If you are familiar with mesh bodies, than this post probably won’t be very interesting to you, but for anybody who’s been reluctant about meshing-up or anybody who’s still quite new to Second Life, I hope it will be informative. Those of you that wanted to know more about the TMP male mesh body are particularly in luck, because this happens to be the main subject of this post. For the rest of you, I’ll try to keep it mildly entertaining. There’s nudity and oh, the mesh body discussed is FREE!
After I made it through the SL boot camp I soon discovered how to edit my shape and started having a lot of fun moving those sliders about, attempting to create something pleasing to the eye. Oh, and I did manage to get a nice tallywacker on day two, cause ain’t nobody got time for being a Ken doll.
But you know how it goes, things always look fine till you are confronted with a much better version of them. I started wondering why some of the bodies looked so damn smooth. I mean, they could be bears, cubs, otters, seals – that last one probably isn’t officially acknowledged as a term to refer to a hairy man – but their “lines” were so smooth even Nigel Lythgoe would be all of a flutter. They didn’t have those jagged edges around the joints and curves I was seeing on my own avi. Buying a nicer skin improved things, but it still didn’t smooth me out. I wondered for some days if perhaps I simply hadn’t figured out yet how to achieve that smooth finish and if there was a special trick to creating your shape that was eluding me. This notion quickly got dispelled when someone introduced me to mesh bodies. It turned out that the only way to get that smooth look was by covering up your so called system body with a sharper mesh body. Shortly thereafter I discovered the FREE male mesh body from The Mesh Project, a.k.a. TMP.
TMP named their store The Shops and as long as I have known it, the place has always been an austere white box high in the sky. It’s important to accept the shopping hud you are offered when you arrive at The Shops, because you will need it as soon as you want to get anything at this place, including the free body. At this point you also receive the styling hud, which you will use later for choosing a skin tone and for styling any TMP clothing you may decide to get. With this we have arrived at the rather big negative side about this free body. If you have been wearing system applier clothes, meaning anything that is “painted” on your skin, you can kiss those goodbye. You need to wear mesh clothes with this body and as most of you will already know, when you are wearing a mesh sweater for example, you usually need to wear an alpha layer which blanks out the parts of your body that are covered by this sweater and prevents skin from poking trough the fabric. These alpha layers don’t work on mesh bodies, instead mesh bodies come with a hud that allows you to hide parts of the body. Sadly, and probably understandably, this is something you don’t get with the free body. As a matter of fact, you only get it with the most expensive version of the TMP body. Oh and if you like tattoos, forget about it! The situation isn’t completely hopeless though and I will show you some clothing options later on, but I wanted to mention this before I got you all excited about the look of this body, to prevent the whole “NOW a warning?” situation from Death Becomes Her.
The first thing you need to do is hide your system body. The package with the free TMP body includes three alphas. There is one that will hide your body, hands and feet, which I will be using now and there is another one that also covers your head in case you want to use a mesh head with this body. The third alpha even hides your system eyes, so there is nothing left of you. This one you would use if you chose to wear mesh eyes as well. Simply right-click and “add” the Body/Hands/Feet alpha and you will become a floating head, which can be an interesting look.
Next you right-click the Body, Feet and Hands and add them. It is important to add these items and not “wear” them, because often when you click the wear button for one of them, you will knock off another one. You could be there for ages! At this point you may notice that the shape you liked for your system body will not work very well with this mesh body and even if it doesn’t look weird, it might not be to your liking. Don’t worry though, you can use the shape editor exactly as you did with your system body. The mesh body will react differently to your input, but you will still have plenty of customisation capability. I advise you make a copy of the shape you have been using before you start working on it, that way you can easily return to your former self.
The body will be a greyish white at first and there will be a pink banner circling around it. This is where the styling hud comes in. As mentioned before, you will have received this hud together with the shopping hud. Simply right-click and add “StyleMode” to make it appear in the right bottom corner of your screen. It will be a button that says “Click to begin”, which then opens up as three icons at the bottom of your screen. Next you intuitively click on the icon that shows the body to open up a larger section of the hud. In that screen you will click on “STYLES” to finally get where you need to be. You can now click on the circle that says “Skintone”, to get an overview of 36 dots representing the available skin tones. Chose one that is closest to the skin tone of your head by clicking the dot. Next you will be given the option to chose a skin style, but as this is the free body, you will only have one style available, which is a kind of athletic swimmers body. You click that image to apply the skin to your body.
Next you will be fixing your neck. Make sure your body fat is at 0% because otherwise you’ll have a gap. This would probably kill you in real life, but if you want realism go sweat at some community gym and leave me alone! If the neck of the mesh body isn’t flush with your system neck, you need to click on “MODIFY” and then on “Retrofit” and you will see that it will snap into place rather satisfyingly.
It’s starting to look good but we’re not quite there yet. Go look in the TMP folder in your inventory again and you will see that there is an object named “Optional Retrofit Neckfaders”. Right-click-add this, accept the automatic unpacking and detach again. Then go look for the folder with the neck faders and perhaps you can drag it into the TMP folder to keep your inventory nice and tidy, you messy little so and so. Yes I’m talking to you! If you want to claim back some of your screen space, you can click the StyleMode button in the bottom right corner of your screen again to minimise the hud. Look for the neck fader that matches the number of the skin tone you are using and right-click-add it. Give it a second to appear and you will notice that the sharp neck seam has been nicely faded in.
After that, if you wish to be anatomically correct, you can look around for a freebie penis but so far I haven’t seen any of those that didn’t look ever so slightly diseased. If you are more particular about your bits and bobs you will want to go to a store like Aeros, which is where I got my “Magnus” penis (oh, is he Swedish?) which will set you back 1500 L$. The skin I am using, of which now of course only the face is visible, is Rufus in the Highlands tone by Birth (1000 L$). In the next picture I’m wearing the free group gift hair “Minato” from Argrace which comes in a generous 34 shades. I’d say the complete package is looking pretty damn fine for 2500 L$.
Now for some clothing options. TMP generously supplies you with a pair of basic boxer shorts and as soon as you put these on you will see them appear as an icon in the StyleMode hud. Just as with the body, you click on this icon, then click on “STYLES” and next you will see options for the fabric and button. You’ll also find that there are a lot of underwear and swimwear creators making items for the TMP body which you will be able to wear without any of your skin poking through. Some examples of these are Noche, 4BIDDEN, Dufaux and Mat Kungler Atelier to name but(t) a few.
You can also head back to The Shops for some retail therapy. TMP’s own range of clothes is rather limited and somewhat pricey, but it has built-in alphas which means the clothing will automatically hide the part of your body it covers so you can even wear these items with the free body. You get the mesh clothing for free but they charge you for the texturing. This means that you will for example pay for each individual colour of jeans you would like to get. For some items, like their studded sneakers, you can pay separately for various parts of the shoes, giving you the option to mix and match. Once you have purchased a texture it will be added to your StyleMode hud so you can apply it to your clothing. Let’s look at some TMP outfits and prices.
Keep in mind that if most of your body is going to be covered up with an outfit, you don’t really need the mesh body at that moment. Just because you have one in your inventory, it doesn’t mean you need to wear it at all times. A popular option is to combine the system body with the much appreciated mesh hands and feet from Slink instead of going for a full mesh body. You saw earlier that the TMP body comes with separate mesh hands and feet too, but these were not designed to wear without the mesh body. However, if you are going to be wearing long sleeves and trousers, you can try using the alphas of gloves and shoes to hide your system hands and feet and use the TMP hands and feet that way. Below are some examples of that and none of the clothes shown here are from TMP.
In conclusion, the free TMP male mesh body is ideal for anybody who plans to spend a lot of their time in Second Life on nude beaches or hanging about the house in their underwear. The body has not yet been updated to work with the bento skeleton so your hands will not move and there is also no clear indication that it will be updated very soon. Having said that, anybody who likes to carry some junk in da trunk will enjoy this body’s nice round butt and while the TMP clothing line is expensive, it does look good and the last pictures clearly show that you also can get some good use out of the hands and feet if the rest of you is mostly covered up.
I have abandoned the A-frame Linden Home I was occupying with my alt and started the game of picking a new Linden Home, checking it out and dropping it again, when I feel the area is too crowded. This is something I can repeat up to five times within 24 hours till I have found something that satisfies me. Alternatively, I’m contemplating to get a dirt cheap 512 sqm plot of mainland and rez a skybox very high up which I would use to create a constantly changing living space.
As all of the furniture came from my inventory, me, myself and I, meaning Billy, emptied the house. Later on this had the somewhat forlorn looking effect of my alt standing in an empty house, ready to give it up.
Billy: Oy Wyatt! Pull up your pants
Wyatt: Look who’s talking?
Billy: Why sir, whatever might you mean by that
Wyatt: Ha! Don’t you try the butter-wouldn’t-melt approach with me, I know you too well.
All of the houses I looked at were less attractively situated than the one I had before, so naturally I reached my daily quota quit quickly. At one of the houses there was someone standing around and as they made no immediate effort to say hi, I thought I’d take advantage of the situation to see what happens to someone when you turn on the security measures. I have been at the receiving end of that experience but never witnessed if something physically funny happens to someone who’s yanked away from a house. Sure enough I saw the poor lass being pulled from the house and smacked down on the ground just a few yards away between the other houses. After that I couldn’t blame her for not being forthcoming to start a conversation, so I made the effort myself.
Wyatt: So that’s what happens when I activate the privacy settings while someone is standing in the house. That sure sent you flying out of here. The landing looked a bit rough too. SL can be so rude 🙂 And now I’m abandoning this house again, cause it’s not quite right. You’ll be able to walk back in.
Resident X: wow and it’s people like you that makes people think sl sucks.
Wyatt: Naaah, that’s what the trolls and begging bots are for and even with those I still don’t think it sucks. I’m enjoying it for most of the time. I admit it was a wee bit rude, but I’m also honest enough to say that it was kinda funny to see you fly off like that.
Resident X: smh childish.
Wyatt: That must be the childish side of my sense of humour that sometimes likes things like America’s Funniest Home Videos.
Resident X: damn Americans
Wyatt: There, I was in the middle of admitting that it was indeed childish before I could finish. Damn assuming people. I’m not American.
Resident X: no am I. I figured you had to be American or from UK. lol.
Resident X: well I know your not Canadian.
Wyatt: Technically that would have made me American.
Resident X: pffft nope.
Wyatt: It’s a continent not a country. Mexicans are American too.
Resident X: pfft nope.
Wyatt: So there’s no such thing as European?
And that’s where the conversation stopped, I got no further reply and I don’t go off in a ranting monologue… but I do argue with my alt? I’m such a weirdo. It’s a pity, cause I thought we could have become besties.
The Masters of Style Hunt is another one of those rather rare hunts full of male or unisex items. The hunt started on 17 June and runs till 31 July. There is no HUD, so you simply use the links on the web page. The list shows 31 locations and quite a few of these have been marked as “skip this store for now”, which all in all made this a quick and easy little hunt. Each item costs 1 L$ and here are some of the items I found and wanted to show.
From Fearsum I got a red t-shirt with interesting chain detail, including versions for TMP, Signature, Belleza, Adam, Slink and Aesthetic mesh bodies as well as the classic avatar.
At Inkheart I found a pair of what they call “Magical Eyes” which came in a chocolate brown and forest green, both as system eyes and mesh eyes.
FE Style was hiding a camouflage sweater in standard sizes only, which more or less works with the TMP body which I am using for this blog post.
What definitely fits very snugly on the TMP body is the grey and black tank top you can find at HORR Menswear. It’s not exactly my style, but it does look well made and will work with TMP, Signature, Adam, Aesthetic, Slink and Belleza mesh bodies and classic avatars.
Amazing Creations attempts to… amaze us with a shirt and t-shirt combo, available in standard sizes only. While I really appreciate the colour choice, I find the overall design lacking in refinement compared to new similar shirts that are being created today.
Dark Water Designs tries to keep things simple by offering a complete outfit. The jeans and shoes are one piece, which means you can pop off your mesh feet and travel a little bit lighter. TMP and standard sizing versions were included for the layered t-shirt and I will probably use it with other trousers, because the included jeans make my legs look a little bit too thin for my liking.
Robbie Roo’s Whatchamagoos went a bit crazy with a red, white and blue nautical theme for an assortment of accessories, a blazer, a shirt, a pair of shorts and shoes. Of the clothes I think I would only wear the shorts but it took some shape editing to make them fit for the TMP body and now my legs look too skinny again.
Angel DELUXE hid 4 items in and around their store, but I only found three and I’ll be showing just two, cause one triggered an instant “I don’t think so” reaction. Again, these items are not ideal for the TMP body, nevertheless I squeezed my butt in the jeans as best I could, because I rather fancied the faded camouflage pattern. I also liked the zombie t-shirt, but it was clipping badly on my neck. Possibly this shirt would work better with the Signature body, which in general is less of a pain in the neck with t-shirts.
KingbalStores threw in a simple open leather jacket perfect for showing of those abs, but I had to severely tone down the muscle mass on my TMP body to stop my neck from pocking through the back of the jacket (always that darn neck!)
That’s all folks! Conclusion: I’ve been on hunts with better quality items but there certainly was some salvageable stuff. Also, if there’s no TMP version included, it can be a real pain to try and make it work.
Over and out! *slumps over keyboard with nose on ZzzzzzzzzZzzzzzZzzz.
The MadPea Summer Hunt feverishly continuous and my total score has just gone over 20.000, which puts me a long way down from the top score, I’m sure. I’m not really that much bothered with that. I won’t even check my place on the scoreboard… #129 *harrumph*
Meanwhile it kept raining cute prizes along the way, like for example this beach screen from Serenity to maintain my modesty while I’m changing into my swim trunks. They complemented the screen witha little crafty frame to mount on the wall of your beach hut (or your bathroom, if you roll that way) and a rustic wooden box containing a towel and starfish . Chez Moi charmed me with a whimsically dysfunctional clock while Plastik showered me with a bunch of summery nail varnish options. They also threw in a sand castle as a bonus prize just in case you prefer to keep your nails au naturelle. Last but not least I found a couple of brightly coloured wall drapes at Merak, which will come in handy to give my SL dwelling that touch of summer.
The SmartPea Summer Hunt is starting to bare fruits. So far I have collected over 10.000 points without paying much attention to the prizes I can get with these, because I’m simply too focused on finding those darn shells! Apart from that, I’m also enjoying the many interesting places this hunt is taking me to. Meanwhile I have picked up a handful of the direct prizes and though the Summer Hunt hud actually costs 100 L$, I still more or less consider these to be freebies.
First up, a quirky pair of shades from Mulloy with a colour hud of course, which came in handy to keep my Team Blue outfit colour-coordinated.
Next is a collection of three prizes: two chunky candles in a glass box from Bigbully, a more modest romantic candle in a shell from Zerkalo and what looks like some casually picked flowers in a couple of small ornate vases from Keke.
RIGHT! I’ve got today’s Team Blue outfit together and I’m ready for some more MadPea shell hunting, with gritted teeth and a healthy helping of determination.
In 1799 a girl was born who later on in life was going to change how we understand our planet’s history. Her name was Mary Anning and she was the eldest daughter of a family which had its fair share of economic worriment (*whispers*: hey, psssst… that means they were poor). They supplemented their income by digging up fossils so they could sell these to tourists by the shore. Mary grew up to become a well known name in geology circles and I urge you to google her. She passed away in 1847 and finally in 1908 the famous tongue twister “She sells seashells by the seashore” came into being to commemorate Anning, but sadly its origin mostly got lost in time, unless you go looking for it.
Meanwhile in SL, MadPea has organised a Summer Hunt that has us all running around with buckets, collecting well hidden colourful shells. Those of you who participated in the Easter Egg Hunt will remember that some of the eggs contained prizes. This is again the case with the sea shells, but with most of them you will earn points which you can use as currency to buy the prizes currently on display at MadPea.
This hunt is driven by a hud costing 100 L$, which is pretty darn cheap when you see just how much fun it is to go hunting for those shells. You can also make your own home or sim into a hiding place, simply by purchasing a set of shells and sticking them under bushes (oh hello Sean, fancy meeting you here) or in closets (Tom, come out now!), heck hang them in the chandelier (give it a rest already Sia). Go nuts! Or rather, make the hunters go nuts. Clearly this hunter is already on the edge.
The first time you attach the hud you will be assigned to a team. There’s the sunny Yellows, the steadfast Blues and the flamboyant Reds. Well actually it’s just yellow, blue and red, you can use whatever adjectives you want. I’m blue (daba dee daba die) and that means coming up with another blue outfit every day. Oy vey! This fun has been going on for about a week now and it continues till 9th July so you better hurry and get your bucket out! (no that’s not an euphemism)
Second Life is celebrating its 14th birthday and we’re being showered in gifts. However, I think I’ve been missing out on most of the celebration, because the webpage with an overview of the various shopping sims where the gifted designers are offering great discounts as well as some pretty sweet freebies, states that it will all end on 26 June. Upon writing this I have only visited two of sims listed on the webpage but I believe that there is quite some overlap between the four venues. Some of the goodies I found at the “Golden” venue were:
A lot of Second Life is overly bright. Spacious virtual high-end fashion outlets with white washed walls are flooded with austere light. Trashy strip joints razzle dazzle you with an abundance of clashing colours. Fairy tale sims use ethereal windlight settings to make it all look so fluffy while tropical beaches blind you with the sun hitting the pale sand at high noon. Perhaps it is no wonder that from time to time one goes in search of darkness, such as can be found at Ironwood Hills.This sim is generally being described as a post-apocalyptic scene, but there’s no script, no written story, no set of rules that tell you how to interpret it. While you roam these strange lands, you are completely free to let your mind wander and allow your imagination to get the better of you. The blatantly ominous sound of a siren wavering in and out seems like a good warning to keep well away of this place, but the air is thick with mystery pulling you in deeper.
Several make-shift shelters with an almost homely touch to them seem to suggest that there are still people trying to live here. Possibly they are clinging on to what they once called home, trying to maintain some kind of foothold in the land of the living even if it is only in this desolate twilight zone. Perhaps this is simply their new normal.
The open door to an unexpectedly bright Gothic place of worship invites you in, but rather than experiencing a feeling of safety and comfort in this church, you are more likely to feel condemned for sins you haven’t even committed yet. Whatever is being worshipped in this place, it does not have goodness at its core. There certainly is enough other evidence at Ironwood Hills to suggest that darkness rules here.
If you wander these lands long enough, you may come across something left behind from better times, but I can’t shake the feeling that evil has this place firmly in its grasp and even in better times it was ferociously feasting on people’s life energy. Something has devoured this town and everybody in it. Whatever it is that still seems to have such a strong hold on this place today, I feel compelled to come back and discover all its secrets.
If I’m a muppet, well I’m a very manly muppet. So I went off to the newest commercial event for manly men in SL, appropriately named Man Cave.
It’s a very manageable shopping experience with about 30 participating brands, perfect for the impatient man. You’ll find a mix of men’s apparel, accessories, tattoos, hair, beards and skins as well as some home decor items to furnish your, well… man cave obviously.
Kalback came to the event offering a pair of jeans with rolled up cuffs ideal for those impromptu walks by the beach on balmy early summer evenings, complete with a briefs-&-belt add-on including a number of texture options. If you’re not feeling quite beach body ready yet, frankly my dear it’s all in your head. Nevertheless you can pick up a nice and easy t-shirt from Cold Ash, bringing out all what’s nice under the hood whilst skillfully hiding your wobbly bits. (But I adore your wobbly bits!)
Etham seems to be banking on a cold summer or perhaps they’re pleasing the peops Down Under with something warm to wear, as Oz is slowly heading for winter now. The pea coat they’ve brought to the show wouldn’t have been overkill here in Stockholm either, with the kind of chilly real life spring we’ve been having. Luckily you can always make things cosy inside, with for example the rustic sideboard (LI: 2), frame (LI: 1) and carved deer head (LI: 3) by Anhelo, available as single purchase items or an economically priced fat pack.
There were more goodies at Man Cave that caught my attention, but I have until the 9th of July to revisit that manliest of manly events. I shall wait in the name of delayed gratification.
Mesh head creators Akeruka are celebrating an anniversary with the release of a female and male mesh head as a temporary group gift for one week only. You have until 22 June, 12 AM SLT to pick it up, after that the heads will be available for purchase at the normal price for Akeruka’s New Generation heads, which is L$2,999. The fee for joining the group is L$ 150.
Here I’m wearing the male mesh head “Aron” with its original Akeruka skin, combined with the TMP mesh body for which you will find body appliers in the package as well as Omega and Slink appliers. I’ve made some changes to the shape that was included, but haven’t spent much time yet trying to personalise the look. The hud includes some extras like the freckles and eye makeup you can see in the picture. You will also find the option to hide your ears, which I have done here to wear my usual Mandala mesh ears. Don’t forget to try out some different brow shapes. There is one included in the package, but a different brow shape can make a very noticeable difference.
I always enjoy adding a new head without putting on the included shape first. So far the result of that little exercise hasn’t failed to crack me up yet and we all need a good laugh from time to time! Don’t panic if you’re a bit new to mesh heads and this is the kind of thing you are seeing when you first put on the head. Simply wear the accompanying shape and things will look much better. Naturally this will affect your overall body shape, so you will have to adjust this to get back to the preferred look for your body. It’s a good idea to have those setting stored somewhere in a spreadsheet or on a note card.
There are no animations included in the package, so if you want to be able to pull some funny faces, you will have to splash out on the animation hud Akeruka created for this head (L$2,499), or shop around for a facial AO. I noticed that while I was wearing my altered shape, the talking animation that reacts to voice was deforming my mouth. This effect was far less noticeable when I was wearing the default shape for the head. Typing also had no averse impact on the talking animation and my pretty little mouth looked normal just yap-yap-yapping away.