Early September musings

Between the vagaries of RL work and the ever-increasing demands of family life, it’s often hard to find the time and the wherewithal to do things in-world the way I’d like, and even to sit down and learn how to do other things, such as 3D modelling. If you add the fatigue from my thirteen (on both this and my previous account) years in SL, it’s no surprise that I’m no longer as driven and motivated as I used to be. However, I still like to have fun in-world, even if it “merely” consists of shopping and chatting with a few dear friends I’ve made and kept over the years.

Early September Musings

This is what I came up with for this weekend; as always, click on the picture for the full-size version.

That said, I reckoned 2019 was a good year to make a bunch of changes in my SL. I started with revamping my avatar, and I detailed the process and the results in my previous post. I changed my profile picture as well. Over the past few days, post-vacation, I also started reconsidering my outfits – some I had never bothered to use, and others I simply grew tired of. So, I went a bit Stalin on them and performed a great purge, in my outfits, in my inventory, and even in my Flickr photostream. While I was at it, I did a little rummaging in my inventory and started combining older, but still relevant, and recent items to come up with new looks. One of these I’m presenting right here after the cut.

Style credits for this post:

  • Mesh Body: Maitreya Mesh BodyMaitreya Lara v4.1 by Onyx LeShelle
  • Mesh Head:  LAQ Bento – Motion Capture – Gaia 3.05 by Mallory Cowen
  • Skin Applier:
    • Body: LAQ ~Next Level – Maitreya Body Applier [3.0]
    • Head: LAQ ~ Gaia Skin [3.0]
  • Makeup: Included with the head’s HUD
  • Manicure & Pedicure: alaskametro<3 “Pride” nail art appliers by Alaska Metropolitan
  • Tattoo Layers:
    • Tattoo: Izzie’s – Flower Nipple Tattoo Appliers (Valentine’s Gift) by Izzie Button
    • Skin Marks etc: Izzie’s Cellulite & Stretch Marks appliers by Izzie Button (I’m using only the Cellulite option)
  • Eyes: IKON Perspective Eyes – Coffee (S) by Ikon Innovia
  • Hair: *ARGRACE* TSUKUSHI [C] Unrigged by rika Oyen
  • Top: Meva Paisley Bra by Mea Carnell
  • Pants: SPIRIT – Jimi pants [Maitreya Lara] by Spirit Osmus
  • Bangle: MG – Bangles – Sparkly Pearl Cuff by Maxi Gossamer
  • Piercings:
    • (Yummy) Cleopatra Nose Ring – Diamond Flower Nose Ring – Silver by Polyester Partridge
    • (Yummy) Silver Teardrop Septum – Aqua by Polyester Partridge
    • PUNCH / Diamond Nose Ring (two of them worn on the left side of my nose) by Celandria Resident
    • EarthStones Lip Gems Piercings – LAQ – Treasure Pack by Abraxxa Anatine
    • Earthstones Belly Gems – Treasure Pack by Abraxxa Anatine
  • Foot Jewellery:
    • Anklets:
      • Kibitz – Moki anklet – R medium – silver by Kathya Szczepanski
      • VOBE – Bitch Toes Anklets Slut Right (Silver) by Kathya Szczepanski
  • Shoes: REIGN.- LIVI WEDGES V2 by kenadeecole Resident
  • Poses: BellePoses Natalie by jackbiggirl Resident

Now, it’s time for a few thoughts on the various parts of this outfit. I’ll start with the hair. Rather surprisingly, I had postponed the purchase of anything from Argrace for a long time. The render weight / complexity of many of their hairstyle put me off, but this one isn’t too heavy. Also, it comes with copy / modify permissions, so optimising it by switching from alpha blending to alpha masking is straightforward (if a tad repetitious due to the number of linked parts). And, of course, one can always retexture it and edit its various parts to make it fit their particular head – incidentally, rigged and Bento hairstyles with exposed ears can be problematic if they weren’t designed for your particular mesh head.

The top is a really nice leather bikini top by Meva, and it lends itself well to various kinds of outfits, from boho-like such as this one to glamour and from there to fetish-informed ones. The ties are a nice touch, although I don’t think the option for them to be a different colour from the chest strap is necessary or realistic.

Next, I’ll talk about the pants. They look nice, in general. But at their outside, at the rear part of the knee area, they can deform strangely with many poses. I’ve noticed issues like this occur a lot with pants and long skirts that feature a split down the side of the leg. Oh well, I guess it’s something one has to live with, at least until we get physics for clothing and hair. Also, it doesn’t come with an autohide script, even though Onyx LeShelle has made one freely available, and even though setting it up is very straightforward. However, it’s still a nice pair of pants, with nice textures, and one can always set up a simple attachment with the autohide script to go with garments that don’t have it and are no-mod. I’ll say it again: content creators who think setting their products’ permissions to “no modify” will protect them from copybotters are clinically stupid, because it doesn’t, and because we’ve yet to see any real study on the impact of copybotted goods on the SL marketplace; so far, we’ve only seen conjecture.

Maxi Gossamer’s cuff is very pretty; the texturing and colours are simply gorgeous, and I just love the shape. However, at 3,661 it adds a lot to your avatar’s complexity; more than most hairstyles and more than my rings (the Chavea Bento rings from EarthStones), in fact. Going into edit mode, it’s easy to see that the mesh is probably more complex than it needs to be. As for the textures (diffuse, normal, specular maps), I’m absolutely sure that Maxi could get away with using lower resolution ones. Especially the grey specular map for the main body of the cuff, it could very well be 8×8 pixels.

Some will find my choice of anklet objectionable, because of the “slut” thing. I’ll make no excuses or apologies about it. I enjoy such transgressive and provocative accessories; furthermore, in SL, I come to indulge in some escapism and allow myself to be a lot more daring than I could ever be in RL. If someone’s offended, I simply don’t care.

I’m finishing this post off with the shoes; I’ve had them for three years now and I don’t think they feature as heavily as they should in SL fashion posts. They’re from the era before Reign went high feet-only, succumbing to the ridiculous trend for 5″ heels even for “casual” shoes. They still look really nice, despite the lack of normal and specular maps, they have a realistic (i.e. not ludicrous) arch, which is a plus in my book, they’re very versatile as to what you can wear them with, and they’re nicely optimised.

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Flickr: https://flic.kr/p/2hcAy5U

Shortlink: https://wp.me/p2pUmX-11Z