Thursday, 21 May 2015

Identity - Mesh in Second Life, Are we losing our identities?

Mesh heads in Second Life are becoming increasingly popular and there are more and more creators making them now. Many people that know me will know that I have been quite 'anti' mesh head for some time. It's not that I couldn't see the advantages (I'm in love with mesh body and couldn't begin to contemplate going back!) but I've always disliked that mesh heads made so many avatars appear the same no matter what skin applier, make-up, hair etc was used. When browsing through pictures on Flickr I've disliked that it's become difficult to recognise people's work and recognise avatars from group pics (as you would with people in real photo's) and it has dulled things somewhat for me. The increase in the number of mesh head creators is no bad thing at all, I like the fact that there are many more options becoming available. However, I still find it a little sad that people have to lose their unique identities and custom shapes. But times are changing and I do accept this.

I wasn't a fan of many of the first mesh heads that appeared on the scene as I simply didn't like the look of them and thought some were outright odd looking. I really couldn't have imagined ever getting one until some miracle in technical advancements allowed for better customisation.
Whilst the increase in the number of heads now available is good, what I find a little annoying is that it means having to sacrifice certain things that you still may like. For example, your favourite skin maker doesn't make appliers for one make of head so you have to make a choice between the head or the skin you prefer.

Now, whilst I accept some of you at this point are probably thinking "what about the COCO doll" mesh avatar that I use so much, I do think of this in a different way and the mesh heads I'm referring to are for normal/human avatars. I think of the doll differently because dolls do look the same. If I'm not making a lot of sense on this here, apologies but really is my musings and opinions lol.

So, what has changed for me?

In several of my recent posts you will notice I have been used the Genesis Lab Lilith 2.0 mesh head. This caught my eye on Flickr when the very first picture of it was released - it was so pretty!
 I liked it because it had a 'me' feel about it - to me the look of the face wasn't too dissimilar from the shape I already used and it didn't seem like it would take much getting used to. Also, I adore the lips on it. Then after taking some pictures with it I realised how much easier it was to play with various different windlights without annoying shadows popping up making the skin look ugly. Another major benefit from a photography point of view is the smoothness of the face and this means editing isn't needed to get a really nice finish. 
Now, I really liked this head and I've been happy to wear it frequently but my major issue has been a lack of appliers for it. 
*inserts appeal to skin creators here*
Whilst the standard skin is nice and Genesis has also created additional make up options, I do miss my pale skin tone options and variety of make up. 

The big big thing that has now really attracted me to the Lelutka Undivided head is Glam Affairs new fantasy skin line available at We Love Roleplay. I've been missing my Glam Affair Elvi Fairy skin for some time as I haven't had a pale grey applier for mesh body to go with it and I have to admit I really was a little gutted when I saw the new fantasy line was Lelutka appliers only. However, the lure of the pretty drow skins became too much for me and I caved in, purchasing the 'Stella' head. I am glad I held off and didn't jump in straight away, as this is by far my fave from the 6 heads currently on offer by Lelutka.
The Glam Affair fantasy line skins are available in 3 tones and 3 different variations - Stella, Karin and Megan. Megan is my favourite because to me it very much changes the way the face looks from it's standard appearance (yes, I'm still seeking some level of difference even if uniqueness is impossible!).... and gosh those eyebrows are to die for!
The fantasy skin appliers can be found at WLRP for a few more days and if you hurry and grab them at the event, you'll save 40% off the standard price. Even better, you can also pick up matching Maitreya appliers as a free gift from the Glam Affair stall for the duration of the event - thank you very much for that Aida!

So, what do I think of the Lelutka Stella head now I have it? It is still taking a little getting used to. I do love the ability to be able to open/close eyes and open/close mouth. The blinking animation is nice, as is the option to stop it. I also like the fact that there are plenty of appliers - both skin and makeup - now being released for it. I'm wearing one of the new Zibska shadows from the most recent round of Uber and I like that there is the option to vary how intense you want the eye shadow to be with this head. I'm using at about 50%, but this can be increased for the full neon intensity of the makeup or made even more subtle - that choice is yours! One thing I'm not loving about the Lelutka head is the lashes, but I guess that's a personal preference.
Will I use it all the time? Probably not, as I still don't like the idea of seeing the same face all the time when I browse through Flickr but I do definitely see the plus points and advantages to it too. Who knows? Maybe I'll end up eating my words and using more than I thought. I'm certainly happy to have the pale grey and drow skin options back again!

(edit. Caity Tobias has just done a similar post with her mesh head thoughts which you can read here)

Now enough of all that rambling from me, as there is something very important to mention today too that will be of interest for many sl fashion addicts. The Join Hands for NEPAL fundraiser is currently taking place with some fabulous designers taking part and donating the proceeds from their items to this cause. 
no. 7 is donating 100% of the proceeds from this fabulously colourful feather shawl. For all the colour lovers, couture addicts and eccentrics out there - this is one for you!

Picture Credits:

Mesh head - Lelutka Undivided - Stella 
with Glam Affair Fantasy Line Megan Opal applier *WLRP*

Eye Makeup - Zibska - Janni (includes appliers and tattoo layers) *Uber*

Hair - Argrace - Azami (2 types included) *NEW*

Mesh Body - Maitreya Lara with Glam Affair Opal Applier *Applier is Gift@WLRP*

Feather Shawl - no. 7 - Nakamura Feather Shawl 100% donation item for Join Hands for NEPAL fundraiser *FFF - Fashion For Food*

Harness - Zibska - Celli (with colour change HUD) *TSA*

Pose by Grafica - Wrapped iii

{Reverie} - Venus Principle Nosferatu - Entrance & Fence Noir (commons) *FGC*
Chandelier Statues - paper moon *pM* - Visage - Light - Hanging RARE *FGC*
Flowers - {anc} - Fish Shop Daughters - Lotus - Dark *FGC*

The Landmarks:

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