I remember what I looked like seven years ago. The 3D rendering of me was pretty primitive and no, I’m not including my picture from those days. I recall most that my hair looked drawn on as opposed to actual hairs. I got my first prim hair from GuRL 6. That was a big improvement but sometimes it looked like a bundle of snakes on top of my head. With prim hair you could edit the individual pieces and many is the time I’d mess it up and have big gaps where my scalp showed through. Prim hair evolved and became quite realistic except that it tended to pass through your body and that created some interesting looks too.
Now, we have rigged mesh hair and it is really quite excellent. It is finely detailed, fits properly and looks great. Mesh has moved into feet, hands, clothing and shoes. One can be totally outfitted in mesh, except for the basic avatar inside.
But now there are mesh heads and even whole mesh avatars. This ushers in a whole new world of realism.
Mesh heads can be more detailed and realistic than your usual head and can be programmed with great precision. Here is an example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TaB5c3XtFmQ. Making the neck flow smoothly from head to torso by matching the skin tone is difficult. It’s the same problem one has with prim feet or shoes. Enter the hybrid avatar, which is a mesh head and a customized regular body. Several vendors sell hybrids and they have worked hard to make the head/torso transition unnoticeable.
The ultimate mesh product is the whole mesh avatar. These have great detailing and are a step up in just looking great in SL. Problem? Yes, your clothes don’t fit anymore so a full mesh avatar needs custom designed clothing. Thus, your sartorial options here are limited at the present time.
I did note two personal issues I had with either a mesh head or a full mesh avatar. First, it did not look like me. You can get a designer to make a mesh avatar that looks like you. The reviews however seem to be mixed regarding the accuracy of the end product. Second, with a mesh avatar your real, regular avatar is hiding behind a transparent alpha layer. I felt as if I had a mask on with both the mesh head and especially with the full mesh avatar. I was uncomfortable and, at least for now, I’m staying with my regular avatar. It feels most like me. I’ll find a real mask when those Phantom of the Opera moments come over me.
Mesh Hair Designers (I use these products and several friends have recommended them too)
- Truth Hawks – TRUTH HAIR, Truth (157, 27, 33)
- Marisa Kira – D!va Creator, CalanDiva (130, 154, 23)
- MissAllSunday Lemon – /Wasabi Pills/, Coraline (206, 134, 23)
Hybrid Avatar – S@R Hybrid Avatar, Snow Rabbit (49, 152, 22)
Full Mesh Avatar – L’Uomo – Male Mesh Avatars, Smokey Valley (71, 105, 24)
- Mesh head example by Snow Rabbit – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_4Ddg7gTsE
- Mesh head review – http://graziasl.com/?p=7845
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