin Alcott said:

this is posted in another thread yesterday...is it really thát bad?... a male and female example.
Not judging any mesh addict, mijn mains are also full mesh, but with a little work a  standard shape with a freebie 7ds skin can look quite nice.

1fe49e582c6f59c80156fcdec9809ee8.png

 

40201c3e310391ed5b6950042f7e15b3.png

@Alwin Alcott looks great!  I guess there must be a lot of people who want to look good and buy their look 'off the shelf', and currently that's easier to do with mesh (once you have the hang of mesh!)
Now I want to go back and work on my system avie :)

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2 hours ago, shiviex said:

So you are seriously comparing mesh with classic heads?

Did you seriously even read the topic title? .. Yes it is clearly not the same as mesh, but it is nót bad, and people could use it more often. It helps rendering, and not to forget your wallet if you don't have or want to spend thousends on mesh.
These looks are made with the basic free tools from the viewer, and free skins in the 7ds group. You only want the best look.. sorry that doesn't work at the inside.

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System v mesh

Me (mesh) on the right with one of my oldest SL friends (system) on the left. I think she looks great. In fact, she looks waaaay better than me - especially with my ugly Advanced Lighting Model neckband in this light. There's definitely pros and cons. Nothing is ever just 100% good :(

Snapshot_002.jpg

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  • 5 weeks later...

I was using my selfmade shape from 04/2007 until 06/2020 before I finally 'meshed' myself.

Never been unhappy with my classic avatar, but then I took the time (and two friends who showed me where and what I have to look at) and played with Catwa and Belleza Jake, bought it in the end. And, I'm happy with it.

But still, I think the prices for them are WAY too high.

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On 8/1/2020 at 4:30 PM, PermaRuthed said:

Young whippersnapper, don't get too overconfident. One day, the servers will hiccup and you'll end up looking like me.

sl_image.png?a7de671743aecd930ee3eed9a7f785b7&key=031612c11314bef6e45ad74b654a804714061277347b4596b5c5cd66ba44ac95

I'm old enough in the game that when I see this, I don't say "ewww".  I smile, nostalgically, at the sight of an old friend.  It's like the way some Guild Wars players feel when they remain in GW v1 Prophesies Pre-Searing, or have any sort of a Gwen-related encounter.  I do wish the new folks get to experience this at some point, smiling fondly and saying, "ah, young one.  Let me tell you about the pre-holographic days of video games, and a thing called mesh.  We thought it was all the rage."  I mean, sure:  An old Atari can't compare to a new Alienware, for example.  But it still makes me smile at the happy memories.

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It's a definite sense of pride for me to pull up my old Classic avi's and outfits, some I even designed myself, and see all the hard work I put in back then for various avi concepts.  I especially love my elf maiden, I wore that almost exclusively in the early days, designed her chain mail and shiny shield, got her tiara to fit just so, put a sword in a hilt on her back, and edited and positioned so many things without a HUD or click-n-go helper.  It was all me.  And the best part is she wears the Leaf Of Lorien, from an old elven group that closed its servers over a decade ago.  You can't put a price on memories.  I also like to occasionally put on my nicer sexy classic avis, go somewhere, and get guys hitting on me.  Of course, you could be dressed in a box made out of particle emitting megaprims and a lot of guys would still tell you "u look hot bb" just for the chance to get in your pixelpants lol  But it's fun when they say "i can't believe it's not butter!  Er...mesh!"  It's become a Rez Day tradition of mine to go back to Inspiration Island and try on all my old outfits.

houseboat 1_012.png

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for some of us older players in SL the whole mesh body / head thing was a odd learning curve i did not rilly latch onto it until BoM became a thing and we has a semblance of "old SL" back. and some people might simply not be able to afford the latest in Bento Box Bake on animesh wind in your hair avatar. the bodies and heads can be rather pricey in SL terms and with people loosing there jobs due to COVID all these fancy avatars are expensive and many of new and old folks are coming to and back to secondlife for an escape. 

 I don't care what you look like as long as your staying a good person in these hard times we are cool.

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As I said in an earlier post, my avatar is still 'system'. I put together a montage from a recent photoshoot. The pictures are mildly processed. The jeans, the black leggings and the blue and purple leotard are also 'system', whereas the tops, shorts, shoes and hairstyles are mesh. The leotard dates back a long, long way !

System Avatar Montage.jpg

 

And these evening sunlight images are from our OpenSim standalone island . . .

System Avatar Montage.jpg

Edited by Conifer Dada
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