Second Life Steals, Deals and Freebies: Free and Inexpensive Mesh Heads and Bodies for Female Second Life Avatars

Mesh heads can be very expensive! This blogpost is my attempt to summarize all the options available to you if you can’t afford a pricey Bento mesh head, but still want to replace your old system avatar with a fully mesh one.

First, let’s just recap all the options for free or inexpensive mesh avatar bodies for women:

  • the Jenny Altamura mesh avatar head and body at the Freebie Megastore at London City (free; one skin tone; more information here); you can remove the head and replace it with any other head
  • the Valentina Altamura mesh avatar head and body at the freebie store at Ajuda SL Brasil (free; one skin tone; more information here); note that you cannot remove the head on this one particular free body
  • the Emanuelle Altamura mesh avatar head and body at the Altamura mainstore (free; one skin tone; more information here; to get this free group gift you must join the Altamura Design/Mesh Avatars group for L$50); you can remove the head and replace it with any other head
  • the dollarbie versions of the Classic and Curvy eBody mesh avatar bodies (L$1 each; 12 possible skin tones; available at the freebie store at Ajuda SL Brasil and also at the eBody mainstore; these mesh bodies do not have Bento hands, and they have “thick” alpha selections on the included HUD, which means you have to be somewhat careful what you wear with them)
  • the Afrodite mesh avatar body by LUCYBODY (free Midnight Mania gift; 256 possible skintones; you must join the Lucyshoes group for free; more information here)

Now, let’s talk about free or inexpensive mesh heads to go with those bodies!

Akeruka

If you haven’t yet joined the Akrueka group (called [AK] Heads News & Support) for L$150, you should really consider it. If you had joined the Akeruka mesh heads group a year and a half ago, you would have picked up no less than six fully-adjustable Bento mesh heads (three female and three male), all for a single group join fee of L$150. That works out to only L$25 per Bento mesh head, a truly outstanding deal! So join the Akeruka group and keep your eyes peeled for announcements of free mesh heads every six months or so 😉

Curves

Now, let’s look at freebie non-Bento mesh heads. First up are two free mesh heads from Curves (here’s the SLURL):

Curves 24 Sept 2018

If you join the Curves Shapes & Skins group for free, you can pick up the following free mesh head by clicking on the panel at the entrance (I have paired it with the eBody Curvy mesh avatar body):

Free Mesh Heads 2 24 Sept 20187

And if you join the SL Frees & Offers group for free, you can pick up this mesh head for free:

Free Mesh Heads 3 24 Sept 2018.jpg

(Note that you cannot adjust the Curves mesh heads or change the makeup. They are static mesh heads.)

Boatoam

Now, here’s a mesh head from from Boatoam for only L$10, which comes is six different static versions with different facial expressions, and which you can change the lipstick, blush, and eyeliner on, using the included HUD:

Free Mesh Heads 4 24 Sept 2018.jpg

(It’s got a bit of a Japanese anime look to it, which is not exactly to my taste, but it might be perfect for you!)

Eve & Adam

Another option for a static mesh head is the dollarbie Eve mesh head (model N1new)  from Eve & Adam. Join the EVE *New SL Avatar* group for L$1, and buy the head for L$1, for a total cost of L$2:

Eve Mesh Head 24 Sept 2018.jpg

The Eve head comes with a HUD with 6 skin colour options, 2 hairbases (blonde or brown), 3 eyelash choices, 10 eyeshadow options, 4 lipstick options, and 3 cheek blush options:

Eve Mesh Head 3 24 Sept 2018

There’s also an option to custom-tint any of the head, eyebrows, eyelashes, eyeshadow, lips, blush, hairbase, and neck. Here’s a look at the Eve head in one of the darker skin tones:

Eve mesh head 4 24 Sept 2018.jpg

Now, I am not overly familiar with the Eve head, but Genna (of the blog SL Freebie Addiction) uses this head for many of her pictures, and she reports:

Limited HUD and no updates.  Omega compatible (must buy relay kit), but not all make-up works.

Genesis Lab

If you go to the Genesis Lab mainstore and join their group (called GenesisLab, all one word) for L$99 (there is a group join panel on the Group Gifts wall at this SLURL), you can pick up three lovely mesh heads as free group gifts: Makena (an albino head), Lara, and Kenna:

Genesis Lab heads 24 Sept 2018.jpg

The Lara head comes with a HUD to control the included mesh eyes (4 different eye colours), plus 4 options for the eyebrows and hairbase (red, blonde, brown and black), 4 options for eyeshadow, 4 options for skin tone, and 8 options for lipstick. Here’s what it looks like:

Freebies from SL 2 10 May 2018
Genesis Lab – Lara Mesh Head

The Kenna head, which is probably my favourite static mesh head, comes with a HUD to control the included mesh eyes (8 different eye colours), plus 8 different eyebrow and hairbase colours, plus 8 choices for each of the head’s lipstick, eyeliner and eyeshadow. Here’s what it looks like:

Kenna head 24 Sept 2018
Genesis Lab – Kenna Mesh Head

The Makena albino mesh head from Genesis Lab comes with mesh eyes, but it does not have any other options. It’s quite striking:

Genesis Labs Mesh Head Albino 9 May 2018
Genesis Lab – Makena Mesh Head

Altamura

Perhaps the best option for a free mesh head is the Maya head, available from the Altamura mainstore. This is a totally free gift (you do not need to join the Altamura group to get it), but it’s kind of tucked away in a remote corner of the store, so use this SLURL to locate it (just use the Map feature in your SL viewer, click on the Show Selection button, and follow the red arrow). This is a static mesh head with one HUD to change the skin tone to one of four options, plus two HUDs for makeup options (again, I have paired it with the Curvy eBody mesh avatar body). This is the Maya head with all the makeup options turned off, so you can see the features more clearly. I think it’s quite attractive!

Maya mesh head 24 Sept 2018.jpg

So there you go, all your best options for free and inexpensive Second Life mesh avatar heads and bodies! You do not need to spend a small fortune to have a good-looking mesh avatar in SL!

So, have I missed any bargains in mesh heads? If so, please leave me a comment, thanks!

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VIBEHub Has Launched Their Platform

Back in March I wrote about a new, blockchain-based virtual world called VIBEHub. There has been much grumbling on the VIBEHub Telegram about the recent lack of news in terms of product development.

Well, I discovered today that they have completely redesigned their website and launched their platform:

VibeHub 6 23 Sept 2018.jpg

You can visit what they call “hubs” using a web browser on your desktop or, if you are using a WebVR-compatible browser, you can also visit them in your VR headset.

VibeHub 4 23 Sept 2018.jpg

You can create your own hub, and even charge an admission fee for entrance. Here’s a brief tutorial video from their YouTube channel:

Interestingly, there are future plans for many different kinds of experiences, everything from music to gaming to education to comedy, listed in the left-hand side panel. These are all listed as “Coming Soon”:

VibeHub 7 23 Sept 2018.jpg

There’s also a Marketplace, where you can spend VIBEHub credits (their blockchain-based in-world currency, called VIBE) on things such as avatars:

VibeHub 8 23 Sept 2018

Currently, the only way to get VIBE credits is to buy them using cryptocurrency (they support the MetaMask wallet). They say that you will be able to buy VIBE credits using your credit card in future.

You have a choice of a robot or human avatar. I must admit that I found the robot avatars to be kind of cute:

VibeHub 9 23 Sept 2018

But I found the human avatars to be, well, let’s just say “aesthetically challenged” (at least compared to other platforms such as Second Life and Sansar) and leave it at that. The oversized hands and overly-long fingers are the stuff of nightmares:

VibeHub 3 23 Sept 2018.jpg

(You have to go through the avatar selection menu every time you enter a new hub. It does not appear to remember what you saved from the previous hub.)

I found the brand-new platform to be somewhat buggy, both in desktop and in VR mode. Hubs seem to take a long time to load (and I have broad bandwidth and a fast gaming computer).  In desktop mode, either I could not move my avatar at all, or I could not get him to stop running. In VR mode, I found that I could move, but I could not turn. Rather a frustrating experience overall. But it’s early days.

The new VIBEHub website home page webpage states:

We support HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Daydream by Google, Samsung Gear VR. Don’t have a VR/AR headset? No problem we also support WebGL/WebVR on compatible modern browsers on your desktop or mobile devices. Other hardware platforms like Magic Leap and PSVR coming soon. Experiences will vary depending on device capabilities. However no one gets left out.

Magic Leap One support “coming soon”? That would make VIBEHub the first platform to support both VR and AR headsets. I’ll believe that bit of marketing hype when I see it.

VIBEHub is the second cryptocurrency-based virtual world platform to actually launch (after Mark Space, which is rather underwhelming). It will be interesting to see how the platform develops over time.

Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: A Fifteen-Minute Vampire Makeover for Only L$150!

Vampire roleplay is a very popular pastime in Second Life, so today I decided to do a 15-minute makeover on a vampire avatar. Here’s the “Before” look, the now-familiar Iliana vampire avatar from SL’s Fantasy starter avatar collection:

Vampire Makeover Before Iliana 22 Sept 2018

And here’s the “After” look (please click on each picture to see it in a larger size):

This avatar is wearing:

Mesh Head, Vampire Teeth, and Facial AO: Maia Bento mesh head from Akeruka (this was a time-limited free group gift which is no longer available for free; the group join fee was L$150). More details here.

Mesh Body and Hands AO: Jenny Bento mesh body by Altamura (available for free at the Freebie Megastore at London City). I removed the included head to replace it with the Maia head. More details here.

Gown: Well of Souls gown by Silvan Moon Designs (free gift from the recent SL15B shopping event).

Shoes (Not Shown): Black flats by Garbaggio (part of the free sample pack for Slink feet; available on the SL Marketplace). Altamura mesh avatar bodies have Slink-compatible feet.

Jewelry: Daphne collar, earrings, and Bento ring by Beloved Jewelry (three free hunt items from the September Free Dove mini-hunt at the Beloved Jewelry mainstore). The included HUD gives a choice of 12 different metals and 33 different gemstones!

Body AO: Chubby Girl AO by [ImpEle] (free from the SL Marketplace). This is a nice, simple, calm AO with no crazy movements.

Hair: Que Bella in abyss black from Hairoin (a store which is unfortunately no longer in Second Life; I bought this many years ago and I forget what I paid for this)

TOTAL COST FOR THIS MAKEOVER (not including the hair): L$150 (the Akeruka group join fee)

Pictures taken in front of the blood fountain at the Necropolis Vamp Club.

Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: 2018 Hair Fair Freebies and Dollarbies!

Well, between 2:00 a.m. and 3:00 a.m. this morning, I braved the lag and traversed the 2018 Hair Fair Second Life. Here are the freebies and dollarbies I found (each with a SLURL to take you directly to the store’s location on the four Hair Fair sims). Use the Show Selection button on your Map and follow the red arrow 🙂

Unless otherwise specified, all items are FREE!

Tameless
Tameless 23 Sept 2018.jpg

Adoness
Adoness 22 Sept 2018.jpg

KoKoLoReS
KoKoLoReS 22 Sept 2018

no.match
nomatch 22 Sept 2018.jpg

BMAH
BMAH 22 Sept 2018

ASO!
ASO 22 Sept 2018

EMO-tions
EMO-tions 22 Sept 2018.jpg

EscalateD
EscalateD 22 Sept 2018.jpg

Curious Kitties
Curious Kitties 22 Sept 2018.jpg

Zibska (colour-changeable collar and earrings)
Zibska 22 Sept 2018.jpg

MINA
MINA 22 Sept 2018

amiable L$1
amiable 22 Sept 2018.jpg

CHEVEUX
CHEVEUX 22 Sept 2018.jpg

Calico L$1 for four hairstyles (please click each picture for a larger size)

Vanity Hair
Vanity Hair 22 Sept 2018.jpg

KMH
KMH 22 Sept 2018.jpg

aa*Hair
aaHair 22 Sept 2018.jpg

enVOGUE
enVOGUE 22 Sept 2018.jpg

LM
LM 22 Sept 2018.jpg

DQ
DQ 22 Sept 2018.jpg

Sintiklia
Sintiklia 22 Sept 2018.jpg

booN
booN 22 Sept 2018

Astrology
Astrology 22 Sept 2018.jpg

red Mint (L$1 for a posture collar and a heart choker; please click each picture for a larger size)

Alli&Ali (6 hairstyles; please click each picture for a larger size)

 

Editorial: Putting Items On the High Fidelity Marketplace—Why Is It So Complicated?

geometry-1044090_1920.jpg
Why is it so complicated to get an item into the High Fidelity Marketplace? (Image by geralt on Pixabay)

Compared to the thousands of items already for sale on the Sansar Store (14,875 at last count), the High Fidelity Marketplace still looks rather empty in comparison (by my count, less than 600 items). High Fidelity is trying its hardest to encourage content creators to upload more items to its Marketplace. In fact, HiFi is issuing an HFC (in-world currency) bonus for any items uploaded to the Marketplace before Oct. 1st, 2018:

For every item you submit to the Marketplace before October 1, 2018, that is approved for sale, you will receive a bonus of 2,000 High Fidelity Coin (HFC).

In an effort to get some discussion rolling, Philip Rosedale recently posted his musings on the subject to the HiFi discussion forums:

With HFC now being exchangeable for USD at the bank, we’re thinking about how best to help get the marketplace started and lots of people putting up new things for sale. How best should we go about doing that? Any ideas?

Pay HFC for commissioned items, like we’d often been doing on the worklist?

Buy one copy of everything everyone puts up?

Get HF employees to put up some amazing stuff that can then be freely modified?

??

I must confess, that I really don’t see the point of having High Fidelity buy one copy of everything that everybody puts up for sale on the Marketplace. What purpose does that serve? High Fidelity should be encouraging its users to buy items from each other, rather than buying up items themselves!!

It would appear that there are still some impediments and bottlenecks in the whole process of putting an item up for sale in the High Fidelity Marketplace. Some users have complained that the whole procedure is quite awkward.

Even worse, it would appear that every single item has to be reviewed by High Fidelity before it can be approved for sale. One would-be seller received the following response to his uploaded item:

“Unfortunately we do not feel this submission is up to quality standards on the Marketplace and have decided not to approve it at this time. We encourage you to continue improving on this submission and greatly appreciate the work you have put in.”

If High Fidelity is actually going to screen each and every item for quality, they’re going to create a huge bottleneck that will negatively impact the Marketplace. This is one of the fatal mistakes that Blue Mars made. Tell me this: how many staff is High Fidelity going to throw at this quality assurance task? What are the standards to be used for assessing the “quality” of items? Will there be an appeal process for rejected items? This opens up a huge can of worms.

Another person in that same discussion thread stated:

I’ll just bring up my concerns I’ve had for awhile in addition to people from Second Life who I’ve worked with, who have held back due to the security concerns.

I get the knowledge of some people will always be high and as a result will mean their knowledge on how to work around securities will be a never ending battle, but now that the push for wearables has been made, no one bothered to think of the consequences, and as a result, I’ve had a few of my own items copied without full concern. Were they certified, marketplace items? No, but the fact that the same even applies to them degrades my trust and the contacts I’ve met on the topic of putting things into the marketplace.

Now there’s this:

How can anyone put something up when most issues regarding the marketplace, regarding the security for it, and the issues with even the PoP have not been addressed?

Heck, I’ll go even as far as to address the other elephant in the room: as Richardus has pointed out, the approval process is slow, and now suddenly there’s a desire to push people to fix or upload new items, and at that, with a price tag. A consequence I hope someone has predicted are ones who did submit something for approval early only to not have it approved until after the date. If that happens, and word spreads, the trust in the system will only worsen.

These are all excellent points that need to be addressed by High Fidelity, and quickly.

As mentioned above, Proof of Provenance (PoP) is yet another area of concern with the Marketplace. There was a great deal of controversy when this was first proposed, but the document referring to it has since been taken down from HiFi’s website. It’s really not clear to me what the status of this initiative is. Is High Fidelity is still planning to conduct PoP verification services for items listed on its Marketplace? If they are, then what fee will they charge for this service? Everybody seems to have questions, and nobody seems to have any answers.

The online instructions for uploading your content to the High Fidelity Marketplace are split up into several sections, each of which is fairly technical in nature. Take a look for yourself:

Here’s a sample screenshot of a section from the Add Your Item page, complete with instructions on how to edit your .JSON files (yes, you need to know how to edit code!):

Add Your Item 21 Sept 2018.png

I can certainly understand why some people feel that the whole process is daunting, confusing, and cumbersome.

The overall impression I get here is that there are still significant obstacles standing in the way of content creators who want to place their items up for sale in the High Fidelity Marketplace and earn money from them. Why on earth aren’t Philip Rosedale and his team taking a page from Linden Lab, where they have already set up not one, but two highly successful online stores: the Second Life Marketplace, and the Sansar Store?

SLUniverse Is Closing

sluniverse

Yesterday evening, Cristiano Midnight, the owner of the SLUniverse (SLU) discussion forum (the largest and longest-running community site dedicated to Second Life), posted the following message:

So a lot has happened in the past 24 hours. I nearly lost 2.4 million posts and obliterated SLU, got them back, perhaps may have cried a little, then made some decisions about what to do about SLU.

I detailed what I was going through my mind in this post, so I won’t repeat it. However, since writing that, I made some rapid decisions that are already in motion.

First of all, I am launching a new site – VirtualVerse, which expands the scope of SLU to all things related to virtual worlds, whether it is Second Life, Sansar, other VR worlds that are gaining in popularity, or game related worlds like MMOs and open world games. I’ve wanted to become less SL centric, but it has been hard to do that with SL as part of the name.

The SLU forums will be closing within the next few weeks, depending on how long the transition takes. These forums will be archived – they may be unavailable for little while but will come back as a read only forum.

The new site domain is VirtualVerse.one – http://www.virtualverse.one

Why .one? There has been a significant number of new top level domains added, and I considered .cloud, .site and even .ninja, but .one appealed to me the most, since this also is starting over in many ways.

The new forums use Xenforo, not vBulletin. It is much more modern forum software, and fully supports mobile without needing an app. I purchased two gorgeous themes for it, one light and one dark, and have already installed an add on that allows me to add unlimited reaction buttons.

I’m looking into whether or not I can migrate user accounts from VB. If not, I will assist anyone in securing their name on the new site. I’ll have more information soon about all of this.

In the meantime, if you would like to help test out the new forums as I am getting them setup, they are already live.

I’m sure you will have lots of questions, and I still have some things to figure out and a lot of work to do, but SLU is going to live on, just in a different format.

I have been a fairly active member of SLUniverse since Sept. 18th, 2007 (just over eleven years), posting a total of 1,689 posts to various discussion threads in that time. It has always been a fun, free-wheeling place where anything and everything could happen. Some of the discussion threads have achieved legendary status!

I am looking forward to Cristiano’s new venture, VirtualVerse. You can visit it already.

 

Playing Angry Birds on the Magic Leap One

Here’s a short promotional video for the upcoming Angry Birds game on the augmented reality headset Magic Leap One:

TheVerge reports:

Finnish game development studio Rovio is bringing its flagship property, Angry Birds, to one of the most forward-looking devices on the market, the Magic Leap One. First unveiled early last month, the One is the first commercially available mixed reality headset from secretive Florida startup Magic Leap, which has amassed more than $2 billion in funding to create what it thinks is the future of media. The company is not quite there yet, as my colleague Adi Robertson argued in her hands-on impressions of the headset.

But Rovio, in partnership with Swedish virtual and augmented reality developer Resolution Games, is signing on to be one of the earliest game makers to build for Magic Leap’s platform as it evolves. The result of that investment is Angry Birds: FPS (short for First Person Slingshot). The game is your standard Angry Birds experience: you’re given a set of colorful anthropomorphic birds and a slingshot, and the goal is to fling your feathered friends into increasingly elaborate wooden and stone structures to take out nefarious green pigs. Although this time around, the structures, birds, and slingshot appear as virtual and interactive 3D objects existing in the real world.

I spent about 30 minutes playing the game, and I can say that it is a remarkably intuitive, high-fidelity, and an all-around impressive display for Rovio’s first foray into AR. The company worked closely with Resolution Games, which has experience making VR games, to develop the game first as a VR title and then later as a full-fledged AR one that runs exclusively on the Magic Leap One.

Although the field of view for the One is roughly 50 degrees and still quite limited compared to, say, a VR headset, I found that to be about the perfect width and height for a full stage of Angry Birds to exist in front of you on a standard coffee table. So it’s clear Rovio and Resolution designed the game with the One’s FOV top in mind.