It’s important to know that Second life has been around for quite sometime and has been through many changes. When mesh came in play everything changed and now more than ever we need tutorials. So I thought I write one that would help new people out. So they won’t go “why cant i look like them?” and know just around the corner they can and will, look just like older players.
Lets start off by telling you, you will and most likely need to spend real money to achieve any look that you may have been eyeing on the marketplace or even in world. You may want to eventually shell out at least 60 to 80 dollar. I’m not going to lie, its seems a bit pricey but honestly you spend this much on a new game or a new tablet ( very cheap one) its a investment for sure.
If you are wondering if there is any free way to achieve money, well there is. You can get a job in second life. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there, people are always looking for management, club dancers, hosts, and other odd jobs like advertising, scripting. Creators, on the other hand you might have to invest a little get a return on what you sale. I say this because each texture you upload can cost you 10 linden per and each mesh object will range from 20 to 40 linden depending on how complex it is. But if you say sell that texture or item for 200 to 600, of course then you get a bigger return.
Next lets cover the viewer, when you first start Second Life it allows you to download their viewer. This would be considered the standard basic default Viewer and surprisingly not widely used. There are third party viewers that you can also use that are more user friendly and easier to understand, one of these viewers is called Firestorm, you can find it at this site. Once there you download it and install it, just like the normal viewer, you do not need both, just the one you prefer. Here is the Wiki on everything you need to know and learn on how to use Firestorm.
Now lets say you have the money! Where do you even start! You want to start with a Bento Mesh Head and a Bento body! What is bento you might ask? Bento allows for your avatar to move a certain way, it added more bones to Avatar and allows for your fingers, mouth and eyelids to move. Bento also works for tails and ears, which allow them to move more fluidly and realistic. Good for Cat tails and Ears, like the Nekos like to use. Bento also allows you to adjust your shape of your facial features allowing you to fully customize your Avatar.
Where do I get Mesh heads and mesh bodies! Great question, there is this wonderful site that does all the reviews on all the recent mesh bodies and heads. Here is the site! Check out the mesh bodies/head reviews see which ones fits your taste and then I highly recommend you try on the demos! Try out all the bodies, pick which ones you like the best! Now if you into buying lots of clothes there are about 4 well know bodies that have clothing commonly made for them. Slink, Maitreya, Legacy and Belleza are popular for the female and Legacy, Slink, Signature, Belleza are Popular for the Male.
Where do I go to buy Mesh Bodies? You can go to the link I provided on mesh bodies and heads and for each one they reviewed, you can find a link to the store there to either the marketplace or in-world. There is also a search function inside second life that allows you to search for the stores if you know them already by name. You can bring it up by pressing Crtl + F .
Where can I start trying on my mesh stuff, I’m naked and getting in trouble! You can do this and its best to do this at a sandbox that allows for nudity or a fitting room that gives you privacy. Bare Rose have a nice open fitting room that allows you to change there. If you don’t like that try to search for a sandbox that has fitting rooms.
I’m trying on Mesh bodies but I don’t know what I’m doing, I’m invisible and wearing pants and my eyes are showing but no body!? Ok lets start out with the basics first you need to take make sure you are wearing a classic avatar, you need to be wearing one to start, so lets go to “Choose a Avatar” Ok now pick the first one from the “Classic” list. Then go to your inventory and select “Current Outfit” open up that folder.
Lets take all of the objects off, objects have a yellow cube symbol. So remove all of those but the bridge (If your are using firestorm leave the bridge alone.) So you are going to right click and detach from yourself on the dropdown window it gives you. Now that you detached all the objects, lets remove the alphas. Right click and take off the alphas. Everything else can stay. We can modify those later or make new shapes, eyes, etc. in the future.
Now that we finished that, lets put on a mesh body. So lets say you already bought your body and have it in your inventory. Lets find that folder now. So for this we are going to put the maitreya Lara body on. We want to put the Maitreya Mesh Body – Lara V5.3 on first (The version doesn’t matter but its good to get a updated body, you can find this at the store at the redelivery stand). Now there are clothing layers for maitreya, you do not need to add these unless you want to wear a tattoo or texture clothing, This is clothing that sticks more to the body shape and is designed in a different way. We also want to add the Maitreya Mesh Body – Alpha , So lets right click and select Add for both and the HUD. Your alpha removes the old body you once had, it kind of makes it go invisible. And the body you attached is now the main body everyone will see. I really really recommend for starting people to NOT go with a BOM body unless it has options that do not require just BOM, so just a bento Mesh body, which Maitreya lara has a option for. So the head is the same thing, you apply the head Alpha, which hides the old head and the new mesh head is added on, which is visible. Along with the eyes teeth, etc… Remember BOM heads are not recommended for people just starting out, they over complicated things. But I will go over that.
So lets explain what Bakes on mesh is. What the system does is apply old stuff we us to use on the standard avatar gets apply to a mesh body or a new 3d body that was made from another user for example, Maitreya. A user made that, alot of the old artists that make clothing for that old avatar wanted to update their old texture clothing for the Maitreya body, without any of the old appliers you have to work with. So now with BOM you can just wear the old clothing and it bakes itself onto the mesh body you are wearing. But for this to work you need a body and head that allow for the Bakesonmesh option, normally located in the hud for said body.
So how do you use it, how does it work? Lets start with the basic avatar again, lets pick the first one from the Avatar, choose an avatar, option at the left hand corner of the screen. Now lets take off all the objects and alphas. All we want to do is put on maiterya mesh body, and NO alpha on, so just *add* (Not wear, the add option is in the dropdown) the mesh body. And Add the HUD for maitreya as well. Now click the AR mesh body button on your screen, its up at the top left hand corner of the screen. With a big picture where you can see it. Now that your in the hud you see all sorts of options, i will let you look around get familiar with hud but right now lets go to the skin and base tab of the hud. Now we click on the bakes on mesh button they have. So the skin your wearing is now applied to the skin your old basic avatar was wearing. to change your skin all you need to do is find a bom skin. Which you can find inworld stores or sl marketplace online.