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I'm an old resident, though now a 'newbie' - BENTO HELP

Meg Box

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I've been a resident in SL for many years; however, have recently returned to the world after about 5 years.  Soooo much has changed.  Ok, on to my most pressing questions (I have MANY!!)

I'm looking at Bento heads, mesh bodies, Omega appliers, shapes, skins..... oh my!  I'm off to watch a couple of Youtubes now, but I just want some clarification on this...

Q:  If I buy a bento head (looking at Catwa, LAQ)  and mesh bodies (Belleza, Maitreya, others) can I use old school skins?  Do I have to use a specific type of skin... Omega???  Also, where does BOM come into play.  I looked at a LAQ head that was BOM, difference?  If I get a Bento head, I heard I can change the shape....so if I use a body shape I like, does it affect the Bento head shape?

Ok...  opinions and help please!


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First of all, welcome back! You're joining a lot of people who are returning to SL after many years away and finding things have changed considerably when it comes to customising your avatar. I'll start by answering just your basic questions as succinctly and simply as possible, but if you need any further clarification or have any other questions, don't hesitate to ask :)

If I buy a bento head (looking at Catwa, LAQ)  and mesh bodies (Belleza, Maitreya, others) can I use old school skins?

  • Yes you can use old school skins, although original skins (in other words, very old ones that were created for system avatars only) will need extra 'fixes' applied to them to make them look good, since the 'mapping' of their textures was designed for the original system avatar hands and feet. BoM (which stands for 'Bakes on Mesh') is the system that you would use to make these system skins show on purchased mesh heads and bodies.

Do I have to use a specific type of skin... Omega???

You have two options to put skins on mesh body parts such as heads and bodies: appliers and BoM:

  • With appliers it's usually preferable to have a head skin applier compatible for your brand of mesh head, and a body skin applier for your brand of mesh body. For example: if you choose a Catwa mesh head and a Maitreya mesh body then you need a head applier for Catwa and a body applier for Maitreya. If you had a Lelutka head applier it simply wouldn't work on your Catwa head, as they are scripted completely differently.
  • You can also use Omega appliers on both head and body. Omega is a cross-brand applier system that will work on any mesh head or body, as long as you use the correct 'Omega Relay HUD/Installer' for that brand. Using the above example: to use an Omega skin by - let's say - 7 Deadly Skins on your Catwa mesh head and Maitreya mesh body, you would need to be wearing the Omega Relay HUDs for Catwa and Maitreya while clicking the 7 Deadly Skins Omega skin applier HUD.
  • With BoM it is still preferable to have head and body BoM (aka: system) skins that are texture-mapped for your brand of mesh head and body. The texture mapping on a Catwa head will be different from the texture mapping on a Lelutka head, so while you could effectively wear a Lelutka texture-mapped BoM/system head skin on your Catwa head, it would look a bit strange. The texture of the upper lip wouldn't sit correctly on the 3D mesh upper lip line, etc. There are no brand-specific limits or restrictions on using BoM skins like there are with appliers: any BoM/system skin will show on any BoM-enabled head and/or body; it just might not look 'perfect' if it's not intended for that specific brand.
  • If you're using very old system skins on a mesh head and body, then - because they were texture-mapped to the original system avatar - most of the time they will not sit correctly on any mesh head or body. You may see white smears coming up from beneath your mesh body's fingernails (because the fingernail textures on old system skins were mapped differently), and I'm sure you can imagine the horrible mess your toenails will be in, given that the old system feet were literally solid paddles! For these issues - and for other ones you may see on your face, such as eyelashes painted onto the skin - you can now buy special 'BoM fixes', which are additional tattoo layers that correct these problems.

Also, where does BOM come into play.  I looked at a LAQ head that was BOM, difference?

  • All mesh heads and bodies now include BoM capability if you want to use that. This is usually achieved either by including a special 'BoM version' of the body/head, or by means of clicking a 'BoM activation' button on the body/head's main HUD. As explained above, BoM allows you to 'bake' your underlying system textures onto your mesh head and body.

If I get a Bento head, I heard I can change the shape....so if I use a body shape I like, does it affect the Bento head shape?

  • Yes, a Bento head allows you to use the original system shape sliders to customise the head. It's always recommended to wear the shape that is included with your Bento mesh head, and customise that, since it contains the ideal 'starting shape sliders' to make the head look good. You can always write down your preferred body slider numbers, transfer them across to the mesh head shape, and save it so that you have a combination of both. You can then use that as a starting point to customise your shape even further, making it unique to you.
Edited by Skell Dagger
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Meg, a couple things to keep in mind.

When choosing a bento head, what I did for my alt with my second bento head was to shop around on MP for bento shapes. Specifically the way the face 'looked' until I found the perfect face. I then bought the head that the shape was made for. (Generally the body shape can still be your old shape, just edit your face shape to add your body numbers) That can save you time that would be spent 'tweaking' your face until it's something you want. You also might want to check out all the heads for several things.. Catwa uses a unique map, so not all skins will look 'right' on them. You'll need to buy skins that are Catwa compatible. I originally bought a Catwa because everyone was making makeup appliers for Catwa, but alas, I just couldn't get the face that felt like me, despite hours of tweaking. Personally, I had better luck with Lelutka. YMMV.

For bodies and heads, the thing to think about is 'can I wear such and such' line of clothing or makeup? Many shops cater to just a few of the most popular bodies and heads, or just one. Makeup has gotten a bit easier with BoM (read system for ease of translation).

Another caveat on heads and bodies is to demo demo demo. Can you deal with the HUD for them. For heads, do you like the built in animations? It's a lot of shopping around, but ultimately you'll have products and a look that you're happy with.

You can wear older skins on your new BoM compatible mesh body and head. Not all of it will work though. Older skins will have the finger and toe nails 'built in'. So they get a weird double nail thing goin on that looks fugly. I found a cheap finger and toe defunker on MP that can be tinted to any skin color and doesn't cover your whole hand. (Important if your skin has freckles on your hands and feet!) One other thing, old skins use 512 x 512 textures. Modern skins have 1024 x 1024 textures, making them more detailed and sharper looking in important areas.

I'll send you a LM inworld to a shop that has skins made for both BoM and appliers for most major brands of head and body. There's a group freebie, but the skins are on sale for 100L per 2-pack of skin tones. [ETA: The appliers work without having to use an Omega relay, so you can see what each head and body looks like with a non-demo skin. This really helps a lot.]

I hope this helped.

Edited by Roxy Couturier
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you may give it an eye to her videos, some of them are in spanish but the importants (tutorials and news) comes in english :3 
and maybe look for weekend sales videos like

Fifty linden friday
saturday sale
manly weekend
happy weekend

where sometimes you will be able to find very good stuff at a low price 🙂 good luck
oh also you ca IM me inworld whenever you want and if i'm online i can help you with something you didn't understand n.n
things turns easy after a couple of days trying them :3 


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@Meg Box, welcome back. ❤️ So many returning residents try to grasp it all at once. It is overwhelming. I think I will begin to advice all to take a deep breath and start with the body, and leave your system head on until you are familiar with the mesh body you have selected.

I say this because you can shop clothes, shoes, nail polish and all the new, pretty stuff with a body. You can do it without a head. It is not made any new content for system bodies. Well, maybe a little, but I can say it is so little that it is not worth to mention.

If you will ease into shopping without searching for content to buy, you should buy one of the most popular bodies. This is a bit sad because the small brands are left out. But I do not want to buy a small brand and use time searching for who makes things for this one. And I can't buy anything from the stores I like, because they only make things for the most popular bodies. https://www.flickr.com/photos/79511558@N08/40153965104

The survey is 2 years old, but not much has changed in the top 5. It is a new body Meshbody Legacy that has changed name and bodies from the old TMP. I will suggest you read some long threads about Meshbody Legacy here on the forum and have that in mind when you demo it.

Because DEMO! Only Slink (Physique, Hourglass)  and Meshbody (Lecacy, Legacy Pregnancy, Legacy Perky ) is found on the Marketplace. Also notice that there is no, or few reviews... it was more before, but they take down and upload it to get rid of negative reviews. If you love it, it has enough new content made for it to satisfy the most. Maybe it is in the top 5 now, pushing Physique or Venus down.

Inworld, you use search for Maitreya Isle (Maitreya Lara) and Belleza (Freya, Venus, Isis).

EDIT: When you turn on BOM on the body, it is a seamless neck fit where your system head with the old skin meet the mesh body, and as already mentioned, it is nail fixers for feet and hands. From free to cheap. And those fixers who cost more have better details, and it is demos for them. Search Marketplace for BOM fix.


Edited by Marianne Little
added the last part and changed a few words
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You all have been super, SUPER helpful!  I ended up with Maitreya mesh body and a LAQ BOM head.  I am pretty happy with the head.  I also, because, well... I'm a SL shopaholic it seems, got a CATWA head, but I'm not quite as happy with it.  I'll play with it a bit. 

There is soooo much to learn and re-learn.  I couldn't for the life of me remember how to edit! 

Look for more questions as I try to figure this all out again... 

Much love to you all!



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