Game Changer

Game Changer

A lot of photos today but they are here to illustrate my point. Maximillion Grant and his wife, Polly Pavlova, have run LOGO since before I was born in SL. A skin, hair, jewelry mom-and-pop store, they have been running a low-profile SL business, working away at selling quality work to folks in SL for years.

Game Changer

Maximillion has always been a bit innovative with his skin sales. For example, he created a way to make customized skins using elements of his design to be sold via a website before tattoos were usable in SL. Now he has come up with a way to use mesh to create a semi-customizable face and avatar in SL.

Game Changer

What Max decided to do is create a mesh head that would have elements on it that can be changed via HUD. Simple idea, wonderful fun. You wear the provided avatar head over an alpha that masks your own. Then you wear one of the various skins that Max provides (which include different cleavage and nipple choices), and voila! Use your own avatar if you are about 0 or 16 in body fat, and you have a complete avatar.

Game changer

The HUD includes two screens, which allow you to change eyeshadow, lips, eyebrows, eyelashes, eyes, blush and even nose style, as you can see. The second page allows you to change the face expression, which allows a ton of customization.

Game changer

Max also sells add-on lipsticks, eyeshadows, and blushes separately.

Game changer

With all this in mind, I went nuts. The textures rez IMMEDIATELY, and if you have ever tried on various skins with makeups, you know how frustrating it can be to wait for them to rez. A visit to try on a set of skins at a store can be an hour-long ordeal. With this HUD, dialing in the look you want, even if you are fussy like me, is a snap.

Game Changer

And what a beguiling number of looks you can come up with. The avatars come in five different shades, from alabaster to cocoa. I chose to model simply one and could come up a variety of styles and looks.

Game Changer

One thing a friend noticed is this head has a beautiful profile. While I think it’s kind of idealized, it truly is gorgeous with well shaped pouty lips, a lovely nose and great eyes.

Game Changer

The initial head and HUD with skins sells for 2499 with the add-ons selling for 249 each for eyeshadows and lipsticks and 99 for the blushes. I recently saw another skin that is rezzed on the avatar with interchangeable elements (brows, nose, lips etc) that go on via tattoo that weighed in at far more if you wanted to utilize the entire set of options. I think this is a pretty darn reasonably priced choice.

Game Changer

Cons: You are stuck with the face shape he provides which, while quite winsome, is still the same face someone else may have, and this is probably the biggest issue people will have. However, the availability of different expressions, which actually change the nature of the face and the option of different nose styles, can create some differentiation in the general look of the face.

Game Changer

You also can’t use all those nifty things in SL that you love like makeups and eyes. (I guess I would miss my Ikon eyes though Max’s are pretty darn nice.) But you CAN use any hair, earrings, piercings, and maybe even mesh eyes (I didn’t test that—hmm) that you would like. And the Anypose eye controller DOES work.

Game Changer

You also can’t use hair base tattoos, which I am sure he will realize and add to the mix when he figures out a way to do it. You are also going to look mighty funny to people who don’t have mesh viewers but honestly? If you don’t have a mesh viewer by now, you’re missing not just mesh but other features in the viewers and only enjoying half an SL.

And the argument that mesh deformers will show up soon, that mesh will be replaced by LL with full avatars, and all that B.S. is not enough to dissuade me from recommending this product, especially at its low price.

Game Changer

“Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful….”

Hair: ::Exile::  Catch My Breath:Mystery by Kavar Cleanslate for ::Exile:: *

Head and Skin: LOGO Infinity Chloe Hybrid Mesh Avatar and LOGO Infinity Chloe Mesh – Add-On Makeup HUDs by Maximillion Grant for LOGO *

Dress: ~Sassy!~ Depraved dress – Dirty Turkey 3.0 Hunt by Ivy Burner for ~Sassy!~ * (OK I have no info on this hunt. Sorry.)

Stockings: *HD* Nova – Socks by Ellen Huet for Hugo’s Design

Collar: : Amorous : Nadir (Choker) by Matchbook Monday for : Amorous : *

Shoes: [Neurolab Inc.] Gem-X Shoes  – MESH V.1.0 (BOXED) by Ono Zinner for [NeurolaB Inc.] *

Hair: cray oatmeal by Queue Marlowe for Analog Dog *

Hair: Clawtooth: Venus–Wheat by Bubbles Clawtooth for Clawtooth

Hair: .:EMO-tions:. * WINDBLOWN III*/darkred by Mirja Mills for .:EMO-tions:. *

Hair: Amacci Hair Maddie ~ Chocolate by Carina Larsen for Amacci *

Pretty Is As Pretty Does

Pretty Is As Pretty Does

Sometimes it’s about being the sexiest thing walking into the room but sometimes it’s just about doing what you know in your heart is good and true.

Pretty Is As Pretty Does

Garance Ashland and her RL sister, who is also in SL, are preparing for a long journey around to the other side of the world, moving from Europe to South America. Garance operates a lovely store of jewelry and clothing, aetherial and pretty and almost other-worldly. Proceeds from sales go to the funds to take them to their new home. This lovely dress is a sample of Garance’s romantic vision with flowers and a banded waist. Dedicated to her mother, it is a compelling picture of femininity and hand craft, from the mesh she made her self to the pretty textures she designed to make both the dress and shoes.

Pretty Is As Pretty Does

I could not help but pair it with this lovely skin from AtomicSparkle Skytower with its sweet blush and pink lips. Atomic has given us lovely light brows for a blonde and I chose a more strawberry blonde shade from Kavar Cleanslate on one of his newest mesh hairs to match. Bleached blue and dreamy eyes from Ikon Innovia make this look pretty, as pretty as Garance does.

Pretty Is As Pretty Does

“Pretty is as pretty does. But beautiful is just plain beautiful!” ~ Maya Angelou

Hair: ::Exile:: Darling Nikki:Venetian by Kavar Cleanslate for ::Exile:: *

Skin: *VERVE* SKIN-EVIE-Sunblush-LT-Nude-HB by AtomicSparkle Skytower for VERVE *

Eyes: IKON ‘Sunrise’ Eyes – Bleached Blue ML by Ikon Innovia for IKON *

Dress and shoes: Lace – Mother’s Dress – Day Time by Garance Ashland for Lace *

Necklace: Eclectica Deco Pearl Strands_choker (more)_white_resizable by Tiffy Vella for Eclectica *

Bracelet: Eclectica Deco Pearl Strands_bracelet_white_resizable by Tiffy Vella for Eclectica *

Don’t Let Me Slide

Don't Let Me Slide

“You make me wanna wake up in the morning
You make me wanna to be the best I can
Always searching but never finding
Oh, until you took me by my hand.”

~ “Don’t Let Me Slide” by the Tedeschi Trucks Band

Don't Let Me Slide

Someone helped me put together this outfit and thank goodness. I have been losing my outfit mojo lately and with all the good stuff out there, who knows why. So I start with this great top and skirt from Tatyana Ultsch, who offers all sorts of goodness at her store, from leggings to garters to minis to jackets, color coordinated for your mix and match pleasure. Her textures are tight and clean with no seams, no bleed off her edges and a distinctly sexy styling. Cute boots from Pixieplumb Flanagan, color change and a great shape, lifts this outfit up.

Don't Let Me Slide

NatalieWells has released two new skins and Cher is wonderful with deep set eyes and beautifully shaped brows. I recently watched a video about drawing portraits, which gave me renewed understanding of what an art it is for skin makers to make the skins they do. Note especially the crease in the eye, which makes this eye more expressive and unique than many. My hair is a great new style from Truth Hawks with a color change streak in the bangs. I love how Truth mixes in different elements—color change streaks and hair ornaments, attachable lengtheners, prim flexies—to enhance hair.

Don't Let Me Slide

“Don’t let me slide, it’s just a matter of time
Don’t let me slide into my dark side”

Hair: >TRUTH< Izzie – espresso by Truth Hawks for >TRUTH< *

Skin: Cher: Milky Coffee – brown eyebrows }{ Deesses by NatalieWells for Deesses *

Eyes: IKON Horizon Eyes – Dark Brown (ML) by Ikon Innovia for IKON *

Top: :::insanya::: KaiK Top – Red by Tatyana Ultsch for Insanya

Skirt: :::insanya::: Mesh Long Skirt – Sport Red by Tatyana Ultsch for Insanya

Belt: [ m ] Hipster Belt special by Magnifico Miggins for Magnifico *

Bracelet: erratic / cuffs / silver by Erratic Rain for erratic

Boots: BM Micha Boots All Colours by Pixieplumb Flanagan for Baby Monkey *

You and Tequila

You and Tequila

‘Cause you and Tequila make me crazy
Run like poison in my blood
One more night could kill me, baby
One is one too many, one more is never enough

~ “You and Tequila” by Kenny Chesney, featuring Grace Potter

You and Tequila

When it gets hot out, I feel a little more country for some reason. Listening to Kenny Chesney’s liquid voice, I want to sit down and sip an easy cocktail on the porch. Day like today needs a loose light dress and some boots for walking in the meadow. I got this dress from Serina Lacava’s booth at the Summer Fashion Festival and love it. The shading is well done, the mesh fits me well, and it moves nicely with my avatar (see above pose).

My boots, I am told, are not “authentic” from sources in the southern part of Texas. I don’t care. They are awfully cute and make me look like a “Dallas girl,” or so I am told (especially with the flowers tooled into them). Miel Nirvana clearly cared, as I do, more about looks than whether shit can get scraped off them (which is apparently criteria for good cowgirl boots).

You and Tequila

Someone in Skin Addiction said DeLa has hair and sure enough, I found it. Kuranosuke Kamachi is a true artist, always pushing the edge with different graphic technologies in SL (like sculpties), so it’s no surprise to see this sexy full hair in mesh.

My skin is one of Agony Helse’s newer skins. (She is pumping them out, it seems. Every time I turn around she has a new one out.) She is getting better and better, outpacing her partner in production, it seems. (Yes, a challenge to you KaoZ.) I love this color way—green liner with the freckled skin of a beautiful redhead. Sexy and sensuous.

You and Tequila

One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor. ~ George Carlin

Hair: =DeLa*= Mesh Hair “Cerise” Brown 4 by Kuranosuke Kamachi for =DeLa*=

Skin: Akeruka Twiggy Medium Mk7 by Agony Helse for Akeruka *

Eyes: Mayfly – Deep Sky Eyes (Teal Hazel) by Arkesh Baral for Mayfly

Dress:  SLC Mesh Dress Country Charm by Serina Lacava for SLC, available at the Summer Fashion Festival

Jewelry: MTP Ladies Desert Rose [red] set by Jon Ree for Mustang Trading Post

Boots: MIEL DANDY BOOTS FLOR – (Viewer 2.0 only) by Miel Nirvana for Miel

Pixie Dust

Pixie Dust

“All you need is a little faith, trust, and pixie dust.” -Peter Pan

Pixie Dust

This pixie is darling and amazingly constructed. Ameshin Yossarian has taken mesh and made some really great little things from it including this little pixie. A generous creation for RFL, this is a darling little avatar for those who want to flit around SL as a purple pixie. She sells the boots and dress, the horns and the necklace as separate add-ons and they really enhance the look. And all proceeds to go to RFL, so go get it and find your inside pixie.

Pixie Dust

Why am I wearing this little pixie? Well it IS cute but it’s not part of my normal blogging line up. This is one of the four items from the four specific designers that were assigned to me to blog for Fantasy Faire, and certainly this was a very generous piece to be given for blogging and a generous offering to benefit RFL.

Pixie Dust

Avatar: Evil Fairy Avatar (L$3000) by Ameshin Yossarian for Curious Kitties, available at the Fantasy Faire *

Dress and boots: Enchanted Purple Scary Pixie Dress & Boots (L$700) by Ameshin Yossarian for Curious Kitties, available at the Fantasy Faire *

Horns: Horns of Chaos (L$10) by Ameshin Yossarian for Curious Kitties, available at the Fantasy Faire *

Necklace: Mystic Blossom Choker – Enchanted Purple (L$1) by Ameshin Yossarian for Curious Kitties, available at the Fantasy Faire *

This Mesh We’re In

—————————–Mesh fashion photo here——————————–

Mesh recently debuted on the grid to lots of fanfare from creators and bloggers and the general populace. Mesh now brings SL into the 21st Century of other gaming and 3D graphic platforms and allows standard tools and data sets to be brought into SL as content. Before we were limited to the proprietary systems of SL—prims and system templates. Mesh can be used to make furniture, scenery, landscapes, plants, buildings—you name it. A lot of SL could be completely made over in mesh.

However mesh has been a bummer for some fashionistas, specifically mesh “rigged” to the SL avatar.  The mesh pieces in SL move and stretch with an avatar’s shape but they are not modifiable in world—in other words, if they don’t fit your avatar’s shape, you are out of luck. Some creators have worked with this by creating several sizes of their mesh creations with alpha layers to hide sticking-out-bits, but to be honest, I find my skinny Harper doesn’t even always fit these pieces—some proportion is always out of whack. There is just no wiggle room for a mesh clothing item as much as the mesh simply allows one to wiggle.

Let me remark as a side, Linden Lab never PROMISED we would get this usability out of mesh. The design community in SL undertook rigging mesh to avatars and made the big noise about it, possibly under the influence of what folks were doing in Blue Mars. Plenty of designers are doing some amazing stuff in mesh that goes beyond rigged avatars.

Maxwell Graf recognized this issue from his work in Blue Mars and posted a jira with LL that requests that they supply “a parametric deformation feature for rigged mesh items.” In essence, Max is asking that they allow mesh items to offset from our avatar shapes, much as a system piece does, so that we don’t have these oddly proportioned albeit stretchy lumps to wear about. Making this fix would turn mesh from fancy distortable unmodifiable sculpties to what are more like system pieces.

What Max’s solution requires is adding many algorithms to the code that would allow the mesh to be offset from the existing avatars.

Max requested this parametric thingamabob via Jira and for a time it looked promising (was marked to be upcoming in a near future scrum etc) but LL recently downgraded it to a Someday/Maybe. Someday/Maybes exist all over the Jira and some of them die a faint and quiet death in no-fix land. That’s what all the kerfluffle is about.

The problem, and Max is perfectly willing to acknowledge this, is that implementing this has a cost—for content that, right now, that probably only occupies less than 1% of 1% of the grid (total guess on my part but can’t be far off). It requires reprogramming clients and propagating that through the system and population. This is probably not something LL is interested in at this moment, hence the Someday/Maybe status.

Max said that he was more than willing to put some money and time to make this happen, and he has. He has announced this morning via Prim Perfect that he is working with the former Qarl Linden to get the necessary programming done so it can be used in third party viewers. The price tag is $5400 USD needed within 60 days. Do you want your mesh offset badly enough to pay for it? Put your money where your mouth is. Drop some money on Max and Qarl to get this done.

But be very certain what this means. Max is very clear in his comments to Prim Perfect that everyone’s dream list will not be fulfilled. All it will simply do is create code that can be implemented by third party viewers (and hopefully LL some time) to have an offset from the avatar so mesh can conform to avatars. It will not provide modifiability, it will not allow layering, it will not necessarily work ideally right off the bat as taken into third viewers. It WILL allow creators to not have to rig meshes, offer alpha layers, etc.

In my opinion, the true problem is that the LL mesh client is pretty icky right now. It’s crashy and uses the dreaded v2 interface that everyone refuses to try. Third party folks have tried to rectify this, and certainly in the Firestorm Mesh Beta there is more stability, but it’s still kind of clunky because it employs a modified v2 interface, albeit quite usable in my opinion. But it’s still crashy for bad people like me who have big inventories.

The biggest problem is the resistance to the v2 interface. People who have stubbornly insisted on sticking with the Phoenix or other v1 type clients will simply not see mesh in a stable way. Ever. (Phoenix developers are back-ending mesh into the viewer, but they will not debug or support it beyond what Henri Beauchamp has already done because it’s too damn much work for volunteers. This means it is a crapshoot as to stability. Jessica Lyon is pretty clear they are not interested in fixing it and be damn glad she is doing this much.)

With the number of people using Phoenix or other v1 clients, this means a LOT of people are not seeing or caring about mesh. This is probably the bigger problem right now for mesh creators, in my opinion. You can create it but if they can’t see it in a stable environment, they won’t care.

This is one reason why I am not showing mesh on my blog yet; I haven’t found any must-haves for you, my dear readers, that necessitate asking you to use specific clients to see them. I just can’t make you go through that.

However this is a good step to what designers want to do. I am excited to see what happens when this comes through. Maybe then I will find my must-haves and blog mesh ;)