L’il Imp and Video Tutorial – We Love Roleplay, The Arcade, Limit8

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Helloooo, bloglings! I am back with a new fantasy avatar. I am in love with so many things in this post. Please excuse my excitement over superficial, inconsequential things, but they make me happy. First of all is this beautifully detailed set from Violent Seduction at The Arcade. Unfortunately, it is a gacha, but is it really lovely and I found it worth the gamble. I have previously had difficulty with the fits from Violent Seduction, but this one fits me really well. Don’t forget to demo!

So, I am so super excited about these demon wings and tail by aii. So excited that I created a whole video below about my excitement and how to use them. I’m a total nerd, so please forgive me. The tail is being released at We Love Roleplay and the wings can be purchased at the aii main store location.  These wings utilized the bento update to SecondLife, which is explained by Daria here.

This is a guest post on the MBA blog. Please visit there for the credits.

 

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Mesh Body FAQ / Shopping Guide

There seems to be a lot of confusion surrounding mesh bodies. I get questions regarding mesh bodies on a daily basis. I am going to try and clear up some of that confusion today and maybe help some people who are new to the market on deciding on a mesh body.

In this post, I will not be reviewing mesh bodies or comparing them and coming to a conclusion on which you should buy. There are many mesh body reviews out there if that is what you’re interested in. I will list some reviews at the end of the article. In the end, though, you are the only one who is qualified to decide which body is right for you and how you style your avatar. Obviously, I do have my preferences (flip through my blog posts credits and that will become obvious), but this post is not intended to present those preferences to you. It is intended to help you decide what you want, not what I want you to want. 🙂

On to the show, bloggettes!

Why even bother with a mesh body? Do I even need a mesh body?

Mesh bodies have a much higher polygon count and can hold higher resolution textures. What does this mean? This means it looks better than the system or default body. The edges are smoother and the textures (skins and texture/system clothing) look much better, when made well. So, it stands to reason, that if you tend to bare a lot of skin, you might want one. If you tend to wear a lot of mesh clothing that fully covers your body, buying a mesh body would be moot. Take into consideration the way you generally style your avatar. I wear my mesh body *all* the time. However, I tend to wear very few clothes—lots of lingerie and cutie fairy outfits (apparently, fairies are very provocative :P). I even wear my body with dresses because I love the knees, elbows and shoulders on them.

You may also have general questions about how the bodies work.

May I keep my shape?

Yes! The bodies are fitted mesh. While rigged mesh (like most of the sized clothing you purchase) only works with certain sliders, fitted mesh works with all of the normal body sliders like muscle and fat. So, you can edit your shape and it affects the shape of the body. However (and more difficult to explain until you’ve tried some demos), the mesh bodies do have their own shape to them. I suppose it has something to do with the way the mesh sits on the basic structure of the body. The shape of this mesh cannot be altered. So, the breasts have a certain shape as does the stance of the thighs on different ones. This will affect the way clothing fits on each of them and you may realize that you like the shape of some mesh better than others when trying them out.

However, if you purchase a body with a head (or a mesh head alone), you can *not* change the face of it. Because of this, many mesh bodies come headless, which sounds a little weird, but it is brilliant. You keep your default head so you can keep your individual face and still utilize the benefits of a mesh body. There are some lovely  mesh heads out there, though. And if you aren’t too attached to your face, you may want to look into those as well.

Can I wear my old clothes with a mesh body?

This can be a complicated question to answer.

System/Texture Clothing. – Remember years ago when all clothing was texture clothing, the clothing that is painted on the avatar? These will not work at all with the mesh body. These adhere to and paint against the default body. So, when you put on your alpha for the mesh body and your default body disappears, so will this clothing. However, you can wear texture clothing. I like to wear some texture lingerie periodically. This can only be done if the merchant/designer who makes the clothing sells an applier for the specific mesh body you have, or maybe an Omega applier (we’ll talk about this later).

An applier is a HUD that you attach and click on (simple as that) that allows you to apply a texture to your mesh body (or other mesh part like hands/feet/boobies/head/etc). The mesh bodies have different invisible layers that are offset from the body and the HUD will apply a texture to this layers so it can be seen. This is also how you get the skin on your body (except the skin isn’t offset).

Rigged Mesh Clothing – This is probably most of the clothing in your inventory. It is the mesh clothing that generally comes in 5 standard sizes. The alphas that come with this clothing only affect the default/system body and do not affect the mesh body. Because of this mesh bodies come with an alpha HUD. This HUD allows you to make different ‘slices’ of the mesh body invisible. Each body’s HUD is different and offers different slicing. I am able to wear most of my rigged mesh with a mesh body without clipping (or with very little, as I’m pretty particular about this). However, because it is rigged, you will still have to adjust your shape to fit inside the rigged mesh, just like you used to.

Fitted Mesh Clothing – Some designers make fitted mesh clothing specifically for different bodies (Blueberry for example). There is not a great proliferation of this, though. I explained fitted mesh earlier, in regards to the bodies. When the fitted mesh is made for specific bodies there are generally no issues. What is great about this is that you can have a non-standard shape and still be wearing mesh; you don’t have to adjust your shape to fit inside of it.

There is also some fitted mesh out there that is not made for specific bodies. This is hit or miss. DEMO. Always DEMO to mitigate your disappointment. Remember when I said earlier that the body mesh has its own shape to it (the shape of the breasts or the stance of the hips/thighs)? It is because of this that layering fitted mesh over it can be difficult. When fitted mesh is created for a body , it is created with this same shape, so they move together perfectly. When fitted mesh isn’t, some difficulty can arise. However, the alpha HUD is sometimes enough to work around this. Just try things out and tinker a little bit.

It may seem overwhelming at first, but in a couple weeks, it will feel like tinkering with your default avatar. Just keep at it!

What is an Omega applier?

An Omega applier is an applier that works on *most* mesh bodies. However, it does *not* work on The Mesh Project’s or SLink’s body. In order to use it, you must purchase a relay. There is even a way to turn certain specific appliers (a Lola applier, for instance) into an Omega applier. This requires a bit of script swapping, and may not always work. You can read more about how to use Omega appliers and how to switch around appliers on their website.

What mesh bodies are most popular, and how do I choose?

There are a few characteristics that I find important and that you may want to consider when shopping for a mesh body. The importance of these characteristics will, obviously, depend on you and what you value most. You should demo and find out what is most important to you.

Price (obviously) – Prices on the mesh bodies range from 900L to 5000L. Depending on your budget this may be a deciding factor for you in your decision.

Shape – The shape of the mesh, not your body shape but how the shape is different or similar to the standard body and how it is affected by the sliders. If you remember earlier, I said that the stance of the thighs may change? The Mesh Project’s (TMP) body can often be difficult to put into shorts or pants because of the stance of their hips. However, I never have a problem putting the SLink body into shorts or pants. The closer the mesh is to the default body, the easier it will be to fit into rigged mesh/ standard sizing. This is because that mesh was created for the default body. However, this also means you may be losing some interesting/beautiful shape to the mesh which is part of the reason for a body in the first place—its differentiation from the default body. TMP may be more difficult to dress than SLink for instance, but I find the shape of TMP’s mesh to be much more appealing.

Much of this is going to be personal preference. You may prefer a more slender avatar, in which case you may prefer the SLink body to TMP. Or maybe you prefer the shape of one’s breasts over another one. There are other things to consider, though. If you primarily intend to wear applier clothing, the ease of fitted mesh may not be that important to you but Omega appliers may be very important.

Alpha HUD – If you plan to wear a lot of fitted mesh clothing, then this is extremely important. The more ‘cuts’ or sections in the alpha HUD the better because it provides you with greater versatility. Try out the HUDs with mesh clothing you already own, and don’t be afraid to adjust your shape to avoid any clipping (the mesh body poking through your clothing). On some bodies the front and the back have been the same alpha cut or both legs are the same one. Play around with them. See what you like and what you don’t like.

Here is a collage of the alpha HUDs of the six different mesh bodies that I own:

Alpha HUD Comparison

Top Row: Banned DEA, Belleza Venus, Kitties Lair Lena

Bottom Row: Maitreya Lara, SLink Physique, The Mesh Project Deluxe

Availability of Skins – If you love, love, love the skin you wear and refuse to change skins, this is critical. Does your skin creator make appliers so that the body can match seamlessly? If not, are the tones supplied by the mesh body you want close enough along with a neck blender to work for you? DEMO DEMO DEMO. Maybe you aren’t that attached to your skin. Do some of your favorite creators make appliers? Look around or look on the Skin Addiction blog to see a listing of available skin appliers for different mesh bodies.

By the way, if you aren’t a member of the Skin Addiction group. You should be. Join. I’m not kidding. They are the best group of the most helpful people I know. Anything related to shopping in SL and they’ll try to help as much as they can.

SLink Compabibility – Do you already own SLink hands and feet? Did you buy a gazillion-and-one shoes for those feet? If you want to keep wearing the shoes you already purchased, this will be important for you. Some of the bodies will work with the SLink feet and others will not. Make sure you know whether or not before buying, if this is important to you.

Omega Compatibility – Can the body be used with Omega appliers? A body being compatible with Omega appliers broadens the availability of texture clothing and skins for you.

Ease of Use – If you plan on using the body a lot, you may be really annoyed if you hate the HUD it comes with or you can’t figure out how to navigate the HUD. On the other hand, if you intend to use the body a lot, a difficult HUD could be something to which you’ll become accustomed and you’ll take the time in exchange for other features you appreciate. Know yourself. You didn’t realize the search for a mesh body was going to be so self-reflective, did you?

Ease of Shopping – Honestly, I only mention this at all because The Shops (where you purchase the TMP body) has a strange purchasing system involving a HUD. Many people seem to find this system very difficult to navigate. I wrote a tutorial on it here, if you want to go through and purchase it. Some people simply prefer to avoid The Shops altogether, but it is one of my favorite bodies. It is really beautiful.

I made a small chart comparing some of the features for the six mesh bodies I own:

Body Comparison 1

You may be interested in some reviews of mesh bodies. Here are a few I have gathered:

On The Mesh Body Addicts blog in the panel to the right.

Alaskametro compares a few different bodies here.

Strawberry Singh reviews Maitreya’s Lara and SLink’s Physique.

Harper Beresford reviews the Altamura mesh body with head and the Belleza Venus.

Here is also a line up of a bunch of different bodies by Meghindo, it is phenomenal. It is an older photo and, therefore, does not include Maitreya’s Lara. Here is an incomplete listing of a bunch of different bodies and other mesh parts too! There are a lot here, so try not to be overwhelmed.

That about sums it up! Now go, lil bloglings! Go and DEMO until your heart is content and your body is mesh.

Have a mesh body already? Need help dressing it? Here is a tutorial on the Mesh Body Addict’s blog to guide you!

If you have any further questions, don’t be afraid to comment below or ask me in world; I’m a friendly soul.

Shopping at The Shops and Mesh Body Problems

I usually don’t present tutorials. Generally, I just like to show pretty things. However, mesh bodies are pretty things. Currently, I have the WowMeh (no longer available), the Slink Physique, and TMP body. My absolute favorite is TMP, but I also realize that shopping at The Shops and using the Style HUD can be rather overwhelming at first. This is where I come in like a guardian angel to help my bloggettes with their beautiful mesh bodies.

First we should discuss a few things about mesh bodies first. These things are true for all fitted mesh bodies. Which raises our first question. What is fitted mesh? There are three types of mesh (so far).

  1. Unrigged mesh – This is just mesh that doesn’t respond to any body sliders and attaches to the body much like a prim.
  2. Rigged mesh – This is mesh that responds to some body sliders but not all. This is what we normally get when we buy a dress in standard sizing. Because it is rigged it moves with our body and responds to some skeletal sliders but not fat or muscle sliders.
  3. Fitted mesh – This is mesh that responds to most of the body sliders, not only skeletal but also fat and muscle.

What does a fitted mesh body mean for you and your adorable avie? It means that you can still create and adjust your shape and be you. But there are some drawbacks. An alpha layer for a purchased piece of clothing will not affect the mesh body. Why not? Well, alpha layers affect the system body. If alpha layers affected mesh, then when you put on an alpha layer, the dress you put on would also disappear.

Can you wear fitted mesh clothes with your rigged mesh body? Luckily, designers are brilliant. The Slink, TMP, and Belleza body all come with an alpha hud. The alpha hud can make certain pieces or chucks of the mesh body disappear. This means, you can wear rigged mesh clothing with these bodies. However, because these are preset pieces of the body (not alphas made specifically for a piece of clothing), not everything is going to fit perfectly. You will need to demo and play around with your shape a bit and see what will and will not work with the body. Furthermore, placing rigged mesh clothes on a fitted mesh body means you still need to conform to the standard sizing of the clothes.

So! First you need a body. There are many reviews of the new Belleza body, one of my favorites is Harper Beresford’s review.

Also, here is a photo by Meghindo of eleven, ELEVEN, mesh bodies available with landmarks in the comments.

If you decide to purchase TMP body, click on the LM get your cute lil bum over to their store.

When you arrive at their store, they will automatically send you a folder titled “The Shops! HUDs & More.” You need these HUDs to shop in their store and to style the body once you receive it. If you accidentally declined it or threw it away or can’t find it the the disaster that is your godforsaken inventory, click on the logo on the wall that looks like this:

TMP 1

Don’t worry, you’re not only beautiful but brilliant. You can handle this. 🙂

Now you’re going to attach The Shops! Shopping HUD from your inventory and it will initally look like:

TMP 2

Select English (or Portuguese, French, German, or Chinese). Then agree to the TOS…and we are making slow but definite progress but only after you hit the ‘Continue.’

These are the options before you in the build (not in the HUD).

TMP 3

“The Boutique” is for clothes, shoes, and jewelry. They have lovely fitted mesh clothes that fit perfectly on their own body without alphas.

“The Skin Shop” is for skins and makeups.

“The Mesh Project” is where you will find the mesh bodies and heads. I do not own a head and, therefore, will not be discussing it.

Also, there is a LiveHelp button. I have never used it, but I have heard that they are quite good if you have any further questions.

Click on “The Mesh Project” and you will be whisked away by the magic of teleportation a new area of glowing white, futuristically clean, spacious, and overly simplified interior decoration.

Now for the shopping HUD. At this time, the shopping HUD is just a logo in the bottom left-hand corner and a balance (probably a big fat zero) in the upper right-hand corner. Even if you are just going to get the free body you must have the shopping HUD attached but you do not need to purchase credits. But if this is the body you have chosen as your primary mesh body, you want one with appliers and goodies and whatnot. So, you’re going to need to click on that big gold medallion on the floor, that Serina is so beautifully presenting.

TMP 4

You can buy credits in four increments: 250, 500, 1000, and 5000. The deluxe mesh body is 5000L. So, that is what I am going to purchase, and I will do so by clicking on the circle with the 5000 in it. I may be oversimplifying this a bit. 😛 Please keep in mind that once you purchase credits into this HUD, there is no way to get them back in Linden. So, please make sure you buy only what you need. Check prices, add up what you plan to purchase and then buy your credits. I admit, it is a strange system…but people have done much stranger things to be beautiful. XD

There are numbers on the wall! Start at the beginning with number 1 and click on the body beside it.

TMP 5

Once you click on this it will activate your shopping HUD. In essence, to shop at The Shops, you are shopping through the HUD and in the store at the same time. It gives their store a very clean and simple appearance, though it may be quite confusing at first.

The Shops is always very busy and sometimes it takes a while for everything in the HUD to load, so give it a moment. When it does, it will look like this:

TMP 6

You can see my new balance in the upper right-hand corner of the screen is $5000. Also, there is a row at the bottom of the screen with four versions of the mesh body. They range from the free version which is furthest right to the Deluxe version furthest left. The free version is just a body with no alpha HUD (which make is extremely difficult if not impossible to wear your mesh clothes with it). Think of the free version as a demo that you can wear to nude beaches and to CMNF events (if you don’t know what that is, just keep moving along >.> ). It includes 36 preset skin tones but you cannot use appliers with it. You can match this body to many skins with the preset skin tones, because they also give you neck blenders.

If you click on each of these bodies on the bottom, it will give you the details of each body in the little circle up on the upper left. Only the Basic and the Deluxe have an alpha HUD.

If you just want to demo the body, click on the free version, then the big buy button and it will be delivered to your inventory via the miracle of the internet.

Click the X to minimize your shopping HUD and cam over right next to where you were looking and you should see this:

TMP 7

Here you can buy a shape or physics for your body…but neither are necessary. I use my own shape and I don’t need mah boobehs to bounce.

However, if you bought the deluxe body you will want to click on the feet:

TMP 8

You need to click to get your feet redelivered. All the feet come with the Deluxe body but for some inexplicable reason they do not send them to you with the body. You must click on that redeliver button for them to send you all five feet styles. Weird, but good to know.

YAY! You made it! You have a mesh body with hands and feet. You should keep in mind that this mesh body is NOT Slink compatible. There is usually a gap between the hands and the arms or the feet and the legs. This should be taken into consideration when you decide which body you would like. Sometimes, I do wear my Slink feet because I want to wear Slink shoes, but I have to wear a cuff to cover the gap.

If you have purchased the body and you need help with the Style HUD that will be my next tutorial..probably tomorrow. 🙂

Enjoy your bodies, bloggettes! (Get your mind out of the gutter, you dirty girl.)

You can check my Flickr for more photos that I have taken with my TMP body. I don’t always make blog posts from my photos, but everything is still credited in the comments.