When you say it’s gonna happen “now”
Well when exactly do you mean?
~ “How Soon is Now?” by The Smiths
I am sure many people have heard the gossip that LeLutka was coming out with a new mesh head as I had heard. Well it’s finally happening (on April 1) and the results speak for themselves. They came out with three heads, not one, so you have a choice of look right off the bat. The heads, crafted by Jadenart, who also creates for Celoe, are versatile, pretty heads employing Aida Ewing’s skins as their initial base and have been created to fit perfectly with the Maitreya mesh body (and alternately fit with the Slink mesh body). I wore these with the Maitreya body and found I had no seam whatsoever. (By the way, these photos have not been touched up at all beyond the cropping and type I overlaid. These were taken directly from SL so you can see them in different windlights unadulterated. What service is it to you, my readers, if I add “effects”?)
The heads are beautifully crafted with a very sleek, easy-to-use HUD that allows for choices with the mouth, eyes and ears, skin tone, and best of all, the intensity and shimmer/gloss of the skin and make-ups, using the materials feature of windlight to create a more customized look. (Yes, I could see the light slide along the gloss on my lips). It’s a very subtle change but very wonderful if you like the idea of really playing with your face’s look. You are given an initial lipstick and eyeshadow created by Aida Ewing/Glam Affair. While I was not given specific information, I am assuming LeLutka is aiming to have skin makers craft their own skins and makeups to the mesh heads as others have. This way you can have your favorite makeup looks, brow colors, and specific features on these heads. (Update: Yes, as expected, LeLutka confirmed they will be giving developer kits to designers.)
As with all mesh pieces, this head makes a few demands on how you use it. One of the items that you should change in your client before you wear your head is “Screen Space Reflections.” This setting allows mesh that is set to shiny to relfect shiny. Unfortunately, shininess can’t be controlled beyond that by mesh creators. In order to allow gloss and shimmer features on the skin, material features were added to the mesh. With this checked on, the head appears horribly shiny and alien. I was running the Firestorm client, so I show how to turn that off below. Go to the Graphics tab, go to the Rendering sub-tab and then click OFF “Enable rendering of screen space reflections.”
Another thing you will have to do when you wear the head is change your eye spacing and depth. As the head fits over your regular shape, it does not control your eyes at all, mesh or system. As you can see below, I put the head on and my eyes were not quite right. I went to eye depth first and then I went to eye spacing and brought my eyes in line. It helped having an eye positioning device to hold my eyes in line while I did it.
There is not a lot mesh head makers can to do to make the individual mesh faces more customizable. There just aren’t a lot of “bones” in the system face (that means rigging points) to allow for changes and if they incorporate them into a mesh head, it would probably require quite a bit of complication, scripting and fiddly stuff that no one wants to deal with. However you CAN change the head stretch as I show on the Aria and Ever heads, and it makes a substantial difference. You will find you also have to change the eye positioning as I showed above.
The bad news? Well, the heads don’t smile or have expressions. Mr. Beresford commented that he wasn’t pleased to see such an unhappy look on the face, though Ever seems to have a twinkle in her eye. I hope LeLutka can amend this in the future. The face shapes seem to be fit (mostly) to Glam Affair skins and aesthetic, so if that’s a look you like, you’ll be very happy. However, if you prefer another, perhaps less doll-like face, larger eyes, smaller lips or less downturn in the mouth, you might have to wait or hope your favorite skin maker can craft a skin that suits the head. Also, the heads can ONLY be worn with a mesh body, so if you were hoping to get away with just purchasing the head and using your system body, you’re out of luck.
Overall it’s great news and I will be wearing the LeLutka head in future photos, though at this time I won’t be permanently switching over.
LeLutka Mesh Head by JadenArt for LeLutka (available April 1)
LeLutka Mesh Head-ARIA
LeLutka Mesh Head-EVER
LeLutka Mesh Head-LEDA
Credits for the rest tomorrow