I was very excited to learn of the launch of the new SLink mesh body Physique and the introduction of the new default mesh avatars released by Second Life. However I soon felt quite disappointed and was also reminded of the old adage ….that I should be careful of what I wish for….
Excitedly, I hot footed over to SLink, cash in hand, ready to get my first Mesh Avatar, only to decide not to buy after realising that the head, hands and feet were all still separate and after spending ‘hours’ reading pages and pages of small print I started to have to some nagging reservations, especially as I didn’t want to splash out on something that would just end up sitting in my inventory.
My wish was simply to get an upgrade on the default mesh body we all use and maybe, at long last, have properly shaped shoulders, a nice natural jaw line, proper eyes and erm a nicely shaped crotch – the latter is a yes from Slink! Really I was expecting a giant leap forward in terms of how avatars look, maybe I was expecting too much.
My test was whether the SLink or any other mesh avatar would look a great deal better than the one I already have from Linden Labs, hence the pictures in this post (which are of the basic SL avatar enhanced by many talented content creators).
I then decided that more research was needed and read a few blog posts to get the low down and the heads up and have definitely decided to wait for now…. but I seem to be a lone voice in the wind although I am open to being convinced otherwise! And don’t get me wrong we are lucky to have creators such as Siddean from Slink who continually push back the boundaries….it’s just that I want everything and I er want it now!
See these updates from;
The photos in this blog are of the standard SL avatar with minimal re-work in Photoshop – the only touch ups have been to hide the seams in the mesh feet and to hide any alpha seams in clothing which have poked through…which always happens. The photos were shot on an ultra setting using a customised ‘fine day’ wind light
WHAT HAVE I CONCLUDED AFTER ALL THIS READING?
The LL mesh bodies are of variable quality to say the least although as you would expect the SLink Mesh bodies are really well made and look great but…..
- None of them offer the flexibility to modify your facial features that the default SL avatar offers which is also made from mesh. When I look around at the avis in world or in the blogosphere I am inspired by the variety and the individuality on show. No two avis look the same which is exactly what we want
- If you just happen to be ethnic you will struggle to find a good choice of either skin shade or body shape or both. In fairness SLink has done a lot to provide a choice of sorts creating afro and asian inspired avis. But I don’t want to look like an identikit avatar plus there are over 30 different shades of ‘black’ skin so creators would have a hard time keeping up
- Both the SLink and the LL versions allow you to alter the body shape but it’s the almost infinite variations in the standard avatar facial features that for me means the SL standard version wins hands down – why would I want to look like everyone else? However, the new mesh avis have smoother more rounded body lines so maybe they will be a little easier to use for photo bloggers, poseurs and models??
- I read some blog posts on Physique but was especially interested in seeing the photos and how they actually looked. Although they did look good, for me they were not sufficiently better or different enough to warrant all the faffing and fiddling that seems to be required to set them up nor indeed the cost. Why bother when you may already have something that looks good anyway?
- The number of different steps you have to go through just to set up the SLink avi is off putting, SL is a complex place already so why make it even harder? Maybe we need to push for things to be simpler so that we can get back to having fun. Personally I think that a high quality skin, hair, make-up and yes mesh feet and hands help to create a great looking avatar
- At the moment and from what I understand the multitude of standard mesh clothes and accessories will not fit mesh avatars which means having a restricted choice (have I got this bit wrong?) I know that SLink have a work around for this but that’s sort of my point….another work around, another thing to think about! Where’s the fun of just looking good?
- The upshot is that, the lack of individuality, the complications of use, the still separate hands and feet, the lack of fashion and hair choice etc means that I will wait until the technology around mesh avatars gets upgraded and really does offer something quite different and significantly better.
- In the meantime if I want an avatar which is quirky, creative and original, basically a bit different, I would take a look at Welcome 2 Future whose Powerdance avis I have previously blogged. Although their avatars are not quite my style I really admire the humour, originality and artistry which is what SL is ultimately all about and the reason, despite everything, most of us are still here.
Some Quirky Welcome 2 Future Powerdance Avis
Perhaps I don’t need a new body after all, just some more shoes, hair, clothes, boots, skins, bikinis, make-up…
The beach bed in the photos is a working template at the moment but look out for the final version in mesh driftwood which should be finished in the next month or so.
*Skin – LAQ Imani Glow Skin With Cleavage Enhancer (better than Lolas IMHO)
*Wet Beach Hair – Argrace (Haruki) In Black (has a hud to switch the water droplets off and on)
*Floral Bikini -Just Because
*Green Polka Dot Bikini Pants – Just Because
*Shoes – Donna by Redgrave
*Cerise Slouchy top – Redgrave 2 (also comes with jewellery and underwear)
*Sand Dunes – Alex Bader (Studio Skye)
*Bracelets/Watch – Gizza
*Mesh hands – Elegant by SLink
*Beach Comber Bed – Moco Emporium …. Coming soon