Looking good?

I’ve taken the plunge – despite all my reservations and previous failed attempts, I’ve now meshified myself. What eventually swayed me was Bakes on Mesh, which has brought me all the benefits of a mesh bod, whilst allowing me continued use of my extremely extensive old-style wardrobe. It’s also brought me the unalloyed pleasure of being able to snigger at all those poor souls who dumped all their system clothes, acquired over many years, and splashed out a fortune on new body-specific attire.

That was a big drawback as far as I was concerned. The horrifying thought of chucking out a huge part of my inventory, including many of my favourite outfits, most of which I’d struggle to replace or replicate, really didn’t appeal. I accept that there’s loads of decent clothing out there for mesh converts, but I rarely go for the sexy, revealing, or fashionable type of look, preferring quirky and occasionally, downright odd, and that’s something which really isn’t catered terribly well for once you abandon traditional type clothes.

Before I finally bit the mesh bullet, I would frequently find myself in the midst of a conversation where it almost felt as if I was being asked to justify my choice. Almost inevitably, at some point, the phrase ‘it takes a bit of practice, but you’ll get used to it’ was trotted out, but frankly, I stopped practising getting dressed the day I finally learned to tie my own shoelaces, and I didn’t intend going back down that route any time soon. However, I have to say, I’ve been pleasantly surprised – it’s all been pretty easy – although I’ve still no idea what an applier is, or how to use them, not that I’ve needed to!

That’s not to say everything is perfect. I’ve already come across items of clothing, supposedly made for my body, that still don’t fit – almost as if the ‘designer’ has simply thrown something together and thought ‘that looks about right’ – not impressive! My biggest gripe however is feet. Unfortunately, if I use BoM, my beautifully crafted mesh tootsies become monstrous nightmarish appendages, as the system toes burst out from the mesh. It’s a limitation of the base avatar textures and bones, which unfortunately, we’re stuck with – If I want pretty feet, I can’t used BoM, if I do, I’m afraid there’s no open-toed footwear for me. 😦

However, now that I can speak from the the moral high-ground of someone who has gone to the dark side and succumbed to mesh, I have to admit that getting a decent looking mesh avatar set up is pretty much a walk in the park, however, for some unknown reason, for every drop dead gorgeous mesh person I see walking around the Grid, there’s another fifty monsters and aberrations who just don’t make the cut.

That’s not to say that the old fashioned way of creating your inworld body wasn’t also fraught with potential to make a mess of yourself, and many have, but at least it hasn’t cost a shedload of hard earned lindens to achieve that ‘just thrown together badly’ look, unlike some of the mesh abominations I see around me.

Let’s consider some of the common failures…

I can see your alphas
I’m somewhat baffled that so many, even when equipped with all the appropriate HUDs and no doubt having spent some considerable time primping and preening, with the utmost attention being given to ensuring that the magnificent range of alpha masks provided with their own particular brand of body cover and obscure in all the necessary places, the moment someone gets up to dance, pick their nose, or otherwise move in any way at all, bits of then begin to poke through clothing as if it’s coming apart at the seams. If it’s not invisible voids appearing in their armpits, it’s bits of butt escaping their skirt, or nameless rolls of flesh bursting from their stomach like the xenomorph in Alien. All that effort, and it still looks as though your expensive ‘tailored’ clothing is two sizes too small!

Thighs bums and tums
‘You can still keep your shape’, my meshy friends used to insist; ‘you can adjust it just like the system body’. Indeed, I concur… So why, when given the capability to be any shape they wish, do so many mesh people choose to be the most bizarre and inhuman shape possible? Thighs and butts that could easily double up as a spare sofa, Amazon-like proportions, giraffe-esque necks, weird chunky hands, and boobs that would need scaffolding to hold up in RL… And that’s just the guys! Whilst we’re on topic, what is it with the guys? Six-packs, lumberjack chest and shoulders, hobbit sized feet, ping pong ball heads, gigantic hands and more tats than their surface area of skin! (I particularly like this look when teamed up with the arms behind the head, rocking forward and backwards with occasional spin on one foot AO – it’s reminiscent of a malformed, tattooed polar bear after too many years confined at the zoo).

I know it’s not unique to mesh bods – I still shudder to recall the bow-legged, inverted mouth ladies that were all the rage  not so long ago – but you’d think after spending a fair whack on a new body, people would want to at least make themselves look passably human rather than plain ugly?

Shiny happy people
I’ve come to the conclusion that 90% of mesh bodies are made from the same shiny plastic as Barbie Dolls. Nothing wrong with a soft sheen of healthy glow, but if you look as though you’ve been vacuum packed in PVC, trust me, it’s just plain wrong.

I can see the join
I completely understand that not everybody has discovered the ‘show colour under cursor’ tool and that faffing about trying to match skin colour is a pain, but if you’ve gone to the expense of buying the mesh body but simply can’t justify the cost of a second mortgage for a matching head, it really is worth the extra effort to mask the join; otherwise you look like one of Dr Frankenstein’s creations. All that’s required is a row of stitches across the throat and a couple of bolts in the neck and you’re all set for Halloween! The same goes for mesh hands and feet on a system body – if you don’t want to look as if you’ve suffered an industrial accident in a timber mill, followed by botched plastic surgery  you really do need to match those skin tones!

Tippy toes
I’m torn between laughing out loud, pointing and jeering, or simply giving up and logging out forever in sheer despair, whenever I see someone tottering around on the balls of their bare feet, (or, worse still, wearing flats with high heel feet). Even I, mesh nooby that I am, understand the simple rule: If you change your shoes, then change your feet to match. Or is flitting around like a ballet dancer on pointe a thing these days?

Call me nitpicking, but these new-fangled mesh bodies aren’t the cheapest of things you’re going to splash out on in SL, so at least make the effort to make them look as good as they can be… Otherwise, you may as well just stick with the old-fashioned, but still pretty awesome system avatar, and spend that cash on some top notch shoes instead!

s. x

Here’s some legs in a cloud where my sister once played
Here’s some mud made of blood and these teeth are decayed
The ear of my brother, The hand of a friend
And I just can’t put them back together again
Alice Cooper – Pick Up The Bones

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2 Responses to Looking good?

  1. R. says:

    By using the old Curio Obscura Clockwork skins by Pandora Wrigglesworth as Bakes on Mesh, I think I’ve effectively avoided joining the ranks of Shiny Happy People.
    -R

  2. I’ve done much the same with my Mariposa skin… If I couldn’t have had that, I’d have stuck with the system avatar. It’s the bakes-on that’s the game-changer for me. There is a kind of healthy sheen, but by dialling down the shininess to zero, I’ve avoided the Barbie look, thank goodness!

    s. x

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