I just collected the update of the Akeruka Advanced M01 male mesh head. The current version is 3.5 and I never picked up the version that came in between this one and the first one. I guess there have been some subtle changes to the rigging, which explains why my shapes for it are looking slightly weird now (no mister director, I am NOT ready for my close up!). Oh well, I do love a little update project! I won’t give you a full list of credits at the end of this post, but I’ll leave some hints along the way.
For my Tim shape, the skin I used was Evan by Birth for Catwa mesh heads and it still works but I can’t make the eyebrows look quite right. The good news is that the skin includes a browless version and the head comes with built-in HD eyebrow options. The great thing about these is that, on top of being able to change the appearance of the eyebrows by editing your eyebrows shape, the hud for the Akeruka Advanced head allows you to move the brows up and down and closer to each other or indeed further apart. Eve the size (meaning the width) of the eyebrows can be adjusted. I absolutely adore these little personalisation options. My Tim look now has considerably heavier eyebrows than it had before, but I kinda like it. The hair is by Wings and the eyes are by Avi-Glam, applied to the rigged eyes that come with the head. Make sure you wear the alpha that hides system eyes and you’ll need the Omega relay for Akeruka to be able to apply the texture on the eyes. I’m using a facial stubble that comes with the skin and the HD beard that comes with the head on top of that. The body is Legacy Meshbody.
The next shape I had to update is Joshua. For this one I used the Birth skin named Dagger for Catwa mesh heads in a dark skin tone (#7) and again I went for the browless skin combined with the built-in HD eyebrows of the Akeruka head. It’s starting to look like this is going to be my preferred solution, until someone creates more skins that have been made for the Akeruka Advanced heads. The dreads are by Camo and the hoodie is from Noche. The body is Belleza Jake.
For my Connor shape I used the Stray Dog Jay for Catwa mesh heads with… you guessed it, the Akeruka brows. The hair is by Stealthic. The beard is part of the skin (version without beard is included) and the body hair is one of the options that comes with the Stray Dog body skin. The body is the free Classic Meshbody. I use this shape with Legacy Meshbody without making changes. The butt is a bit more voluptuous in that case, but I don’t mind that at all.
Last but not least, here’s my Rickard shape. This look used to be made with the Stray Dog skin that came with the head but these days, the 3.5 version of the Akeruka Advanced M01 is being shipped without any skins at all. On the one hand that feels odd and on the other hand, most people don’t want to walk around with the standard look anyway. So now I’m using the Stray Dog Erwin skin for Catwa heads, browless with the head’s HD brows. The hair is by Modulus and the body is Belleza Jake.
Note: When I first got the update, there was an issue with the offset of eye lashes. I raised the issue in the AK group chat and after a bit of back and forth discussion with SlackGirl, their customer service rep, the issue was brought to the attention of the creator, KAOZ. He had to go run an errand (actually, he needed to go get diapers for his baby girl… nice to get a bit of insight in the private life of mesh head creator eh?) but he got on the issue soon after and a new version was available for download via the redelivery terminal that same day. The only thing that slightly annoyed me with this experience, was how I had to jump to some hoops to show that it was I myself who was doing something wrong. I guess they haven’t got the time to check first who you are before they start treating you like a noob.
As you can see, I’ve used skins that were originally made for Catwa heads for all of these looks. Odly, I feel that they worked better on the first version of this head. Perhaps the knowledge that this version uses the SL UV map will help me to find other better fitting skins. Having said that, the result with the skins made for Catwa is already much better than what I was able to achieve with Akeruka heads from previous generations. Things can only get better… Oh, I feel a song coming on!