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Any tricks for making a classic avi head appear to be a mesh head?


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I have a Maitreya v5 body and have been very happy with having the mesh body for years, but I really can't find a mesh head I like that looks like "me"... So I have been trying to use make up and tattoos over the system head as much as I can in order to mimick a mesh head look.  I was wondering if anybody else is trying this and what tips and tricks you have come up with to make your original avi head look mesh without it actually being mesh?

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My tip is to keep trying. I was lucky to be able to find a mesh head which almost immediately felt like "me" at the time.
The best tip I can give you is to keep trying demos. Including from creators who do not belong to the top-5 most popular heads (I am an Akeruka fan myself). If the head is BoM or BoM capable, then you have already one advantage over me at the time. LOL
Additionally, I can recommend creating a new default shape in your inventory, leave all the settings default and use THAT shape with any demo head that you may try. If one head makes you go "oh, that is close, but not quite there" then there's a candidate to keep in a separate folder for "promising" heads. 
Once you feel you are done looking for promising heads, it is time to do the actual work; adjusting the shape (the SYSTEM shape) to make your face just right. Just focus on the head, the rest of the body can stay at default. I typically first focus on eyes, mouth, cheekbones, and nose. Also don't forget to pay attention to the chin and the jaw shape.
Don't worry if you can't get it exactly right the first time, heads can take quite a bit of fiddling and tweaking before you are really content with the result.

Final step: Once you have the head just about right on the demo head of your choice, it's time to go and spend your hard earned Linden Dollars on the head which now looks close to what you want it to look like.

One last thing. It is quite possible that over time, you will find that what feels like "you" may change. I have at the moment a variety of heads so I am not "stuck" with a single head, but at the moment, there is only one that feels right and that is the one at the very bottom here.

2008, pre-mesh (kinda "duh")
image.png.8b8e9dfe186ba7da8765808c7c3a00bd.png

2011, pre-mesh.
5859466039_9c5ce236cf_o_d.jpg

2014, pre-mesh.
23327161320_f81a77babf_c_d.jpg

Mesh, 2017 but got this head, Eve from Absolut Creations in 2016
29950675428_ea3b89a0d6_c_d.jpg

2020, different head (Akeruka Advanced W01)
image.png.d7e344421089b12daf6877139a2d9429.png
 

 

Edited by Fritigern Gothly
Edit: I can;lt seem to resize the images. They were supposed to be smaller. Sorry!
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Since the default avatar head has WAY fewer triangles (it is mesh too) than any of the "mesh" heads it will never be as smooth. That's just the bottom line.  Good makeup appliers and some stellar hair and jewelry will have folks looking at THAT part of your head and not the actual shape. Since there are high quality BOM skins now you can probably find one that will fit your default head.

 

But you can't make more triangles when there are none LOL. Sorry.   Hence our love for smooth.   Also a big part of making the head look like you IS both finding a head SIMILAR to your look and then changing the shape. There is a free head from Logo and I think the Genus head is also still free. I suggest playing around with them until you REALLY understand what the head sliders do (assuming you haven't already done that of course) as shape sliders make a huge difference. there is no reason to use the default shape that comes with the head. 

Adding photos.

My look from 2009

mylookdec09.jpg.ef0b775e70243a45b8bcf42fe366c288.jpg

 

My look just now.

 

616555554_chicoct262020.thumb.jpg.53dcf67a4c0eda2e71f0ccdc49561491.jpg

Edited by Chic Aeon
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7 minutes ago, Zzevir said:

Why do you try s Ruth 2.0 head it's basically a sysetm head (as far as I know so I can be wrong) just bit better. There is one on the marketplace for 1 Linden. 

https://marketplace.secondlife.com/p/Sweets-Ruth-20-BoM-Bento-Mesh-Head/18919447

Quote

Sweet's Ruth 2.0 BoM Bento Mesh Head

sounds to me a just another mesh Bom mesh head?

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13 minutes ago, Alwin Alcott said:

sounds to me a just another mesh Bom mesh head?

It's BoM and Bento but it is so basic that it's only for those who really can't afford better. One of the things is that the eyelashes don't even move and it is no facial expressions.

I can second @Chic Aeonin that she get the free heads NOW and play with the shape and skin later. Those are quality heads.

People who say the mesh heads don't look like "them" don't want to evolve their look, but it is not up to me what they decide.

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1 hour ago, Alwin Alcott said:

sounds to me a just another mesh Bom mesh head?

It is, but unlike other heads, Ruth 2 is specifically modelled on the original system avatar shape. So while it's nowhere near as good as other heads, it will be the one that gets closest to a person's original classic look with a minimum of shape adjustment.

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I just picked up the male head, since one of my alts only has the Freya unisex head. What a difference a male head makes. Finally I got rid of the "feminine" head shape.

It does not look like the eyes can use BoM. I have never used LOGO Bento - I had some other head years ago. Must see if it is eye appliers to buy or make.

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3 hours ago, Alwin Alcott said:

sounds to me a just another mesh Bom mesh head?

I used to be very good friends with the guy that made (with help of others as the project progressed) the Ruth 2.0 avatar. I was made for Opensim and the gals in Opensim were THRILLED to get it (I am wearing it there although I haven't logged in for a long while). It IS a very low poly head and was specifically made as such. I was surprised when I first saw it advertised in SL because of course we just AREN'T about "lowpoly" here LOL.  

But it was not made (originally anyway -- it is Creative Commons 0) as a stand alone head. I am not sure it can be used as such. Maybe there have been some adjustments here.  

 

altamura has some free heads and heads with bodies complete etc that can be played with also.   I am pretty sure that with ALL the heads out there the OP could find one that WITH some shape tweaking could look close to the "me" they are trying to be.  It does take some work though.  

 

When I went to look for that old profile picture I posted I found the post I made long ago on my changing look.  It was fun to go back and see how I have evolved.   I did have to change the sliders on my heads (I have only really worn two mesh heads  -- one static and now one bento -- in all that time aside from when I was blogging ones) to make the usable. Most heads won't let you just try them on your body as is. When I take my mesh head off now (Genus) I look REALLY horrible, so people can't expect to find a mesh head that they can just plop on and go.   I don't use the head animations and don't really care about any of that, but now that I have grappled with BOM I am very happy with that new feature. 

 

 

 

 

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I think some people have an aversion against the included shapes in the head folders. Not saying it is the OP. But they put on the head with their own shape they have used for years, and try to work the sliders from that.

For me, it is backwards, it is much easier to tweak the face from the included starter shape and then write down the numbers for the body and change it.

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Well I don't know about special tricks to make your head look like a mesh head, but I think if the body comes with a decent enough neck blender and you have a really good skin then most people can't really tell the difference anyway. I've been asked a lot if I am using a system or mesh head and honestly if you have to ask then to me that says I did a really good job on my avatar. ;)

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System head has lower polygon count compared to mesh heads, mesh heads now even have HD layers which makes resolution beyond comparison.....I don`t know if system avatars even support materials cause I switched to mesh years ago, if not, that is yet another reason why make up and skins can never look as good (not just talking about shine/specular, but also normal map that gives additional 3d detail like pores, skin surface etc)

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10 hours ago, CherishSweetThings said:

I have a Maitreya v5 body and have been very happy with having the mesh body for years, but I really can't find a mesh head I like that looks like "me"... So I have been trying to use make up and tattoos over the system head as much as I can in order to mimick a mesh head look.  I was wondering if anybody else is trying this and what tips and tricks you have come up with to make your original avi head look mesh without it actually being mesh?

I was looking at your profile/pics of your avatar.  You could get a similar look with most mesh heads.  Since you're using a system head now, you could still use your current skin on one as long as you turn on BOM.  Grab a demo of a couple brands and give it a try.

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There are people who have mimicked their system head style or look with the mesh head really well, and then there are people who have decided to make a change or that they could live with the changes that a mesh head brings. Some people are satisfied with their new mesh head and think it looks a lot like their system head.
But if you want to stay with the system head, (and there’s nothing wrong with simply staying with your system head until you actually decide to get a mesh one - if you ever do)… I would try to figure out what about it feels dated to you vs the mesh heads. Is there a particular look or style you are going for that says ‘updated head’, or ‘mesh head’? For instance, (following my own preferences), I’d probably think about RL current makeup trends a little because sometimes I follow a few for fun  - getting the brows a bit fuller and straighter, a newer, higher definition (or at least more sharply detailed) lipstick layer with a good upper lip bow highlight, new eyeshadows and liners, mesh lashes (if I needed updated ones) and adding some check and nose highlighter into the make up layers. When I switched to a mesh heads, I began to look less and less like my SL “self” for sure though. That didn’t bother me at all because I wear a variety of avatars, but it did kind of knock my partner back a bit when he didn’t even recognize Fauve. 🤣

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It would be difficult to mimic the look of bento mesh avatars that are so popular now because like Chic said, they are far more complex than the standard system SL avatar. If you were seeking to just make better pictures, I'd recommend a face light that can sometimes diminish the harsh lines around the nose and mouth. I would not recommend just wearing it around in world though as often other people have them turned off, and in some cases they are disallowed at events / sims due to how bright they are. Looking at your icon picture, I'd maybe recommend checking out Slink redux heads. I have no idea who is making skins for them, but they are bom so you could experiment with your current system skin. Siddean has pictures on her personal Flickr and slurls to her in world store. If you haven't already, make a copy of your current shape and put it away for safe keeping so that when you try on different bento mesh heads you can experiment with sliders without  worry of messing up your original look.

Good luck, and keep us posted!

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On 10/26/2020 at 8:44 PM, CherishSweetThings said:

I have a Maitreya v5 body and have been very happy with having the mesh body for years, but I really can't find a mesh head I like that looks like "me"... So I have been trying to use make up and tattoos over the system head as much as I can in order to mimick a mesh head look.  I was wondering if anybody else is trying this and what tips and tricks you have come up with to make your original avi head look mesh without it actually being mesh?

The only tips and tricks I've used when I was first a Maitreya Body and a Classic head (aka system head) was to use ULTRA Graphics and take long shots which can make the Classis/System head look fairly realistic in long view only.  Other than long shots only and ULTRA graphics, there isn't much to get rid of the jagged edges.  In other words, what I'm saying to you is a long shot with certain positionings can camouflage but that's about it.  It can work if you want to do photography only.  

Here is a photo below of my Maitreya body and System/Classic head on Ultra Graphics and I think the Classic/System head looks pretty darn real.

Snapshot_1311yellow copy (2).jpg

Snapshot_BW1310.jpg

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The most common flaws of a system head are the lines around the nose / upper lip and the 'dead eyes glaring stare' of female heads.

- You can use a skin or makeup to conceal the nose lines. It's less visible in darker skins so I was able to go a while without switching when I had a dark African tone from Angle Rock.

- You can sometimes dial away the 'eyes glaring at you' look, but it's rare to succeed here. It might help to use prim eyes with an unusual texture and some built in added animation to them.

 

As others note - you really just want to not give up on mesh heads yet. Spend hours sitting on a posestand with an alt next you. Have the alt use the system head, and a copy of your shape and some freebie skin that looks close to you (maybe even the demo of your skin). Stand them side by side so you can see them in the same monitor and...

Demo about 103 different heads and go to town with the dials...

 

 

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For years I refused to give up my system head when mesh heads came into play because I actually liked my system head.  I looked fabulous and people often asked what mesh head I was wearing.  I finally gave in when skin creators stopped making system skins and focused on making mesh head appliers instead.  The eye shapes have changed a bit over the years, but I like to think the changes aren't so severe I look like a totally new avi. 

If you like your system head, keep it!  It good slider work, skins and accessories like eyes, lashes etc, you can look gorgeous!

15253500557_8ef6df5eae_c.jpg

31333898595_545dd3c020_c.jpg

Snapshot_003jj.jpg

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The Head and body are the most important foundation for everything so cheapening out is a bad idea!

I no longer recommend the Ruth 2.0 as others have pointed out the flaws and the body has some major ones on the wrists/ankles forcing one to only buy clothing to cover it up or expensive jewelry that negates the whole' Free Idea' ...you get what you pay for.

CherishSweetThings.. I know your pain I've got an avatar I love so much and every now and then I visit were I got the skin/shape from hoping one day she will update her store adding in somehow that exact look into a good mesh head ... I used to get several messages a month when i used it as a profile with people asking me were i got it, who was it by.. it was somewhat flattering & even today no mesh head makers have that unique styling to offer.

 

getty_496474697_87717.jpg

Edited by Sassy Kenin
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